In the shadow of the great famine. (Inactive)

Game Master Havocprince

L5R campaign set during the great famine, all ronin.

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I'm not even doing an interest check. Most of my games have stalled, so I have decided to do my first online turn behind the DM's screen.

What it is: L5R 4th edition, set in the great famine in the year 660. The first bad harvest has happened and things are getting tight.

Why it is: because I'm tired of games stalling out.

How it is:you will all be ronin starting out as normal. You can be clan ronin or clanless. Theater of mind, semi sandboxy, hard survival. If you don't have the imperial histories and don't know what is appropriate for the time period, ask and I will be all to glad to help. I am looking for 7 samurai and/or samurai-ko who won't have issues with very adult themed material. Famine, plague, rebellion, and brutal imperial involvement are rampant, and in the end your history is just going to be covered up. If we don't get 7, I will start with as low as 4 and go from there. If more than 7 apply you have 2 weeks to get crunch and background. 20 questions is mandatory. Do not use the heritage tables.

Postong rate?

Posting rate will be once a day for weekday, I will post Saturday and Sunday night, I do not expect everyone to post on the weekend. If you will be gone for more than 24 hours just give me a heads up. I will give people a 48 hour grace period before I start to worry about their absence.

I will not expect posting on major holidays, and I tend not to post during Jewish holidays that impose Shabbas levels of restriction.


4th Ed. 3rd Ed was the last from AEG, right? 4th Ed is the new one that is out in Beta?

Trying to make sure I've got the right rules set in my head before I look to anything else.

4E is the last one out from AEG. I'm going to wait on FF till their game is out of beta. Not liking how it looks so far.

Cool. I much prefer Hobart's work to what I've seen of the beta. He used the unique experience of running two world-wide "living" campaigns to help focus on what the players actually did to and with the rules. And some of it is still not quite right, but it was well tested and proven.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I´m interested but unfamiliar with the system.

System is pretty easy to pick up. Most rolls are the combination of your skill and stat, keep a number of dice equal to stat. Reroll 10s and add the second number to the ten, if it is a ten again you reroll and add again. Add up the kept dice and add modifiers if any. Whatever number you rolled is tested against the target number. You can take raises to increase that target number but also increase the result if you hit it.

Hayato, if you have any specific questions I am more than happy to answer them. If anyone needs help with character creation I am a pretty deft hand with it.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually have the 4th edition book over here, but never got around to read it. Will try to take a look at it soonish.
Since i love asian setting and TianXia, this might be just right for me.

I read about your games blowing up as a player. I´m in some slow but steady moving games, about to start a PFS game as a GM and might start a campaign at some point as well.
Perhaps we can build up a little group^^

Lol, not so much blow up as grind to a crawl. Best description I have heard is asian game of thrones. Except before game of thrones was a thing.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Most L5R experience is with 1st ed. Do you know if the 20 questions remain the same?

I believe they have not changed much if at all.

Dark Archive

Oh am very interested. especially since it is the great famine.

i'd go with a ronin simply because they have lesser baggage going against the Empire if that is the direction of the game.

Sounds good. Game is going to be highly directed by the players choices. If the group decides to join the rebellion, then that is where it goes. If the group runs for the wall we will do the wall.

Dark Archive

join the rebellion.
the force is with us.

Dark Archive

any guidelines on character generation?

Build what you think you will enjoy. Standard build rules, ronin and clan ronin only. That does mean no brotherhood monks for those who have not realized that. Certain advantages such as gentry will not be allowed for common sense reasons, ancestors that are not born yet and clans that do not exist yet are not available. This does unfortunately mean no Unicorn for all you cavalry enthusiasts. If you have any questions about any given advantage or disadvantage I will answer promptly on an individual basis.

<grumble> I know my books are in a box in the garage. I found most of the books I haven't used in years and years. Means the newer ones got put in the back on the bottom. <sigh> Seriously might not be worth the digging.

Dark Archive

question: if a clan samurai turns ronin, would he still have access to the higher ranking techniques of his school once he raises his insight rank?

Generally, no.

Clan Samurai who have been removed from their associations with clan and family have also been removed from their associations with school.

Clan Samurai who specifically start a personal journey of discovery and TEMPORARILY disassociate themselves from their past in order to undertake the journey reconnect to everything once that time of exploration and learning is over.

VERY rarely do such "hidden clan" Samurai freely associate with true Ronin for long, though, as I remember things.

Dark Archive

@hustonj, how about we all join the People's Legion? maybe we are even responsible for its formation....

Right now I am seeing six expressed interest. Room for a seventh if anyone is lurking.

One important rules bit. Initiative. We will post in player as a block, npcs as a block format. If you kill something and it had a higher initiative then you, it will get one final action that it would have had as a dieing blow. The only caveat is if the whole of npcs have higher initiative, then they go first and the party goes after as normal.

Dot. Dat's 7!

Dark Archive

how mature is our theme for this game? PG13 or R18?

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Somewhere between Pg13 and R. War, starvation, and plague will be heavy themes, but sexuality will be pretty toned down. You can use seduction, but any payoff will be in your own mind. Also, the shadowlands are pretty quiet at this time, so the majority of the hardship is man vs man or man vs nature.

Unless you join the Mantis fleet. Then there is so much shadow.

Oh, and the taint... avoid it at all cost. It is bad.

