Mini Six: Mini Bushi(D6)o

This is a quick tweaking of Mini Six to emulate the old Fantasy Games Unlimited RPG, Bushido. If you’re not familiar with Bushido, click that link in the previous sentence and grab a copy of the PDF. You’ll find it worth having if you want to do any “fantasy Japan” roleplaying.

Like many an old-school RPG, Bushido is class-based, and to a certain extend I’ve tried to preserve those distinctions a bit by way of Perks & Complications. But the strength of Mini Six (and other non-class-based games, old and new) is that it doesn’t pigeonhole you. So if you want to play a courtly Samurai who doesn’t fight well, or a Yakuza who dabbles in magic, or any other “non-standard” character type, go for it.

And now, without further ado, here’s the game info for Mini Bushi(D6)o.

Attributes

Mini Bushi(D6)o uses the standard four attributes found in Mini Six: Might, Agility, Wit, and Charm.

Skills

Mini Bushi(D6)o relies mostly on the skills presented in Mini Six, though quite a few have been shuffled around under the “parent” attributes and a few new ones have been added. For more info on those added skills (if you need such a thing) you would do well to grab a copy of the freely-available D6 Fantasy.

Might
Climbing, Lifting, Running, Stamina, Swimming, Toughness

Agility
Acrobatics, Axe, Bow, Club, Dodge, Lockpicking, Nunchaku, Pole Weapon, Riding, Sai, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Sword/Knife, Throwing, Unarmed Combat

Wit
Artist, Calligraphy, Cultural Scholar, Gambling, Healing, Magic, Military Scholar, Navigation, Reading/Writing, Search, Survival, Tracking, Traps

Charm
Animal Handling, Bluff, Command, Disguise, Etiquette, Intimidation, Persuasion, Streetwise, Tea Ceremony, Trading

Perks & Complications

Perks
Any of the non-racial & non-esoteric Perks in Mini Six should be fine in Mini Bushi(D6)o. The Sorcerer Perk is available, see the Magic section below for more information on taking this Perk.

A few additional perks designed for the genre are outlined below.

Daisho (2) – You have mastered the art of wielding the katana & the wakizashi simultaneously. Though you still suffer a multiple action penalty when making more than one attack in a round, you receive +2 to each attack so long as you attack at least once with your katana and once with your wakizashi. You receive no bonus when attacking with only one weapon, or when making multiple attacks with a single weapon.

I Am Ninja! (2) – You receive +1 to all stealth, climbing, and traps rolls.

Nunchaku-te (2) – You have mastered the art of wielding two nunchaku simultaneously. Though you still suffer a multiple action penalty when making more than one attack in a round, you receive +2 to each attack so long as you are armed with two nunchaku. You receive no bonus when attacking with only one weapon, or when making multiple attacks with a single weapon.

I Am Yakuza! (2) – You receive +1 to all gambling, intimidation, and streetwise rolls.

Complications
Many of the Complications found in Mini Six will work just fine for Mini Bushi(D6)o characters, though it’s up to the GM to approve any selected Complications. Below are a few more to choose from that are specific to Mini Bushi(D6)o.

Note that outside of the Shugenja & Gakusho Codes, none of these are required for any function or ability. Though a Samurai or Ninja who fails to observe even the most basic tenets of his or her “class” will surely find him- or herself in deep trouble.

Samurai Code – Death before dishonor or defeat. Serve your Daimyo loyally and well. Take no unfair advantage.

Yakuza Code – Help yourself, but also help the people of the land. Your tattoos are a badge of honor. Accept no insult lightly.

Ninja Code – Silence, discretion, honor, loyalty. All must be adhered to. Reveal no secrets of the Ninja, no matter the personal cost.

Gakusho Code – You are bound to increase your own spiritual enlightenment and tend to the salvation and protection of your fellow men. Behave accordingly.

Budoka Code – Perfection in body, mind, and spirit are achieved through hard work and constant training. Follow the teachings of Buddha and defend the oppressed.

Shugenja Code – Study and knowledge are the most important thing. Earthly possessions are a drain upon your powers, shun them except where necessary.

