BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

L5R: Feel the Sting of Scorpion Clan

3 Minute Read
Aug 18

The Scorpion Clan wield lies, blackmail, and poison as easily as a sword–and are just as deadly with either.

via FFG

The Scorpion Clan is every bit as venomous as their namesake. Having taken up the mask of villainy for the good of the empire, they are masters of deceit and treachery. They have a reputation for unearthing what people would hope stayed buried, and burying those who stand in their way. Powerful and influential, their playstyle mirrors their reputation.

To go up against the Scorpion Clan is to know dishonor, to be assailed by deceit, and to see the very skills you thought would help you defeat them be turned against you in the name of victory and the salvation of the Emerald Empire. As you might expect, Scorpions are the masters of tricks. A big chunk of their core mechanic is their ability to either dishonor or lower the skills of any given opponent.

The Way of the Scorpion is to dishonor an enemy. Characters like Bayushi Yunako or Yogo Hiroue can help ensure that your opponents are fighting in conflicts they weren’t prepared to take on. Facing the Scorpion is never what it seems, after all.


As you can see, Scorpion Clan always has a trick up their sleeves when facing down any conflict. The trick is to keep your opponent off-balance as best as possible because a number of their characters are very specialized. They’re meant to take advantage of the penalties that come from being dishonored or from being able to target opponents when they’re vulnerable. But in a square on fight–well, it’s shinobi and poisoners versus samurai.

But Scorpion has many ways of ensuring that they always have the cards they need close to hand. In addition to their ability to affect another character’s skill, or to dishonor an opponent, they have ways of ignoring the effects of dishonor themselves. And of manipulating the honor available to their opponents–which can help offset the cost of going first in order to seize the tide of battle.

And then of course, there’s the man himself, the Champion of Clan Scorpion, Bayushi Sho-Ju. He is a master of political conflict and is adept at outmaneuvering even the most skilled courtiers. But, should he be capable of drawing in an opponent’s powerful warrior (or engage with a political opponent who is forced to use their military skill, say because they’ve been targeted by Bayushi Yunako), he is capable of having them removed entirely.

With the vast array of debuffs available to the Scorpions, no character is truly safe when participating in a conflict with Bayushi Shoju. At any rate, this is but a sampling of the subterfuge available to the Scorpions. Now the Clans have been revealed–the time to vie for the fate of the Emerald Empire is nigh!


We’ll have more news for you following GenCon.


Latest News From BoLS:

  • Advertisement
  • Tabletop Spotlight: Sidereal Confluence