The Puppet Brigade is an organization of Puppeteers and not an actual clan, but a collection of Sunagakures shinobi who use the Puppet Technique.
Originally invented for purely entertainment reasons by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, Shinobi adapted the technique to suit combative needs in times of war. Performing the Puppet Technique involves using strings of chakra to connect a puppet to its user's fingers, with the fingers' movements controlling the puppet's actions. Less experienced users will connect all ten of their fingers to a single puppet, with each finger controlling a specific joint or mechanism. As a user becomes more experienced they require fewer strings to control a single puppet, until finally they can control a puppet using only one string. With this growing mastery, users also become able to control multiple puppets at a time, ten being the normal limit (one per finger). No matter how many strings are being used per puppet, the user's will plays a large role in a puppet's movements, thus creating an inevitable time lag between the user's commands and the puppet's response.
Controlling a puppet requires most of a puppeteer's energies and attentions. Not only does this mean a puppeteer is vulnerable when they are controlling a puppet, it also tends to mean they cannot fight very well without a puppet, as their combat style relies so heavily on them. As such, puppeteers try very hard to hide or at least keep their distance from opponents. In the event that an opponent gets too close, some puppeteers have devised countermeasures: certain puppets are intended to be controlled from the inside, acting as shields for their puppeteers, others are merely parts of a puppet disguised as parts of their own body, or disguising entire puppets as the puppeteer themselves to devise a trap.
Because puppeteers rely on their puppets for almost all aspects of combat, keeping the puppets safe is of paramount importance. At the simplest, this means not allowing the puppets to be destroyed or otherwise disabled. More than that, it is also vital to keep how a puppet works secret from opponents. If an opponent knows what weapons or traps a puppet is outfitted with, the puppeteer will lose the advantage of surprise that so often gives them the upperhand. If an opponent knows how a puppet is designed which, unlike weapons and traps, cannot be greatly altered by the puppeteer during combat they can focus their attacks on the puppet's structural weaknesses.
- Puppeteer Technique
- Chakra Thread