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Shisumo's Untitled Campaign

Game Master Shisumo

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Awhile back, I ran a PbP of the Topaz Championship for Heroes of Rokugan 2, and it went fairly well. I've been thinking I might want to give an L5R PbP another try, especially since I'm actually one of the campaign admins for HoR3. With that thought in mind, I'd like to see if I could scrape together enough interest to kick off the HoR3 campaign with "New Beginnings," the first adventure for HoR3.

I'd be looking for 4-6 players; they can be new to the game or old hands, since New Beginnings is partially designed to help teach players the game. Access to the core rulebook would be extremely helpful, however. Character creation will follow the guidelines available at the Heroes of Rokugan website; if you are interested in a Restricted character option, we can discuss it.

The basic setting information is this: it is the year 1137 of the Imperial Calendar, four years after the Battle of Oblivion's Gate and the end of the War Against the Shadow. Rokugan rebuilds under the guidance of Emperor Toturi I, but the returned spirits that now comprise nearly 1 in 10 samurai in the Empire have brought with them new difficulties and new challenges for a society that does not deal well with change.

Any takers?

Liberty's Edge

If I can't get anyone else to run one of my games, then I will certainly be interested in playing. I've been looking at HoR for quite a while now, though I never seem to have the money or time to make it up to KC.

Hmmm... no other takers so far?

I've already played that module. :)

I'm interested.

Never done L5R 4e before but am currently trying to get in on another PbP campaign (also L5R 4e). Divided time shouldn't be an issue for me.

PbP experience in the past is nWoD, D&D 4E and some D&D 3.5.

Do you know if it will focus more on court or more on combat?

Hoeres of Rokugan is a living campaign, and as such the modules tend to bounce around across multiple genres. Most have something to do for everyone; combat is, broadly speaking, more common than court, but there are entire court-focused modules, so it's definitely a mixed bag.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Tunos: The campaign is built with the understanding that there should be things for bushi, shugenja and courtiers alike to do. In the roughly twenty mods that have been published for the third campaign, there have been three or four that have been almost entirely courtly. There have also been plenty where combat is the nature of the beast, and one or two where magical aptitude, while not required, certainly solves a lot of problems.

In general, play whatever you like. There will come a moment where you get to step into the spotlight and do whatever it is your School specializes in. (Of course, depending on the School, those spotlights might be rare. Kaiu Engineers will naturally have fewer moments to shine than bushi of virtually any stripe.)

Dark Archive

I love playing L5R.

I will check if some minor clans exists in that period or time, specially the boar clan which I have a soft spot for some reason.

I will try for a bushi in any case.

The Boar don't technically exist in Rokugan at this point.


the existence of the returned spirits that have come into the Empire through Oblivion's Gate opens up the possibility of a returned Boar from the early centuries of the Empire.

Dark Archive

DM Shisumo

There should be only one problem, advancing in to Boar Clan school is going to be a tough cookie without a master/mentor to learn from, unless I practice by myself and supplement my style with Ronin schools

Yes it is a nice time period in time as I was reading a bit today.

Liberty's Edge

I'm looking at either Dragon(Mirumoto) or Mantis(Tsuruchi).

I'm not really familiar with the lore as far as history and events go, so could you provide me with more grounding for that era as applies to both these clans?

The Dragon clan have been through some rough times recently. Their former champion, Hitomi, went seemingly mad and managed to make enemies of much of Rokugan, including the naga, by randomly tattooing - and brainwashing - members of other clans. Her madness eventually caused the wholesale defection of one of the Dragon families, the Agasha, to the Phoenix, leaving only a handful behind; the Dragon believe this to be a terrible insult and many of the remaining Dragon Agasha (plus many of the Mirumoto and Kitsuki) seek a war with their neighbors to dedress the wrong. Hitomi eventually ascended to become Lady Moon, leaving Togashi Hoshi as the Clan Champion - much like his father, however, Hoshi isn't particularly activist, leaving the day-to-day leadership of the Clan to the Mirumoto.

