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New Path: Onmyouji

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  • New Path: Onmyouji

    So, an idea I had for some time, but finally decided to put on paper. Also, just now I remembered I could use the Druid Path as insipiation. And it helped greatly. I really would like more ideas like this. Like, other "mage" traditions being brought to Scion. Like, an Hermetic Mage (aka.: D&D mage, just modernized), Street Mage (Constantine feelings), Daoist Exorcist, etc...

    Yes, I'm aware of the possible problems with "Befriend Shikigami" text. Sounds a lot like animal/spirit slavery, and that is deliberate. With the Hyakki Yagyou situation also being brought to light in Titanomachy book, I really thought it was a good idea to launch shade on the "Pokémon situation" of shikigami. Suggestion specifically about this are also appreciated.

    Also, not much ideas for Immortal level Knacks... suggestions appreciated.

    New Path: Onmyōji (Path available to Kami and Shén Scions)
    The roots of the Onmyōdō are deeply connected to Taoist philosophies that came from China to Japan around the 5th and 6th centuries. The flux of the ying and yang and the five elements are concepts and sources that generated many superstitions and costumes Japan has even today. To the absolute specialists in knowing, interpreting and using these data and applying them as a useful way to anticipate fortuitous moments or to avoid great calamities, it was given the title of Onmyōji, masters of the ying and yang.

    Initially, Onmyōdō was used just a way to foretell government or political activities, and they were greatly respected by Japanese nobility. Later in time, one of the main duties of the office was the anticipation of the Hyakki Yagyō, the Parade of One Hundred Demons. Originally, it was an event where monsters and creatures from many different Terra Incognita and infernal plans crossed to the Earth and, most of the times, just traveled to some other point, crossing again to some other plan. Its visage was considered a huge bad omen and bringer of many catastrophes. So, when a Hyakki Yagyō was foretold to happen in a certain area, all of it had to be evacuated.

    Today, the Hyakki Yagyō is not considered a threat that great (as mentioned in Titanomachy, p. 117, where it’s written as “Hyakki Yakou”. Also worth of checking is the entry for Micaela Standish, Scion of Fūjin, p. 126). The times changed, the Hiakki Yagyō changed. The Bureau of Onmyō also doesn’t exist anymore as a government office, but the order persists and still serves anyone who still would need of their services of future reading and communing with yōkai or their use as shikigami.

    Asset Skills: Science, Occult

    Heroic Onmyōji Knacks
    • The Wheel of the Year: As the Druid Knack in Mysteries of the World, p. 49.
    • Friend of Spirits: You can declare an entire Field as neutral ground for yōkai and any other kind of Kami to talk. While this effect is active, no attack or hostile action can be declared by any of these sides. Whatever they do, they are limited to talk to each other and resolve their hostilities by any other no lethal or violent method.
    • Great and Terrible Fortune: You can spend an entire scene foretelling the future and its consequences. But be aware: try to scry into the future without great skill can also bring great misfortune to everyone involved. Make a Knack Skill Roll. Any die that results in a success in this roll counts as an Enhancement that can be used in any action made by you or your allies. Any die that doesn’t result in a success in this roll will be used as a Complication that will consume a success in any later roll to the prevision.
    Immortal Onmyōji Knacks
    • Befriend Shikigami: Shikigami are spirits servants of an Onmyōji. There are two main ways to make a shikigami: one is conjuring one through a complex, long and extenuating ritual. The other way is obligating an yōkai to servitude. In both ways a shikigami requires constant care and attention from its master, or it can recover his/her/their free will and avenge on his previous master. There are cases of voluntary servitude, but they are rare.
      If you defeat an yōkai in combat or any other contest where he was a specialist, you can take it as a Creature of same level of power, paying the necessary Experience points for it. They also gain the Unseen Quality (Hero, p. 288).
    Onmyouji Today
    Even with the Bureau officially terminated in 19th century, the tradition persists. Onmyouji individuals don't serve to the Japanese government anymore, but are still able to make predictions and serve to whoever they wish in modern days. Also, their complex and extremely sensible calculations about the Hyakki Yagyou or any potential disaster are valuable by many, not just mere mortals, but Scions as well. In modern days they are helped by powerfull logical machines, sometimes even portable devices can be used to store spells, enchants and magical formulas.

    I honestly think this is not a material worthy of Nexus cost. At least for now. So, that's why I'm posting it here instead.
    Last edited by Hayashi; 09-06-2021, 05:54 PM.

  • #2
    The Films from the Early 2000s, Onmyoji I & II would be a good reference for this path for the sorts of things that can be done with it


    • #3
      Originally posted by TheWanderingJewels View Post
      The Films from the Early 2000s, Onmyoji I & II would be a good reference for this path for the sorts of things that can be done with it

      The main lesson of the movie (the first one): Anything can be a Creature if you are persistent enough. Even your best friend!


      • #4
        I seriously thought about making a new Path for Exorcists, focusing in their mixed combat/magic arts against evil monsters and spirits. Why I didn't:

        1. I have no other sources about it beyond Qin (yes, the TTRPG from Septeme Circle. It's an incredible work about the Warring States Era in China, at least). I have no idea if the portray in there is acurate, however.

        2. The Four Schools (Exorcism, Internal Alchemy, External Alchemy and Divination) presented there, I believe they work a lot better as just one Path: Daoist. Then, you can choose between lots of Knacks from it, reflecting all of the four. So, basically it would be Knacks that allow you to:

        2.1. Bless a wooden sword for it to be able to hurt even Incorporeal beings.
        2.2. Make potions for healing, poisoning, generate Enhancements in various kinds of rolls, harden your skin as stone, or make someone immune to the elements.
        2.3. Breathing techniques that allow you to heal yourself; go without food, sleep or water for days (we have Knacks for that); etc.
        2.4. Long story short, to divinate the future. With a great chance for it to ruin your Fate. That is why people in Qin have a stigma against Divination. When it foretells a bad thing, there is always the feeling that this bad thing would not happen if not divinated. So people try to avoid divination.

        So, yes. It would be a Path with maybe dozens of Knacks. And will not design all of this, even when some of these effects are already existing in Scion.

        I would say the Asset Skills for that would be: Medicine, Occult, Close Combat.


        • #5
          I read in the discord that the new Saint and Monsters book roles for sorcerers will be well suited for a Onmyouji type character


          • #6
            Just for the record, one thing is almost a trademark for Daoist Exorcist: the wooden sword that can hit spiritis and ghosts. In Qin, the Exorcist could bless an entirety of mundane objects, giving them magical powers. So, you are basically Egg Shen with dozens of magical items.

            I would translate this for Scion as a Knack that allow you to create not a "single use Relic", but a "single scene Relic". You could make a Knack Skill Roll and pass these successes in points to an item and make it a Relic for this scene. The item comes back to normal after this scene. But the Relic's powers also need to be tied to the item. So a needle points to energetic disturbances, a wooden sword now hurts what was previously Incorporeal, a mirror can reveal disguises, etc.