Oriental Facts and Customs, Advanced
 
Groups in the Oriental World
Access to this page requires DM permission and starts with at least 3 ranks in Knowledge (Local History, Rokugan).
Ninja: Publicly there are no Ninja, the very practice is dishonorable, they a little more than myth and rumor, they are the antithesis of Bushido, but behind closed doors most agree they are real. The ninja have the closest relationship with the Scorpion, but many a daimyo has used them at one point or another. Some are nothing more than spies giving up their honor in service to their daimyo. The most powerful ninja were those of the Living Darkness, but their power was broken at the Battle of Oblivion's Gate. It is possible to play a Ninja, but the one in the Complete Adventurer requires DM permission, most of the time ninja is a type of prestige class. Of course all the ninja did not commit seppuku in the 5th century, they were too useful, but the practice of being a ninja was deemed extremely dishonorable. To be caught being a ninja in the empire is to invite death. So don't claim to be a ninja and don't demonstrate your dishonorable skills or abilities. As to the rumors of them being baby eaters and demon summoners, the more the population fears and respects the ninja, the more powerful they become. Most ninja schools claim to be something else, however there are a few that know they must sacrifice their honor for the safety of the empire. In the Shadowlands there is a ninja dojo and offer no good for the empire. Access to the D20 Way of the Ninja requires DM permission. Some of the information will be valid, some may not though.

The Bloodspeakers: a secret and hidden group, a fanatical cult of the dreaded sorcerer Iuchiban who use maho magic, the most powerful maho-tsuki in Rokugan's history. Their ultimate goal is to put their master, who still lives trapped in his tomb, on the throne. Failing that to put one of their own on the throne. They are a secret society devoted to the overthrow of Rokugan's strict social order. They are not dedicated to maho and do not think they serve the evil in the Shadowlands, but maho is an important part of their practices and in truth they are pawns of the Shadowlands. For the first time in 6,000 years they have a chance to fulfill their goal, thanks to the death of the Emperor and the indecision in who shall succeed him.

They number about 300 and tend to cluster in isolated areas, or hiding among the masses in large cities. It is a cell based cult of 5-25 members based around a charismatic maho-tsukai who is the group's leader. Only a few senior members know about other 2-3 other cells and contact them on rare occasions.

When the cult meets they read from Iuchiban's writtings, perform maho rituals to increase their power and plan strikes against threats or enemies. Blood sacrifices are common, but they vary widely in content and tone. The average cultist is a 1st or 2nd level commoner. Leaders are often peasant adept/maho-tsukai of around 6th level.

The Brotherhood of Shinsei: Created from the conversation between Shinsei and Hantei a co-existent religion with a little bit of Sun Tzu. The temples are open to anyone and all samurai must give them some respect. Their biggest goal is to recover the lost scrolls of the New Tao. Most of the samurai in the Brotherhood become inkyo-monks (or retired samurai monks) samurai are supposed to retire to the Brotherhood at the age of 50, but lately more samurai are continuing in action beyond their 50th year.

The Kolat: oppose the kami and the Celestial Order. They are a secret group dedicated to the overthrow of the kami. They practice secrecy, espionage, brainwashing and assassination. There are always 10 Masters, who have their true identities known only to them, who rule the Kolat. They are an efficient organization of mercenaries, killers, smugglers, spies and impersonators. They often exist in secret, secret even from themselves. These brainwashed cultists can be found throughout the Empire and can be activated by any member of the Kolat. The Scorpion Clan was recently cleansed of its Kolat members and the Kolat may have been wiped out, of course if that was not true the Kolat might wish the public to believe that it is true.

