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Horiuchi Nobata

Magic for everyone?

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As a proponent of a more openly magical Rokugan I love the idea of this. However, I share Tenchi2a's (fear is too strong of a word here, concern?) that this will simply turn into cantrips for the layperson. I would need to see more examples of the rituals to make up my mind one way or the other. Overall, I suppose I'm just cautiously optimistic.

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46 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

Strongly dislike everyone having access to magic.

 It's not really magic though. It's no different than mundane things we do in our every day lives like saying "bless you" after a sneeze or saying a prayer over dinner. At the risk of being taken wrong here, the difference is that the world of L5R is full of magical beings ready to respond to those things. We may laugh at a person throwing salt over their shoulder or reading their horoscope, but in Rokugan that sort of thing actually works. And that's what these rituals are supposed to be.

You're not going to see a bushi manifest a jade tetsubo and smash oni face, but he might be able to calm down an angry ghost that's been haunting a village by doing the right things to placate it.

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1 minute ago, llamaman88 said:

 It's not really magic though. It's no different than mundane things we do in our every day lives like saying "bless you" after a sneeze or saying a prayer over dinner. At the risk of being taken wrong here, the difference is that... in Rokugan that sort of thing actually works.

I see where you're coming from, but that doesn't make it not magic*; it's an argument that magic in Rokugan should be accessible to non-shugenja to an extent that wasn't true in previous editions, which is what I don't like. ;)

I prefer my Rokugan low fantasy. Others might like theirs high fantasy (or higher fantasy!) That's fine. It's just a departure from previous editions, and this is one of the ways it departs that I don't like.

* Magic as in: the capacity to perform supernatural actions, regardless of scale or scope and including speaking with the dead, spirits, or gods.

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10 minutes ago, llamaman88 said:

 It's not really magic though. It's no different than mundane things we do in our every day lives like saying "bless you" after a sneeze or saying a prayer over dinner. At the risk of being taken wrong here, the difference is that the world of L5R is full of magical beings ready to respond to those things. We may laugh at a person throwing salt over their shoulder or reading their horoscope, but in Rokugan that sort of thing actually works. And that's what these rituals are supposed to be.

You're not going to see a bushi manifest a jade tetsubo and smash oni face, but he might be able to calm down an angry ghost that's been haunting a village by doing the right things to placate it.

You know what? I actually just went back and reread the entire Rituals set (all four of them), and I'm actually not bothered by those Rituals as written. 

I'm concerned a little about Divination, and I'm concerned that the Rituals set will eventually expand into Everybody Magic, but right now it seems harmless enough. Well argued. :)

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6 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

You know what? I actually just went back and reread the entire Rituals set (all four of them), and I'm actually not bothered by those Rituals as written. 

I'm concerned a little about Divination, and I'm concerned that the Rituals set will eventually expand into Everybody Magic, but right now it seems harmless enough. Well argued. :)

I agree with you. I don't want my bushi throwing fireballs and going all Moses on rivers. But being able to pray to his ancestors for guidance is something I like having a mechanic. Seeing as they're supposed to be watching over him in a real and tangible way according to the fiction.

Edited by llamaman88

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On 10/29/2017 at 0:06 PM, llamaman88 said:

I agree with you. I don't want my bushi throwing fireballs and going all Moses on rivers. But being able to pray to his ancestors for guidance is something I like having a mechanic. Seeing as they're supposed to be watching over him in a real and tangible way according to the fiction.

Things like this where fine in previous editions and I would not mind them here. The Ancestors rules where while not always well thought out made sense. you got one ability hooked to that Ancestors,  And had a cost that had to be paid in both xp and role-playing. Here its just like learning to drive. Yeah now I can cast spells.

On 10/29/2017 at 1:02 PM, nameless ronin said:

If it’s not a typo, the advancement tables indicate there are rituals of different levels. The beta only has lvl 1 rituals. I would be surprised if bushi aren’t limited to rank 1 rituals in the final version of the rules.

