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Legend Of The Five Rings – RPG beta rules

Welcome to the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game Beta Playtest

The Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game development team welcomes you to the open beta playtest! For over twenty years, Rokugan has been home to fantastical and dramatic tales featuring the samurai of the seven Great Clans. Now, we invite you to gather your friends, play the game of twenty questions, and return to the Emerald Empire to tell new stories of triumph and tragedy.

We here on the development team invite you to join us in the process of creating the best Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying experience possible. This beta rulebook is a fully functional game that provides players and game masters with the tools they need to play countless sessions of Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying. However, it is important to note that many elements of the beta are not representative of the final product. Many of the character options (including schools, techniques, advantages, and disadvantages), as well as game master advice, artwork, and setting information have been removed to provide a more concise playtesting experience.

Once you’ve finished creating characters, the fastest way to begin playing is to purchase the Legend of the Five Rings Dice App, available on the App Store and Google Play. The Legend of the Five Rings Dice App is a comprehensive physics-based dice roller that can be used to roll the custom six- and twelve-sided dice used in the game, as well as the tensided dice occasionally used during character creation. The app allows you to manually change die faces, group dice, display total results, and explode dice, as well as create custom presets for any combination of dice. Alternatively, the Dice Sheet included on page 233 can be printed out on sticker paper and attached to normal six- and twelve-sided dice. If you don’t have sticker paper, gluing the paper die faces works just as well. You’ll probably want to create at least five of each type of die to get started. Spraying these with a bit of transparent dull-coat (found at most hobby stores and friendly local game stores) will help keep the stickers on.

After you’ve had a chance to try out the system (we recommend running through the included adventure, “A Rōnin’s Path” on page 207, to get a feel for the four major types of conflict scenes as well as the new paradigm for investigations), there are three main methods for you to submit your feedback. First, we have a public forum on the FFG website. You can use this board to post questions and discuss the beta test with the other people involved. Second, you can submit any specific reports or feedback directly to the development team at the beta test email address (L5RRPGbeta@fantasyflightgames.com). When submitting your feedback via email, it is most helpful to us if you consolidate all of your questions and comments into a single document for your entire group, waiting to send it in until you have collected all related feedback into a single document. This will help the development team here more easily organize and process all of your comments. Third, the development team will occasionally post surveys to help us aggregate specific feedback and data points. You will also have the chance to vote for additional preview mechanics through social media!

The best way to get news updates from the Legend of the Five Rings RPG team, such as when updates are released or when new surveys are available, is to sign up for our mailing list. In doing so, you’ll also have a chance to receive a signed copy of the final product!

We would like to include a note as to what constitutes useful feedback. The sort of information that is most useful to us is specific, well considered, and concise. Good feedback states the issue at hand and accurately cites page numbers related. It can pertain to rules contradictions, typographical inconsistencies, or even experiential problems that arose in gameplay, but the more specific it is, the better we can implement it. Reports that include not just an overview of the problem, but also the circumstances and reasons that it might have occurred are most valuable. We will be adding weekly updates to our website as the testing progresses.

To close, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to you for your enthusiasm and your diligence during the beta playtest. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us, and we thank you for helping us in making this game the best it can possibly be. We hope you enjoy this document and have many great adventures in the Emerald Empire.

Happy gaming,

The Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game Team

© 2017 Fantasy Flight Games. Legend of the Five Rings is a TM of Fantasy Flight Games.
Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG Logo are registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Games.
App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.
For more information about the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game line, free downloads,
answers to rule queries, or just to pass on greetings, visit us online at
www.FantasyFlightGames.com/en/Legend-of-the-Five-Rings-Roleplaying-Game/

In the Garden of Lies (part 1)

In the City of Lies, it was almost refreshing to see a dispute settled with the clean strike of an iaijutsu duel.

Yogo Hiroue had suggested to his lord that it might be advantageous for them if Bayushi Gensato threw the fight. “After all,” he’d said, “Kitsuki-san will hardly be inclined to stay at your
party for long if she’s humiliated by defeat at his hands.” He thought, but did not say, she knows your reputation too well.

