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Horiuchi Nobata

Magic for everyone?

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One of my biggest disconnects from old l5r setting was the idea that magic felt like it was, quite literally, everywhere but most people had no way to deal with it. Dealing with rogue Kami, spiritual beasts, ghosts/ ancestor spirits, magic races. ****, one of the plot hooks from the core book is "a fortune appears before you on the street and demands you set right the misfortune that has befallen their shrine/ temple. " only shugenja and monks could deal with them. 

Now as a lion I can commune with my ancestors, or secure my traveling camp against angry ghosts. 

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Hi,

While I like the idea that rituals can be availible to almost everyone, I am concerned by the rituals they chosen to put in the list.

The fact that anyone can pray its ancestors or make a tea ceremony is one thing, but feeling magic and stopping spirits? now that should be reserved to shugenja and monks I think.

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On 12/10/2017 at 9:09 AM, sndwurks said:

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.

I usually cheat by either going to wikipedia and copy pasting or using the alt codes on Word and copy pasting I don't know enough about these boards to know if it is possible to use them directly: 

Ā ALT+0256 Cap long A
Ē ALT+0274 Cap long E
Ī ALT+0298 Cap long I
Ō ALT+0332 Cap long O
Ū

ALT+0362 Cap long U

ā ALT+0257 Lower long A
ē ALT+0275 Lower long E
ī ALT+0299 Lower long I
ō ALT+0333 Lower long O
ū ALT+0363 Lower long U

 

PS: It isn't.

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On 10/18/2017 at 2:06 AM, Kyros Skyfall said:

Hi,

While I like the idea that rituals can be availible to almost everyone, I am concerned by the rituals they chosen to put in the list.

The fact that anyone can pray its ancestors or make a tea ceremony is one thing, but feeling magic and stopping spirits? now that should be reserved to shugenja and monks I think.

I think one thing to keep in mind with the setting of Rokugan is that magical creatures, ghost, spirits, and curses while not commonplace for the commonfolk are a fact of life that they may have to face much like natural disasters.

In that regard i dont think it would be that unusual for a bushi or courtier whom regularly interacts with spiritual sights or patrols provinces with religious significance to familiarize themselves with certain rituals.

Obviously a bushi thats a career solidier or a courtier artisan whom spend most of their lives focused on their job annd craft wont dabble in it but a traveling samurai whom is concerned with a duty to their people possibly might.

 

All that aside we should consider ritual seppuku as a candidate for the category.  While the idea of spending exp on a technique that involves your own deat may seem counter intuitive the benefit of succeded in an honorable death ritual could not only end the character with loads more honor or glory but also make a lasting impression that could be invauluable in many situations.

Rituals of burial and naming should also be considered as the ritual category is not only a way to affect magical scenarios but tradition and cutural ones as well.

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I'm reposting the same anwer I used in another similar thread:

 

Personally this seems to be a lot closer to what the setting's religion and cosmology ostensibly claimed to be, so I highly approve of it.

Give me Mirumoto and Shiba that know Rituals or Kiho, Agasha and Moto priests that practice Kata.

The old separation between bushi and shugenja was an arbitrary mechanical decision that ran against the setting's implied metaphysics.

Edited by Suzume Chikahisa
Typo

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On 10/12/2017 at 1:09 AM, sndwurks said:

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.

That bar is called a macron

On mac, international keyboard, option-a, then letter.

On android, long-press letter, slide to correct  accent, but note that the caron ^ is also a valid use, and the macron over o is not available in us english inputs. While the macron is now standard, a derisis (umlaut, ö), or caron ô, or just double the vowel... you will still be using one of the standard orthographic systems.

On windows, alt-0256 Ā alt-0257 ā, alt-0332 macron-O, alt-0333 macron-o ... Search for "windows alt key codes"

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Overall I am against the whole idea of the Ritual system.

1. Samurai are none magical. and to make them anything else deminises the role of the shujenga

2. While its use currently is tame, this to me leaves the door open for less restrictive writers to start giving Samurai the equivalent of cantrips.

3. I have no problem with monks, priest, etc having abilities like this just leave samurai out of this.

Edited by tenchi2a

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3 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Overall I am against the whole idea of the Ritual system.

1. Samurai are none magical. and to make them anything else deminises the role of the shujenga

2. While its use currently is tame, this to me leaves the door open for less restrictive writers to start giving Samurai the equivalent of cantrips.

