Today it’s something for the Legend of the Five Rings game – a very obscure Courtier School.
Many people vaguely realize that Yume-Do stands outside of time – although few ever think on that fact too deeply. They dream of spirits, of people long dead, of possible futures, of strange (or nightmarish) alternate worlds – and they dismiss those dreams with the dawn, allowing them to vanish like mist. Some few have learned to exploit such visions, drawing a rich harvest from the seas of dream – sending dreams to themselves and others in the past, foreseeing possible futures and preparing therefor, and revealing long-set plans to meet contingencies that they had not even imagined an hour ago.
Sadly, there are reasons why humans do not normally sail and trade upon the seas of dream. To do so too much or too often will lead to confusion over time and place within Ningen-Do, to a tendency to be bemused by the realm of dreams while waking, and even – in extreme cases – to memory-problems such as the Nezumi (who too walk within the realm of dreams) are prone to.
The Taimushifuto Mugen Courtier School focuses on using the timeless properties of the realm of dream – and every mortals regular nightly access thereto – to arrange the world to suit themselves. While it offers little or nothing in the way of direct “power”, it is a manipulators school Par Excellence. Indeed, it’s practitioners rarely confront any situation directly: it is easier to set things up so that someone else will deal with a situation for you than it is to do anything about it yourself. Unfortunately, for all the power they can bring to bear, the Taimushifuto Mugen practitioners tend to be personally abstracted, confused, and distracted to the point where they need a personal keeper. A loyal Yojimbo is highly advisable.
Basic Modifiers: Void +1, Glory 1, Status 1, Wealth 4, and Honor 1.5
School Skills: Courtier, Defense, Divination, Etiquette, Investigation, Lore/History, Meditation, Spellcraft, Theology, War Fan, and two of choice.
First Technique/Souseiki: The user will have nightly precognitive dreams (5). He or she may claim (Rank+2) Favors per session, ranked at (Skill Used/2) using Courtier to obtain political favors, Etiquette to gain items of equipment, Battle to obtain military services, Commerce to obtain funds, and Investigation to obtain various sorts of information (15). May spend a Void Point up to (Rank+2) times per session to obtain supernatural services ranked at (Skill Used/2) – using Spellcraft to obtain spellcasting and magical services, Divination to attempt to manipulate Fate, and Instruction to attempt to gain training and aid from various types of spirits (10, -5 for the Void Point requirement = 5). Unfortunately, thanks to his or her strong attunement to the realms of dream, he or she suffers minor difficulties in paying attention under casual circumstances – often bumping into walls, stepping into holes, and otherwise seeming half-asleep. He or she will rarely be entrusted with anything too important (-5).
Second Technique/Shuukakuji: +2 each Fire, Air, Earth, and Water for the purposes of calculating rank-derived political positions points only (20). This effectively provides a +4 to the user’s effective rank for the purposes of accumulating Political Position Points. These extra points may, however, only be spent on buying Contingencies (-5). The user may select five of the skills he or she uses to obtain favors: each of those skills is counted as being one rank higher for the purpose of determining the rank of the favors he or she can obtain (+1 Die, counts as Skilled, only for calculating the level of favors available 10 – 5 = 5).
Third Technique/Omoide Ounen: The user’s five selected skills are now counted as being two ranks higher for the purposes of determining what rank of favors he or she can obtain (5). The user is now so closely attuned to the realms of dream that he or she no longer ages (Immunity to Aging, 5). The user may now take an extra full action each turn – moving, spellcasting, attacking, or whatever (15). Unfortunately, the user will now often become confused as to just where and when he or she is – being inclined to casually forget the year and location. He or she will also tend to blurt out observations, bits of prophecy, and similar items at random times. Most people will assume that he or she is more than a little mad (-5).
Fourth Technique/Jikanhanten: The user’s five selected skills are now counted as being three ranks higher for the purposes of determining what rank of favors he or she can obtain (5). The user is now presumed to have arranged favors in the past when he or she calls for them in the present (Immunity to the usual Time Requirements for obtaining Favors, 5). Whenever someone spends a void point within (Intelligence x 10) feet, the user may make a contested void check against them to gain one themselves up to a limit of their normal base or (2 x Void) extra void points in any one day, whichever comes first (10).
Level Five Technique/Gyakusetsu Touhi: The user’s five selected skills are now counted as being four ranks higher for the purposes of determining what rank of favors he or she can obtain (5). The user may also spend a void point to evade a situation entirely. He or she was never there, any personal resources the user employed EXCEPT the void point needed to activate this technique were never used, and no one else will remember the user being there – but the condition of anyone else involved in the situation is otherwise unchanged (20). Unfortunately, the user is now subject to the same memory-problems as the Nezumi, and must make a raw intelligence check with a TN of 15 to remember things from more than a week ago unless they’re very personal, important, or exciting (-5).
In theory, this is a casualty-breaking time manipulation school. In practice, that’s mostly just an excuse for a massive dose of contingencies and instant favors – things that would normally take some time, but you get instantly because you “arranged them awhile back” (long before the player or character actually knew what would be required). The final technique obviously is either a time-paradox or really powerful reality-warping technique – but it’s basically just a way to make a contribution and then escape, not an actual time-travel effect. Overall this is a useful school for a heavy-duty manipulator who wants to always have something in reserve and to manipulate really large-scale events by calling in powerful “favors” (described as changing the past so that other people wind up doing what you wanted)- but you can’t REALLY go back and become your own grandfather or something. That probably wouldn’t fit in with most L5R games anyway.