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What are some good resources to look up about L5R versions of Geisha? Specifically I wonder if there is a class made for them in either 4E or the older versions. And as much as Money is "not an issue" in L5R, I'd love to get an idea of their going rates. I was thinking of tying cost to their insight somehow.

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I don't imagine there would be a school, the way the schools system work it wouldn't be sensible. Schools rank seems entirely dependent on one's social standings and geisha are pretty much at the bottom. They wouldn't have any techniques, just skills and ranks. I won't ever stop mentioning that the school system is a stupid thing in its execution.

 

I am not even sure they would have an insight rank. They are COMMONERS. Not even Ronin. You may as well be asking about the insight rank of an ashigaru or stable keeper or ship builder or sake brewer.

 

Like everything in L5R, of course, geisha were ripped straight out of Japanese culture, filtered through a heavy dose of western misunderstanding and orientalization, and then tossed out there. But basically, whatever was true during the Japanese edo period was pretty much what was considered true in Rokugan unless specifically contradicted.

 

Thing is-- while geisha were super important in the first two story arcs, nearly all mention of them was summarily dropped from the game as it moved to making a more progressive, gender-neutral setting. While reference to them hasn't 100% disappeared, it was heavily reduced over time.

 

That being said-- let's clear up a few things about what geisha are, because the last part... it is a dumb question. And it also exposes something screwed up with the way the whole economy is presented in L5R RPG.

 

So in Japan in the edo period, samurai were for a while paid more money than they knew what to do with and had lots of time on their hands. After all, daimyo were kind of required to have a military, most daimyo were there because their ancestors were good at winning and tied themselves to the right warlord. They didn't know much about managing money. So the taxes came in, they gave their samurai a fair share in exchange for the samurai protecting the area from.... attacks that just weren't going to happen.

 

So when you have a class of super rich people with more time on their hands than they know what to do with, what can you do? Well... endless party! You open restaurants and alcohol dispensaries to get them fat and drunk, put on plays and other exhibitions they will throw money at to be entertained or make nick-nacks, books (often either pornographic or violent) and other things to sell to them...

 

What is most of interest here is the places to get drunk. Thing is though... how do you get them to stick around or get them to come to yours? And how do you keep people who are trained to fight and have every right to kill you any time they want content when they are extraordinarily drunk? Well... you got to offer them something they can't get anywhere else and keep them happy while they are drunk.

 

There was no recorded music, no TV... you needed a physical person to be there to entertain them. Play the music, dance, tell jokes and stories, make them feel big and important... and if you have the best ones at your place, no one will go to your competitor's instead. Almost certainly at first they just tried to get someone to fill that position, a family member or something. Naturally, since basically all samurai were male (at least the ones out drinking), the females were much better at this job.

 

Someone hit on the idea that they could go out and get unwanted girls from the countryside to fill these roles. Given there really was no particularly effective birth control besides infanticide and girls cost more than they made, there wasn't a short supply. But, naturally, everyone wanted the best of the best. So various schools opened up trying to outcompete one another on being able to train the best dancers, the finest musicians, the greatest storytellers, comedians and flirts all rolled up into one package. There was an image created of what the ideal person for this role was and everyone strived somewhat exaggeratedly to try to become this role.

 

Since these were not connected with the... let's say "bars" for lack of a better word, they operated independently and their geisha would often get called from bar to bar all night. They were not anonymous, in fact they took great pride in competing with one another. Pretty much anyone who wanted to see one of them could to go any of the bars in the area and send word that they wanted someone in particular to come and talk with them and their friends, and if possible this request was filled. It is not an exaggeration to say that they were celebrities-- at least as much of a celebrity as one could be within a particular district of a particular city in days before mass-media.

 

As more and more requests for a particular geisha came in, the cost of getting that geisha to actually show up climbed and climbed. Probably the top 10% generated 50% of the profit as probably most of them were never particularly requested, they just played their music or did dancing and probably did the best to appease those who really wanted someone else to show up.

