In the modern world of the Diamond Empire, a few things are assumed to be common for all player characters. All player characters have enough basic knowledge of technology to operate a computer and use the internet on simple levels, drive a car, and read. Certain schools and disadvantages forbid this, but they will be handled on a case by case basis. Here are the modifications for existing L5R skills:
Acting: In addition to Noh and Kabuki (both now very rare) you may choose to specialize in Film: Drama, Film: Comedy, or Film: Action Movies.
Archery: In almost every case, this should be replaced with Marksmanship, but it is not mandatory. If a samurai wishes to use a bow instead of a gun, he will get odd looks but not much else. Guns are more compact, more powerful, and easier to use. Bows on the other hand, are more accurate, silent, and much easier to repair and maintain. The Wasp Clan is known to use both.
Armorer: Now separated into Armorer: Modern (high tech synthetic fabrics and metal padding) and Armorer: Ancient (the armor of the original game). Armorer: Ancient is a very rare and for the most part outdated skill. All schools which offer it should replace it with Armorer: Modern unless noted otherwise.
Bard: Replaced with Journalism. Includes basic news writing and interview techniques, as well as how to present a story to the media with charisma.
Calligraphy: If your school offers Calligraphy, you may replace it with Computer.
Engineering: Now includes a basic understanding of how to fix and build modern technology.
Heraldry: Now includes modern company logos (Dojicorp, KTSU, etc) as well as advertising, weapons, and armor of distinctive clans and corporations.
History: Now divided into two skills, History: Modern and History: Ancient ("Ancient" is anything from before about 1800.) Any schools that offer History must replace it with Modern History. Ancient History is very rare area of knowledge, and it is difficult to find sources of information or teachers on the subject.
Horsemanship: May be replaced with any vehicle driving skill. Many Unicorns are still skilled horsemen, but many don't bother anymore.
Investigation: Now includes modern forensic techniques.
Weaponsmith: Now two separate skills, Weaponsmith: Modern (Includes guns, rifles, and high tech projectile weapons) and Weaponsmith: Archaic (the bows, katanas, and other weapons of the original rpg). Both skills are still in frequent use.
For the most part, these are the only ones changed. The courts still exist and have strong influence in Rokugan (although some courtly interplay is done via computer now) and samurai still carry katana as a symbol of their station and are expected to be able to use them.
Autopsy (Perception): The study of dead bodies to determine the time and cause of their death, as well as illnesses they may have carried and identifying marks. Note that touching dead flesh is still taboo. During autopsy, most samurai direct a skilled eta while they observe.
Chemistry (Intelligence):Knowledge of mathematics, basic science, laboratory techniques and complex chemical formulae. With the proper laboratory, this skill can be used in combination with many other skills for a variety of affects, such as to creat medicines (Medicine Skill), explosives (Demolitions Skill), complex neurotoxins (Poison Skill), and extremely potent alcoholic beverages (Brewing Skill).
Computer (Intelligence): Fluency in the use of computers. The rank of the skill determines the character's ability. 1: Good typing skills and good ability to navigate and research on the internet. 2: Basic programming knowledge, the ability to make simple websites and interpret graphics on the computer. 3: Good programming knowledge, the ability to create simple application programs and create simple defensive programs on files. 4: Extremely fluent in the areas of creating programs of all varieties. Moderate skill in infiltrating hostile computer systems. 5: Master programmer, hacker, and web designer.
Demoliltions (Intelligence/Reflexes): This skill combines both the general knowledge of the types and mechanics of common explosives, as well as skill with using them as weapons. This skill may be used to set or disarm explosive devices, and to throw explosive weapons such as grenades and Bakemono Juice.
Driving (Agility): The ability to pilot modern vehicles. The driving skills available are: automobile (stick), motorcycle, truck, helicopter, and airplane. All characters are able to drive automobiles with automatic transmission (with skill level of 2 - this does not add to Insight) unless his school or disadvantages imply otherwise, in which such a driving skill can be learned as a skill.
Language: Pick a language when this skill is taken: Nezumi (Ratlings), Senpet, Rokugani Sign Language, Burning Sands, or Amijdan (the gaijin dogs from across the sea. If canon L5R comes up with a name for them, expect this name to change). Skill rank 1 indicates a very basic fluency. Rank 2 is a basic competent use of the language. Rank 3 and up indicate full fluency and a measure of eloquence.
