#Naga #Faction #Creature #AlternativeOrigin
So, for those who know of my history in Legend of the Five Rings, my long term loyalty to the Naga is nothing new. For those who do not... Hi. I started in L5R with the release of the Shadowlands expansion set back in 1997, when I picked up the Naga starter box. The Naga have always been an aspect of L5R near and dear to my heart, an aspect of the game which heightened its fantasy elements and presented a fascinating counterpoint to the world of Rokugan. I have often likened the setting of Rokugan to Tolkien's Middle Earth, and the Naga very much fall into that comparison. In L5R, the Shadowlands are the equivalent of Mordor, Fu Leng is basically Sauron, the Black Scrolls are basically the Rings of Power, and the Naga are the elves. The Naga are an ancient race of strange people who have battled the darkness threatening Rokugan in the past, and whose society in in a sharp decline. They are the last gasp of a once great civilization, who stand with humanity in this hour, knowing it to be their last and entrusting humanity with being the stewards of the light.
And so, I have always wanted to play a Naga in an L5R RPG game, but I understand how they differ from the game of "gripping samurai drama". I understand the problems they cause (arguably as much as the much loathed Spider Clan) (yes, I am a Naga player who later played the Spider Clan, #dealwithit). However, this is our Homebrew thread! So why should we let that hold us back?
Deep in the heart of the Shinomen Forest, something ancient stirs. For thousands of years, they have been but legends, strange beings who appear and vanish from history. Above their waist, they are identical to a human save in the color of their skin. Where a human would have legs, however, these beings possess a long, thick serpentine tail, covered in scales and capable of propelling them at prodigious speed. The Falcon Clan speak of ancient, bizarre ruins in the depths of the Shinomen Forest, containing intricate carvings made from pearls and ivory, overgrown and forgotten, but filled with an otherworldly sense of being watched. Members of the Forest Killer gang speak of terrible nightmares that plague them in such places, to the point where they will avoid them at all costs. The Crab Clan contain accounts of ogres, goblins, and other creatures of the Shadowlands, attempting to enter Rokugan through the Shinomen Marshes of the south, only to be found butchered without explanation. A Kuni shugenja of the 8th century even took a record of a conversation she held with a strange robed figure in a hood, holding a glowing pearl which whispered in her dreams.
But now, something has changed. A tide of darkness is coming, and the sleep of the ancient people has been disturbed. They have begun to awaken to a changed world, knowing one thing for certain.
The land will burn again.
Playing a Naga
Playing a Naga is significantly different than playing a Rokugani samurai. Mechanically, all Naga are non-humans who cannot become Tainted. As they are not part of the Celestial Order as Rokugan understands it, they do not have a Status or Titles within Rokugani culture. Treat Naga who are not integrated into Rokugani society as having Status 0. Instead, all Naga have a Caste score, which functions similar to Status as it relates to how other Naga view them. Additionally, Naga can earn a Name from their place within the Akasha, the great shared soul of the Naga people. This Name functions identically to a Title, possessing a Curriculum and granting a Special Ability and Caste increase upon its completion.
Instead of choosing a Clan or Family, all Naga receive the same bonus Ring in the place of Clan and choose a Bloodline. The Bloodline grants the Naga the benefits similar to a Family. Naga school a School normally, but most will choose a Naga specific School. Naga Schools grant access to Akasha Techniques, which require access to the group soul of the Naga people. These Techniques are not normally accessible to non-Naga, though special circumstances could change that. Naga cannot learn Maho Techniques or Shadowlands Powers.
Finally, all Naga also possess the following Special Ability: Serpentine Body - Naga are Silhouette 3. During any scene, a Naga may move up to 2 range bands instead of 1 for free, before or after taking an Action.
Ring Increase: +1 Void (representing the connection of all Naga to the Akasha and the Atman)
At the dawn of the world, long before the Five Ancient Races bound the Spirit Realms into their separate places, the Sun and the Moon surveyed the world created by the gathering of the five great Elemental dragons. One by one, they began to name the world and all the things within it. But as the world began to take form, the Pale Eye grew sad as its mystery would be lost as things were named but there were none to dwell within it. And in that sadness, he cried a single tear of perfect, black crystal. The Black Stone fell to the world below, and from it came the first Naga. Each was golden and perfect, but carried with them the tremendous sadness of the Pale Eye and the great love of the Bright Eye. Each one thought they were the most beloved of the Bright Eye, and soon the Naga warred among themselves. So terrible was their conflict that the one of them called out to the Pale Eye to take away what caused the war, and so the Pale Eye sundered the people. From that day forward, there would be no more golden Naga, but instead the five bloodlines were created, joined together in the shared soul of the Akasha so that the loss of one life would be a loss of all to the Naga.
Ring Increase: +1 Fire or +1 Earth
Skill Increase: +1 Command, +1 Tactics, +1 Smithing
The warriors of the Naga people, the Asp are brown to black in skin tone and range between 15 to 20 feet in length. The second most populous bloodline of the Naga people, the Asp are lead by the Shahadet. ((More to come.))
Ring Increase: +1 Air or +1 Water
Skill Increase: +1 Survival, +1 Skullduggery, +1 Fitness
Ring Increase: +1 Fire or +1 Void
Skill Increase: +1 Theology, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Medicine
Ring Increase: +1 Earth or +1 Void
Skill Increase: +1 Meditation, +1 Culture, +1 Labor
Ring Increase: +1 Air or +1 Fire
Skill Increase: +1 Sentiment, +1 Courtesy, +1 Commerce
More to come - Naga schools. More on the Bloodlines. Akasha Techniques. Probably after I finish my work on the Falcon Clan.