In Minnesota, John ran Usagi Yojimbo for us and we got to play with Andrea in meatspace for the first time ever!
I played a Fox Courtier, Jan played a Bull Retainer, Andrea a Bear Yojimbo and Joe a Cat Ninja. Joe and me were from the Yasono clan, and Jan and Andrea from the Tanehuro clan. The clans had been at each other’s thoats, mostly due to a battle where the Yasono fled, leaving the Tanehuro to fight bravely – a battle that cost them all their male heirs. A marriage had been arranged that would finally lay the fued to rest, but the bride’s mother disapproved of the union.
My snooty courtier was very unhappy about serving in a clan with such a dishonorable reputation, and one that even employed ninja. The disgrace!
The Tanehuro guys were super loyal and brave and Andrea’s Yojimbo threw herself onto the dynamite that was going to blow up the bride and bridegroom both. Gah! Then we woke up captured by kappa and we had to escape both the turtles *and* the assassins and samurai coming after us trying to stop this wedding.
My courtier was very pleased to find out that the Tanehuro clan (well, one of them) were behind the wedding sabotage and were NOT SO HONORABLE after all!
It was a fun game, and there was plenty to do for my courtier. I had a great time being dismissive of Joe’s ninja, bickering with the samurai from the other clan, and trying to find clever non-violent solutions to problems. Making a non-combatty character always a bit of a gamble in fantasy settings, but John made sure I could make meaningful contributions amidst the action.
We also used a type of ‘inspiration cards’ that would say things like “adding insult to injury” or “a stroke of inpiration” that we could cash in once per game to do a very cool thing. I really liked that!
We absolutely did not play it straight and made tons and tons of animal puns and furry jokes (”Smarter than the average bear!”), and Jan’s character turned into an Edo version of Hodor who could only say Tsetsubo. Great fun!