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L5R-A Message from Beyond

Game Master Wandslinger

Emerald and Jade Magistrates find themselves embroiled in the most momentous event in a generation.


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Since my other game never got underway, I turn to another of my favorite themes: samurai.

Rules: L5R 4th ed. Core only.

Posting frequency: At least 3 per week. I'm busy, you're busy, we don't have to go at breakneck speed. More can be good, but I'm not demanding it.

What I want: read over the game ideas I've posted up below, and pick which pair you'd be more interested in. Leave mechanics and concept until we know which pair we're dealing with. Once we've seen where things will head, then I'll put up a deadline, house rules, etc. For now, show some interest.

A Requirement: I'd like to have someone else run one of the two games in the chosen pair, so that I have the opportunity to play as well as run a game. The GM for the second game will have a spot in the first game, so that they may also enjoy playing and GMing. They will have full control over the events within their game. All I provide is a setup. If they wish to make events between the games intertwined, then it can be so. Otherwise, no worries.

Enough blabber, on to game pitches:

Pair 1:
Word has come from the Great Northern Wall: the Badger clan has gone missing, and a strange light issues forth from their lands. The kami in the area speak only a single word: Ryoshun.

Group A: The Emperor has sent the Emerald and Jade Magistrates to Shiro Ichiro. You are the yoriki of the senior magistrates, newly promoted. As such, it falls to you to investigate the lands around the clan's home while your superiors search the aforementioned home itself. What reason will you discover for the strange phenomena that have made themselves manifest? (This game is going to be more combat and investigation oriented, and is best suited for bushi and shugenja).

Group B: Since the disappearance of the Badger clan, the shugenja community has been assaulted by unknown forces. Some who commune with the kami have been found drained dry, leaving only empty husks. Others, immolated from within. One Earth Tensai was found entombed within his own garden. The Phoenix Clan Champion has called all shugenja within Phoenix lands, regardless of clan affiliation, to court in order to decipher the mystery behind these strange afflictions. You are among those summoned. (This game is going to be more courtly oriented, and is best for shugenja, courtiers, and their yojimbo).

Pair 2:
Those who wander Rokugan with no master to call their own are treated with disdain at best. Their lives are one of hardship, but there are also virtues to such a life. You have the chance to live fully, to ride the waves of fortune. Though you might need to sell your sword to live, at least you have freedom. Riding upon the waves of life, you are a wave man: a ronin.

Group A: For some lucky few ronin wandering the roads of Rokugan, there are those whom you are honored to call brother. Though you are but a newly formed otokodate, your deeds until this point have spread your fame throughout Lion and Crane lands. For once, it seems your fortunes may change for the better. In fact, just today your group received a letter from a Crane vassal daimyo. It seems that he lacks sufficient manpower to protect his daughter as she makes her way to her new husband's home. He asks for your assistance. as she crosses territory held by his enemies. While you've never heard of any Crane stooping to hire ronin, his coin seems very generous. What could be the harm? (This game is meant for true ronin bushi, gathered from many different roads).

Group B: For some, the life of a ronin is not theirs by choice, but has been thrust upon them. You know this all too well. For your deeds, you have been denied seppuku, and banished from your clan. Having no choice, the only option left to you is to make your own fate. Here, you shall answer to no master. Here, you will make your name one to shake the foundations of Heaven. Here, you will build your legend. Here, in the City of Lies, is your future. Welcome. (This game is for Clan ronin of any stripe, Great or Minor, Bushi or Shugenja or Courtier. The odd monk may also fit in).


Hmmmmmmmm....

They're both interesting, but I lean ever so slightly toward Pair 1.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I've never played Legend of the 5 Rings, but I'm interested in trying it out if you don't mind a newb. I like Pair 2, but Pair 1 sounds good too.

Cheliax

Pair 1 looks good. Haven't played 4th ed. though.


4th ed. streamlined the system somewhat, making bits somewhat more modular. Duels no longer take sessions to figure out for one. Bonuses from Techniques tend to use a single trait rather than a ring, free raises are greatly reduced, more flat bonuses, etc. Very nice.


All I know is whatever happens, I'm rockin the Scorpion mon.


Hey - I'm new to the site and new to Lot5R rpg in general but I'm looking for a pbp to get started with.

If you're not terrified of having a wholly new player I'd be happy to play provided you guys can help me struggle through learning a new game. My Lot5R knowledge consists of reading the first 6 of the 7 Clan War novels (though book 7 is on my shelf atm...) and wiking a bit.

