Thursday, September 19, 2013

262: Grandmaster of Mars

ENTRY 262: Grandmaster of Mars

“I will not fight a fair fight. I will not meet you on your ground. You will come to meet me. You will be weakened, your every advantage taken away. You will be beaten before I deliver the killing blow, before you ever know I have entered the arena, before you are aware that you have stepped into the arena...and this is the way of the ninja.”
- Koga Jun, Grandmaster of Mars (dramatic recreation)

“If I defeat my opponent with a tactical nuclear strike, then my opponent is defeated. That is the way and the goal of ninjutsu. Mastery of Martian Ninjutsu is the realization of your goal with efficiency as well as efficacy, to kill or disable with minimal effort. Stun weapons, for example, are legal, effective, and widely available in many habitats; once your opponent is helpless it is a simple matter to destroy them.”
- Koga Jun, An Introduction to Martian Ninjutsu

Among the Rusters, Koga Jun is a legend, the self-proclaimed Immortal Grandmaster of Mars, one of the new breed of ninja, who has successfully defended that claim in hundreds of battles, many of which are available for viewing on the Mesh. The Grandmaster runs a chain of dojos in the Martian habitats, teaching the basics of self-defense, offensive martial arts, and Mars-based survival skills, along with a brutal and practical philosophy. These are two carefully constructed images, the legendary master and the crass commercialist, both serve Koga Jun’s purpose of hiding in plain sight—the gullible believe he is a peerless warrior, while the cynical and trained think he is simply a businessman using that aura to extort cred and favors from his disciples.

In truth, Koga Jun is one of the deadliest assassins in the Solar system. In addition to his “prime” morph, Koga Jun possesses at least thirty nearly-identical clones which he can loads forks of his ego. This is his technological equivalent of the classic “conservation of ninjutsu” principle by sending out the clone-ninjas as a group after targets—if any of his clones die or are disabled, their egos automatically merge with the remaining clones, transferring what they have learned of their opponents, including any wounds or weaknesses; the surviving clone-ninjas then adjust their skillware sets and tactical considerations accordingly. Sometimes, this even gives Jun sufficient forewarning to prepare special implanted weapons before engaging his foes.


Morph: Fury
Skills: Academics: Anthropology (Martial Arts) 35, Academics: Anatomy (Stress Points) 30, Art: Body Arrangement 25, Beam Weapons 25, Blades 26, Climbing 66, Clubs 26, Deception 25, Demolitions (Smoke Bombs) 25, Fray 40, Free Fall 36, Gunnery 24, Impersonation 25, Infiltration 26, Infosec 35,  Interests: Martial Arts Associations 46, Interests: Military Organizations 45, Interests: Paramilitary Groups 43, Interests: Security Organizations 45, Interfacing 23, Kinetic Weapons 25, Language: Native Japanese 80, Language: English 75, Language: Cantonese 56, Language: Mandarin 60, Negotiation 35, Networking: Autonomists 20, Networking: Criminals 35, Perception: 30, Profession: Assassin 40, Psychosurgery (Merging) 80, Unarmed Combat (Subdual) 30
Implants: Adrenal Boost, Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Bioweave (Light), Circadian Regulation, Clean Metabolism, Cortical Stack, Mass Ego Bridge*, Eidetic Memory, Emotional Dampers*, Endocrine Control*, Enhanced Hearing**, Enhanced Smell**, Enhanced Vision, Medichines, Mnemonic Augmentation, Multiple Personalities, Neurachem (Level 2), Skillware, Toxin Filters
Traits: Ambidextrous, Edited Memories***, Pain Tolerance (Level 2), Tough (Level 3)****

* Variant of the Ego Bridge augmentation; when one of the Grandmaster morphs dies or is disabled, the ego in the cortical stack automatically begins to merge with the forks in the surviving Grandmaster morphs, starting with the secondary ego from the Multiple Personalities augmentation
** These implants are only present in the “prime” Grandmaster of Mars morph
*** This trait is only present on non-“prime” Grandmaster of Mars morphs
**** This trait is only present on the “prime” Grandmaster of Mars morph

Using the Grandmaster of Mars

Koga Jun is a nice end boss for an adventure that probably begins with someone in black pajamas trying to kill the PCs (or a nearby NPC). While a competent-if-not-awe-inspiring NPC in a straight-up fight, the Grandmaster of Mars never intends to engage in a fight he doesn’t think he can win, and never engages head-on. If the PCs try to take him on unarmed, he’s likely to shoot them in the kneecap from cover and then dig out a white phosphorous grenade. When his own skills won’t cut it, he’ll retreat along a known (and trap-strewn) path to re-arm and to change his skillware to deal with the threat; he uses his clone-ninjas to wear the PCs down and figure out where their weaknesses are.

That said, the “Immortal Grandmaster of Mars” isn’t perfect, and the PCs can certainly beat him at his own game, if they’re a) just that damn good/pretty, b) willing to think outside the box, and/or c) willing to play dirtier than he is. When all is said and done, killing or defeating Koga Jun should be difficult but far from impossible (especially if you block his escape tunnel)…but can the PCs ever be sure that this is the real Koga Jun, and not just another clone?


  1. Ehehe, this and your AF Ninja post are both pretty awesome. I love the futuristic take on it! It may not be fitting for every campaign's flair, but who doesn't love ninjas?

    As an aside, for a different take on space ninjas, have you played the game Warframe? I can only recommend it. Here's a (personal referral) link:

    1. No Jan, I hadn't seen Warframe. Let me look into it a little more and see if I have the time.