 

And this is where the heavy dose of western bull ruined much of the original portrayal in L5R and how AEG back-pedaled off it because they done screwed up royally. They were NOT prostitutes. Not remotely. No doubt because a lot of their job was to be flirty, I am sure plenty of samurai made up stories about how they had sex with this one and that one and the other one... But, really, they were more like local musicians/comedians that you could get to show up on request. They ought to be taken with the same grain of salt as the rich guy who claims he hired a band with a female singer at his weekend party and then had sex with her afterwards... not impossible, but the higher their celebrity status the more and more unlikely that becomes.

 

How much it cost for them to show up really heavily depends on if you are specifically requesting a particularly popular celebrity or if you just don't care who shows up. Likely if you just don't care and you'll take anyone, it won't cost all that much-- probably not particularly more than hiring any other servant for the day. But if they have developed a crush on one of the big name girls and by some miracle she does show up there instead of the other 50 places she was requested at, you are going to pay a pretty hefty sum. Maybe as much as 2 months of *"salary" for a basic samurai.

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Maybe as much as 2 months of *"salary" for a basic samurai.

 

That's the part I was looking for. 

 

I appreciate the write-up but I actually am fairly familiar with how REAL Geisha operated. Hell, I could do multiple writeups on how L5R has bastardized a lot of things and then hid behind the "its not Japan, its Rokugan" defense. But I am here specifically looking for Game rules precedent for game mechanics.

 

I am not a "roll player", but I do enjoy when system mechanics inform player decision in roleplay scenarios. If there isn't  Geisha "class" I intend to make a homebrew one and then share it (complete with write-up for how a Geisha house works, the role of Okasana, ect). I am thinking of a single technique school in which the geisha uses her performance skill to grant a bonus to her patron.

 

Also, the system does allow for non samurai to have "schools" and techniques (the terms used become obsolete, but the concept and role remain intact). If Bloodspeakers can get  "school" I see no reason why a Geisha can't. 

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There are a couple of "Geisha" tagged Path choices in some of the later 4E books...I don't recall that you can go all five Ranks that way, but there are some options- if no one else digs 'em up,I'll tryto look up the relevant mechanics when I'm at more leisure.

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The geisha techniques are mostly mixed in as Ronin schools, so you end up with a strange mix of Spy/Seducer/Assassin focused mechanics. They are scattered about the books as a result, unfortunately.

 

As for price, something to consider: With how Geisha function, perhaps it might be better to tie the price of their company to Glory rather than Insight. Insight would certaintly mean that a more skilled Geisha would be, on average, higher Glory, but a less skilled yet famous one might carry a higher cost.

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Did some research and here is what I found;

 

Sword and Fan

Has lots of info for about Geisha in Rokugan (and not just the ones that are scorpion spies). 

 

Strongholds of the Empire

Has many examples of sample Geisha Houses

 

Book of Air

Has a mechanical path. Silken Promises (rank 3 ronin path)

 

Good info all around. I still kinda want to make a homebrew rank 1 Geisha technique but I am starting to think my REAL problem might be a lack of clear mechanical advantages for Performance skills. I am currently researching more ways to use the skills. If I can find a way to make being on the receiving end of a good performance more mechanically advantageous I might just get Geisha and even some courtiers to the level where I want to get them.

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Quick write up that came to mind:

 

Geisha (Alternate Path)

entry: any Rank 1 non-samurai

Status: 0

Glory: 1

Honor: 2

 

Skills: Defense, Etiquette (Conversation), Perform (any), Sincerity, Temptation, any 1 skill

 

Technique:

Gain choice of Sensation, Voice, or Soul of Artistry

Gain Social Disadvantage: Geisha

You may add your Glory rank to any roll for entertainment purposes (GM approval).

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Somebody (Kinzen? Not sure) had a fun homebrew school for geisha on the old AEG forums. All five ranks, too, IIRC.

 

*pours one out in memoriam*

 

Perhaps that person will see this thread and still has it on their hard drive?

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Quick write up that came to mind:

 

Geisha (Alternate Path)

entry: any Rank 1 non-samurai

Status: 0

Glory: 1

Honor: 2

 

Skills: Defense, Etiquette (Conversation), Perform (any), Sincerity, Temptation, any 1 skill

 

Technique:

Gain choice of Sensation, Voice, or Soul of Artistry

Gain Social Disadvantage: Geisha

You may add your Glory rank to any roll for entertainment purposes (GM approval).

