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, by Po, to have all of these and more. You may acquire the same power multiple times where appropriate.
- 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 modifications 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 uninterruptible 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.)
- Shared Wisdom: (Requires prereq Mastery Tree.) You may buy a second mastery tree in your specialty, containing shticks which cannot be used by you, only by your students. The "usable by others" power addition is 1 cheaper for shticks in this tree. For shticks usable by a coherent group, that group must be your students (or some subsection thereof).
- Comes now the Master: If any student of your Personal Style (See prereq Personal Style) is defeated or killed, you may (unless otherwise constrained, jailed, or defeated yourself) immediately proceed to the site where they fell, and there do battle with the same forces that defeated them. Any single-use or otherwise expendable resources they used in defeating your student will be unavailable to them, but any wounds, etc., done to them by your student will not hinder them in their battle with you. It will be effectively the same difficulty battle your student faced.
- Die with True Style: When surrounded by your enemies, sometimes there's no way to survive. Provided you are not defeated by an appropriate Master (or ninja), you may trade your death for a strategic setback and return after rebuilding. This usually involves being "offscreen" for numerous runs up to a full book, but can alternately involve the loss of a significant power base, etc. The Imperial Alchemist clearly has this Advantage as he has "survived" unwinnable personal battle with martial Great Spirits, and is then not seen for a book afterwards.
- Let Everyone Play: People assume what risks they will... If you or an enemy declares a Not for Amateurs battle (See prereq Not for Amateurs) you may open it back up for others to join, in numbers (on both sides) up to your level. All participants will receive the environmental benefits and non-interference benefits (until the end of the battle).
- Continue your Journey Without Me: In the instant you die naturally, are struck down in battle, or defeated by an opposing master (or ninja), you may discorporate into the chi itself and your spirit (not ghost) will act as a subtle patron and guide through the chi. (This is generally only taken by NPCs.)
- Return Pathway: Your Sanctum (See prereq Sanctum Sanctorum) is always within reach of your current position. It may be just around the corner, or just behind the next hill, but it will always be there provided you know where *you* are. If you are lost or in an unfamiliar place, it may not be able to manifest. (Generally, if you can't make a KS: Your Location roll with at least 12 successes, and stay away from your enemies for at least 15 minutes, you probably can't find your Sanctum.) Once inside, you may depart either to your entry point, or your normal sanctum location, fixing its location once more.
- Sanctum Sanctorum: You may designate a location you have personal control over as your True Sanctum. You will always be aware when your Sanctum is under attack. You will know of all trespassers in your Sanctum even in your absence. You may substitute yourself for your sanctum's defenses when you are present. For example, when a thief is trying to pick a lock within your sanctum, you may require that they defeat you personally instead.
- Specialists, not Generalists: Augments your Specialized Invincibility (see Specialized Invincibility prereq) by removing ninja from the class of people who may truly defeat you.
- The Animus of Death: Only available to master ninja who have taken Specialized Invincibility, and is used for defeating those Masters who have taken the "Specialists, not Generalists" Mastery power.
- Disciples of the Master: Your Sanctum (See prereq Sanctum Sanctorum) is always staffed or otherwise filled with your students/disciples. They will not generally leave the sanctum (are not a roving army) except for tasks such as acquiring supplies or delivering messages. (Special exceptional cases may apply.) They provide additional services in your sanctum depending upon their type. You designate if there are a smaller number who are named and unique, or a larger number who are more anonymous.
- Skill is Everything: If you are only rolling your natural dice (no shticks, items, fortune, etc.), you can use skill to buy up ones.