For what it's worth I'd be most interested in the first pair.

Cheliax

UltraFennec wrote:
All I know is whatever happens, I'm rockin the Scorpion mon.

Konichi-wa, I am Bayushi Yorinaga. May I know the name of the personage who I now address?

Cheliax

Tunos wrote:

Hey - I'm new to the site and new to Lot5R rpg in general but I'm looking for a pbp to get started with.

If you're not terrified of having a wholly new player I'd be happy to play provided you guys can help me struggle through learning a new game. My Lot5R knowledge consists of reading the first 6 of the 7 Clan War novels (though book 7 is on my shelf atm...) and wiking a bit.

For what it's worth I'd be most interested in the first pair.

Have read those Clan Books.

Would like to recommend as inspirational reading: Lone Wolf and Cub.


What size game and how many players are you looking at? I might be available to GM the other of your pairs potentially. Very new to the site but I've run a fair bit of pbp L5R in my day.


Lone Wolf and Cub is excellent, though it is better source material for Pair 2.

Do you guys have access to the book? Need to know how much help I'll need to offer.

For those new to the game, the most important thing to understand about playing L5R is that it is about the interaction between characters, and how they interact with the story. Combat is fast and deadly. Using the normal rules, a character can end up out of the fight, or even dead, in a couple solid hits. I personally think that Alderac did this to force players to focus more on creating a narrative story.

Glad to see some interest so far! I cross-posted this to Alderac's forum, so hopefully we'll be seeing some more interest in a bit.

EDIT: I was thinking of 4 or 5 people for each group. A bit of clarification, I was never intending to run two games. I wanted to see which pair of games was more popular, and then divide the two games of that pair between two people. So, if pair 1 was picked, I and another GM would decide between ourselves which game we wanted to run. Perhaps I pick Group A, and tell the story of the yoriki who investigate the disappearance of the Badger Clan. The other GM would then tell the story of the shugenja's plight.

Admittedly, if the other GM wanted to choose a game from the other pair to run, I wouldn't mind either.

Cheliax

have the 4th ed. books published from core to great clans. will be buying imperial histories.

another inspiration: yagyu clan conspiracy (TV series).


Narrative roleplaying works for me - I've played a little bit of nWoD so that part will be somewhat similar.

I tend to favor the Crane, Phoenix and Dragon - so I'd likely wind up playing one of those.

I'd also probably avoid the bushi for my first game and would probably go with a shugenja or a courtier.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I've got the core 4th edition book, though I'll have to re-read it before I can start playing.


I personally see bushi as easier to run than shugenja or courtiers, but that's just me. I think it's my innate preference for playing characters that dive into action personally, rather than using an intermediary.


Shugenja are totally capable of direct action, it's just a wee bit more complicated and risky than sword to sword action.

@Radavel: Bayushi Shunsuke sounds like an interesting name, just saying it aloud. It's probably an alias, but hey, Scorpion.

Though the last L5R character I played (for all of one session, woo!) was a Shosuro Infiltrator who was actually kinda bad at pretending not to be dangerous.

Anyway. Scorpion. Though if there's a bunch of Scorpions around it might be amusing to play a Lion instead for the sheer stress of it.

Cheliax

GM-The Voice of Tengoku wrote:
I personally see bushi as easier to run than shugenja or courtiers, but that's just me. I think it's my innate preference for playing characters that dive into action personally, rather than using an intermediary.

For GM's eyes only

Spoiler:
I am thinking of making a Bayushi Samurai with the added complication of Forbidden Knowledge: Maho and Dark Secret (Maho-Tsukai). If this combination is within the acceptable range I'll start fleshing him out.
Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Having run a L5R game for 2+ years (4th ed) and played in several (3rd) I'd be interested in this game.


Balodek: which pair is more interesting to you? Also, any interest in running a game?

Radavel: I'd like to get the character creation guidelines up before any fleshing out is done.


I'm thinking either a Crane Asahina shugenja, a Fox kitsune shugenja who studied at the Isawa school or an Isawa courtier (possibly a Doji courtier as well, depending on creation/group make up).


I'm assuming that we like Pair 1, given the responses. Certainly enough interest, shouldn't waste that by waiting for someone to run a game too. Now then: which game does everybody like more in Pair 1: Group A, or Group B?


I have no preference between the two.


