Crane Clan Schools

Basic Schools

Asahina Shugenja [CR]

Much like the family as a whole, the Asahina sensei who teach at the various branches of the Asahina Shugenja School extol the virtue of preserving life over heedless destruction. As much monks as priests, the Asahina focus on scholarly pursuits and meditation as a means of finding their path in the world. They conduct the same rituals on behalf of the Crane that other shugenja families perform but they use the opportunity to raise questions for those participating or observing the rituals. The Asahina regard everything as a teaching opportunity. Likewise they place great emphasis on the creation of artwork, an act they consider essential to the improvement of the world around them.

Above all else, the Asahina Shugenja School focuses on defense and protection. Both its core Technique and its spell emphases encourage spells that reduce damage and protect others from attack. Other spells possessed by Asahina shugenja tend to have an emphasis on crafting or creating.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Any one Artisan Skill, Calligraphy (Cipher), Etiquette, Lore: Theology, Meditation, Spellcraft, any one High Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Robes, Bo, Wakizashi, Scroll Satchel, Traveling Pack, 10 koku
  • Affinity/Deficiency: Air/Fire
  • Spells: Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Air, 2 Water, and 1 Earth
  • Technique: The Soul's Grace - The Asahina have harnessed the power of the kami for art, not war. You may spend a Void Point to reduce the total of all opponents' damage rolls inflicted within 20' of you by 0k1 for a number of rounds equal to your School Rank. (Using this technique again before its duration expires "resets" the duration but does not increase the damage penalty.) You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Defense keyword.

Daidoji Iron Warrior [Bushi] [CR]

The skills of the Doji and the Kakita have raised the Crane into their position as masters of the court, but when words alone cannot attain victory; it is the strength and the courage of the Daidoji Iron Warriors that carry the day. The Daidoji have always considered themselves the silent steel of the Crane, and that perception is not inaccurate. The Daidoji Iron Warriors are both the rank and file and the heavy infantry of the Crane armies, comprising a sizable portion of the Clan's first army and the majority of the second. They also serve as yojimbo, and this duty is the one most often ascribed to the Daidoji, even if it is but one of their many roles.

The Daidoji are a versatile group, with Techniques that emphasize both enduring the damage of one's opponents and protecting their charge. This fighting style is not exclusively protective, however, and it allows an Iron Warrior to fight defensively in a skirmish to great effect.

  • Benefit: +1 Agility
  • Skills: Battle, Defense 2, Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu (Katana), Kyujutsu, any one Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Light or Heavy Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Heavy Weapon or Polearm, Traveling Pack, 10 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: The Force of Honor
The Iron Warrior serves as the shield of his clan, defending the honor and homes of the Crane. You gain a bonus of your Honor Rank (rounded down) minus 4 to your Wounds at each Wound Rank, to a minimum bonus of one. (Thus at Honor Rank 6.5, you gain a bonus of 2 Wounds to each Wound Rank.) Additionally, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to the total of all attack rolls while in the Attack Stance.

Rank 2: The Shield of Faith
The Iron Warrior truly believes that his work serves a higher purpose. When you perform the Guard Maneuver, the benefits last for an additional Round. Additionally, the Armor TN bonus of the Guard Maneuver is increased by 5. (This bonus applies to both your Armor TN and your target's Armor TN - thus, you suffer not TN penalty when Guarding, and your target gains a bonus of +15 to his Armor TN instead of +10.)

Rank 3: Strike Beneath the Veil
The Daidoji is an intractable foe, devastating to face under any circumstances. You may make melee attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while in the Attack Stance.

Rank 4: Vigilance of Mind
The Iron Warrior is always on the lookout for dangers. You may spend a Void Point during the Reactions Stage to target an opponent who has attempted to strike at either you or the target of your Guard Maneuver during the Round. You gain a bonus of +2k1 to the total of all attack and damage rolls against that opponent during the next Round.

Rank 5: To Tread on the Sword
When the Iron Warrior fights to protect his charge, he will continue on long after others would perish. You may spend two Void Points as a Free Action when someone declares an action against the target of your Guard Maneuver. You become the target of the action instead (if it would be a legal action - GM's discretion in questionable instances). You also gain one Free Action that you may use immediately for the sole purpose of moving toward the target of your Guard Maneuver. If you cannot reach your target, this Technique has no effect.

Daidoji Scout [Bushi]

Although the Iron Warriors are the most well-known public face of the Daidoji family, they also study a style of warfare specialized in scouting, ambush, and precision strikes against vulnerable enemy assets like commanders and supply caravans. Daidoji Scouts readily employ traps and surprise attacks, accepting a certain amount of dishonor in their own conduct for the sake of the greater good of the Crane Clan. They rely on the rest of the clan to provide them with political cover for their questionable actions.