The Mantis are still fighting for full recognition as a Clan - the Day of Thunder, where the other Clans recognized the Mantis as a Great Clan, is only 7 years in the past. The Tsuruchi are still adjusting to being Mantis, as well, with many rather wishing they were still just the Wasp Clan. The Mantis have few allies in the Empire; during the War Against the Shadow, they managed to pick fights with both the Scorpion and the Phoenix, and their current Champion, Yoritomo Aramasu, is a former Scorpion still viewed by his ex-Clanmates as a traitor of the highest order. At the same time, the Mantis' traditional allies in the Minor Clans have been slowly turning away from them, leaving them with more enemies than friends. Still, they are the followers of Yoritomo, and they have been underestimated before.

Dark Archive

Well it is easier to give you the lore of the clan and somewhat "general History" as it usually involves some clans every time.


The last big "world" event of Rokugan (were l5r takes place) was the War of the Destroyer, were the god Kali-ma's (or something like that) invades Rokugan through the Shadowlands, sending a horde of inhabitants of the Shadow Lands towards the Kaiu's Wall (Carpenter's Wall), which caused the Crab clan to be bolstered by the Lion and Unicorn clans.

What they did not know was that the Shadowlands horde was not invading Rokugan they were fleeing from the Destroyer's horde.

The Destroyer's Horde compromised of:


Ironclad DestroyersThe basic destroyer warrior formed in flawless ranks, encased from head to toe in seamless metal armor. Each warrior bore four arms, two carrying weapons, and two with metallic talons adorning each inhuman finger. The faces crafted into that armor were hideous beyond all reckoning, and behind them burned some sinister light that cast a glow about the eyes and mouths.They had no eyes, but still remained fully aware of the events around them.

Every time one of the creatures was killed with magic, as a side effect of undoing the dark ritual that had imprisoned the mystical energy within the metal shell, they made a death-scream which was nearly too much to bear for the shugenja. The Rokugani shugenja learned it in the hard way.

Ironclad Scout They were like the ironclads, but smaller, thinner, and smarter. This variant were more well-trained creatures obeying the orders of human cultist masters, and wore ornately armors of golden color.

AshalanThey were also reported another blue hued beings in the ranks of the Destroyers. They were seen in the last part of the War. These destroyers wore a ward in the thing's throat and a blue ashalan mark in the heart. If the ward was removed the being regained their will and usually attacked the ones still controlled by Kali-Ma. Several Ashalan were under the command of the Destroyer.

Kali-Ma's Elite Destroyer's were rampaging creatures, built with giant bodies like those of men, but with the heads and features of animals. Tigers, elephants, and other things no Rokugani had ever seen were among them. They walked on two legs, as tall as four men, with large ears, powerful tusks, and long, strange noses from which they could sound the most horrifying, shrill battle cries. Their flesh was like hardened leather. They could be damaged more easily than the ironclads but they healed with amazing speed. They could ran very fast on all four legs.

Rakshasa General Honor Guard They are similar to the Ironclad Destroyer but larger, and bearing six arms instead of four.

God Beast SpawnAre serpentine creatures heavily armored carapaces protecting their upper body and two long, insect-like arms with claws that seemed more like blades, and with a terrible maw. Their attacks were made with a repetitive pattern, and secreted some sort of poison or other substance that entered the wound and caused a high levels of distress

Ghoul Lord created the Zombie Plague that still exists in Rokugan.

Other: Oni, Djinn, Human Cultists/Officers.

Now the book gives you history "neutrality" as you can basically pick up any timeline and play on it, as there are usually decades of peace followed by decades of wars so there is plenty of places to do your thing or you can even mix timelines and keep some minor clans that are now extinct or absorbed into other major clans, etc... it is really easier to give you the lore of the clan you want and his view of the other ones.

The it all peace until 1192+ when the Dark naga are kicking butt and doing evil thingy things.

Um, Deiros, that's about 40 years after when HoR 3 is set. None of the events you're referencing are connected to the HoR 3 setting or what's going on with the Mirumoto or the Tsuruchi during the HoR 3 timeline.

I'd certainly be interested in playing, but you'll have to be somewhat patient with me since I've never played a Play-By-Post game. I do however have the 4th Edition Core and have played the game several times. Is there anything you plan on restricting?

Dark Archive

Darn got the wrong timeline hahahahaha, my bad let me recheck the year yet again, there are so many events and wars...

Wait, I know were we are now, for some reason I got mixed up and it's my fault. I was going for scorpion clan but that isn't the nicest place to be right now.

