Ancestors are a special form of Spiritual Advantage, and are purchased with Character Points in the same manner as other Advantages. They represent guidance and advice from great heroes of Rokugan’s past who now dwell in Yomi. Only a rare and exceptional character should receive an ancestor’s guidance, and players who choose this option will be subjecting their characters to significant role-play restrictions. Ancestors are powerful, but the constraints they place on characters may be frustrating to many players, especially given their high point cost. Ancestors do not apply to the maximum number of advantages that a player may purchase during character creation.
All ancestors are governed by the following restrictions:
- Loyalty: An ancestor will only advise someone from the same clan/faction. They will not aid those who are not part of the clan they served (and in some cases, founded) in life, even if that person can claim a direct blood descent from them.
- Piety: A character who has an Ancestor is expected to offer veneration and devotion on a daily basis. In general, any character with an Ancestor Advantage should expect to spend at least one hour a day in prayer and devotions. The GM can allow this requirement to be set aside when unusual circumstances dictate (character is in the Shadowlands, on a ship in a storm, etc), but the character must make amends with renewed prayers as soon as he is able. If a character consistently fails to offer veneration, the Ancestor will abandon him – the character will have to spend at least a month in devout prayers and atonement in order for the Ancestor to return.
- Jealousy: Only one Ancestor will ever advise a character. Further, if the favor of that Ancestor is ever lost, no other Ancestor can be purchased to replace it – the character’s failing will be known in Yomi, and other Ancestors will disdain to approach him, no matter how noble his later deeds.
- Demands: All Ancestors place specific demands on the characters they help. In return for the Ancestor’s potent aid, the character must live a life which accords with the Ancestor’s beliefs and principles. If a character fails to meet these demands, the Ancestor leaves, perhaps forever. At the GM’s option, a character that shows sincere repentance and devotion – typically at least a month of devotions, as under “Piety” above – can regain his Ancestor’s favor. However, a character who fails to follow the Ancestor’s demands a second time will be allowed no further chance to atone.
Hida [14 Points]
Hida was a warrior of unmatched strength and endurance, who relied on that to defeat all foes, never backing down from any of them, even his own Taint-corrupted son. With Hida watching over you, your blows strike hard and true – you gain +1k0 to all damage rolls and may ignore 4 points of an enemy’s Reduction, regardless of what weapon you are using. Further, any Crab who fights alongside you in a skirmish are inspired by the spirit of Hida which infuses your frame, and gain +1 bonus Void Points (if they do not use this Void point by the end of the skirmish, it is lost).
Demands: Any Round that at least one fellow Crab is wounded within your sight, you must suffer 1 Wound in sympathy. (This does not increase if multiple Crab are wounded in the same Round.) This Wound ignores Reduction and any other effects which would otherwise negate damage. However, you can voluntarily choose not to suffer the Wound. If you ever refuse to suffer these Wounds, or if you ever voluntarily retreat from a fight with a creature of the Shadowlands, Hida will abandon you.
Hiruma [11 Points]
The man who founded the Hiruma family was a pragmatic warrior who employed speed, precision, and stealth to defeat powerful foes. His guidance makes it easier to follow in his footsteps, granting you a +1k0 bonus to your Stealth, Kenjutsu, and Kyujutsu skill rolls.
Demands: If Hiruma watches over you, you can never willingly betray the Crab Clan or he will abandon you. However, as a pragmatic warrior who eschews many of the niceties of Bushido he will also abandon you if your Honor Rank ever rises higher than 5.0.
Kaiu [9 Points]
The legendary master craftsmen who forged the Crab Clan Ancestral Sword that slew Hatsu-Suru no Oni. Kaiu founded the most potent engineering school in the Empire and his descendents built the Great Carpenter Wall. Kaiu’s guidance grants you a +3k1 bonus (instead of +1k1) any time you spend a Void Point on a Craft or Engineering skill roll. In addition, once per game year you may call on Kaiu’s inspiration and roll an appropriate Craft skill at TN 50 to create a minor awakened nemuranai. The initial powers of this magical item are chosen by the GM, but should start out weak (e.g. +1k0 to skills or damage, for example) until the spirits within the item grow stronger over time.
Demands: Kaiu abhors mediocrity, laziness, and failure. You must never deliberately produce Craft/Engineering work that is lest than your best. This obviously includes keeping low dice on a skill roll but will also have many subtler role-play applications; such situations should be adjudicated by the GM.
Kuni [8 Points]
The founder of the Crab shugenja school was a capable shugenja and a man who knew more about the creatures of the Shadowlands than any other. Once per session, you may spend a Void point to gain a bonus to your spellcasting roll equal to your Earth Rank in kept dice. Also, when rolling to resist gaining the Shadowlands Taint, you may roll twice and keep the better result.
Demands: Kuni’s demand to his descendents is a simple one – stay pure. If you ever gain so much as a single point of the Shadowlands Taint, Kuni will abandon you.
Asahina [9 Points]
A powerful and talented Phoenix Clan Fire shugenja who forsook the ways of violence and married into the Crane Clan, Asahina became one of the Empire’s foremost advocates of peace. His family maintains his traditions to this day. Asahina’s spiritual guidance grants you a +1k0 bonus on Mediation Rolls and a +1k1 bonus to Spell Casting Rolls when casting a non-damaging spell with the Craft or Defense keywords.
