True Mastery

From Dragon
Jump to: navigation, search

When one buys a fifth level shtick, one is finally acknowledged as a true Master in one's field.

Each time you attain a level above 4, you may choose one of the following benefits. (Choose one when you get your first 5th level shtick, another when you get your first 6th level shtick, etc.) Quan Lo, the Perfect Master, is said to have all of these and more...

Specialized Invincibility: While powerful enemies can inconvenience you in many ways, you will remain in the end, undefeated, until you are bested by one from within your own specialty (or a ninja). Note this does *not* mean you are invincible in combat or anything. It just means you, (or in some cases your appropriate heirs) will get another chance to complete your work and your enemies should not rest easy. Once you have been defeated however, this stain is permanent. So, once you are defeated by someone in your specialty, anyone can defeat you until you regain your honor. The stain of defeat can not be expunged other than through appropriate recompense - generally defeating the one who defeated you. Or if this person is unavailable, appropriate vengeance upon their spiritual heirs, or clan, etc. This is almost always why "The Last Whatever" is being hunted. If you are the last disciple of Tiger-Crane Kung Fu, every master who has ever been defeated by a member of the Tiger-Crane school needs to defeat you in order to regain their standing.
Personal Style: You can name your personal style, both renaming your main in-style skill and enabling modfications of your shtick tree. At the moment you attain this rank, you can (one-time) repaint any of the shticks in your tree with your personal special effects. The mechanics do not change, but their color attributes may. Furthermore, for each fifth level or above shtick you buy, you may entirely replace one of the shticks lower down in your tree. The replacement shtick (which can be entirely different in mechanics/effects) must fit within your named personal style, and counts as in Major Concept regardless of aspect, but must fit in the appropriate level of your tree, and you pay any cost differential. From this point on, when you teach skills/shticks to others, you must teach them from within your Personal Style. (This is where things like "Turning Wave Kung Fu" come from.)
Mastery Tree: You gain a second "tower style" shtick tree. All shticks in this tower must be shticks only available to masters. These tend to be shticks that only apply to other masters, or your own students. If in doubt, ask why a really skilled member of your specialty can't buy this shtick, only a master. These shticks are always at least in Minor concept, as they fulfill the "master" part of your concept, but are still subject to aspect costs. However, they count as one level lower on the "Source" tree. So self-taught shticks here will cost x1 (instead of x2), and Crazy shticks here will cost x2 (instead of x3). Like an outside concept tower, the shticks in your mastery tree are not limited by level, but you can only have up to N-1 of them where N is your highest main-tree shtick level.
Not for Amateurs: When you have this mastery special ability, you may engage another member (or members) of your specialty in an uninterruptable challenge. Until one of you is defeated, no one outside your specialty may interfere, and you are both immune to all environmental effects. For instance, people can fire into your poetry contest over the lava river, but everyone involved will look cool while miraculously dodging arrows and avoiding fire plumes as they spout poetry. This is the ability at work when two masters suddenly break into their own private combat in the middle of a battlefield... When one is proven the victor, the loser not only is "defeated" for all intents and purposes, but instantly takes the full brunt of any ignored environmental effects (poor Anakin), while the victor has a chance to avoid them. (This power was seen during the ninjas only fight in a minirun.)