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Secrets of the Ninja

The Hattori family was one of the most famous Ninja families in Iga province. They originate from Otomo Hosoto, a high ranking member in service to the royal family, and earlier family connections to China. Each of the Hattori clans had their own Mon, indicating these Ninja carried the same rank as Samurai.

From these families, Hattori Hanzo (1541-1596) emerged as a legendary Ninja. Practically raised with the martial arts as his main occupation in life, Hattori faced battle for the first time at sixteen. Recognized for his remarkeable fighting skills on the battlefield by Lord Tokugawa, 'Hanzo the ghost' went on to battle at Anagawa in 1570 and Mikata Ga Hara in 1572.

Where as Watari Ninja sold their services to the highest bidder, the Hattori Ninja remained loyal to Lord Tokugawa. Tokugawa was in a village close to Osaka when he was threatened by Akechi's troops. Hattori Hanzo and some 300 Iga and Koga Ninja helped Tokugawa escape using Goton Jutsu, the skills of hiding in nature and other specialist Ninja techniques.

By this time Hattori Hanzo was highly regarded for his merits, and was to rise to command over the Hassenshi Samurai's. While advancing with troops against the Fuma Ryu Ninja into Kanagawa, the Fuma Ninjas withdrew by sea. Hattori Hanzo and his men continued the pursuit by boat. The Fuma Ninjas swam back and using underwater techniques destroyed the rudders. Jumping into the water to swim back to shore on the now foundering boats, Hanzo and his men met their end. The Fuma Ninja had filled the water around the boats with oil and upon setting it on fire, all perished in the flames.

The Hattori family continued its service to the Shogun however. The Watari Ninja recieved no such favor and were dishonored and poorly treated under the rule of Tokugawa Imeitsu. Their revolt, known as the incident at the Sasa Temple, was beaten by the Shogun's troops. Playing an ineffectual role in the Shogun's success in crushing the revolt, the Hattori family lost their status and pre-eminence as well.

A Ninja from Iga Province with a Wall gun

Ninja ! An RPG Campaign

An emissary arrives from Morikage, asking for a relief force to be sent. Promising political favor, and having considerable finances to offer, Hida Kirin grudgingly agrees.

Passage through the territories of their neighbors is not forthcoming without a fight however.The plan was to force their way into Scorpion territory with a Samurai battle group. They would advance from the Seven Day Battle Plain, then penetrate rapidly towards the Lake of Sorrows. Then, changing identities, Hida Makotare and a few chosen warriors would join a force of Ninja to journey on inconspicuously to Morikage, avoiding all detection.

Initial Forces
30 Light Cavalry - Scouts
500 Elite Samurai- Hida Kobai's Iron Legion
200 Infantry- Hiruma Aziko's Pikemen
80 Ninja- Koba Gunners

Advancing towards the Hachiman River, Hida Kobai's Iron Legion was to link up with the emissary's own elite troops.

Roll D10
(1-2)Hida Kobai is assassinated. Hida Makotare's dangerous rival Hida Fusoware is given command of the Iron Legion. Hida Fusoware has no intention of letting Hida Makotare lead the Morikage assault.

(3-4)The emissary's troops have been ambushed by the Scorpion army. Forced to raise additional troops they conscript 200 low quality Ashigaru Spearmen.

(5-8)The emissary provides 100 Elite Swordsmen- the Nambu Tigers and 100 Ronin Swordsmen.

(9-10)The emissary has 80 Heavy Cavalry- Maeda's Horse, 80 Sasumi Ninja Gunners, and the battle Shugenja Goju Akichi.

After fording the Hachiman River it was not long before they were intercepted by the Scorpion army.

Scorpion Forces
200 Samurai- Bayushi Swordsmen
300 Samurai- Ronin Swordsmen for hire
200 Infantry-Bayushi Pikemen
300 Infantry-Ashigaru Spearmen

Before the battle roll a D10
(1-2)15 Ogres and 200 of Nogoten's Bowmen join the Scorpion force.

(3-4)100 of Nogoten's Bowmen join the Scorpion force.

(5-8)Ambush! The adventure party starts the battle as if heavily engaged.

(9-10)The emissary has enough koku to sway the loyalty of the 300 Ronin in the Bayushi army, they join your army instead.

The barrage of the Sasumi and Koba Gunners proves decisive in breaking up the Scorpion force that had ambushed them.

Upon reaching the Lake of Sorrows, the force disperses and Hida Makotare and the remaining Ninja journey on disguised as peasants and merchants.

Roll D10
(1-2)Ninube Ninja have infiltrated your force, your adventure party must duel several assassins.

(3-4)A water spirit emerges from the Lake to curse one of the adventure party with a spell.

(5-8)Visiting one of the many shrines along the shore, the Oracle of the Moon gives Hida Makotare a talisman adding +1 to any ring characteristic.

(9-10) The Oracle of the Moon blesses your adventure party adding +1 to any ring for each player.

GM Notes: Print out the NPC character sheets for the players, they are listed in the NPC characters section of the Sake House and you will need to refer to these often. During the campaign a deadly duel occurs between the treacherous Hida Fusoware and Hida Makotare. Each player will have something to lose (ie; honor, prestige, influence) if they support the losing side. This scenario is designed to introduce mass combat between larger forces. If using the existing rules, don't be afraid to make 1 man 10 ,or 10 men 100 on battle rounds involving less important characters. Or feel free to use your house rules for large scale battles. By the time the forces reach the Lake of Sorrows, they disperse and your regular characters can form a small band to journey on to Morikage on a new adventure.

The ninja specialty developed by the Shimazu clan of Satsuma was called 'sutekamari ni jutsu'. These highly trained sharpshooters would be left behind when the army retreated to bring down an enemy leader as their opponent advanced.

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