3. I have no problem with monks, priest, etc having abilities like this just leave samurai out of this.

Just like how the new Shuji techniques that I initially thought would be nothing but outlines for political manuveuring ended up revealing a diverse spread of tatics that are applicable in all forms conflict for all styles of samurai I think Rituals have alot more potential as a premise for various traditions and ceremonies outside what is shown on the beta.

Its not too surprising that the rituals they chose to reveal to us in the beta were more mystical nature as they prove to be the most proactive and dynamic ones in a superstitious society like rokugan but fortunetelliing and praying to the gods are merely a way for mortals whom came across this practiced and preestablished method of communication use to gather insight and garner from beings and forces that are greater than themselves espicially those whom have no such gifts to talk to them directly.

 

And in a world where magical spirits and gods Do exist and control the future and fates of the people as mich if not more than their lords then is it that farfetched to see how anyone might utilize these? 

 

 

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See, I very much disagree with the idea that bushi are non-magical.

L5R is a fantasy setting literally filled with little gods, demons, and spirits. Every bushi who wields a katana is wielding a magical weapon carrying the soul and honor of their ancestors. Literally. Having a high Honor makes you supernaturally resistant to temptation, or supernaturally better at killing people. The Shiba Bushi and the Mirumoto Bushi can both make it easier or difficult for spells to be cast on them. The Shiba Bushi literally channels other people's Void Points. The Falcon Bushi can sense ghosts, and overcome their reduction. Any Mantis with the Blood of Osano-Wo can walk off a lightning bolt.

I think Rituals are the perfect level of "interacting with the supernatural" for bushi, courtiers and non-shugenja / monks. If I lived in a world where the river near where I lived had a LITERAL MAGIC GOD in it, you had better believe I would learn what kind of things it liked me to put on its river banks and how to ask it to look out for other magic gods who might not like me for what ever reason, even if I cannot directly commune with it. The river has its own agency, and will look out for me if I look out for it. This does not mean I'm a wizard with an inborn gift (shugenja) or a monk who eschews the world to focus on meditation (monk). It just means the world I am living in is living and magical, and I can be a part of it.

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23 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

See, I very much disagree with the idea that bushi are non-magical.

L5R is a fantasy setting literally filled with little gods, demons, and spirits. Every bushi who wields a katana is wielding a magical weapon carrying the soul and honor of their ancestors. Literally. Having a high Honor makes you supernaturally resistant to temptation, or supernaturally better at killing people. The Shiba Bushi and the Mirumoto Bushi can both make it easier or difficult for spells to be cast on them. The Shiba Bushi literally channels other people's Void Points. The Falcon Bushi can sense ghosts, and overcome their reduction. Any Mantis with the Blood of Osano-Wo can walk off a lightning bolt.

I think you are reading way to much into a lot of this

1. almost no Samurai carry a magical weapon. These weapons are rare and are normally ancestral weapons that are only used by clan leadership or heroes.

2. Most of these abilities can have a easy to find mundane answer to them.

a) The Shiba/Mirumoto abilities have to do with being traind to work with the shugenja. 

b) The Shiba ability can be seen as them centering themselves during combat and taking advantage of this to turn others actions against them.

c) I always looked at this as "Ghost Adventures" where they have learned to read the signs that others miss and through experience have learned how to banish them.

d) I'll give you this one but I always thought it was stupid anyway.

23 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

I think Rituals are the perfect level of "interacting with the supernatural" for bushi, courtiers and non-shugenja / monks. If I lived in a world where the river near where I lived had a LITERAL MAGIC GOD in it, you had better believe I would learn what kind of things it liked me to put on its river banks and how to ask it to look out for other magic gods who might not like me for what ever reason, even if I cannot directly commune with it. The river has its own agency, and will look out for me if I look out for it. This does not mean I'm a wizard with an inborn gift (shugenja) or a monk who eschews the world to focus on meditation (monk). It just means the world I am living in is living and magical, and I can be a part of it.

I don't disagree with you fluff-wise on some of this. I just don't think we need mechanical rules for it.

The Kami are not Gods, they are neutrally occurring elemental sprites. The misconception comes from them have the same name as the clan founders.

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2 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

The Kami are not Gods, they are neutrally occurring elemental sprites. The misconception comes from them have the same name as the clan founders.