  • Benefit: +1 Reflexes
  • Skills: Athletics, Hunting (Traps), Kenjutsu, Knivs, Kyujutsu (Yumi), Stealth (Sneaking) any 1 Bugei or Low Skill
  • Honor: 3.5
  • Outfit: Light or Ashigaru Armor, Rugged Clothing, Daisho, Bow, Knife, any 1 weapon, Trap-making Gear, Camouflage Face-paint, Traveling Pack, 5 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Surveying the Land
The Daidoji scouts are masters of observation and pursuit, tracking their opponents, harassing them, and delaying them with traps and ambushes. You gain +1k0 with Stealth and Hunting skill Rolls. Any rural/improvised traps you create are exceptionally deadly, inflicting +1k1 extra damage.

Rank 2: Scouring the Shadows
Daidoji scouts strike from concealment, hitting their opponents with swift and devastating attacks. When attacking an unaware opponent you gain a bonus of +2k0 to your attack roll.

Rank 3: Weaken the Resistance
The Daidoji learn to strike with precision, hitting their opponents in weak spots and evading their armor. You may ignore any Reduction your opponent gains from wearing armor or from school techniques. (You cannot ignore the natural Reduction of creatures, or Reduction bestowed by magical or supernatural effects.) If you attack an opponent who has no Reduction from armor or techniques, you gain +1k0 to your damage rolls.

Rank 4: Strike and Move
The Daidoji scout strikes with the swiftness of the wind itself. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action when wielding a katana, wakizashi, knife, or bow. Your traps now inflict +2k1 extra damage.

Rank 5: Cunning of Daidoji
The true master of the Daidoji scout school needs only a single strike, for his opponent never survives to see the second one. During a skirmish, you may spend a Void Point as a Free Action to attempt a deadly precision strike on your next attack (this may be done with a melee or a ranged attack, but cannot be done more than once in the same Turn). Any Maneuvers called on this attack require 1 less Raise (to a minimum of 1 Raise), and if you successfully hit you gain a bonus of +1k1 to your Damage roll. Furthermore, if your opponent is unaware of you, your Raises on this attack are not limited by your Void.

Doji Courtier [CR]

The reputation of the Crane Clan has for being the unquestioned masters of any court activity in which they are involved is well-deserved, and almost exclusively the result of the ancient secrets of the Doji Courtier School. The School's primary focus is on the creation of vast networks of allies upon whom the Crane can call to accomplish virtually anything, preferably indebting those involved to the Crane in the process. The curriculum in the Doji School is quite broad and encompasses a myriad of topics, more than could be mastered by any single samurai, no matter how talented. Fortunately, the sensei ensure that there are an ample number of courtiers trained in every area so no matter what the need, a Doji stands ready to fulfill it.

The Doji Courtier School is built upon the notion of trading favors. That is not the entirety of their abilities, however; what makes them even more daunting opponents is their ability to perceive what an individual needs, and then offer it to them in such a manner that refusal is difficult if not impossible.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Calligraphy, Courtier (Manipulation), Etiquette (Courtesy), Perform: Storytelling, Sincerity, Tea Ceremony, any one Artisan or Perform skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Extravagant Clothing, Wakizashi, any 1 weapon, Calligraphy Set, Traveling Pack, 10 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: The Soul of Honor
Apprentice Doji courtiers are taught to rely on their Honor when dealing with others, infusing their every word and gesture with the power of their purity, and to build networks of allies by discerning what others need and fulfilling those needs. So long as you maintain your Honor Rank at 6.0 or better, you gain a Free Raise on all Courtier, Sincerity, and Etiquette rolls. Also, by conversing with another person for a few minutes, you can make a Contested Roll of Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness to learn whether they are in need of any favors or assistance (such as needing travel papers to reach another province, for example).

Rank 2: Speaking in Silence
At this Rank the Doji learns Cadence, the art of communicating through subtle gestures and body language. This gives them a huge advantage in the courts by allowing them to share information while their rivals are none the wiser. You can roll Courtier / Intelligence at TN 15 to communicate simple ideas and instructions (things like "distract them," "this favors us," or "Intercept that person") with any other Crane who is trained in the Doji Courtier School or who has at least 5 Ranks in the Courtier Skill. More complex ideas can be conveyed with Raises, although there is an upper limit (set by the GM) on how complicated Cadence can become.

Rank 3: The Perfect Gift
The Doji build their networks of alliances through selflessness, offering others what they need so that in the future the Doji may rely on their assistance. Any time you are in court or in an urban area, you can roll Courtier / Awareness at TN 20 to come up with a suitable gift or a helpful political favor for someone else. By calling Raises on this roll, you can acquire a rarer or more potent gift or favor. If such a gift or favor is accepted, you may immediately take that person as an Ally with 1-point Devotion, without XP cost (subject to the GM's permission).

Rank 4: Voice of Honor
At this Rank the Doji has learned the art of political maneuvering, making his positions and arguments appear synonymous with Honor, forcing anyone who disagrees with him to take a dishonorable position. In any debate or argument, you may make a Contested Roll of Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Awareness. If you win the roll, the opponent is forced to concede that his position conflicts with the demands of Honor and Bushido, and if he persists in that position he will commit a breach of etiquette. (It is the GM's discretion, based on the circumstances, as to whether it is a minor or major breach.)

