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Arolem

Changing Schools?

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Not sure if it's something that I missed... Are there rules for losing your school, changing schools, or gaining a new school?

For example, your lord is slain and you are made a ronin... Do you continue your school rank if you are no longer a part of the school proper?

Are you forced to start at rank 1 ronin? Do you redistribute XP into the new curriculum? Or do you keep everything but school abilities? Or should you retain the school rank you had and just switch to the new school? If you were Shugenja do you lose your spiritual abilities due to the fall from grace?

And on the other side: if you were a ronin and proved yourself to a higher power, (eg the Mantis accept you, or you're acknowledged by the emperor) could you switch to a school related to a clan?

Lastly, if you were a part of a clan school, but decide to ascend to the dragon peaks to become ise zumi? I think in this case I'd imagine you start at rank 1 tattooed monk, having discarded your past to attain Enlightenment. Though you weren't dishonored, or forcefully removed of your position, so you'd still maintain your gathered knowledge...

If I simply missed it in the book, please let me know (and hopefully where it is in there) and if not what you folks would houserule for this sorta thing.

Thanks for your time.

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5 hours ago, Arolem said:

Lastly, if you were a part of a clan school, but decide to ascend to the dragon peaks to become ise zumi? I think in this case I'd imagine you start at rank 1 tattooed monk, having discarded your past to attain Enlightenment. Though you weren't dishonored, or forcefully removed of your position, so you'd still maintain your gathered knowledge...

At least to this point I can agree: there's an advantage, Worldly or Seen It All or something, that basically represents you being an older, more experienced samurai that just hasn't show everything they're capable of yet. It would be a perfect advantage for an Ise Zumi along these lines.

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Multischooling or changing schools has always been questionable mechanically in L5R. In this edition it seems hinky to me again, and there's no official rule for it. I off-the-cuffed something during the beta, will see if I can dig it up, but as things stand I'd prefer not having to deal with it. 

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2 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

At least to this point I can agree: there's an advantage, Worldly or Seen It All or something, that basically represents you being an older, more experienced samurai that just hasn't show everything they're capable of yet. It would be a perfect advantage for an Ise Zumi along these lines.

The distinction is "Seasoned".

Off topic, but my current and only character in this system is a Tattooed Monk with the Seasoned distinction, re-fluffed to reflect the idea that he occasionally remembers small things from former lives.

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13 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Multischooling or changing schools has always been questionable mechanically in L5R. In this edition it seems hinky to me again, and there's no official rule for it. I off-the-cuffed something during the beta, will see if I can dig it up, but as things stand I'd prefer not having to deal with it. 

Yeah, I figured it might just be a no-go. A little too much effort to get it to work right, work fair, and work narratively. 

If a rank 4 Matsu berserker PC decided to become ise zume during a time skip, figuring out what abilities they'd get to keep, between what would be "left behind" and what they'd pick up seems pretty difficult... Yet losing all previous features and gaining that much xp to be spent on tattooed monk school doesn't make much sense narratively, as they haven't had the same amount of time to progress in the next school.

I'm probably just gonna go with keeping your same school regardless, of change in clan standing. (I'm sure if they go the route of toturi the black we'll see some rules about altering schools) and if they want a character to become tattooed monk, have them wait for another campaign and return with the character as 'new' (seasoned).

 

Thank for the read and reaffirming what I had thought. :)  

Edited by Arolem
Autocorrect. I hate autocorrect.

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I would say you don't "unlearn" any techniques.  You don't forget how your clan uses a sword, how to manipulate people (Though in some cases you could have a penalty since you don't have the political reputation of your clan, for example, the Crane are known for their courtesy and being good to their word, but if you are no longer part of the Crane Clan, you can't bank on that aspect), even if you aren't a member of the clan.  Advancement is another issue, since you would probably be unwelcome in your school if you were made a ronin.  Part of that will need to be up to the GM to decide what is fair.  Is it punishment for doing something wrong, or is it a plot point?  Did the player(s) mess up and they need to roleplay getting back into the good graces of a clan, or is it from outside of the player(s) control?  With the former, its a consequence of their actions, so punishing them seems reasonable.  If it is the latter, then it would be unfair to punish them, at least long term (Maybe the party only spends 2-3 sessions as Ronin, and then get restored, so they don't even miss the chance at advancement), for something you as the GM decided to have happen.

