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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Fantasy Flight Legend of the Five Rings Campaign Idea

    So I'm getting ready to run the Fantasy Flight L5R game, and I've come up with a (probably) controversial plot concept.

    Let me state straight up front - I played the old L5R CCG, and I played it before I got into the RPG. So the metaplot never really bothered me, mostly cause I liked reading stories about various characters. So I was non-plussed when Fantasy Flight games hit the reset button on everything. Yes, it defaults to the time when Shoju and Kachiko are around (cue Scorpion fanboy squee of joy), but it also means a lot of my favorite storylines never happened.

    But then I came up with a compromise/idea which is what I want to pitch and see if it sounds good. Keep in mind my players don't even know about this website, so no worries about ruining stuff for them. So my thoughts on my version of FF's Rokugan is yes it is a retcon. As in an actual cosmic scale retcon.

    Essentially I'm going with the point in the metaplot where AEG lost the license - Daigotsu Kanpeki taking over Rokugan and all loyalist samurai/the Imperial Family needing to flee to the colonies - happened. The saturation of the taint of Jigoku spreading across all of Rokugan has caused serious side effects, to the point the taint has begun to transcend time (probably a no-no, but eh bear with me) and started to affect the past.

    So the changes (Doji Hoturi becoming Doji Hotaru for instance though I don't mind that change) from the change in developers are a result of this. Then I plan to have the changes extend beyond this. For one, Jigoku is - more or less - trying to speed up its inevitable victory. Why would Hell interfere when they already won in the future? Cause it's Hell, and winning earlier, time stream be damned sounds like something they'd approve of. So certain individuals who have no business existing yet do, or have.

    In fact, the Day of Thunder itself is vastly different in this version. While the events itself played out more or less the same (the same Seven Thunders defeating and sealing away Fu Leng) HOW it played out is notably different. Namely Fu Leng had his own champions (Name for the group pending), consisting of the likes of Daigotsu, Michio, Shahai, Susumu, Chuda, Tsuno, and Goju. Yes, none of those names let alone people should exist at all. But the basic premise is Jigoku winning had catastrophic side effects, and this is more or less a reverse reincarnation (blasphemous to the cycle of actual reincarnation, but well, JIGOKU. Blasphemy is a virtue to them.) essentially their souls being reborn in the past to speed along Jigoku's victory.

    Now this fact is hidden from the history books, or rather the changes started after the history books were written so barring certain esoteric texts most individuals are unaware that Fu Leng had these champions or what their names were. Or how their symbol was the Spider. And those who have noticed it changing are keeping it on the down-low to avoid a potential panic.

    So as for the campaign itself I plan to have the players occasionally encounter things that give them visions of the future in extremely vague terms, along with occasionally misleading them deliberately, such as referring to the Crane Clan Champion as being a man, using masculine pronouns, and calling him Hoturi, then if they ever see him reveal it's actually a her named Hotaru with everyone calling out how everyone knows Doji Hotaru is a woman. Essentially have the players remember the original timeline. From there have the Spider Clan come into being far, far too early led by Kanpeki (though as straight up villains from the start, subversive though they may be) mostly cause I like using them as villains.

    As the campaign progresses more and more contradictory retcons will take place and things will start to get freaky in general. Suddenly your son is your daughter, you were born in a different city (though no changes to the character if they're a PC), and just general confusion caused by all of this. Meanwhile the PCs will be trying to make sense of what's going on and assuming they don't die/fail be the ones to save the day.

    While this is thinking too far ahead, but hey this is broad strokes right now, I'm imagining the final showdown being with Kanpeki, and as the heroes get close to victory have Jigoku make one last desperate attempt to attain total victory - forcibly ripping the original Kanpeki from the future and imposing him over the retconned Kanpeki. I'll likely design this point to be more cinematic than mechanical, ya know give the players the satisfaction of a big climactic final battle where it constantly feels like victory hangs on a thread while making it actually easier than I present it (mostly cause we're at the end and if they've survived this long they deserve a break far as I'm concerned).

    If they win, the defeat of future Kanpeki causes another ripple effect that more or less ends up resetting things to the FF version of Rokugan and erasing the original timeline including the souls of anyone who was reverse-carnated (trademarked) essentially erasing any version of them from existence and preventing them from ever returning in any form. The memories of everyone in Rokugan will gradually reset as though none of this ever happened with only the PC's knowing what occured. But Daigotsu, the Spider, and Kanpeki will never exist in this new timeline. While the future may end up worse than the one where the Spider won, at the very least there's the possibility for Rokugan to forge a new path. This would be the end of the campaign obviously, and most of this exposition would likely be explained cryptically by someone who may or may not be Togashi in disguise. Why does he know these things? Who knows, he's cryptic and mysterious as you can get.

    So under the knowledge that this is a very broad outline so I can adapt to my players doing the unexpected, how's it sound? Yes the temporal ripples is kinda wonky for Rokugan but it feels like the kind of perversion of the natural order that Jigoku stands for. And for me, someone who likes the original storyline (same as my players) this will hopefully serve as a proper send off for that story before throwing it all in the shredder and starting over.
    Short for Ultramarine, by the way. Codex Astartes yo.

    Disclaimer: Generally speaking all of my advice is terrible. Use at your own discretion.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fantasy Flight Legend of the Five Rings Campaign Idea

    I'm relatively new to L5R, cutting my teeth on old books from 1e and 3e, with some recent 4e and reading 5e stories. I never played the card game, and have been playing the RPG for just a little while.

    So take my words with a grain of salt, since I may just be ignorant here.

    I think your plans sound... high fantasy/sci-fi, for a game that's typically Samurai dramas about doing what's Correct vs. what's Right. About the struggle between human nature and Bushido. Don't let me tell you how to run your games, and maybe your players are all in on this sort of thing, but it strikes me as the wrong sort of game for time travelling Samurai Hell, which would normally be classical horror elements.

    I mean, unless you really like Samurai Jack?

    Like I said, though, if you and your players like this sort of thing, who am I to say you're doing it 'wrong'?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Default Re: Fantasy Flight Legend of the Five Rings Campaign Idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Greymane View Post
    I'm relatively new to L5R, cutting my teeth on old books from 1e and 3e, with some recent 4e and reading 5e stories. I never played the card game, and have been playing the RPG for just a little while.

    So take my words with a grain of salt, since I may just be ignorant here.

    I think your plans sound... high fantasy/sci-fi, for a game that's typically Samurai dramas about doing what's Correct vs. what's Right. About the struggle between human nature and Bushido. Don't let me tell you how to run your games, and maybe your players are all in on this sort of thing, but it strikes me as the wrong sort of game for time travelling Samurai Hell, which would normally be classical horror elements.

    I mean, unless you really like Samurai Jack?

    Like I said, though, if you and your players like this sort of thing, who am I to say you're doing it 'wrong'?
    Well, the Shadowlands are an integral part of the setting from the first edition of L5R; the FFG has published a Shadowlands-focused adventure with the Mask of the Oni.
    A horror story is not a typical L5R adventure, but it's not uncommon.

    The plot concept seems ok, even though confusing. It seems the kind of story you have to pay attention to otherwise you will not understand anything of what's happening.

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