The city’s governor, Shosuro Hyobu, had dismissed this notion with a single flick of her fan. “Kitsuki-san may not be trained as an investigator, but she is a master of the Mirumoto
technique—however unorthodox her style may be. If Gensato does anything less than his best against her, she will know.” So now the two bushi stood facing one another in the night, feet carefully planted in the gravel of the courtyard, the torchlight around them casting shadows that danced even while the sources remained still. Hiroue made a show of examining Kitsuki Shomon’s stance, but it truly was a show; he was at best an indifferent swordsman himself. Like all Mirumoto-trained bushi, Shomon stood ready to draw not only her katana but also her wakizashi. Any unorthodoxy beyond that, however, was invisible to him.

[…]

Curved blades

Far to the west, in Unicorn lands…

Courtiers in a rainbow of gleaming, elegant robes bowed gracefully as she passed, like flowers overburdened by dew. She smiled, her thoughts focusing not on the courtiers but instead on
the celebration around them and the riders in the field.

Scimitars clashed beneath the bright sun, the finely honed edges of their dancing blades flashing prismatic light about the courtyard. Two samurai dressed in the purple and white of the Unicorn Clan fought on a verdant green swath, their display of swordsmanship drawing the attention of the surrounding courtiers, performers, and children alike. Between the waving fans and soft laughter, jugglers gamed, musicians played, and riders performed feats of athletics on the backs of magnificent, prancing steeds.

It was a special day, a festival day. The palace—with its grey slate and whitewashed lumber, stiff and proud—was bedecked with flowers and colorful emblems of purple and white to celebrate the occasion. A warm wind blew banners like candle flames flickering above the curled awnings.

Shinjo Altansarnai walked down the central pathway of the castle grounds, wearing closefitting trousers suited for riding along with a purple keikogi top folded in elaborate ripples over an underrobe of silver and gold. Whereas others wore their swords through their obi belts, Altansarnai’s curved weapon hung in a sheath from a frog by her side, and a knife hilt glittered above the top of her boot.

[…]

Risen from the flames

A week later, in the Phoenix lands to the east…

Tsukune was midstride across the threshold of the forest shrine before she realized her mistake. She winced as her right foot touched the blessed ground on the other side of the torii arch
before her left. Before her peers and in the home of her ancestors, she’d barged into her family’s shrine like a Lion.

When they had both progressed beyond the entrance, Tsukune whispered to the man matching her stride. “I did it again.”
“No one noticed,” Tadaka replied. “Just keep going.”

Tsukune tucked her hands into her kimono sleeves and matched her pace with that of her charge, keeping their place in the wordless procession of topknots, Shiba family mon, and creamy white obi. Their path was a winding upward twist of stone steps and fiery torii arches. The crisp breeze stirred the sloping glades of pink moss to either side, sweeping up their petals to scatter along the way. It was a blessing in the unseasonable spring warmth, even as it painted the temple arches with thick coats of pollen.

Tadaka whispered prayers while he walked, passing a string of beads between his large hands, one jade orb at a time. He towered a full head above the rest, his elaborate layered kimono making his broad back into a lone banner for the Isawa family. In each backward glance he drew from the others, Tsukune saw eyes brightening with respect. Those cast at her, she could not read.

[…]

 

Dark hands of Heaven

Meanwhile, to the far southeast…

A brisk wind scudded across the dry plains, tugging at the robes of the shugenja and snapping the banners atop the Kaiu Wall. Unmoved, Hida Kisada stared impassively from the battlements to the Shadowlands beyond, where a vast force of enemy troops swayed and shifted like grass.

In the eyes of his troops—even battle hardened as they were—he had seen the shadow of fear. Samurai do not fear death, he thought. An easy sentiment for those who shelter in the safety of our wall. My samurai know death too well not to fear it. But they will face it anyway.

Kisada stared down the foe with the same impassive gaze for which the Champion of the Crab Clan was so well known. Around him gathered his children and closest retainers, who did not seem to share the Great Bear’s taciturn demeanor.

“Look at them arranging their forces so considerately. One could almost mistake them for Crane,” sneered Yakamo, Kisada’s eldest child, as he casually lifted his tetsubō onto his shoulder, posturing with the great iron and jade war club as a youngster might a toy. “It will make it even easier to crush them outright.”