Rank 5: The Gift of the Lady
The final training of the Doji teaches them the art of influencing the emotions of others, making friends and allies out of almost anyone - even bitter enemies. By conversing with someone for a few minutes, you may make a Contested Roll of Courtier (Manipulation) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. If the target is an Ally, you gain a bonus of +5k0 to the total of this roll. With a success, you shift the target's emotions in a favorable direction, persuading them to listen to your advice and counsel. The GM is the final arbiter but in general, the target will go along with anything you suggest which does not conflict with his basic loyalties.

Doji Magistrate [Bushi] [EE]

The Doji family is dedicated to protecting its lands and people from all threats, an expression of the Crane Clan's devotion to the Virtue of Compassion. Consequently, they maintain this school to teach their bushi techniques of law enforcement and peace-keeping. Although generally less famous for their deeds, the Doji family's magistrate tradition actually predates their more sensational counterparts in other clans by centuries. The Kitsuki family, the Soshi Magistrates, and even the Emerald Magistrates were not created until well after the Doji tradition had been in place for a very long time. In fact, it is often against the Doji that other such schools are measured, although this is not a conscious comparison.

Despite the name of the school, in actuality only a minority of its students are actually appointed as clan magistrates - students are far more likely to serve as yoriki, assisting other magistrates, or simply as guards patrolling the borders and maintaining law and order in cities and towns. Still, those who are trained in this school are often among the first to receive an appointment when a magistrate position becomes available, and it is not uncommon for many Doji to serve in the ranks of the Emerald and Jade magistrates as well.

  • Benefit: +1 Reflexes
  • Skills: Defense, Horsemanship, Jiujutsu, Kenjutsu, Knives (Jitte), Polearms, any High or Bugei Skill
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon (or 2 Knives), Traveling Pack, 10 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Temper Steel With Honor
Doji Magistrates are trained to fight with compassion, avoiding injury to both themselves and whenever possible to others, a style known to the Crane as Mizu-do (the Way of Water). They specialize in the use of weapons designed to disarm or capture foes rather than kill them. You may add an amount equal to your Air Ring to your Armor TN (unless caught helpless or unaware). You gain a +1k0 bonus to your attack rolls when fighting with a jitte or a sasumata.

Rank 2: Flowing Like Water
The Magistrates are taught the art of subduing law-breakers non-lethally by turning their own strength against them, an especially useful skill when dealing with drunken samurai whose deaths might carry political repercussions. When rolling to control a Grapple or to resolve a Disarm attempt, you may use your opponent's Strength Rank in place of your own.

Rank 3: Breath of the Law
The Doji Magistrates practice a variety of submission holds designed to disarm and disable lawbreakers without harming them. If you successfully Grapple or Disarm an opponent, they are also Dazed.

Rank 4: Flowing Like Air
A true student of the Doji path can move as swiftly as the wind of justice that brings ruin to his enemies. You may make attacks as a Simple Action when fighting unarmed or when wielding a jitte, sasumata, or a weapon with the Samurai keyword.

Rank 5: The Willow in the Storm
In their final lesson, Doji Magistrates are taught to maneuver around their opponents, redirecting their energy and defeating them with their own momentum. You may spend a Void point during the Reactions stage of a skirmish Round to force anyone who attacks you on the next Round to subtract their Air Ring from each of their dice. (Dice which explode have their final total reduced.) This technique cannot be activated while you are in the Full Attack stance or the Center stance.

Kakita Bushi [CR]

The sacred art of iaijutsu is practiced by all clans, but none have truly mastered it in the same manner as the sensei at the Kakita Dueling Academy. The School focuses unapologetically upon dueling. Other skills are part of the core teachings, but they are considered incidental and in many cases are offered only because some facet of their instruction relates in some way to iaijutsu. While there are those in the Empire who have criticized the School for its narrow focus, few can argue with the results; many battles have been won by the Crane because an enemy general was slain in a duel before the fighting began. Likewise the Crane stranglehold on the courts is easier to maintain when any challenge can be answered by a Kakita champion taking the courtier's place in a duel.

The Kakita Techniques place an obvious emphasis on iaijutsu but several of them can be used in both dueling and in general skirmishing. The Kakita are generally faster than most opponents, reflected in their Initiative bonuses, and are able to utilize the Center stance for greater benefits than normal, both in dueling and outside.

  • Benefit: +1 Reflexes
  • Skills: Etiquette, Iaijutsu (Focus), Kenjutsu, Kyujutsu, Sincerity, Tea Ceremony, any one Bugei or High Skill
  • Honor: 6.5
  • Outfit: Light Armor, Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, any 1 weapon, Traveling Pack, 10 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: The Way of the Crane
The study of the sword demonstrates the many ways in which the art of Kakita's technique can be applied. You add twice your Iaijutsu Skill to all Initiative rolls. You gain a bonus of +1k1 plus your School Rank to the total of all attack and Focus rolls while assuming the Center Stance. This bonus also applies during the Combat Round following one in which you assume the Center Stance.