This is where my biggest concerns come from. Already we have rank 1 level Rituals that in previous editions where low-level Shugenja spells. like Commune with the Spirits, seems to be almost a carbon copy of the Commune spell.

If they are going to make higher level Rituals, they are going to need to be more powerful or what would be the point. Right now they can be waved-off as little tricks that people can do (Cantrips) , but if they level-up from here then we start crossing a lot of bounders. 

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On 29/10/2017 at 5:57 PM, Doji Meshou said:

Strongly dislike everyone having access to magic.

The thing is, in my mind everyone always had access to magic.  Old5R School Techniques were not merely the result of expert levels of training, they were literally superhuman abilities that involved Samurai of all sorts channeling their Chi in specific ways.  Some of these were more blatant about it than others: Falcon Bushi would do things that are now ritually; Kakita Artisans could do obvious magic through arts and crafts; Kaiu Smiths were able to make magic swords etc.

None of these were Shugenja before.

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23 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

This is where my biggest concerns come from. Already we have rank 1 level Rituals that in previous editions where low-level Shugenja spells. like Commune with the Spirits, seems to be almost a carbon copy of the Commune spell.

If they are going to make higher level Rituals, they are going to need to be more powerful or what would be the point. Right now they can be waved-off as little tricks that people can do (Cantrips) , but if they level-up from here then we start crossing a lot of bounders. 

I’d like it better if this was an issue that showed up in the beta, but I’m not too worried (and it’d be the easiest houserule ever, but that’s neither here nor there). I don’t think “level” is even actually defined for techniques in the beta, although I might have overlooked it, so it’s an area that needs work even aside from the higher level ones. I expect similar restrictions might apply to other techniques as well in the final rules: kata for non-bushi, kihō for non-monks, shūji for non-courtiers, etc.

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50 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

The thing is, in my mind everyone always had access to magic.(1)  Old5R School Techniques were not merely the result of expert levels of training, they were literally superhuman abilities that involved Samurai of all sorts channeling their Chi in specific ways.(2)  Some of these were more blatant about it than others: Falcon Bushi would do things that are now ritually; (3) Kakita Artisans could do obvious magic through arts and crafts;(4) Kaiu Smiths were able to make magic swords (5) etc.

None of these were Shugenja before.

1. Opinion is never fact, but your welcome to it.

2. Again an opinion, and one not supported by the descriptions that tend to say as result of expert levels of training. A real world example would be martial arts experts braking concrete blocks. its something the average person can not do, but with training could be taught. And most of the time it is seen as channeling your Chi. So if we follow your example people use magic all the time in the real world.

3. After reviewing this again to make sure, all levels of this school make the same claim. Do to years of training and centenaries of finding the weak spots on monsters they are able to do this.

4. It called Path: Asahina Fetishist [Shugenja] and as indicated requires you to be a Shugenja

5. Not even sure where your getting this? Adding a +1k0 to a sword doesn't make it a magic sword. This is not D&D where the only modifiers are magic. This would indicate that through their skills they where able to strength (1k0 damage) the sword or lighten/balance it (1k0 attack). The idea that ever modifier has to be magical is a hold over from high fantasy games like D&D.

Edited by tenchi2a

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12 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

5. Not even sure where your getting this? Adding a +1k0 to a sword doesn't make it a magic sword. This is not D&D where the only modifiers are magic. This would indicate that through their skills they where able to strength (1k0 damage) the sword or lighten/balance it (1k0 attack). The idea that ever modifier has to be magical is a hold over from high fantasy games like D&D.

The only thing I'll note here is that Kaiu blades are explicitly magical - a sword that can cut through stone and will never dull is impossible to make with modern technology. And while a Shugenja is needed for part of the ritual (in old canon, to allow the ironwood to be cut) the smith is very much not a shugenja.

This did make me realize that rituals are a perfect place for putting techniques that enhance crafting or other effects that don't fit in elsewhere. And as long as they don't start stepping on the toes of Invocations or Kihos, I'm fine with it. Alternately, make the ones with more blatant supernatural effects (weather changing, perhaps) only available to Shugenja. They have precedent for techniques with clan requirements, it makes just as much sense to have non-Invocations that are Shugenja only.

