L5R: Chronicles of the Ota
Crane Clan Basic Schools
The Kakita Bushi School [CRB]
The sacred art of iaijutsu is practiced by all clans, but none have truly mastered it in the same manner as the sensei at the Kakita Dueling Academy. The School focuses unapologetically upon dueling. Other skills are part of the core teachings, but they are considered incidental and in many cases are offered only because some facet of their instruction relates in some way to iaijutsu. While there are those in the Empire who have criticized the School for its narrow focus, few can argue with the results; many battles have been won by the Crane because an enemy general was slain in a duel before the fighting began. Likewise the Crane stranglehold on the courts is easier to maintain when any challenge can be answered by a Kakita champion taking the courtier's place in a duel.
The Kakita Techniques place an obvious emphasis on iaijutsu but several of them can be used in both dueling and in general skirmishing. The Kakita are generally faster than most opponents, reflected in their Initiative bonuses, and are able to utilize the Center stance for greater benefits than normal, both in dueling and outside.
Kakita Bushi School
Benefit: +1 Reflexes
Skills: Etiquette, Iaijutsu (Focus), Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Sincerity, Tea Ceremony, any one Bugei or High Skill
Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
Rank 1: The Way of the Crane
The study of the sword demonstrates the many ways in which the art of Kakita's technique can be applied. You add twice your Iaijutsu Skill to all Initiative rolls. You gain a bonus of +1k1 plus your School Rank to the total of all attack and Focus rolls while assuming the Center Stance. This bonus also applies during the Combat Round following one in which you assume the Center Stance.
Rank 2: Speed of Lightning
Enemies who are slow or weak of spirit are doomed to failure. You gain a bonus of +2k0 to the total of all attack rolls against those with lower Initiative than your own.
Rank 3: First and Last Strike
A Kakita Bushi is feared throughout the Empire as a follower of the oldesta nd most venerated dueling tradition in the Empire. You may Strike first in a duel if you win the Iaijutsu/Void roll by a difference of 3 or higher. You gain a Free Raise on your Strike for each additional margin of 3 instead of 5.
Rank 4: One Strikd, Two Cuts
With one pure strike, the advanced student of Kakita's technique cuts his opponent twice. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while using weapons with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 5: Strike With No Thought
A true student of Kakita requires no thought before the perfect strike, depending entirely on instinct. You may take one Simple Action per Turn while assuming the Center Stance. You gain the benefits of Center Stance while you assume the stance instead of the following Turn, and you may remain in the Center Stance as many consecutive Turns as desired. The Simple Action you take can be a Move Action (bypassing the normal restriction of the Center Stance).
The Kakita Artisan School
Unlike their occasional rivals among the Shiba, the Kakita Artisans do not confine themselves merely to the creation of physical art such as paintings or books of poetry. The Artisan Academy devotes itself to the study of every sort of art, whether it be performance-based or creation-based, and studies not only the ways of art but also the way s in which such art may be turned to the service of the Crane Clan.
Kakita Artisan [Artisan]
Benefit: +1 Awareness
Skills: Courtier, Games: Sadane, Etiquette, Sincerity, any 3 skills chosen from the following list: Acting, Artisan (Gardening, Ikebana, Origami, Painting, Poetry, or Sculpture), Perform (Dance, Oratory, Puppeteer, Song, Storytelling, or any musical instrument)
Outfit: Court Robes, Beautiful Clothing, Wakizashi, Art supplies, Fan, Steed (Rokugan pony), Traveling Pack, 10 koku
Rank 1: Soul of the Artisan
The Kakita Artisan is taught from the earliest youth to focus on one specific form of art above all others, devoting himself to it heart and soul and pursuing the goal of absolute perfection within its forms. Of course, in keeping with Crane tradition, the Artisan is also taught to be a ruthless critic to any artistic rivals. Select one of the three chosen School Skills (Acting, an Artisan Skill, or a Perform Skill) as the focus of your artistic training. This becomes your 'chosen art'. When making skill rolls with your chosen art, you gain a +2k0 bonus and your Raises are not limited by your Void.