Rank 2: Speed of Lightning
Enemies who are slow or weak of spirit are doomed to failure. You gain a bonus of +2k0 to the total of all attack rolls against those with lower Initiative than your own.

Rank 3: First and Last Strike
A Kakita Bushi is feared throughout the Empire as a follower of the oldest and most venerated dueling tradition in the Empire. You may Strike first in a duel if you win the Iaijutsu/Void roll by a difference of 3 or higher. You gain a Free Raise on your Strike for each additional margin of 3 instead of 5.

Rank 4: One Strike, Two Cuts
With one pure strike, the advanced student of Kakita's technique cuts his opponent twice. You may make attacks as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action while using weapons with the Samurai keyword.

Rank 5: Strike With No Thought
A true student of Kakita requires no thought before the perfect strike, depending entirely on instinct. You may take one Simple Action per Turn while assuming the Center Stance. You gain the benefits of Center Stance while you assume the stance instead of the following Turn, and you may remain in the Center Stance as many consecutive Turns as desired. The Simple Action you take can be a Move Action (bypassing the normal restriction of the Center Stance).

Kakita Artisan

Unlike their occasional rivals among the Shiba, the Kakita Artisans do not confine themselves merely to the creation of physical art such as paintings or books of poetry. The Artisan Academy devotes itself to the study of every sort of art, whether it be performance-based or creation-based, and studies not only the ways of art but also the way s in which such art may be turned to the service of the Crane Clan.

  • Benefit: +1 Awareness
  • Skills: Courtier, Games: Sadane, Etiquette, Sincerity, any 3 skills chosen from the following list: Acting, Artisan (Gardening, Ikebana, Origami, Painting, Poetry, or Sculpture), Perform (Dance, Oratory, Puppeteer, Song, Storytelling, or any musical instrument)
  • Honor: 5.5
  • Outfit: Court Robes, Beautiful Clothing, Wakizashi, Art supplies, Fan, Steed (Rokugan pony), Traveling Pack, 10 koku

Techniques

Rank 1: Soul of the Artisan
The Kakita Artisan is taught from the earliest youth to focus on one specific form of art above all others, devoting himself to it heart and soul and pursuing the goal of absolute perfection within its forms. Of course, in keeping with Crane tradition, the Artisan is also taught to be a ruthless critic to any artistic rivals. Select one of the three chosen School Skills (Acting, an Artisan Skill, or a Perform Skill) as the focus of your artistic training. This becomes your 'chosen art'. When making skill rolls with your chosen art, you gain a +2k0 bonus and your Raises are not limited by your Void.

Any time you are using Games: Sadane to criticize someone else's art or performance, you gain a Free Raise on your Skill Roll.

Rank 2: The Soul's Dream
The Kakita Artisan is taught to use his art to affect those around them, inspiring emotions and shifting the views of the audience. When presenting a public performance or display of your chosen art, you may make a Contested Social Roll of (chosen art) / Awareness against Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower of the audience members. Those audience members who fail their rolls are profoundly swayed and their emotions shift in a direction you desire - becoming friendlier, more hostile, calmer, or whatever other emotional shift your art is designed to evoke. This emotional shift normally lasts a number of hours equal to your Insight Rank.

Note that not all persons are equally susceptible to the impact of art - the GM may rule that a particular individual is affected for a shorter period of time, or award a bonus to the resistance roll for person whose emotions are difficult to manipulate. The GM should normally have each individual audience member roll separately to resist this technique (this should always be done for PCs or important NPCs), but with large groups of ordinary NPCs the GM can opt to save time by making a single roll for most or all of them.

Rank 3: Free the Spirit
You may select a second of your three chosen School Skills as a chosen art, and all Technique bonuses and effects which applied to your first chosen art now applies to it as well. The bonus to your chosen art skill rolls increases to +2k1.

Rank 4: Undying Name
Your art is now so magnificent that you make and break the reputations of others by depicting or referencing them in your work. You may create a piece of art referring to another person by rolling (chosen art) / Awareness at a TN equal to 20 plus 5 x their Glory Rank. With a success, you may either increase (if your art is complimentary) or decrease (if it is critical) their Glory by up to 5 points, plus an additional 5 points for every Raise you make on the roll. You may call two additional Raises to inflict a gain of Infamy on the target instead of a Glory change.

You may not target the same person with this technique more than once every six months. Furthermore, persons of high station cannot have their reputations damaged by artist lacking in prestige - the target's Status cannot exceed your Glory or Status Rank (whichever is higher).

Rank 5: A Gift Beyond Price
Your art is now so perfect that a gift of it can profoundly change another person's attitude toward you or your clan. Once per month, you may give a gift of your chosen art to someone from another clan or faction. Make a Contested Social Roll of your (chosen art) / Awareness against their Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. (The GM may aware Free Raises to you or the target of this technique based on the type and subject of the art and the attitudes and beliefs of the target - some people are easier to sway than others.) With a success, you permanently alter their attitude toward your clan/faction in a favorable direction. With a failure, the target becomes aware of your attempt to manipulate his emotions, and his attitude toward your clan/faction permanently shifts in a hostile direction.