 
Ritual Magic
Access to this portion of the page requires DM permission and starts with at least 1 ranks in Knowledge (Religion) earned while in Rokugan.
Ritual Magic: With the right training multiple shugenja can combine their energies on a single prayer; ritual magic. First the shugenja involved need the Ritual Magic feat. The highest level shugneja will be the leader, in the event of shugenja of equal level the group must chose a leader. The leader must be able to cast the spell as if it was 3 levels higher, he and he alone may use metamagic feats to augment the spell. The casting time of the spell is doubled (in addition to any extra time needed because of metamagic augmentation). The spell will require Verbal and Somatic components even if it normally doesn't and each member of the ritual must supply material components (which can increase the cost of the spell).
When casting Ritual Magic for each shugneja beyond the first:
  - Increase the spell's duration by a single increment (ie from 1 minute/level to 2 minutes/level). Spells with a duration of Instantaneous or Permanent cannot have their duration changed.
- Increase the damage of the spell by one die (ie from 4d6 to 5d6), this can increase the spell's damage beyond its normal maximum, though not more than twice its normal maximum damage.
- Increase the DC of the spell by +2.
- Increase the effective caster level for the spell by 2 levels.
Each additional shugenja's bonus may be applied to a different spell improvement (for example you can take 5 shugenja and increase the duration by 1 increment, add 2 additional dice of damage, and increase the DC of the save by 2).
 
Special Cities
Access to this portion of the page requires DM permission and starts with at least 8 ranks in Knowledge (History, Rokugani) earned while in Rokugan.

Cities created after the war at Oblivion's Gate (Shugenja's gain +2 levels when casting spells of that element).
City of Living Flame on a small island off the Phoenix coast centered on a volcano (Fire)
City of Blood = Village of Mizu Mura = Bloodspeaker stronghold (Water) (Maho spells are cast at +2 Levels)
City of White Clouds was taken by the Shadow Dragon deep into the Shadowlands (Air)
City of Loyalty = City of Earth, which is held by the Legion of the Wolf

