Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters
Phoenix Clan Basic Schools
The Shiba Bushi School
The Shiba Bushi are well known as a relatively peaceful group, at least as bushi are concerned. Their training emphasizes a number of non-martial skills in addition to the traditional weapons training, which has led to a reputation as warrior-scholars in some circles. A Shiba bushi considers all options before committing to combat, searching for any possible alternative other than the loss of life. If those a Shiba protects are threatened, however, or if combat is an inevitability, he attacks swiftly and without reservation, committing himself fully to the act until it is done. Those who mistake the desire of a Shiba bushi to preserve life for an inability to take it are woefully unprepared to face them on the battlefield.
The Shiba Techniques optimize the use of Void Points and specialize in the protection of others, allowing Shiba bushi to more than adequately fill their common role as yojimbo. They also possess an affinity for the use of polearms, and can excel at dueling if properly tailored.
Shiba Bushi School
Benefit: +1 Agility
Skills: Defense, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Meditation (Void Recovery), Spears, Theology, any one Bugei or High Skill
Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: The Way of the Phoenix
Shiba bushi move through battle as the Void moves through all the elements. When spending a Void Point to gain +1k1 on a roll, you may choose to spend 2 Void Points (to gain +2k2) on the roll instead. You may Guard as a Free Action; however, if you do so, your target only adds +5 to his Armor TN instead of +10.
Rank 2: Dancing With the Elements
Shiba bushi become attuned to the shugenja they protect, aiding their spells and deterring those of their enemies. When you assume your Stance for the Round, you may choose a target within 30’. Whenever your target casts or is the target of a spell, you may choose to increase or decrease the TN of the spell by 5. Additionally, whenever you are the target of a spell, you may immediately choose to increase or decrease the TN of the spell by 5.
Rank 3: One With the Void
In battle, the Shiba can find his place in the world. This Technique automatically activates during the Reaction Stage of Combat if another character spent a Void Point during this Combat Round. You regain a Void Point. This Void Point may exceed your maximum, but all excess Void Points are lost after combat resolves. You do not learn anything regarding the source of the Void Point or how it was originally spent. this Technique only activates twice per skirmish.
Rank 4: Move With the World
Serenity brings certainty, and certainty brings speed. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action with using Polearms, Spears, or weapons with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 5: Touch of the Void
Masters of the Shiba style can draw back the veil and allow the universe to act through them. For every Void Point you spend, you gain the effects of spending two, when applicable. Additionally, you may now spend Void Pionts on enhancements twice in one Turn.
The Shiba Artisans School
Although not as prestigious or politically connected at the Kakita Artisans, the Shiba Artisans are still much-admired in the Empire and few Phoenix or Dragon daimyo will let themselves go without a sample of their work.
Shiba Artisans [Courtier]
Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Skills: Artisan (pick 2), Calligraphy, Etiquette, Lore (Pick 1), Sincerity, any 1 High or Bugei Skill
Outfit: Sensible Clothing, Wakizashi, tools necessary to practice your chosen specialty, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: Soul of Brilliance
A true child of the Shiba line finds his perfect center in the serenity and beauty of creation. Select any one Artisan Skill. Whenever you spend a Void Point making a Skill Roll using that Skill, you gain a bonus of +2k2 instead of the normal +1k1.
Rank 2: The Way of Sincerity
Through use of his craft, a Shiba artisan can forge close bonds with others that allow for long-term alliances to be formed. Once per month you may make an Artisan Skill Roll against a TN 15. You gain a number of Experience Points equal to the amount by which your roll exceeds the TN, but these Experience Points may only be spent to purchase the Allies Advantage (subject to GM approval). These Allies are temporary and last for a period of time equal to your School Rank in weeks.
Rank 3: The Art Speaks
An artisan has the ability to fall back on his art when pressed in a social situation, allowing its beauty and simplicity to speak for him. Choose one Artisan Skill. When you are called to make a Social Skill Roll, you may use your Ranks in the Artisan Skill in place of whatever Social Skill is called for. You gain no Mastery Level benefits when using this Technique, since you do not actually possess ranks in the Social Skill in question.
There may be social situations where this Technique is not applicable; when in doubt, the GM has the final say.
Rank 4: Bounty of the Craft
When presenting your art to others, you increase not only your own understanding of your place in the universe, but you aid others in perceiving theirs as well. Once per day you may make an Artisan Skill Roll against a TN 30. If successful, you and a number of other people up to your School Rank who are present at the time regain all Void Points. This ritualized presentation of your craft requires at least fifteen minutes to complete. This Technique cannot be used in the Shadowlands.
Rank 5: The Touch of Destiny
The work of a true master requires no explanation to inspire others to greatness. When your work is on display in court or in the home of a lord, all present in the chamber where it is displayed gain one additional Void Point. If you are present, you gain two additional Void Points, instead, and you may choose to deny the benefit of this Technique to any in attendance. An individual may only receive a maximum of one additional Void Point per day in this manner (or two, in your case).
