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OOC Discussion - Legend of the Five Rings (L5R)

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Legend of the Five Rings

System: L5R 1st Ed

Genre: Samurai Fantasy

ST: Noir (Persephone)


L5R takes place in Th Empire of Rokugan (based largely on feudal Japan). it is a samurai fantasy setting with Oni, Ogres, Ghosts, spell-casting Shugenja and skilled samurai bushi.

The Empire is ruled by an Emperor.


Below the Emperor and the handful of Imperial families are the Great Clans (Lion, Crane, Scorpion, Dragon, Crab, Phoenix, Unicorn).


Below them are the Minor Clans (Fox, Hare, Wasp, Mantis, Dragonfly, Badger, Sparrow, Turtle to name a few).

The Clans fight among themselves but there is always the outside threat of the corrupted Shadowlands and the minions of darkness.

Character Types

PCs will be of the samurai caste and can either all be from one clan if it can be agreed on (there is still a wide variety within a single Clan) or more likely a mix of Clans.

The PCs will all be young (mid-late teens) and on their way to their gempukku (coming of age) ceremony after graduation from their school.

There is no restriction on gender when it comes to classes in L5R. Virtually all classes are acceptable (with very minor exception).

I have the core book (and most of the clan books) as PDFs I can share and I can walk people through character generation. It is really quite easy.



I have very, very familiar with the system and setting and happy to help and explain rules, setting, background.






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And do not let a lack of historic feudal Japanese culture or history stop you from playing. It is not historic not even Japan (just heavily inspired) and I will help with culture and background stuff as we go. I have introduce many players to this game.

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Right now we are looking at..


Phoenix Isawa/Isawa Shugenja


Crab Kuni/Kuni Shugenja


Dragon Mirumoto/Mirumoto Bushi


Crane Kakita?/Kakita Bushi


Scorpion Shosuro/Bayushi Courtier


and some undecided.


Another bushi might be advisable (the party is more non-bushi than bushi atm), but is not required.

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If I do decide to play, I will definitely be making a Bushi.  Seems like the easiest thing to do while I learn the system...


Currently A Hare Clan Bushi appeals to me but I don't know if Hare Clan is available...


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If I do decide to play, I will definitely be making a Bushi.  Seems like the easiest thing to do while I learn the system...


Currently A Hare Clan Bushi appeals to me but I don't know if Hare Clan is available...


I told you they were available in chat. Hehe. The Hare Clan is fully intact and healthy.

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Its been quite a while since I read the books so I don't recall everything I red. I think the clan I liked the most were the Scorpions. However, I am open to what the majority wants to do as I can be adaptable. 


There is a link to the core book in the first post of this thread with links to the clan books in a few posts later.



The number crunching part is pretty simple...


All Rings (and traits in each ring) start at 2


Pick Clan.


Pick Family

Each Family gives a specified +1 trait bonus


Pick School

Each School gives a specified +1 trait bonus.

The school gives 1 level in all of the school's skills (occasionally 2 in a skill if specified).

The school also gives you your starting outfit.


Note: Any family within the clan can go to any school within the clan (with very rare exception). So you can have a Hida who goes to the Kuni Shugenja School.



Character Points

You then get 25 character points to spend on raising traits, skills, buying new skill and buying advantages. Taking disadvantages gives you more character points to spend, but remember, they ARE disadvantages.


Raising a skill or buying a new skill costs 1 character point per rank.


House rule: A skill cannot be raised by more than 2 ranks in creation. So a school skills at 1 can be raised to a max of 3. An entirely new skill bought with character points can only go up to 2.


Raising a Trait costs 8 characters point per rank.


Raising Void Ring costs 12 character points per rank.


Raising Honor Ranks costs 3 character points. (Lowering it by a Rank gets you 2 character points). Honor can only be raised or lowered by 1 Rank.


Raising Glory costs 5 character points per rank.


The costs and explanations of Advantages and Disadvantages start on page 72 of the Core book. Each clan book has some more, though some are clan specific.


Note: We are not using the heritage tables from the clan books, but looking at them can give you ideas for backgrounds.



If you need any help or have any questions, just let me know here, in a PM or chat.

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Here is a..