Demands: Asahina expects you to live up to his ideals of absolute pacifism. If you ever willingly and deliberately harm a living creature, even a tainted creature, he forsakes you.
Asahina Koresada [5 Points]
Asahina Koresada was the preeminent healer of his time, and in his youth he served as Emperor Hantei XIX’s personal physician. After his infant grandson tragically died from Water Fever, Koresada spent his twilight years traveling the Empire with many of his fellow Asahina, healing sick children regardless of their caste. Koresada will bestow his guidance on any Crane descendent with a passion for medicine, encouraging them to more altruistic in the use of their gifts. When Koresada is watching over you, you gain +1k0 to any spellcasting rolls for spells that heal wounds or treat poison or sickness, and a Free Raise on any Medicine Skill Roll made to treat an injury, disease, or poison.
Demands: Koresada requires you to emulate his respect for the health and well-being of children. If you ignore or refuse to treat any sick or injured child, or knowingly allow a child to be harmed, Koresada will abandon you.
Doji [8 Points]
The Lady Doji created most of the rules and concepts of Rokugani civilization, and her influence is still felt throughout the Empire’s courts in the present day. Those who receive Doji’s advice gain a +1k0 bonus to all of their Courtier, Etiquette, Perform, and Sincerity rolls.
Demands: Doji requires those who have her guidance to live in a manner both honorable and civilized. If you ever commit a Major Breach of Etiquette, or you ever lose more than 3 points of Honor or Glory from a single breach of etiquette, Doji will abandon you.
Doji Hayaku [7 Points]
Doji’s youngest son, the founder of the Daidoji family, was a skilled warrior who spent two years hunting for his lost sister Konishiko. He ultimately retrieved her sword (and her soul) from the Shadowlands, but in the process he lost his voice and his hair turned white. Hayaku’s guidance grants you a +1k1 bonus to Lor: Shadowlands rolls and a Free Raise on all attacks with Spears.
Demands: You must honor Hayaku’s sacrifices by dyeing your hair white. You can never abandon, betray, or endanger a member of the Doji family (or your charge if you are a yojimbo) – if you do, Hayaku abandons you in a fury.
Kakita [12 Points]]
Doji’s husband was both a duelist and an artisan of renown, author of The Sword, and served as the first Emerald Champion in Rokugan’s history. Hoever, he also started the Crane Clan’s long and bitter feud with the Lion Clan. Those who have Kakita’s guidance may spend a Void Point to re-roll any Iaijutsu or Artisan Skill roll with a +1k1 bonus to the second roll. They keep the better result. However, all those who are watched over by Kakita earn the automatic enmity of Matsu samurai, who sense their own ancestor’s anger – all members of the Matsu family are effectively Sworn Enemies to you.
Demands: Kakita was an honorable man who sought perfection in both the sword and with the artist’s brush, and he expects the same of you. If you ever lose a duel or an artistic competition, Kakita forsakes you. He also abandons you if your Honor ever drops below 4.0.
Agasha [6/10 Points]
The founder of the Agasha family was an isolated researcher who studied the Elements and learned their secrets. Although much of her family joined the Phoenix, she remains loyal to the Dragon and appears only to those of her descendents found within that clan. Agasha’s insights into the true nature of the Elements grant you a +1k0 bonus to Spell Casting Rolls with non-Void spells and +1k1 bonus to all Spellcraft Skill Rolls.
If you spend spend 10 points on Agasha as an Ancestor, you are one of her most favored descendents and learn the secret spell “Transmute.”
Demands: Agasha was a pacifist, and if you ever serve in war she will abandon you. However, she was once kidnapped by goblins, so she will not abandon a descendent who wages war against the Shadowlands (only).
Agasha Kitsuki [11 Points]
The founder of the Kitsuki family originated the concept of the controversial “Kitsuki Method,” which uses logical deduction and inference to solve crimes. Those who have his guidance gain the ability to “read” others and pick up on subtle, hidden clues in an uncanny, almost supernatural manner that many samurai find disturbing. When you have Kitsuki’s guidance, you may use your Perception Trait for any Skill or Trait roll that would normally require you to use your Awareness Trait. Furthermore, if you spend a Void point on any Skill or Trait roll to tell whether someone is lying to you, you gain +2k2 instead of the normal +1k1.
Demands: Kitsuki requires you to always pursue the truth. If you ever accept a solution to a problem, crime, or puzzle that you know or sincerely believe to be false, Kitsuki will abandon you.
Mirumoto [9 Points]
The founder of the Dragon Clan’s warrior family was one of the greatest swordsmen of his age, a pragmatic and cunning warrior and brilliant duelist, and a deep rival to Kakita in the pursuit of swordsmanship. He created the Niten style, a method of fighting with both katana and wakizashi. he also wrote one the Empire’s greatest works on swordsmanship, and died fighting Fu Leng on the first Day of Thunder. If you have gained Mirumoto’s attention, he grants you +1k1 to all Agility-based Skill rolls. If the Skill roll is made using a Mirumoto Bushi School Skill, the bonus is +3k1 instead.
Demands: Mirumoto expects his descendents to follow his tradition of victory, and to carry on his rivalry with his ancient nemesis Kakita. If you ever issue a challenge and lose the subsequent duel, Mirumoto will abandon you. He will also leave you if you ever refuse to duel someone trained in the Kakita Bushi school. He will not abandon you if you lose a duel that was forced on you… unless that duel was against a Kakita.