Awwww! No blood-magic ronin? <evi grin>

I wasn't thinking of doing that, regardless.

Dark Archive

BTW, there is a ronin shugenja school in Enemies of the Empire, can we use that?

Dark Archive

Havocprince wrote:

Somewhere between Pg13 and R. War, starvation, and plague will be heavy themes, but sexuality will be pretty toned down. You can use seduction, but any payoff will be in your own mind. Also, the shadowlands are pretty quiet at this time, so the majority of the hardship is man vs man or man vs nature.

Unless you join the Mantis fleet. Then there is so much shadow.

Oh, and the taint... avoid it at all cost. It is bad.

Man vs. the Lack of Food ;-)

PS. I have actually thought of making a bloodspeaker LOL

The ronin schools in enemies are fine. If anyone wants to play a bloodspeaker and take Iuchiban's technique, be warned taint can be really hard to manage.

Found my books. Core, Emerald Empire, Great Clans and Book of Air are the 4th Ed I have in hand. I also have an assortment of 3rd and 2nd material, but I've left that all in the garage.

Interestingly enough, the great famine is not listed in the timeline in the core book. The Seventh Century is noted as a time of general peace (compared to the previous 2 centuries). Famine started in 660. Found the reference online. LOTS of the history I've learned to take for granted hasn't happened.

I'm thinking about Tawagoto's Army Ronin. The school advantage is hard to refuse, and I've always preferred honorable play to dishonorable. Trying to decide the combat specialization I'll work from. After I have some idea of who I'm trying to play, then I'll be able to handle the 20 questions.

I typically play Shugenja, honestly, but I find no reference for Ronin Shugenja in the core book, and it is really hard to play a Shugenja with zero scrolls.

Edit: Found the "Last Haiku" website which seems to include a wide variety of 4th Ed Ronin schools, including Shugenja. Hmmmm . . . .

Yeah, the Ronin Shugenja schools were in Enemies of the Empire, last haiku and forgotten fate are both useful as reference documents.

With Tawagoto's Army Ronin, remember that you are some 50 years before that time, so lore wise you would be using the mechanic but just be an extremely honorable samurai who gains some benefit from doing things the honorable way.

Loving the idea of a super honorable bushi and a secret maho user in the same band. For some reason that just makes me laugh.

Dark Archive

the great famine can be found in imperial histories 1

That should read 500 years before Tawagoto's army. Not 50.

Yeah, but the write-up on, well, all the Ronin schools in the core book is that the general concepts should apply to one Ronin band or another at pretty much any point in history.

They did say a major goal of the book was to provide timeline-neutral rules.

Yes, the benefits are neutral... accept for very specific paths in some of the splat books. I'm just saying don't forget not to include Tawagoto in your backstory since he won't be born for another five-hundred years is all.

Everyone doing ok on character gen? If anyone needs a hand I'm available.

Dark Archive

is the game set in the wilderness like shinomen mori?

You will be starting out near the Kokoro Nezuban Seido in Lion territory.

In progress. Probably will be ready by the weekend.

I was stupid.

I had it in an open document I hadn't saved. I got home from work and my computer had rebooted. Probably a power hit.

BSA campout this weekend, too, so I won't have the chance to revisit the mechanics until late Sunday.

No worries Hustonj.

If there is any chance I would throw my hat in with a ronin.

Not sure if I would try a forest killer, Tessen, or Disciple of Sun Tao.

You can still be a Forest Killer I guess, you just decided to leave the Shinomen Mori and sell your soul to live better and more honor.

Forest killers have been known to have groups in the other forests. Kokoro Nezuban Mori currently has a small hideout of forest killers, nothing as major as they will have during the clan wars there. Throw your hat in good sir.

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Couldn't get to the creation at the weekend, will do tomorrow or the day after.

Now that I actually got to the character creation, I think I'll make a Kanosei Furudera shugenja. Any advice for a first-time shugenja?

Gotta love a Shugi. Remember as a ronin it is going to be difficult for you to gain new scrolls, not impossible, just difficult. I would suggest not going ishi (void shugenja), that can get very difficult to play for a first-timer. Other than that, all four elements are useful in their own way.

What are you looking at being able to do?

More of a practical and down to earth shugenja I think - going from village to village, helping with crops, healing people, curing diseases, fortune telling, that kind of stuff.

Edit: Also, the Ronin Order Shugenja gives Daisho in starting outfit, in which I don't see much sense. I am a ronin after all. A single wakizashi and another cheaper weapon (or just a cheaper weapon) sounds more suitable. A bo for example.

Dark Archive

to put my character firmly in my mind, how old is a rank 1 ronin supposed to be? whats the min-max age for such?

also by the time of the great famine, the gaijin have already been banned from rokugan right?

I do not have any issues with you trading out the katana for a cheaper weapon. As to advice, down to earth wandering shugenja is easy to pull off with the generic ronin shugenja, Just remember sense commune and summon are very useful spells in their own right.

White Stag has already happened, so gaijin have been expelled and gaijin pepper is a secret. Gempukku happens around 14, with some happening earlier or later depending on talent. As to max age, you can go your whole life without moving out of rank 1, so if you want to play a 40 year old man weary of the world or a 12 year old prodigy trying to make a name for herself both are equally viable. Just remember, you count age by the year you are currently living, birth is year one so you are always a year younger than the number you give as how old you are.

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