The Isawa Shugenja School
The Isawa are the greatest shugenja in the Empire, and while the family would never claim this openly, the behavior of those who have trained in their prestigious School bears this out. Fortunately, most others recognize the truth of it as well, and accept it with varying degrees of resentment or resignation. The Isawa are nearly twice as a large as the next largest shugenja family in the Empire. Indeed, there are so many among their ranks that they are nearly the size of a typical bushi family. That so many among them are born with the gift to speak with the kami has allowed teh family to diversify into numerous areas of magical specialization, but the core of their power has always been the Isawa Shugenja School. It is literally the oldest School of its kind in Rokugan, and the Isawa have been struggling to master the secrets of the universe for more than a thousand years.
The Isawa Shugenja has no particular specialization, but instead are constructed around the premise that being the finest at spell-casting in general. their ability to choose an Affinity without a corresponding Deficiency, and their unrestricted Free Raise on all Spell Casting Rolls of their Affinity, make them extremely competent and the equal of virtually any other shugenja character.
Isawa Shugenja School
Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Skills: Calligraphy (Cipher), Lore: Theology, any one Lore Skill, Medicine, Meditation, Spellcraft, any one High Skill
Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Affinity / Deficiency: Isawa shugenja may select any element of their choosing, including Void, as their Affinity. They do not have a Deficiency.
Technique: Isawa’s Gift- There are no greater masters of the shugenja tradition than those among the Isawa. You gain a Free Raise on all Spell Casting Rolls for spells of the element which you chose as your Affinity.
Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 spells of any one element, 2 spells of any other element, 1 spell of a third element, and 1 spell of a fourth element.
The Asako Loremaster School
The Asako are monastic and scholarly by nature, and nowhere is this more evident than in the courtier tradition they maintain on behalf of the Phoenix Clan. Their training consists of extensive studies in a large number of subjects, some of which may be chosen by the students themselves. A broad knowledge base gives the Asako a frame of reference from which to examine any new data or situation, and allows them great insight into the social situation of court.
The Loremasters specialize in scholarly pursuits, and use those as a means of succeeding in social situations. Asako courtiers use Lore Skills to augment their Social Skills, gaining influence and success in court through their learned natures.
Asako Loremaster School [Courtier]
Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Skills: Courtier, Etiquette (Courtesy), Lore: History, Lore: Theology (Fortunes), Meditation, sincerity, any Lore Skill.
Outfit: Sensible Clothing, Wakizashi, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: Temple of the Soul
The Asako are historians and scholars, and their studies are broader than those of any others in the Empire. They pride themselves on the depth of their knowledge in all fields of intellectual endeavor. They also share the Phoenix devotion to peace and civility, relying on genteel discourse to resolve problems. You gain a Free Raise on any Skill Roll with a Lore Skill. Any time you spend a Void Point on an Etiquette Skill Roll, you gain a bonus of +3k1 to the total of the roll instead of the normal +1k1.
Rank 2: From the Ashes
The Asako Loremasters’ in-depty study of historical events allows them to detect subtle patterns in behavior in every court, patterns invisible to their more worldly rivals from the other Clans. After spending at least one day observing the events in a particular court, you can roll Lore: History / Perception at TN 20 to gain a bonus +2k0 to the total of all your Social Skill Rolls for the next two days, so long as your remain in that court. (This Technique’s effect can be re-activated with another skill roll when it expires – it is not necessary to spend additional days observing so long as you remain in the same court.)
Rank 3: Voice of the Universe
As the Asako’s training progresses, his recall of obscure historical facts allows him to provide useful contemporary advice to his allies. You may spend an hour conversing with a friend or ally and then roll Lore: History / Intelligence at TN 25. With a success, that ally may add your Lore: History Skill Rank to the total of any Social Skill Rolls he makes within the next twenty-four hours. You may Raise twice to affect one (and only one) additional ally, provided that ally also participates in the conversation. (This Technique cannot be used on the same person again until its effect expires.)
Rank 4: Invincible Mind
The enlightened and educated Asako can see through the games, tricks, and deceits of the material world. Any time you fail a Contested Social Skill Roll to resist someoen trying to influence your emotions, opinions, or behavior (such as with the Courtier, Temptation, or Intimidation skills), you may re-roll using Intelligence as the Trait for the second roll in place of whichever Trait was originally required. You must keep the result of the second roll. This Technique cannot be used to resist Fear.
Rank 5: Wisdom of the Ages
At this rank, the Asako truly demonstrate that the wisdom of the Phoenix is eternal. Any time you are rolling a Lore Skill, including for your other School Techniques, you gain a +5k0 bonus to the total of the roll.
