In addition to the Traits found in the Advanced Players Guide, characters in the Yamato campaign can select one of the following background Traits linked to specific areas or institutions within the campaign world.


The character is a member of the samurai (warrior) class and has all the privileges and obligations thereof. He is affiliated with a clan and subject to orders from those senior to him in the clan structure. He can expect aid from the clan and its allies, and resistance or even emnity from the clan’s enemies.

Only samurai may carry a katana; it is not only their signature weapon, but the symbol of their rank and status.

A samurai begins play with a katana and a wakizashi, and gains proficiency with these weapons.

Note: a character who takes the samurai trait is not required to take levels in the samurai class. Possessing the trait indicates the character is a members of one of the samurai clans of Yamato; in terms of game mechanics, the character could take levels in fighter, ranger or some other class. The clans are generally anti-magic, however, and any character with the samurai trait who takes levels in a spellcasting class will be sanctioned if they are ever discovered.


The character is a member of one of the secretive ninja clans. Officially, this means he is outside of the normal social order. In practice, he is affiliated with a clan, like a samurai, and subject to orders from those senior to him. Unlike a samurai, however, his affiliation is a closely-kept secret, minimizing its impact on those with whom he interacts.

Note: a character who takes the ninja trait is not required to take levels in the ninja class. As with the samurai, the trait indicates membership in a clan, with attending benefits and obligations; in terms of game mechanics, clan memberas can take levels in rogue, sorcerer, alchemist, or practically anything else (except samurai).

Academy Mage

The character is a member of the Arcane Academy, with all the rights and resonsibilities thereof. The Academy has locations throughout the empire, and members can always find lodging and assistance at these outposts. Members have access to the libraries and archives of the Academy. This means they can always find a copy of a spell they wish to learn (except for necromancy spells) at no cost. If they use the archives for research, they gain a +2 circumstance bonus on any knowledge checks they make.


The character is a member of the Yakuza, Yamato’s organized crime “clan.” Officially, this puts him outside the normal social order, but the underworld has its own hierarchy. A character with this trait can find a safe house in any city or port. He also has access to the black market, and can find any goods (that are available at all in Yamato) in any settlement large enough to have a Yakuza presence. Yakuza members adorn themselves with elaborate tattoos, not only proclaiming their membership, but their relative status (the more senior in the hierarchy, the more elaborate the tattoos). A member of the Yakuza may be called upon to do a job by the bosses, but such jobs are always paid. The character must remit 10% of the loot they earn/steal (outside of jobs done directly for the bosses) to the Yakuza. Punishments for cheating are harsh.


Yamato valeyard