Author Topic: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread  (Read 3452 times)

Offline vaz

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Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« on: May 01, 2014, 07:55:35 AM »
Finally got around to it. Any suggestions regarding builds, books, new content, corrections etc, or indeed anything to do with Rokugan, please put in here! Cheers.

Here is a link to the thread.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 05:27:11 AM by vaz »

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 03:08:28 PM »
I'd be pretty interested in a writeup of the mystic class (Dragonlance Campaign Setting, p47).  "Mystics are spellcasters who have learned to channel divine energy without worshiping (or even acknowledging) any deity."  They're spontaneous casters that use the cleric spell list. 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 03:11:56 PM by Maat Mons »

Offline vaz

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 05:33:55 PM »
I'll be sure to include that. As noted for other casters though, basically, if you're from the families, you're a Shugenja if you're magic user. If you're not, then you're Gaijin, or Extraplanar and likely going to have trouble in social situations. I've been reading DL books today, in particular the Mariner regarding the mantis.

Ome thing I enjoyed in my first campaign (I ran a Unicorn Samurai with an Awakened Daisho who played the whole good/evil routine) when I introduced my friend - a cleric of mulhorand who had found himself plane hopped to rokugan by thayan wizards - to the daimyo. Despite being honoured with guest rites by my daimyo, the cleric was still insulted when his comments were disregarded. After conferring with me following the meeting that he was considered gaijin, and lowest ofnthe low despite being my guest, he went a bit apeshit, Divine Powering up and launching himself at the guards. Who quickly cut him down, 16th level Samurai with superpowered weapons still outclass Divine Powered Cleircs in melee. In return I was made ronin, created an interclan war between the Scorpion and the Unicorn, destroying a field army that could not adequately support the Crab holding the Kaiu wall against the Oni letting them rampage across Rokugan, nearly destroying both Crab and Lion, before a combined force of Phoenix Shugenja, Dragon Inkyo and Mantis mercenaries, plus shattered remnants of Clan Samurai aided by Naga and Nezumi were able to halt it before it got to Gisei Toshi.

Not bad for a political slowburner campaign intended to discover a Crane plot to cause a Unicorn/Lion tension and alliance breakdown.

That is how disastrous it can be overstepping your social rank.

I love Rokugan.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 05:49:05 PM by vaz »

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 08:24:18 PM »
Make sure to put a link to the handbook in the opening post here, just in case.

Grammar Nazi moment to give a better first impression: Take out the apostrophes from the title.  Plural words that are not also possessive do not have apostrophes.  (Ninjas, not ninja's, and so on.)  And that's sticking to English plurals because actual Japanese doesn't have plural words.

Mystics would probably be allowed as Gaijin since the source of their powers is a kind of inward philosophy.  It's somewhat similar to Ardents, although Ardents tend to be more outward in their pursuits of their philosophies and ideals.  And as you noted with the cleric entry, there's nothing in the RCS mentioning clerics who worship an ideal or cause.

Speaking of psionics though, the divine mind is likely to have some of the same drawbacks as a deity-worshiping cleric or favored soul since the source of their power is a deity.  They might have more say in what powers they get from a deity, but nevertheless they have that bond.

As much as the Rokugan setting does frown upon arcane magic, Wu Jen is still a legitimate class according to OA, and acknowledging that with something more diplomatic than what you have, for both the wizard and Wu Jen, would probably go a longer way to make the guide both useful and enjoyable to prospective Rokugan players.

Offline vaz

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 05:26:07 AM »
Not really.

Quote
Wu jen are not found in Rokugan.

What OA are you reading? There's no point in being 'diplomatic' regarding creating a character using a class that's explicitly "banned" from Rokugan. That would be frankly pointless and ridiculous. And if someone is insistent on running a prepared arcane caster, then there are ways around it (which I have noted; Sorcerer's have access to Spell Preparation Feat, or alternatively just Planar hop-in if you're THAT desperate to use a wizard, (that comes with a DM fiat request however); but that comes with a social stipulation. Gaijin are treated all the same, regardless of their origin, whether it's extraplanar origin, or from outside of Rokugan, there's no difference, you're still little more than dirt.

I'll be getting on to the whole "counts as"; for example, a Paladin/Ranger may well be fluffed as a Phoenix Clan Shugenja who instead decided to focus on Bushido and the Daisho, etc etc.

