- 1 Basic Schools
- 2 Advanced Schools
- 3 Alternative Paths
- 3.1 The Acolytes of Snow [Shugenja]
- 3.2 Agasha Alchemist [Shugenja]
- 3.3 Asako Philosopher [Courtier]
- 3.4 Asako Mediator [Courtier]
- 3.5 Asako Scholar [Courtier]
- 3.6 Elemental Legions [Bushi]
- 3.7 Isawa Archeologist [Shugenja]
- 3.8 Isawa Temple Guardian [Shugenja]
- 3.9 Isawa Seaguard [Shugenja]
- 3.10 Isawa Tensai [Shugenja] [CR]
- 3.11 Mist Legion [Shugenja]
- 3.12 Kawaru Sages [Shugenja]
- 3.13 The Inferno Guard [Shugenja]
- 3.14 Nameless Ones [Shugenja] [IH]
- 3.15 Order of Chikai [Bushi]
- 3.16 Provincial Guard [Bushi]
- 3.17 Sesai Ninja [Ninja]
- 3.18 Shiba Advisor [Courtier]
- 3.19 Shiba Armorsmiths [Bushi] [Artisan]
- 3.20 Shiba Illusionists [Shugenja] [Artisan]
- 3.21 Shiba Yojimbo [Bushi] [CR]
- 3.22 Sisters of the Sacred Light [Shugenja]
Agasha Shugenja [CR]
During their centuries of service to the Dragon Clan, the Agasha pursued many unconventional paths of magic, pursuits which were carried out with the full resources and endorsement of the Agasha Shugenja School. In addition to their alchemical interests, the Agasha have always had an interest in the creation of spells that invoked kami of multiple elements simultaneously. Among the Phoenix the Agasha have been given leave to pursue this area of study as far as they wish, and have made tremendous strides in the area of multi-elemental spells.
The Agasha Techniques focuses on the family’s interest in merging the elements and casting multi-elemental spells. Although this practice has yet to be accepted, their Technique allows them to change the element of the spell they are casting, which gives them unmatched versatility in managing both their spells per day as well as their spell slots.
- Benefit: +1 Intelligence
- Skills: Calligraphy (Cipher), any one Craft Skill, Defense, Etiquette, Lore: Theology, Spellcraft, any one High or Bugei Skill
- Honor: 4.5
- Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
- Affinity / Deficiency: Fire / Water
- Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Fire, 2 Earth, and 1 Air
- Technique: Elements of All Things – The Agasha understand the interactions of the elements more so than perhaps any other family. When casting a spell, you may spend a Void Point to use a different Ring of your choosing rather than the appropriate Ring for that spell. this spell uses a spell slot for the Ring used to actually cast the spell. You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Craft keyword.
Asako Henshin [Monk]
There are few groups in the Emerald Empire as enigmatic and poorly understood as the monastic Asako sect known as the Henshin. Even among the Phoenix, very few outside the Asako family have any real understanding of the Henshin’s ways. Most Rokugani believe the Henshin are merely a monastic group of courtiers and historians within the Asako, although their strange behaviors do distinguish them from other Asako and suggest they possess some manner of mystical or supernatural talent. Unfortunately, that recognition does little to assist in understanding the Henshin’s ways.
The Henshin follow the Path of Man as revealed by Shiba to Asako. By developing perfect unity with the universe, tricking the Elements and learning their secrets, the Henshin can attain absolute perfection of the soul, which in turn grants divinity. The Henshin are essentially monks of a sort, and as apprentices they are known as michibuku. Once they have learned the secrets of the Path of Man, they are inducted into the ranks of the secretive fushihai, the true masters of the Henshin order. The fushihai hold deep knowledge of the universe and essentially immortal, able to live far beyond the normal mortal span. Some of the fushihai ascend to the Celestial Heavens upon their mortal death, becoming minor Fortunes and validating the Path of Man.
- Benefit: +1 Willpower
- Skills: Calligraphy, Jiujutsu, Lore: Elements (pick an emphasis), Lore: Theology, Meditation 2, any 1 Skill (must not be a Low Skill)
- Honor: 5.5
- Outfit: Robes Bo, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: The Four Mysteries
The first lesson of the mysterious Henshin is the relationship between the individual and the Elements that comprise all things. You may, as a Simple Action, increase or decrease both Traits associated with one of your Rings by an amount equal to your School Rank. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to your Insight Rank and may be done a total number of times per day equal to five times your Insight Rank. You may instead increase or decrease the Traits of another in a similar manner, but only by an amount equal to half your School Rank, rounding down (to a minimum of 1). Altering the Traits of an unknowing or unwilling target requires a Contested Willpower Roll. Traits reduced in this manner do not affect a target’s Ring (and thus do not change Wound Ranks when the Earth Ring is targeted, etc.).
Rank 2: The Riddle of Earth
The stoic and straightforward kami of Earth are the simplest to entertain with one’s riddles, and their blessings are potent indeed. As a Simple Action, you may invoke this Technique and gain Earth’s blessing; you are immune to all Conditional Effects (excluding Grappled and Mounted) for a number of hours equal to your Earth Ring.
Rank 3: The Riddle of Air
The capricious spirits of Air can be delighted into conferring their blessings upon you. As a Simple Action, you may invoke the blessing of Air. The blessing lasts a number of hours equal to your School Rank. For the duration of this effect, you cannot be deceived by any illusion or other false images, and can perceive them as transparent falsehoods. If an illusion is created by a spell of higher Mastery Level than your Insight Rank, you and the spell’s caster must engage in a Contested Air Roll. If you are defeated, you do not perceive the falsehood of the illusion.
Rank 4: The Riddle of Fire
The wrathful spirits of Fire can be entertained by your riddles, if only briefly. As a Complex Action you may invoke Fire’s blessing to increase the number of kept dice on an unarmed damage roll (which is normally 0k1 to your Fire Ring. This effect lasts a number of Rounds equal to your School Rank.