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13 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

1. Opinion is never fact, but your welcome to it.

2. Again an opinion, and one not supported by the descriptions that tend to say as result of expert levels of training. A real world example would be martial arts experts braking concrete blocks. its something the average person can not do, but with training could be taught. And most of the time it is seen as channeling your Chi. So if we follow your example people use magic all the time in the real world.

3. After reviewing this again to make sure, all levels of this school make the same claim. Do to years of training and centenaries of finding the weak spots on monsters they are able to do this.

4. It called Path: Asahina Fetishist [Shugenja] and as indicated requires you to be a Shugenja

5. Not even sure where your getting this? Adding a +1k0 to a sword doesn't make it a magic sword. This is not D&D where the only modifiers are magic. This would indicate that through their skills they where able to strength (1k0 damage) the sword or lighten/balance it (1k0 attack). The idea that ever modifier has to be magical is a hold over from high fantasy games like D&D.

My point is that things which are presented in (this) setting as being due to long training and experience are impossible in the real world hence, in my mind, magic.

3:  In any other setting the ability to see through magic illusions and strike creatures that are not normally damaged by mortal weapons would be considered magic by most definitions of the word.

4: No, it's called Kakita Artisan [Artisan], and has been able to create supernatural effects with their chosen artisan skill ever since Way of the Crane.

5: Again, it's the presentation of the amazing as the slightly more than mundane.  In Oriental Adventures, Kaiu blades (and Kakita and the rest, not to mention Tsi) specifically were magic weapons.

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1 hour ago, Talandar said:

The only thing I'll note here is that Kaiu blades are explicitly magical - a sword that can cut through stone and will never dull is impossible to make with modern technology. And while a Shugenja is needed for part of the ritual (in old canon, to allow the ironwood to be cut) the smith is very much not a shugenja.

This part to me is what allows this. So it would not be the smith make the sword cut through stone.

 

1 hour ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

My point is that things which are presented in (this) setting as being due to long training and experience are impossible in the real world hence, in my mind, magic.

Again that's an opinion.

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3:  In any other setting the ability to see through magic illusions and strike creatures that are not normally damaged by mortal weapons would be considered magic by most definitions of the word.

No where in any of their abilities does it say they can attack creatures that are not damaged by mortal weapons. Which to the best of my knowledge has never been a thing in L5R. Yes some Oni, spirits are sometimes less venerable to weapons not made of jade,etc or  have a weakness to magic, and some even have out right protection against one type of attack like Ugulu no Oni immune to all arrows except armor-piercing. But they could be hit. The school instead talks about knowing their weaknesses and exploiting them

Rank 1: heightened awareness, not all that magical here they have just learned to keep their guard up when monster are around, part two Damage bonus, easily covered by centuries of passed down experience. 

Rank 2: Sense the passage of spirits. again easily explained by reading the room, cold spots, lighting changed, etc.

Rank 3: extra attack. Nothing magic here they just keep up a barrage of attacks. This one doesn't even require the target to be a spirit.

Rank 4: See through tricks. This one is explained in the school write-up, "Over a lifetime of training, the Toritaka learns to see past the tricks a monster my utilize and to efficiently dismantle such enemies.

Rank 5: Lower targets reductions. again nothing here point away from the idea that they have been taught how to find the weak spots in the spirits armor and defenses.   

Quote

4: No, it's called Kakita Artisan [Artisan], and has been able to create supernatural effects with their chosen artisan skill ever since Way of the Crane.

Looked over the ranks on this in 4th and found nothing supernatural about it. Pg.72-73. Now the Kakita Master Artisan [Artisan] advanced schools rank 3 ability does, but with entry requirements of rank 4 and having to get to rank 3 in the schools. Which would make you a rank 7 at the lowest, I can see allowing this.

