Tamao

Tamao

Tamao is the main kami in, er, Tamao. The title of the novel is a bit of a giveaway there. I wrote the novel four years ago, so I didn’t design him in terms of these rules, but I should be able to do it retrospectively. In addition, this example should make sense even to people who haven’t read the novel (although it is still free to read, so if you have time, you can — and if you do want to, this post contains minor spoilers).

The first step, deciding on shin’i, is very easy. Tamao is a character, because Akiko is the protagonist and thus a persona, and therefore Tamao has no shin’i unless the personae give it to him.

The next step is to think about Tamao’s powers. Under the nigimitama he has, like all kami, wisdom, healing, protection, and prosperity. Under the aramitama, he has inspiration, destruction, creation, and transformation. The nigimitama and aramitama are treated separately in the novel, so I’ll look at the nigimitama first.

Tamao uses wisdom a lot, to give Akiko dreams and visions. He also uses healing, to purify people and places, although in the end the aramitama has to complete the purification. He seems to be bad at protection and prosperity, however; that is why the area around the jinja is suffering so much. So, wisdom should be the highest, followed by healing, with protection and prosperity both quite low. Let’s say wisdom 4, healing 3, protection 1, and prosperity 1. Four dice to keep should be a decent number, because we don’t want to be rolling more than ten dice as a matter of course.

What about the aramitama? Inspiration is not a major feature of the story, but creation (the hot spring and feather cloak) does play a role. Transformation is also important, particularly if we include kamikakushi in transformation, and destruction seems to be the appropriate ability to cover the purification efforts of the aramitama. (This is a reminder that I really need to work out how purification fits into the game, because it is an absolutely central part of Shinto practice.) So, I’ll give Tamao a score of 1 in inspiration, meaning that he is good at seeing what is wrong, but bad at working out how to fix it. That fits the plot of the novel quite well, really. A score of 2 in creation, and 4 each in transformation and destruction, seem to fit the description, although transformation might be a bit lower. The problem in the novel, in these terms, was giving Tamao’s aramitama enough shin’i to perform the purification of the area.

Next, we need to define his interests. His interest in the keidai should be the highest, and I’ll set that at 6. The ujiko have neglected him a bit, so I’ll set that interest at 2. What other general interests does he have? The most striking themes are water and storms, although as he appears as a snake, that would be another reasonable interest. Let’s say that he has an interest of 5 in storms, and of 3 in snakes. The hot spring is not a storm, but it is within the keidai, so Tamao can use his interest in the keidai to create it.

Tamao’s specific relationships start with Akiko. His relationship with her gets closer over the course of the novel, but seems to start quite high. Let’s call it 5. He should have at least as close a relationship with Revd Shiraishi, and there are some scenes that suggest it is closer, so we can set that at 6. Akiko seems to have become a kannagi very early in the novel, while Revd Shiraishi is probably still not one at the end, but there are signs that Tamao is still closer to the hereditary priest of his shrine. (The end of the novel does not really work in game terms, at least not at the moment, but then, it is not actually a novel set in this game world.) Finally, Tamao has a close relationship with Kazumi, but not as close as with the other two. That can be set at 4.

Tamao’s description in game terms, then, looks like this.

Nigimitama
Wisdom 4
Healing 3
Protection 1
Prosperity 1

Aramitama
Inspiration 1
Creation 2
Destruction 4
Transformation 4

Interests
Keidai 6
Ujiko 2
Storms 5
Snakes 3
Reiko Shiraishi 6
Akiko Tanahata 5
Kazumi Miura 4

We do not, yet, have any rules for actually using these numbers, but that will come soon. The next stage is to look at matsuri, and how they interact with the kami.

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