Alternatively, when an opponent strikes you with a melee attack, you may spend a Void Point to force a Contested Fire Ring Roll. If you are successful, the number of damage dice your opponent rolls is reduced by your Fire Ring.
Rank 5: The Riddle of Water
The mercurial spirits of Water can confer their speed and fluidity in exchange for your riddles. You must succeed at a Lore: Elements (Water) / Water Skill Roll against TN 20. If successful, you may take one Complex and one Simple Action per Turn, or you may instead take three Simple Actions per Turn.
Asako Loremaster [Courtier] [CR]
The Asako are monastic and scholarly by nature, and nowhere is this more evident than in the courtier tradition they maintain on behalf of the Phoenix Clan. Their training consists of extensive studies in a large number of subjects, some of which may be chosen by the students themselves. A broad knowledge base gives the Asako a frame of reference from which to examine any new data or situation, and allows them great insight into the social situation of court.
The Loremasters specialize in scholarly pursuits, and use those as a means of succeeding in social situations. Asako courtiers use Lore Skills to augment their Social Skills, gaining influence and success in court through their learned natures.
- Benefit: +1 Intelligence
- Skills: Courtier, Etiquette (Courtesy), Lore: History, Lore: Theology (Fortunes), Meditation, sincerity, any Lore Skill.
- Honor: 6.5
- Outfit: Sensible Clothing, Wakizashi, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: Temple of the Soul
The Asako are historians and scholars, and their studies are broader than those of any others in the Empire. They pride themselves on the depth of their knowledge in all fields of intellectual endeavor. They also share the Phoenix devotion to peace and civility, relying on genteel discourse to resolve problems. You gain a Free Raise on any Skill Roll with a Lore Skill. Any time you spend a Void Point on an Etiquette Skill Roll, you gain a bonus of +3k1 to the total of the roll instead of the normal +1k1.
Rank 2: From the Ashes
The Asako Loremasters’ in-deputy study of historical events allows them to detect subtle patterns in behavior in every court, patterns invisible to their more worldly rivals from the other Clans. After spending at least one day observing the events in a particular court, you can roll Lore: History / Perception at TN 20 to gain a bonus +2k0 to the total of all your Social Skill Rolls for the next two days, so long as your remain in that court. (This Technique’s effect can be re-activated with another skill roll when it expires – it is not necessary to spend additional days observing so long as you remain in the same court.)
Rank 3: Voice of the Universe
As the Asako’s training progresses, his recall of obscure historical facts allows him to provide useful contemporary advice to his allies. You may spend an hour conversing with a friend or ally and then roll Lore: History / Intelligence at TN 25. With a success, that ally may add your Lore: History Skill Rank to the total of any Social Skill Rolls he makes within the next twenty-four hours. You may Raise twice to affect one (and only one) additional ally, provided that ally also participates in the conversation. (This Technique cannot be used on the same person again until its effect expires.)
Rank 4: Invincible Mind
The enlightened and educated Asako can see through the games, tricks, and deceits of the material world. Any time you fail a Contested Social Skill Roll to resist someone trying to influence your emotions, opinions, or behavior (such as with the Courtier, Temptation, or Intimidation skills), you may re-roll using Intelligence as the Trait for the second roll in place of whichever Trait was originally required. You must keep the result of the second roll. This Technique cannot be used to resist Fear.
Rank 5: Wisdom of the Ages
At this rank, the Asako truly demonstrate that the wisdom of the Phoenix is eternal. Any time you are rolling a Lore Skill, including for your other School Techniques, you gain a +5k0 bonus to the total of the roll.
Isawa Shugenja [CR]
The Isawa are the greatest shugenja in the Empire, and while the family would never claim this openly, the behavior of those who have trained in their prestigious School bears this out. Fortunately, most others recognize the truth of it as well, and accept it with varying degrees of resentment or resignation. The Isawa are nearly twice as a large as the next largest shugenja family in the Empire. Indeed, there are so many among their ranks that they are nearly the size of a typical bushi family. That so many among them are born with the gift to speak with the kami has allowed the family to diversify into numerous areas of magical specialization, but the core of their power has always been the Isawa Shugenja School. It is literally the oldest School of its kind in Rokugan, and the Isawa have been struggling to master the secrets of the universe for more than a thousand years.
The Isawa Shugenja has no particular specialization, but instead are constructed around the premise that being the finest at spell-casting in general. their ability to choose an Affinity without a corresponding Deficiency, and their unrestricted Free Raise on all Spell Casting Rolls of their Affinity, make them extremely competent and the equal of virtually any other shugenja character.
- Benefit: +1 Intelligence
- Skills: Calligraphy (Cipher), Lore: Theology, any one Lore Skill, Medicine, Meditation, Spellcraft, any one High Skill
- Honor: 4.5
- Outfit: Robes, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
- Affinity / Deficiency: Isawa shugenja may select any element of their choosing, including Void, as their Affinity. They do not have a Deficiency.
- Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 spells of any one element, 2 spells of any other element, 1 spell of a third element, and 1 spell of a fourth element.
- Technique: Isawa’s Gift – There are no greater masters of the shugenja tradition than those among the Isawa. You gain a Free Raise on all Spell Casting Rolls for spells of the element which you chose as your Affinity.
Shiba Artisan [Courtier] [EE]
Although not as prestigious or politically connected at the Kakita Artisans, the Shiba Artisans are still much-admired in the Empire and few Phoenix or Dragon daimyo will let themselves go without a sample of their work.
- Benefit: +1 Intelligence
- Skills: Artisan (pick 2), Calligraphy, Etiquette, Lore (Pick 1), Sincerity, any 1 High or Bugei Skill
- Honor: 4.5
- Outfit: Sensible Clothing, Wakizashi, tools necessary to practice your chosen specialty, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: Soul of Brilliance
A true child of the Shiba line finds his perfect center in the serenity and beauty of creation. Select any one Artisan Skill. Whenever you spend a Void Point making a Skill Roll using that Skill, you gain a bonus of +2k2 instead of the normal +1k1.
