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tubatimb2

Legend of the Five Rings Play by Post

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Evening fellow samurai,

 

I've been dying to play some L5R since I received the core book for Christmas but I've had no luck locally. A friend suggested I try play by post, but I'm having trouble finding sites with active L5R games.

 

Does anyone have any advice?

 

Thanks! 

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Posted (edited)

You could always try and run something online here, but the slight issue is obviously the dice rolls.

Apps are all well and good but people can't 'see' the dice rolls, so I guess it's just a case of trusting people to be honest. Boardgamegeek has the ability to do validated D6/D12 rolls, but you still have to translate them into results (not the end of the world, I know). 

 

 

EDIT: Just so it's on the front page, a 'scene list' in case anyone ever needs to refer back to something.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Thanks for your prompt responses Magnus and Void :)

 

I'm not comfortable running a game myself. All I know about the system and the setting is what I've read from the core book.

 

I was really hoping to join a game so I could soak it all in from more experienced players

 

The hunt continues!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We could try running something on here, I guess.

As noted, as long as people are being honest about dice rolls, who cares if they're doing it on the back of an excel spreadsheet?

As long as you can lay your hands on something which tells you what the results on different faces of the dice are (or FFG's dice roller app or a physical set of the dice) it's no big deal.

I can attach some images of the results for people to describe results with (just insert the respective result images)

Explosive Success Small.png  Opportunity Small.png   Strife Small.png   Success Small.png

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Both the core book and the quick start rules have a little chart for using normal D6 and D12

 

The big question is who is willing to run it? :(

 

If you're offering, maybe we could migrate here?

 

https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthread.php?t=188070

 

That way we don't clog things up here with shinanagns. Dedicated threads and dicerollers are also a plus!

 

After searching high and low, this is the only dedicated play by post site I could find with active L5R interest. They too seem to be having trouble finding a GM. 

 

 

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Sounds good to me! Take your time, I'm in no hurry. I tell my clients all the time that you can't rush perfection ;)

 

Void, are you interested? We'll probably need a few extra players to make a real go of it!

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Posted (edited)

Then fair enough. I've got a few older edition campaign books; I'll pick one and adapt, and - if you're happy to accept a pre-apology if I'm not as regular at posting as I should be - I'm happy to run it.

I'd recommend people starting at a 'base' level if people haven't played much, or, if players want something a little different, Rise from the Dust (which is arguably simpler mechanically - if not narratively - just because people start with less stuff).

Fate of the Realm campaigns are cool and all but basically means you start with an extra chunk of techniques to remember, which if people aren't used to the system will probably add more complexity than it does enjoyment.

Rise from the Dust, on the other hand, simplifies things a lot as players start out with (much) weaker and simpler characters, but pretty much limits you to Ronin - it can be quite cool for a 'hedge knight' campaign or one covering the birth of a minor clan or vassal family. Worldly Ronin is a pretty flexible school too.

Basically, what sort of story interests people? Court Intrigue? Investigations? Ninja Assassinations? War? Having unspeakable things done to you repeatedly by a tentacled oni*?

Let me know and I'll see what I can dig up or make up.

 

 

* In this case, possibly you might want a private message board. And a different GM

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

Sure. i usually (strongly) prefer face to face. But would be willing to try it. I've had good experiences with play by post in the past.

I have not played with a 5e character beyond 2nd rank.  Happy to flow with everyones interests. I would be down with a Rise from Dust style premise...would you allow monk characters? I have some narrative interest in playing a Fortunest Monk (of Osano-wo?)

I like intrigues in and out of court, investigations and combat in and out of war. And a sprinkling of magic.

Edited by Void Crane

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I'd be most interested in just the base campaign style, but beggers can't be choosers so I'll be happy either way.

 

In past editions I've had most fun with investigation and political centric games. Seems like avoiding as much combat as possible will also help with the slower pace. :)

 

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HIIIIDDAAA!

*Ahem*

I'm good with being a ronin, but that raises an important question: Ronin School only? There aren't any ronin shugenja schools, so that would leave an empty role. Or would it be social status Ronin, but going with whichever school we choose?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

I'm good with being a ronin, but that raises an important question: Ronin School only? There aren't any ronin shugenja schools, so that would leave an empty role. Or would it be social status Ronin, but going with whichever school we choose?

If using the Rise from the Dust approach, then you have the choice, as per p.307, of being a low-born ronin (peasant family/worldly ronin/inherited item) or a fallen samurai (who pick family, school and heritage as normal, but get lower than normal honour and a drastically reduced selection of toys).

