Taurus II – Zodiac I

I must admit that while I appreciate strength of purpose, steadfastness, and conviction, I’m not inclined to create characters who would seem very Taurus-like.

I have been spending quite a bit of thought on how to build efficient, inefficient characters using Third Edition, Legend of the Five Rings rules.  Clearly, the appropriate ring for a Taurus is Earth, with both Stamina and Willpower suiting them well.

My analysis of the relative advantages of the traits and rings goes something like:

  1. Strength – Weak and usually uninteresting, something to put to 4 when using heavy weapons or for a water shugenja.
  2. Perception – Decent and interesting but suffers for being paired with Strength.
  3. Stamina – Weak and uninteresting.  But, getting Earth up for more wound boxes (or for earth shugenja) is huge.
  4. Willpower – Narrow.  Besides being part of the Earth Ring, failing fear rolls is not so good.  I wish both this and Stamina did more individually.
  5. Agility – Strong.  Not just the key to most attacks but one’s Defense at times.
  6. Intelligence – Strong and interesting.  I occasionally try to play not so bright characters as a role-playing stretch.  But, with so many rolls in my Heroes of Rokugan experiences being skill + INT, this is easily the most fun trait for me.  Gots to luv the Fire Ring, maybe nots so luv the fire shugenja.
  7. Awareness – Narrow.  Sure, social skills all go off of this and it has duelling applications and whatever, but I’m willing to forego its benefits to put points into other traits that help me pursue my interests.
  8. Reflexes – Strong.  The TN to be hit benefits vary depending upon build, but initiative rules in a game where any sort of random hit may kill you.  And, having a solid ranged attack doesn’t hurt either.  Yet, I don’t find it terribly interesting and keep thinking of playing low Air characters because of my ambivalence towards this and Awareness.
  9. Void – Everything and nothing … em … no wait, that’s just gratuitous pretension.  Strong, of course, and really interesting.  I constantly lament not having Void higher.  There are just so many uses for it.  I don’t know that it’s more fun than Intelligence, but it’s right there.

It would seem like I’d be inclined to build a lot of Fire characters, but actually, many of my concepts are high Earth with bumps in Intelligence and maybe Perception or Reflexes (and Void, except for the Momokus).  Again, with surviving any fight being so precarious, a jacked Earth is the hotness when you are willing to let others do your killing for you.  And, Earth spells are reasonably interesting.

Besides, there are numerous ways to mix and match families and schools to start with a 4 Stamina or Willpower.  While I’m not inclined to build an Ox clan character (what?!?, isn’t this Taurus month?), there are all sorts of amusing builds I may or may not get around to.  I love the Toku Bushi school, a Shiba of the Hida Bushi school, Dragon schools where you can pick any trait to bump to double up on Willpower – hard not to fall back into Earth-iness.

When the next HoR campaign rolls around and I make my Toku school Isawa, I may just remember to consider using Taurus as inspiration.  Just have a little patience …


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