Any time you are using Games: Sadane to criticize someone else's art or performance, you gain a Free Raise on your Skill Roll.
Rank 2: The Soul's Dream
The Kakita Artisan is taught to use his art to affect those around them, inspiring emotions and shifting the views of the audience. When presenting a public performance or display of your chosen art, you may make a Contested Social Roll of (chosen art) / Awareness against Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower of the audience members. Those audience members who fail their rolls are profoundly swayed and their emotions shift in a direction you desire – becoming friendlier, more hostile, calmer, or whatever other emotional shift your art is designed to evoke. This emotional shift normally lasts a number of hours equal to your Insight Rank.
Note that not all persons are equally susceptible to the impact of art – the GM may rule that a particular individual is affected for a shorter period of time, or award a bonus to the resistance roll for person whose emotions are difficult to manipulate. The GM should normally have each individual audience member roll separately to resist this technique (this should always be done for PCs or important NPCs), but with large groups of ordinary NPCs the GM can opt to save time by making a single roll for most or all of them.
Rank 3: Free the Spirit
You may select a second of your three chosen School Skills as a chosen art, and all Technique bonuses and effects which applied to your first chosen art now applies to it as well. The bonus to your chosen art skill rolls increases to +2k1.
Rank 4: Undying Name
Your art is now so magnificent that you make and break the reputations of others by depicting or referencing them in your work. You may create a piece of art referring to another person by rolling (chosen art) / Awareness at a TN equal to 20 plus 5 x their Glory Rank. With a success, you may either increase (if your art is complimentary) or decrease (if it is critical) their Glory by up to 5 points, plus an additional 5 points for every Raise you make on the roll. You may call two additional Raises to inflict a gain of Infamy on the target instead of a Glory change.
You may not target the same person with this technique more than once every six months. Furthermore, persons of high station cannot have their reputations damaged by artist lacking in prestige – the target's Status cannot exceed your Glory or Status Rank (whichever is higher).
Rank 5: A Gift Beyond Price
Your art is now so perfect that a gift of it can profoundly change another person's attitude toward you or your clan. Once per month, you may give a gift of your chosen art to someone from another clan or faction. Make a Contested Social Roll of your (chosen art) / Awareness against their Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. (The GM may aware Free Raises to you or the target of this technique based on the type and subject of the art and the attitudes and beliefs of the target – some people are easier to sway than others.) With a success, you permanently alter their attitude toward your clan/faction in a favorable direction. With a failure, the target becomes aware of your attempt to manipulate his emotions, and his attitude toward your clan/faction permanently shifts in a hostile direction.
The Asahina Shugenja School
Much like the family as a whole, the Asahina sensei who teach at the various branches of the Asahina Shugenja School extol the virtue of preserving life over heedless destruction. As much monks as priests, the Asahina focus on scholarly pursuits and meditation as a means of finding their path in the world. They conduct the same rituals on behalf of the Crane that other shugenja families perform but they use the opportunity to raise questions for those participating or observing the rituals. The Asahina regard everything as a teaching opportunity. Likewise they place great emphasis on the creation of artwork, an act they consider essential to the improvement of the world around them.
Above all else, the Asahina Shugenja School focuses on defense and protection. Both its core Technique and its spell emphases encourage spells that reduce damage and protect others from attack. Other spells possessed by Asahina shugenja tend to have an emphasis on crafting or creating.
Asahina Shugenja School
Benefit: +1 Awareness
Skills: Any one Artisan Skill, Calligraphy (Cipher), Etiquette, Lore: Theology, Meditation, Spellcraft, any one High Skill
Outfit: Robes, Bo, Wakizashi, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
Affinity / Deficiency: Air / Fire
Technique: The Soul's Grace - The Asahina have harnessed the power of the kami for art, not war. You may spend a Void Point to reduce the total of all opponents' damage rolls inflicted within 20' of you by 0k1 for a number of rounds equal to your School Rank. (Using this technique again before its duration expires "resets" the duration but does not increase the damage penalty.) You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Defense keyword.
Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Air, 2 Water, and 1 Earth
The Doji Courtier School [CRB]
The reputation of the Crane Clan has for being the unquestioned masters of any court activity in which they are involved is well-deserved, and almost exclusively the result of the ancient secrets of the Doji Courtier School. The School's primary focus is on the creation of vast networks of allies upon whom the Crane can call to accomplish virtually anything, preferably indebting those involved to the Crane in the process. The curriculum in the Doji School is quite broad and encompasses a myriad of topics, more than could be mastered by any single samurai, no matter how talented. Fortunately, the sensei ensure that there are an ample number of courtiers trained in every area so no matter what the need, a Doji stands ready to fulfill it.
The Doji Courtier School is built upon the notion of trading favors. That is not the entirety of their abilities, however; what makes them even more daunting opponents is their ability to perceive what an individual needs, and then offer it to them in such a manner that refusal is difficult if not impossible.
Doji Courtier School
Benefit: +1 Awareness
Skills: Calligraphy, Courtier (Manipulation), Etiquette (Courtesy), Perform: Storytelling, Sincerity, Tea Ceremony, any one Artisan or Perform skill
Outfit: Extravagant Clothing, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
Rank 1: The Soul of Honor
Apprentice Doji courtiers are taught to rely on their Honor when dealing with others, infusing their every word and gesture with the power of their purity, and to build networks of allies by discerning what others need and fulfilling those needs. So long as you maintain your Honor Rank at 6.0 or better, you gain a Free Raise on all Courtier, Sincerity, and Etiquette rolls. Also, by conversing with another person for a few minutes, you can make a Contested Roll of Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness to learn whether they are in need of any favors or assistance (such as needing travel papers to reach another province, for example).
Rank 2: Speaking in Silence
At this Rank the Doji learns Cadence, the art of communicating through subtle gestures and body language. This gives them a huge advantage in the courts by allowing them to share information while their rivals are none the wiser. You can roll Courtier / Intelligence at TN 15 to communicate simple ideas and instructions (things like "distract them," "this favors us," or "Intercept that person") with any other Crane who is trained in the Doji Courtier School or who has at least 5 Ranks in the Courtier Skill. More complex ideas can be conveyed with Raises, although there is an upper limit (set by the GM) on how complicated Cadence can become.
Rank 3: The Perfect Gift
The Doji build their networks of alliances through selflessness, offering others what they need so that in the future the Doji may rely on their assistance. Any time you are in court or in an urban area, you can roll Courtier / Awareness at TN 20 to come up with a suitable gift or a helpful political favor for someone else. By calling Raises on this roll, you can acquire a rarer or more potent gift or favor. If such a gift or favor is accepted, you may immediately take that person as an Ally with 1-point Devotion, without XP cost (subject to the GM's permission).
Rank 4: Voice of Honor
At this Rank the Doji has learned the art of political maneuvering, making his positions and arguments appear synonymous with Honor, forcing anyone who disagrees with him to take a dishonorable position. In any debate or arguement, you may make a Contested Roll of Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness. If you win the roll, the opponent is forced to concede that his position conflicts with the demands of Honor and Bushido, and if he persists in that position he will commit a breach of etiquette. (It is the GM's discretion, based on the circumstances, as to whether it is a minor or major breach.)
Rank 5: The Gift of the Lady
The final training of the Doji teaches them the art of influencing the emotions of others, making friends and allies out of almost anyone – even bitter enemies. By conversing with someone for a few minutes, you may make a Contested Roll of Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. If the target is an Ally, you gain a bonus of +5k0 to the total of this roll. With a success, you shift the target's emotions in a favorable direction, persuading them to listen to your advice and counsel. The GM is the final arbiter but in general, the target will go along with anything you suggest which does not conflict with his basic loyalties.
