Heroes on Demand: Utaku Kumiko, Unicorn Battle Maiden

Welcome to the latest installment of Heroes on Demand, your weekly source for ready-made and ready-to-play characters for a variety of RPGs.  This week’s entry was spurred by a somewhat flippant remark that author Wayne Basta (aka Agent 47) made on Twitter not that long ago in response to my own Twitter comment about a particular choice of movie to watch.  Just goes to show that a character concept can spring from the most unusual places.  Also, it’s been a few weeks since I did a character for Legend of the Five Rings, so that’s the system for this week’s entry.  So saddle up and prepare to ride across the plains of Rokugan as we introduce…


“To ride with the wind in my hair, what more could one seek in life?”

Utaku Kumiko
: Legend of the Five Rings, 4th Edition

Air 3, Earth 2 (Stamina 3), Fire 2 (Agility 3), Water 2, Void 2
Utaku Battle Maiden 1: Riding in Harmony

Animal Handling 1, Athletics 1, Battle 1, Defense 2, Etiquette 1, Horsemanship 3, Hunting 1, Investigation 1, Lore: Bushido 1, Kenjutsu 2, Sincerity 2, Spears 2, Temptation 1
Absolute Direction, Dangerous Beauty, Wary
Consumed (Determination), Sworn Enemy (Scorpion Bushi)

Attack Rolls: 5k3 (katana), 5k3 (lance)
Damage Rolls: 5k2 (katana), 5k4 (lance)
Armor TN: 24/32* (Reduction 4)
*second value is for when on horseback

Honor: 6.5
Glory: 1.0
Status: 1.0
Outfit: Daisho, lance, riding armor, sturdy clothing, Utaku warhorse, traveling pack, 10 koku

A proud daughter of the Unicorn Clan and the Utaku family, Kumiko all but exults in her family’s long history of service to the rulers of the Unicorn, dating all the way back to the Kami Shinjo.  But she is also a child of two worlds, as her lineage also has strong gaijin influences from the Unicorn Clan’s time spent away from Rokugan, and while some of the more elitist of the other Great Clans, particularly the Crane, might sneer at her impure ancestry, Kumiko pays their words little heed; it is one’s deeds that truly matter in this life, and words of others are nothing without steel to back them up.  While she is not quite as brash or outspoken as the general perception of a Unicorn bushi might suggest, Kumiko is not afraid to speak her mind, though she remains cautious about how to phrase her words, understanding that the other Great Clans lack the sort of open honesty that the Unicorn have embraced.

Design Notes:
Kumiko is a pretty standard example of a Unicorn horse-maiden, being an exceptional rider and a skilled combatant, though she’s lacking in the brute force that other bushi might have going for them.  She’s not at a total loss when having to face off with a courtier, but words are hardly her weapon of choice.  I decided that her gaijin heritage and its influence on her appearance was enough to warrant the Dangerous Beauty advantage, as well as a rank in Temptation; she’s not a practiced temptress like your average female Scorpion courtier, but more of a way to use the game’s mechanics to reflect how the perceptions of others influence the way they interact with Kumiko.

Character image is from the Legend of the Five Rings Collectible Card Game, courtesy of the Legend of the Five Rings Wiki at the l5r.wikia.com.  More of this artist’s work can also be found at www.aprilleeillustration.com and at DeviantArt at http://aprillee.deviantart.com/

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