Note that:

  1. You really don't 'need' a shujenga - suggesting that it's an empty role in the way lacking a healer in dungeon-crawly D&D is basically deliberate suicide is over-egging matters
  2. A fallen samurai who's not a shujenga can still take the 'stolen knowledge' heritage and have at least one invocation regardless of their school (whether they also remember to pick up a rank or two of theology to 'power' it is a different matter....)
  3. If you're a fallen samurai rather than a low-born ronin, your past (which replaces your Giri) and your answers to the Strengths & Weaknesses and Ancestry & Family questions should reflect this, which is potentially going to bite you in the backside more often than you'd like.
  4. If it's a Rise from the Dust campaign, I might throw in something vaguely supernatural at some point but I think you can be confident I'm not going to be asking you to fight a Hideous Oni adversary or similar on a regular basis. 
8 hours ago, tubatimb2 said:

In past editions I've had most fun with investigation and political centric games. Seems like avoiding as much combat as possible will also help with the slower pace.

Duly noted. And yes, combat is something not to take lightly. 

Part of me is tempted to recommend the slightly simpler mechanics of the beginner game - although to be fair, the main element of that is one-roll-duels, which I do find resolves things much faster (with appropriate bonuses to TN for narrative clever plans) but which is also in the 'proper' core book.

Play by post is slower, and a Duel is the one bit where the game tends to 'zoom in' on one player for an extended period of time, which is more of a problem for a slow-moving group.

Plus, one-roll duels means a challenge action in an intrigue or skirmish is actually going to produce a result.

9 hours ago, Void Crane said:

Sure. i usually (strongly) prefer face to face

Me to. But I figure it's worth a try.

9 hours ago, Void Crane said:

I would be down with a Rise from Dust style premise...would you allow monk characters? I have some narrative interest in playing a Fortunest Monk (of Osano-wo?)

See above - if doing 'by the book' then that's permissible, but only for a fallen samurai, not a peasant family character. 

9 hours ago, Void Crane said:

I like intrigues in and out of court, investigations and combat in and out of war. And a sprinkling of magic.

So...more or less everything?

6 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

HIIIIDDAAA!

*Ahem*

Right....so, we've got at least one Doji courtier, then?

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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16 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:
  1. You really don't 'need' a shujenga - suggesting that it's an empty role in the way lacking a healer in dungeon-crawly D&D is basically deliberate suicide is over-egging matters

I didn't mean it as in "we need a healer!" I actually enjoying playing a Shugenja and never taking Path to Inner Peace or any other healing spells. I just meant it in the way that it would limit our starting choices. I don't think anything I said could have been taken as comparative to D&D, though.

16 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Right....so, we've got at least one Doji courtier, then?

While it'd be the first Doji courtier I've played, I suppose I could.

I vastly prefer playing a Bayushi Courtier, though. I had a whole family line of Bayushi-trained Shosuro family courtiers that I plotted... seven? generations worth.

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5 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

I didn't mean it as in "we need a healer!" I actually enjoying playing a Shugenja and never taking Path to Inner Peace or any other healing spells. I just meant it in the way that it would limit our starting choices. I don't think anything I said could have been taken as comparative to D&D, though.

If you specifically want to, that's a different matter - and, as noted, there is provision for it; you can take a fallen samurai.

And sorry- I apologise; I'm used phrases like 'missing role' being followed by some players disappearing down the rabbit-hole of 'optimised party structure' regardless of system like it was world of warcraft...

I once even had someone trying to figure out the 'best character build' for Paranoia, until the rest of the players managed to hammer home the concept that the more knowledge of "the rules" he displayed, the more likely he was to be executed for treason*.

5 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

While it'd be the first Doji courtier I've played, I suppose I could.

I vastly prefer playing a Bayushi Courtier, though. I had a whole family line of Bayushi-trained Shosuro family courtiers that I plotted... seven? generations worth.

Well, I'd encourage people to start with what they want to do and we'll figure out how to insert (with or without crowbar as required 🙂) them into the story setting, whatever we end up using. I'm sure in seven generations there was a black sheep somewhere who might have ended up Ronin...

 

* "The Rules" in Paranoia are classified ULTRAVIOLET, which is significantly above the RED clearance of the players. Anyone metagaming, asking about rules loopholes, or pointing out inconsistencies clearly means the player in question has been treasonously accessing materials above their security clearance....

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16 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I once even had someone trying to figure out the 'best character build' for Paranoia, until the rest of the players managed to hammer home the concept that the more knowledge of "the rules" he displayed, the more likely he was to be executed for treason*.