As for changing clans, that is much much more rare.  Even if you marry in, you might still be welcome at your old school, with the understanding that you aren't passing on Clan secrets to your new clan.

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15 minutes ago, Mirith said:

As for changing clans, that is much much more rare.  Even if you marry in, you might still be welcome at your old school, with the understanding that you aren't passing on Clan secrets to your new clan.

If you marry in you're also supposedly welcome to join a school from your new clan. Also, there are things like hostages and fosters. It's really quite plausible for samurai to train in schools from different clans, if definitely not common. How to create a fair mechanical representation of that is a whole other kettle of fish though.

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The easy way to make taking on a new/second school work would be to buy the school ability for 6xp (that doesn't count toward any school progression) then add the starting techniques and skills to the advancement chart for the first rank of the new school. From there they have to rank up as normal, starting at rank 1 in the new school. They gain no free ring or skill increases. Honor remains unchanged. They may or may not get new gear as fits the story and may or may not have to give up old gear.

For abilities that use school rank, they have to use their new school rank or spend a void point to use their old school rank for a single task/roll/effect/etc.

For available techniques they add those granted by the new school to those types already available to them (i.e. invocations, kata, etc.).

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Just wanted to say I've found where this is addressed specifically (sorta).

 

Page 306 

Under character creation alterations it tells you, if you are a fallen samurai you can choose a school appropriate to your (former) clan, or to take worldly ronin. If the former the only change is starting honor.

So by the book at the moment even if you leave your clan you keep progressing through your normal school.

------

Also, I quite like your idea, jmoschner. Not something that would come up often, but it's nice to have *something* if it ever does.

Maybe a player is dishonored and want mechanical change other than a disadvantage? Maybe they want to start a minor clan, with its own school; something unique style the character picked up over his/her travels. I dunno when, or why it will come up, but eventually, I'm sure it will.

Thank ya

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13 hours ago, Arolem said:

Just wanted to say I've found where this is addressed specifically (sorta).

 

Page 306 

Under character creation alterations it tells you, if you are a fallen samurai you can choose a school appropriate to your (former) clan, or to take worldly ronin. If the former the only change is starting honor.

So by the book at the moment even if you leave your clan you keep progressing through your normal school.

That's character *creation* though. You can't necessarily infer anything about how characters *advance* from it. 

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1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

That's character *creation* though. You can't necessarily infer anything about how characters *advance* from it. 

Yeah, it's not definite, but it's the closest thing to a ruling I could find.

Personally I'd like to see a little crunch for it, and I like the ideas people have been sharing. Just thought I'd share what I'd found that seems to be the closest thing to an answer, for now.

Like I said, when/if they do toturi the black they might have rules released. If not I'm sure once they get to the 'wolf' splatbook we will see something concrete.

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It's something I can see myself ruling on very differently depending on the circumstances. An honorable samurai who studied at a dojo from the clan he was hostaged at should not have any problems getting accepted by a new school upon his return to his own clan; a samurai who wants to leave his school to join another one, particularly one from another clan, should not find that easy at all; someone kicked out of their dojo likely only has ronin-like options to improve. And that's not even addressing multischooling between different types of characters. Maybe it's meant to be something to handle without a rigid mechanic. I'd like some guidelines at least, maybe Emerald Empire already has some pertinent setting info, but a full mechanic that covers everything would surprise me a bit.

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I think a "rank 0' step to the curriculum, as I feel every school should have some minimum requirements for you to be able to get the ability.

 

Another thing I'd do is that the only thing you gain when aking a 2nd school is:

- basic school ability

- curriculum

-mastery ability

 

But NOT access to technique. This is mainly an issue for accessing Invocations, Kiho or Ninjutsu I guess, but in general schools that are monk, shugenja or shinobi also have specific call-outs for those in their curriculum, so you do gain limited access to that stuff.

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On 11/5/2018 at 2:31 AM, Horvagab said:

Another thing I'd do is that the only thing you gain when aking a 2nd school is:

- basic school ability

- curriculum

-mastery ability

 

But NOT access to technique. This is mainly an issue for accessing Invocations, Kiho or Ninjutsu I guess, but in general schools that are monk, shugenja or shinobi also have specific call-outs for those in their curriculum, so you do gain limited access to that stuff.