If a Campaign setting explicitly stated that "Psionics aren't part of this campaign" there wouldn't be the same complaints that you're stating. It's because a Core Class has its style of magic stated as being "nothing like anything" in Rokugan. There are rules to campaigns, and that may include houserules such as "No Tier 1" Casters - this is effectively what you're looking at; except only in a rulebook.

And honestly, you're going to play in a campaign with a foreign land and customs, and expect to just be able to fit right in, despite using magics that independent of the respect of the spirits which their "trusted" Shugenja entreat with, unlikely to look like anything from Rokugan (seriously, most characters don't "look Rokugani" during Character Creation, and no, Grey Elf Necropolitans or Dragonborn Dwarves are not as commonplace as regular D&D campaign suggest.

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 12:42:38 PM »
There are two ways to interpret "Wu Jen are not found in Rokugan."  One is they aren't found at all in the Rokugan setting itself just as Adepts do not exist in the Dragonlance setting.  The other is they aren't found in the Empire of Rokugan proper and don't typically associate with society, but they do exist in the setting.  The latter interpretation is the most likely since the Wu Jen exists in the first place, although it doesn't seem to be mentioned in anything but OA and its Dragon 318 update.  They're still of course Gaijin but wouldn't take the DM fiat to actually get into the setting provided that OA is still taken as compatible like page 4 of the RCS suggests.

As you mentioned though, Gaijin can make things interesting in the game.

Note that I have no expectations that elves or dwarves on their own much less necropolitan or dragonborn ones are at all common in Rokugan.  It's a very exclusive campaign setting with its own ways, thus the majority of things in normal D&D would at the very least need to be refluffed if they're useable at all.

Offline vaz

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 03:33:43 PM »
Ah, I see what you mean now.

Quote
A new version of Oriental Adventures—much more than a simple updating of the original to the new rules of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS—is now in your hands, incorporating Rokugan, the world of Legend of the Five Rings, as its featured campaign setting. pg5

...

Our “featured” campaign setting for adventure in a world of fantasy Asia uses only a tiny portion of those options. Korobokurus or wu jen don’t fit in a campaign that tries to stay close to  previous incarnations of Rokugan. Neither does the hopping vampire or the spirit centipede. But you will find those races, classes, and monsters—and much, much more—in this volume. pg5

...

If you want to play in Rokugan, we’ve helped you out throughout the book by highlighting the options that are available in that setting. pg5

The five rings described by Mirumoto Musashi—air, earth, fire, water, and Void—are the fundamental elements of shugenja spellcasting (see the shugenja class in Chapter 2 and the Void disciple prestige class in Chapter 3), but they’re also the symbol of Rokugan, the world of the Legend of the Five Rings games and novels and the featured campaign setting of Oriental Adventures. This symbol appears throughout the book to indicate material—races, classes, prestige classes, monsters—that you should use if you want to play DUNGEONS & DRAGONS in the world of Rokugan. Look for this symbol to guide your choices about what options to use in your game if you are using Rokugan as your campaign setting. You need not feel bound by our decrees of what is and is  not allowable in Rokugan, however: Like any other campaign setting, Rokugan is yours once you adopt it for your game—if you want to allow korobokuru wu jen alongside Dragon clan tattooed monks in your Rokugan, don’t let us hold you back. pg5 (There is no such image by Wu Jen)

...

Rokugan does not have any hengeyokai, korobokurus, spirit folk, or vanaras. You cannot play the wu jen, sohei, or shaman class. pg6 Note that it says that you must choose a clan if you're human, or be Heimin - not associated with the clans

I could go on, but in general, they're not available. For example, consider that of the introduced classes in OA, and then carried over into the rules for Rokugan, there is no mention of the Wu Jen, and yet the Samurai, Ninja, and Shugenja ARE. Throw into the fact that mechanically, the main part of Wu Jen, the spellcasting is identical to the Wizard, something that's "nothing like anything" is fairly clear about. I'll leave a note about it about how the possible interpretations could leave it still open. However, like most things you can either request DM Fiat Wormholing in, or, more likely, from 7th level onwards, a Wu Jen can Lesser Spirit Bind a Nightmare (it has Astral Projection, so is a viable target), and as such, can be used to Plane Shift. Wizards can do the same, but at 9th level. And that's provided they don't pay for their passage even earlier.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2014, 04:15:25 PM »
OA Sohei ... is basically an npc class. 
Probably Tier 6 unless someones got some Frenzy cheese.

