Archive for the ‘Legend of the Five Rings’ Category


Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I’ve worked on an Actual Play report series but I figure since I’ve kicked off my Crane Clan campaign set in an alternate timeline for Rokugan, there should be enough material to make for an interesting read!

Before we proceed however, let’s take a look at the characters for this campaign:

Daidoji Kimiko / Dr. Kimberly Watson (Played by Silver Countess)

Once a young daughter to an illustrious Crane family, Daidoji Kimiko ran away from her home and boarded a Gaijin ship headed to the West to escape heartache.

After ten years of voyaging in the lands of the West and learning the ways of western medicine, Kimiko, now known as Dr. Kimberly Watson returns to the land of her birth upon receiving news that her father was suffering from a mysterious illness.

Kakita Misaki (Played by Rania)

A young shugenja recently assigned to Lonely Shore City as her biggest assignment yet, Misaki is looking forward to doing her best in her new duties and making her Clan proud. That said, her reassignment papers did mention something about an experimental new position she was supposed to fill…

Kakita Konan (Played by Hikkikomori)

If one was to ask for two words to describe Konan, they would be “spoiled” and “bored.” His parents were disappointed at his lack of motivation that they decided to demote him to a posting in Lonely Shore City until he can get himself together and be worthy of the family business… but is he destined to succeed, or to fail spectacularly?

Kakita Junko (Played by Hystrix)

As the daughter of Lonely Shore City’s Governor, Junko enjoys a few privileges afforded by her unique station. Trained as a duelist, she is a staunch supporter of the Reforms being brought in by learning from the Gaijin and isn’t afraid to use her quick draw skills to push for them.

And without further delay, let’s get to the events of the game from last weekend:


Hey there,

I’ve recently been working on planning for a twice-a-month campaign of Legend of the Five Rings, 4th Edition. It’s a bit of a re-hash of an old Crane Clan campaign pitch I’ve had lying around, with a big tweak in the sense that the game will be set in what amounts to the Rokugani equivalent of the Meiji Era.

For the sake of my sanity though, I’m transplanting the NPCs of Hantei Naseru’s era, meaning we’ll still have luminaries such as Doji Kurohito as the Champion of the Crane Clan.

The change to the Meiji Era means a whole lot of little changes that can throw a lot of old hands to the L5R setting for a loop.

The Meiji Era was a time of great social upheaval in Japan, and the Rokugani equivalent of the era will be equally interesting. After a bloody opening of Rokugan to trade with Gaijin elements, the Emperor has decreed that it was imperative that the Clans reorganize themselves to keep up with the world at large.

This leads to a time where the Clans are forced to re-evaluate their role in a new world, and this affects the Crane Clan most heavily. While the ancient traditions were crafted by their Ancestor, Lady Doji, this new era presents an opportunity to improve upon Society in new ways.

The question then becomes, “What should be adapted from the foreigners, and what should be thrown away?”

In addition to this, I’ll be setting the game in a single city, a far cry from my usual Empire-spanning adventures, and I’ll be taking inspiration from Police Procedurals and other Urban Adventures that have a much more focused scope. I don’t know how good I’ll be at this, but hopefully it will be good.

I’ll be meeting with my players to kick off the campaign this weekend, and I’m very excited. I’ll update the blog with a list of my player characters as soon as they give me their final character sheets.

DriveThruRPG‘s annual New Year, New Game Sale is up and running, with 50% off the price of over 80 different corebooks both new and old!

This year’s sale has excellent titles that I can personally recommend that are worth checking out if you don’t have them yet:

Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition

A permanent fixture in my top 5 rpgs of all time, L5R presents a rich and unique pseudo-japan setting where honor is a force more powerful than steel.


Monte Cook’s Numenera is weird science fantasy writ large. Set so far in the future that technology and magic are one and the same, Numenera is D&D turned on it’s head with interesting mechanics that reward exploration and discovery over just combat.

Part-Time gods from Third Eye Games

Imbued with the spark of divinity, player characters step up onto the grand stage of godhood in Eloy Lasanta’s Part-Time Gods! Modern sensibilities play with mythic themes. Definitely a solid player in the “modern gods” genre of games that holds its own alongside Scion and Nobilis.

Savage Worlds Deluxe: Explorer’s Edition

If you’re looking for a rules-medium game that can run any genre, then Savage Worlds delivers fun without the mechanical complexity of other systems. I’ve had a great time running Savage Worlds before, and the system is well supported with imaginative and interesting settings like Deadlands and Solomon Kane!

Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition

20 years is a long time for a game to exist, but Onyx Path injects new life to Werewolf: the Apocalypse in the definitive new volume that compiles the very best of Werewolf. Those who haven’t gotten into it before, or missed out on this Classic World of Darkness line will do themselves a favor by picking this up.

Little Wizards

Kids and Adults will love this game as it presents an interesting world full of opportunities for all sorts of adventures, while giving vital advice to the adults on how to run kid-friendly games!

What had begun as a fun trip to the countryside to see your Grandmother and participate in a local festival has taken a strange twist, when a Celestial Dragon made of the Void with stars as eyes manifested from the night sky.

You remember fainting in shock and horror, but nothing could have prepared you for what happened next.

You awoke in the middle of an ancient-looking Rokugani palace, surrounded by people dressed in Emerald Empire Era clothing.

“Are you certain of this?” One of them spoke, the important looking one in robes of gold.

“I… I can only say that the Void calls what it must.” the other, dressed in crimson robes replied, hesitantly.

“Then we must do what we can with the champions chosen by the Void.” the man in gold said, “For only they can save us from Fu Leng, now.”

Time travel, ancient Rokugan, teenagers who grew up in an age of apathy, cellphones and pop culture. Modern day sensibilities and common sense vs. ancient Rokugani culture. Teenage spunk and courage vs. an evil God.

I’m waaaay late on this series, but hey, Happy New Year! I still intend to finish all 12 though, however late it is :p

Rokugan is a very different place in the cyberpunk future. Each of the Clans is now a Zaibatsu, a mega-conglomerate of related corporations tied together by bloodlines reaching back to the days of the Samurai.

The spirit-forges tended by Shugenja craft magitech nemuranai, assisted by the newly-discovered Data Kami, Elemental Spirits of information.

However different their means, some things stay the same. Scorpion infiltrators sneak into corporate headquarters for missions sabotage, corporate espionage or outright assassination. The Crab Clan’s Kaiu follow the example of their Hero, Yakamo, and focus their arts on creating ornate Cybernetic prosthetic nemuranai to augment their defense forces.

While the Great Clans struggle against one another, an ancient evil is reborn. Taking the form of the charismatic Spider Clan CEO, Daigotsu, Fu Leng’s corruption spreads through tainted technologies and radiation from the Spider’s Industrial Complex, spawning techno-magical horrors that have never been seen before in the Empire.

Perhaps dressing up Rokugan is turning into a hobby for me, but the idea of a cyberpunk setting for it is always fun to think about.