I like group A rather much. Doesn't really matter what clan I think, I just wanna play a bushi lol.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

If I make up a character I'd prefer 1, but ronin could be fun. I would balk at running a PbP, having never done that format and probably not being able to commit the time necessary for it. Posting is much easier than running, as I'm sure you know! ;)


But is it 1A or 1B?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm usually a Crab Bushi, but Shugenja are fun, so I honestly have no preference. Would lean more towards A.

Cheliax

Correct me if I am wrong but the disappearance of the Badger Clan occurred at around the start of the 4 Winds Era, yes?


Gonna have to say that unless it's printed in the core book as part of the historical overview, I don't know it. I don't really follow the story in the card game. My version of this would more likely be set in a more generalized L5R setting. Who the Emperor is, what's happening in the Empire at large, aren't really questions that will matter. Barring extreme circumstances, of course.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The Badger were mostly wiped out in 1126. In 1170s the War of Dark Fire almost wiped them out a second time. It would help for character planning if we knew what time frame you had in mind, either Clan War or War of Spirits or current era.


Hmmmmm. How about setting it around Emperor Edition's time? Just enough time for the Badger to rebuild before yet another event tries to wipe them out.


Whatever time we decide on I'll just need some sort of reference to where I can read about it.

If it isn't covered in the Clan Wars I'm limited to the knowledge present in the Core Rules, Great Clans and the wiki.

Also - character guidelines? Mechanically at least? I'm chomping at the bit to get started!


Ok. Mechanical guidelines for game 1A:
-Standard core character generation at IR1, Great Clans only. No Spider clan (they've been recognized by now, but seeing as the only arm of the clan allowed to stay in Rokugan proper is the Order of the Spider monks, they aren't chosen to serve in the Emerald and Jade magistrates).
-No trait may start higher than 3(unless your school and family bonus double up).
-You may choose a single(1)Disadvantage. Make this your defining flaw.
-This game is for bushi and shugenja. Courtiers will likely be disappointed.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Sounds good, Hida Sobou coming up tonight. :D


So if I'm making a shugenja (which I think I am unless too many others do) should I take a number of damage spells? The wounds seem to be fairly minor and I'm wondering how I should balance buffing/debuffing and roleplay utility spells versus direct damage spells.


Can't remember the DR off the top of my head, but being able to directly damage your foes at all can be useful. In this case, spells that serve utility purposes are likely to be very useful.


What about spells that deal with long distance communication?

I don't want you to give too much away, but is there any benefit for being able to relay information back to court quickly or to learn about the goings on of court from afar?


Unlikely. You'll see why. Let's just say that communication will be cut off dramatically appropriately.


I've got the mechanics finished (I think - I've asked for advice on another site or two) and just need to write up whatever you want in the way of back story.

Should sheets be posted here?


How about a Tamori Shugenja?


@ Tunos: Make an alias for the character here. I saw you on Alderac's forum. Good place to go for help.

@ All: As far as backstories are concerned: I want to know the general background stuff, of course, but also what actions brought you to the attention of either the Emerald or Jade Magistrates. While you aren't skilled enough yet to become a full magistrate, being chosen to serve as yoriki essentially means you are being groomed to become one eventually.

Things to Remember:
-Keep your backstory in line with your abilities, and vice versa. You are starting out as IR1 characters, aka beginners. No slaughtering a demon horde by yourself. Managing to kill a great demon with the help of your unit is much more acceptable.
-You should all be adults. Lesser ranked magistrates might pick up samurai fresh from gempukku, but the leaders of this investigation are senior members. They likely answer directly the Emerald and Jade champions, or close to it. They want those with a little more experience in the world (even if I won't be reflecting it mechanically).

@ Kyle Smith: That's fine. They are in Core, yes?


After reading the core again, I think I actually want to play an Akodo Bushi, especially since we've got at least one applicant playing Scorpion. While I'd love to try the Beastmaster from Great Clans, I somehow doubt seriously that they'd ever become yoriki given the emphasis on secrecy the school possesses.

Cheliax

If there is any spot left, I would like to participate, I have access to the books, but sadly no one were I live plays it, so would like to give it a try since I have played very few times and it was 3rd edition.

I like the minor clans for some weird reason.


Rain Pletcher, you still interested in running a game? Your spot in Group A would put it up to 6, and then having me and Deiros would leave at least 2 for another game.


Or perhaps games could be split more evenly. Either way, here's some exposition to highlight the time period.