Quote

5: Again, it's the presentation of the amazing as the slightly more than mundane.  In Oriental Adventures, Kaiu blades (and Kakita and the rest, not to mention Tsi) specifically were magic weapons.

You definitely do not want to use Oriental Adventures to justify anything in L5R. That was one of the worst travesties to ever have the L5R name, and was only slightly improved by the patches in Rokugan D20. The only good thing it ever did was bring some new player in to the game.

Edited by tenchi2a

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But the Shugenja isn't applying the magic to the sword, and they aren't calling on the spirits to make the sword stronger. Literally all they do is soften the wood so that it can be cut, and then the wood is used for the rest of the ritual.

The fact that you're saying a supernatural effect is allowed for rank 7 means that being a shugenja or monk is not a requirement for such an effect. And just because the descriptions describe something as being just due to training doesn't change the fact that it's supernatural - Kihos are very supernatural, but (theoretically) anyone can use them with enough training. Everyone already can use magic already, it's just Kiho instead of Invocations. Rituals are just ways of aligning your chi with the environment to get specific reactions from the spirits - very convoluted ways that shugenja can generally bypass easily or can use much more effectively, but overall it's just feng shui applied to a setting where spirits are very real and active.

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7 minutes ago, Talandar said:

But the Shugenja isn't applying the magic to the sword, and they aren't calling on the spirits to make the sword stronger. Literally all they do is soften the wood so that it can be cut, and then the wood is used for the rest of the ritual.

The fact that you're saying a supernatural effect is allowed for rank 7 means that being a shugenja or monk is not a requirement for such an effect. And just because the descriptions describe something as being just due to training doesn't change the fact that it's supernatural - Kihos are very supernatural, but (theoretically) anyone can use them with enough training. Everyone already can use magic already, it's just Kiho instead of Invocations. Rituals are just ways of aligning your chi with the environment to get specific reactions from the spirits - very convoluted ways that shugenja can generally bypass easily or can use much more effectively, but overall it's just feng shui applied to a setting where spirits are very real and active.

I liken this to the fact that this ability requires a void of 5 to work, And would connect it more to void manipulation then the kami involvement.

Kihos are the manipulation of ones inner chi. So not magical in the L5R sense of the word. That and only monks and shugenja can use then not everyone. 

And no Rituals are just ways of aligning your chi. It states in their write-up they involve the kami. 

But all and all this argument is never going to be solved since everyone has his/her own view on all of this.

I will never agree with you and you will not agree with me so we might as well just drop it.

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9 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Kihos are the manipulation of ones inner chi. So not magical in the L5R sense of the word. That and only monks and shugenja can use then not everyone. 

While I can see that you are adamant at rationalizing the lore and setting of the game to encompass what you are most comfortable with, which systems perfectly allow and encourage.  I can't help but interject when precedence that contradicts cannon is toss out with zero fact checking.

Both in descriptions of forging swords, to use of kiho, and even cooking in rokugan Kami aka the elements are present. It is explained in various sources that everything both people, the ground, weapons, and gods are comprised of the elements. The difference is wether they are awakened or not, hence shugenja's abilities. As well what influence they are under.

Kiho is the conscious manipulation of a persons elements in a unusual way the allows the user to make one element more dominant in there form than others and create the desired effect.    Same goes for forging armor or katanas for a Kaiu.  Its established that a devote enough individual can awaken the kami in any object if enough of their self and spirit is put into it through work and varied conditions. This timeframe varies but in l5r is consistent.

Even every mortal with void that isnt spiritually disrupted dreams magically as the realm of yume-do where rat gods, spirit tapirs, and other creatures occur are a regular thing for rokugani whether they know it or not.

 

9 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

But all and all this argument is never going to be solved since everyone has his/her own view on all of this.

I will never agree with you and you will not agree with me so we might as well just drop it.

At this point it sounds like your trying to convince yourself more than anyone else.  So if you want to use a different term than magic and play without the fantasy foundation the setting is based on your free to.  But if your trying to convince others the setting and game are more like your desired setting than not then I'm going to have to kindly ask you to take a step back and rexamine what you are doing because denial is alot more obvious from the outside.