Togashi Yamatsu [7 Points]
The tattooed man who captured Iuchiban’s soul during the Bloodspeaker’s second rampage has no direct blood descendents, but his spirit sometimes appears to guide later tattooed men – you may only take Yamatsu as an Ancestor if you are a member of the Dragon tattooed orders. Yamatsu’s favor grants two Ranks of Magic Resistance that only apply against maho. In addition, his courageous spirit grants you a +2k2 bonus to any Willpower roll to resist being possessed or magically controlled.
Demands: Yamatsu will abandon you if you ever gain Taint of 1.0 or higher, or if you ever willingly use maho or a Shadowlands power.
Akodo [12 Points]
The founder of the Lion Clan was a general beyond compare, one of the greatest tacticians ever to walk the face of the Empire. He was also a supreme soldier, a man who gained strength not just from his own ability but also from the support of all those around him. He forged the Lion into a Clan where every soldier was part of a greater whole, made strong by their brothers in arms. While you have Akodo’s guidance, you gain a +1k0 bonus to all Bugei skill rolls (except Iaijutsu rolls) and a +1k1 bonus to any rolls made on the Mass Battle Table. Further, whenever you fight alongside your fellow Lion, you draw strength from their presence, just as Akodo taught. Any time you enter a skirmish with at least one other Lion bushi fighting alongside you, you gain +1 extra Void Point (this bonus Void must be spend by the end of the skirmish, or it is lost).
Demands: Akodo requires all of his followers to be soldiers of both steadfast courage and unimpeachable honor. If your Honor ever drops below 5.0, Akodo will abandon you. He will also abandon you if you ever voluntarily leave a battle or skirmish where other Lion are still fighting.
Ikoma [9 Points]
The founder of the Lion Clan’s family of storytellers and historians was a capable spinner of tales himself, but he was also a cheerful rogue who chased women and brawled without hesitation or fear. Those who are watched over by Ikoma’s boisterous spirit are expected to emulate him in all ways. In return, he infuses them with both his toughness and his rough-and-ready wisdom. You gain +1k0 to all rolls you make with the Intelligence Trait, and +2k0 to your damage when fighting unarmed (with the Jiujutsu skill).
Demands: Ikoma expects you to live as he did – drink hard, fight hard, tell fine tales, and welcome the company of beautiful and interesting women. If you ever choose to refuse a drink, run from a fight, or insult an attractive or compelling woman, Ikoma will forsake you.
Kitus [6 Points]
The spirit once known as Soli Tendo, Kitsu took human form to found the Kitsu family and died in defense of his human clan he joined so reluctantly. A true-blooded descendent of Kitsu who gains his favor can detect the presence of spirits and spirit portals. (This is a Perception roll, normally TN 25, although the GM may raise it for obscure or well-hidden spirits or portals). In addition, Kitsu’s guidance grants you +1k1 to all Lore: Spirit Realms rolls.
Demands: Kitsu abandons you if you ever harm a non-corrupted member of the five ancient races (or one of their descendents), or if you ever willingly cooperate with a Tsuno.
Matsu Hitomi [7 Points]
Hitomi was one of the greatest heroes of the Lion Clan, a woman of faultless honor and courage. If you are honored with her guidance, her unshakable faith in Bushido grants you +1k1 bonus to all rolls to resist Temptation, Intimidation, and Fear effects.
Demands: Hitomi abandons you if you ever knowingly betray your daimyo or the Lion Clan, or if you Honor ever drops below 5.0.
Kaimetsu-Uo [9 Points]
The original founder of the Mantis Clan was the son of Hida Osano-Wo and his Matsu bride, and one of the most formidable warriors of his day. Preferring actions to words, he carved a clan’s founding out a dangerous tropical island, and stormed Kyuden Isawa to avenge his father’s death. Those who gain Kaimetsu-Uo’s favor are expected to live as he did, carving their way through life with action and sheer determination, using whatever weapon comes to hand, and countenancing no insult form anyone. You gain a +1k1 bonus to all Willpower Trait and Skill rolls except those made to avoid being provoked. You gain a +3k0 bonus when using the Improvised Weapon emphasis of the Jiujutsu skill, and also gain a +1k1 damage roll to all damage rolls made with the improved weapons.
Demands: Kiametsu-Uo requires you to take on all challenges, no matter how strange or embarrassing. If you ever back down from a physical competition or challenge, even a trivial one such as a foot race, he will forsake you.
Gusai [5 Points]
One of the most notorious of Mantis ancestors, Gusai proved the power ofa single individual by successfully carrying a knife into the presence of the Emperor – only to see the Emperor prove the limitations of such power when he signs the order for Guasi’s execution. When Gusai guides you, you gain +3k3 to any Stealth or Sleight-of-Hand roll made to conceal a weapon on your person.
Demands: Gusai will abandon you if you ever voluntarily go unarmed into the presence of a rival or enemy.
Moshi Azami [6 Points]
Moshi (formerly Isawa) Azami received the blessing of Lady Sun and shared her insight with her followers, leading the Centipede to become the most devout followers of the Sun Goddess anywhere in the Empire. Prior to the twelfth century Azami is solely an ancestor for the Centipede Clan. Her guidance bestows the favor of the Sun upon you – you suffer no ill effects from the Sun (e.g. dehydration, sunburn, etc) and gain Reduction of 5 against fire (normal or magical).