The Doji Magistrate School
The Doji family is dedicated to protecting its lands and people from all threats, an expression of the Crane Clan's devotion to the Virtue of Compassion. Consequently, they maintain this school to teach their bushi techniques of law enforcement and peace-keeping. Although generally less famous for their deeds, the Doji family's magistrate tradition actually predates their more sensational counterparts in other clans by centuries. The Kitsuki family, the Soshi Magistrates, and even the Emerald Magistrates were not created until well after the Doji tradition had been in place for a very long time. In fact, it is often against the Doji that other such schools are measured, although this is not a conscious comparison.
Despite the name of the school, in actuality only a minority of its students are actually appointed as clan magistrates – students are far more likely to serve as yoriki, assisting other magistrates, or simply as guards patrolling the borders and maintaining law and order in cities and towns. Still, those who are trained in this school are often among the first to receive an appointment when a magistrate position becomes available, and it is not uncommon for many Doji to serve in the ranks of the Emerald and Jade magistrates as well.
Doji Magistrate [Bushi]
Benefit: +1 Reflexes
Skills: Defense, Horsemanship, Jiujutsu, Kenjutsu, Knives (Jitte), Polearms, any High or Bugei Skill
Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon (or 2 Knives), Traveling Pack, 10 koku
Rank 1: Temper Steel With Honor
Doji Magistrates are trained to fight with compassion, avoiding injury to both themselves and whenever possible to others, a style known to the Crane as Mizu-do (the Way of Water). They specialize in the use of weapons designed to disarm or capture foes rather than kill them. You may add an amount equal to your Air Ring to your Armor TN (unless caught helpless or unaware). You gain a +1k0 bonus to your attack rolls when fighting with a jitte or a sasumata.
Rank 2: Flowing Like Water
The Magistrates are taught the art of subduing law-breakers non-lethally by turning their own strength against them, an especially useful skill when dealing with drunken samurai whose deaths might carry political repercussions. When rolling to control a Grapple or to resolve a Disarm attempt, you may use your opponent's Strength Rank in place of your own.
Rank 3: Breath of the Law
The Doji Magistrates practice a variety of submission holds designed to disarm and disable lawbreakers without harming them. If you successfully Grapple or Disarm an opponent, they are also Dazed.
Rank 4: Flowing Like Air
A true student of the Doji path can move as swiftly as the wind of justice that brings ruin to his enemies. You may make attacks as a Simple Action when fighting unarmed or when wielding a jitte, sasumata, or a weapon with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 5: The Willow in the Storm
In their final lesson, Doji Magistrates are taught to maneuver around their opponents, redirecting their energy and defeating them with their own momentum. You may spend a Void point during the Reactions stage of a skirmish Round to force anyone who attacks you on the next Round to subtract their Air Ring from each of their dice. (Dice which explode have their final total reduced.) This technique cannot be activated while you are in the Full Attack stance or the Center stance.
The Daidoji Iron Warrior School [CRB]
The skills of the Doji and the Kakita have raised the Crane into their position as masters of the court, but when words alone cannot attain victory; it is the strength and the courage of the Daidoji Iron Warriors that carry the day. The Daidoji have always considered themselves the silent steel of the Crane, and that perception is not inaccurate. The Daidoji Iron Warriors are both the rank and file and the heavy infantry of the Crane armies, comprising a sizeable portion of the Clan's first army and the majority of the second. They also serve as yojimbo, and this duty is the one most often ascribed to the Daidoji, even if it is but one of their many roles.
The Daidoji are a versatile group, with Techniques that emphasize both enduring the damage of one's opponents and protecting their charge. This fighting style is not exclusively protective, however, and it allows an Iron Warrior to fight defensively in a skirmish to great effect.
Daidoji Iron Warrior [Bush]
Benefit: +1 Agility
Skills: Battle, Defense 2, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu (Katana), Kyujutsu, any one Skill
Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
Rank 1: The Force of Honor
The Iron Warrior serves as the shield of his clan, defending the honor and homes of the Crane. You gain a bonus of your Honor Rank (rounded down) minus 4 to your Wounds at each Wound Rank, to a minimum bonus of one. (Thus at Honor Rank 6.5, you gain a bonus of 2 Wounds to each Wound Rank.) Additionally, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all attack rolls while in the Attack Stance.