 

Why on earth would they have "defense"? Not even all noble schools likely to end up in battle have defense. Courtier would be a far more likely skill despite the poor name of the skill given that it covers gossip, manipulation and rhetoric.

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probably more of a modern way of thinking about it.  but defense would give them the ability to fend off drunken advances without actually attacking anyone (that was the intent anyway). 

 

What on earth would you give them instead? :P

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As for price, something to consider: With how Geisha function, perhaps it might be better to tie the price of their company to Glory rather than Insight. Insight would certaintly mean that a more skilled Geisha would be, on average, higher Glory, but a less skilled yet famous one might carry a higher cost.

Something I thought of to support my argument for pricing being based off of Glory.

 

http://imperialassembly.com/oracle/#cardid=11615,#hashid=ada054c2373ab6822d2866b2344fe74b,#cardcount=14

 

The flavor text of Suzune the Coy is a perfect example of an unskilled yet famous Geisha.

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probably more of a modern way of thinking about it.  but defense would give them the ability to fend off drunken advances without actually attacking anyone (that was the intent anyway). 

 

What on earth would you give them instead? :P

 

I said, Courtier would make more sense as, despite its naming conventions, its focuses are all things one would imagine a geisha would excel at.

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Quick write up that came to mind:

 

Geisha (Alternate Path)

entry: any Rank 1 non-samurai

Status: 0

Glory: 1

Honor: 2

 

Skills: Defense, Etiquette (Conversation), Perform (any), Sincerity, Temptation, any 1 skill

 

Technique:

Gain choice of Sensation, Voice, or Soul of Artistry

Gain Social Disadvantage: Geisha

You may add your Glory rank to any roll for entertainment purposes (GM approval).

 

Nice, but doesn't tackle the problem I am trying to solves. 

 

Other than fluff/RP reasons, why would a PC visit a geisha? I want a solid mechanical reason why someone would WANT to go out of their way to visit a Geisha.

 

I am thinking something along the lines of a bonus of some kind that a PC would get everytime they visit a geisha. Like "gain a free raise to any roll you make". 

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You could also go the other way around. By other way around, I mean to remove penalties. What's the utility of a Geisha? Mainly to entertain allowing the Samourai to stop thinking about everything they are doing to simply relax.

 

So if you want players to visit Geisha, you could instead add a "Stress" system where your players will have to release their stress. If they don't, they may become harsher or easier to be angry, having some self-esteem problems causing some TN modifier, etc. So going to a Geisha house will release their stress level by one, but Geisha house shouldn't be the only way, of course.

 

It may be hard to introduce, depending on how great your players are with this kind of stuffs, but I think that it could be done by giving temporary disadvantages, without explaining much why you give it and by removing it a little after they visit a Geisha house or any other ways of entertainments, otherwise, they'll quickly understand that "Oh! I've got this, I'll just have to do this!"

 

It may be something I might try in another campaign... I will admit that knowing your players is very important for this kind of system. My players are very nice, because I can change their disadvantages for story reasons, they will never complain and they will play in that direction, knowing it's not there for nothing.

 

Here's an idea of a stress level system:

 

Level 1 - Low - The person starts to be apathic: PC gains Insenstitive Disadvantage.

Level 2 - Med - Social problems and problems to sleep: PC gains Fatigue and Antisocial (@ 2pts)

Level 3 - High - Dependancies problems to solve his problems: PC gains Compulsion (Drinking alchool @ 4pts), Antisocial (Now @4pts)

Level 4 - Dangerous - The person starts to self-destruct: PC gains disadvantages based on the situation/character (Doubt, Brash, Gullible, etc)

Level 5 - Suicidal - The person wants to die: PC has suicidal thoughts Willpower Roll to resist the temptation to suicide himself.

 

Of course, it's a quick idea of a stress level system which may help to include Geisha house and other means of entertainments. It shall go up during a mission lasting longer than usual, after doing 3-4 missions without entertainments, after important failures, etc. It may also go down with important success though. But I guess that you're seeing the idea.

 

I don't know if it's something you was looking for, but it's some idea for something outside of fluff and RP reasons.

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Other than fluff/RP reasons, why would a PC visit a geisha? 

 

You can always turn this question around: why would a geisha want a PC to visit her?

