In AEG's Secrets of the Shadowlands (2004) for Legend of the Five Rings, Second Edition (that's also officially licensed by Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition), the feat Faceless Soul has as its benefit

Once per day you may completely shield yourself from all attempts to detect you presence while moving with stealth (such as with the Move Silently or Hide in Shadows skills).1 So long as you remain unnoticed by mundane means, you cannot be detected by any supernatural means (such as spells or kiho feats) short of the direct intervention of Fortune or a more powerful being. (54)

Emphasis mine. Similar language appears in the Legend of the Five Rings version of the feat, the advantage Ninja Mystic. I am largely unfamiliar with the vastness of Rokugan, but Oriental Adventures says that

The religion of Rokugan is a collage of piety directed toward the fortunes—including Yakomo (the male sun deity), Hitomi (the female moon deity), the seven kami who founded the clans, the Seven Fortunes of Good Luck, and countless lesser fortunes—as well as the spirits of the ancestors and the teachings of Shinsei. (9)

Thus—here, anyway—, it sounds there as if fortunes are pretty firmly top of the heap so far as the setting's divine powers go, equivalent to most fantasy setting's gods. Has one or more beings or forces in the Rokugan setting ever been explicitly stated as being more powerful than a fortune? Alternatively, has one or more beings or forces ever demonstrated—such as in a metagame storyline, an in-product piece of fiction, or even in a licensed novel or the trading card game—power beyond that possessed by a fortune?

Note that, while I am interested in information presented before and after, answers specific to Legend of the Five Rings, Second Edition (and, by extension, the Oriental Adventures line) are preferred.

1 The feat's benefit really says the Hide in Shadows skill. AEG's Oriental Adventures line's feats often include jargon appropriate to earlier D&D editions. (At least one 2004 feat uses the phrase to-hit roll, for instance.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Oblivious_Sage Out of curiosity, is there a specific style of proper capitalization of fortunes? (That is, I used lowercase in the title because that's how it's done in the Oriental Adventures description of Rokugani religion, wherein, apparently, specific fortunes (i.e. Seven Fortunes) are capitalized but fortunes generally ("countless lesser fortunes") are not, OA appearing better edited than Secrets of the Shadowlands which uses all uppercase.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


My L5R knowledge comes almost exclusively from 4th edition but there are many things more powerful than fortunes:

The Sun and the Moon are at the top, followed by the Celestial Dragon and the Dragons of Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Void (I'm not sure where Thunder stands in this hierarchy). the 7 major Fortunes and the Kami are near the top. After them there is a huge array of minor fortunes and celestial spirits who's power varies wildly. From the Ryu, messengers of the Dragons and Fushicho, Guardians of the heavens to Kirako, the Fortune of Torture and the other Fortunes raised by Hantei XVI as a twisted punishment.

And those are just those recognized by Rokugani religion. the Lying Darkness definitely outclasses most Fortunes and I seem to recall Kali Ma killing a powerful Fortune or two when she invades Rokugan.

The power level of Fortunes is different depending on their domain and as such it can be argued that many things rival them for power. Although Rokugani are mortals they are technically the grandchildren of the Sun and Moon and they breed warriors that slay mighty gods with startling regularity.

if it comes down to it, use your own judgement. A Nezumi Transcendent might not be a Fortune but they are definitely more likely to have the power to see through a Faceless Soul than poor Tojo, the Fortune of Dung.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you compare their relative powers? That is, for example, While a fortune can create a planet, the Sun or the Moon can create a solar system or whatever? And under what circumstances would these more powerful forces bother to detect a creature with the feat Faceless Soul? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not with any degree of certainty... The Oracles have a mere sliver of the Celestial Dragons' power and they are nigh immortal Rank 8 Shugenja with Simple Action casting. The mere approval of a major Fortune brings fairly potent benefits. The Sun and Moon have the power to change the nature of the world by giving it a name. None of these beings have stats or mechanics to my knowledge, and for good reason. If they took an interest though I assume it would be child's play to detect but for the most part they remain aloof. Lady Sun's tears (Crystal) would probably burn them on contact thouhg \$\endgroup\$
    – Saelvarath
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question's quotation mentions as fortunes "Yakomo (the male sun deity) [and] Hitomi (the female moon deity)." Are these different from the Sun and the Moon in your answer? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ There have been 3 suns and Moons in the cannon history. the originals: Amaterasu and Onnotangu, then Hida Yakamo and Mirumoto Hitomi killed them and took their place in 1132. They were the Sun and Moon for 38 years before heaven got fed up with having Mortals in charge and kicked them out and created the Jade Dragon to be the Sun and the Obsidian Dragon to be the Moon. I'm not sure that the cannon of 2e L5r goes that far though. I don't recall there being any difference in each Sun and Moon's power level though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Saelvarath
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 16:31

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