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Everything posted by JBento

  1. My best guess is that a Shikigami is actually made using two skills: one to craft its physical form (which CAN'T be Composition, because even if you're origami'ing, that's not what Composition does) and the other to actually inscribe the prayer/request to the Kami (aka, the invocations) within it (which HAS TO be Composition).
  2. Kansen aren't really found within the Empire reliably enough for this to work. And, of course, if you're hanging around with kansen you have bigger problems, like having everyone in the Empire hunting you down.
  3. Note that "priest" and "shugenja" are two entirely different things. Priests keep care of shrines and temples and they don't have the special connection to the kami that shugenja do. Shugenja are far too rare and their special skills too valuable to be wasted as priests.
  4. I'm not sure you can, actually. Invocations cannot be handled in a purely mechanistic way, because what they actually are is you asking the Kami to do a favour for you, and Kami are sticklers for the Celestial Order and therefore procedure (yes, even the air ones). Pretty sure the moment you try a Sympathetic Seppuku whatever Kami you asked is going to tell you "Nah, bro, and also enjoy Jigoku." If Seppuku is the ultimate way to regain your lost honour, then trying to pervert the spirit of it is the ultimate way to be permanently dishonoured.
  5. This is a GM problem. If you play the NPC as JUST an adversary whose only reason for existing is to oppose the PCs, then, yes, hitting them on the HGS stats is meaningless. If you play them as actual characters who will, presumably, have to keep living their own lives in Rokugan (where the HGS are of utmost importance) after their encounter with the PCs, things shift considerably. I mean, not ALL NPCs, of course. Anything from the Shadowlands doesn't give a crap, for instance, and neither do the Kolat (mostly).
  6. I'm pretty sure it's so people who want to play a specific kind of character can trim down the number of schools they have to look at, so if you want to, say, play a character whose shtick is smacking stuff in the face you just wave to look at whatever has the Bushi tag, instead of every school.
  7. If I understand your question correctly, you're asking how you buy ranks in the entire skill group? As in, what you do when the school table says "Trade skills"? That just means that each skill in the Trade group is part of the curriculum. It's short hand for 5 lines on the table saying "Commerce," "Labor," Seafaring," "Skulduggery," and "Survival." If that wasn't your question, I fear I'm not understanding what you meant. Could you rephrase? EDIT: The other option I'm seeing is that you're misunderstanding the tables, thinking that reaching rank X in your school requires you to have the skills/techniques in the corresponding part of the table?
  8. Odds are the Crab wouldn't take an exile lightly. Serving at the Wall isn't just about holding against a PHYSICAL enemy, it's also about not getting tainted and becoming an infiltrated agent while doing so, which folks with a low Honour score would be more likely to do to start with.
  9. Way of the Earthquake is a rank 2 kiho, it's just that the Tattooed Monk can buy it at rank 1 - that's exactly what the little symbol in front of it is for, to denote you have "privileged access" and can buy it even though you don't meet the prerequisites. You read it... sort of right? Bonus successes aren't the same as successes, as they don't help you succeed at a task. If you need to hit a TN2 and only keep one success in the dice, the bonus successes from Blood of the Kami (or anywhere else, for that matter) don't let you hit that TN2. In fact, you don't even HAVE bonus successes in that case, because you can only have bonus successes if you succeed. That's how the tattoos work, yeah - basically, the Tattooed Monk gets a bunch of bonus kiho (and he's better at them) for free.
  10. Random thought on backlash: it's not beyond reason to give a hit to Honour and Glory whenever a backlash happens. If your job is to entreat the holy spirits that are the kami, and you displease one enough that you take a backlash to the face, you're clearly not good at your job. Perhaps even worse, you lost control, which is one of the biggest no-nos for a samurai.
  11. Note that this isn't true. Just because suffering the condition again does nothing it doesn't mean you're not suffering the condition. If you get hit for 2 physical damage when wearing lacquered armour the hit does nothing, but you still got hit. In fact, several parts of the rules refer to suffering the same condition again, being phrased like "if you would receive this condition again, receive X instead."