Equipment

Weapons

Swords & Knives
Katana +2D+2 or +3D (1-handed or 2-handed)
Wakizashi +1D+2
No-dachi 3D+2
Ninja-to +2D+1
Tanto +1D

Pole Arms
Naginata +3D
Yari +2D

Axes
Kama +1D+2
Masakari +2D+1
Ono +3D+1

Bows & Thrown Weapons
Dai-kyu +2D+2 (10/100/250)
Han-kyu +1D+2 (10/100/250)
Shuriken +1D (5/10/15)

Club-like Weapons
Bo Stick +1D+1
Jo Staff +1D+2
Kiseru +1D+1
Tessen +1D+1 (+2 bonus to parry attempts)
Tetsubo +4D (-5 penalty to hit if used by someone with Might less than 4)
Tonfa +1D+1 (may use “Block” defense with no danger of being damaged)

Unusual Weapons
Nunchaku +1D+2
Sai +1D+1 (+5 bonus to disarm attempts)

Armor

Most folks in Mini Bushi(D6)o do not wear armor. And warrior types typically only wear it when directly headed into battle. Armor types found throughout Nippon include:

Quilted/Heavy Silks (+2)
Samurai Court Attire (+3)
Light Ashigaru Armor (+4)
Light Samurai Armor (+5)
Heavy Ashigaru Armor (+7)
Heavy Samurai Armor (+9)

Shields

Shields are not commonly used in Nippon. When they are, they increase the user’s static defense scores by +1 or +2, depending upon their size.

Magic

Mini Bushi(D6)o uses the Simple Magic System from Mini Six with the following notes:

  • In addition to taking the Sorcerer advantage, either the Shugenja Code or Gakusho Code complication must be taken.
  • Shugenja may only cast these spells: Animal Growth, Animate Dead, Beast Tongue, Charm, Clairvoyance, Conjure Elemental, Dark Vision, Death Spell, Dispel Magic, ESP, Fly, Growth, Hasten, Illusions, Invisibility, Lightning Bolt, Petrify, Shape Change, Slumber, Telekinesis, Teleport
  • Gakusho may only cast these spells: Bless, Control Weather, Curse, Dispel Magic, Divination, Earthquake, Heal, Light, Paralysis, Possession, Resist Elements, Resurrection, See Magic Aura, Still Mind

Special/Optional Rules

  • Body Points instead of Wound Levels
  • Traditional Open D6 Might Damage (i.e., 1/2 Might or Lifting, round up)
  • Attributes may be purchased up to 5D, but all pips/dice over 4 cost double
  • High rolls increase damage: For every full 3 points an attack roll succeeds by, add 1 to the damage of the attack.

Adventure Seeds

  • Azu-Mamaro, the Bakemono-kunshu ruler of a small kingdom in the rugged mountains to the north, seeks honorable humans to deliver his tribute to the Emperor. Other Bakemono-kunshu are dubious of Azu-Mamaro’s attempts to curry favor with the human ruler and are likely to send their own forces to interfere.
  • War is coming to Okibu Province! The forces of the Nakayama Clan are gathering near the borders and Daimyo Nakayama Yosuke has his eyes on the throne of Watanabe Castle. Lady Watanabe Euiko has requested that you take the daisho of retired samurai Murakami Shoichi, once the master strategist of Lord Watanabe’s army, to his hermitage deep within the high forest and convince him to return and lead the Watanabe forces as they seek to defend their Daimyo’s lands against the depredations of the Nakayama barbarians.
  • A group of unsavory bandits – led by a fearless ronin called Red Stone of the East – has been disrupting vital trade between Nagato Province and the rest of the island. The local Yakuza are have requested your help in handling this menace. For the benefit of the people, of course.

Example Characters

Here are a handful of common “heroic level” NPCs. Trimming some Attribute Dice or Skill Dice from these would yield more common opponents.

A Serious Samurai
Might 4D Agility 3D+1 Wit 2D+2 Charm 2D
Skills: Lifting 5D, Dodge 4D, Military Scholar 3D, Sword 4D+1, Kyu 4D, Tea Ceremony 2D+1 (6)
Perks: Daisho
Complications: Samurai Code
Strength Damage: 3D
Static: Dodge 12, Block 12, Parry 13
Body Points: 36
Equipment: Katana (+2D+2/+3D), Wakizashi (+1D+2), Light Samurai Armor (5)

A Drunken Ronin
Might 4D Agility 3D+1 Wit 2D+1 Charm 2D+1
Skills: Lifting 5D, Toughness 5D, Dodge 4D+1, Sword 5D, Gambling 3D, Survival 3D, Streetwise 2D+2, Intimidation 2D+2
Perks: Favors
Complications: Unlucky In Money
Strength Damage: 3D
Static: Dodge 13, Block 12, Parry 15
Body Points: 40
Equipment: No-Dachi (+3D+2), Heavy Silks (2)

