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The Paths of the Shrine Maiden (Miko Powers)

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  • The Paths of the Shrine Maiden (Miko Powers)

    The Paths of the Shrine Maiden
    or Miko Powers

    The Paths of the Shrine Maiden are a collection of techniques accessible primarily to Miko characters. These abilities are, unlike Ninjutsu or Genjutsu that are molded with chakra, created through the Miko crafting the spiritual energy in the world around them.

    While there are conflicting theories on exactly how Miko powers differ from ninjutsu, there are some easy differences to identify.

    - Miko powers do not require handseals. Miko powers do not feel exactly like ninjutsu to those who can sense and follow them.

    - Miko powers can be blocked and countered by abilities that block ninjutsu or chakra.

    - Miko powers do use the same type of energy as chakra and chi, just shaped and powered differently.

    There are still points of contention though. Abilities specifically meant to track ninja by their use of ninjutsu may fail to notice Miko powers. Abilities that block tenketsu or stop chakra manipulation are hit and miss when used against Miko.

    Miko powers are different, but not too different. The important differences to characters are their 'Condition', which can limit if the power can be used at all, and their tree, which Miko don't take like a normal jutsu list.


    Miko powers have a similarity to genjutsu, in that without the proper trigger, some of them cannot be used, or have reduced effect. If a power lists a condition, like 'protecting an innocent', the Miko character may gain an additional benefit for meeting that condition.

    It is important to note that conditions work on value judgments that will not be perfect. Who is 'evil' and who is 'innocent' and what defines 'helplessness'? When a Miko believes their conditions are met, their powers usually work. Whether this means their judgement is taken for granted by the spirits that give them energy, or if it means their power has no divine connection at all, is a question many Miko wrestle with. What is important to know is that if a power says the Miko must attack an 'evil being', their power won't work if they believe their target is good.


    Some Miko powers have ritual versions. These are non-combat versions of the techniques that can be used over distances or for greater effect, but require time and components. These rituals can have powerful effects, so it is important to use them wisely in the RP, and respect your fellow roleplayer's agency when you think about using them on an important character or PC.

    Miko List

    The Paths of the Shrine Maiden is actually made up of five miniature trees of techniques. The five paths: Deny, protection seals; Pierce, combat powers; Mend, healing seals; Divination, predictions and sensing; and Black, hexes and illusions; each have two techniques maximum per stage. For a shinobi or other taking the Paths, each path is its own jutsu list that needs to be taken individually. For a Miko, the paths are all one list, and interact to give the Miko more power.

    A Miko must choose a primary path. As a (genin-level) or (chuunin-level) Miko, they can take powers from their primary path and a secondary path. At (jounin-level), they can have a tertiary path.

    Powers from your primary path go in the 1-2 slots of the tree like swaps in an empty ninjutsu list. The secondary path goes in 3-4, and the tertiary path goes in 5-6. Also, the highest power they know in their secondary and tertiary paths must be one stage lower than the highest in their primary path, that means their primary path must always be the highest. At sennin level, their secondary path may match the stage of their primary path.

    In exchange for this are a few perks. For a Miko, all of their paths together count as one list. A Miko power used by a Miko always counts as being the highest stage the Miko has in this list, so even their simplest powers can be difficult to defend against. Many Miko abilities scale on the Miko's 'level', which is the highest stage they have in this list. For a shinobi taking this list, their 'Miko level' is equal to the stage of the power that is checking Miko level (ex. a stage three power that checks Miko level could be level 6 for a Miko with stage 6 max, but would always be level 3 for a shinobi).

    Swaps can be created for the Miko Powers, but they must fit the themes of the five paths, instead of being completely unique themes.

    For more information about the special way Miko count their technique usages, or other Miko specific rules, check the handbook.