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Kaiju

Does Afflicted stack? How does a Hida EVER get tainted?

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5 hours ago, Franwax said:

But you see, that’s the thing. You should never be able to get rid of the Taint once it has taken hold. That’s what makes it so scary. Once you’re “infected” it only goes one way. The best you can hope for it to slow down its progress by a stark regimen of jade petal tea and strict monitoring by the Kuni (or Asako inquisitors). 

Now, if you’re talking about the afflicted condition ok.. there’s still a chance. 

In Old5R there were about five different ways to get rid of the taint. The dragon, phoenix, naga, random group of ronin, and celestial heavens all had a method. Though none of the methods were clean or easy.

The dragon could transfer the taint from one person to another but I think it was really dangerous.

The phoenix could remove the taint with void magic but it was long and complicated plus you basically were doing surgery on the soul so....

Can't remember how the naga did it but I think it was really bad....

Ronin actually had to kill oni and it was still only thanks to a naga.

The celestial heavens can remove taint but generally don't best I can tell. Basically enough celestial influence can untaint someone.

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Best I can remember, those methods could reduce Taint ranks but never remove the last (except for celestial intervention but that’s quite exceptional... and maybe one other method)? Anyway, these were each worth a while campaign to even have a shot at implementing them. As far as pretty much anyone knows, Taint is usually a one way trip. 

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From a wiki:

Other than a few very special cases there was no way of removing the taint.

Tea of Jade Petals

Drinking Tea of Jade Petals would slow the taint, and was one of the most popular ways to combat the taint. The tea was harvested from specially grown lotus blossoms sprinkled with jade powder known only to the monks of the Jade Lotus. The monks secretly worked with the Kuni Witch Hunters, telling them who buys the tea.

Tears of the First Emperor

One of the few reliable ways of removing the taint completely were the Tears of the First Emperor, which were in the possession of the wife of the Doji Daimyo. They permanently removed the taint at the cost of the tainted persons life. 

The Unbroken 

The ronin band called the Unbroken developed a technique that gradually removed the taint by killing Shadowlands creatures. The technique however also drastically shortened their lifespan, and those who joined the Unbroken might never leave.

Rest, My Brother

The kiho Rest, My Brother also managed to lower the taint within a person, but at the cost of terrible pain and damage to the body. Even if the target survived, the procedure could not be done more than once a week, making it a slow, painful process. 

Jade Hand

The Jade Hand nemuranai was known to have burned away the taint completely when it attached itself to a person, as seen when Hida Yakamo attached it during the Clan War. It was also believed to render the bearer immune to the taint completely.

Purification 

One of the few ways to remove the taint was a spell developed by the Crab and Phoenix shugenja. The spell known as Purification was a complicated and complex ritual that demanded at least an hour of deep concentration. If successful the spell decreased the taint in the target, but all the shugenja who participated in the ritual would then contract a small portion of the taint.

Shadowed Tower

The Shadowed Tower, a secret organization which tried to control the Scorpion Clan, succesfully removed the taint with an unorthodox method. Using a method developed by a Bloodspeaker cult, the Shadowed Tower channeled the Taint towards hapless, drugged out peasants who "willingly" accepted it on behalf of the shugenja. To assist in the acceptance, the peasants were often initially (and without their knowledge) exposed to the Taint  through corrupted rice, then corrupted opium, until their wills, and later their souls, were forfeit.

 

There were several Maho spells/rituals (Spreading the Darkness; Sharing the Darkness) for that last one. The Jade Hand is buried outside the Kaiu Wall, where it was used to cleanse the surroundings of the Tower of Fear - that Tower will re-emerge if the Jade Hand is removed, so that's a pretty terrible option as well.

Naga are immune to the Taint due to a coming of age ritual and so are Nezumi, but their immunity stems rfrom an innate connection to Yume-Do. Naga pearl magic and Nezumi name magic can bestow these immunities, but I don't know if they have ever been used on a human (or if they even could be).

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7 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

They permanently removed the taint at the cost of the tainted persons life

Yeah, that’s legit :D

You die, but at least you can be accepted in the realm of blessed ancestors. 