Demands: Azami was a profoundly pious woman. She will leave you if you commit any act of impiety or blasphemy against the Fortunes or the Celestial Heavens (deliberately or accidentally).
Osusuki & Akomachi [5 Points]
The two ancestors known as Osusuki and Akomachi were actually kitsune spirits who forged an alliance with the nascent Fox Clan. They took human form, one man and one woman, and married into the Kitsune family, bonding the two groups by blood forever. Their guidance will only be bestowed on members of the Kitsune family who can claim a direct blood connection. The attention of Osusuki and Akomachi allows you to speak with animals and animal shapeshifter spirits; furthermore, their wisdom allows you to always find food and water in the wilderness.
Demands: Ososuki and Akomachi remain deeply tied to the animal spirits that birthed them. They will abandon you if you ever voluntarily or knowingly kill an animal or animal spirit (except for self-defense, which they forgive).
Tetsuken [6 Points]
The Mantis Clan remembers Tetsuken as a great and glorious hero who had many adventures and ultimately saved the Empire from attack by a Shadowlands fleet. The rest of the Empire is less familiar with his deeds, in part because they took place during an era which Rokugan was determined to forget. Tetsuken’s hopeless quest for his true love’s hand drove him to ever more spectacular deeds and ultimately to his death. While Tetsuken guides you, you may substitute twice your Glory Rank for your Honor Rank when resisting Fear, Intimidation, and Temptation effects.
Demands: Tetsuken will abandon you if you ever forsake a True Love or pass up an opportunity to gain Glory.
Asako [5 Points]
Shiba’s favored follower, Asako, learned the secrets of humanity’s limitless potential from her lord, and founded the mystic order known as the henshin. She treasured friendship above all things, but for this very reason felt the pain of betrayal more deeply and keenly than any other. While Asako guides your steps, others find you a charming ally and a true friend. Any of your Ally Advantages gain a free +1 increase to their level of Devotion, and you gain +1k0 to all Social Skill rolls made against someone with whom you are an Ally. However, if an Ally ever betrays you, you automatically gain Drive: Destroy the Betrayer for no points.
Demands: Asako requires you to treat your friends with the same devotion as you expect of them. If you ever betray or abandon a friend, Asako will forsake you.
Isawa [12 Points]
The man known as Isawa was unquestionably the greatest shugenja in Rokugan, perhaps in the world, at the time the Kami fell to earth. His power over the elements was one of such potency that Shiba, a son of the Heavens, bent knee and pledged to protect Isawa’s line for all time in order to gain his aid against Fu Leng. Those who are honored with Isawa’s guidance against +1k1 on all Spellcraft (Spell Research) rolls and learn 1 additional spell each time they gain a Shugenja School Rank.
Demands: Isawa was a proud man who believed his family’s magic superior to all others. He abandons you if you ever lose a magical or scholarly competition with someone who is not themselves of the Isawa family.
Naka Kaeteru [10 Points]
The man called Kaeteru lived when the Empire was young. His thirst for knowledge led him to wander the Empire as a monk, learning all he could and passing it on to others who wished to learn as well. Although it was never his intention, he gathered many followers and students and became known as a great teacher. Eventually he was invited to the Phoenix Lands so they might learn from him as well. Due to his incredible wisdom and experience, Kaeteru was named the first Grandmaster of the Elements by the Phoenix, and awarded the spiritual title of Naka.
The first Grandmaster of the Elements spent much of his life in simple contemplation of the Elements. If you are honored with his guidance, his enlightened insights allow you to use the Meditation skill (two hours, skill roll at TN 30) to regain 1 Spell Slot in each Ring.
Demands: Kaeteru was detached from mortal concerns and will abandon any descendents who becomes too involved in worldly matters. This may be represented mechanically by your character acquiring more than 3 Skill Ranks in Courtier or any Merchant or Low Skill. Role-play can and should impact this as well, and the GM should adjudicate whether a character with Kaeteru’s guidance is involving himself too deeply in worldly affairs such as politics or money.
Shiba [9 Points]
Known for his wisdom, perception, and foresight, Shiba served the Isawa faithfully in life, and wrote down the Tao, which became the foundation of the Empire’s religion. When he perished in the Shadowlands, he found a way to pass on his knowledge to his descendents, ensuring the Phoenix would always be well-led by the soul of Shiba. However, he also sometimes chooses individual Phoenix samurai to benefit from his guidance. Those who are watched over by Shiba gain +1k1 to all Intelligence Rolls and Intelligence-based Skill Rolls, and may add their Intelligence Rank to their Armor TN at all times. If you enter a skirmish alongside a member of the Isawa family, you gain +1 Void point (this Void point must be used by the end of the skirmish or it is lost).
Demands: Shiba requires that you maintain both a high honor and an absolute, unswerving dedication to fulfilling his oath to the Isawa. If your Honor Rank ever drops below 4.0, he will abandon you. He will also abandon you if you ever willingly disobey a higher-ranking Isawa, or if you ever voluntarily leave a skirmish while an Isawa ally remains behind.