A Cowardly Ashigaru
Might 3D Agility 3D+2 Wit 2D+2 Charm 2D+2
Skills: Lifting 4D, Dodge 5D+2, Pole Arms 5D, Military Scholar 3D, Gambling 3D, Healing 3D, Survival 3D+1, Tracking 3D, Trading 3D, Charm 3D
Perks: None
Complications: Cowardly
Strength Damage: 3D
Static: Dodge 17, Block 9, Parry 15
Body Points: 32
Equipment: Yari (+2D), Light Ashigaru Armor (4)

A Noble Budoka
Might 3D Agility 4D Wit 2D+2 Charm 2D+1
Skills: Toughness 3D+1, Unarmed Combat 5D+2, Nunchaku 5D, Dodge 5D, Cultural Scholar 3D, Healing 3D, Command 2D+2
Perks: Nunchaku-te
Complications: Budoka Code
Strength Damage: 2D
Static: Dodge 15, Block 17, Parry 15
Body Points: 33
Equipment: Nunchaku X2 (+1D+2)

A Mysterious Shugenja
Might 2D Agility 3D+1 Wit 4D Charm 2D+2
Skills: Magic 6D, Cultural Scholar 4D+1, Read/Write 4D+1, Dodge 3D+2
Perks: Sorcerer, Recall
Complications: Shugenja Code
Strength Damage: 1D
Static: Dodge 11, Block 6, Parry 6
Body Points: 28
Equipment: Jo Staff (+1D+2)
Spells: Animate Dead, Conjure Elemental, Illusions, Telekinesis

A Benevolent Gakusho
Might 2D+2 Agility 2D+1 Wit 3D+2 Charm 3D+1
Skills: Club 4D+1, Magic 4D+2, Cultural Scholar 4D+2, Healing 4D+2, Charm 3D+2, Etiquette 3D+2, Persuasion 3D+2
Perks: Sorcerer
Complications: Gakusho Code
Strength Damage: 2D
Static: Dodge 7, Block 8, Parry 13 (15 w/ Tessen)
Body Points 30
Equipment: Tessen (+1D+1), Heavy Silks (2)
Spells: Bless, Dispel Magic

An Honest Yakuza
Might 2D+1 Agility 2D+2 Wit 3D+1 Charm 3D+2
Skills: Club 3D+2, Gambling 4D+1, Streetwise 4D+2, Dodge3D, Lockpicking 3D, Bluff 4D+1, Persuade 4D+1
Perks: I Am Yakuza!
Complications: Yakuza Code
Strength Damage: 1D
Static: Dodge 9, Block 7, Parry 11
Body: Points 29
Equipment: Kiseru (+1D+1)

A Nearly Invisible Ninja
Might 2D+2 Agility 4D Wit 2D+2 Charm 2D+2
Skills: Climbing 3D, Acrobatics 4D+1, Stealth 5D+2, Sword 4D+2, Throwing 4D+1, Dodge 5D, Traps 3D, Disguise 3D
Perks: I Am Ninja!
Complications: Nina Code
Strength Damage: 1D
Static: Dodge 15, Block 8, Parry 14
Body Points: 30
Equipment: Ninja-to (+2D+1), 6 Shuriken (+1D)

Bestiary

Here are write-ups for a few classic supernatural foes from Japanese legend. Consult Bushido for more examples. Or check out the video game Okami for some very interesting enemy ideas.

Kappa (Scale 0)
Cucumber-loving & malicious!
Might 4D Agility 1D+1 (4D in water) Wit 2D Charm 1D+1
Skills: Unarmed Combat 5D+1, Swimming 7D, Toughness 5D, Traps 2D+1
Perks: Shell Armor (6)
Static: Dodge 4(12), Block 16, Parry 12
Body Points 40, Armor 6

Bakemono-sho (Scale 0)
Goblin Ashugaru
Might 2D+2 Agility 2D+1 Wit 1D+2 Charm 1D+1
Skills: Sword 3D, Dodge 3D, Bow 2D+2, Stealth 3D
Perks: None
Static: Dodge 9, Block 6, Parry 9
Equipment: Wakizashi (+1D+2), Han-kyu (+1D+2)
Body Points 30, Armor 4

Dai-bakemono (Scale 0D)
Goblin Samurai
Might 4D Agility 2D+2 Wit 2D+2 Charm 2D+1
Skills: Sword 3D+2, Cultural Scholar 3D+2, Dodge 3D+2, Military Scholar 3D+2
Perks: None
Static: Dodge 11, Block 11, Parry 11
Equipment: No-dachi (+3D+2) or Tetsubo (+4D)
Body Points 36, Armor 5