Given how open character progression is (one is, after all, completely free to ignore one's curriculum when spending xp), I'd be very reluctant to craft a house rule for such a corner case. (If you wanted to cast spells, why didn't you roll a Shugenja in the first place? It takes years to learn that!) If someone really wants to learn a "diamond" technique that's not in curriculum, it's much easier to adjudicate that on a case-by-case basis (to ensure it won't break the game while creating a good quest for such valuable knowledge). If the narrative truly entails a character seeking out a new school, that's what I would do: carefully offer access to a technique or three to represent the old dog learning new tricks. He's never going to be as good as the kid trained from childhood, but there's lots of fun stories in that genre, and it doesn't take much to give the fiction some mechanical authenticity.

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The Emerald Empire preview implies that the Kitsune Spirit has some means to learn abilities from another school (the school of "whatever I'm pretending to be"...), so that might stand a bit of careful scrutiny and plagiarism inspiration.

But yes, it's a case-by-case thing. I'd be fairly forgiving on what the old 40k RPG called 'elite advances' - spending XP on abilities which you have a decent storyline reason to acquire but no mechanical access to for your character rules-as-written.

Off the top of my head; if the party represents a group of ronin who've ended up together Hedge Knight/Seven Samurai style and are basically all one another has, or are the founding group of a minor clan and creating a clan school, there's a good argument that the players might be prepared to teach one another some of their respective techniques and/or 'blend' their respective schools together to create the new pick-an-animal-motif clan school.

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On 11/4/2018 at 10:47 AM, nameless ronin said:

That's character *creation* though. You can't necessarily infer anything about how characters *advance* from it. 

The XP spending rules are in the "Creating a Character" chapter (Ch. 2).

So are the advancement rules. 

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5 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

The XP spending rules are in the "Creating a Character" chapter (Ch. 2).

So are the advancement rules. 

Yes, but the quoted rule is specifically part of creating a new ronin character. It basically just says that a "clan ronin" can start with a rank in a clan school. This makes sense, particularly since the book mentions clan samurai sometimes choosing to become ronin for a year, usually soon after their gempuku. Such ronin would have mastered the first rank of their clan school. It makes a lot less sense they'd be allowed (or even able, if they travel around) to continue their studies at a clan dojo while being ronin, or even that they'd want to - it would sort of defeat the purpose of becoming ronin in the first place. I can certainly see myself allowing a ronin to attend a clan dojo in exceptional circumstances, but I don't think it should be normal. Which is what the extrapolation would mean.

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My house rule for this would be that you have to accomplish these steps in order:

1. Make sure it makes sense narratively. To learn a new school, you need either permission from the school or access to a teacher who is willing to betray his school's secrets, and you need time: probably a month at least if the school is the same type as yours (artisan, bushi, courtier, monk, shinobi, shugenja), or a year if it's a different type.

2. To even begin, you must have a minimum ring rank, honor rating, and skill ranks of what someone starting in the appropriate Clan and School would have. (You can ignore family.) So a Mirumoto Two-Heavens Adept would have at least Earth 2 and Fire 3 (+1 Fire from Dragon Clan, and +1 Earth +1 Fire from the school), at least one rank in Meditation (Dragon clan) and one rank of five of the skills from the Starting Skills list of the Two-Heavens school (Command, Composition, Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee], Meditation [2nd rank], Tactics, Theology), and at least honor 50.

3. Spend XP. Spend 10 XP to gain the School Ability. You are now permitted to spend XP to purchase any Starting Techniques at their normal XP cost. Even if they have a diamond next to them. For example, to be a Two-Heaven Adept you'd need to spend 10 XP to get the Way of the Dragon ability, and then 3 XP for Dazzling Performance and 3 XP for one of Striking as Earth, Fire, or Water.

4. Take a Test to Show Your Proficiency. This should happen in narrative. If you succeed a task a starting member of that school could succeed, congratulations. You are now a member of that school.

 

It would not be easy. Imagine a Soshi Illusionist with rings Air 3, Earth 1, Fire 1, Water 2, and Void 3 was ordered by her lord to learn to the Way of the Dragon and bring it back to her original clan. She is chosen because she already knows Meditation due to being disciplined for being a willful child, and the Dragon won't suspect a shugenja to care about swordplay. Importantly, she is ambidextrous because her elder brother was a left-handed swordsman, and she was jealous and wanted to do anything he could do.

