Jump to content
Nohwear

Campaign idea, The Gifted

Recommended Posts

I have come up with a campaign idea and I thought that I would share it.  There are those gifted with the ability to interact with the kami on a level beyond shugenja are capable of.  Those with this gift are secretly used to deal with kami that are causing trouble.  Their function is to figure out why, and settle the matter .Those such gifted are "invited" to join a special branch of the Miya Vassal family.  Feel free to give your thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a few issues here...

First, you seem to think that all shugenja are inherently the same or that there is a particular cap on abilities expected from a shugenja. The description "level beyond shugenja are capable of" just... doesn't read right at all.

Perhaps a better way to frame this would be "They seem to have a natural report with the kami and can interact with them as the greatest of shugenja do without any formal training"

Moreover, kami do not "cause trouble" or it certainly would not be framed in such a matter. The kami are the spiritual reflection of the natural physical world. There are "troublesome kami" known as kansen that are just out-and-out malevolent and destructive, evil shugenja called maho-tsukai deal with them.

Moreover, the bit about the Miya doesn't make much sense. The term "vassal family" has a specific meaning in L5R and the Miya are not a "vassal family" although they are vassals of the Emperor. But, perhaps more importantly here, the Miya are generally the family in the "Imperial Clan" if you will whose primary tasks are to travel around Rokugan making and updating maps of the empire, delivering the news and the mail and brokering peace treaties.

They had two vassal families in the previous setting-- the Anou who build temples and the Satoshi who are Miya Bushi (most Miya do not fight since their whole thing is to appears as friendly, non-threatening and harmless/helpful to everyone as possible and as soon as you fight someone, you make enemies with everyone associated with that person).

Despite the base LCG set having a "Miya Mystic" card, the Miya don't really deal in magic at all traditionally and nothing in the fiction nor RPG book has indicates differently. That Miya Mystic card in the base set seems a bit of a fluke (I guess they just wanted an imperial shugenja and already used the Seppun as the bushi).

Anyway, the proper authorities on a matter like this would be the Isawa family of the Phoenix. The Seppun, despite being generally depicted as guards, are really the Imperial shugenja family, but they aren't anywhere near as expert as the Isawa. Within the story we have an Iuchi teaching her magic to the best of the best of the Seppun shugenja, but that is only because the Phoenix seem prejudiced in the matter and, despite how Iuchi Shahai feels about it, sharing the secrets of one's clans strength to the Imperials doesn't compromise the clan nearly as bad as having her teach them to a rival clan.

But, in the case you have presented, this is definitely a matter that would be given to the Isawa to look into. They have the greatest shugenja of all elements in all the land and if someone is going to get to the bottom of the oddity of children being born who have unnaturally high attunement, they are the best option for getting to the bottom of it.

In fact, it is not unusual for those who display high aptitudes for shugenja abilities to simply be referred to the Isawa whenever the clan either has no functional system for teaching shugenja or they really aren't able to handle them because of exactly the kind of situation you are describing.

 

Even if it was decided to use them as a "secret weapon" on behalf of the Empire and directly part of the Imperial system, I do not think that assigning them to work for the Miya makes the most sense. Almost certainly they would be made into a vassal family answering the Seppun and even then the Isawa seem far more capable of dealing with this sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally agreed, TheHobgoblyn, but there is one bit that I think needs correcting, because it's rather relevant.

Kansen are corrupted kami and to deal with them you explicitly do not need to be a shugenja! They are willing to grant power to anyone in exchange for getting tainted, while regular kami only communicate with shugenja.

And I'd also like to add that having such a "gift" doesn't make much sense in-universe because you do not simply "draw strength" from the kami, or order them to do stuff. You ask them nicely by reciting a prayer and perhaps offering them something. The prayers are so standardized and ritualized that you always get the same effect, but you can forgo that and importune the kami to do other stuff.