 

* "The Rules" in Paranoia are classified ULTRAVIOLET, which is significantly above the RED clearance of the players. Anyone metagaming, asking about rules loopholes, or pointing out inconsistencies clearly means the player in question has been treasonously accessing materials above their security clearance....

Paranoia is so much fun.

I'd be good with anything non-tentacled Oni. I had a few Ronin concepts I kicked around back in 2e and 3e that I could easily revive: one courtier, one shugenja, and one nin...

<.< >.>

scout.

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Posted (edited)

how many people have expressed interest? I'd like to play if possible.  I've run 7 l5r campaigns in various editions, (all homebrews, so don't worry about campaigns or whatever.) but have never once gotten to be a player.

  P.S.:  I'm a little concerned that a Ronin campaign might kind of hamper the social aspect of things.

Edited by Black_Rabbit_Inle

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Looks like 3 plus you (me, Void Crane, and tubatimb2), not counting Marcus as a player.

That's my understanding as well. That's not a bad number for a game, especially when - as noted above - PbP games tend to run slower than FtF.

6 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

I've run 7 l5r campaigns in various editions, (all homebrews, so don't worry about campaigns or whatever.) but have never once gotten to be a player.

Ah, the perennial GM. Then very glad I can offer to help.. I think sometimes we should get T-shirts printed. Something like "Much as I enjoy doing this, Running The Game =/= Playing In It".

6 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

P.S.:  I'm a little concerned that a Ronin campaign might kind of hamper the social aspect of things.

Depends on what you mean by 'the social aspect'. You're not going to be welcome walking into the Champion's court at Kyuden Doji, but then a 0XP starter character is unlikely to get invited there regardless of their character archetype unless someone pretty important is sponsoring them. The Topaz Championship is kind of an iconic intro adventure but the fact is that a grand total of...what? A dozen or so potential samurai are invited from the entire empire? Just by being there, you're part of a pretty exclusive club, so the offer to make you Emerald Magistrates straight out of graduation is a lot less wierd than it sounds.

I personally like the lower level games because Ronin do get to do significant things and wander into court - but it's going to be when they are (temporarily) in service to a clan samurai, and next week they could be dealing with merchants and peasants instead. Added to which, you can still be respected(ish) individuals; I don't know anything contradicting the old concept that the Musha Shugyo is still a thing, which is....basically 'Samurai Gap Year'; you may not be able to tell people where you're from, but it's obvious you're not from a random peasant hovel somewhere and so long as your courteous you can expect to be treated with respect.

Ronin exist on a sliding scale from "The Warriors Of The Boar", who are basically hired thugs, to several notable Emerald Magistrates' Yojimbo and Yoriki (who Emerald Empire notes prefer to hire Ronin to avoid any conflict of interest with a 'home clan').

And whilst you may be may be dealing with the more obscure vassal families as often as the great clan families (so families like the Katogama no Doji rather than the Doji themselves) that - to me - is often more interesting, because more obscure minor clans and vassal families can be created, crushed, destroyed, and have their daimyo replaced, murdered, or exiled without messing with the 'big story' up at the level @Kinzen and co write for FFG, which means I can dip in and out of the plot anytime there's something interesting a bunch of Ronin might credibly be involved in. 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Things are starting to shape up, getting excited! 

 

Just a few questions while brainstorming character ideas

 

Will we be an established band or will plot bring us together?

 

If we are established, do you want one of us to be the leader, or will you have an NPC leader to manage plot hooks?

 

What region/time period are we operating in? That will likely effect which clans people may have fallen from as well as attitudes and traditions of the band

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Posted (edited)

Those are good questions.

I have vague ideas about either playing a disgraced Crab who becomes a Fortunist Monk of Osano-wo, or a Worldly Ronin who is has somehow run afoul of the Scorpion opium cartels...

Edited by Void Crane
spelling

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tubatimb2 said:

Will we be an established band or will plot bring us together?

I'm perfectly happy to have you decide, but if people don't have strong feelings, I'd start with you all meeting up on the road - it's not that unreasonable for a bunch of wandering samurai - and have an easy intro to get you accustomed to one another.

Unless you have another preference (and especially with @Void Crane mentioning playing a Crab) I was planning on starting you all down in the south-east, around Asahina (Temple of the Morning Sun) and Yasuki (Friendly Traveller Village) lands, and working your way up north as time goes on.

1 hour ago, tubatimb2 said:

If we are established, do you want one of us to be the leader, or will you have an NPC leader to manage plot hooks?

Honestly, you shouldn't need to have a specific 'leader'. If needs be, have (in character) arguments.