She marries into the Dragon clan (handily repairing some debt owed for a different Scorpion scheme) and spends a year watching her husband practice his techniques, and acting honorably enough for him to trust her. When she and her husband respond to threats against her new family, she has to decide whether to user her XP to improve her illusionist abilities, or to improve her Earth and Fire rings (21 XP to get those up high enough - this also is sufficient to bump her to rank 2 as an Illusionist). She already has a rank in Fitness, Melee, Tactics, and Theology, so she studies Composition too (3 XP). 

When her honor reaches 50, she is able to get her husband to entrust her with some of the basic teachings. She spends 10 XP to learn Way of the Dragon, and then 6 XP for Striking as Fire and Dazzling Performance.

Finally she asks to spar with her husband, and in the mock duel she manages to ward against his blows and trap his weapon so she can land a strike on him. He is impressed but nervous about her revealing his school's secrets to her clan. She tells him that she would sooner die than betray him.

A year later, she is playing with their newborn when a letter arrives from her lord subtly stating that if she cannot fulfill her duty, her life will be forfeit. It seems her own clan fears her revealing secrets of the Soshi school. She must then make a choice: tell her husband and prepare to defend themselves, or abandon her new family and fake her death to fulfill her lord's commands.

Edited by ryanznock

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On ‎11‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 5:38 AM, Ikiry0 said:

What I'd do is set up your new school as a title. You'll never master ALL of it but you could learn aspects of it.

That's a very good idea. You get a custom (small) curriculum that all players can contribute into and a 'mastery' ability once you've learned enough of it, but it overlays your old school.

You can even do it rank-by-rank; you can only have one incomplete title at once, but could work your way through multiple 'grades' of a title.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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On 11/1/2018 at 3:41 AM, Arolem said:

Lastly, if you were a part of a clan school, but decide to ascend to the dragon peaks to become ise zumi? I think in this case I'd imagine you start at rank 1 tattooed monk, having discarded your past to attain Enlightenment. Though you weren't dishonored, or forcefully removed of your position, so you'd still maintain your gathered knowledge...

While switching schools has never been a great fit to the system, the idea of a samurai 'retiring' (either voluntarily or politically/involuntarily) to become a monk has generally been supported in some of the earlier editions of the game.  So there should be a way to do that. Not sure how I'd handle that mechanically in this system, but IIRC the narrative concept was that while you keep all your old skills etc., you are now expected to act like a monk in every respect. So, no picking up that katana when you're threatened, even if/just because you have 5 ranks in that skill. In earlier editions IIRC it also reset your status and glory to a relatively low level.

I'd be tempted in such a case to let the PC keep their old school technique, gain the new monk technique, but then tell them there's a big honor or status penalty each time they use their old school technique - representing that they're not being true to their vows to abstain from their old, more material life.  Perhaps  that idea would work for other school switches too? 'Use your old disavowed ways, take an honor hit for going back on your promises. And take a status hit if your new clan/family/school sees you doing it.'

Edited by easl

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I've been thinking about this for a solo game I'm running for my wife. She's a peasant ronin right now, but once she finds and challenges her samurai father and impresses a great clan she'll be a samurai herself. So when she eventually joins a school I think I'll just do a long downtime where she learns their ways and permanently freeze the worldly ronin school where she left it. At the same time I'll grant her the starting ability of the new school and have her purchase the techniques, and from there she can advance as a rank 1 member of that school. She will treat her school rank as 1 for any use of abilities relating to that school and rank up as normal.

Still having access to the old school may be a bit powerful, but she can also never attain mastery in that school either. That said, if the power level doesn't bother you I think this will work just fine. ****, if you're totally unconcerned with the power and the former school is something like ronin that they wouldn't be barred from possessing give them the option to devote xp towards and eventually master both. You're the arbiter of what's fair for your game, but I think this system will make the bookkeeping manageable.

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Just wanted to update:

In Emerald Empire, under the Monastic Acolyte title, they specify the difference between being raised as a monk and becoming one later in life after one's service.

So the schools seem to benefit specifically those that dedicate their lives to it, and if you train after the fact, as a secondary, or new school, it would merely be a title. At least that seems to be the direction for RAW to my understanding.

It's interesting, but I still like some folks' house rules.

Just thought I'd update this with (potentially) related RAW. Or at least RAI.

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Would it work if the character started at rank 1 in the new school keeping the stuff from the old school but neither schools can reach level 6? Thus each new school drops the max level the character can have in one school by the amount of schools the have?

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