Also, it is worth noting that geisha and shugenja(!!!!) do the exact same thing, only that they target different beings: the shugenja appeases (entertains) spirits while a geisha entertains (appeases) humans. What a shugenja does with rituals and ceremonies, the geisha does with art and performance. What a shugenja does with spells, a geisha does with X... and X is what you are looking for. 

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So if you want players to visit Geisha, you could instead add a "Stress" system where your players will have to release their stress. If they don't, they may become harsher or easier to be angry, having some self-esteem problems causing some TN modifier, etc. So going to a Geisha house will release their stress level by one, but Geisha house shouldn't be the only way, of course.

 

I have been playing around with the idea of a "Morale" system for a while, where players do accumulate stress over time and then relieve it by doing fun activities. You can even get yourself in a "good mood" or "high morale" to gain some bonuses!

However, it is a tricky system to integrate and needs to be heavily balance against the worlds social rules, customs, ect. Not to mention, as you said, finding out what you players are comfortable with.

 

Not to get too inappropriate, but lets just say if you include 'relationships" as a stat-boosting effect in game, things start getting real dark, real fast. (and that was from my female player!)  

 

Overall I still like the idea as it encourages players to interact with the world outside of just murdering things, but it must be handled with EXTREME CARE not to get out of control.

 

 

For now I am content with Geisha just giving a neat little bonus for the simple act of entertaining her clients with song/dance/conversation.

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Nice, but doesn't tackle the problem I am trying to solves. 

 

Other than fluff/RP reasons, why would a PC visit a geisha? I want a solid mechanical reason why someone would WANT to go out of their way to visit a Geisha.

 

I am thinking something along the lines of a bonus of some kind that a PC would get everytime they visit a geisha. Like "gain a free raise to any roll you make". 

 

 

Other than fluff/RP reasons, why would a PC ever visit a bar or a tavern? Why would a PC choose to consume alcohol? There are systems out there that slap a penalty on consuming alcohol and players STILL do it.

 

Now, if they are going to decide to get drunk anyway, maybe when meeting a potential ally or even someone you are having tensions with and could turn into an enemy if things are not smoothed over. Maybe they get drunk in order to improve one's relationship with one's lord or just those they are or will be or have been working with. So the alcohol already lowers some of the usual walls between samurai, and anything inappropriate that comes out can be blamed on the alcohol.

 

So how does the geisha figure in? Well, in addition to getting everyone drunk to help improve your relationships, you get in a popular geisha to play music or dance. Lowers everyone's defenses even more and allows their true natures to come out even more.

 

Basically between the sake and the geisha, you can pretty much give everyone there 2 free raises on any social skills they might use against one another.

 

 

Now... let's say... why would you want to speak to a geisha directly?

 

Hmm... I don't know. Why on earth would anyone ever want to speak directly to the person who is in the room during meetings between all the various samurai in the city, to whom everyone gives the latest news and boasts to when at their least inhibited?

 

Let's see....

1) Find out what is going on in the city that maybe isn't really being talked about openly.

2) Learn about the talents of various samurai in the city in case you need someone with a particular skill set.

3) If she has met a particular individual, perhaps she might know about some secret or flaw he is hiding.

4) If you boast to her, probably word will get around and it can increase the glory you get from your deeds. This can also be followed up by people finding out about you and offering you special duties.

 

Right there are a handful of possible advantages for making a geisha your ally that have nothing to do with stat boosts.

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or as more of a group mechanic, the geisha could make raises to give the group a "pool" of free raises that anyone who attends the performance can use.

 

Rank 1: Parlor Tricks-  The geisha may call raises on any roll used to entertain others (GM approval) to better the mood of those in the audience, the geisha may only make a number of rolls per evening equal to their insight rank.  For each two raises called on the roll the group gains one free raise that may be used by anyone in attendance of the entertainment.  These free raises remain available till the next sunrise. 

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It was interesting to read about the background of the whole thing. Especially because most of the time when geisha are brought up in random places an explanation is not offered, so the "they were just entertainers" sounds really flimsy. I might have seen something about this before, but I wasn't paying attention.