Major Events in Rokugan History
Access to this portion of the page requires DM permission and starts with at least 5 ranks in Knowledge (Local History, Rokugan)
? Humanity was created by forces unknown
1 The Great Kami fell from Heaven and established the Empire with the coronation of Hantei I
42 The Tao of Shinsei is a recorded conversation between Hantei and a strange little man who offered advice in the war against the Shadowlands (think Sun-Tzu's Art of War and the Tao).
42 Day of Thunder when one mortal from each of the 7 major clans goes into the Shadowlands and defeat Fu Leng, all but one die.
80 Mantis Clan founded
90 Fox Clan founded
100 Taint is first discovered on corpses
110 Badger Clan is founded
145 Book of Sun Tao written (think Sun-Tzu's Art of War)
153 Emerald Magistrates and Emerald Legions founded
200 First mentions of the Naga
314 Nezumi-Crab Alliance founded
339 Snake Clan founded
347 Centipede Clan founded
387-400 Crane-Crab war
400 Sparrow Clan founded
402 Snake Clan destroyed
440 Gaijin Ambassadors arrive at Imperial Court
443 Battle of White Stag/Raging Seas, the Gaijin are exiled, a mysterious storm destroys and invading Gaijin fleet
501 Anvil of Despair is created by the Boar Clan
508 Bloodswords Forged
509 Red Snow Battle
510 Battle of Stolen Graves, the Scorpion Magistrate discover the secret cult of the blood sorcerer Iuchiban who raises and army of undead. By Imperial Edict from this point on all corpses are burned to spare their families the dishonor and the chance of them becoming animated.
589-597 Reign of the Steel Chrysanthemum; Hantei XVI, the cruelest Emperor
704 Dragonfly Clan founded
711 Battle of the Great Climb; Lion vs. Dragon
716 Hiruma Castle falls to the Shadowlands
716 Battle of the Cresting Wave; the invading Oni are stopped by the powerful shugenja Kuni Osaku who creates a giant wave of water from the Saigo River. After 73 days the Great Carpenter Wall is completed, Kuni Osaku ages 1 year per week and soon dies. The armies of the Maw are unable to breach the wall. The Maw is slain.
750 The Battle of Sleeping River; Ichiban rises again, Hare Clan founded
774 The Oracle of Fire falls to Fu Leng
815 The Unicorn return to the Empire, the Naga awake after a large egg clutch is destroyed by the Shadowlands
820 Kitsuki of the Dragon founded
825 Moto Clan of the Unicorn ride into the Shadowlands, The Dark Moto is created.
827 Battle of Chrysanthemum Petals, the Dark Moto ride against the Crab
827 Battle of Broken Daisho the Phoenix stop a war between the Lion and Crane
834 Falcon Clan founded
925 Naga ruins discovered in the Shinomen Forest
1090 Battle at Kyuden Kitsune
1100 Battle of Fate's Gorge the Lion defeat the Phoenix
1109 The Wasp Clan is founded
1121 The Three Man Alliance is formed
1122 Opium War
1123 Darkfever plague strikes the Phoenix
1123-1125 Pirates plague the Crane-Mantis trade routes
1123 Hare Clan is destroyed by the Scorpion
1123 Scorpion Champion kills Hantei XXXVIII because, he was taken over by Fu Leng Toturi declared Emperor. Fu Leng is killed.
1123 Yogo Junzo opens the first Black Scroll
1124 The Naga awaken, Lion-Crane war erupts
1125 Hare Clan is reborn, Falcon Clan absorbed by the Crab becoming the Toritaka
1126 The Wasting Disease stocks Rokugan, the Crab ally with Shadowlands
1126 The Badger Clan falls to a mysterious oni, the Dark Oracles mass their power creating the Elemental Terrors
1127 Battle of Beiden Pass, the Clan War begins. The Lion, Unicorn and Dragon defeat the Crab
1127 Four Black Scrolls opened by the Phoneix
1128 The Second Day of Thunder, the Great Clans finally unite against the Shadowlands, Fu Leng is killed
1129 Monkey Clan founded
1130 Opening of the Phoenix Gates, the Crab and Naga assault the Shadowlands fighting to retake Hiruma Castle, the Naga abandon the Crab
1130 The Scorpion are exiled to the Burning Sands for their treachery
1131 The Mantis claim the now vacant Scorpion lands, actually a bargain to protect the Scorpion lands.
1131 Start of the War against the Shadow
1131 Naga and Monks attack the Dragon
1131 The Jade Champion with its mandate to hunt maho is restablished
1131 Agasha Clan defect to the Dragon
1132 Emperor Toturi I is found shackled and beaten in the ruins of Mori Kage Castle a captive of the Lying Darkness
1132 The Lion's corruption becomes clear as oni take the field with them against the Unicorn
1132 Mantis siege the Phoenix lands, the Scorpion Clan is restored
1132 Crane civil war
1132 War in the Heavens, Kolat agents in the Unicorn Clan are slain, Hitomi challenges Lord Moon and slays him
1132 27 days of darkness, the ancestral swords are scattered, Rokugan is shrouded in Darkness, Hitomi reaches the Shrine of the Three Sisters and ascends to become Lady Moon, Hida Yakamo becomes Lord Sun. The true Tao is stolen by the Kolat, the Lying Darkness destroys the histories of the Ikoma family. Reunification of the Dragon Clan.
1132 Oblivion's Gate Opens the Spirits War begins
1133 The Phoenix repel the Mantis, the Battle of Oblivion's Gate, the Air Dragon becomes the Shadow Dragon, the Dark Moto are defeated. Toturi I marries Isawa Kaede, the Oracle of the Void, and commits seppuku ending the Lying Darkness's hold over him. The Lying Darkness is named Akodo by Lady Moon destroying it. Toturi returns through Oblivion's Gate.
1134 Spirits stalk the land, Toturi reclaims the throne.
1135 The Gift of the Naga, the Naga reenter their slumber
1138 The War of Spirits the Steel Chrysanthemum, Hantei XVI, demands the Jade Throne, he declares war on the Empire.
1145 Ox Clan founded
1150 The War of the Spirits turns in the Empire's favor, Hantei XVI retreats to Phoenix lands.
1150 Beiden Pass collapsed, Treaty with the Spirits Hantei XV I sues for peace. Toturi I shows mercy allowing to leap to their deaths from the cliffs near Otasan Uchi returning to Yomi.
1150 Creation of the Great Crater as Lord Sun hurls fire from the sky creating a passage through the Spine of the World Mountains. The Unicorn discover remains of an ancient civilization in tunnels beneath the new pass.
1158 Toturi 1 dies at the hands of a new species of oni while visiting the Scorpion lands. Empress Toturi Kaede disappears shortly after taking the throne, leaving the Empire with no designated heir.
1158 Era of the 4 Winds
1160 Akodo Kaneka takes the title of Shogun, a theoretical title first mentioned in the Tao of Shinsei, but a position never filled.
News of the Empire
Access to this portion of the page requires DM permission and starts with at least 3 ranks in Knowledge (Local History, Rokugan) and at least 1 ranks in Knowledge (Nobility, Rokugan).

