A Sample

A Sample

Here is a sample of text from the first scenario. This section concerns the creation of the norito for a harae to purify the personae.


The rules for creating each part of the harae are the same, and we will create the norito first.

First, one of the personae must come up with a concept for the norito. To do this, roll a number of dice equal to norito knowledge, and keep a number equal to norito skill, following the standard rules, which are described again below. The quality of the idea is mainly influenced by the persona’s skill at creating norito, but the more a persona knows about norito, the more likely she is to avoid creating something with a serious flaw.

If the persona has a higher score in norito knowledge than in norito skill, keep the highest dice. For example, if the persona has a score of 3 in norito knowledge and 2 in norito skill, roll three dice and keep the best two. If the two scores are equal, keep all the dice. For example, if the persona has scores of 3 in both norito knowledge and norito skill, roll three dice and keep all of them. If norito knowledge is less than norito skill, roll a number of dice equal to norito skill, plus the difference between norito skill and norito knowledge. Then keep the lowest dice, equal in number to the score in norito skill. For example, suppose the persona has a score of 3 in norito knowledge and 5 in norito skill. The difference between the score in norito skill and the score in norito knowledge is two, and when that is added to the score in norito skill the result is seven. Therefore, you should roll seven dice, and keep the lowest five.

Add together all the dice that you keep to get the result of the die roll. For example, in the final case, suppose you roll the dice and get 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5. The lowest five dice are 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, so the result is 14.

None of the personae have scores in norito knowledge or norito skill yet. Every persona receives 4 points with which we can buy these abilities. We may also use any points we have left over from previous scenes. If you want your persona to participate in creating the norito, it is better to have a score of at least 1 in each ability, as both will be kept at some point in the process.

All of the personae may roll once to come up with a concept, and then we can decide which concept we will use.

The difficulty of a concept depends on how many steps it will add to the harae.

1 step: Conception 1, Implementation 8

2 steps: Conception 4, Implementation 14

3 steps: Conception 7, Implementation 20

4 steps: Conception 10, Implementation 26

5 steps: Conception 13, Implementation 32

A persona may come up with any concept, as long as the conception difficulty is equal to or lower than her total on the conception roll. If her result on the conception roll is greater than the conception difficulty, she may subtract the difference from the implementation difficulty.

For example, suppose that a persona gets a result of 12 on the conception roll. She could choose to have a 1 step idea, with a conception difficulty of 1. She would have 11 points left over, so she could reduce the implementation difficulty to 0, meaning that there would be no chance of failure in writing the norito; she just needs to take a little time to write it down. She could also choose a 2 step idea, and reduce the implementation difficulty by 8 points, to 6. This idea would be easy to turn into a norito, and she would almost certainly succeed on the first roll. If she chose a 3 step concept, she could reduce the implementation difficulty by 5 points, to 15. This is likely to take some cooperation and revision, but it should be within the personae’s abilities. Finally, she could choose a 4 step idea, and reduce the implementation difficulty to 24. This is likely to be difficult to create, but if the personae really need those four steps, they should try it. Her conception roll is not good enough to get a 5 step idea.

The descriptions of all the concepts are the same: “A norito asking the kami of harae to purify us of the kegare we are carrying.” The personae understand the differences in the concepts, but they know about norito, and the players (probably) do not. Players who do know about norito may add more detail to the concept if they wish.

The second stage is for the persona who came up with the idea to start writing it down. Once again, she rolls norito knowledge and keeps norito skill. The player should choose one norito element, a phrase in the norito, to reflect what the personae has created.

Haraetamai kiyometamae — a phrase asking the kami to purify the persona. This would normally go near the end of the norito.
Moromoro no tsumikegare aramuoba — a phrase asking the kami to do something if the persona has any kind of kegare. Tsumi is kegare that a person gets because of something they deliberately do, and tsumikegare indicates both kinds of kegare. This would normally go before a request for purification.

Haraedo no Ohkamitachi — a general term for all the kami of harae.

Seoritsuhime no kami — a female kami of harae, a kami of rivers.

Haya’akitsuhime no kami — a female kami of harae, a kami of sea currents and tides.

Ibukidonushi no kami — a male kami of harae, a kami of the wind.

Hayasasurahime no kami — a female kami of harae, a kami of the underworld.