I wasn't going to add a permenant NPC leader - I've never really been a fan of that - although as broadly speaking a bunch of sell-swords you're likely to have a temporary 'paymaster' (not that it's polite to use that particular term) for any given mission - but unlike a normal sworn sword, nothing stops you downing tools and leaving a given Lord's employment if you don't think they're worthy of your service.

1 hour ago, tubatimb2 said:

What region/time period are we operating in? That will likely effect which clans people may have fallen from as well as attitudes and traditions of the band

I was planning on FFG's "now" - meaning starting the campaign in early 1123, just after "Path of the Ronin" from the beta and  fractionally before the start of the respective clan fictions:

  • Doji Satsume is recently dead although you may not yet have heard this unless you are in the central regions of the Empire or are significant enough to have a courier sent to you specifically with news to that effect.
  • The Phoenix Clan Champion, Shiba Ujimitsu, has passed away recently (but long enough ago that you will probably know this no matter who or where you are). His successor has not yet been announced.
  • The Crane Clan is more or less back on an even financial keel after the devastation of the tsunami as they've now had two reasonable harvests. "Not starving and bankrupt" is certainly not the same as "breadbasket of the Empire", though, and the possibility of an imminent war might tip them back over again. Certainly bandit attacks within Crane lands and piracy in Crane waters is on the rise as peasants remain desperate.
  • The Topaz Championship is in a few weeks time in Tsuma, and as usual the Great Clan Families are busy begging, bribing and bullying to try and secure their respective sons and daughters a place in the most prestigious Gempukku ceremony in the Empire.
  • The Lion/Unicorn skirmishing has pretty much stopped with the announcement of a peace treaty supported by two Betrothals (one Unicorn-to-Lion of the Unicorn Champion, one Lion-to-Unicorn of her Heir).
  • The Lion and Crane patrols are busy smacking the heck out of one another around Toshi Ranbo in what their respective diplomats are having increasing difficulty defining as a " skirmish" rather than "bloody and violent border war". There are rumours that both Clan Champions are supposedly mustering elite reinforcements to commit to the area over the next few weeks and months, and possibly even leading them personally. An Empire in Turmoil is happening right now.
  • The Crab Commander, Hida Tonomatsu, has just repelled a major attack on the Third Watchtower with the help of a group of Emerald Magistrates. Rumours talk about a thirty-foot high monster of living magma, which - even for the nightmares people talk about encountering in the Shadowlands - sounds a bit over-dramatic (to anyone who hasn't served at the Kaiu wall, anyway).
Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

I'm (genuinely) tossing between Doji Courtier or just Worldly Ronin that leans towards courtly skills. Background would be legitimately a ronin, not a former clanner, but was thinking about having a disgraced Doji Courtier as my mentor/sensei. With that rough background, would you permit "fallen samurai" for Doji school, or should I just go for the Worldly Ronin?

Edit: I'm just going with Worldly Ronin. Disregard.

Edited by Hida Jitenno
finally made up my darn mind

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I've narrowed myself down to about 1/3 of the schools in the game.

I've spent most of my time thinking about either Iuchi Meishodo master or Yogo Wardmaster.  In some ways I like the Yogo Preserver better, but the whole "origami familiar" thing just seems silly to me and I think I'd rather not have a character that is so completely based on that.. despite the fact that it could be very strong.  It's also really easy for me to see a Yogo becoming ronin, where I'm having a harder time seeing how the Iuchi becomes ronin.  In some ways this is because shugenja are special and I feel it should be harder for a Shugenja to become ronin, so whatever story I come up with I'm always like "but would they kick a shugenja out of the clan for that?"

Then there's the "cool factor" of shinobi, which prevents me from completely discounting the Shosuro infiltrator or Hiruma scout.  The idea of playing a Shugenja with some of the shinobi abilities is part of the reason I keep thinking about Yogo schools.

If I feel the need to play a courtier, it would probably be an Ikoma bard, (or the infiltrator is technically a courtier too.) but that's mostly because I'm trying not to look at Otomo or Miya schools since I think an Imperial family ronin is a bit of a stretch..  I mean, I could come up with an excuse, but why should I when there are so many other possible options.., but I don't really like any of the other courtier options. I would think about Shinjo, but they lose their school techniques by becoming fallen.. at least to begin with.  That might make for some interesting role-playing, but again, there are other options.

  I also haven't completely tossed out some kind of monk.. whom I feel would be very likely to just kind of wander away from the clan (if they had one to begin with) and go out to help the little people. Finally, I'd be a little disgusted with myself to play a Moto Avenger, but the concept of a "death priest" seems pretty cool to me. I could see how one would fall, but then why wouldn't they just go back to the burning sands or whatever..

 

  So that's where I am on this stuff.

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