If the fluff/descriptive on the NPCs is ~real, then
some of those classes are different enough from
the normal PHB npc classes, to discuss a bit.

Like skill groupings go:
High + Honor (whatever it is)
High + Medium
Medium + Honor
Medium + Low
... and the inevitable DM discussion (mother may I)
if one crosses these lines ; even unintentionally.

Similarly, the demographics of OA towns are not quite DMG normal.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 04:49:54 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »
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Offline vaz

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2014, 11:37:06 PM »
I'll get onto those tomorrow. So far, finished the Completes (except Lurk, I always forget Lurk!), XPH, MoI and ToM. Tomorrow, or the day after I hope to finish off the relevant other books;

DMG - NPC Classes
Heroes of Horror - Archivist, Dread Necromancer
Tome of Battle - Crusader, Swordsage, Warblade
Dragon Magic - Dragonfire Adept
Dungeonscape - Factotum
Miniatures Handbook - Healer, Marshal
Oriental Adventures - Samurai, Shaman, Sohei, Shugenja, Wu Jen

Then There's

DL; Campaign Setting; Mystic, Noble
DL; War of the Lance; Master
DL; Age of Mortals; Mariner
DL; Races of Ansalon; Nightstalker

Eberron; Campaign Setting; Artificer, Magewright
Eberron; Magic of Eberron; Psionic Artificer
Eberron; Sharn; Urban Adept

And then it's onto the Rokugan Campaign Setting.

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2014, 01:04:14 AM »
I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but the 'Ways' and 'Secrets' books have both L5R and 3.x rules.
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 04:52:44 PM »

... except Lurk, I always forget Lurk!

Lurk wanted you to forget Lurk.
Lurk Ebon Saint stabbed you and
now knows where the traps are.
 :huh
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Offline vaz

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 05:31:08 PM »
I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but the 'Ways' and 'Secrets' books have both L5R and 3.x rules.

I think I have them all now. Took me ages to locate a copy of Way of the Thief, and have been reading through that for the last few days, so not much work has been done on it recently.

I know I've asked elsewhere, but sadly it wasn't enough - I've needed to try and put some information in bullet points in an indent ;

for example

* Great Family 1
-----* Vassal Family 1
-----* Vassal Family 2
* Great Family 2
-----* Vassal Family 3
-----* Vassal Family 4

Anyone know of how to do that? Seems odd that there's no indent ability on these boards.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 05:33:39 PM by vaz »

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 11:17:35 PM »
As I understand the hierarchy of Rokugani society, it goes like this:

Noble Castes
  • The Emperor
  • Kuge: highest hereditary nobility
    • Imperial (Toturi) family
    • Otomo family
    • Seppun family
    • Champion of each clan and their immediate families
  • Buke: hereditary military class
    • Vassal families if Doji noble house
    • Other great families of the clans
  • Ji-samurai ("half-samurai")
    • Lesser warriors of vassal families
    • Ronin
Non-Noble Castes
  • Heimins ("half-people"): common folk
    • Farmers
    • Merchants
  • Hinins ("non-people")
    • Criminals
    • Entertainers
    • Eta: those hereditarily bound to unclean jobs

Granted, I'm only going by Oriental Adventures. 

In Oriental Adventures, shugenja are inherently part of the noble class.  This makes your "Those who show an aptitute for [magic] in Rokugani culture however, are quickly put into 'shugenja school', for want of a better word." statement seem bizarre to me.  You're saying even an eta, regarded essentially as an animal, will be tutored and up-jumped to nobility if he has a slight magical talent?  Who's even associating with eta enough to find out if one has magical talent? 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 11:22:46 PM by Maat Mons »

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2014, 12:19:57 AM »
One of the books has the pyramid, similar to the one Maat Mons posted. I couldn't tell you which book, but I think its either the Daimyo or Hidden Emperor
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 02:56:55 PM »
Does Dr#318 include any specific change on Hobgoblins?
OA ditches their LA+1, but 3.5e MM reinstates it.

Fluff / history of the game -- Hobgoblins are barely disguised Mongol hordes.
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Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Rokugan Campaign Setting Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2014, 03:10:26 PM »
Dragon 318 does not mention anything about hobgoblins.