Edited by Shiba Rana

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1 hour ago, Shiba Rana said:

While I can see that you are adamant at rationalizing the lore and setting of the game to encompass what you are most comfortable with, which systems perfectly allow and encourage.  I can't help but interject when precedence that contradicts cannon is toss out with zero fact checking.

I have every book and have fact checked every thing I have said to the point of going over the falcon school rank by rank, but think what you will.

Quote

Both in descriptions of forging swords, to use of kiho, and even cooking in rokugan Kami aka the elements are present. It is explained in various sources that everything both people, the ground, weapons, and gods are comprised of the elements. The difference is wether they are awakened or not, hence shugenja's abilities. As well what influence they are under.

Again I can find only fluff about this in 2nd ed dual-stat books, and some of it in the 3rd ed. But most if not all of it was dropped in 4th.

Quote

Kiho is the conscious manipulation of a persons elements in a unusual way the allows the user to make one element more dominant in there form than others and create the desired effect.    Same goes for forging armor or katanas for a Kaiu.  Its established that a devote enough individual can awaken the kami in any object if enough of their self and spirit is put into it through work and varied conditions. This timeframe varies but in l5r is consistent.

RANK FIVE: THE PATH OF STEEL
The greatest and most sacred duty of the Kaiu is crafting
the sacred weapons of the Crab Clan. When crafting any
weapon, you may choose to confer either a +1k0 bonus
to all attack rolls made with that weapon, or a +0k1 bonus
to all damage rolls made with that weapon. If the
weapon is a katana, you may expend all your Void Points
(a minimum of one point must be spent) to make the
blade unbreakable (as per the Sacred Weapon: Kaiu Blade
Advantage). Doing so renders you unable to recover Void
Points for one week.

No where in here does it say anything about kami or the ability to cut stone, and just to be clear none of their abilities do nor does the write-up about the school. So I would question your sources.

I have looked thru all the examples of the school and only 2nd and 3rd had anything close to this but still never said anything about the kami, And even the part about cutting stone was dropped from 4th and never existed in 1st.

So to say it has stayed consistent in L5R is untrue. But believe what you will.

Quote

Even every mortal with void that isnt spiritually disrupted dreams magically as the realm of yume-do where rat gods, spirit tapirs, and other creatures occur are a regular thing for rokugani whether they know it or not.

 

At this point it sounds like your trying to convince yourself more than anyone else.  So if you want to use a different term than magic and play without the fantasy foundation the setting is based on your free to.  But if your trying to convince others the setting and game are more like your desired setting than not then I'm going to have to kindly ask you to take a step back and rexamine what you are doing because denial is alot more obvious from the outside.

Again seems to only be in 2nd ed with some hold overs in 3rd. And since all of my answers are based on 4th which is the most current edition (this one still being in beta). I don't think its me who needs to step back. If you want to hold on to themes from the high fantasy Wizards of the Coast inspired version of the game that's fine. But don't act like its the premier edition when even AEG drop most of it.

Edited by tenchi2a

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See you say you have it all and read it all but only quote the mechanics and breifest descriptions of school techniques to me.

It makes sense that you wouldn't concern yourself with any material that further depicts the very same same things your discussing in greater detail when they work against your own arguement.

My claims come from having read the entirety of 4th editions content. Much of what people consider "fluff", a term I vehemently dislike due its dismissiveness, from source books are wriiten in great detail to flush out and provide context and intimate breakdowns of a slew of things in the system. Much of which is ideal for framing a detailed campaign or provided players who care about the substance around and behind their characters to better portray an in depth roleplay.

Book of Earth and Fire as well as Great Clans of forth editions go into detail about gear composition and how Kaiu traditions and smithing methods contribute to their fantastical boost and Kaiu Blade.

If you take the extra step and apply the logic of the nature and magic sections of the same element themed books and how the synergiest structure of kami and ningen-do, the realm of form, bring about rokugan as we know it you might begin to understand why I claim such "delusional" ideas.