Izunomë no kami — a female kami of harae.

Kamunaobi no kami — a kami of harae, normally portrayed as male.

All the kami names would normally go before the request for purification, but could come before or after the “moromoro” phrase.

The Japanese phrases are actually included in the norito, while the English explanations are (obviously) not. Norito are written in archaic Japanese, which is not quite the same as modern Japanese; these are the forms for use in a norito. Players who know how to write norito may include appropriate phrases that are not on the list.

If the result of the roll is equal to or greater than the implementation difficulty for the concept, the norito is complete at this stage. For example, if the persona rolled a 12 again, she would complete a 2 step norito, with an implementation difficulty of 6, but not a 3 step norito, with an implementation difficulty of 15. If the norito is not completed, the result of the roll is the progress total towards completing it. For a concrete example, let us say that the concept is for a 3 step norito, so the progress total is 12. The persona includes the phrase “haraetamai kiyometamae”.

If the norito has not yet been completed, the next stage is for a persona other than the one who came up with the idea to look at the draft, and make suggestions for revisions. To assess the draft, the persona should roll norito skill and keep norito knowledge. The main influence on assessment is how much the persona knows about norito, but a persona who is better at creating them is more likely to offer useful advice.

It is harder to make useful comments on a more elaborate concept, so the player subtracts the conception difficulty from the result of the die roll to get the assessment total.

For example, suppose another persona, with 2 dice in both norito knowledge and norito skill, tries to assess the example 3-step norito, and rolls an 11. The conception difficulty for a 3-step norito is 7, so the assessment total is 11–7, or 4.
The assessment total is used to buy a revision element. Each revision element has a cost, to be paid out of the assessment total, and grants a number of dice to keep when trying to revise the norito. A revision element can only be used once for a given norito, and only a single element can be chosen when assessing the norito. In most cases, this means that the player should choose the most expensive element she can afford. However, each revision element fixes some feature of the norito, and the player may wish to avoid including or removing a particular feature, and so choose a different element.

In addition, a revision element may only remove an element that is already present in the norito, and may not require the addition of an element that is already present. It is, however, possible for an element to be added, then removed, then added again. Anyone with experience of writing will know that this is entirely realistic.

The following revision elements are available.

Add one of the elements given above: cost 1, dice 1.

Remove one from the norito: cost 1, dice 1.

Add another phrase that the player knows is appropriate to a norito: cost 1, dice 1.

Include “ashita no migiri, yube no migiri o asakaze, yukaze no fukiharo koto no gotoku” — a phrase from the oharai kotoba, the oldest known harae norito. It likens the removal of kegare to mist being blown away by the wind, which is appropriate here because of the mist in the kamikakushi: cost 4, dice 2.

Include “nigitae, aratae o nagehanatsu koto no gotoku” — a phrase referring to casting away clothing, so if this phase is included in the norito, the haraegu must include removing one or more items of clothing (see later): cost 7, dice 3.

In the example, the persona has an assessment total of 4, and so chooses to recommend adding “ashita no migiri, yube no migiri o asakaze, yukaze no fukiharo koto no gotoku”, giving 2 dice to keep.

The revision of the norito can be carried out by any persona who has read the norito and heard the assessment. The persona who made the assessment always qualifies, and the persona who originally wrote the norito qualifies if she has heard the assessment. However, a third persona who has both read the norito and heard the assessment may also carry out the revisions.
To revise the norito, the player rolls norito skill and keeps the number of dice granted by the revision element. The total is added to the progress total for the norito. The revising personae also chooses one element to add to the norito.

In the example, the revising persona has 2 dice to keep, and gets a total of 9. Added to the current progress total of 12, this takes the total to 21, more than enough to complete the norito. She chooses to add a reference to Ibukidonushi no kami, since a kami of wind is an appropriate match to the phrase about wind blowing mist away.

If a single revision does not allow the completion of the norito, a different persona may assess the revised norito, and make a new suggestion. However, each persona may only assess a norito once, and the original author may not assess it at all. (Normally, a persona may assess something more than once if she sleeps in between assessments, but in this case the personae are not going to sleep in the kamikakushi.)

The personae may work on more than one norito at once as a group, although one persona may only be working on one norito at a time. When they have finished, they can choose the one that they like best to use in the harae.

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