Rank 2: The Way of Sincerity
Through use of his craft, a Shiba artisan can forge close bonds with others that allow for long-term alliances to be formed. Once per month you may make an Artisan Skill Roll against a TN 15. You gain a number of Experience Points equal to the amount by which your roll exceeds the TN, but these Experience Points may only be spent to purchase the Allies Advantage (subject to GM approval). These Allies are temporary and last for a period of time equal to your School Rank in weeks.
Rank 3: The Art Speaks
An artisan has the ability to fall back on his art when pressed in a social situation, allowing its beauty and simplicity to speak for him. Choose one Artisan Skill. When you are called to make a Social Skill Roll, you may use your Ranks in the Artisan Skill in place of whatever Social Skill is called for. You gain no Mastery Level benefits when using this Technique, since you do not actually possess ranks in the Social Skill in question.
There may be social situations where this Technique is not applicable; when in doubt, the GM has the final say.
Rank 4: Bounty of the Craft
When presenting your art to others, you increase not only your own understanding of your place in the universe, but you aid others in perceiving theirs as well. Once per day you may make an Artisan Skill Roll against a TN 30. If successful, you and a number of other people up to your School Rank who are present at the time regain all Void Points. This ritualized presentation of your craft requires at least fifteen minutes to complete. This Technique cannot be used in the Shadowlands.
Rank 5: The Touch of Destiny
The work of a true master requires no explanation to inspire others to greatness. When your work is on display in court or in the home of a lord, all present in the chamber where it is displayed gain one additional Void Point. If you are present, you gain two additional Void Points, instead, and you may choose to deny the benefit of this Technique to any in attendance. An individual may only receive a maximum of one additional Void Point per day in this manner (or two, in your case).
Shiba Bushi [CR]
The Shiba Bushi are well known as a relatively peaceful group, at least as bushi are concerned. Their training emphasizes a number of non-martial skills in addition to the traditional weapons training, which has led to a reputation as warrior-scholars in some circles. A Shiba bushi considers all options before committing to combat, searching for any possible alternative other than the loss of life. If those a Shiba protects are threatened, however, or if combat is an inevitability, he attacks swiftly and without reservation, committing himself fully to the act until it is done. Those who mistake the desire of a Shiba bushi to preserve life for an inability to take it are woefully unprepared to face them on the battlefield.
The Shiba Techniques optimize the use of Void Points and specialize in the protection of others, allowing Shiba bushi to more than adequately fill their common role as yojimbo. They also possess an affinity for the use of polearms, and can excel at dueling if properly tailored.
- Benefit: +1 Agility
- Skills: Defense, Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Meditation (Void Recovery), Spears, Theology, any one Bugei or High Skill
- Honor: 5.5
- Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 5 koku
Rank 1: The Way of the Phoenix
Shiba bushi move through battle as the Void moves through all the elements. When spending a Void Point to gain +1k1 on a roll, you may choose to spend 2 Void Points (to gain +2k2) on the roll instead. You may Guard as a Free Action; however, if you do so, your target only adds +5 to his Armor TN instead of +10.
Rank 2: Dancing With the Elements
Shiba bushi become attuned to the shugenja they protect, aiding their spells and deterring those of their enemies. When you assume your Stance for the Round, you may choose a target within 30′. Whenever your target casts or is the target of a spell, you may choose to increase or decrease the TN of the spell by 5. Additionally, whenever you are the target of a spell, you may immediately choose to increase or decrease the TN of the spell by 5.
Rank 3: One With the Void
In battle, the Shiba can find his place in the world. This Technique automatically activates during the Reaction Stage of Combat if another character spent a Void Point during this Combat Round. You regain a Void Point. This Void Point may exceed your maximum, but all excess Void Points are lost after combat resolves. You do not learn anything regarding the source of the Void Point or how it was originally spent. this Technique only activates twice per skirmish.
Rank 4: Move With the World
Serenity brings certainty, and certainty brings speed. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action with using Polearms, Spears, or weapons with the Samurai keyword.
Rank 5: Touch of the Void
Masters of the Shiba style can draw back the veil and allow the universe to act through them. For every Void Point you spend, you gain the effects of spending two, when applicable. Additionally, you may now spend Void Points on enhancements twice in one Turn.
Asako Inquisitors [Monk]
The Asako are generally regarded as a peaceful and serene family, the very picture of the pacifistic Phoenix. For the most part this is an accurate picture of the family and their philosophy, but there are those who stand apart from it. The Asako are the primary force behind the Inquisitors, the Phoenix order devoted to eradicating the corrupt and blasphemous from within the ranks of the Empire’s shugenja. It is a mission they embrace completely and enact at any cost. The order has existed since the Empire’s earliest days, long before the creation of the Jade Magistrates, and organization that fulfills much the same purpose. The Inquisitors sometimes work in cooperation with the Kuni Witch Hunters and have even had a few limited contacts with the Yogo family’s secretive Kuroiban.
The Asako Inquisitors do not concern themselves exclusively with maho or Shadowlands corruption, although these crimes are among their most frequent targets. They also investigate gaijin magic and any religious groups with heretical beliefs, such as the Bloodspeaker Cult. Members of the Inquisitor order are selected primarily from the ranks of Phoenix Shugenja, but many bushi serve with them and a few Henshin and Brotherhood Monks have been inducted as well. Those who are inducted into the order and take the necessary vows of duty and secrecy are granted a stylized tattoo of an eye, the symbol of the order, somewhere on their body. The back of the hand is the most common location.
