Below are a few of the tattoos found upon the members of the Togashi Order. There are countless dozens or even hundreds in existence, some unique, but those listed below are those most commonly encountered. Members of the Togashi Order gain these mystical tattoos in lieu of Techniques at Ranks 1, 3, and 5. Tattoos can only be activated if they are exposed; tattoos covered by cloth or armor cannot be used. Unless otherwise specified, the following conditions apply to all tattoos: they can be activated as Free Actions, only one tattoo may be active at a time, and tattoo effects last a number of rounds equal to twice the character’s School Rank.

  • Balance: This tattoo of the spiritual yin-yang symbol calms the mind and spirit. While this tattoo is active, the TN of all Spell Casting Rolls made with you as a target are increased or decreased by an amount equal to twice your School Rank plus 5. You determine whether this is an increase or a decrease when you activate the tattoo.
  • Bamboo: The bamboo plant is ubiquitous throughout the Empire, and is well known not only for the speed with which it grows, but also its durability. While this tattoo is active, your Armor TN is increased by an amount equal to twice your School Rank +5.
  • Bear: The bear is a primal being of nature, a force to be reckoned with even at its weakest moments. Those who possess this tattoo can summon that same incredible strength and endurance, although not simultaneously. While this tattoo is active, you may choose to increase your Stamina by an amount equal to your School Rank. Alternatively, you may instead choose to increase your Strength by an amount equal to half your School Rank, rounding up.
  • Blaze: The power and fury of fire is unleashed in the Blase tattoo. When activated, this tattoo causes your unarmed strikes to be bolstered with pure fire. Your unarmed attacks are accompanied by flickering flames that inflict an additional amount of fire damage equal to your Fire Ring plus your School Rank.
  • Centipede: The tiny centipede has hundreds of legs working in unison, and that power can be commanded by the monks who bear its image. When this tattoo is activated, you make make a special Complex Move Action that allows you to move a distance equal to your Water Ring x 100′. This effect lasts for an entire day, essentially allowing you to cross the face of the Empire in a day. If you stop for more than one minute, the effect ends. When the effect ends, you collapse into an exhausted state and can take no physical actions for a period of twelve hours.
  • Cloud: You can call upon the essence of the wind and the sky, granting you the same ethereal qualities as they possesses. While this tattoo is active, any melee attack that successfully strikes you must immediately make a second attack roll. If the second attack roll fails, the strike misses. However, while this tattoo is active you may not make attacks of any kind.
  • Crab: The tiny crab is resilient beyond all measure for its size. While this tattoo is active, you gain a Reduction rating equal to your Earth Ring.
  • Crane: The crane is a symbol of luck and beauty. When you activate this tattoo, you gain a number of bonus dice equal to your School Rank plus your Air Ring. These dice may be spent on any Social Skill Roll. Each die contributes a bonus of +1k0. If these bonus dice are not used within an hour, they are lost. You may not add more dice to a single roll than your Void Ring. This tattoo is considered active the entire hour, and if another tattoo is activated, any unspent dice from this tattoo are lost.
  • Dragon: The dragon is a fearsome tattoo, and contains frightening power waiting to be unleashed. As a Complex Action, you may breathe fire in a cone, equal to ten feet plus your School Rank in length, and five feet wide at the end. This fire deals damage to all in its area of effect, with a DR equal to your Fire Ring. You take damage equal to your Fire Ring upon each use.
  • Hawk: You may borrow the essence of the hawk, and cover great distances with ease. As a Complex Action, you may leap a distance equal to your Water Ring x 25′.
  • Ki-Rin: There are few omens of good fortune more significant than that of the sacred ki-rin. Upon activating this tattoo, you may immediately re-roll any one roll per round, keeping the higher of the two results.
  • Lion: The lion is a proud and noble warrior. Upon activating this tattoo, you gain ranks equal to your School Rank in any Bugei Skill of your choice.
  • Mantis: The mantis is a fierce and fearless warrior out of all proportion to its tiny size. Upon receiving this tattoo, you are completely immune to all Fear effects. This tattoo is active at all times, and does not prevent the use of other tattoos.
  • Mountain: The mountain is eternal and unmoving. When you activate this tattoo, all your Wound Penalties are reduced by an amount equal to your School Rank plus 2.
  • Ocean: The ocean’s boundless depths hold the secrets of life and rejuvenation. When granted this tattoo, you no longer have need of food or drink, although you may still partake of them if you wish. When this tattoo is activated, you are instantly refreshed as if you had spent eight hours of sleep, and you regain all spent Void Points. This tattoo may only be used once every three days.