Bayushi [12 Points]
The founder of the Scorpion Clan was known for his subtle cunning and trickery, as well as a sort of cruel honesty that he employed most famously at his brother Hantei’s deathbed. Although his skills and ruthlessness in both battle and politics were legendary, he also carried a life-long devotion to his follower Shosuro, and her corruption by the Lying Darkness led him to his own death. If you are trained in one of the Bayushi Schools (such as the Bayushi Bushi or Bayushi Courtier schools, for example), you gain a +1k0 bonus to all you School Skills, and any time you spend a Void Point on a School Skil, you gain +2k2 instead of +1k1. If you have a Kharmic Tie with another character, both of you may use each others’ Void Points, but if one of you dies, the other immediately gains the Momoku Disadvantage for no points.
Demands: Bayushi made only one demand of his followers – loyalty. He expects the same of you. If you ever voluntarily and knowingly betray the Scorpion Clan, he will abandon you. He will also abandon you if your Honor ever climbs to 5.0 or better – such pure souls have no place in the ranks of Rokugan’s designated villains.
Shosuro [8 Points]
Bayushi’s most beloved follower was consumed by the Lying Darkness, adn spent centuries imprisoned by the kami Togashi before finally escaping durinr the Hidden Emperor era. At the end of that era, Bayushi carried her soul into Yomi, and since that time she has begun to show her favor to those of her descendents she finds worthy. If Shosure’s whispers guide your actions, you gain a +3k1 bonus to all Stealth, Acting, and Sincerity (Deceit) skill rolls.
Demands: Having been forced to betray her lord Bayushi once, Shosuro is determined that her descendents will never make the same mistake. If you ever betray the Scorpion Clan, disobey your superiors in the clan, or become corrupted by the Lying Darkness or the Shadow Dragon, Shosuro will immediately abandon you.
Soshi Saibankan [5 Points]
The founder of Rokugan’s modern law-enforcement system was a clever and eccentric man who was nonetheless dedicated to maintaining law and order in a fractious Empire. The guidance of this famous judge grants you a bonus of +3k1 (rather than +1k1) whenever you spend a Void Point on a roll using the Perception Trait or the Lore: Law Skill.
Demands: Saibankan was a loyal Scorpion but also a man deeply dedicated to upholding the law and order. If you ever knowingly break the law or allow another to break it in your presence, Saibankan will abandon you… unless you did so on the orders of your superiors within the Scorpion Clan.
Yogo [6 Points]
The former Phoenix, originally husband to Asako, who was cursed by Fu Leng to betray the one he loved. Yogo joined the Scorpion Clan and started a new family there, studying the techniques that became Yogo ward magic. Yogo’s guidance grants you a +1k1 bonus to all Spell Casting Roll when casting any Wards spell, but due to your blood connection to him you automatically gain Bad Fortune: Yogo Curse for no points.
Demands: Yogo abandons you if you ever fall in love, since this means you will succumb to his curse.
Chuda Bikimi [3 Points]
Chuda Bikimi was a corrupt, ruthless, and utterly evil maho-tsukai, a terrible phantom who moved throughout the Empire like a blade of darkness. He snatched victims from their beds, from their dojo, from all imaginable locations, never once seen by any save his victims. All those who were kidnapped met terrible fates in necromantic maho rituals. Even beyond death, Bikimi’s legacy persists and he bestows his sinister blessings on those engaged in similar evil schemes. His guidance grants you a +1k0 bonus to any Stealth Skill Roll. If you are a shugenja who practices maho, you may instead expend a spell slot to gain a +1k1 bonus to a Stealth Skill Roll.
Demands: Bikimi has no respect for those who are foolish enough to expose themselves. If you ever willingly reveal yourself to an enemy, Bikimi will abandon you forever, with no chance to regain his favor.
Hida Atarasi [7 Points]
The first son of Hida, and the original Crab Thunder, also became one of the first samurai to be Lost to the Shadowlands
Taint. So great was his power that those who encountered him
(and were fortunate enough to survive) called him an akutenshi, or “evil angel”. Atarasi’s own father Hida eventually hunted him down and destroyed him in single combat. Atarasi’s twisted warrior spirit infuses those he guides, allowing them to call on their corruption to deliver terrible blows to their enemies. While Atarasi watches over you, during each round of a skirmish you may choose to spend a Void Point or gain a point of Shadowlands Taint (your choice) in order to add either your Taint Rank or your Earth in unkept dice to your attack and damage rolls for that round.
Demands: Atarasi is a fallen soul, and he reviles purity and virtue. If your Honor Rank ever reaches 3.0 or higher, or you ever lose any of your Taint, Atarasi forsakes you.
Kuni Yori [5 Points]
Kuni Yori was once a loyal Crab, a servant of his lord Hida Kisada, but he was seduced by the Shadowlands and betrayed the Crab Clan. Transformed by the power of maho, Yori became an undead abomination, leading the forces of the Shadowlands against his former clan. Yori’s guidance teaches both deceit and greater mastery of the forces of maho. You gain +1k0 to all Sincerity (Deceit) rolls and all maho spellcasting rolls. However, Yori’s malign influence draws the Taint to you even faster than otherwise. Any time you cast a Maho spell, you gain 1 extra point of Taint.
Demands: Yori makes no demands – he is confident that his guidance will inevitably lead to complete corruption by the Taint.