  12. Note that no-one doubts the Heavens and the Celestial Order EXIST and are most definitely a thing. The stance of the, ahem, people who Kind Of Like Asking That is that it should all be brought down, crashing and burning. I have no idea how they intend to not subsequently be turned into oni-food, but them's the breaks.
  13. Try cats, straight to their face. I assure you, there's going to be a LOT of strife going on.
  14. Against most opponents, Stonewall Tactics is generally paired to great effect with Striking as Earth - take all Opps instead of successes, dump 2 in each. Suddenly it's base TN4 to hit anyone but you, you have 6+ physical resistance, and are immune to conditions from opp spends. If you want to be REALLY mean, do that with the hit from Crescent Moon Style, so now nothing hits anyone, because you've guarded.
  15. I'm going to go with "when preparing", because that's theoretically when you entreat the kami. Of course, a particularly displeased (or mischievous) kami can keep on pretending everything's ok just to have everything blow up in your face when it would make the most damage.
  16. This is incorrect. While the scene of the duel is a (probably but not necessarily) a new scene, the duel itself is probably not. It's entirely possible that before the duel has officially begun one side has a way to needle the opposition into compromise. I'm AFB, but aren't finishing blows specifically excluded from clashes? I have a vague recollection of it being so, but it's been a while since I read that section.
  17. The more obvious answer is "depends on what your players are into." If your players like it, then do it, even if canonical lore says the Emperor is too high above them in status to go through the process. If they don't, then even if thrice-refusal would be appropriate you're probably better off just saying it happens. The process takes a fair amount of table time, especially if each character is presenting their own gift and/or if not everyone involved is capable of quick-thinking through it. If no-one involved cares much about it, don't waste table time on it and get it out of the way so you can get to something people DO care about.
  18. Technically never. Ronin or no, honourless dog or no, Ronin are still of the samurai caste. You'd need permission/mandate from someone at least as high in the hierarchy as the local governor/daimyo. I mean, you can do it anyway, and no-one's going to be doing much askance about it*, but it still merits a Honor/Glory hit of at least 1 point. EDIT: *Note that this is true regardless of the Ronin's H/G scores. One of the big disadvantages of being a ronin is that no-one has your back, so unless you're on somebody's payroll**, nobody truly cares (though they still have to give the appearance they care, because ronin are still samurai). **If the ronin is on somebody's payroll, the amount of trouble you're in for ganking them depends on the somebody's Status and how much importance they gave to what they hired the ronin for. If it's just some retainer dude, then probably not much. If the ronin was doing something actually important, then it gets... complicated. No-one's going to really come after you openly, because no-one is going to cop to hiring ronin to do something that actually matters, as that would be admitting that either the samurai they have at their disposal are incompetent (in which case everyone takes a H/G hit, and odds are there's a bunch of sepukus about to happen) or they were wanting something dishonourable done (in which case, they take a large Glory hit - they already took the Honour hit when they hired the ronin for it). You might just get a few nin- er, shinobi in the night.
  19. Ok, this confuses me a bit, because the best way to power game L5R is to go all-out on Honour/Glory/Status* gains. The rules actually enforce this via the Bushido code. If your GM isn't enforcing the Bushido code, plus the consequences of low H/G/S, then that's a different problem. *My character has the Playful advantage, and my ultimate goal is to reach the H/G/S level that'll let me make fun of ANYONE that isn't Emperor Hent, er, Hantei, without consequences.
  20. Aw, that's a pity, The reading I did of the 55-page free .pdf left me with the feeling it was interesting. I mean, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to play it either way, I guess, but the more decent systems around the better.
  21. I'm... reasonably certain? that "the game" means, well, the game. Like, you make a character and they begin the game with X Void points, no session reset. No wonder I keep seeing posts talking about spending Void points like there's no tomorrow if they get their Void points back, well, "tomorrow". On the other hand, it's not like any part of the book has been decently proofread, so who knows what they meant?
  22. @Magnus Grendel Um, I'm pretty sure Void points don't reset per session. Where does this say?
  23. If Guarding is something you find yourself using more often than "very rarely", you're going to be getting Crescent Moon Style. You can totally hit them.
  24. Skills are also cheaper and sometimes you're either forced to use a specific ring or have a lower TN with a specific ring.
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