  • Phoenix: The Phoenix can never truly be defeated, rising as it does from the ashes to be born anew. You must have at least one unspent Void Point for this tattoo to be triggered. when you are reduced to the Down Wound Level or below, this tattoo automatically activates. All unspent Void Points are lost, and you immediately heal a number of Wounds equal to your School Rank x 10. This tattoo cannot be activated more than once per week.
  • Scorpion: The scorpion is silent and deadly. While this tattoo is active, you roll additional dice on any Stealth Skill Roll equal to your School Rank. Also, during this time your unarmed attacks automatically Daze your opponent if any dice explode on your damage roll.
  • Spider: The spider is quick and dexterous, escaping predators with its speed and agility. While this tattoo is active, you may move across vertical and inverted surfaces (such as sheer walls or ceilings) while making Move Actions. You move at half your normal rate when doing so.
  • Storm: The storm is nature’s fury, and few can stand against its raw power. While this tattoo is active, your unarmed attacks require only one Raise to use the Knockdown Maneuver.
  • Void: this ink black kanji represents oneness with all. When this tattoo is activated, you gain awareness of all life around you. You know the location and rough details of all living things within a radius of your School Rank x 10′, even if you cannot see them. You know only rough details, such as “two warriors” or “a pair of rabbits,” not specific identities. You can recognize individuals well-known to you, however.
  • Volcano: While this tattoo is active, the skin of the monk’s torso and upper limbs takes on the appearance of lava, a surface of searing-hot blackness riven with brightly glowing fiery cracks. Any flammable object which strikes the monk’s body – including wooden weapons and arrows – will sear to ash within moments, and consequently the monk is considered to have Reduction of 5 against such attacks (due to their burning up before they can deliver the full impact of their blows). Metal weapons inflict normal damage, but the wielders of such weapons must succeed in Contested Fire rolls against the monk or be forced to drop their weapons due to the intense heat (Sacred Weapons and nemuranai are immune to this effect). Unarmed attacks (including the Strike option while grappling) inflict normal damage and suffer no ill effects, since their impact does not crack the fiery surface of the lava.
  • Wave:This tattoo invokes the mighty power of the tsunami to resist enemy force and drive your opponents to their knees. While this tattoo is active, you gain a +Xk0 bonus (where X is your Insight Rank) to the Contested Strength Roll used to determine the success of a Knockdown maneuver you perform with an unarmed attack. You also gain an identical bonus to resist all enemy Knockdown attempts, regardless of whether they are made unarmed or with weapons.
  • Whisper: This very rare tattoo usually takes the form of a person turned aside, hand held to the mouth as if silencing someone or masking something being said. When invoked, the tattoo allows those who bear it to send brief silent messages over long distances. When this tattoo is active, as a Complex Action you may send a whispered message to anyone within a number of miles equal to 10 x your School Rank. You cannot receive messages from the target unless they share the same tattoo or have some other means of transmitting such information.
  • Wind: The wind is swift and moves without hindrance. While this tattoo is active, you gain an additional Simple Action per round, which may not be used to make an attack. Your maximum total movement is not limited to your Water Ring x 20.
  • Wolf: The wolf is the great tracker of the wilds. When you activate this tattoo, your senses become superhumanly sharp, allowing you to perceive small details and even individual scents. You gain a number of Free Raises on Hunting (Tracking) Skill Rolls equal to your School Rank. This tattoo’s effect last a number of hours equal to your School Rank.

Merged Tattoos

Every once in a while, the tattoos that appear on the flesh of a member of the Ise Zumi order (or its offshoots, the Kikage Zumi and the Tsurui Zumi) undergo a strange transformation. A brother who might have expected to receive a new tattoo occasionally finds instead that two of his existing tattoos have merged together to create something altogether new. This sometimes involves existing tattoos moving from one place to another on the monk’s body, a feat that not even the Togashi family’s sacred tattoo artists can explain. These new tattoos are invariably powerful, but they do limit the versatility of the monks who possess them.

A player who chooses for his character to receive a merged tattoo forgoes a new tattoo that his character would normally receive due to increasing in School Rank. Instead, two of the character’s existing tattoos are replaced by a single merged tattoo that represents both. Fire and Mountain might be replaced with Volcano, or perhaps Wind and Storm might be replaced with Hurricane. Regardless, the new tattoo is very powerful, for it allows the mechanical benefits of both tattoos to be active simultaneously. There are costs associated with it, however, as neither tattoo can be activated without the other, and any tattoo activation for the merged tattoo now costs one Void Point (although it is still a Free Action). The GM may choose not to allow Merged Tattoos if they seem overly powerful for the style of game he is running.