Aside from providing roleplaying direction and serving as separate character lifelines, the three Codes’ scales will directly relate to the conflict resolution mechanics. Your positions on the scales will set your base number of dice rolled in these action scenes. My goal is to have each of the three codes empower two modes of conflict resolution.
For example, I’m currently aiming at having the Code “Way of the Sword” empower the resolution of conflicts via both the direct application of violence and the complete avoidance of violence altogether. A character who is at Balance within this Code (aka “Rank 4” out of seven spots on the scale) will roll a base of five dice in either situation. Each space further outward on this Code (towards the seventh spot) will raise the Violence ability by one die while likewise lowering the Non-Violence ability, with the furthest-outward space giving the character eight dice for violent acts and only two for non-violence. Likewise, moving instead inward does the opposite, and at the innermost space (spot #1) the samurai would have eight dice for non-violent ways, and only two for acts of violence.
I’m hoping to set each of the other two codes into a similar template. What mechanical empowerments, then, would the Codes of the Pack and the Highway respectively provide? The Code of the Pack represents the balance between individualism and Pack Identity – further inward makes the character more self-empowered, further outward makes him stronger as a member of the group. My immediate thought is that it would be the difference between “Acting alone” and “Acting With the Pack,” but that actually seems a bit too situational. Another idea would be to connect this to Honor, using it as a means to an end much in the same way that the Way of the Sword uses violence. Further inward could then empower your use of your own personal Honor as a tool (as well as when you defend it), while the outward could empower your application and defense of your Pack’s honor. I’m not sold on this yet, as I’m not picturing any exciting conflict scenes in which these would be used.
As for the Highway, I’m equally perplexed. The immediate reaction to the question is to apply it to your character’s riding skill, but what would be the relevant dichotomy? What could the Code of the Highway, which represents the balance between human empathy and a zen-like connection to your bike, bring to the table that isn’t already covered by the violence/peace empowerment of the Way of the Sword?
Or is the Way of the Sword too broad as it is?