Yogo Junzo [6 Points]
Once a lord of the Scorpion, Yogo Junzo’s fury at the dissolution of his clan following the Scorpion Clan Coup led him to betray his duty and open the Black Scrolls containing Fu Leng’s essence. He became a self-willed undead monstrosity and led a Shadowlands army into Rokugan, assailing temples and monasteries and putting dozens of great libraries to the torch. The effects of his campaign of destruction still haunt the Empire generations later. His dark blessings allow you to call on the most dire and blasphemous knowledge to enhance your power. For each Forbidden Knowledge Advantage you possess, you gain a bonus of +2 to the total of all Spellcasting Rolls, +4 if the roll is for casting a maho spell. You gain the same bonus for every Rank of Taint you possess.
Demands: Junzo demands you follow him down the path of dark knowledge and ever-greater power. If you are ever presented with an opportunity to learn new forbidden knowledge (or to gain a new instance of the Forbidden Knowledge Advantage) and do not take it, even to preserve your reputation or secrecy, Junzo abandons you.
Iuchi [8 Points]
Iuchi studied and mastered the ways of foreign magic, enabling the Unicorn to survive the hostile world beyond the Burning Sands. His insights gave rise to the unique Unicorn style of magic known as meishodo. The guidance of Iuchi is bestowed on shugenja of his bloodline, and allows them to approach Rokugani spells in unconventional ways. While his spirit remains with you, you do not have a Deficient Element.
Demands: So long as you wish to retain Iuchi’s favor, you may never pass up a chance to learn more about magic, even dangerous or blasphemous magic. Just because you know about it doesn’t mean you’ll use it, after all…
Moto [10 Points]
A formidable desert warrior who swore allegiance to Shinjo and brought his tribe into the Ki-Rin Clan, Moto was known for his incredible speed and refusal to be bound by anything but his own choice. He imbues the same spirit and determination in those of his descendents who win his favor. Any time you roll to resist an attempt to physically restrain you (such as a Grappling attack) or to mentally influence you (such as a Temptation Skill roll), you gain a +2k2 bonus to the roll. Likewise, any spell which would restrain your physical movement has its Spellcasting TN increased by an amount equal to 5 x your Willpower.
Demands: Moto expects you to live by the same standard of freedom as he did, offering obedience only to your lord and clan. If you ever knowingly and voluntarily allow yourself to be controlled by another who is not your rightful superior in the Unicorn Clan (such as letting yourself be blackmailed by a courtier), Moto will abandon you.
Otaku [7 Points]
The founder of the Otaku (later Utaku) family and the first Unicorn Clan Thunder, Otaku was a woman who founded a family lead by women. She will only offer her guidance to women descended from her line. Otaku’s wisdom bestows an empathic connection to horses, granting you a +1k1 bonus to all Horsemanship skill rolls. Otaku’s ferocity and determination grant you a +1k0 bonus to all attack rolls against male opponents.
Demands: Otaku will abandon you if you are ever deliberately cruel to a horse or if you ever challenge a man (whether to a duel or a competition) and then lose.
Shinjo [8 Points]
The founder of the Unicorn was known for her boundless curiosity about the world, which caused her to lead her Ki-Rin Clan out into the Burning Sands, and for her deep compassion, which allowed her to retain sympathy for her fallen brother Fu Leng. After her long imprisonment and sleep in the Burning Sands, she returned to Rokugan to purge the Kolat from her beloved clan. You gain a +1k1 bonus to any Investigation roll made to understand something new, strange, or enigmatic, as Shinjo’s spirit guides you to seek deeper understanding of the world around you. You also gain +1k1 to all Awareness rolls made with the Etiquette or Sincerity (Honesty) skills, as Shinjo’s compassion infuses you with empathy and grace.
Demands: Shinjo requires you to always act with compassion, even when facing bitter enemies. If you ever fail to show mercy and compassion to a rival or enemy, Shinjo will abandon you. (This does not apply to members of the Kolat or minions of the Lying Darkness or the Shadow Dragon.)
Imperial Families Ancestors
Otomo [6 Points]
The clever and notoriously serpentine Otomo was often underestimated by his foes, but his smooth tongue and flexible mind seldom came out second-best. His guidance bestows similar blessings on his descendents. Otomo’s supervision grants you a +1k1 bonus when using the Courtier Skill with the Manipulation or Rhetoric Emphases.
Demands: Otomo despised two things: stupidity and disloyalty. If you ever willingly betray the Imperial house, or are ever tricked or outmaneuvered by a political rival with equal or lower Status Rank, Otomo will forsake you.
GM’s Note: The terminology of “tricked or outmaneuvered” is deliberately open-ended to allow for the wide variety of possible situations in social conflicts. However, it is not intended to mean that the character can lose Otomo’s guidance simply due to a failed Social Skill Roll.
Seppun [10 Points]
The Lady Seppun was the first follower of the Kami and the first of the old religious order to fully and unreservedly embrace the ways of Shintao. Her guidance allows you to touch the harmony of the universe more easily. Once per session, you may gain the benefits of a Void Point without actually having to spend the Void Point.
Demands: Seppun was a deeply pious woman and was wholly devoted to Hantei. If you ever embrace a heretical religious viewpoint or if you ever place your own needs, goals, or desires ahead of the Imperial house, in even the most minor way, she will abandon you.
Miya [5 points]
The first Miya tirelessly and selflessly spread the word of the Empire’s victory over Fu Leng, and also labored to rebuild the damage from the First War. So long as you are on the business of the Imperial house, Miya’s guidance allows you to ignore the effects of lack of rest/sleep for a number of days equal to your Honor Rank.
