When a samurai hears the term "iaijutsu," he naturally thinks of the Kakita Academy, the place where the first Emerald Champion taught his students the art of the sword, and the school that trained every Hantei. But like most teachers, Kakita brought his art to more than one dojo; that place was called Falling Rain.
Of the Crane dojo, Kyuden Doji can claim a longer history than the Falling Rain Dojo, which was founded in the year 53 following Fu Leng's defeat. From the beginning, there was friction between the smaller dojo and that of Kakita's original students at Shiro Sano Kakita, for at that time the Kakita Dueling Academy had not yet established as the single pure school for iaijutsu…a fact that can spark duels to this day.
Like other Crane dojo, the students of the Falling Rain studied Kakita's "Ken" extensively, and developed their style alongside their founder's personal school. But during his later years, the first kenshinzen wrote another, smaller treatise on swordplay, which is housed in the school to this day.
Kakita's "The Land" was hardly acknowledged by the Empire at large; written by the swordmaster after his many battles against Fu Leng and his demons, its messages were based more on basic combat than the power of the iaijutsu duel. To this day, few students outside the Falling Rain Dojo can quote it correctly, as it is the cornerstone of their school's philosophy. Few people know or notice the small school south of the great Academy, despite the great heroes who carried the dojo's name.
"Against aggression be yielding like water, and elusive like falling rain." - Kakita
Where the typical Kakita duelist compares his style to Air and Fire, the philosophy of the Falling Rain has always dwelt on Earth and Water. Though many of the techniques are the same, or very similar, the philosophy of fighting is often quite different. Some teachers of the school have wondered if Kakita's "Shinshuu" was meant by their founder to be an addition, rather than a separate document on the sword. Other bushi seldom share this sentiment, claiming that Kakita needed to add nothing to "The Sword."
Regardless of how Kakita intended it, the Falling Rain Dojo has developed a philosophy all it's own. Where the Academy teaches finesse and speed, the Falling Rain is more focused on defense and control. Though their students are still very much Kakita, these subtle differences in philosophy leads these samurai to a very different and less aggressive attitude towards the duel.
Kakita Bushi, Like Falling Rain (Advanced Path)
Fighter, Samurai, Iaijutsu Master (prestige class)
A small school with little of interest or influence beyond the Crane, Falling Rain gives no social benefit to its students.
Students of the Falling Rain Dojo are taught to react to both their environment and their opponents in an instant, and gain a +5 bonus to their TN to be hit in the first round of combat.
During the first round of combat this character adds his Wisdom modifier to his Armor Class.
Vassal School (3 Points)
While many bushi did not have the honor of training at the founding school of their style, you have it worse, for your school's (or teacher's) personal philosophies or opinions clash with those of your peers. You gain 1 less Glory point from any demonstration of your style (a battle or duel for samurai, or a poetry contest or negotiation for a courtier). Learning a kata from your school (except one special to your vassal school) costs 1 more point than normal. This Disadvantage can be gained after character creation, if the character later openly adopts such a school (such as the Asahina Sohei or Tsuruchi Kenkyaku prestige classes).
Like Falling Rain (Advanced Path)
Point of Entry: Kakita Bushi 1
Point of Egress: Kakita Bushi 2
Other: Must have Perception 3 or higher.
Technique: Styled after the words that the dojo took its name from, Like Falling Rain is based on the elusive nature of the duelist, who waits until the last possible moment to avoid a successful attack.
Once per turn, after an enemy attacks the bushi and is successful, they may choose to use Like Falling Rain. The bushi makes a Perception check, adding his School Rank to this result. If this total exceeds the attacker's roll, the duelist moves out of the attack's path at the last possible second, and takes no damage. If the character fails to beat the attack roll, he takes an additional 1k1 damage from the strike. Like Falling Rain may be used in an iaijutsu duel if the opponent attacks first, but the user will forfeit his own strike.
Like Falling Rain (Crane Special Feat)
You have been trained in the evasion skills of the Falling Rain Dojo, and possess an almost magical ability to avoid blows.
Prerequisites: DEX 15+, INT 12+, WIS 12+, Defensive Strike, Void Use
Benefit: If an enemy strikes you in combat you may spend a Void Point and roll a d20, adding your base attack bonus and your WIS modifier to the result. If this result exceeds your enemy's attack roll, the attack misses instead. If you fail this roll, the attack does +1 to each die of damage to a maximum of +10.
Among the Rain
School: Kakita Bushi 1, Daidoji Yojimbo 2
Effect: Though few Crane know where the Falling Rain Dojo is located, many of them know the kata designed at that school. Among the Rain is a kata of flitting movements, employing no weapon as the bushi changes both direction and position with increasing speed. By the time the kata has finished, observers find it difficult to follow the samurai's motions, and his mind is focused on evasion.
While focused on Among the Rain, the bushi reduces his opponent's melee attack rolls against him by three times his School Rank. If this ever reduces an opponent's attack total to zero or less, the bushi gains an immediate free attack on his foe. Among the Rain forces the bushi to divide his attention among many movements; he can never roll more dice on a single action than his School Rank plus one.
Requirements: Expertise, Dodge, Way of the Crane
XP Cost: 1000
Effect: For the duration of this kata all attacks against you have their results reduced by your WIS modifier. While this kata is active you may not declare more than one attack against the same opponent during a combat round.