 

For school abilities, I can think of a few things. Some abilities to keep people distracted/interested. Ability to give raises to Etiquette, they help you achieve a calmer state of mind to deal with people trying to stress you out or rattle you. Restoring Void Points similar to a tea ceremony. A defensive ability penalizing the honor of anyone who tried to hurt them, even sometimes when it could be justified. And the ability to ameliorate the social or mental disadvantages of others. Temporarily letting a couple forget their Bitter Betrothal, acting to keep someone Antisocial from being to much of a fool. Or allow someone who is Driven to avoid inadvisable confrontations for a time.

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I took a quick skim through back threads to see what I missed while I was AWOL, and this one caught my eye. For anyone who's still interested, here's the framework I had knocked together for geisha; it's largely unplaytested, and was never quite finished. Still, it might be useful to some people.

 

I should note that this is all predicated on the assumption that yes, geisha can have Insight Ranks and techs, because their okiya function in much the same way as a samurai dojo. I approached it this way largely because all the stories about samurai falling under the sway of geisha basically only work if you assume that geisha can, within their narrow sphere, be a match for a samurai, and that's not gonna happen if they're all IR1 nothings with no special abilities. (It also helps answer the question of why one might pay so much money to visit a geisha.) So they all have a base technique, and then you can design them a la carte to reflect different okiya traditions, etc.

 

GEISHA [Artisan]

 

Benefit: +1 Awareness
Starting Honor: 3.0 (if you want them to have Honor; this part can be skipped)
Skills: Courtier, Etiquette, Sincerity, Temptation, Perform: Shamisen, any one Perform skill, any one High skill
Outfit: exquisite kimono, makeup kit, shamisen, jewelry, any other equipment necessary to school skills, 5 koku

Technique
Rank One: Oiran
You do not lose Honor for using Low Skills in the course of entertaining, soothing, or otherwise pleasing your patron. (If you don't give them Honor, you can skip this part.)

 

Now begins the a la carte portion. The R1 techs stack with the Oiran technique.

 

COURTESAN

Technique Rank: 1
Requirements: Temptation 3
Technique: Embrace of the Floating World
This technique is disdained as crude and even contemptible by the more prestigious geisha houses, who often decline to acknowledge its practitioners as true members of their profession. It is perhaps the most common geisha technique in the Empire, however, being found in many rural okiya and those which cater to ronin and merchants. Your training has taught you to take advantage of a samurai's attention. You gain a bonus equal to your Temptation Skill rank on all social rolls with clients.

 

ENTERTAINER

Technique Rank: 1
Requirements: Perform (any) 2
Technique: Paragon of Art
Your training has focused on artistic performance. Roll any Perform skill at a TN of 20. If successful, you gain bonus unkept dice equal to your Insight Rank, which you may spend on one social roll with each person who witnessed your performance. For each Raise you call on the roll, you may use this benefit on one additional roll. Your Raises for performance are no longer limited by your Void.

 

HOSTESS

Technique Rank: 1
Requirements: Etiquette 3
Technique: Life of the Party
Your training has prepared you best for dealing with large gatherings. For every samurai present at such a gathering, you gain two bonus unkept dice, which you may spend on non-performance social rolls in the course of your duties. You may not spend more unkept dice on a single roll than your Insight Rank. At the end of the gathering, any unspent dice are lost.

 

SCHOLAR

Technique Rank: 1
Requirements: Intelligence 3
Technique: The Beauty of Knowledge
You are skilled at conversing on many topics, and can impress even samurai with your knowledge. For every character point or experience point you have invested in Lore skills or the Sage Advantage, you gain one bonus unkept die, which you can spend on social or suitable performance skill rolls. (Perform: Poetry or Perform: Oratory would both be suitable; Perform: Shamisen is not.) "Low" Lore skills such as Underworld, Shadowlands, and Maho do not add to this total. You may not spend more unkept dice on a single roll than your Insight Rank, and you may not spend more dice during a single event than the total of the points invested in your knowledge.

 

SOLOIST

Technique Rank: 1
Requirements: Sincerity 3
Technique: I Only Have Eyes for You
Your training has taught you to focus all your arts upon your patron directly. During any assignation at which no more than one additional guest is present, you may spend bonus unkept dice equal to your Insight Rank on any non-performance social roll made in the course of your duties. You may do this a number of times during the assignation equal to your Void.