While the core rule books over several editions haven't been upfront about the cannonical relationships between the Kami, elemental kami, and the heavens, there plenty of material from further reading into the lore that clears some things up.

First of all, Kami no Michi, meaning "Way of the Gods" is the predecessor of most fortunist worship in rokugan and laid the ground work for preisthoods in rokugan via the Isawa clan all of which predate the fall of the "Kami".

There is also much mention of worship to Mikokami aka "Small Gods" throughout pre and post fall rokugan with preist and brotherhoods also building shrines and temples to honor powerful and persistent elemental kami.

Its also mentioned in several instances that some elemental kami are in service to and even generated by the elemental dragons of tengoku.

I dont even think it'd be a stretch to claim that the term Kami used in reverence to the children of the son and move was a catch all term to rever to all heavenly beings of worship that took on a second meaning when the clan founders came to ningen-do and just stuck.

 

 

All that aside L5R is a great game where the tone and balance of realism and mysticism can be tweaked at your GMs leisure.  If the setting you prefer calls for a less spiritually inclined samurai culture then you can easily do that by removing rituals as an option for courtiers and bushi since from what i can see they dont rely on any of them for rank advancement.

 

Edited by Shiba Rana

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23 minutes ago, WHW said:

I like my Legend of Five Airbenders, the Last Inuyasha way. Folk mysticism hiding in every stone and under every leaf. Blurring the threshold between "skill"and "magic". And so on. I actively do not care for gritty ugly "realism". 

Having GMed 4th edition in a slew of different timelines i gotta say this reminds me of the Togashi Empire setting which i adore.  

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I think that we have outlined one of the clear lines in how different people view Legend of the Five Rings.

For some people, they prefer the gritty, harsh realism, similar to the depictions of the Chanbara films of Kurosawa. For others, they prefer the high fantasy world of vibrant, living gods, dangerous demons, and accessible magic on all levels. Most of us, like myself, fall into a middle ground. Personally, I prefer the idea that the supernatural world surrounds and suffuses all aspects of life in Rokugan, but that the world is still surprisingly mundane.

Yes, your katana carries the soul of your ancestors, that is why you can spend Void to make it deadlier. However, so does everyone else's katana, and there is nothing stopping a bandit from killing you and stealing your katana, and now that katana carries his ancestors.

A village falls ill with a plague, and anyone who drinks the water dies. Did someone drop poison in the well? Is there now an evil spirit in the well who is killing people? Why can it not somehow be both? You investigate, and find that the water has been made filthy because someone dropped a dead animal down the well. You can dig a new well, which may work. You can haul out the carcass, chase off the gaki with some religious ceremonies, and hope that is enough. Or you can call in a shugenja, if you are lucky, who can just make the water better by taking to the earth and the water. While the last is probably the easiest and the fastest, the first solves the problem and is completely mundane, while the second one is something which may, or may not work.

In short, you want the most accessible option to the peasants? Go with the gritty. You want the most fantastic and easy option? Go with a shugenja. Most bushi, courtiers, and other samurai who do not speak to the kami but live in a magical world know how to do a bit of both, and make the solution work.

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23 hours ago, Shiba Rana said:

While the core rule books over several editions haven't been upfront about the cannonical relationships between the Kami, elemental kami, and the heavens, there plenty of material from further reading into the lore that clears some things up.

This would depend on your source. 

remember anything outside the game books, CCG/LCG, and AEG letters and stories are not canon.

things like the novel series are considered non-canon.

Quote

First of all, Kami no Michi, meaning "Way of the Gods" is the predecessor of most fortunist worship in rokugan and laid the ground work for preisthoods in rokugan via the Isawa clan all of which predate the fall of the "Kami".

There is also much mention of worship to Mikokami aka "Small Gods" throughout pre and post fall rokugan with preist and brotherhoods also building shrines and temples to honor powerful and persistent elemental kami.

Its also mentioned in several instances that some elemental kami are in service to and even generated by the elemental dragons of tengoku.

I dont even think it'd be a stretch to claim that the term Kami used in reverence to the children of the son and move was a catch all term to rever to all heavenly beings of worship that took on a second meaning when the clan founders came to ningen-do and just stuck.

This to me is subjective. While the word may mean god, anything is a God or magic if you don't understand it.