- Rings/Traits: Void 4, any 2 other Rings at 3
- Skills: Lore: Law 4, Lore: Shugenja 3
- Other: Must be able to cast spells of Mastery Level 4 in one element OR have the ability to make melee attacks as a Simple Action and possess the Phoenix Sacred Weapon (the Inquisitor’s Strike). May not be Tainted.
Rank 1: Eye of the Inquisitor
The Asako Inquisitors are taught to focus their will to disrupt the unnatural magic of blasphemers and criminals. You are considered one Rank higher in your original Shugenja School for the purposes of casting spells. Non-shugenja Inquisitors instead gain one Kiho, for which you must meet all prerequisites.
During a skirmish you may use a Complex Action to prepare a disruption of energy magic. At any point later in the same skirmish when an opponent is casting a spell, you may as a Free Action force him to make 2 additional Raises on his spell-casting roll. These additional Raises have no effect other than to raise the TN of the roll. Once this is done, you must take another Complex Action if you wish to ready another disruption.
Rank 2: The Trials of Jade
An Inquisitor finds the weakness in his enemies and exploits it, bringing them the Emperor’s justice. When casting any spell, you may spend a Void Point for the spell to count as jade or crystal for the purposes of reducing or defeating your target’s Reduction or Invulnerability traits. If you cannot cast spells, you may instead make a melee attack as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action when facing an opponent you know has violated the Empire’s laws regarding the legal forms of magic.
Rank 3: Conviction of Purity
Those who commit the unpardonable sin of breaking the Emperor’s laws concerning magic are unable to stand against you. You are considered one Rank higher in your original Shugenja School for the purposes of casting spells. Non-Shugenja Inquisitors instead gain one additional Kiho, for which you must meet all prerequisites. You may now prepare a disruption (as per your Rank One technique) as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action, and opponents whose spells are disrupted require 3 additional Raises rather than 2.
Elemental Guard [Shugenja] [CR]
The Elements that form the world are as different and unique as the people who inhabit the Empire. It is inevitable that shugenja feel a closer kinship to the personality of the kami of one aspect of nature. These priests join one of the units of the Elemental Guard, four separate schools that focus on each of the four main Elements.
- Rings/Traits: One chosen Ring at 6
- Skills: Spellcraft 6, Lore: Theology 6
- Other: Must be able to cast spells of the chosen Element (see above) of Mastery Level 4
Rank 1: Name of the Elements
The Elemental Guard hones his entire soul to his chosen Element until he is completely at harmony with its kami. Your Shugenja School Rank is considered one higher for the purposes of casting spells of your Chosen Element. You may also spend a Void Point as a Free Action to add twice your Rank in your chosen Ring to your Armor TN. This effect lasts a number of minutes equal to your Shugenja School Rank, and is a very visible effect (you are surrounded by flames or by swirling water, you skin becomes rocklike, etc.).
Rank 2: Touch of the Elements
The link between the kami and the Elemental Guard deepens further. Your Shugenja School Rank increases by one. Your chosen Ring is considered two ranks higher for purposes of determining the number of spell slots you have in that Element per day.
Rank 3: Shape of the Elements
The Elemental Guard can wield the power of the kami with a single whisper. Your Shugenja School Rank is considered one higher for the purposes of casting spells of your Chosen Element. You may select one spell of your Chosen Element of Mastery Level 3 or greater. A number of times per day equal to your Void Ring, you may cast that spell with a single Simple Action.
The Acolytes of Snow [Shugenja]
Founded by a third-century Isawa shugenja who was fascinated by the legends of the Yuki no Onna (Snow Maiden), the Acolytes develop magic built around snow and ice, modifying spells from Water and other Elements to fit their needs.
- Technique Rank: 2 or 3
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 2, any other Phoenix Shugenja 3
- Requirements: Lore: Yuki no Onna 3 or Water Affinity
- Technique: the Maiden’S Icy Grasp – The Acolytes of Snow recognize that the icy touch of the Snow Maiden allows Water to mirror the strength and power of Earth. You may cast the following Earth spells as Water spells: Armor of Earth, Armor of the Emperor, Be the Mountain, Bonds of Ningen-do, Earth’s Stagnation, Grasp of Earth, Major Binding, Minor Binding, and Wall of Earth. The spells create their physical effects from ice instead of from earth or stone, and the Acolytes usually rename these spells to incorporate “Ice” into their titles.
Agasha Alchemist [Shugenja]
The Ikakeya are a lesser known sect of the Agasha family who have deliberately avoided the attention of outsiders ever since their family joined the Phoenix Clan. These individuals have continued their studies of the alchemical formulae and techniques from their time with the Dragon Clan (and which the Tamori family has continued in that clan). The Ikakeya are known for their skill at producing potions and other alchemical items that contain the essence of their magic, as well as for their skill at transposing and combining different Elements for maximum effect.
- Rank: 3
- Replaces: Agasha Shugenja 3
- Requires: Fire 3, Spellcraft 3
- Technique: Fury of the Elements – You may store a Fire spell with the Area of Effect “one target person” or “one target creature” in an alchemical preparation for later use. The stored spell may be activated instantly by anyone as either a Simple Action (to drink a potion) or a Complex Action (to throw it, using Athletics (Throwing) / Agility). By spending a Spell Slot for another Element (except Void), you may also give a spell stored in this manner either an additional Elemental keyword, or replace its Fire keyword with another Elemental keyword. For example, by spending an Earth slot, you could cause the stored spell to be both Fire and Earth, or just Earth, for all purposes related to the type of Elemental keyword associated with the spell. A spell may only be given one additional Elemental keyword this way.
