The Asuras and Devas from the previous L5R post use a lot of new schools. While the Meditations of Unity is the only one to be fully posted so far – if only to preserve some surprises for the players – here are some capsule descriptions of the rest of those schools. Which of them actually gets posted next depends partially on whimsy and partially on which ones draw the most questions (and investigation) from the players and/or people who stumble across them online.
It should be noted that most of the Ivory Kingdoms schools are quite powerful, if often fairly narrowly specialized. After all, quite a few of their developers have been refining them for dozens of lifetimes. The school design rules can be found in the player’s packet .PDF.
Blood Tide: This semi-vampiric discipline supposedly allows its practitioners to drain their victims abilities to enhance their own, to entrap their victims souls in living brains within their decaying bodies, and to animate the dead to serve them. This reputation is likely a mixture of truth and rumor.
Dharmadahara School: This Courtier school focuses on the detection of truth, the administration of justice, and near-universal expertise through the manipulation of Void.
Dheramada School: This “courtier” school focuses on manipulating others, both by obtaining various services, through minor psychic abilities, and by imbuing companions – whether human or animal – with a portion of the user’s power and dispatching them on various missions. Oddly enough, a notable assassins’s school, at least to those (very very few) who know enough about it to recognize the possibilities.
Elemental Storm: A semi-spellcasting school, focused on obtaining massive magical “favors” from various sorts of spirits and on amplifying the relevant skills to permit larger-than usual favors. One of the most effective schools around for causing widespread destruction.
Forest Demon: A stealth-assassination school which uses a wide variety of poisons, eccentric weapons, and bizarre techniques to achieve the advantages of surprise in combat. Not all that effective in battle, but very useful in escaping.
Garuda: A “courtier” school emphasizing knowledge, awareness, and investigation, albeit with a few basic defensive techniques thrown into the bargain. Practitioners are noted for their intuitive talent at assessing the odds in any situation.
Gaze of Yama: A series of techniques allowing the user to inflict massive penalties on opponents in the immediate vicinity simply by willing it so, coupled with some basic weapons techniques designed to handle the opponents so weakened.
Hungry Ghost: An eccentric school which focuses on biting people – for large amounts of damage – and on using the swallowed chunks of flesh to create mystical links between the user and his victims, allowing him or her to track said victims, drain their abilities, and even to tap into some of their magical talents, if any.
Inner Citadel: A school focusing on resistances, supernatural immunities, and unbreakable will, but with some more conventional defensive aspects.
Invincible Guardian: Apparently a highly defensive discipline, focused on defense, absorbing large amounts of damage, and spotting potential attackers regardless of their attempts to conceal themselves and their intentions. Somewhat unusual, in that it can be used to defend others as well as the user.
Iron Body: A straightforward school focusing on invulnerability, or as close to such as a string of techniques will get you.
Leaping Flame Sword: A straightforward sword school, focused on speed, acrobatic movement and evasions, and strikes.
Night Wind of the Soul: Believed to focus on demonic powers, sendings, and summonings. Has not yet been seen in action, and is one of the more secretive schools out there. It’s few practitioners rarely share their knowledge.
Purifying Waters: Primarily a healing and purifying school for exorcists, albeit granting access to some fairly strong water effects at higher ranks.
Rahu-Ketu School of the Midnight Sun. This strongly mystical school focuses on the powers of Light and Darkness Magic – although NEVER using both at the same time. Most practitioners stick to the lesser powers; the use of the greater ones have sometimes resulted in massive disasters – although no one is really sure; no one has ever survived such an occurance.
Seven Secret Cuts: Apparently focuses on spell-like powers, channeled through sword-strikes and based on elemental effects. The Strike of the Water Dragon seems to freeze everyone in a wide radius (killing weaker opponents and entrapping more powerful ones) while the Void Dragon Slash is a teleportation effect. Secondarily, it seems to offer some athletics enhancements, to aid maneuvering.
ShadowFire: An unarmed and unarmored school focusing on the ability to call forth spiritual fire which feeds on defined qualities. Secondary techniques include supernatural sight, body-control, self-healing, and other “monkish” talents.
Shattering Palm: An unarmed school focusing on raw destruction – including that of masses of stone, of the structure of spells, of weapons and armor, and of bones and flesh. Not really the best against an armed and skilled opponent, but an effective tool in a wide variety of situations and about the only known school that allows you to block incoming spells by smashing them with your bare hands.
Sun Blade School: Reportedly an almost totally-offensive school which allows it’s users to inflict tremendous amounts of damage wielding weapons conjured from nothingness.
Ward of Heaven: A spirit-mastery school, who’s wielders can temporarily bestow the benefits of various spirit-ally augmentations on a sizable number of allies. Masters can anchor their allies spirits with their own bodies, keeping them from dying no matter how severe their physical injuries. This cannot be maintained indefinitely, and magical healing will usually be needed once the body is past the normal point of death, but it can still be extremely useful.
Whispers of the Winds: A school apparently focusing on supernatural senses and awareness of the user’s surroundings. Dangerous at higher levels thanks to the awareness it grants of flaws in defenses, nerve points, and similar weaknesses.