Will still check out what is the best chance of actually but I will play a Bushi.

Liberty's Edge

Hmmm. What about the rest of the Great Clans?

Liberty's Edge

Rethinking things, maybe Crane(Kakita)?

I'm still interested.

I would lean towards a Phoenix or Lion bushi probably. Maaaaaybe a courtier. But probably a bushi.

Dark Archive

Well I might stick to the scorpion one probably.

Liberty's Edge

Deiros, if you were thinking crane then I will move back to dragon.

Okay, so it looks like we have Wandslnger, Tunos, and Deiros definitely interested, and at least one maybe. Monon, you still with us? (My apologies for not checking this thread this weekend - did most of a week's worth of work in the last three days.)

In answer to the question of restrictions, the complete breakdown is available at [url][/url], but in essence, anything not in the Book of Fire (the character creation chapter) is somewhere between "requires checking with me first" (ronin, Minor Clans) to "is essentially banned outright" (Spider Clan, other Shadowlands stuff). Any School with the Monk tag will need prior approval, and some of the Advantages and Disadvantages aren't exactly well-suited to the living campaign format and as such are restricted as well.

Dark Archive

Spider clan is really strong unless you take the taint part out of it,, they are on par or weaker than others.

So what do we have right now as for schools/clans?

Liberty's Edge

So no Kenku? Darn! ;)

I expressed interest in Dragon(bushi), Mantis(bushi/magistrate), and Crane(bushi/duelist).

Tunos expressed interest in Phoenix and Lion, most likely bushi, but maybe courtier.

I'm willing to back away from the Crane if that's what you were going for before I jumped in with it after my initial post.

I think I'm leaning towards bushi/scholar moreso than bushi/courtier.

I'm thinking an Isawa bushi from the Shiba school who has a strained relationship with his family (black sheep - HOW YOU NO GO TO SHUGENJA SCHOOL!?!?!).

I'm trying to decide on how I want to build him at the moment. I'm thinking about having him specialize in polearms but am also torn about having him pick up some iaijutsu too. So it's a three-way race between kenjutsu, iaijutsu and polearms.

I was seriously considering Lion, but I feel like they are a little too militaristic for me.

Dark Archive

I'm all scorpion mate ^^ just wondering what else is around since I'm going to be posing as a "ronin" if I join the scorpion I think, do to the time period we are playing.

My Second option is with the Crab Clan. You have to love the Tetsubo of I will bash you to death and I'm mean machine theme lol.

The other on is a Boar Clan possible guy since I like their school.

But in the end the scorpion bushi is also a great yojimbo type of school in case we have a courtier, since it has some social skill to put up a fight or at least navigate the courtly/political part of the game.

So yes I've always like the scorpion clan, they got ninjas!!

Liberty's Edge

If you're all scorpion, then I'm all crane. We shall feud famously.

Dark Archive

There is no such thing as a feud between gentlemen such as we... After all we are civilized creatures, care for some Tea?

wink! wink!

This almost looks like a white glove fighting, killing with words, or the don't say I never did anything for you, after I saved you from those bandits when you were in trouble... now about that contract...

That would be amazing, we just need a Lion so he can choke in disgust and hate us until kingdom come.

I couldn't find anything on the Heroes website about limiting disadvantage experience gain, so I presently have 12 points of disadvantage. I hope this is ok. Assuming it is, I will post the character sheet.

I've created a bisento wielding Isawa bushi (Shiba school) who is basically a social pariah since he didn't become a shugenja. he feels determined to prove his worth to his family through his martial prowess and, as a result, it is almost impossible for him to refuse an iaijutsu duel.

Dark Archive

Be happy I'm your friend... and that I never find out xD

Deiros wrote:
Be happy I'm your friend... and that I never find out xD

Be careful what you insinuate - a Shiba bushi rolling with +2k2 on the Focus roll can be a very scary thing = )

Dark Archive

nonsense I'm not even going to draw a sword ^^

We've got some good development here, but we still need a fourth player. All of the HoR mods are written for at least four players, and several don't scale well below that minimum.

Also, Tunos, the HoR page doesn't mention a cap on Disadvantages because it's part of the core rules: 4E core book, page 103: "Disadvantages function similarly, except that characters gain Experience Points for taking them, up to a maximum of 10 extra points." You can take more than 10 points' worth, but you only get 10 points for them.