Asako Philosopher [Courtier]
In addition to its purpose as a center of diplomacy, or perhaps because of it, Nikesake is a noted center of education within the Phoenix provinces as well. The so-called Blue Tiled Room within the city is highly specialized, having extensive tomes concerning philosophy gathered from all across the Empire and beyond. Many courtiers stationed within the city for long periods of time, particularly among the Asako, consider the pursuit of philosophy an entertaining pastime, and spend many hours within the library poring over the various tomes. Fluency in one school or another of philosophy is considered something of an achievement, and the courtiers who frequent the library enjoy having elaborate debates among themselves, frequently changing the school of thought from which they are debating in mid-argument or even multiple times during the course of a single debate. Scholarly courtiers of other clans, particularly the Crane, are welcome to join in these debates, but few ever find the pastime quite as entertaining as the Asako seem to. While the avid pursuit of philosophy is largely a diversion among the denizens of Nikesake, the lords of the Phoenix are familiar with their pursuits and have had occasion to call upon them when insight into certain other families and clans is required.
- Replaces: Asako Loremaster 2
- Requirements: Courtier (Rhetoric) 2, Etiquette 3
- Technique: The Winds of Rhetoric – Those who study with the Nikesake sophists have learned to defuse almost any situation, as they have a superior understanding of how those with whom they enter debate think and seek solutions to various problems. You gain a bonus of +1k1 to the total of all Contested Social Skill Rolls using Etiquette.
Asako Mediator [Courtier]
Few among the Phoenix champion the cause of pacifism as devoutly as the specially-trained Mediators, a near monastic order dedicated to the cause of peace above all. They believe that few if any conflicts are beyond peaceful resolution, and seek to bring opposing parties to a harmonious accord whenever possible.
- Technique Rank: 2
- Replaces: Asako Loremaster 2, Shiba Bushi 2, Isawa Shugenja 2
- Requirements: Sincerity (Honesty) 3
- Special: Members of the Mediators must swear an oath never to initiate violence against their fellow Rokugani. Violating this oath should entail a major loss of both Glory and Honor (roughly equivalent to a Blasphemous Breach of Etiquette) and will also result in expulsion from the Mediators organization.
- Technique: Stand Down – Any time you are in a situation where samurai are preparing to enter into formal hostilities (examples would include a challenge to a duel, a declaration of Blood Feud, or even a declaration of war), you may approach either or both parties and attempt to persuade them not to follow through. This is a Contested Roll of your Sincerity (Honesty) / Awareness against their Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. With a success, that party in the conflict will agree to back down, and your mediation prevents them from suffering any loss of Glory for doing so.
Special GM Considerations for the Asako Mediator Technique: If the parties in a conflict are deeply or honorably committed to their quarrel, the GM may require the Mediator to call Raises on the roll (anywhere from 1 to 5 Raises, depending on the depth of their anger or the strength of their Honor). Note that this may result in the Mediator being unable to impose a solution due to being unable to call enough Raises – quite likely when trying to mediate the highly honorable and easily-angered Lion, for example. However, if the Mediator is able to propose an honorable and reasonable solution to the quarrel, the GM may also choose to award a bonus to the roll, ranging from +1k0 to +5k0, depending on the GM’s judgment of how appealing the solution seems to the parties involved. In some cases, the scope or severity of a quarrel will be such that it is not possible for a Mediator to actually prevent the conflict. In this case, a successful roll will merely delay the onset of hostilities by a reasonable amount of time (as determined by the GM). In general, the larger the scale of the conflict, the longer the delay – thus a duel might only be delayed for a day or two, while a war might be delayed as much as a month.
Asako Scholar [Courtier]
In every generation there are a few members of the Asako school who display the “Mind of Fire”, a tremendous natural talent for memory and an intuitive grasp of how to apply connections between different fields of study in ways nobody else could have imagined. These individuals are trained in the special dojo of the Scholars, where their gifts are honed for both scholarly research and courtly service.
- Rank: 3
- Replaces: Asako Loremaster 3, Asako Henshin 3
- Requires: Investigation 3, Intelligence 4
- Technique: The Hidden Patterns – The hallmark of the Asako Scholars is their ability through the study of multiple topics to spot the patterns between seemingly unrelated events, sharing their wisdom with their fellow Phoenix and thereby bringing success to all. If you have spent at least one day observing the patterns within a court or other social setting, you may roll Investigation/Intelligence at TN 25 to detect and understand the hidden patterns underlying others’ behavior and goals. Rivals and enemies cannot benefit from Raises on Social Skill Rolls against you and cannot spend Void Points on Social Skill Rolls against you for the next 24 hours. You may Raise on your roll to share the benefits of your insight with your friends and allies (one person per Raise).
Elemental Legions [Bushi]
The most unique and potent force within the Phoenix armies is unquestionably the Element Guard, a set of small and highly specialized units consisting primarily of potent Isawa-trained shugenja who specialize in battle. These individuals are capable of battlefield-shaking magic, but they cannot and do not take the field on their own. For each of the Elemental Guard units there exists a highly trained legion from the Shiba family that is uniquely prepared to take the field alongside their shugenja brethren. The Hurricane Initiates are accompanied by the Legion of Wind, the Avalanche Guard by the Legion of Stone, the Firestorm Legion by the Legion of Flame, and Tsunami Legion by the Legion of the Wave. Each of these accompanying legions are staffed with bushi who have received exhaustive training from both shugenja and members of the Brotherhood in how to properly align their spirits with the Element of their guiding force, allowing them to draw strength from the forces unleashed by their shugenja comrades.
- Replaces: Shiba Bushi Rank 3
- Requirements: Lore: Elements (appropriate Ring) 2. Must be selected to serve in one of the Elemental Legions.
- Technique:Strength of the Five – Shiba bushi who serve in the four Elemental Legions are trained to draw strength from their shugenja brothers. When you learn this Technique you must select one non-Void Ring. When an allied shugenja within your line of sight casts a spell of that Elemental, you gain one bonus Void Point. These bonus Void Points may only be spent on rolls which use the Traits associated with that Element. The Void Points may be also used in additional ways (listed below) depending on the Element in question. You may not gain more Void Points in this manner than you School Rank, and bonus Void Points not used by the end of the skirmish are lost.