Item Quality Chart



Quality                         Price                       Points

Poor                             x0.5 or less                 -1

Average                       x1                                 0

Fine                              x5 or more                   1

Excellent                       x10                              2

Exceptional                   x15                              3

Exquisite                       x20                              4

Superb                         x35                              5

Superior                       x50                              6

Legendary                    Priceless                     7+



Examples of Benefits and Point Costs


Cost                Benefit                                                       

1 points           +1k0 to damage

                        +1k0 to appropriate skill when used

                        +2 TN to be hit (for armor or possibly clothing)

                        Water resistant

                        Does not tarnish or fade

                        Small hidden pocket


2 points            +0k1 to damage

                        +0k1 to appropriate skill when used

                        +1k0 to Initiative

                        Negate heavy armor penalty

                        +5 TN to be hit (for armor or possibly clothing)

                        Edge does not dull


                        Large hidden pocket


3 points            +1k1 to damage

                        +1k1 to appropriate skill when used

                        +7 TN to be hit (for armor or possibly clothing)



4 points            +10 TN to be hit (for armor or possibly clothing)

                        +0k1 to initiative


Varies              Extravagant Ornamentation


Half Cost          Advantages and Disadvantages for animals. The other bonuses above still be purchased for animals. For example, a Fine horse may be well trained and give a +1k0 bonus to Horsemanship.



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Basic format for characters.







 - Agility

 - Intelligence



 - Stamina

 - Willpower



 - Reflexes

 - Awareness



 - Strength

 - Perception






School Skills








Other skills






















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Will there be room for cavalry to shine in this campaign?  I am thinking Clan Unicorn Bushi and I have always liked agility/speed over brute strength.


Yes and no. When in a city, it can be difficult to impossible to fight from horseback, much less indoors. But when outside, Cavalry can be awesome. Only the Rank 1 and 4 techniques of the Shinjo Bushi school are actually dependent on being mounted though. The rest works on foot too.



The Akodo of the Lion Clan are also more of a "precision over brute strength" bushi school as well.

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A couple of questions for everybody. You can list them on your character sheet PM or here or whatever.


#1) Empire, Emperor, Clan, Family...


Put them in order of importance to your character.


To some, their personal oath of fealty to their lord is the most important. To some it is the family in general. To others it all radiates from the Emperor, so he is most important and so on. There is no right or wrong answer. It is all personal view



#2) Which sleeve of your kimono do you wear your mon on?


Your right, so your ancestors may guide your sword? Or your left, so your family is always close to your heart?




They are just little questions that help flesh out your character and some of his views.

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I never played this. I heard this game is pretty hard and that you can easily die. Is that still true?


No. Yes.


The game is actually easy mechanically and so on. The setting/culture/background stuff I ease players into.


It is fairly easy to die. People are trained samurai warriors with katana. The point? Don't be stupid and fight needlessly. Heh. There is a samurai saying, "You live three feet from your death."

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Right now we are looking at...

â–  Shosuro Toshi (M)
Scorpion Clan, Bayushi Courtier 1

â–¡ Isawa Akari (F)
Phoenix Clan, Isawa Shugenja 1

â–  Kuni Taka (M)
Crab Clan, Kuni Shugenja 1

â–  Mirumoto Rin (F)
Dragon Clan, Mirumoto Bushi 1

â–¡ Kakita Zoyu (F)
Crane Clan, Kakita Bushi 1

â–¡ Usagi Massanori (M)
Hare Clan, Usagi Bushi 1

â–  Shinjo Shun (M)
Unicorn Clan, Shinjo Bushi 1

4 Bushi, 2 Shugenja and a Courtier is actually quite a good mix and I may be adding a Lion or Minor Clan NPC just to help with some exposition and move things along.

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I would like to try and start this weekend sometime, so those please try to finish up characters by then. I know it is a new system, so I am not wanting to rush anybody though. So if you need help, have questions or want suggestions, I'm here.

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  • 1 month later...

Topaz Championship Breakdown


Each event is either a Match (1 on 1) with the victor earning a point toward their gempukku or a Test (individual) in which anybody who passes earns a point toward their gempukku.


You need 5 points to pass your gempukku and enter adulthood.


The person with the most points at the end of the last day is declared the "Topaz Champion" by the Emperor himself and along with the title and prestige gets to use the Topaz Armor for a year until the next Topaz Championship.




Day 1:


Sumai matches.


Heraldry tests.


Athletics matches.


Break 11am to 1pm


Horsemanship matches.


Conduct (Law, Etiquette & Bushido) tests.


Dinner with the Emperor and VIPs



Day 2:


Weapons matches.


Poetry matches.


Break 11am to 1pm


Courtier (debate) matches


Hunting match/test in teams. (everybody on the team gets a point and the first team back gets an additional point)


Dinner with the Emperor and VIPs



Day 3:


Iaijutsu tournament. Single-elimination, first strike (Each victory is worth TWO points)


Dinner with the Emperor and VIPs and graduations into adulthood

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  • 2 weeks later...

I added a poll as I forgot to add Archery. I missed it every time I looked at the page. As such, you all can decide to add it or not and in what format. If it is added, it will be after the 2hr lunch break on Day 2.


The for the event the archers stand 40 yards from the target and fire. Then move back 20 yards, fire again. Then move back another 20 yards and fire a last time.


