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Kaito Shrine Keeper [Monk] School has no access to Kiho?!?

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5 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

 Soshi are known for using their spells in courtly situations to assist the other scorpion courtiers, which means they have the same basic reason for being "courtiers" that the Shiba Yojimbo do.  What actually surprises me here is the Daidoji not getting the courtier tag, as if Crane Yojimbo aren't trained in proper court etiquette.  To me, the Kakita duelist should have been [Bushi] and the Iron warrior should have been [Bushi, courtier].  Shinjo outriders getting the courtier tag is a little weird also, as they are mostly meant to be scouts.. they have exactly one "courtier" duty, which is delivering messages..  Other than that, the Unicorn would hand all of their official courting to the Ide.

  While not canon, I think when it comes to the Kaito we could assume that the Kami listen to them because the Kaito fight to defend the Kami. As an off-shoot of the Isawa, we can assume that the Kaito have the "Innate magical bloodline" that all shugenja have, but they seem to spend more of their time with the practical matters of caring for temples and protecting the spirits rather than studying how to manipulate the spirits like most shugenja.

Yojimbo are trained in courtly etiquette, but that doesn't mean they have a courtly function - that's primarily to avoid them giving offense or otherwise doing something that might be exploited by a political opponent. Champions on the other hand definitely have a courtly function - winning disputes through official duels, or possibly just threatening to do so - and that's usually a job for a Kakita instead of a Daidoji. Still, in my opinion being the court equivalent of an enforcer doesn't make someone a courtier.

The Shiba actually do have a reputation for courtly expertise, in no small part because the Asako have a reputation for prefering to devote themselves to scholarly pursuits and foisting of the responsibilities of representing the Phoenix in court to the other families. 

As for the Soshi being "known for using their spells in courtly situations, that's a reputation I'd love FFG to clarify a bit. What do they do precisely in this regard, and to whom is this known? Because canonically what they do is use shadow magic (I presume the Lying Darkness is not a thing in FFG's Rokugan though, so just illusions in this version of the setting) to manipulate others, and that is not something to advertise, at least not outside the clan (and only with great care within the clan, as out-of-clan marriage would likely spoil the secret at some point). And again, personally I wouldn't consider this to qualify someone to be a courtier either. 

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15 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

To me, the Kakita duelist should have been [Bushi] and the Iron warrior should have been [Bushi, courtier]. 

The Kakita being Bushi/Artisan covers a range of things but iconically (is that a word?) the Kakita Swordsmith.

The Iron Warriors do provide Yojimbo but they're primarily a line military school that also provides bodyguards, whilst the Shiba are bodyguards first and foremost.

15 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

as if Crane Yojimbo aren't trained in proper court etiquette

Well, the 'tag' itself doesn't mean anything. Daidoji do get Shuji access (because they're Crane and will be so trained!) but if a Daidoji was protecting a crane diplomat, you can be certain that official would be more than capable of handling any debates and political intrigues. The Daidoji could participate on their ward's behalf, but since they are also crane samurai, all the Iron Crane normally has to do is lurk in the background looking imposing.

A Shiba Yojimbo, by comparison, is likely to be protecting (apologies to Phoenix fans for the gross stereotypes) a shujenga who thinks the world revolves around the elemental council, a monk with no real idea how the world works outside a shrine, or a deeply self-important librarian. Having to act as a diplomat on behalf of their protectee is far, far more likely for a Shiba than a Daidoji.... 

9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

(I presume the Lying Darkness is not a thing in FFG's Rokugan though, so just illusions in this version of the setting

Shadow Brands are definitely a thing. That's presumably why they have the Shinobi tag (making them the only one with three 'tags')

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On 12/6/2018 at 8:09 PM, UnitOmega said:

Read The Sword & The Spirits. E-book is like 4 bucks on DriveThru. 

Or I really hope they reprint the fluff stuff in the back in an RPG sourcebook someday, because that's how it's written. But for now, it's in the novella. 