- Air: Increase your Armor Tn by 10 for one Round.
- Earth: Reduce the number of Wounds suffered from one damage roll by 10.
- Fire: Temporarily increase 1 Skill Rank from 0 to 1 for one roll.
- Water: Exchange your Initiative Score with one other willing participant for the duration of the present skirmish.
Isawa Archeologist [Shugenja]
The death of the Ivory Kingdoms has left the region rife with overgrown ruins, collapsed cities, and lost temples. It is a land filled with buried secrets, forgotten lore, and abandoned culture. While all of the clans of Rokugan believe their own culture is greatly superior to that which has been eradicated, there is nonetheless considerable curiosity about it, and none feel this more keenly than the Phoenix. Throughout history, the Phoenix have been the masters and keepers of ancient and forbidden lore, and the sudden presence of so much completely unknown has been like a feast offered to a starving man. Many Phoenix in the Colonies have taken up the pursuit of these secrets in earnest and train to make it their primary duty.
- Technique Rank: 2
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 2, Agasha Shugenja 2
- Requirements: Lore: Gaijin (Ivory Kingdoms) 3
- Technique: There Are No Secrets – The scholars of the Phoenix Clan are masters of prying the secrets of a dead nation from its ruins, regaining vast amounts of knowledge that might otherwise have been lost forever. When casting a non-damaging spell on an object, creature, or willing individual (not yourself) for which you have at least 3 Ranks in an applicable Lore Skill, you gain a +1k1 bonus on the Spell Casting Roll. The GM is the final judge on whether a Lore Skill is applicable. For example, Lore: Shadowlands would apply when casting a spell on an oni, but not when casting it on a gaki.
Isawa Temple Guardian [Shugenja]
Countless temples and holy sites throughout the Emerald Empire have benefited from the protection of the Isawa Temple Guardians over the centuries. Indeed, as a group they are welcome in the lands of virtually every clan and family in Rokugan. Although their expertise is only rarely needed, when it does come into play the results tend to be memorable. There are many tales of a single Temple Guardian turning the tide during an unexpected attack.
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 3, Agasha Shugenja 3
- Requirements: Earth 4, Lore: Theology 3
- Technique: Never This Sacred Ground Shall Fall – The Temple Guardians of the Isawa family are well known for the power they bring to bear against all who threaten the holy places of the Empire. When defending a sacred location such as a shrine, temple, or monastery, you gain a Free Raise on all Earth spells. In addition, when defending a sacred location you may spend one Void Point (as a Free Action) when casting any Earth spell that inflicts damage in order to grant it the Jade keyword.
Isawa Seaguard [Shugenja]
The Phoenix Clan expands its own fleet in response to Yoritomo’s growing campaign of raids and piracy; lacking the numbers to conduct a build-up on the same scale as their Crane allies, the Phoenix instead focus on placing shugenja on all their ships and training those priests to use winds and waves against the Mantis ships – an especially important duty given the number of Yoritomo and Moshi shugenja fielded by the Mantis fleet. The Seaguard, as they come to be called, are often recruited from shugenja who would normally have joined the Elemental Guards, and receive much of their training directly from the clan’s new Master of Water, Isawa Riake.
- Rank: 3
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 3
- Requirements: Water 3, Air 3, Sailing 3
- Technique: The Ward of the Sea – The Seaguard are taught to call on the power of the wind and waves to protect their ships, allowing them to fight on even terms with the more numerous and skillful ships of the Mantis Clan. While on board a ship on the water, you may expend a Water or Air spell slot as a Complex Action to create a barrier of water and air around the ship. This barrier lasts for three Rounds. While it is in effect, the ship has Reduction of 10 against any physical attacks and Reduction of 25 against any natural or magical fire-based attack. In addition, the barrier obstructs arrows at (and from) anyone on the ship, replicating the mechanical effects of the spell Summoning the Gale.
Isawa Tensai [Shugenja] [CR]
The Isawa are the undisputed masters of elemental magic among the Great Clans. This prestigious family produces the most shugenja by far, and puts them through rigorous training to maintain high standards. The Tensai stand out as exceptional prodigies even among the Isawa. Instead of a general study of the kami, the Tensai focuses his attentions on a single Element. His command of the kami grows to an astounding level, as the kami seem to sing and dance at his call. Unfortunately, his single-mindedness comes at a high cost. It seems to be one the Tensai are only to eager to bear.
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 2
- Requirements: Lore: Elements 3, Spellcraft 3
- Technique: Embrace the Elements – There are those among the Phoenix whose chi is so strongly attuned to the essence of a single Element that they are able to accomplish incredible things by studying that Element to the exclusion of others. You gain an additional Affinity in any one Element for which you already possess an Affinity. You gain a Deficiency in all other Elements. For example, if you are a Rank 1 Isawa with an affinity for Fire, when you advance to this Technique, you will be a Rank 2 shugenja capable of casting Mastery Level 4 Fire spells, but only Mastery Level 1 spells of all other Elements.
Mist Legion [Shugenja]
The Phoenix Clan is home to the Elemental Guard, a set of four elite military units staffed by shugenja specializing in those Elements. Within the Hurricane Initiates, the Legion focused on Air, is a secretive group called the Mist Legion which focuses on using illusions on the battlefield. Although their existence is seldom officially acknowledged, they can be recognized by a small gray cloud worked into the school mon on their kimono. Although they are trained for the battlefield, these shugenja are not solely warriors, and in non-battle situations many of them use their abilities to create massive temporary works of art.
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 3 (Air Affinity)
- Technique: The World is a Canvas – The members of the Mist Legion assist the Elemental Guard and the Elemental Legions by manipulating the battlefield to the advantage of the Phoenix Clan. A number of times per day equal to your Insight Rank, you may spend a Void Point to cast the spell Summon Fog or False Realm as a Simple Action.