Advanced Schools

Daidoji Harriers [Bushi] [IH]

The exact origins of the Daidoji Harriers are obscure and mysterious. The Crane established a covert training site for unconventional tactics in the ruins of Shiro Giji in the year 330, but for many generations that facility was used merely to train selected Daidoji Scouts in the more ruthless and pragmatic sort of fighting methods. However, at some point the training at Shiro Giji took on a darker and less honorable tone, focusing on the use of truly heinous methods such as sabotage and assassination. The final turning point seems to have been the decision to covertly manufacture and use gaijin pepper, whose secrets were discovered after the defeat of the gaijin in the Battle of White Stag.

The students of Shiro Giji took to calling themselves 'Harriers' to distinguish their methods from the somewhat more honorable tactics of other Daidoji Scouts. With time, the rulers of the family came to see the Harriers as a separate organization, a hand-picked band of men and women who would do anything and sacrifice any amount of their own honor for the greater good of the Crane. They carefully concealed the Harriers' existence and methods from the rest of the clan, ensuring the leadership of the Crane could maintain honor and propriety. In this way the Harriers covertly served the Crane Clan for many generations.

The organization was finally exposed during the so-called War of Silk and Steel between the Dragon and the Crane in the late twelfth century. Crane Champion Doji Domotai was outraged by the Harriers' activities and ordered the entire group disbanded, an order reluctantly obeyed by the Daidoji daimyo.

Requirements:

  • Ring/Traits: Agility 4, Air 4
  • Skills: Craft: Explosive 3, Hunting (Traps) 3, Stealth 5, Knives 4
  • Other: Must be a Daidoji and recruited for membership in the Harriers.

Techniques

Rank 1: Move Like Shadows
The Harriers are taught to sacrifice their own Honor for the sake of the greater good of the Crane Clan (as they perceive it). They train to blend into the shadows and to defeat their foes with traps and ambushes. You lose only half the normal amount of Honor (rounded down) for any dishonorable actions taken on behalf of the Crane Clan. You gain a +1k1 bonus to the DR of any rural traps you create (this stacks, with the Daidoji Scout techniques, if applicable).

Rank 2: Iron Feather
The lightning reflexes of a Harrier allows him to dodge his opponent's attacks easily. When wearing light armor, ashigaru armor, or no armor, you may add your Stealth Skill Rank to your Armor TN.

Rank 3: Unforgiving Steel
The Harrier is taught to disable his foes with a single deadly strike. If you successfully attack a surprised or unaware opponent, or if an opponent takes damage fro a rural trap you created, he is Dazed in addition to any other effects of your attack. He may not attempt to recover from the Daze until after the next Reactions stage, and the TN to recover from the Daze is increased by +5.

Kakita Master Artisan

The most talented elite of the Kakita Masters learn secret techniques of artistic perfection passed down from the early centuries of the Empire. These methods were developed by some of the Empire's finest artists and mastering them is beyond the ability of most students at the Artisan Academy, so only the most supremely gifted are ever taught them. However, for that same reason the techniques are not limited solely to students of the Artisan Academy - any supremely talented Crane may become a Kakita Master.
At their highest pinnacle of skill the Kakita Masters can actually change reality temporarily, a phenomenon which mystifies those shugenja who have studied it. Some speculate the art is so perfect that it inspires the kami in response, but in truth no one knows how the Masters achieve these effects.

  • Rings/Traits: Awareness 5, Void 5
  • Skills: At least one Kakita Artisan chosen art Skill must be Rank 8 or higher.
  • Other: If you are trained as a Kakita Artisan you must have Great Potential in the Skill of one of your chosen arts. If you are not trained as a Kakita Artisan, you must be a Crane with both the Prodigy advantage and Great Potential Advantage in either Acting, an Artisan Skill, or a Perform Skill. This single skill becomes your chosen art for the purposes of this school's techniques.

Techniques

Rank 1: The Master's Touch
The Master Artisan transcends the social demands of art to focus on creating works of lasting magnificence which transform those who witness them. You may attempt to create such a work or performance with a chosen art Skill roll at TN 40. A success results in a creation or performance that awes everyone who witnesses its first public appearance. You gain 5 points of Glory, +1 additional point of Glory for each Raise called on the Roll. everyone in the audience at the art's unveiling/performance gains one bonus Void Point (which can exceed their normal maximum) for the next 24 hours; if you successfully called at least 4 Raises on the roll, they gain two bonus Void Points instead. (The effects of this technique cannot stack.)

Rank 2: Mastery Unbound
At this level of skill, the Master Artisan's skills become truly legendary. You gain a bonus of +2k0 with your chosen art skill rolls. If you are trained as a Kakita Artisan you may select a third chosen art from your School Skills.