 

(I also wanted to come up with a Taikomochi R1, but never did settle on a good tech for that.)

 

LADY OF THE FLOATING WORLD

Technique Rank: 2
Requirements: Etiquette (Conversation) 3 or Perform (any) 3
Technique: Forget Your Cares
You have learned to soothe samurai with your witty conversation and beautiful art. By making either an Etiquette (Conversation) roll or a Perform roll, you may temporarily suspend the effects of one Mental Disadvantage for the duration of the assignation. The TN for this roll is 15, plus 5 for each point the Disadvantage is worth. (The GM may choose to lessen the effect of the Disadvantage if you roll at least 15, but fail to meet the full TN.) For each Raise you call on your roll, the effect of this technique lasts for one hour beyond the assignation.

 

LADY OF TEMPTATION

Technique Rank: 2
Requirements: Awareness 3, Temptation (Seduction) 3
Technique: Paragon of Beauty
You have learned to use your beauty to soften men's hearts. Make a contested roll of your Temptation (Seduction) / Awareness against your target's Etiquette / Willpower. If you succeed, your target must call one Raise against you to no effect in order to resist any Courtier (Manipulation) roll you make against him for the next hour. You may use this technique against multiple targets at once, but if you focus on a single target, you gain a Free Raise on your Temptation roll.

 

LADY OF THE STAGE

Technique Rank: 2
Requirements: Perform: Dance 4, Perform: Singing 4, or Perform: Storytelling 4
Technique: The Example of Excellence
Stories can inspire audiences to greater feats of skill. Those who witness your narrative dance, song, or story gain a bonus in unkept dice to one skill of your choice for the next day. The bonus is +1k0 for a roll at TN 25; for each Raise you call, this increases by an additional +1k0. You may not inspire more people at once than your Insight Rank, and you may not use this technique on the same target more often than once a week.

 

HONORED COMPANION

Technique Rank: 3
Requirements: Etiquette (Courtesy) 5, Perform (any) 3
Technique: Reflected Light
You have been trained to serve as a companion to the great and powerful of Rokugan. During any event at which your patron is present, you may add his Status Rank (if any) to all social rolls, including Perform. This technique does not work against your patron. Outside such events, so long as you are in an ongoing relationship with a patron, you may add half his Status Rank (minimum 1) to social rolls with all non-samurai who are aware of his patronage.

 

MISTRESS OF TEA

Technique Rank: 3
Requirements: Tea Ceremony 5, Void 3
Technique: Hand of Serenity
For every two Raises you call on your Tea Ceremony roll, you may restore an additional Void Point to one target. If the target is at his maximum, or would be as a result of the ceremony's normal effect, this technique may take him above the maximum. Any extra points bestowed in this manner are lost if not used within the next day. You may not use this technique on more than one target per day, and you may not target the same individual more than once per week.

 

RESPECTED VISITOR

Technique Rank: 4
Requirements: Courtier (Manipulation) 5
Technique: Bow Before Me
Even samurai can be persuaded to acknowledge you, despite your station as hinin. Spend a Void Point and roll Courtier (Manipulation) against the Etiquette / Willpower of the highest-Status samurai present. If you are successful, you impress him to such an extent that he bestows a phantom "rank" of Status upon you, which lasts until the event ends. This gives you no legal standing in Rokugani society, but those samurai present will show you respect according to that Status. For each Raise you call on this roll, you gain an additional "rank," up to a limit of one less than the samurai from whom you gain this benefit.

 

USEFUL GOSSIP

Technique Rank: 4
Requirements: Courtier (Gossip) 5
Technique: Pillow Talk
Geisha often play the role of sympathetic audience to the troubles of samurai. For women with this training, it takes only a little encouragement to persuade a client to say more than he should. If you succeed at a contested Courtier (Gossip) / Manipulation roll, your conversation lures your target into betraying a piece of information better kept secret. By calling Raises on the roll, you may obtain a secret of greater magnitude. In most cases this provides no direct benefit to the geisha; their status as hinin means that any attempt to blackmail a samurai would be a swift path to death. The information, however, may be traded to other individuals in exchange for money or favors, possibly allowing them to purchase the Blackmail Advantage, or providing the geisha with an Ally of her own.