I look at it by what they can accomplish. While a Kami (Clan founders,Moon,Sun,Dragons,Etc.) can preform acts that seem like miracles,

kami (elemental spirits) are more limited to their elements. Also their size limits what they can do needing great number brought together by shugenja or nature to accomplish anything

Quote

All that aside L5R is a great game where the tone and balance of realism and mysticism can be tweaked at your GMs leisure.  If the setting you prefer calls for a less spiritually inclined samurai culture then you can easily do that by removing rituals as an option for courtiers and bushi since from what i can see they dont rely on any of them for rank advancement.

Overall my issues is the blurring of lines. From my experience there is a set structure to the L5R.

Elemental Shugenja: Spend years learning to Control their unique gifts commune with the spirits. Learning how to appeases and direct them to preform the tasks they need.

Void Shugenja: Learning to reach into the formless void and shape it to alter the universe, while trying not to lose themselves.

Samurai: again spend years honing their skills to become the killing machines that their daimyo requires. And learning to center themselves to better resist the horrors of war.

Monks: Learn to harness the power of their inter-elements to preform impossible feats of mind and body.

when you start allow Samurai to start using magic or Shugenja to start using kihos  (an issues brought on by the CCG in the old system) you lose that separation that makes a group what it is.

As I said before the current Rituals are on the level of Cantrips, but the point is Shugenja need a special talent, and need years to learn how to get the kami to do what they want. The existence of Rituals calls into question why this is necessary. 

Edited by tenchi2a

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18 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

 

As I said before the current Rituals are on the level of Cantrips, but the point is Shugenja need a special talent, and need years to learn how to get the kami to do what they want. The existence of Rituals calls into question why this is necessary. 

I see where your concern comes from, but i feel that there is a clear seperation between techniques that conjure elemental forces used by the shugenja and monks versus the ceremonial practices that make up rituals that rely on happenstance of external forces to be swayed into revealing itself through the familiarity of century old rites.

There isnt anything intrinsically magical neccessary for these rituals or the people performing them because they are folk practices developed by local beliefs that turned out to garner some outcome when interacting with the local spirits.

I feel like the mindset your approaching this with this if that a bushi or courtier could successfully recieve an omen from a kami then they must have ability to speak with them which the ritual specifically states otherwise.

Its true that through the use of the void ring in the new system all schools of samurai are alotted the possibility of higher spiritual sensitivity, but if you choose to not allow bushi and courtier to cross that line your so conerned about then dial it back or set a new line.

 

35 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

 

23 hours ago, Shiba Rana said:

While the core rule books over several editions haven't been upfront about the cannonical relationships between the Kami, elemental kami, and the heavens, there plenty of material from further reading into the lore that clears some things up.

This would depend on your source. 

remember anything outside the game books, CCG/LCG, and AEG letters and stories are not canon.

things like the novel series are considered non-canon.

Quote

First of all, Kami no Michi, meaning "Way of the Gods" is the predecessor of most fortunist worship in rokugan and laid the ground work for preisthoods in rokugan via the Isawa clan all of which predate the fall of the "Kami".

There is also much mention of worship to Mikokami aka "Small Gods" throughout pre and post fall rokugan with preist and brotherhoods also building shrines and temples to honor powerful and persistent elemental kami.

Its also mentioned in several instances that some elemental kami are in service to and even generated by the elemental dragons of tengoku.

I dont even think it'd be a stretch to claim that the term Kami used in reverence to the children of the son and move was a catch all term to rever to all heavenly beings of worship that took on a second meaning when the clan founders came to ningen-do and just stuck.

This to me is subjective. While the word may mean god, anything is a God or magic if you don't understand it.

I look at it by what they can accomplish. While a Kami (Clan founders,Moon,Sun,Dragons,Etc.) can preform acts that seem like miracles,

kami (elemental spirits) are more limited to their elements. Also their size limits what they can do needing great number brought together by shugenja or nature to accomplish anything

 

As far as the term Kami goes in Rokugan I highly doubt the clan founders referred to themselves as that, at least initially anyway, and what the people refer to and worship as Kami is likely the standard regardless of their understanding of its place in the literal spiritual hierarchy.

Elemental Kami are fully capable of acting of their own volition as each is depicted with a personality and tendency type that they are drawn too as well as older kami deriving variant tendencies from their exposure and interactions with people not just shugenja.

And considering the percentage of rokugan that are peasants and lay people when compared to those with the gifts of kiho and invocations I would bet money that the rituals are far more commonplace and frequently seen and practiced than shugenja and actual magical displays.