Demands: Miya expects his descendents to show his same compassion toward those suffering from war or disaster. If you ever turn away from helping those suffering from either of these events, Miya will abandon you.
Minor Clan Ancestors
Ichiro Fureheshu (Badger) [9 Points]
The founder of the Furehershu vassal family had such extraordinary strength that he defeated an oni with his bare hands. Fureheshu’s guidance allows you to call on your own Strength in unusual situations. When performing a Skill roll with a physical Trait, you may spend a Void Point to use Strength in place of the normal Trait.
Demands: Fureheshu expects you to always embrace Strength with the same fervor as he did. If you ever lose a contest of Strength, he will abandon you.
Komori Iongi (Bat) [5 Points]
Yoritomo Iongi was an enlightened Mantis samurai who rescued the Tetsubo of Thunder and later swore fealty to the Bat Clan. Those who have his guidance are inspired to similar heroic accomplishments, gaining one extra Void Point per session.
Demands: Iongi lived a life of glorious heroism and expects his descendents to do the same. If you ever pass up the chance to do something heroic or glorious, he will forsake you.
Hida Heichi (Boar) [4 Points]
The founder of the Boar Clan was a man not only of courage but also possessing wisdom and tact, able to persuade the Shakoki Dogu to release his people and then devising the means by which the Boar might appease the Emperor. Those with his guidance gain a +1k1 bonus to all Social Skill rolls made against more powerful persons and beings.
Demands: Those who are guided by Hida Heichi must emulate his self-control. If you ever lose your temper in a social situation, Heichi will forsake you.
Tonbo Kuyuden (Dragonfly) [3 Points]
The first true daimyo of the Dragonfly Clan avenged his father’s death but then forsook the sword to embrace thenew clan’s ways of peace and diplomacy. Those who have his guidance gain a +1k1 bonus to all Courtier or Etiquette rolls made for the purpose of defusing violence or finding peaceful solutions to conflicts.
Demands: If you ever willingly choose violence when diplomacy is still an option, Kuyuden will abandon you.
Usagi Reichin (Hare) [7 Points]
The founder of the Hare Clan was a man known for both his cheerful nature and for his clever tactics and great courage against the Bloodspeaker Cult. His guidance grants you a +1k1 bonus when resisting Fear effects; if the Fear is caused by a Bloodspeaker, the bonus is +2k2 instead.
Demands: Although Reichin was a pragmatic ronin, he also fought with supreme courage in the Battle of the Bloody Retreat. If you ever flee from a battle with a Bloodspeaker when there is still a chance of victory, Reichin will forsake you.
Toku (Monkey) [3 Points]
The founder of the Monkey Clan is legendary for both his heroism and his extraordinary good fortune. So long as Toku watches over you, you are considered to have a Rank in the Luck Advantage (an additional Rank if you already possess your own Luck).
Demands: Toku believed in Bushido to an almost idealistic degree. If your Honor Rank ever drops below 5.0, or if you ever commit an outrageously dishonorable act regardless of your Honor Rank, Toku will abandon you.
Tsi (Oriole) [6 Points]
The ronin called simply “Tsi”, descended from Tsi Wenfu, was such a skilled swordsmith that the Emperor declared him and his family to be Imperial vassals. His guidance allows his descendents to display skills that almost transcend mortal limitations. Your Raises with the Craft: Swordsmithing Skill are not limited in any way.
Demands: Like all of his family, Tsi saw swordsmithing as an art that had little to do with actually killing. If you ever use one of your own swords in combat for any purpose other than selfdefense, Tsi will abandon you.
Morito Garin (Ox) [5 Points]
After the purge of the Kolat, Morito Garin labored to restore his clan’s reputation and to hunt down any remaining Kolat influences. His guidance grants you a +1k1 bonus to any Perception-based or Awareness-based roll that is trying to determine someone’s true loyalties.
Demands: Garin demands you share his dedication to rooting out the Kolat. If you ever knowingly cooperate with the Kolat, or even simply leave them alone when you have a chance to oppose them, Garin will forsake you.
Doji Suzume (Sparrow) [4 points]
Suzume founded the Sparrow Clan after the rest of the Empire saw deep wisdom in his unthinking remark. If Suzume watches over you, you find it easier inspire others, gaining a +1k1 bonus to any Social Skill roll to persuade others to follow your guidance/example. However, once in your life (at a time chosen by the GM) a simple or random comment by you will be perceived as holding deep wisdom and meaning. The consequences of this could last a lifetime…
Demands: Suzume stayed with the people who followed him, and did his best to lead them despite his own confusion and many adverse circumstances. If you ever abandon followers who have come to you because of your words of wisdom, Suzume will forsake you in turn.
Agasha Kasuga (Tortoise) [5 Points]
Agasha Kasuga was a man possessed of great curiosity, but also a man who placed the security of the Empire above all else, including his own purity. His guidance awards you a +1k1 bonus to any Skill Roll in which you are performing a dishonorable act (one that will cause you a loss of Honor) that is sanctioned by your duty to the Imperial house.
Demands: Kasuga expects you to share his self-sacrificing loyalty to Rokugan. If you ever place your own Honor above the needs of the Empire, he will abandon you.