Marksmanship (Reflexes): The use of modern firearms. Marksmanship is divided into separate skill areas: Pistol, Rifle, and Heavy Weapons. One of these areas must be chosen when taking the skill and they must be used separately.
The Advantages and Disadvantages in the basic rulebook are still applicable to the Diamond Empire. The only one I saw that needed modification was Way of the Land. A few places have become more accessible and a two cities in particular have become so large as to require separate skills. The advantage may now be used on Otosan Uchi, Ryoko Owari, The Shadowlands, and The Burning Sands.
Devout (2 points): The character is extremely religious, and is well known for his piety. The character can always depend upon help from the monks and priests of his local church, as long as his intentions are honorable, and gains a free raise on any Shintao Rolls.
Connected (Variable, one point less for Scorpion characters): The character knows his way around the underworld. He knows who to talk to, where to go, to do whatever he needs to do where illicit operations are concerned. For every point of connections, the character knows one person on the streets somewhere that will help him get whatever he needs. This connection cannot necessarily be trusted, and will probably demand money for his services. Scorpions may only receive one free point of Connections. Yes, this means that just about every Scorpion knows SOMEONE (since the first one is free.)
Lessons of the Past (6 points): The character has a strong connection to his roots. His ancestors have recognized this, and in hopes of spreading his knowledge have made this connection even stronger. The character may roll an extra dice when using any ancient weapons or using any Ancient skills, and may purchase ancestors for one point less. The character may learn Ancient skills (even History and Armorer) when he is created if this advantage is taken.
Opportunist (5 points, may only be taken or used by characters with 0 or 1 honor) - You are an opportunist, and will take the opportunity to be cruel or vicious in a fight. You know how bushido works, and how to take advantage of it in a fight. When facing an opponent with honor greater than one, you may roll and keep a number of dice equal to the opponent's honor rank. However, you lose .1 honor each time you use this ability.(by Allison Heimbach)
Stardom (5 points per rank, 3 points per rank for Akodo Actors): The character has a television or film career, and is well known and loved by fans of every social class. The Stardom effectively adds to his Glory when trying to command or influence people, if the group she is influencing generally likes the character's work. Of course, when going out in public, the character is likely to be recognized. Any disguise attempts have their difficulty raised by 5Xthe character's Stardom+Glory. Also, the GM always has the option of creating over-exuberant fans, or even worse, critics...
Technophile (3 points, 2 points for Phoenix characters): The character has a natural talent for modern technology and equipment. Whenever using or repairing any modern electrical device, the character gains an additional dice to roll.
Blind (6 points): The character was either born blind, or struck irreparably blind by some accident. Any actions involving vision have their target numbers raised by ten and the character must throw away his two highest dice. (Many Rokugani computer systems make allowances for blind users, allowing them to interpret information through audio.)
Dark Secret: Mutation (4 points): The terrible weaponry unleashed against Akuma and his minions left many parts of Rokugan devoid of life and filled with radiation. This has caused some minor mutations in those whose ancestors were in those areas during the War. Mutation will leave some noticeable mark upon the character, a foul blemish or disfigurement that cannot be cured. The character will be more susceptible to cancers and other diseases, and will be a freak and an outcast if his mutation is discovered. On the other hand, the character may purchase Inner Gift (from Way of the Crane) for 4 points instead of 6.
Deaf (3 points): The character cannot hear. Any skill rolls involving hearing automatically fail. On the other hand, the character may purchase Read Lips for 1 point, and is considered to be fluent in sign language (do not add this to her insight).
Disbeliever(4 points, Syoku family only) - You were young and impressionable when you were approached by the man who seduced you into the Jashuu. Now that you're a bit older and more wise to the world, you think all this Onnotengu stuff is a bunch of crap. However, you know you cannot leave the Jashuu alive, so you just play along and do what they ask, but you know you're advancing a cause you do not believe in. This conflict of interest tears at your soul. At some critical point in every adventure, your indecision will cost you. Perhaps you will hesitate before you attack the lovely Doji maiden you are assigned to kill, and a security camera will see you. Perhaps you will not respond to your partner's call for assistance in time, and he will die because of it. It will just happen. Because of you. Because of your lost faith.(By Allilson Heimbach)
Illiterate (2 points): The character cannot read. This creates quite a few barriers in modern society - no newspapers, no road signs, and NO computers. This disadvantage can be eliminated if the character has someone teach them to read and spends 2 experience points.