Rank 3: The Perfect Art
The final secret of the Master Artisans is a level of excellence that transcends the normal bounds of mortal capability, producing art that literally comes to life. Once per month when creating a work or performance with one of your chosen arts, you may spend 2 Void Points and then roll (chosen art) / Awareness at TN 50. With a success, the art comes to life - birds fly off a painting, the characters of a play manifest on the stage, the statue of a Fortune comes to life, and so forth.
The specific nature of the manifestation, and what action it takes after appearing, is chosen by the GM - but it will always be helpful to you, and will usually be something awe-inspiring and extraordinary. The manifestation normally lasts only a few minutes, but if you successfully call four Raises on the skill roll it will last for one hour.

Kenshinzen [Bushi] [CR]

The iaijutsu duel has always been the domain of the Crane Clan, and the Crane Clan's Kenshinzen are the epitome of the iaijutsu master. They are monsters of single combat, dominating their opponents with both impeccable technique and lethal aura. These warriors put their entire consciousness behind the fast draw and seek perfection of the single strike.

  • Rings/Traits: Fire 4, Void 4
  • Skills: Iaijutsu 5, Lore: Bushido 4, Meditation 5
  • Other: To become a member of the Kenshinzen, you must defeat a current member of the Kenshinzen in a legal iaijutsu duel. The duel need not necessarily be to the death (and most often are not), but the candidate must win fairly.

Techniques

Rank 1: Drawing the Void
The Kenshinzen remains still on the battlefield while the chaos of battle rages around him. If you are in the Center Stance, you add an additional +10 to your Armor TN.

Rank 2: Kakita's Strength
The Kenshinzen can sense the moments between heartbeats, allowing him to strike at the exact moment needed. When making an Assessment or Focus roll as part of an Iajutsu duel, your dice explode on a 9 as well as a 10.

Rank 3: A Single Moment
The Kenshinzen's will to defeat his enemy exudes out of him, paralyzing his enemies. If you make only one attack this Turn, an opponent you hit is Stunned until the beginning of your next Turn.

Alternate Paths

Asahina Archers [Bushi]

The Asahina Archer technique emerged from a partnership between those few Asahina who chose to follow the path of the bushi and the Daidoji family, which enlisted them and encouraged them to pursue the ways of archery. The organization has existed for centuries, although its relative obscurity means that most samurai in other clans are unaware of its existence.

  • Replaces: Daijoji Iron Warrior 4, Doji Magistrate 4
  • Requirements: Air 3, Kyujutsu 5, and must be a member of the Asahina or Daidoji family
  • Technique: No Regrets - Asahina Archers are taught to minimize the influence of their family's traditional pacifism and focus on defeating their enemies swiftly so that wars may be ended equally swiftly. Their technique allows them to call on their own inherent Air, delivering precisely accurate shots. When making an archery attack, you may make Called Shots for one less Raise (to a minimum of 1) and add half your Air (rounded down) in unkept dice to your attacks.

Asahina Artisans [Shugenja]

Founded in the sixth century by Asahina Hake, the Asahina Artisans use magic to create artwork that is transitory and unique, yet supremely memorable. They rely heavily on illusion magic, often using it to either enhance or replace the material components of their art.

  • Replaces: Asahina Shugenja 3
  • Technique: Hake's Lesson - The artisans of the Asahina family specialize in infusing magic into their craft in order to give it an otherworldly sense of serenity and beauty. When making an Artisan Skill Roll, you may expend a spell slot to add +2 per slot expended to the total of your roll. You may expend a number of slots equal to twice your Insight Rank in this manner. Air spell slots spent in this manner add +3 instead of +2.

Asahina Fetishist [Shugenja] [CR]

The Asahina shugenja follow the path of peace and beauty, finding harmony in the tranquility of nature. Over the years they have become masters of a secret art of creation that allows them to imbue magical power into small objects. These items, called tsangusuri, temporarily give their bearers the ability to ask for the blessings of the kami. Each item is painstakingly made to honor the Elements and to reflect the Crane vision of a beautiful world.

  • Replaces: Asahina Shugenja 2
  • Requirements: One Craft or Artisan Skill at rank 3
  • Technique: The World in the Palm of the Hand - The Asahina are the finest crafters of tsangusuri (fetishes) in the world of Rokugan, and their treasures are highly prized. When using an Artisan Skill or a Craft skill to create a small token of some kind, you may spend a Void Point to confer a one-time blessing into the token. Whoever is in possession of the token may activate this blessing at any time. Whenever activated, the token grants a bonus of +2k0 to one High Skill Roll. No more than one token may be used per day per individual.

Crane Elite Spearman [Bushi]

The Crane Clan has always had a strong tradition of yarijutsu among its ranks, particularly the Daidoji. Given that the Crane military forces are typically fewer in number than their traditional enemies, any advantage that can be exploited on the battlefield is ruthlessly put to good use. While there are other groups within the clan who excel in this field, such as the Tsume vassal family, it is the Daidoji who supply the clan with its most numerous and proficient spearmen.