 

IMMORTAL INSPIRATION

Technique Rank: 5
Requirements: Tea Ceremony 7, Void 3
Technique: Inner Strength
The tea ceremony is a common skill among geisha, but some few have raised it to an exquisite art, and beyond. Your performance of the ceremony can unlock reserves of strength your guest did not know he had. By spending a Void Point on your Tea Ceremony roll, you may attempt to briefly increase your target's Void Ring. You must call one Raise on the roll for each Rank of Void the target currently possesses, but if you succeed, his Void is considered one higher for the next day. This increases not only his maximum Void Points, but also the number of Raises he may call on rolls.

 

LEGEND OF THE FLOATING WORLD

Technique Rank: 5
Requirements: Awareness 5, Courtier (Manipulation) 7
Technique: Spiral of Obsession
The greatest geisha have led even honorable men to ruin. During an assignation, spend a Void Point and roll Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against your target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness; he may add his Honor Rank to this roll. If he fails, he gains a 4-point Compulsion (TN 25) to visit you again as soon as he has an opportunity, which lasts for a number of days equal to twice your Awareness Trait Rank. If he does not visit you again during this time, the effect fades -- but if he returns in time, you may renew this technique, gaining a Free Raise on your Courtier roll. Each successive iteration of renewal gains an additional Free Raise, so long as the sequence is not broken. If your Free Raises ever completely negate your target's roll to resist this technique, he permanently gains the True Love Disadvantage, reflecting his undying obsession with you.

 

 

And finally, an advanced "school" to round it all out:

 

OKAASAN

Rings/Traits: Awareness 4, Willpower 4
Skills: Etiquette (Courtesy) 5, Commerce 3, Lore: Heraldry 3
Special: Must have been selected as the heir to an okiya and have retired from active work as a geisha

Techniques

 

Rank One: Mother of the House
You have become sufficiently legendary in your okiya that you have inherited it from your previous okaasan, taking on her role. Glory loss due to idleness is slowed to one point per month. You do not lose Glory for using the Commerce skill, and may add your Glory Rank at the time of taking this path to all Commerce rolls made to negotiate contracts for the geisha in your okiya.

Rank Two: Silken Web
Your geisha keep you informed of the affairs of samurai. You gain the Spy Network Advantage for the city in which your okiya is located. (At GM's discretion, this technique may also provide information from outside the city, if it is plausible that a client might know it.)

Rank Three: Taking Credit
An okaasan who manages successful geisha is a force to be reckoned with. You may add the Glory Rank of your most famous current geisha to all Etiquette, Courtier, Temptation, and Intimidation rolls with non-samurai, or with samurai when conducting the business of your okiya.

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Now... let's say... why would you want to speak to a geisha directly?

 

Hmm... I don't know. Why on earth would anyone ever want to speak directly to the person who is in the room during meetings between all the various samurai in the city, to whom everyone gives the latest news and boasts to when at their least inhibited?

 

Let's see....

1) Find out what is going on in the city that maybe isn't really being talked about openly.

2) Learn about the talents of various samurai in the city in case you need someone with a particular skill set.

3) If she has met a particular individual, perhaps she might know about some secret or flaw he is hiding.

4) If you boast to her, probably word will get around and it can increase the glory you get from your deeds. This can also be followed up by people finding out about you and offering you special duties.

 

Right there are a handful of possible advantages for making a geisha your ally that have nothing to do with stat boosts.

 

 

You need to be careful about making geisha such a useful source of information.  Usually, people who find themselves invited to places where they hear interesting things are invited because they are trusted not to go around blabbing.  If a geisha were to sell information directly to people with enough money, the influential people will eventually find out and stop hiring that geisha (though, there may be an exception if the geisha works for the PC specifically for the purpose of gathering information, or if there's some other special relationship such as being siblings or something).  

 

A better information network, I think, would be to have geisha as information gatherers who collect information, then pass it on to an information broker.  The broker, then, is the one who actually sells or uses the information in some way.  In this way, the people buying the data don't directly know who was the source of the information, which would be a major protection for the gatherers.

 

Of course, I suppose a geisha could be a broker rather than gathering information herself (perhaps she collects rumors from other geisha).

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