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27 minutes ago, Shiba Rana said:

I see where your concern comes from, but i feel that there is a clear seperation between techniques that conjure elemental forces used by the shugenja and monks versus the ceremonial practices that make up rituals that rely on happenstance of external forces to be swayed into revealing itself through the familiarity of century old rites.

There isnt anything intrinsically magical neccessary for these rituals or the people performing them because they are folk practices developed by local beliefs that turned out to garner some outcome when interacting with the local spirits.

 

27 minutes ago, Shiba Rana said:

I feel like the mindset your approaching this with this if that a bushi or courtier could successfully recieve an omen from a kami then they must have ability to speak with them which the ritual specifically states otherwise.

Its true that through the use of the void ring in the new system all schools of samurai are alotted the possibility of higher spiritual sensitivity, but if you choose to not allow bushi and courtier to cross that line your so conerned about then dial it back or set a new line.

I would say that Commune with Spirits proves you wrong here.

Sense the Kami: Detect all spirits and uses of their magic by shugenja
within a number of range bands equal to the ring you used plus your
bonus successes

why would a samurai have a detect magic ability.

Spiritual Knowledge: Learn one fact the spirits know about the area.

This one outright states the kami talks to you.

 

27 minutes ago, Shiba Rana said:

 

As far as the term Kami goes in Rokugan I highly doubt the clan founders referred to themselves as that, at least initially anyway, and what the people refer to and worship as Kami is likely the standard regardless of their understanding of its place in the literal spiritual hierarchy.

As far as I know this has been what they where called from the beginning, But it could have been added later by Rokugan historiens. 

27 minutes ago, Shiba Rana said:

Elemental Kami are fully capable of acting of their own volition as each is depicted with a personality and tendency type that they are drawn too as well as older kami deriving variant tendencies from their exposure and interactions with people not just shugenja.

To my knowledge the elemental kami do not have the strength or the overall mass to act on their own. For example at least in earlier editions not sure here, a fire kami is the size of a small flame. Where a earth kami amounts to a pebble in size. A mountain or a stream is not one kami it is made up of many.

27 minutes ago, Shiba Rana said:

And considering the percentage of rokugan that are peasants and lay people when compared to those with the gifts of kiho and invocations I would bet money that the rituals are far more commonplace and frequently seen and practiced than shugenja and actual magical displays.

I am in no way saying that rituals do not exist. 

I'm sure peasants burn incense to honor the kami for a good harvest. I know Samurai preform rituals in the name of their ancestors.

The point I am trying to make is this sort of thing is fluff and does not need mechanics to exist.

All the current rituals seem to be scaled down spell or things that should be rolled into Skills. 

Like Cleansing Rite which to me should be part of the First Aid skill not a ritual.

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27 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

I would say that Commune with Spirits proves you wrong here.

Sense the Kami: Detect all spirits and uses of their magic by shugenja
within a number of range bands equal to the ring you used plus your
bonus successes

why would a samurai have a detect magic ability.

Spiritual Knowledge: Learn one fact the spirits know about the area.

This one outright states the kami talks to you.

I believe what you call this is either selective reading or out of context referancing.  Considering the very same ritual states this:

"Commune with the Spirits
Description: The ritualist centers their mind on one of the elements, 
appealing to the spirits in their environment and seeking their counsel or 
boon. Only shugenja can speak to and hear the kami directly as though 
they were speaking Rokugani to one another. However, other priests and 
laypeople are able to use this ritual to receive less specific guidance from 
the spirits, such as a leaf that falls to the ground pointing in the direction 
of the person or thing they are seeking."

Hence my earlier use of the word omen rather than communing.

Also "Learn one fact the spirits know about the area" is far from an outright statement that the Kami spoke.

 

As far the idea of more mass equals more Kami I can see where a lack of familiarity with the games"fluff" might imply that that is always the case, but considering the instances within yes Canon material Kami of mountains and entire locations have been focal points as well as every Book of (insert element) from 4th going into intimate detail about how singular kami a shugenja interacts with can (not all do) but can have unique quirks about their attitudes based on their life experiences and exposure to mortals and other things I would say it wouldnt hurt to brush up on said lore.  If you care to be factual that is.

41 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

 

The point I am trying to make is this sort of thing is fluff and does not need mechanics to exist.

All the current rituals seem to be scaled down spell or things that should be rolled into Skills. 