Kawaru Sages [Shugenja]
This small sect of shugenja studies and refines the ancient kawaru texts and methods, offering guidance and divination to all who might need it. To these shugenja the ways of kawaru are a sacred art, a gift from the Fortunes, and they often blend the kawaru methods with actual divination magic to get more precise results. They like to wear robes embroidered with the kawaru hexagrams. Kawaru Sages occasionally gain fame as court diviners, although they more often toil in obscurity.
- Technique Rank: 2
- Replaces: Any Phoenix shugenja 2, Tonbo Shugenja 2
- Requirements: Divination (Kawaru) 3
- Technique: The Veil of the Future – The Kawaru Sages have mastered the art of reading the sixty-four hexagrams of kawaru in order to divine what will happen in the near future, enhancing their forecasts with the aid of the kami of Water. At the beginning of each day, you may spend one hour in meditation and make a Divination Skill Roll, at a basic TN of 15. If successful, you gain a +1k0 bonus die, and you may Raise on the roll to gain addition bonus dice up to your Water Ring. You may spend these +1k0 bonus dice on any Spell Casting Rolls made during the rest of the day. Unused dice are lost at nightfall.
The Inferno Guard [Shugenja]
The Elemental Legions of the Phoenix Clan are a legend even among the Empire’s military traditions. The Firestorm Legion and their attendants in the Legion of Flame are the most aggressive of the Elemental Legions, ever on the forefront of any battle in which they are part of the Phoenix forces. Despite their overwhelmingly aggressive tactics, however, even the vaunted Firestorm Legion must give some attention to defense, and that is the purpose of the Inferno Guard. They defend positions by creating walls of fire, they protect by immolating archery fire from the sky, and they obscure by filling the skies with thick plumes of smoke.
- Rank: 3
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 3
- Requires: Fire 3, Battle (Mass Battle) 3, Fire affinity.
- Technique: Menacing Flames – Members of the Inferno Guard learn how to employ certain Fire spells to maximize the apparent threat they represent to opponents. When casting any Fire spell that does not list “One Target Creature” or “One Target Individual” as its Area of Effect, you may either spend a Void Point or expend an additional Spell Slot to give the spell an additional effect of Fear X, where X is the Mastery Level of the spell.
Nameless Ones [Shugenja] [IH]
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 3
- Requirements: Ishiken-do
- Technique: Darkness Undone – The Nameless Ones are terrible foes of all corruption, but especially of the Shadowlands. When casting any spell that targets an opponent with the Shadowlands Taint, you may expend one additional spell slot to lower your opponent’s Reduction by an amount equal to your School Rank. You may spend multiple spell slots in this manner, up to a maximum equal to your Void Ring. The lowered Reduction lasts until the beginning of your next Turn.
Order of Chikai [Bushi]
The Order of Chikai is among the oldest and most prestigious orders within the Shiba family, and is revered with an almost religious devotion by many of that family. The Order was founded only a few generations after the Empire formation and bears the name of Shiba Chikai. Chikai was the yojimbo assigned to protect the Phoenix Master of Water; she sacrificed her life to protect her grievously wounded charge from a band of ten assassins, none of whom survived the encounter. Since that time, the Order has devoted itself to providing the finest possible yojimbo to protect all five members of the Council of Elemental Masters. Members of the Order are hand-selected by its leaders and are universally drawn from yojimbo with exceptional records of service. Many have already served with the most elite units of the Shiba army (such as the family’s House Guard).
- Technique: Rank 5
- Replaces: Shiba Bushi 5
- Requirements: Must have taken the Shiba Yojimbo Path at Rank 3 and be selected for service in the Order of Chikai.
- Technique: None Must Fall – A member of the Order of Chikai will gladly sacrifice his life to save his charge, but prefers to preserve both lives so that he may live to protect his charge another day. You may designate one individual as your charge at the beginning of a skirmish. When your charge is targeted by an attack or spell you may use the Shiba Yojimbo Technique as normal, making the same Defense / Reflexes roll (TN 25) to absorb the damage instead of the charge. However, at the time of the roll you may choose to spend a Void Point as a Free Action to activate this additional ability: if you succeed in the roll, the damage is negated rather than simply transferred to you.
Provincial Guard [Bushi]
Once known as the Sapphire Legion, the Provincial Guard is a unit of distinction among the Phoenix Clan, well known for its defense of the sacred City of Treaties, Nikesake. The legion was founded hundreds of years ago, and named for the accord reached between the Phoenix and Crane clans, an accord further reinforced in later years by the marriage of Isawa Asahina to the daughter of the Crane Champion, resulting in the creation of the Asahina family. The legion’s name is taken from the color of the gemstone in question, a tribute to the colors of their allies among the Crane. In recent generations, however, the creation of an elite unit called the Legion of the Sapphire Chrysanthemum within the hierarchy of the Imperial families, who were ignorant of the Phoenix unit’s existence, has created something of a predicament for the Phoenix clan. They cannot continue to refer to their unit as the Sapphire Legion for fear of confusing them with the Imperial group of a similar name, and so the group has become known simply as the Provincial Guard, an admittedly somewhat bland name that manages to preserve both the unit’s intent as well as its integrity. Members of the Provincial Guard are well known for their courtly tendencies, and are trained in matters of etiquette in addition to their normal duties as sentries and yojimbo. Perhaps Ironically, the Shiba who train within Nikesake have found that the two aspects of their training are actually quite similar, and mutually beneficial.
- Replaces: Shiba Bushi 2
- Requirements: Defense 2, Etiquette 2
- Technique: Maintaining the Peace – A Shiba member of the Provincial Guard is skilled in protecting himself from all harm, regardless of its source. When in the Defense or Full Defense Stances and spending a Void Point to augment your Armor TN, you also add an amount to your Armor TN equal to your Etiquette Skill.
