Samurai Fantasy: Legend of the Five Rings

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Leodiensian, Jan 9, 2015.

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    Among the samurai clans of Rokugan, honour is stronger than steel.
    At least, it's supposed to be.

    One of my favourite tabletop games is Legend of the Five Rings by AEG. It's a fantasy game about, you might have guessed by now, samurai. It's got duels, seppuku, magic and plenty of youkai and oni to deal with. Super-cool stuff. I'd like to get a game together using some elements of it - doesn't have to be super-conforming to it or anything, but maybe using some of the ideas and setting elements.

    In the game, you play members of one of the samurai Clans who make up the ruling elite of Rokugan, the Emerald Empire. Each Clan claims descent from one of the kami. The clans each rule over separate portions of the nation under the blessings of the Emperor, but often bicker and feud. The Crab Clan hate the Crane, the Dragon hate the Phoenix, everyone hates the Scorpion.. In summer, the fields run red with petty inter-Clan wars. In winter, the cities play host to the Winter Courts, where the local samurai families negotiate and intrigue. To the unprepared, these are even more dangerous than the battlefield.

    (Or you could play a ronin but whatever)

    Rokugan is shielded by mountains to the north, the ocean to the south and east - and the Kaiu Wall to the west. Beyond this towering defense, and its Crab defenders, lie the blighted Shadowlands where the dead walk and Oni loom. The samurai who venture into the Shadowlands on patrol carry sacred jade charms with them to avoid its contagious Taint.

    I have a few ideas for story seeds:
    -Winter Court: A more intrigue-y game but one that can get bloody. Everyone would be different clan members come to represent their family's interests, pursue political agendas, sabotage their enemies...
    -Island of the Wild: In 1165, Emperor Toturi III created the Bat Clan as a reward for the services of samurai Yoritomo Koumori, who was a talented medium and spirit-channeller. Koumori was given a small tropical island in Mantis Clan waters to make his own. Players would be members of the Bat Clan, either members of Koumori's family or outsiders (ronin and other clan's samurai) who have come to join and the story would be kind of nation-building, survival etc.
    -The Third Day of Thunder: Each time the dark god Fu Leng rose up, each Clan appointed a champion, their Thunders, to strike him down at great cost. Though Fu Leng has passed, a new dark power is rotting Rokugan from within and the mysterious monk Shinsei has once again appeared to gather the Thunders..​
  2. The second idea piques my interest.
  3. @Leodiensian I don't mean to deviate from the original intentions of your role-play, but are yokai disguised as humans accepted into this kind of role-play? I love the third idea and since there was yokai and samurai, I was wondering what the possibility was of creating such a character.
  4. There are sentient non-human species in the setting such as the Naga and Nezumi (rat-people) though they mostly live outside of Rokugan. As for spirits, they do sometimes walk around like people and even breed with people; for instance, Yoritomo Koumori's spiritual talents come from his father being a spirit and one of the Lion Clan's families of shugenja (wizard/clerics) are descended from spirits.

    I don't think a pure-spirit would fit but maybe the child of a spirit would?
  5. @Leodiensian Can a child of a yokai have abilities derived from their parents?
  6. Potentially, though more likely it would just result in them being quite talented shugenja of some sort. Like I said before, Koumori was a shugenja who specialized in spirit channeling because his father was a spirit; it wasn't really connected to bat-spirits in anyway.
  7. @Leodiensian I don't know what shugenja is, but at this point in time, my interest is pending. I'll see to making a decision when the signups are made and I obtain more information about the role-play as a whole. (:
  8. I'm interested in either 2 or 3. As a suggestion though maybe some yokai hunting, or something like the Scorpion Clan somehow finding a way to use Yokai against the others forcing a confederation to deal with them. Just thoughts though.
  9. Basically, a shugenja is a spell-caster with a few priestly elements to them. They commune with the many elemental spirits and perform rituals to make the spirits carry out their will (ie cast spells). But there are many different possible specializations for a shugenja, such as an exorcist, healer or witch-hunter. Not everyone is born with the necessary spiritual talents to communicate with spirits, so shugenja are pretty rare, and those descended from spirits would make better shugenja because of their stronger spiritual connections.

    @CAS Some interesting ideas there, but honestly there's like a thousand "demon hunting" RP threads up and going already, so I'm a little unsure about whether there really needs to be another one.

    Anyway, I'm working on a sign-up thread and figured I'd set this after a great war and just as a new Great Clan, the Spider, were formed. I figure that could be a good dramatic seed; are you a member of the Spider trying to raise your Clan (and yourself) as high as possible? A member of another Clan who sees the Spider's presence in Rokugani politics as an unwelcome intrusion?
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