It’s been a while since I’ve written about L5R, considering that I’ve been pretty happy with how my last campaign: Never a Dull Blade went so much better than I initially expected. That said, I don’t think I’m quite done with this setting just yet. Rokugan is a huge setting with many, many facets that lend itself to all sorts of stories. So while I’m currently on a bit of GM downtime given that scheduling and workload of December, my mind has started drifting to what other good campaign concepts there might be for the game.
Chronicles of Jade
Format: Episodic, Multiple Clans
Character Concepts: Kitsuki Magistrates, Kuni Witchhunters, Asako Inquisitors, Various Bushi
Players take on the role of Jade Magistrates and their Yojimbo as a multi-clan special missions force mandated by the Jade Champion to investigate and expunge Maho-Tsukai, the Lying Darkness and the corruption of the Shadowlands Taint. This will be similar in tone and approach to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, where the game looks both at the espionage / investigation angle and how it affects the personal lives of those in the Jade Magistrates.
This will also be a traveling campaign, and the team will be sent all over Rokugan to investigate cases, often having to deal with the idiosyncrasies of each of the Clans.
For Clan and Koku
Format: Campaign, Single Clan
Character Concepts: any Crab Clan concepts
The player characters are new samurai assigned to helping out a small yet strategically important Crab Clan holding. Led by a Yasuki Daimyo, the city is barely in any shape to turn a profit, and as the Clan is in desperate need for Koku to fund its eternal war effort against the Shadowlands, the characters are expected to help turn it around somehow. I’m a little worried that this might come off as a re-tread of Never a Dull Blade since that involved helping the Lion in times of peace, but I think there’s enough of a difference in the Crab Clan culture to make it an interesting exercise.
From the Ashes
Format: Campaign, Single Clan
Era: After the events of Never a Dull Blade.
It has been a few months since the end of the War of Dark Fire, and the Dragon Clan are desperate to rebuild. Having lost entire provinces to Agasha Tamori, the Dark Oracle of Fire and the aftermath of the explosion of the Wrath of the Kami volcano, the Dragon Clan has been reduced to a shadow of it’s former glory. As members of the Clan, the players need to secure the Clan’s safety in the midst of those who would take advantage of it. With little in the way of allies, and much in the way of threats (including Tamori’s brother, and the new Dark Oracle of Fire, Chosai) the Dragon have no time to spare when it comes to rebuilding their forces for even darker times ahead.
That’s it for now in my mind. I think I’ll have to re-read some of Rokugani history to get a better grasp of the situation in the clans, but I’m sure that there’s a way to to make each of these campaigns equally interesting.
Or, if all else fails, I could always go back to continue the Phoenix Civil War campaign I was running a while back…