Your social class represents your standing in society. That said being said, the Empire of Bōkoku has a somewhat fluid class system. Commoners can rise from the rice paddies to the Shogunate and mighty samurai may become desperate ronin wandering the countryside like wild men.
- Outcast (Eta): In accordance with Bōkoku’s concepts of cleanliness, only the lowest of the low can come into contact with a dead body or the blood of an animal. The eta handle the tasks that no one else wants to do. They serve as butchers, gravediggers, and executioners of commoners (only a samurai may execute a member of the upper classes).
Associated Skills: Endurance, Streetwise.
- Merchant: As trade grew throughout Bōkoku, it was inevitable that a class of workers would become specialized in the sale of goods and services. Although a vital part of society, this profession is regarded as a necessary evil in a culture that venerates the warrior above all else. But despite this societal ambivalence, few clans could survive without a thriving merchant class. When the clans go to war, these hardy folk not only send their sons to serve as foot soldiers but also provide the logistical support (trading for weapons and armor) needed to outfit those soldiers.
Associated Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy.
- Artisan: Artisans are technically part of the merchant class. However, artisans are highly respected as creators of weapons, armor and works of art (as opposed to the merchant, who simply buys and sells). The artisan class includes a wide range of craftsmen, from the simplest potter living in the merchant quarter of a large city to the quiet genius working on the grounds of a mighty samurai estate producing devastating weapons that will be carried proudly for generations and admired thereafter as works of art. When the artisan’s clan goes to war, he is expected to assist in its defense. He might be drafted into the ranks of the foot soldiers, but artisans with a militarily important skill (such as a weaponsmith) are almost never drafted. These valuable resources are instead used to equip the clan’s forces so they will be better prepared than their enemies.
Associated Benefit: You gain the martial practice Master Artisan for free, even if you do not meet the normal prerequisites.
- Farmer: The salt of the earth, farmers are the bedrock of society and do the hard work that makes the ruling daimyo wealthy and powerful. Of all the commoners (heimin), they are the most highly respected by Bōkoku tradition in recognition of their vital contribution to society.
Associated Skills: Endurance, Nature.
- Monastic: Monastics occupy a position between the commoners and the ruling elite. Although many estates and honors have been heaped on this class by warriors and nobles who value the guidance of the priests and monks in their secluded mountain monasteries, this class is also seen by the warrior class as a potential competitor for the control of the people.
Associated Skills: Diplomacy, Religion.
- Noble (Kuge): The nobles, residing in the capital of Chūkyō and serving as the administrators of Bōkoku, were once the rulers of the Empire. Displaced in power by the warrior class, the nobles are constantly hatching schemes to bring themselves greater power and authority and use the courts and bureaucracy to great advantage.
Associated Skills: Diplomacy, History.
- Warrior (Buke): The warrior class rose to power from the ranks of provincial landholders, who were allowed to maintain troops to combat barbarians and expand the borders of the Empire. They have ruled Bōkoku since the rise of the Hamato Shogunate. The exact reason for their hold on power has been much debated, but the primary reason is that in a feudal society, land is power
-and the buke directly control the land and the wealth that flows from it.
Associated Skills: Athletics, Intimidate.