Got the book. Have to say, I was hoping for (but not expecting) something that'd mesh a bit more with the mechanics. Fluff-wise they can't invoke the kami but can become a vessel for them - yet in terms of mechanics they can use any Air, Water or Fire invocation but have no rules for becoming a vessel. On the one hand that keeps things simpel, on the other they have a pretty complicated school curriculum. It is what it is, I guess.

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Ok, mechanics question. The entire page on invocations - particularly the part about offerings - references shugenja, except for the section on importuning (which just talks about characters who know invocation techniques). So, can shrine keepers make spiritual offerings in order to be allowed to make rerolls? And are they supposed to be able to importune invocations (including Earth or Void invocations)? A strict reading of the rules says no to the former and yes to the latter, but it feels odd that it isn't neither or both.

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13 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Ok, mechanics question. The entire page on invocations - particularly the part about offerings - references shugenja, except for the section on importuning (which just talks about characters who know invocation techniques). So, can shrine keepers make spiritual offerings in order to be allowed to make rerolls? And are they supposed to be able to importune invocations (including Earth or Void invocations)? A strict reading of the rules says no to the former and yes to the latter, but it feels odd that it isn't neither or both. 

I suspect the use of the word "Shujenga" there is simply default text; really it should say "character".

Note that if using the rule that any section talking about "the shujenga" means Kaito can't do that when performing invocations, it means the Kaito are immune to Spiritual Backlash. ("When a shugenja’s check generates 3 or more [strife] symbols on kept dice while the shugenja is performing an invocation")

I could see a kaito not having the full range of shujenga skills but the idea of them getting to ignore one of the primary downsides of invocation techniques makes me pretty confident it's an error.

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I'm a bit torn on how I'd want it to be. Simple is better and that means not adding too many exceptions, but I'd also like there to be a clear mechanical difference between shugenja and shrine keepers. Making shrine keepers unable to importune would be simple and, in my opinion, appropriate but the rules are pretty clear they can. In contrast, offerings (and backlash) not applying to shrine keepers doesn't seem appropriate at all. I'll probably end up making shugenja and shrine keepers equal when it comes to using invocations, but it's going to bug me since fluff-wise everything says shrine keepers just can't invoke the kami like shugenja can.

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Kaito shrinekeepers are monks who are not monks, they are bushis who are not bushis, shugenjas who are not shuganjas and courtiers who are not courtiers.

their ability comes from asking for the fortune's blessing, but cant call upon it like shugenjas can, they are entirely reliant on the fortunes to help them.

But they also have a natural affinity for sensing the fortunes and in some way help them by keeping their shrines.
their duty is also that of investigating shrines throughout the land, and report any anomalities to a isawa shugenja.
so they are monks in the way that they are a priestly order of monks who serve religious needs of shrines and temples.
They are not tattooed monks who draw upon chi and energies to cause various effects.

so in my opinion, they are not mechanically monks, but they are fluff monks.
they still got skills with bows, which makes them part bushi, some social skills and air approach which can make them good courtiers, and their limited access to shugenja abilities through blessings makes them part shugenja.

but imo, the best way to solve this, is to give them the shrinekeeper tag, and leave it at that.

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6 minutes ago, Shadow070mni said:

The Fortunist Order Monks in EE also don't get broad access to kiho. I think Kiho are just less common in this edition.

They seem to be special for schools that focus inward. Togashi and Shinseist monks focus on themselves and the universe. Fortunist and Jairo focus on the kami/fortunes.

Late Shiba get some void, also kinda leaning toward the path to enlightenment more than worship granting them.

Edited by Arolem

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Posted (edited)

What I find strange is the automatic assumption that all monk should be hand-to-hand killing machines, or trained in combat at all.

The way I see it monks are religious figures who have chosen to dedicate the rest of their life to worship and search for enlightenment. Some of them seek enlightenment through mastery of their body but that doesn't have to be the case for all of them.

As written, I don't see a problem at all with the Kaito family. They have abilities that make sense for them and enrich the existing L5R archetypes in a balanced, lore-friendly way. The fact that they are considered monks I think reflects more how they are seen by society rather than their actual abilities. 

Edited by Zolt51

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