If a match, each raise is +1 match point. Each miss is -1 match point and the base TNs are 10, 15 and 20. The most match points at the end wins the match and 1 point toward their gempukku.


If test,  then the base TN 10 shot is worth 1 (+ 1 per raise). TN 15 shot is worth 2 (+2 per raise) and TN 20 shot is worth 3 (+3 per raise). 6 match points earns you 1 point toward gempukku. 10 match points earns you 2 points toward gempukku.


Please vote in the poll.

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  • 4 weeks later...

About the situation at the Prince's lunch party at the public dojo Nina asked:

Aside form the perception to make out the yells is there anything to recognize the incense? Shugenja lore or Potions perhaps?

And do the characters have their weapons?

You can make a blind Int + Shugenja Lore roll if you like. Blind Int + Herbalism could be used as well. Blind Int + Shadowloands Lore could possibly be used, but it is a stretch.

And yes, for what it is worth you have your daisho (or just wakizashi and/or tanto) . i.e. whatever you normally carry..

Perception checks so far:

Zoyu 15

Toshi 14

Shun 11

Akiri 9

Taka 9

Rin 5

Shugenja Lore checks so far:

Rin 23

Taka 14

Akiro 11

Toshi 18 (unskilled)

Shun 15 (unskilled)

Zoyu 11 (unskilled)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rin will offer any who wish the opportunity to join her for her Morning workouts


which consist of the following


Sunrise to the second second hour after (4 hours using our 24 hour clock)

Kenjutsu* (1 hour)

Iaiajutsu*  (1 hour)

Athletics*  (1 hour)

She will also study two  different weapons daily (Yarijutsu*, Kyujutsu*, Jujutsu*,Tantojutsu, Bojutsu*, Tsubojutsu, Nofujutsu*) for 30 mins each, every day during her morning practice


Skills above marked with * she is trained in or will be trained in during this period.


Her training regimen will extend beyond this time period.


She does this training every day unless prevented by duties.


Regardless of weather she starts at dawn.

She will give instruction, demontrations will spar, and will let those with greater skill instruct and impart their wisdom as well.


She will also Impart her growing font of Dragon wisdom to any who wish to listen

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Yokasu will train people in Battle and Bushido Lore. He just graduated, but is already as good or better than some of the best non-Lion generals in the empire. Anybody who takes him up on either will get a copy of Akodo One-Eye's (the kami Akodo)  book, "Leadership"

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  • 1 month later...

I need to take a moment to talk about posting frequency.


I do not expect daily posts or anything of the sort, but if you are going to be MIA and/or unable to post for any length of time (weeks or more) for whatever reason, or you have just bitten off more than you can chew, or simply lost interest, then you really need to let me know so your character can take a background role until you are able to return.


Posting once every two weeks or so is just bogging everything down and forcing the other players to wait. As such, the game has ground to a near halt. On this Sunday, July 5th, the PCs will have arrived at the castle and village 30 RL days ago, and we are not even through the first night yet.


Right now, 2-3 players are almost entirely carrying the game and I have no problem continuing with just them until things get sorted out. I have a very easy way of remove some PCs from the story for the moment (Toshi's letter getting a reply and an order for several PCs to continue to Honored Treaty City while the rest remain to look into the witches). So Rorx and Ray, if you are unable to post with some frequency for the time being, I will have your characters (at the least) summoned away at some time between now (the banquet) and the next day so the rest can continue at a proper pace.


Just let us know.

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No problem Noir. This game is the only reason I'm still checking the site at the moment, which I'm doing almost everyday.if you have a particular frequency you would like then let me know. At the moment Taka is in his most uncomfortable circumstance - a high sicial banquet on top of which he knows he can't ask about the things he most wants to as they would be inappropriate. Having said that I do plan to do another post for him later today.

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There hasn't really been anything to respond to so far for my character. I did state he was listening to the conversation. Besides I just got out of the field this past weekend and my computer crash, which I had to buy a new one. Considering this I been active even if not seen through my cellphone.

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Posts are not just verbal responses. They can include your thoughts and your actions for the time being. You need to post more frequently because people wait for others to post so they do not feel like they are hogging all attention. 3 posts in nearly 30 days, most which were barely a line, is just not enough and is bogging things down and is unfair to everybody else.


Being unable to post because you are going into the field or your compy died are exactly the kinds of things I need to know so I can compensate for them. I hope the compy did not set you back too bad.


You just need to post more frequently and at least somewhat more in-depth.


If you can't, for whatever reason, then just let us know.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

The game is NOT dead. The computer issue did hamper it greatly though. I will be getting a new compy on x-mas and until then I will try to post some things to get through some of the downtime with people going off to train and such..

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