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Horiuchi Nobata

Magic for everyone?

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Having read the beta, I am intrigued and confused by the fact that all schools have Rituals as a technique type. Given that these are religious practices performed, at least in the old lore, by holy men and women (read monks and shugenja) I find it interesting that anyone can develop real skill at this. I would personally prefer it if schools only granted two varieties of techniques and only monks and shugenja got Rituals.

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Personally, I am the opposite. I love the fact that non-shugenja can now get a very simplistic, entry level "magic" which is really just religious ceremonies. You do not need to be born with an innate gift (shugenja) or spend your life in meditation (monk). You just live in a fantasy world where, literally, you are surrounded at all times by magical spirits whom you can appease or anger. You cannot really tell them to do anything, but you can perform the rituals that make them happier.

It makes Rokugan a more magical place, and I thoroughly approve. 

(Says the guy who totally would play the Falcon Clan bushi who would be using the Void approach ALL THE TIME.)

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I actually like it that rituals are open to most schools, since those are certain religious practices that do not need the ability to speak with kami or to channel chi or whathaveyou. I mean just look at Commune with the Spirits as what plenty of bushi did all over the old fiction to, when tehy sat down to seek the guidance of ancestor spirits in payers.

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I suspect Rituals will be used for more than than just mystic rituals. The 4 in the beta are Theology rituals but I would not be surprised if things like Tea Ceremony and Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai(Gathering of 100 Ghost Stories) ended up as Rituals in Core.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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Plus, if you compare the amount of temples to the amount of Shugenja and monks in the empire, there is imbalance. So non kami blessed folks may still be priest. In smaller villages, the village head would be conducting the rituals. Then a shugenja visiting the village and conducting a ritual would bring great honor and joy in the village. Stuff to talk about to your grandchildren.

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6 hours ago, Drudenfusz said:

I actually like it that rituals are open to most schools, since those are certain religious practices that do not need the ability to speak with kami or to channel chi or whathaveyou. I mean just look at Commune with the Spirits as what plenty of bushi did all over the old fiction to, when tehy sat down to seek the guidance of ancestor spirits in payers.

Indeed. As long as they keep a line drawn between "pray to the spirits and maybe receive a vague message" Rituals and "politely ask the spirits to lob fireballs at that guy over there" Invocations, I don't mind this at all. 

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While I agree that I am in the camp of "rituals as currently stated are neat and fitting", I was kinda expecting this to be about the fact that an 8 followed by an 8 on the heretics table means anyone can learn an invocation. Which I am a lot less certain about. 

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41 minutes ago, Manic Modron said:

Isn't that like rolling an 88 on a d100, so effectively a 1% chance?  Doesn't sound so bad.

It's a little higher, since you make the first d10 roll twice and can choose which of the two results you would like.

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1 hour ago, Manic Modron said:

Isn't that like rolling an 88 on a d100, so effectively a 1% chance?  Doesn't sound so bad.

 

39 minutes ago, Drudenfusz said:

It's a little higher, since you make the first d10 roll twice and can choose which of the two results you would like.

 

Which is still low, but it does mean that it is possible for a bushi/courtier to get spells without maho. Also, 8 then 9 gives kiho, which isn't as bad, but still seems off. You can't just steal the ability to speak with kami, not on the level of a shugenja. Which is what that roll is supposed to represent. Not sure how I'd house rule it though, if it ends up as is for the final version. 

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Wouldn't that just mean the "Shugenja" defied expectations and trained as a bushi or courtier? I mean, they get no bonuses towards new invocations, and any they buy wouldn't count to their school ranks. It's a fairly rare result, and probably really rare but still possible in the fluff.

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2 hours ago, WHW said:

I thought the Bushi was The Mountain. :P

I feel like there should be more react options than 'like'. There needs a "envisioned the mountain from GoT being used as a missile weapon against Hida Kissada and laughed and choked on my meatloaf' button.

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We really need to see Tea Ceremony in playtest - it is so fundamental to the setting, that it's absence is a gaping hole in the whole.