I do recall the Unbroken too; probably the safest bet (but that was quite late in the canon)

Pretty sure Spreading the Darkness never removed the last Taint rank... more a way to keep it contained and not become Lost. Typically Bloodspeaker. 

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1 hour ago, Franwax said:

Pretty sure Spreading the Darkness never removed the last Taint rank... more a way to keep it contained and not become Lost. Typically Bloodspeaker. 

Well, it's maho - using it Taints you further to begin with.

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On 3/23/2019 at 7:38 PM, Kaiju said:

As written, basically after every fight with an Oni, you just do a Ritual of Cleansing and remove all (or just one?) Afflicted stati and are fine. No taint ever happens. Same goes with a Monk who just keeps spamming Cleansing Kiho until he bursts. 

How does anyone ever get tainted unless they are 2 weeks away from the next person with access to Rituals and a working brain? How doesnt every Hida, every crab samurai have Ritual of Cleansing?

Am I missing some way to get tainted that isnt easily removed by this?

I agree with @Avatar111's "let it ride" protocol--it's nice to have that term, and it's a natural extension of the guidelines of when to make a check. To make a check, success and failure must both be possible and meaningfully different. If a monk can spam until they burst, then success and failure aren't meaningfully different. I *might* permit spamming of a burst effect in a scene in which it affliction was contracted, as losing combat rounds to failure *is* meaningful, but once no one is fighting (or rather, once further combat checks don't impact the outcome of the scene), then the scene is over. 

 

If you think the threat of taint is severe enough, it's super easy to house rule. You could raise the TN of cleansing rite to 5 or 6; it takes a skilled monk, probably with assistants (maybe modify the assistance rules, too) (Most NPCs in the world shouldn't be rolling more than 5k2 or 6k3 (ring 2 or 3 with skill 3). For the affliction --> taint roll, instead of rolling every two weeks, roll at the end of the scene following the combat, and then in appropriate units of time after that, according to how dangerous you want it to be. 

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A lot of it depends on where the campaign is happening and what the 'story' is. Ultimately, if the players are going to pointedly all take Cleansing Rite, then no, you shouldn't be suffering from Afflicted for an extended period of time. 

But a group of samurai, many or most of whom may have taken a specific ritual, is different to maintaining an army, who might have a few dozen people who know the ritual, who might end a major battle at the wall with hundreds or thousands of afflicted bushi. 

Equally, the narrative text for the ritual says "anointing them with sacred substances" - if you're three weeks deep in the shadowlands, and your first attempt at cleansing rite after a skirmish fails, then the GM is not entirely unjustified in saying that you've used your jade, prayer incense and so forth and you need to head home to get some more because you're sure as heck not finding more of that stuff south of the wall - meaning the afflicted PCs will need to make at least one resistance check.

The same also applies in a relatively rural bit of Rokugan where a player encounters afflicted unexpectedly (a haunting or something) - it's not unrealistic that it might take a couple of weeks to get anywhere where there is going  to be someone able to do a proper cleansing rite. The map is (deliberately) vague on scale but we know, for example that Tsuma > The Castle Of The Emerald Champion is 'several weeks'.

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I feel FFG really dropped the ball with Taint in this edition. Until you have multiple Shadowlands Taint -disadvantages it does not bother that much and the Cleansing Rite is too easily available considering how rare Afflicted is. The ritual is available for multiple schools at character creation and only Rank 1 to buy after, it has no limitations for the use and only TN 3 check with no effects on failure.

At least I would require the ritual only work on Hallowed ground and some consumed materials every use, a finger of Jade for example. I would also make Afflicted character roll to see if Afflicted turns to Shadowlands Taint every time they are Compromised in addition to ordinary effects.

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On 4/15/2019 at 12:29 AM, sidescroller said:

I agree with @Avatar111's "let it ride" protocol--it's nice to have that term, and it's a natural extension of the guidelines of when to make a check.

The term with that same meaning is used as such in most Burning Wheel games. I've seen it in a couple other Forge games.

It's a great idea, one I use, as well... 

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