  • Replaces: Daidoji Iron Warrior 2 or Daidoji Scout 2
  • Requirements: Spears 3
  • Technique: Talons of the Daidoji - The ferocity of the Crane spearmen is well known upon the battlefield, as is their ability to pin and immobilize those who would threaten the clan. When using a spear to attack an opponent, if you strike an opponent who has not yet acted this round, he must make two Raises to successfully attack you for the remainder of this Round.

Daidoji Heavy Regulars [Bushi]

The samurai of the Daidoji Heavy Regular units usually train alongside the Crab for at least a year; they are always equipped with the heaviest armor and wield a combination of spears and heavy weaponry. On the battlefield they are usually employed to blunt or break enemy charges, especially when fighting the Lion or the Unicorn. They are also sometimes used as blocking forces to resist enemy arrow barrages, since their heavy armor makes them more resistant to archery fire. They usually prefer either the tetsubo or the dai tsuchi as their primary armament.

  • Replaces: Daidoji Iron Warrior 4
  • Requirements: Heavy Weapons 5
  • Technique: Way of the Iron Crane - The Heavy Regulars use their experience serving alongside the Crab on the Kaiu Wall to inform their own training in heavy weapons, enhancing their defensive position against enemy attacks and striking back hard against charging foes. When wielding a heavy weapon in the Attack Stance, you may add +1k1 to your attack rolls against any opponent who is in the Attack or Full Attack Stances. When wielding a heavy weapon in the Defense or Full Defense stances, you may add your Heavy Weapons Skill Rank to your Armor TN.

Daidoji Trading Council [Courtier]

The Trading Council handles the commercial side of the Crane Clan's interests. This is considered a somewhat embarrassing and unpleasant duty, but the Trading Council accepts this task just as the rest of the Daidoji accept the duty of protecting their Doji and Kakita cousins - even at the cost of their own honor. The Trading Council watches their fellow Daidoji carefully and recruits those with the appropriate skills and mindset.

  • Replaces: Doji Courtier 3, Doji Magistrate 3, Daidoji Iron Warrior 3, or Daidoji Scout 3
  • Requirements: Commerce (Merchant) 3, and either Gentry or Wealthy. The Advantage requirement can be waived if the individual has distinguished himself as a merchant in other ways (GM's discretion).
  • Technique: The Golden Path - The members of the Trading Council are taught to detect and exploit any possible opportunity for commercial gain, to manipulate markets to their advantage, and to crush mercantile rivals from other clans. Once per month you may wage commercial warfare against a rival merchant by making a Contested Roll of Commerce (Merchant) / Awareness against the rival merchant patron. If you succeed, you inflict a loss on that merchant, a number of koku equal to the amount by which your roll exceeded theirs. If you lose the Contested Roll, you lose half that amount of koku. If the GM allows you to purchase additional Advantages (or Ranks in existing Advantages) after character creation, you may purchase Gentry, Wealthy, and Servants for 1 less Experience Point (to a minimum of 1).

Doji Innocents [Courtier]

The tradition of the Innocents focuses on upholding Honesty even in the nasty world of politics, avoiding falsehood at all costs and calling on the strength of their honor to lend their words weight.

  • Replaces: Doji Courtier 3
  • Requirements: Honor Rank 5.0 or better, Sincerity (Honesty) 4
  • Technique: The Power of Innocence - The Innocents forgo the traditional Crane method of building favor networks through gifts and favors. Instead, they win allies by speaking the truth in all cases. In any situation in which the Crane could gain advantage or protect their interests by lying or concealing the truth from a specific person, the Innocent may choose instead to tell that person the truth, then roll Sincerity (Honesty) / Awareness against the target's Investigation (Interrogation) / Perception. With a success, the target realizes what the Crane has just done and is deeply impressed by the Innocent's devotion to honor and truth. With the GM's permission, the Innocent gains the target as an Ally with 1 point of Devotion. This Technique may be used multiple times on the same target, with each success increasing Devotion by 1 (to a maximum of 4 points); however, it cannot target the same person more than once per month. Any time an Innocent knowingly tells a lie, he loses 2 points of Honor (over and above any other circumstantial Honor loss that might apply) and is unable to use his Technique for a period of one month.

Doji Warrior-Poet [Bushi]

The Kakita are generally regarded as the Crane Clan’s finest artists with a blade, and for exceptionally good reason. The Doji, on the other hand, are generally regarded as courtiers, with both families having a strong tradition of artisans within them as well. However, despite the general stereotype, the truth is that the Kakita produce a significant number of courtiers as well, and the Doji are just as likely to have a scion of the blade among their ranks as any other Crane family. One need look no farther than the Thunders of the Crane Clan, Doji Yasurugi, a brilliant orator, swordsman, and blacksmith, or his later reincarnation Doji Hoturi, one of the finest duelists in the history of the Empire, to see the full potential of the Doji line manifested. Unlike many other families in the Empire, the Doji consider pursuit of the blade and the arts of equal value, and the Doji are more likely to produce individuals gifted in both domains than perhaps even the other Crane families.

