Status in Heroes of Rokugan: Spirit of Bushido comes in two forms, Personal Status and Positional Status. Personal Status represents the basic respect and accord your character has earned through their actions - it is the favor given by your daimyo and an acknowledgement of what you have accomplished. By contrast, Positional Status is the respect due to any individual in that position, 'respecting the uniform' as it were.
At the most basic level, your character's Social Position is their job; the duties and responsibilities given by the Daimyo. It can also be a position within a particular organization, such as the Imperial Legions or one of the various magistrate offices.
Each Social Position carries with it a fixed amount of status that is counted separately from your personal status. For instance, a bushi that has earned the position of Nikutai in their clan's army has a positional status of 2.0, while their personal status may only be 1.7.
In most cases, personal status is used to determine who takes precedence in a random group of samurai, and positional status is used primarily in situations appropriate to the position. As an example, the Nikutai might use his 2.0 positional status to take charge in battle, while he would be limited to his 1.7 status when participating in courtly activities or determining the proper order of introduction. If your personal status exceeds your positional status (such as a Nikutai having a personal status of 2.2), then the higher number is used for all status determination.
Social Positions are divided into three primary categories, based on their field of expertise: Court Functionaries, Military Ranks, and Other Duties. There is some bleed-over between the three, as positions for bushi exist in the courts, and a properly trained courtier may find a place in the military command. Positions with the Imperial Magistrates, Monk Orders, or other groups typically fall under the Other Duties categories.
Writing fictions will help build up your character's story and connections to the campaign, but it is not the most important part of advancing your career. Contributing to the campaign in some fashion, such as volunteering or GM'ing at conventions, writing mods, or arranging local or online play groups increases your character's chances of promotion. Similarly, participation in interactives at conventions can reveal opportunities for advancement, but it is not a requirement, as there are things that can be done outside of these events that carry greater weight.
Some positions have prerequisites beyond story writing and spending favors. To become a Sensei in a bushi school, for example, your character must begin learning the various kata available to the school where you will be teaching. Sensei for non-bushi schools will have other requirements. At higher status levels, some positions may even require the character to be set aside from module play, as their duties and responsibilities demand too much of the PC's time. In these rare cases, the cert that accompanies the social position will detail when the character may appear.
Courtier Roles• Diplomat Chain - Clan Diplomat, Emissary to [Clan Family X or Minor Clan], Envoy to [Clan X or Imperial Family], Ambassador to [Clan X or Imperial Family], Ambassador
• Merchant Chain - Trade Representative, Contract Negotiator, Commodities Broker, Magnate, Merchant Patron (Note: Advancing requires building up Wealth)
• Artisan/Craftsman Chain - Apprentice, Senior Apprentice, Journeyman, Master Artisan/Craftsman, Patron (Advancement requires creating works of art/crafting items)
Bushi Roles• Yojimbo Chain - A character who chooses this path should select another PC from their regular group to protect, ideally from the same clan. The Yojimbo's status is tied to that character's status, until Status 4.0. Players without a permanent charge to protect should look towards one of the other posts, such as Magistrate, Shoko Kanbu, or Military Advisor.
• Military Advisor Chain - Same rank structure as Military Rank, but does not lead troops. Assists in negotiations involving exchanges of military support such as troops or weapons and armor and works out details of military treaties.
Shugenja Roles• Spiritual Advisor Chain - Same as Temple Chain (see Other Duties), but specializing in matters of diplomacy.
Bushi Roles• Command Chain - Nikutai, Gunso, Chui, Taisa. There are ranks above this, but the Taisa rank effectively removes the character from playing in anything other than Battle Interactives and mods that have the Mass Battle tag. There are also number of intermediate choices for mid-steps between the listed ranks involving service in special units or the Imperial Armies
• Clan Duelist Chain - Apprentice Duelist, Senior Apprentice Duelist, Duelist, Master Duelist, Court Champion. Advancement requires participation in sanctioned duels, battlefield duels, and/or dueling exhibitions with NPC duelists in mods.
Generic Role• Shoko Kanbu Chain - The Shoko Kanbu is a catch all term that refers to a General's command support staff. As such, the status of the position is tied to that of the General and their army as well as the character's skill and relative talent. This position is intended for bushi with talent in the courts, or courtiers/shugenja who have extensively trained in areas relating to battle, and is the battlefield equivalent of the Military Advisor in the courts. Titles such as Diplomatic Liaison or Supply Sergeant may be used to identify specific duties within the command staff.
Shugenja Roles• Spiritual Advisor/Battlefield Support Chain - Same as Temple Chain, but specializing in military matters or providing tactical/medical support.
• Command Chain (Phoenix and Unicorn armies only), Shoko Kanbu Chain
Monks• Brotherhood Chain - Initiate, Rishi, Sozu, Sojo, Dai-sojo. Sojo and Dai-Sojo are extremely rare, and their duties prevent them from moving freely throughout the Empire. The cert for these positions will detail when characters in these positions are free to participate, which is likely to be court mods and interactives.
• Clan Monk - These characters are extremely flexible, and can qualify for most of the position chains. It should be noted, however, that the Status given to clan monks is lower than normal, as they are not typically concerned with such things.