Okay, given that I’ll be running a Legend of the Five Rings campaign in a few weeks (as soon as my book arrives from Amazon, and I get to read it.) I’ve started considering what kind of campaign to run. So far the idea of a Single-Clan game is good, as it gives the players time to truly acquaint themselves with the setting. My current crop of players are all familiar with Rokugan in broad strokes, but the nuances of the individual Clans are something that they’ve not yet had time to read up on in depth.
That said, I was considering sticking to the more traditional clans, and have narrowed my choices to the following Clans for my game:
- Crane – Master diplomats, duelists and artisans, the Crane Clan claim to be descended from the Kami that brought civilization the empire. Serving as the Emperor’s left hand in many aspects The Crane operate through gifts and favors, and enjoy a healthy prosperity and popularity among many courts.
- Lion – The honorable and staunchly traditional Lion Clan are by far the largest military force of the empire. The clan is home to peerless tacticians, savage combatants, sagely historians and a unique niche of Shugenja who can commune with the spirits of the Ancestors. While not completely adverse to innovation, the Lion value the lessons of the past and rely upon their historians and the Ancestors to guide them to victory.
- Phoenix – Unparalleled masters in the Rokugani mystic arts, the Phoenix Clan is regarded with fear and respect. While they may prefer a life of pacifism, to fight the Phoenix is an experience akin to fighting the very elements themselves. Unlike the other Clans, the Phoenix consist of nearly all Shugenja families, with only one family dedicated to the martial arts and the skills necessary to protect their Shugenja Bretheren.
- Scorpion - No one trusts a Scorpion, but the Scorpion can be your most loyal of friends. Secretive and dangerous, the Scorpion Clan are the self-styled villains of Rokugan. As spies, manipulators and assassins, they dedicate themselves to doing the deeds that put their lives and honor at stake to do what must be done for the good of the Empire.
Each of these clans have a ton of detail associated with them, and all four are well suited to telling different tales. It certainly helps that each of the clans has its own internal politics as a clan consists of four or more families with their own respective heads and agendas.
What won’t change, however, is the fact that any game I run will involve a whole range of different tasks and challenges, from politics, combat and of course internal conflict brought about by personal circumstances. I tend to be character-centric in my approach to running games, so I don’t doubt that there will be space for personal stories as well.
One idea that is germinating in my head at the moment is the possibility of running a campaign with the option to go generational. After each major story arc, I can do a time-skip and the players can opt to play the descendants of their prior characters. It’s idle fancy honestly, and I’m certain that I have at least ONE player who won’t like to part with his hard-earned experience points banked into his character. Still, it’s a neat idea.
Throughout the week I’ll be working on campaign ideas and pitches centered on each of the four clans I’ve mentioned here, to help give my players an idea of what you can pull off in each, as well as for them to vote for which clan interests them the most.