Rank 2: The Shield of Faith
The Iron Warrior truly believes that his work serves a higher purpose. When you perform the Guard Maneuver, the benefits last for an additional Round. Additionally, the Armor TN bonus of the Guard Maneuver is increased by 5. (This bonus applies to both your Armor TN and your target's Armor TN – thus, you suffer not TN penalty when Guarding, and your target gains a bonus of +15 to his Armor TN instead of +10.)
Rank 3: Strike Beneath the Veil
The Daidoji is an intractable foe, devastating to face under any circumstances. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while in the Attack Stance.
Rank 4: Vigilance of Mind
The Iron Warrior is always on the lookout for dangers. You may spend a Void Point during the Reactions Stage to target an opponent who has attempted to strike at either you or the target of your Guard Maneuver during the Round. You gain a bonus of +2k1 to the total of all attack and damge rolls against that opponent during the next Round.
Rank 5: To Tread on the Sword
When the Iron Warrior fights to protect his charge, he will continue on long after others would perish. You may spend two Void Points as a Free Action when someone declares an action against the target of your Guard Maneuver. You become the target of the action instead (if it would be a legal action – GM's discretion in questionable instances). You also gain one Free Action that you may use immediately for the sole purpose of moving toward the target of your Guard Maneuver. If you cannot reach your target, this Technique has no effect.
The Daidoji Scout School
Although the Iron Warriors are the most well-known public face of the Daidoji family, they also study a style of warfare specialized in scouting, ambush, and precision strikes against vulnerable enemy assets like commanders and supply caravans. Daidoji Scouts readily employ traps and surprise attacks, accepting a certain amount of dishonor in their own conduct for the sake of the greater good of the Crane Clan. They rely on the rest of the clan to provide them with political cover for their questionable actions.
Daidoji Scout [Bushi]
Benefit: +1 Reflexes
Skills: Athletics, Hunting (Traps), Kenjutsu, Knivs, Kyujutsu (Yumi), Stealth (Sneaking) any 1 Bugei or Low Skill
Outfit: Light or Ashigaru Armor, Rugged Clothing, Daisho, Bow, Knife, any 1 weapon, Trap-making Gear, Camouflage Face-paint, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: Surveying the Land
The Daidoji scouts are masters of observation and pursuit, tracking their opponents, harassing them, and delaying them with traps and ambushes. You gain +1k0 with Stealth and Hunting skill Rolls. Any rural/improvised traps you create are exceptionally deadly, inflicting +1k1 extra damage.
Rank 2: Scouring the Shadows
Daidoji scouts strike from concealment, hitting their opponents with swift and devastating attacks. When attacking an unaware opponent you gain a bonus of +2k0 to your attack roll.
Rank 3: Weaken the Resistance
The Daidoji learn to strike with precision, hitting their opponents in weak spots and evading their armor. You may ignore any Reduction your opponent gains from wearing armor or from school techniques. (You cannot ignore the natural Reduction of creatures, or Reduction bestowed by magical or supernatural effects.) If you attack an opponent who has no Reduction from armor or techniques, you gain +1k0 to your damage rolls.
Rank 4: Strike and Move
The Daidoji scout strikes with the swiftness of the wind itself. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action when wielding a katana, wakizashi, knife, or bow. Your traps now inflict +2k1 extra damage.
Rank 5: Cunning of Daidoji
The true master of the Daidoji scout school needs only a single strike, for his opponent never survives to see the second one. During a skirmish, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to attempt a deadly precision strike on your next attack (this may be done with a melee or a ranged attack, but cannot be done more than once in the same Turn). Any Maneuvers called on this attack require 1 less Raise (to a minimum of 1 Raise), and if you successfully hit you gain a bonus of +1k1 to your Damage roll. Furthermore, if your opponent is unaware of you, your Raises on this attack are not limited by your Void.