Where would you like us to post our characters?

Dark Archive

we still need a 4th player Tunos before that.

We got :
Crane Bushi (Wandslinger) / Wanna be Courtier
Scorpion Bushi (Deiros) / Wanna be Courtier
Phoenix Bushi (Tunos) / ????

At least 2 of us can do some "Courtier type" work but we are not great since we lack "school" abilities.

For giggle we could find someone to be Lion Bushi and we will have a pretty interesting roleplaying while the phoenix just try to keep the peace amongst the our endless bickering!

No courtier skills here. I went heavy into polearms and iaijutsu so I didn't have much leftover.

Also, I wouldn't expect him to keep too much peace. He's a calm guy, but he's not opposed to a fight. Not your typical Phoenix for sure.

Liberty's Edge

It's really a secondary focus with me. Etiquette 2, Sincerity 1, Artisan: Poetry. With the meditation I have, I'm practically a dragon.

You would also be much better off with a shugenja. A Crane shugenja with some good social skills would make an excellent "court shugenja" and give you both a dedicated face and a source of magical support...

I'm up for more L5R I guess. What do you need to round out the group?

Dark Archive

Anything you want to make ^^

We have 3 Bushi so far and we are Crane, Scorpion and Phoenix. We just need a Lion for the kicks and internal fighting, never sleeping well lol, you know spread the clan love.

You can make anything you want mate.

If it's in the interest of the party I can also play a courtier instead of a bushi.

Maybe a Lion, Phoenix or a Crane?

Dark Archive

keep the bushi mate, we will see how it goes, besides the system is ULTRA deadly so L5R means keep at least 1 backup char or idea ready to jump back.

Liberty's Edge

I have to say I'm kinda stuck here. I really like the whole 'single perfect strike wannabe duelist master' thing I'm aiming for with the Crane guy...but I think the backstory I have for the Dragon guy is far more interesting.

What do I do?!

Meld them with extreme prejudice.

*nod* I'm with Fennec. Maybe Different Schools? There is some cross-training going on right now between the Mirumoto and the Kakita, as they try to reach out across the philosophical divide between them...

With four people, we've got enough to move forward - I've got a pretty empty weekend, so I'd like to get things moving by then if we can. Can everyone have a character ready for a mechanical check-over by Saturday?

By tomorrow? Start playing this weekend!

Lol sorry - very anxious to start.

Dark Archive

Sure I'll have a character ready mechanic-wise.

It's so fun to be a Scorpion xD

Liberty's Edge

Can do. I think I found a way to do this.

Isawa Kenshi

Age: 22
Hair: Black
Eyes: Green

Clan: Phoenix
Family: Isawa
School: Shiba Bushi School
Insight: 129 (Rank 1)
Status: 0
Honor: 5.5
Glory: 1
Exp: 50



Earth 3 (Willpower 3, Stamina 3)
Air 3 (Awareness 2, Reflexes 2)
Water 2 (Perception 2, Strength 2)
Fire 2 (Intelligence 2, Agility 3)
Void 3



Polearms 3, Meditation (Void Recovery) 3, Iaijutsu 2, Kenjutsu 1, Defense 1, Kyujutsu 1, Spears 1, Etiquette 1, Athletics 1, Games: Shogi 1


Shiba Bushi School Rank 1


Shiba bushi move through battle as the Void moves through all the elements. When spending a Void Point to gain +1k1 on a roll, you may choose to spend 2 Void Points (to gain +2k2) on the roll instead. You may Guard as a Free Action; however, if you do so, your target only adds +5 to his Armor TN instead of +10.



Driven, Black Sheep, Social Disadvantage, Compulsion 1 (shows of martial prowess)

Combat Stats:

Combat stats:

To hit - 6k3
Damage - 6k3

To hit – 4k3
Damage – 5k2

To hit – 6k3
Damage – 4k2

Light armor (+5 TN), (Reduction 3)

ATN: (2*5) + 5 + 5 = 20

Initiative 3k2 (+5 during first round of skirmish while using bisento)

Dark Archive



What are the real chances of playing a Boar clan, since the "last" recognized one died at oblivion's gate battle and this being just few years later?

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