Monday, February 18, 2013

Legend of the Five Rings

So I'm apparently waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind the curve on playing this game/setting, but holy shit I'm having fun playing L5R.

Let me begin by giving a bit of info here.  Legend of the Five Rings is a feudal Japan setting tabletop RPG.  Your characters live in a land called Rokugon, and there are several main clans that comprise the Empire: Crab, Crane, Lion, Dragon, Mantis, Scorpion, Unicorn, Phoenix, and the Imperial Clan.  Each clan has a different specialty for its warriors, magic users, and monks.  One of the most delightful (IMO) aspects of the game is in character creation.  Your Advantages and Disadvantages seem to be the most important part of creating your character.  You only have 40 xp to use to buy/upgrade skills, katas, spells, advantages/disadvantages, and attributes.  So the points refunded to you from taking disadvantages are very important.  Not only that but the types of dis/advantages allow for some very interesting characters.  My initial character was designed to be nothing more than a brawler.  He is rude, contrary, obtuse.  He has no social graces to balance that out and his Willpower is not great enough to stop his tongue from getting him in to trouble most times.  Needless to say, what was initially a "cookie cutter" throw away character has turned instead in to a roleplaying savant.  His outlook and attitude are so very different from my own (most of the time) that playing him is ridiculously fun.

It took me a little while to mentally adjust to playing L5R.  For one, characters die with apparent ease (despite the fact that my Crab Clan Bushi has yet to die, and he's had several opportunities).  Our first session, one of our party was playing a Phoenix Clan Shugenja who got killed by a water spirit.  Additionally, I am not that well versed with Japanese culture; so that occasionally creates problems.  However, I can't seem to stop thinking about where our adventure will take us as we explore Rokugon.

As an aside, there are several character generators out there for L5R.  I know I've posted previously about character generators for other systems, but since L5R is currently in the process of updating to a new edition I don't think we'll encounter the problem we had with the 4e character generator I mentioned several posts/years ago.  This is the website that links to the character generator I use.  It's very easy to use, and fairly user friendly.  And because I am "that guy" I have created perhaps 10 characters with it, for when my dude finally dies gloriously.

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