Nihilist(2 points) - Life sucks. Industrialization brought nothing but ruin to the world, and you hate it. You've come to be cynical and disillusioned, and believe that life doesn't have a point beyond escapism. You're more than happy to forget about life in opium or sake or worse. Not an addiction, though, yet.. (by Allison Heimbach)
Yoritomo Curse (0 points) Mantis characters from the house of Yoritomo must choose this disadvantage. A character with the blood of the Son of Storms is blessed by his link to the throne, but also carries its terrible curse. One day, someday, the character will be presented with a very important decision, and will solve it through violence. No matter what a good idea it seemed at the time, this will ultimately lead to greater violence and disaster. (Example: Yoritomo VI drops the Fire Dragon on Medinaat-al-Salaam, hoping to prevent the Apocalypse; ends up hastening it. Perhaps a Yoritomo pc dispatches a foe rather than let them live, and finds out later that he was the cousin to an important foreign dignitary, or a Phoenix scientist who discovered the cure to some terrible disease but had not yet recorded his findings. Something gross. Be evil. They chose the Imperial family, after all.)
Paranoid (variable):You have a "list." Anyone who displeases you or does something remotely suspicious is obviously out to get you. They go on the "list." You'll show them. You'll get them. You'll NEVER trust them. In game terms, the character must make a Willpower Check vs TN of 5 + the number of points gained from Paranoid, whenever the GM determines that their character may be suspicious of someone. If they fail, that character goes on the "list" and cannot be removed until the character spends two Void points AND makes another successful Willpower check. Until then, they will not trust anyone on their list for ANY reason (must spend a Void point to do so temporarily), and may seek revenge for imagined slights. On the plus side, the character gets a free raise on all attempts to detect ambush.
Social Disadvantage: Heimin (5 points): During the Shadow War, many samurai died and those who could step forward to replace them, did so. Not all of these warriors were technically samurai, though they fought just as bravely. The descendants of these peasant warriors carry on the tradition. Though they are allowed to attend samurai schools in thanks for their ancestor's accomplishments, they are still discriminated against and looked down upon. Heimin characters may not choose a family name, and are not considered "true" samurai. They earn Glory at half the normal rate, and begin with zero Glory. On the other hand, there are advantages to not being a samurai...
Social Disadvantage: Hinin (10 points): There were not many eta heroes who survived the Shadow War, but there were a few. The descendants of these brave warriors reap the rewards of their ancestors. An eta character *MUST* choose a Major Ally in the Clan whose school he wishes to train in. An eta must spend 10 experience points every time they wish to learn a rank technique (except the one they start with). An eta's glory is always considered to be zero, though a separate tally of the eta's glory points should be tallied to determine the character's notoriety. The eta is *not* considered to be a member of any clan. He is not even considered to be human. His life is worth nothing. Again, this can have its advantages.
Technophobe (variable): The character simply cannot adapt to modern technology. While she may use and own it, she does not like it and tends to accidentally break delicate items with frequency. For every point gained by this disadvantage, the character's TN to use any modern device is raised by five. If this disadvantage is chosen, the character may choose to have basic fluency with either the computer or automatic transmission automobiles, but not with both. With 3 or more points of this disadvantage are taken, the character has no basic fluency with either (has to make Intelligence checks just to turn a computer on.)
We've been toying with the idea of creating some ancestors, but we were all too lazy to come up with any. Luckily, this one got sent in and hopefully we'll get more.
Bayushi Shoju(3 points) - You hear his voice. The voice of the great traitor to the Hantei line, Bayushi Shoju. He tells you to be strong, to fight for your convictions. And you believe him. Loyalty to a cause is that which defines you. However, should there be a conflict of interest in your life, you will always choose your cause over anything else. Family, money, a lover, the greater good, all are unimportant compared to your cause. However, when fighting for your convictions, you roll and keep an additional die. (by Allison Heimbach)