25 years. 25 long years have passed since the Destroyer marched across Rokugan. 25 long years have passed since the Dark Oracle of Fire burned through the Empire. Even after all this time, the southern regions still feel the pain of the devastation caused by Kali-Ma's great and mad army. In the northern mountains, the rocks still bear testament to the fires of war that nearly broke them in twain. The whole of the Empire feels the immense loss that had been suffered by its people.

The Scorpion have only just begun to see their lands become usable again. Becoming dependent upon others for their survival has left the Scorpion almost kind. Only now do they see a glimmer of their former position returning.

The Crane have spent two decades with barely enough members to keep on top of court, and hardly enough rice to feed its people. Some within the clan worry that their eternal rule of the court will come to an end if they cannot find a way to raise the fertility of their rice, and themselves.

The Lion, exhausted from fighting three wars in succession, have spent the past decades licking their wounds, and training the young. Their lessened presence on the road, however, has let banditry rise throughout their provinces, as well as elsewhere.

The Dragon, thinned and desperate from defending the Northern Wall, have secluded themselves even more so than usual. Without the Kitsuki, they would never be seen in court. With little arable land left, they are slowly starving away.

The Phoenix, devastated by internal strife and the horrors of war, have become almost militantly pacifistic. Their lands are locked up tight, and few are let in without good reason. While their lands enjoy peace and order, their reluctance to deal with the Empire at large is costing them greatly.

The Crab are ever stoic, ever ready. While war has left them hurt just as much as any other clan, the Crab refuse to see things differently. Their position has changed little, except perhaps further dependence upon others for food. Their eternal war against the Shadowlands has left them stretched, as they lend their great strength elsewhere for a time. Dark forces may find a hole where once none existed...

The Unicorn, split between two fronts, have suffered many losses, but their spirit remains intact. Their steeds are safe, and thus their way of life. Something has been causing oddities lately, however. In one village, a child was born with no soul. In another, an untrained shugenja was possessed by maddened kami, destroying the town. Now, the home of their neighbors, the Badger Clan, is lit like heaven sent a star into it. These strange events from Shiro Ichiro make them fear for the safety of their lands.

The Mantis, of all the clans, have come out mostly ahead. They certainly lost a great many in both wars, and more exploring the Ivory Kingdoms, but they have been granted rights that place them at the forefront of those who will benefit from settling the Colonies. Money continues to pour in, and some Mantis wonder if it will ever stop. The only downside to it is that they also must act as watchdogs over the Spider Clan. Few wish to engage such fearsome opponents, and fewer still want them there at all. To say tensions run thick is an understatement.

Here, in the Empire proper, a single arm of the Spider Clan still remains: the Order of the Spider, and the Clan Champion Daigotsu Kanpeki. While ostensibly a member of the Brotherhood of Shinsei, it would be more accurate to say that the Brotherhood is their warden, and their prison. Bound by the rules of the Brotherhood, the Order finds itself both trapped and free at the same time. But that is another story. For from the North comes a great cry, reverberating through both Rokugan and the Spirit World.

This day, the Empire begins to wobble once more. This day, its fate is again unknown. This day, it once again requires heroes. This day, it requires you.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I have some rough stats, now that I have this I should be able to come up with a backstory for submission.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I'm considering a Mantis or Dragon clan bushi.

Cheliax

James Keegan wrote:
I'm considering a Mantis or Dragon clan bushi.

Mantis clan are really good bushi, or at least I like them more than the dragon bushi.


Akodo Shunsuke is pretty much ready mechanically. Pretty sure I did all the addition correctly, but another set of eyes never hurts.

Now I just gotta write up a good backstory and find a character picture.


I'll be able to get something up tonight or tomorrow (probably tomorrow).

The mechanics are either done or almost done (I'll have to check my char gen).

What are you looking for in the way of backstory?


GM-The Voice of Tengoku said wrote:

I want to know the general background stuff, of course, but also what actions brought you to the attention of either the Emerald or Jade Magistrates. While you aren't skilled enough yet to become a full magistrate, being chosen to serve as yoriki essentially means you are being groomed to become one eventually.

Things to Remember:
-Keep your backstory in line with your abilities, and vice versa. You are starting out as IR1 characters, aka beginners. No slaughtering a demon horde by yourself. Managing to kill a great demon with the help of your unit is much more acceptable.
-You should all be adults. Lesser ranked magistrates might pick up samurai fresh from gempukku, but the leaders of this investigation are senior members. They likely answer directly the Emerald and Jade champions, or close to it. They want those with a little more experience in the world (even if I won't be reflecting it mechanically).

This.

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