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Fyi ove only ever played 4th edition with choice 3rd edition mechanics tyed in.

The entirety of my unsderstanding of rokugan comes from everything released since the 4th core rulebook up to and including Atlas of Rokugan along with the AEG canon stories.

This includes books like Naishou province, all the Element of books, Emerald Empire, Imperial Archives, both Histories of Rokugan 1 and 2, and Sword and Fan just to name some favorites.

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19 minutes ago, Shiba Rana said:

See you say you have it all and read it all but only quote the mechanics and breifest descriptions of school techniques to me.

It makes sense that you wouldn't concern yourself with any material that further depicts the very same same things your discussing in greater detail when they work against your own arguement.

My claims come from having read the entirety of 4th editions content. Much of what people consider "fluff", a term I vehemently dislike due its dismissiveness, from source books are wriiten in great detail to flush out and provide context and intimate breakdowns of a slew of things in the system. Much of which is ideal for framing a detailed campaign or provided players who care about the substance around and behind their characters to better portray an in depth roleplay.

Book of Earth and Fire as well as Great Clans of forth editions go into detail about gear composition and how Kaiu traditions and smithing methods contribute to their fantastical boost and Kaiu Blade.

If you take the extra step and apply the logic of the nature and magic sections of the same element themed books and how the synergiest structure of kami and ningen-do, the realm of form, bring about rokugan as we know it you might begin to understand why I claim such "delusional" ideas.

No my problem is you make claims about the canon but never give a page references to where its coming from. 

I did address the fluff of the Kaiu engineers in my post, and as I said it made no mention of kami, magic, or mystical elements to the school.  If you found them elsewhere then fine. book, page number, and paragraph.

P.S. I just reread the Kaiu section of the Great Clans book and found none of the references you are referring to.

Edited by tenchi2a

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I think one of the cognitive disconnects we're having here is a different definition of what magic is. You state that Kiho isn't magic even though to us it is clearly a magical effect because it comes from within. However, under your terms Invocations and Rituals are magic because they are the work of kami, but in universe it's not magic, it's essentially physics. If your argument is that not everybody should be able to influence the spirits, that's an argument we can have, but to say that not everyone can have magic is patently wrong - Kiho, Invocations, and Rituals are magic to us, but natural in Rokugan, and everybody CAN learn Kiho as long as they train sufficiently. And everybody can influence the spirits, it's just that Rituals provide a mechanical non-Invocation way of doing it that doesn't require a character to speak directly to a spirit. Again, it's basically feng shui in a setting where feng shui has real, concrete advantages (At the very least there is a Asahina Feng Shui Master school, though I don't have the details of it)

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I think it's not "magic" for everyone, but "mysticism" for everyone. And rituals are a perfect word for the most simple of the many mystical ways things work in Rokugan, that should be accessible to all the ruling class with classical and religious education like the samurai caste. 

And Kihos are mystical, so is the relationship between shugenja and Kami and the quasi supernatural abilities developed by highest ranked of a bushi school. 

There is no spoon... Sorry there is not really magic things. Everything is steeped deeply in mysticism and religion. A samurai doesn't take a ritual to wield magic but to honor his ancestors or pray the celestial order. They should mostly be taken by pious samurai. 

In Rokugan what is actually considered magic is maho, sorcery from jigoku.

 

Edited by Nitenman

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10 hours ago, Nitenman said:

 

I think it's not "magic" for everyone, but "mysticism" for everyone. And rituals are a perfect word for the most simple of the many mystical ways things work in Rokugan, that should be accessible to all the ruling class with classical and religious education like the samurai caste. 

 

Exactly this. As noted above, I've no problem with semi-mystical abilities like "pray for guidance and get a vague answer", as long as samurai aren't throwing fireballs.

High level school abilities verging on the mystical is not an issue; Strike With No Though already pretty much turns you into a Katana-wielding nightcrawler, for example.

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