Shin’i

Shin’i

Shin’i means “kami authority”, roughly speaking. (The apostrophe indicates that you should finish the “n” before starting the “i”; it is shin-ee, not shi-nee. Pronounce “shin”, but not “knee”.) It is written with the character for “kami”, which is pronounced “shin” here, and the character used in for authority in the thirteenth century laws I quoted earlier:

The kami increase their authority through the respect of the people, and the people increase their prosperity through the blessings of the kami.

In Kannagara, I will use it as the name for the main resource statistic for kami. A resource statistic is one that you use up: it is a pool of points that you spend, and once they are spent, they are gone, until you do whatever the game says you need to do to get them back. They are distinct from capability statistics, like abilities, because abilities do not go down when you use them. Even original D&D had a resource statistic: hit points. In more modern games, however, the resource statistic is something that players decide to use, and characters get it back by doing things that are appropriate to the game. For example, in the new World of Darkness, the general resource statistic is Willpower, and characters can regain Willpower easily by acting according to their Vice. That means doing something at least a bit bad, and reinforces the atmosphere of a horror game.

I plan to have a resource statistic for all characters, but shin’i is the statistic that determines whether kami can do something supernatural. A kami with no shin’i cannot do anything supernatural in the normal world. Kamikakushi will probably be different, in keeping with the idea that kamikakushi is more of a fantasy world.

When Kannagara includes rules for kami personae, there will have to be several rules for shin’i, so that kami personae know how to recover it, and what they can spend it on. However, in the initial stages of the game, all kami will be characters, because the personae are all human. In this case, the relevant question for the personae is whether the kami has enough shin’i to do what they ask. How do the players decide this?

To keep things simple, the basic assumption will be that kami use all their shin’i all the time. They use it to answer prayers from other people, or to interact with the world to meet their own goals. If the personae want a kami to do something for them, they must give her enough shin’i to do it, as well as convincing her that it is a good idea. This means that players do not need to keep track of a kami’s shin’i in most cases: she has none available, unless they give it to her. But how do they give it to her?

Shin’i increases when people show respect to the kami. Matsuri are the basic way to show respect to the kami. Therefore, matsuri give shin’i to the kami. For a matsuri to be successful, it must give the kami enough shin’i to fulfil any request made in the matsuri, and convince the kami that she wants to fulfil that request. While matsuri can do more than this, this is their basic function, and the next major topic for this blog. Before that, however, in the next post I want to give an example of a kami: Tamao.

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