I'm concerned with a move towards anime-feel; L5R has always lent itself to a less gonzo approach... (even if it was Samurai Culture on a Map of China with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Cthulhu monsters mashed in.) 

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We really need to see Tea Ceremony in playtest - it is so fundamental to the setting, that it's absence is a gaping hole in the whole.

I'm concerned with a move towards anime-feel; L5R has always lent itself to a less gonzo approach... (even if it was Samurai Culture on a Map of China with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Cthulhu monsters mashed in.) 

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We really need to see Tea Ceremony in playtest - it is so fundamental to the setting, that it's absence is a gaping hole in the whole.

I'm concerned with a move towards anime-feel; L5R has always lent itself to a less gonzo approach... (even if it was Samurai Culture on a Map of China with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Cthulhu monsters mashed in.) 

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We really need to see Tea Ceremony in playtest - it is so fundamental to the setting, that it's absence is a gaping hole in the whole.

I'm concerned with a move towards anime-feel; L5R has always lent itself to a less gonzo approach... (even if it was Samurai Culture on a Map of China with Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Cthulhu monsters mashed in.) 

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Nothing of what I've seen has felt anime-like, no more than the old game.  It is sort of how you describe the setting though.  If you mean that it isn't hyper-realistic, I don't really think the old game as hyper-realistic.  

However, I am on the fence of the whole rituals thing.  I think its neat that it is AVAILABLE to everyone, but I don't like that there is no reason to encourage people to take them and I do somewhat feel like they are too magical in effect (Blocking Spirits, divining the future, etc). 

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One of the things I most liked about Rokugan as a  setting is that in its original version characters that were not religious figures did not perform religious rites. We take for granted a sort of laisez-faire spiritualism that is not present in the highly ritualized and stratified society of Rokugan. The kinds of rituals that are present in the beta are things that in earlier editions of L5R would be considered either the province of a priest, whether shugenja or monk, or an expensive advantage. I liked the idea that religious rites belong in the hands of religious figures.

Now the more religious rituals, like all of the ones listed, could just have Monk or Shugenja School added to their prerequisites, but unless that kind of treatment remains common it would continue to feel out of place. As written the criticism that the game feels strongly of anime is fairly reasonable.

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On 10/10/2017 at 2:07 PM, Mirith said:

I do somewhat feel like they are too magical in effect (Blocking Spirits, divining the future, etc). 

Divining the Future is the equivalent of learning to do Tarot Readings.

While Threshold Barrier is basically rituals like puting a pile of grain in front of a door way to ward off vampires or a ring of salt to protect from spirits.

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I really like the classification of magic into invocations & rituals, with monk kihos in the bargain.  Rituals as open to most schools feels natural for a culture & world where the kami are everywhere in nature.  I'd like to see Void invocations though.  felt like that was missing from the beta, & especially for the Isawa Shugenja school, the Void has a big role for Shugenja.

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Indeed, a warrior knowing and using rituals like warding and all strikes me more like a Taoist Knight of Wuxia stories than a samurai.

Could be that Rokugan beta setting is a framework for something akin to D&D oriental adventures.

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Note that diving into exciting world of rituals means spending quite a sizeable chunk of XP that won't go towards School Advancement; so it all falls under "hobby and diverging from school curriculum' territory. 

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10 minutes ago, Nitenman said:

Indeed, a warrior knowing and using rituals like warding and all strikes me more like a Taoist Knight of Wuxia stories than a samurai.

Could be that Rokugan beta setting is a framework for something akin to D&D oriental adventures.

In all seriousness? Go watch the Onmyōji films. They are an excellent example of how a shugenja would work in a courtly setting, and give solid examples for why bushi and courtiers would learn certain rituals to interact with supernatural threats. I also expect Tea Ceremony, for example, to fall under the Ritual Techniques, as it is a ritualized action with a semi-supernatural effect.

As a side note, does anyone know how to get the o with the bar above it in text? With increasing L5R terms using it, I feel it would be good to learn.

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