Sun Tao [10 points]
Perhaps the greatest ronin soldier in Rokugan’s history, Sun Tao’s influence encompasses every clan and every war since. Many ronin claim to be descended from Sun Tao, but only a few actually win his guidance. Those who are advised by Sun Tao’s spirit share his ability to adapt to different environments and fight with equal skill in any sort of battle. You gain a +1k0 bonus to all Battle Skill rolls. If you make a Bugei Skill roll which fails, Sun Tao’s guidance allows you to spend a Void Point on the roll after it is made (rolling and adding 1k1 to the roll), but in return you lose the benefit of any Raises to the roll.
Demands: Sun Tao expects you to always seek to advance your knowledge of the ways of war and battle. If you ever turn down a chance to work for or train with a military force where you have not served before, Sun Tao will abandon you.
Chiroru [8 points]
Chiroru led the ronin vanguard of the Empire’s army at the Battle of Sleeping River. A proud man who forged bondsof intense loyalty with his fellow wave-men, Chiroru refused an offer of fealty from the Fox Clan, declaring he could not go to the afterlife wearing a mon – after all, if he did, his brothers and sisters from the battle might not recognize him. Those who are guided by Chiroru’s spirit share his ability to forge powerful bonds of loyalty to their comrades. You may choose a number of individuals up to your Void Rank to be your “siblings” – you are considered to have a Kharmic Tie with each of these individuals, and you will always be aware if any of them are in danger.
Demands: Loyalty cuts both ways. If you ever forsake, abandon, or betray any of your “siblings,” Chiroru will forsake you in turn.
GM Notes: It is recommended that players be allowed to have their character choose the “siblings” one at a time over the course of play, rather than having to select them all during character creation. At the GM’s option, a character could be allowed to select a new “sibling” if an earlier one dies or betrays the friendship.
Miyuko [12 points]
The simple peasant woman called Miyuko was the first and greatest apprentice of the legendary shugenja Naka Kaeturo, the first Grandmaster of the Elements. Despite her humble origins she possessed profound wisdom and insight. After Kaeteru’s death she was offered fealty by the Phoenix, but chose instead to remain unaligned and travel the Empire sharing her late master’s teachings with all. Only ronin shugenja can benefit from the guidance of Miyuko’s spirit, and they share in her deep insights into the nature of magic and the Elements. You are considered to be one School Rank higher for the purpose of casting spells (Mastery level, Spell Casting Rolls, and spell effects).
Demands: Miyuko sought to share her wisdom with all who would listen, and she expects the same of you. If you ever refuse to share magical knowledge with an honorable person, Miyuko will abandon you. This means those guided by Miyuko will freely share their spells with others, in sharp contrast to most shugenja.
Brotherhood of Shinsei Ancestors
Togashi Kaze (Fortunist/Kaimetsu-Uo) [5 points]
Although Togashi Kaze was originally a member of the Dragon Clan, he also founded what became the Order of Kaimetsu-Uo when he renovated an abandoned monastery and began teaching the local monks a form of “meditative exercise” based on his martial art techniques. Kaze’s spirit teaches some of his unarmed techniques and meditative abilities to his favored disciples. So long as your Meditation Skill Rank is at least equal to your Jiujutsu Skill Rank, you gain a Free Raise on unarmed attacks.
Demands: Kaze expects you to uphold his principles of using violence only for defense and refraining from killing, no matter what the provocation. If you ever kill another human being with unarmed attacks, Kaze will abandon you.
Basso (Shinmaki Sect] [9 points]
The founder of the Shinmaki Sect claimed his Diamond Sutra was written by Shinsei, although many others believe Basso wrote it himself. Basso’s order, with its bizarre meditative practices, remains the most controversial major sect within the Brotherhood. Those who have Basso’s guidance are able to gain true perception through their meditation, piercing the veil of illusions around them to see things as they truly are; you may see through any illusion or deception as a Complex Action with a Meditation/Void roll (TN chosen by the GM based on the strength of the illusion/deception).
Demands: Basso demands almost super-human dedication from his followers. You must meditate for at least four hours each day and must be absolutely ascetic, forsaking all worldly pleasures and indulgences, even the most minor. Any voluntary violation of this lifestyle will result in Basso abandoning you.
Sakura (Shintaoist) [10 points]
The woman called Sakura is said to have been the first mortal to understand the possibility of Enlightenment, and some Brotherhood traditions maintain Shinsei himself was among her students. Some legends claim Shinsei’s crow was actually Sakura, transformed, and other legends suggest she may have been a kenku. Although Sakura never attained what modern Rokugan would consider true enlightenment, she understood many truths about the universe. Those who have her guidance are able to comprehend the world at a deeper level than others. You are considered to be one Insight Rank higher for the purpose of learning and using Kiho.
Demands: Sakura sought to share wisdom and enlightenment all her life, teaching everyone who would listen. If you ever pass over a chance to share enlightenment or the ways of the Tao with others, Sakura will abandon you.
Mizumoto (Questioner) [7 points]
Mizumoto was a Crane courtier from the time of Hantei Genji, widely admired for his intellect and education. After retirement to the Brotherhood, he became one of the Empire’s foremost experts on the Tao, renowned for his understanding of the sacred text’s meanings. Those guided by Mizumoto share his intellectual gifts, gaining a +1k1 bonus to all Intelligence-based rolls.
Demands: Mizumoto sought always to extend his knowledge of the Tao and the ways of Enlightenment. If you ever voluntarily pass over a chance to learn about a new teaching, sect, or belief within the Brotherhood, Mizumoto will abandon you.