Like Cleansing Rite which to me should be part of the First Aid skill not a ritual.

Considering rituals and invocation nearly all use the Theology skill i would say they are pretty rolled in.

The whole point of rolling these and all previous edition school techniques into kata rituals shiji etc. Is to make them more relavent and accessible rather than having to scour through multiple books just to find a single mechanical representation for a spell to bless the land that should be far more intuitive and upfront in the game (referancing 4th edition book of earth sidebar fyi) 

 

At the end of the day these are nice to have. If it spits in the face of what you think the spiritual community of rokugan has or is just bothersome to you that the resident spiritualist in a party should be the only one with tools to apply to a supernatural situation then you do you.

I am happy they included it as it not only provides a way to better represent the subtle parts of the games established culture but also rewards players for doing so and taking up a variety of talents that might otherwise be off limits to them.

 

Lastly how does a cleasing rite require any knowledge in medicine.  Doesnt fit. Gotta have matching flavor and function.

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Hi,

all in all I tend to agree with Techni2a

I think letting bushis be able to practice ''little magic'' diminishes the sens of wonder supernatural encounters have, since misticysm become more ''accessible'' and mundane.

 

But all in all, this all brings the question : should school determine whant you can learn?

 

Let me explain :

indeed, a Bushi can learn a ritual. After all, he just have to spent time with the right teacher and then he can perform the ritual. Why not? It seems logical

but then, why a courtier could not learn a kata the same way? How can my courtier have the ''martial art : mele'' skill at 4 or 5 (or even more) and not be able to learn a signle kata?

What should I do if my player's character spents time with a sensei to learn a kata his character should really be able to use? Should I tell him ''sorry, I know it does'nt make any sens but your character cannot perform the kata because of the school he studied to many years ago''?

 

To me, that's a question worth diggin'

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1 minute ago, Shiba Rana said:

I believe what you call this is either selective reading or out of context referancing.  Considering the very same ritual states this:

"Commune with the Spirits
Description: The ritualist centers their mind on one of the elements, 
appealing to the spirits in their environment and seeking their counsel or 
boon. Only shugenja can speak to and hear the kami directly as though 
they were speaking Rokugani to one another. However, other priests and 
laypeople are able to use this ritual to receive less specific guidance from 
the spirits, such as a leaf that falls to the ground pointing in the direction
of the person or thing they are seeking."

Hence my earlier use of the word omen rather than communing.

Also "Learn one fact the spirits know about the area" is far from an outright statement that the Kami spoke.

The fluff of a abilities say its different in no way changed the fact that its not mechanically.

as to the speaking part. I see this as a change from previous editions to allow rituals to exist. 

In previous editions kami did not speak in the human tongue to the shugenja and shugenja had to learn the language of the kami to interact with them.

That was part of their long training.

as to the last part its hard to say that omen is relaying facts from the spirit unless your definition is different then the dictionaries.

 

 

1 minute ago, Shiba Rana said:

 

As far the idea of more mass equals more Kami I can see where a lack of familiarity with the games"fluff" might imply that that is always the case, but considering the instances within yes Canon material Kami of mountains and entire locations have been focal points as well as every Book of (insert element) from 4th going into intimate detail about how singular kami a shugenja interacts with can (not all do) but can have unique quirks about their attitudes based on their life experiences and exposure to mortals and other things I would say it wouldnt hurt to brush up on said lore.  If you care to be factual that is.

I never argued that kami can't have unique quirks. My point was based on descriptions from all previous game about the kami size. and one thing you have to watch when quoting canon is that kami is both the singular and plural of the word. 

1 minute ago, Shiba Rana said:

Considering rituals and invocation nearly all use the Theology skill i would say they are pretty rolled in.

The whole point of rolling these and all previous edition school techniques into kata rituals shiji etc. Is to make them more relavent and accessible rather than having to scour through multiple books just to find a single mechanical representation for a spell to bless the land that should be far more intuitive and upfront in the game (referancing 4th edition book of earth sidebar fyi) 

I'm again not arguing the point of the rules but the necessity.

1 minute ago, Shiba Rana said:

At the end of the day these are nice to have. If it spits in the face of what you think the spiritual community of rokugan has or is just bothersome to you that the resident spiritualist in a party should be the only one with tools to apply to a supernatural situation then you do you.

I am happy they included it as it not only provides a way to better represent the subtle parts of the games established culture but also rewards players for doing so and taking up a variety of talents that might otherwise be off limits to them.

