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neilcell

Gaijin in Fantasy Flight's L5R RPG

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I have recently finished reading both the Novella "The Sword and the Sprits" as well as AEG's "Legend of the Burning Sands" RPG sourcebook.  I am looking forward to the next novella "Across the Burning Sands".  That got me to thinking.  I know that "Dark Tides" touched some on the Tortoise Clan and the Gaijin.  And the discussion on the Kaito Family in the Phoenix novella hinted at the Yobajin.  I am hoping to see more of that.  The clash of cultures and an stress of being a stranger in a foreign land can be great motivation for drama and storytelling.  While I recognize that it is unlikely to have gaijin characters in the Empire, my hope is more for materials should Rokugani characters venture and explore beyond the Empire.  Think Zheng He's voyages to Africa.


Just some thoughts about how to bring more Gaijin related conflicts to the game in upcoming products.
Maybe explore more of the Yobanjin tribes and the origin of both the Isawa and Kaito in the Phoenix focused sourcebook

The Ujik-hai and the origins of the Moto in the Unicorn sourcebook.  Possibly a section about Unicorn holdings in the "Jewel of the Desert" Medinaat al-Salaam (Ningen-do's equivalent to Bagdad or Tehran) 

A Mantis focused sourcebook that not only reprints the PDF and further details the clan (as well as their close allies the Moshi family of the Centipede), but also touches on the Merenae (Ningen-do's Spain) and Thrane (England) across the Sea of Amaterasu.

A Burning Sands sourcebook that not just focuses on Medinaat al-Salaam, but also details the Ivory Kingdoms (India), Senpet (Pharaonic Egypt), and Yodotai (Greco-Roman Sparta).  The startling parallels between Yodotai and Rokugani origins could easily be a source of strife.  The Senpet Thousand Gods sounds much like the Foutunes and lesser Kami while the Book of the Dead and the blood sacrifices just scream Maho.  And of course the connections of Iuchiban, Sun Tao, and Mekhem (Shinsei) between the Burning Sands and the Emerald Empire could shake Rokugani characters to the core.

Edited by neilcell

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Well, the Burning Sands totally-not-the-Arabic-Caliphate is a given - for that matter, Dark Tides (the GM screen adventure) features Azif the Smooth, a Gaijin Merchant.

I'd expect Gaijin, like you say, in any Unicorn- or Mantis-focused book.

I don't think the Legend of the Burning Sands is included in FFG's license purchase, so don't assume they will keep any 'old' background, but I would assume they'll cover it soon. On the other hand, I'd expect it after they feel they're done fleshing out the Empire itself (at least for a first pass)

A lot will depend on the story progression; how the Unicorn/Caliphate relations go will drive how much they appear in L5R ficton and hence how much RPG material we get....

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The Burning Sands novella has different gaijin peeps, as the Burning Sands is an actually different IP, and wasn't bought. As a fan of the old LBS stuff....I like what they've done in the novella.

 

I'm hoping that for whatever Unicorn sourcebook comes out, instead of a Minor clan we'll get some rules for creating gaijin players.

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The Unicorn novella has a perfect setup for introducing Gaijin PC too, Shono has a moment where he realizes a gaijin character is experiencing conflict between their personal desires and goals and their code of conduct in a mirror to his own, which basically means they have the same giri/ninjo conflict as Rokugani characters, just their code of ethics is different. 

Also those Crab are apparently covered in flyssa wielding gaijin mercenaries. 

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I just picked up a copy of the novella and am eagerly looking forward to reading it after I finished the book I am currently reading.  Appropriate or not, my current book is Codename Downfall: The secret plan to invade Japan-And why Truman dropped the Bomb.  Hopefully after finishing these tow books, the new sourcebook and adventure will be out so I can devour those.

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On 6/16/2019 at 1:58 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

I don't think the Legend of the Burning Sands is included in FFG's license purchase, so don't assume they will keep any 'old' background, but I would assume they'll cover it soon. On the other hand, I'd expect it after they feel they're done fleshing out the Empire itself (at least for a first pass)

A lot will depend on the story progression; how the Unicorn/Caliphate relations go will drive how much they appear in L5R ficton and hence how much RPG material we get....

While this has been verified by FFG staff, what of the Burning Sands is part of the L5R license has not.

To the best of my knowledge on IPs, anything that AEG who actively held full rights to both licenses made part of the license would transfer with it, unless provisions where made during negotiations to remove it. 

So any L5R only book info, shared names and characters, or general BS info that was added to any office L5R books would be part of the L5R license.

Not quite shore about the status of Legends of the Burning Sands RPG book as it was mostly the opposite having mostly BS info with a small amount of L5R info. 

Now even with this it is possible that FFG has made the choice to ignore all of BS original story and create the area from scratch.

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Basic consensus seems to be since the concept of the Burning Sands was established in L5R first, and the Ivory Kingdoms integrated into L5R late in the previous story, they are cleared to exist in L5R as is now (and we have seen them named as such). However based on comparisons from that, the geography and sociopolitical landscape of the Burning Sands area and the cultures that do or used to dwell there is not the same, and while thematically similar involves different details and proper nouns. 

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I have finished reading Across the Burning Sands.  It was a pretty good book in my opinion.

Yes, they have not done a direct import of materials from AEG.  Medinat al-Salaam (pre-Islamic Babylon) has been replaced with Al-Zawira (Islamic Bagdad). An interesting choice, and one that further confirms my suspicion that Fantasy Flight's Rokugan is alternate universe to AEG's "Prime" timeline in much the same manner that JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek is alternate timeline.

Senpet(Renpet) Empire (Ancient Egypt) is more or less there but with a slightly different history, one that directly interacts with the Kami Shinjo rather than indirectly in AEG's version.

There is a Caliphate in the Burning Sands, but it is more overtly Islamic than AEG's.  And the Caliph is male rather than female.  Also, he is NOT a heartless though some of his agents might be.

I will try not to spoil anymore, but I do recommend getting that book and reading the RPG section in the back.  I enjoyed it and I hope it is expanded on.

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