Bakemono-kunshu (Scale 0D)
Goblin Daimyo
Might 4D+1 Agility 3D Wit 3D+1 Charm 3D
Skills: Sword 5D, Cultural Scholar 4D+1, Military Scholar 4D+1, Magic 4D+1
Perks: Sorcerer, Daisho
Static: Dodge 9, Block 13, Parry 15
Equipment: Katana (+2D+2/+3D), Wakizashi +1D+2
Body Points 37, Armor 9
Spells: Fly, Illusions

O-Bakemono (Scale +2D)
Big dumb ogres
Might 6D Agility 2D Wit 1D Charm 1D
Skills: Toughness 8D, Club 3D, Survival 1D+2, Tracking 1D+1, Animal Handling 1D+2, Intimidation 3D
Perks: None
Static: Dodge 6, Block 18, Parry 9
Equipment: Really Big Club (+4D)
Body Points 52, Armor 2

Tengu (Scale 0D)
Crow Spirits
Might 4D+1 Agility 4D+2 Wit 4D+2 Charm 4D+1
Skills: Sword 5D+1, Dodge 5D+2, Magic 6D+2
Perks: Sorcerer, Flying
Static: Dodge 17, Block 13, Parry 16
Equipment: Fine Katana (+3D)
Body Points 37, Armor 4
Spells: Charm, Control Weather, Illusion, Invisibility, Shape Change, Teleport

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0 thoughts on “Mini Six: Mini Bushi(D6)o

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Thanks, amigo! I’ve slowed down quite a bit, but I’m still trying to bring the useful with at least some volume. Cheers!

  1. G-Man

    Excellent stuff. I can’t get enough of this particular genre lately.

    I had both Bushido and Oriental Adventures back in the day (FGU came first, natch), but never played either of them.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Arigato, G-Man-san. Glad to contribute to the field 🙂

      I never actually owner Bushido when I was young, but I always found it fascinating when I read about it. And OA came out after I had mostly moved on from D&D.

      So like most things, I got my Martial Arts & Samurai fix by way of TFT, which fully supported Samurai, Budoka, Ninja, and Yakuza out of the box with simple swordsmanship, unarmed combat, and “zen archery” skill options. Ah, TFT. Would I be even remotely the gamer I am today without thee?

  2. Shane Mangus

    Great stuff, Pao! You need to seriously consider taking this to the next level and publish Bushi(D6)o as an official Strange Stones release. I am sure there is enough samurai/Japanese art in the public domain you could pull this off easily. Just sayin’… 🙂

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Thanks, Shane! And while I truly appreciate the encouragement, I’m not sure it’s really publication worthy. I mean, it really just an adaptation of Bushido, not really anything original. Still, I’ll give it a bit more of a ponder and try to figure out if I’d be able to squeeze in the layout time.

      Meanwhile, everyone should feel free to hit that “Print Friendly” button at the bottom of the post to get a PDF to keep 🙂

      Cheers, amigo!

      1. Shane Mangus

        I would argue that by putting this together as a free download/print on demand publication would be a great way to draw attention to Mini Six. There just isn’t enough DIY effort out there for such great little game. You and I are cut from similar cloth when it comes to our gaming output. We do it because we can and because we love our hobby. I’m not in it to make it big in the game publishing world, and I would guess you have the same attitude. I’m just saying, do it because what you have here is cool as hell and I wouldn’t mind having a more fleshed out version of these rules sitting on the shelf next to my copy of Mini Six. 🙂

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          Oh you! All appealing to my DIY geek nature and such 🙂

          The realist in me tells me that nothing is actually going to draw more attention to Mini Six – or BoL, sadly – since they’re both these neat little games that aren’t D&D. Then again, reality has never stopped me before. That’s laziness’ job 😀

          You’ve got me right, Shane. I’m sure as hell not doing this with dollar signs in my eyes. Nor even with dreams of fame (however pitiful fame is in the land of old RPG nerds). I do it precisely because I can. Which is part of why I’ve seized on Mini Six/Open D6 of late.

          That particular combo gives me just the right amount of stuff to tinker with to have fun. BoL is great, and wildly adaptable, but it’s “too light” for me to truly tinker with. BRP is so straightforward and adaptable that it doesn’t really call for tinkering. And system tinkering is one of the areas in which I have the most fun.

          So I tell ya what – I won’t say an absolute “no” to working Bushi(D6)o up as a “real” PDF. But I’m not quite sure how much time I’ll be able to give it, either. I might just snap and bang it out in a day or two. Or it might wind up on the back burner for a month or three. Who can predict the weirdness of the Pao? 🙂