[…]

The rising wave

Meanwhile, in the northernmost mountains of Rokugan…

A more cautious man—or one with less cause—would not have attempted to leave Shiro Mirumoto so early in the season. Even by Dragon Clan standards, the winter had been a harsh one, and although its grip was loosening, it had yet to let go. Snow still towered in heaps where heimin laborers had shoveled it out of the town streets, and at night the cleared ground became a tiny replica of the mountains, the mud frozen into stone-hard peaks and valleys. Mirumoto Masashige would have preferred to wait another week, or even two, before setting forth on his journey. Not for his own sake—though as the years passed, his joints objected to the cold more and more—but for the sake of his followers. He risked their safety by traveling so soon after the equinox, and he knew it. But delay would only risk greater trouble for the clan as a whole. And Masashige knew that if he were to ask, the men and women of his retinue would insist on leaving as soon as he required, even if that meant riding into the teeth of a blizzard.

[…]

Le prix de la guerre

Quelques semaines plus tard, en territoire contesté…

Matsu Tsuko s’accroupit dans un épais bosquet. Elle attendait, en embuscade avec une dizaine d’autres unités de samurai du Clan du Lion. Le dense feuillage étouffait les cris et le bruit de l’acier du combat qui se tenait plus bas, mais rien n’atténuait l’odeur ferrugineuse du sang qui emplissait l’air et qui faisait monter la fureur en elle. Elle devait s’efforcer de contrôler ses jambes, qui la poussaient à se jeter dans la mêlée. Elle observa son commandant, Akodo Toturi, mais son visage lisse ne trahissaitrien de ses plans, alors qu’il scrutait la bataille au loin. 

Mais qu’attend donc cet idiot ?

Le contingent de Tsuko était arrivé environ une heure plustôt, prêt à soutenirlesforcess’amenuisant d’Akodo Arasou, le Champion du Clan du Lion, dans le conflit territorial avec le Clan de la Grue. Les Grues avaient eu l’insolence de consolider leurs forces d’occupation à Toshi Ranbo, la ville la plus au nord du territoire des Lions, pour éloigner l’armée Lion de la région contestée et riche en céréales des Plaines d’Osari, plus au sud.Arasou menait des opérations autour de la ville depuis plusieurssemaines.Il construisait des armes de siège et n’attendait plus que lesrenforts pourlancerl’assaut final etreprendre la cité, afin de s’assurer que les Grues ne pourraient plus l’utiliser comme base contre eux. Le frère aîné d’Arasou, Toturi, avait été convoqué de son monastère pour apporter son aide, mais…

[…]

La fille de son père

À l’aube de l’Empire, après que les Kami soient tombés du Paradis Céleste, ils se trouvèrent plongés dans un monde de mortels, rongé par la cruauté et par la guerre. Le Kami Doji, sœur de Hantei, le premier Empereur, prit la décision d’apporter de l’ordre dans cet univers de sauvages. Incarnation de la grâce et de l’élégance, Doji évolua parmi les peuples primitifs en leur inspirant la sérénité de la même manière qu’une éclaircie vient calmer la mer déchaînée par la tempête. Doji leur enseigna l’écriture afin qu’ils puissent consigner leurs exploits, mais aussi la politique, qui leur permettra de régir leurs affaires. Elle fut leur guide en matière d’économie et de commerce pour qu’ils sachent gérer leurs richesses et leur mentor sur la voie de l’art et de la culture pour les élever au-dessus de leurs vies de misère.  Ceux qu’elle inspira le plus devinrent ses dévoués serviteurs, les premiers samurai du Clan de la Grue.

Depuis cette époque, les Grues ont incarné à la fois les poètes et la poésie de l’Empire, abritant aussi bien les forgerons que les duellistes qui manient les lames des artisans. Dans chaque aspect de leurs vies, les Grues n’aspirent qu’à la maîtrise, quel que soit le domaine. Un idéal que les autres clans peuvent seulement espérer imiter.

[…]

Carte de Rokugan

Carte de Rokugan par Olivier ‘Akae’ Sanfilippo – 2017 – Work in progress