All that said, if you want to play it like this in your game, feel free. It is a fairly big departure from the setting as presented, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want characters that are inherently magically gifted, I suggest giving them ability to purchase one Kiho per rank. While Invocations are basically begging Kami to do you favors, Kiho are the closest in the setting you get to "power from within". They also allow for really interested and colorful builds; playing non-monk characters with access even to just 5 kiho over their career will generate a really unique experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 8:35 PM, TheHobgoblyn said:

Even if it was decided to use them as a "secret weapon" on behalf of the Empire and directly part of the Imperial system, I do not think that assigning them to work for the Miya makes the most sense. Almost certainly they would be made into a vassal family answering the Seppun and even then the Isawa seem far more capable of dealing with this sort of thing.

Definitely. The Seppun Hidden Guard are essentially responsible for spiritual/magical protection of the Imperial line; they don't demand exclusive control of stuff but essentially demand that they know enough about any technique to be able to counter it or at least be aware of its limitations - hence the 'deal' with Iuchi Shahai.

That said, the Phoenix essentially consider themselves the supreme authority on all things mystical and would also want a say in the fate of any mysteriously super-gifted children.

On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 8:35 PM, TheHobgoblyn said:

Moreover, kami do not "cause trouble" or it certainly would not be framed in such a matter. The kami are the spiritual reflection of the natural physical world.

Agreed. They do sometimes get troublesome, but generally that's a case of "why are they getting angry" and you find that someone is doing something to anger them - secret logging in a forest, damming or polluting a stream, that sort of thing.

On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 10:02 PM, Myrion said:

And I'd also like to add that having such a "gift" doesn't make much sense in-universe because you do not simply "draw strength" from the kami, or order them to do stuff. You ask them nicely by reciting a prayer and perhaps offering them something. The prayers are so standardized and ritualized that you always get the same effect, but you can forgo that and importune the kami to do other stuff.

Yes and no. Not every kami will answer you; an earth kami of a small gulley might be relatively 'friendly' but the same prayer trying to beseech aid from the kami of Taeruku-Yama is going to have to work a lot harder to catch the more powerful kami's attention. Of course, if you succeed, the effects will be proportionately far more bowel-looseningly terrifying impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did have a fun little campaign hook once where the Chuda family, with guidance from a gaijin corrupted god, figured out how to take a mikokansen (corrupted version of a mikokami) and essentially replace a person's soul with it. That led to some terrifying abilities.

Maybe for your special folks, which perhaps could be a vassal family of the Miya, have abilities similar to the Kaito, where they can allow a kami to inhabit their body for a purpose. Building off that concept in a different angle could give you something you're looking for.

Or, if you really want your players to be OP, go gestalt. Two schools at the same time. Did that once. My players were the Elemental Dragons reborn into mortal form because hijinks. I allowed them to have double school abilities, including double starting skills, and didn't cap the starting ability values. That was a fun game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Yes and no. Not every kami will answer you; an earth kami of a small gulley might be relatively 'friendly' but the same prayer trying to beseech aid from the kami of Taeruku-Yama is going to have to work a lot harder to catch the more powerful kami's attention. Of course, if you succeed, the effects will be proportionately far more bowel-looseningly terrifying impressive.

Yes, but that's down to the prayer just as much as the strength of the shugenja. That matters too, but pure personal power is not going to get you results as consistent and "easy" as having proper prayers - unless you ask kansen for help and that's a whole other kettle of tea...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Myrion said:

Yes, but that's down to the prayer just as much as the strength of the shugenja. That matters too, but pure personal power is not going to get you results as consistent and "easy" as having proper prayers

It's not so much personal 'power' - Shujenga don't really have 'power' in the same sense a wizard in other fantasy settings do - as their empathy with the Kami (in general, of a given element, or a specific kami in particular) and the skill with which they perform said invocation.

The same prayer read to the best of their respective abilities by a random novice and by a Hidden Guard sensei with one-generation removed Hantei bloodline will not produce the same effects, because 'the best of their respective abilities' is not equal; the latter will have done it "better" from the perspective of the Kami audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...