  • Replaces: Kakita Bushi 2
  • Requirements: Iaijutsu 2, Perform: Poetry 2
  • Technique: Fan & Sword - A warrior-poet understands that focus is the one and only key to not only victory, but enlightenment as well. When you spend a Void Point to augment an Iaijutsu Skill Roll or a Perform: Poetry Skill Roll, you gain a bonus of +2k1 instead of +1k1. Additionally, whenever you are victorious in a duel or a poetry contest, you gain one additional point of Glory. If you were championing someone else, that person also gains one additional point of Glory. This is in addition to any normal amount being rewarded.

Empress Guard [Bushi] [CR]

The Doji family has been intertwined with the Imperial dynasty from the dawn of the Empire. Over the years this connection has garnered them great favors and great responsibilities. The Empress Guard is a unit with some of the greatest warriors of the Crane Clan. They train to protect the Empress herself and spare no expense in their training. Only a handful of the Empress Guard are on duty at any given time, while the rest train intensively, dedicated to maintaining their abilities.

  • Replaces: Kakita Bushi 3 or Daidoji Iron Warrior 4
  • Requirements: Perception 3
  • Technique: To Defend Unto Death - The Empress Guard hold the honor of their duties seriously. Only the pure of soul and shape of eye meet the Crane Clan's exacting standards. You may add half your Honor Rank to all attack and Perception rolls. Also, while defending the Imperial family, you may add +10 to your Armor TN.

Kakita Jesters [Artisan]

Within the Kakita Artisan Academy is a small dojo where students are instructed in one of the most peculiar arts of the Kakita: the path of the Jester. The Jesters are a specialized variant of kabuki acting, and their studies include acting, dance, poetry, music, and political commentary. There are few samurai suited to the life of a Jester, and the dojo is never crowded.

Jesters are a very unusual form of performance artisan, created by the Crane but occasionally seen among other clans. While most Artisans focus on creating beautiful and immortal works of art, the Jesters focus on tearing down the pretensions of the arrogant and the powerful. A Jester is chosen for his role early in his schooling and is expected to serve in that role throughout his life, wearing a distinctive kabuki-style costume and makeup and using his performance skills to mock, deride, and needle those who deserve it. Highly experienced and skillful Jesters eventually earn access to the special Technique taught by a handful of sensei at their dojo.

Jesters dance and strut through the courts, singing, telling stories, making slightly inaccurate quotes from famous books, and generally making sure any samurai knows when he or she does something inappropriate. They usually speak in rhymes or riddles and have a habit of foretelling doom for anyone who criticizes or attacks them. It should be noted, however, that Rokugani jesters never behave in a light-hearted or "wacky" manner - their humor is satiric, biting, and often sour, and their favored tool is mockery. Among normal samurai such behavior would prompt duels, but the Jesters receive the sanction of their lords to say things otherwise never tolerated. They are permitted to speak publicly about another person's loss of reputation, honor, or face so long as they do so in a tone of mockery and satire. The GM should generally not inflict Glory or Honor losses on Jesters who are making public insults or committing minor breaches of etiquette as part of their "role" as a Jester. Notwithstanding this "immunity", however, most Jesters are careful to attach themselves to a noble patron in order to gain extra protection for their often-acerbic performances.

  • Replaces: Kakita Artisan 5
  • Technique: The Art of Mockery - The Kakita Jester is tasked with sardonically puncturing the pretense and arrogance of court, reminding all present of their flawed and mortal natures. You may publicly mock a suitable target (someone hypocritical, arrogant, dishonorable, or otherwise deserving of your attention) by means of speech, dance, song, or other such methods. This requires a Contested Roll of you (chosen art) / Awareness against the target's Etiquette (Courtesy) / Willpower. If you lose the roll, you lose points of Glory equal to the target's Status Rank. If you win the roll, the target loses face in public, suffering a loss of Glory points equal to your Glory Rank, and a loss of Honor points equal to half as much (rounded up). You may not target the same person with this Technique more than once per month.

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).

Tsume Pikemen [Bushi] [IH]

The Tsume vassal family prided themselves on being masters of the spear, teaching their bushi to specialize in defensive tactics and rely on a wall of spear-points to break enemy charges. After the Tsume ruling bloodline is exterminated in the War of Bleeding Flowers, the Daidoji continued their tradition and training in their dojo.

  • Replaces: Any Crane Bushi 3
  • Requirements: Spears 3, Polearms 3, Honor 3.0+
  • Technique: Wall of Pikes - The Tsume Pikemen are taught to use defensive tactics, luring the enemy into a charge and then impaling them on their spears. While you are in the Defense posture and wielding a spear or polearm, immediately after an opponent makes a melee attack against you or one of your allies within 10' (whether or not the attack hit), you may spend a Void Point in order to take a Free Action to attack that opponent with your spear/polearm. You may also use this Technique in the Full Defense posture, but making the attack will require spending 2 Void Points instead of 1.
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