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Motobushido is a game about really sweet duels between really badass samurai who ride really awesome motorcycles.
222 backers pledged $11,400 to help bring this project to life.

On Paths and Riding Positions

Posted by Nathanael Cole (Creator)

I realize that I haven't talked much about the actual workings of the game itself in the updates, focusing more on my excitement for the new developments to the overall project. So I'll go into this first weekend with some talk about the importance of where you ride within your Pack.

In Motobushido, your riding position within the Pack is an important part of your entire character concept. It is the basis for your duties within the Pack, your status among your brothers, and even your own particular set of special abilities. Your Path determines where you ride, and likewise where you ride determines your Path.

Take the Road Captain. She rides at the front of the convoy. Her mask is the most fearsome, her bike and visage the first that the enemy will see when she leads the Pack to battle. She leads, and they follow - as it should be. But the Trail Blazer rides even further ahead, far beyond the convoy, usually astride a bike built either for speed or for terrain. His foresight keeps the Pack out of danger, and can even delay the Waves and Storms that your Sensei will crash down upon you.

Then there's the Prospect. She's the newest member of the scrappy brigade, and her skills are focused on coming up from the very bottom, even when the stars are otherwise aligned against her. But she rides immediately behind the Road Captain. All the while, the others watch, and nod, and grimace, and grin, and most of all: judge. One day, she might be deemed worthy of earning a Mask of her own.

In the very rear, behind all the others, rides the stalwart Tail Gunner. He tends to ride the biggest and most pack-burdened bike in the convoy. The 'Gunner tends to those that fall behind, be it due to mechanical concerns, medical necessities, or worse. In most Packs, the 'Gunner is as fearsome to behold as the Captain - as the last one to ride out, it's important to leave a solid final impression.

Filling out the ranks between the rest of them you will find others, like the Den Mother, the Historian, and more. Each of these riding positions is part of your chosen Path within the Pack. Much in the same way as your bikes, your Path doesn't just say "what you do," it says "who you are," and over the course of the game you will gain much power from that.

Of course, there are rules for changing Paths, but those moments in-game are most often accompanied with some drama. When the old Captain dies, someone's gotta take her place, and that's rarely an easy choice. When the Prospect has been deemed worthy of her Mask, she's gotta be initiated, and I have yet to run a Pack whose Masking Ceremonies were not at least a little gruesome. When the Enforcer finally pisses off the wrong person and gets himself killed, chances are the Captain'll want someone to fill the position anew, so who's it going to be?

Currently there are eight core Paths in the game, each based on archetypes within the Biker and Samurai fiction genres. Most of them have specific hooks in play when they are present with certain other Paths, and mixing them up will drastically change the way the game flows. The Road Captain is an icon of almost every Pack, and rules absolute, but she can also find that rule more frequently put in question with a Den Mother pushing his own plots. On the other hand, if the Enforcer is in play, the Captain's rule will be marked with more than a fair share of terror and violence - though not necessarily by her own intentions. The presence of a Prospect puts a greater focus on Pack laws and policies, and the eventual induction of that new member becomes a mechanically important thing.

And everything changes if the Road Captain is not in play at all. Starting the game without a solid leader tends to start a game with distrust, in-fighting, and glorious bloodshed.

New Paths are in the works, too, both as free supplemental material and as exclusive project bonuses.


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    1. Gareth Hodges

      That sounds awesome :)

    2. Nathanael Cole 3-time creator

      Fantastic! That's my hope =)

    3. Missing avatar

      Redfuji6 on

      The more i hear about this the more i like it.