Sesai Ninja [Ninja]
- Technique Rank: 2
- Replaces: Shiba Bushi 2
- Requirements: Stealth 3
- Technique: Anything For the Phoenix – When on a battlefield, you gain +1k1 to all Stealth rolls and a Free Raise on all attack rolls made by surprise. When performing dishonorable acts on behalf of the Phoenix Clan, you lose half the normal amount of Honor (rounded up).
Shiba Advisor [Courtier]
Some Shiba choose to train with the Asako in order to become scholarly historians of war and conflict, a path of study which the Asako family normally frowns upon. These Shiba are able to view contemporary battles and campaigns through the dispassionate eye of history, allowing them to offer potent counsel to their fellow Shiba during times of war. When the Phoenix must fight, every Shiba general makes sure he has an Advisor on his command staff.
- Technique Rank: 3
- Replaces: Asako Loremaster 3
- Requires: Lore: History 3, Lore: War 3
- Special Requirement: This path is only open to characters from the Shiba family.
- Technique: Lessons Never Forgotten – The Advisors have the ability to call on their scholarly knowledge of war to enhance their army’s chances of success. Prior to your side undertaking a military task or duty (such as a patrol, a scouting mission, an attack on an enemy, or a hunt for bandits), you may review the plans for the task and apply the wisdom of history. You make either a Lore: War / Intelligence roll at TN 25 or a Lore: History / Intelligence roll at TN 35. With a success, you are able to give advice which increases the chances of success on the mission. One allied bushi on the mission gains a single Rank of Luck for the duration of the mission (if unused it disappears at the end of the mission). You may Raise to bestow the Luck on additional allies (but not on yourself), to a maximum number of allies equal to your School Rank.
Shiba Armorsmiths [Bushi] [Artisan]
The love of Shiba have for scholarly pursuits and the arts is an oddity among bushi families in Rokugan, so much so that many other bushi families look upon them with a mixture of confusion and distaste. Many Shiba pursue some manner of artistic endeavor, although they usually prefer those of a scholarly nature, such as poetry or writing. Some, however, embrace both sides of the their family’s nature and take up the path of the armorsmith, crafting the famous armor of the Phoenix Clan. These are both beautiful artistic creations and instruments of defense for what the Shiba regard as the tragic inevitability of war.
- Replaces: Shiba Bushi 2
- Requirements: Craft: Armorsmithing 3, Defense 3
- Technique: Brilliant Steel – A Shiba armorsmith is adept at the creation of beautiful armor, and consequently is also adept at using armor effectively on the battlefield. You gain a +1k0 bonus when making Craft rolls to create armor. When you are wearing armor and spend a Void Point to increase your Armor TN by 10, you may increase your Armor TN by an additional amount equal to twice your Earth Ring.
Shiba Illusionists [Shugenja] [Artisan]
Founded by the unconventional shugenja Shiba Tsuna, the Illusionists use Air Magic to delight and entertain, following their founder’s dictum that there is no sound the Air kami like more than the laughter of children. They are regarded with some hostility by the Isawa, who believe their use of the kami is frivolous, but after the disgrace of Tsuna’s rival the Isawa have avoided any direct attack on the organization, preferring to simply ignore it as much as possible.
- Replaces: Isawa Shugenja 1 or Shiba Artisan 1
- Special: Illusionists use the Trait benefit, Skills, Honor, and outfit of whichever School they are attending in addition to the Technique of this Path. Illusionists are always presumed to have an Affinity for Air and gain 3 Air, 2 Water, and 1 Earth spell if this Path is their first Shugenja Technique.
- Technique: The Tejina’s Art – The path of the illusionist is one that specializes in crafting false images. You gain a number of additional spell slots per day equal to your School Rank. You may only use these slots to cast the spells Token of Memory, Flight of Doves, or Mists of Illusion.
Shiba Yojimbo [Bushi] [CR]
Shiba bent the knee to man and swore to follow the Isawa family at the inception of the Phoenix Clan. Throughout Rokugan’s history, the Shiba family has acted as the defenders of the Isawa shugenja against anything that may stand against them. The Shiba take this duty seriously and many have devoted their entire lives to this goal. The Shiba Yojimbo is the epitome of the family’s ideal; he will die before he allows harm to his charge.
- Replaces: Shiba Bushi 3
- Requirements: Honor Rank 5.0+
- Technique: Shiba’s Sacrifice – The Shiba yojimbo are an elite cadre of personal guards, trained to give their lives for their charges at a moment’s notice. Only the most honorable and selfless of the Shiba are selected for this training, since it requires a willingness to throw one’s life away without hesitation. At the start of any skirmish, you may designate one ally as your charge for that skirmish. Any time your charge is hit by a physical or a targeted (non-area-affect) damage-causing spell, if you are within 10′ you may make a Defense / Reflexes roll at TN 25. With a success, you take the damage instead of your charge. If you spend a Void Point to reduce this damage, it is reduced by 20 instead of the normal 10.
Sisters of the Sacred Light [Shugenja]
Founded in the years immediately after the creation of the Centipede Clan, the Sisters of the Sacred Light were originally created to deal with infestations of mischievous spirits. Although founded by the Centipede, they recruit women from several clans, and those women are expected to forsake their former loyalties in order to follow the path of purity and wisdom which the Sisters teach. They dress in the traditional garb of a temple priestess (a red hakama and white gi), bereft of all markings save for a single clan mon to indicate their ancestry.
- Replaces: Asahina Shugenja 2, Isawa Shugenja (Air) 2, Moshi Shugenja 2
- Technique: Light Banishes Lies – The Sisters of the Sacred Light specialize in exposing illusions as the falsehoods they are. When attempting to Banish the kami of Air, who are of course responsible for the vast majority of illusion effects, you require only 2 Raises on the Sense spell (rather than the normal 3) and only 3 Raises on the Commune spell (rather than the normal 5).