The four winds are: The four children of Toturi I were, in order of age:
Akodo Kaneka, nicknamed the Bastard
Toturi Tsudao, nicknamed the Sword
Toturi Sezaru, nicknamed the Wolf
Hantei Naseru, nicknamed the Anvil

Akodo Kaneka has declared himself Shogun, military leader of Rokugan--at title that previously existed only in the theories of Sun Tao. He demands that those daimyo who would follow him must break their wakizashi as a show of loyalty. From the shards a new sword will be created in the Kaiu Forge, a katana that the Shogun will used to bring unity to Rokugan. The fact that Kaneka's ownership of the Yasuki lands was apparently a fabrication created by someone attempting to defame Kaneka is more or less forgotten in the controversy surrounding the incident.

Isawa Taeruko,, Isawa Hochiu and Shiba Ningeon escape from their prison deep within the earth and return to find Shiba Aikune now leading their clan. Though Aikune welcomes the returning masters, he makes it clear that he intends to continue leading those who would follow him. Upset by this threat to their power, the Masters decide that the Elemental Council must be rebuilt swiftly.

In the Seikitsu Mountains, the gargantuan King of Trolls awakens. Through the efforts of the legendary Togashi Mitsu, his apprentice Togashi Matsu, Scorpion shugenja Beyushi Oguara, and the noble sacrifice of Kuni Junji, the beast is rendered inert once more.

Yoritomo Kitao's search for the Son of the Storms' missing heir takes an unexpected turn when Yoritomo's daughter Kumiko reveals herself. Kumiko pledges her fealty to Akodo Kaneka after Kitao fails to do so, placing herself and her followers under the protection of the Shogun.

Toturi Tsudao's First Legion enters the Shinomen Forest in search of the Tsuno. A large group of Ravagers awaits her there and battle is joined.

Toturi Sezaru decides to take a more proactive role in seeking his father's throne. He arranges to have supplies sent to the beleaguered Dragon Clan, gaining their gratitude and support.

Emeral Champion Yasuki Hachi confronts Hatei Naseru in the Imperial Court in an attempt to prove that he is not a pawn of the Anvil. Though his gambit is successful, the victory is short-lived. A fleet of ships carrying Shadowlands forces immediately attacks Otosan Uchi. Daigotsu, Lord of the Shadowlands, has arrived to assault the Imperial City.

The Rokugan setting is a good one to use for the heart of Oriental Adventuring. In the future campaigns may be confined to Sorrid, the continent that holds Lilis, whose capitol is Seagate. Oriental characters will have come from the Oriental continent; either the savage inhuman lands, the Ivory Coast, Rokugan or the Shadowlands. This brings in the character classes that were originally banned and allows them to have an origin in the game world. There will also be the possibility of future adventuring in any of these civilizations or the Shadowlands.

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