The Asako Henshin School
There are few groups in the Emerald Empire as enigmatic and poorly understood as the monastic Asako sect known as the Henshin. Even among the Phoenix, very few outside the Asako family have any real understanding of the Henshin’s ways. Most Rokugani believe the Henshin are merely a monastic group of courtiers and historians within the Asako, although their strange behaviors do distinguish them from other Asako and suggest they possess some manner of mystical or supernatural talent. Unfortunately, that recognition does little to assist in understanding the Henshin’s ways.
The Henshin follow the Path of Man as revealed by Shiba to Asako. By developing perfect unity with the universe, tricking the Elements and learning their secrets, the Henshin can attain absolute perfection of the soul, which in turn grants divinity. The Henshin are essentially monks of a sort, and as apprentices they are known as michibuku. Once they have learned the secrets of the Path of Man, they are inducted into the ranks of the secretive fushihai, the true masters of the Henshin order. The fushihai hold deep knowledge of the universe and essentially immortal, able to live far beyond the normal mortal span. Some of the fushihai ascend to the Celestial Heavens upon their mortal death, becoming minor Fortunes and validating the Path of Man.
__Asako Henshin [Mon]_-
Benefit: +1 Willpower
Skills: Calligraphy, Jiujutsu, Lore: Elements (pick an emphasis), Lore: Theology, Meditation 2, any 1 Skill (must not be a Low Skill)
Outfit: Robes Bo, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: The Four Mysteries
The first lesson of the mysterious Henshin is the relationship between the individual and the Elements that comprise all things. You may, as a Simple Action, increase or decrease both Traits associated with one of your Rings by an amount equal to your School Rank. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to your Insight Rank and may be done a total number of times per day equal to five times your Insight Rank. You may instead increase or decrease the Traits of another in a similar manner, but only by an amount equal to half your School Rank, rounding down (to a minimum of 1). Altering the Traits of an unknowing or unwilling target requires a Contested Willpower Roll. Traits reduced in this manner do not affect a target’s Ring (and thus do not change Wound Ranks when the Earth Ring is targeted, etc.).
Rank 2: The Riddle of Earth
The stoic and straightforward kami of Earth are the simplest to entertain with one’s riddles, and their blessings are potent indeed. As a Simple Action, you may invoke this Technique and gain Earth’s blessing; you are immune to all Conditional Effects (excluding Grappled and Mounted) for a number of hours equal to your Earth Ring.
Rank 3: The Riddle of Air
The capricious spirits of Air can be delighted into conferring their blessings upon you. As a Simple Action, you may invoke the blessing of Air. The blessing lasts a number of hours equal to your School Rank. For the duration of this effect, you cannot be deceived by any illusion or other false images, and can perceive them as transparent falsehoods. If an illusion is created by a spell of higher Mastery Level than your Insight Rank, you and the spell’s caster must engage in a Contested Air Roll. If you are defeated, you do not perceive the falsehood of the illusion.
Rank 4: The Riddle of Fire
The wrathful spirits of Fire can be entertained by your riddles, if only briefly. As a Complex Action you may invoke Fire’s blessing to increase the number of kept dice on an unarmed damage roll (which is normally 0k1to your Fire Ring. This effect lasts a number of Rounds equal to your School Rank.
Alternatively, when an opponent strikes you with a melee attack, you may spend a Void Point to force a Contested Fire Ring Roll. If you are successful, the number of damage dice your opponent rolls is reduced by your Fire Ring.
Rank 5: The Riddle of Water
The mercurial spirits of Water can confer their speed and fluidity in exchange for your riddles. You must succeed at a Lore: Elements (Water) / Water Skill Roll against TN 20. If successful, you may take one Complex and one Simple Action per Turn, or you may instead take three Simple Actions per Turn.
The Agasha Shugenja School
During their centuries of service to the Dragon Clan, the Agasha pursued many unconventional paths of magic, pursuits which were carried out with the full resources and endorsement of the Agasha Shugenja School. In addition to their alchemical interests, the Agasha have always had an interest in teh creation of spells that invoked kami of multiple elements imultaneously. Among the Phoenix the Agasha have been given leave to pursue this area of study as far as they wish, and have made tremendous strides in the area of multi-elemental spells.
The Agasha Techniques focuses on the family’s interest in merging the elements and casting multi-elemental spells. Although this practice has yet to be accepted, their Techniqu allows them to change the element of the spell they are casting, which gives them unmatched versatility in managing both their spells per day as well as their spell slots.
Agasha Shugenja School
Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Skills: Calligraphy (Cipher), any one Craft Skill, Defense, Etiquette, Lore: Theology, Spellcraft, any one High or Bugei Skill
Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Affinity / Deficiency: Fire / Water
Technique: Elements of All Things – The Agasha understand the interactions of the elements more so than perhaps any other family. When casting a spell, you may spend a Void Point to use a different Ring of your choosing rather than the appropriate Ring for that spell. this spell uses a spell slot for the Ring used to actuall cast the spell. You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Craft keyword.
Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Fire, 2 Earth, and 1 Air