My point again is it has no reason to exist outside of fluff other then the writers wanting to try to explain every part of the world with mechanics.

1 minute ago, Shiba Rana said:

Lastly how does a cleasing rite require any knowledge in medicine.  Doesnt fit. Gotta have matching flavor and function.

you seem to have a habit of tying to put words in my mouth.

I never said the cleasing rite require any knowledge in medicine.

I said the effect of it could easily be rolled into First Aid. 

All the other parts are fluff that is there to make it a ritual and could again easily be fluff that a healer uses to convince the local that its magical.

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3 minutes ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

 

But all in all, this all brings the question : should school determine whant you can learn?

You pose a fair question Kyros.

In previous editions of L5R your access to and/or reasons to access skills and techniques outside your schools specialized niche was more limited.

But this new Beta and system has addressed that with flying colors in my opinion.

Not only are Courtiers now expected to have some familiarity with Kata but some even have it in their curriculums (term me and my friends have been using for schools list of rank enhancing exp options). 

It also provides these techniques and skills as suggestions and not neccessities that you have to put exp into to competently use your school.

Considering rituals are not the exclusive domain of any one samurai class this also emphasizes the design that you can be your own samurai with exp options outside your curriculum and be capable of more, not just a reflection of your occupation.

 

The perspective of wanting to have bushi or career warrior samurai unversed in acts of rituals and mysticism so to generate a greater impact when they encounter supernatural threat they are unprepared for is a great storytelling device and tone to go with.

But if you aren't depicting a divergent setting or rokugan and expect the materials of the canon to reflect that mentality throughout its mechanics then I'm sorry but its designed to include more than that.  Take what you like and leave the rest, that is every GMs right when utilizing a tabletop system but Rokugan, the country where their founders fell from the sky, spirits from other realms haunt, trick, and play with people on the regular, and the after life is real, classist, and involves monster that can touch and commit your life to **** foreever.  Yeah everyone is going to try and get a leg up whether its burning oats at a road side sign or throwing green rocks on people to save their immortal soul.

 

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4 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

you seem to have a habit of tying to put words in my mouth.

I never said the cleasing rite require any knowledge in medicine.

I said the effect of it could easily be rolled into First Aid. 

All the other parts are fluff that is there to make it a ritual and could again easily be fluff that a healer uses to convince the local that its magical.

I may have jumped the gun on that one primarily because the recent upadate to l5r beta established mechanics for first aid under the medicine skill, which i believe is very important.  So seeing you refer to a cleansing ritual as potential first aid treatment was understandably fallible.

 

10 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

The fluff of a abilities say its different in no way changed the fact that its not mechanically.

as to the speaking part. I see this as a change from previous editions to allow rituals to exist. 

In previous editions kami did not speak in the human tongue to the shugenja and shugenja had to learn the language of the kami to interact with them.

That was part of their long training.

as to the last part its hard to say that omen is relaying facts from the spirit unless your definition is different then the dictionaries.

Here on the other hand I can see we have a vast disconnect. What you call 'fluff' in the techniques description is what I call example of use, thematic context, and generally how any mechanic is supposed to be described and impressed upon the player for future use.  

If that is nothing more than a flavor text for however you would prefer to interpret the mechanics go right l, but it is the default and guideline for how its designed to function.

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Divination and Theology, Haunted, Cursed/Blessed by the Realm/Fortune, Wrath of the Kami, Various Ancestors, Inner Gifts, Blood of Osano Wo etc there are numerous examples of magic/supernatural things Bushi and Courtiers could take in the old game.

But this isn't the old game. We don't have a full grasp on the lore changes FFG has made, but it does seem there's more of a focus on Kami and other spirits this time. More of a focus on the eastern religions , that while were in the old game, were less of a focus in both fiction and mechanics. If you intend to use the new edition to represent the old game, drop rituals on Courtier's and Bushi. But I'll be waiting for the fluff explanation before saying this is a bad element to the game.

As it is my group's Mirumoto Bushi player is excited to see where this goes as he's a fan of praying for guidance, using divination and knowing about the spirit realms and their denizens. These things were supported poorly by 4th's mechanics, but seem much more viable in this beta. And as a GM I'm more than okay with being able to run these sorts of plots for groups not interested in Shugenja or Monks, even if they'll have a more limited ability to deal with these problems. 

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