Taryu-jiai duels are the most common way to settle disputes between shugenjas. Isawa shugenjas are particularly opinionated on its favor, as it allows they to openly disagree with Jade Magistrates.
A taryu-jiai duel consists of the following steps
Both shugenjas roll Spellcraft(Taryu-Jiai/Intelligence) against a TN equal to the 10+ opponent Insight Rank x 5. A success confers one of the following information (duelist choice) and one additional fact for each Raise.
- The opponent’s Void
- The opponent’s highest Ring
- The opponent’s Spellcraft Skill
- Any Spellcraft Emphases the opponent may possess
- The current number of Void Points the opponent has available
- The opponent’s current Wound Level
- Any advantages and school techniques that improve casting
If any duelist beat the other Assessment Roll by 10 or more, the winning character gains a bonus of +1k1 on his subsequent Focus roll.
Both shugenjas roll Contested Spellcraft (Taryu-Jiai/Void). The winner If one duelist beats the other’s roll by 5 or more, that duelist earns the right to make the first cast. He gains a Free Raise toward his casting roll for every additional increment of 5 by which he beats his opponent’s roll. If neither duelist beats the other’s roll by at least 5, then a simultaneous
“kharmic spellcasting” takes place.
The duelists finally unleash the fury of the kami. This can happen in two ways, depending on previous mutual agreement.
Spell Prowess: The shugenjas unleash spells accourding to Focus order. Each duelist makes a casting roll against a TN equal to 10 + opponent Insight Rank x 5, the attack damage equal to his Ring on the selected element. Factors that adjust casting adjust this roll as usual. For each two raises the damage can be increased +1k0. For 5 raises a duelist can make an extra spell casting.
Each casting costs one spell slot on the chosen element or Void. Most Spell Prowess duels are considered very dangerous and it would take extraordinary situations to make them to the death. Usually there are enough accidents with first blood.
Elemental Avatars: The shugenjas create two castings, an elemental avatar and a Spell Prowess casting. The elemental avatars are created by spending a spell slot and succeeding on a TN 15 Spellcasting roll on an element of choice. The elemental avatars have 10 Wounds per rank of the duelist associated Ring, plus 5 Wounds for each Raise called during casting. They have Invunerable to their Element, Reduction 5 for the opposite element and Reduction 10 for all other elements. This consumes a spell slot on the called element or Void. Void avatars have Reduction 10 against all elements.
The Spell Prowess casting occurs as normal, according to Focus order. Only Spell Prowess rolls might benefit from Free Raises. The casting targets the avatar instead of the shugenja.
The first to destroy the opponent avatar is considered the winner. If the duel continues after the first Spell Prowess volley and both elemental avatars survived, it is actually expected from the shugenjas to create new elemental avatars of a different element or just a “fresh” one, continuing on Initiative order. If one duelist’s avatar was destroyed, it is dishonorable to call a new one. If both karmic spell cast and destroy each other avatar, the result is a draw.
“To the death” elemental avatar duels allow the shugenjas to keep casting Spell Prowess and crafting avatars as long as they have spell slots or concede. The loser duelist might be expected to concede a point, surrender as a hostage, retire or in dire cases, commit ritual suicide.
Elemental Avatar version of Taryu-jiai duels usually are agreed when the magical prowess of any of the parties is contested in any direct or indirect way, and a more “true” way to appraise the gifts of a shugenja. For setting other issues, the traditional single Spell Prowess is usually enough.