“Rokugan’s most elegant cesspit; a monster of beauty, a seductive lie cast in limestone and gold, a treacherous maiden whose loveliness is exceeded only by her brutality – that is my home. Ryoko Owari is a grand tombstone for dead honor, where decadent children caper and rejoice in their unholy freedom. I could live nowhere else.”
Thirteenth governor of Ryoko Owari
This game (and possibly campaign if it proves successful and the case continues, or if we just want to continue), is set in the Rokugan city of Ryoko Owari Toshi.
It is a story-telling game using the tools that we have developed that are based on Mythic and other systems, but extensively modified to suit both the style and scale of the stories we like to tell. There will be little or no actual ‘character’ play. Characters will exist as protagonists or antagonists in the story, but they will not have life in a traditional RPG fashion. Most traditional RPG rules then are superfluous. This particular location set comes from Legend of the Five Rings, but none of us have internalised the rules nor ever intend to do so. Similarly the background to L5R may or may not be useful to us; we feel no particular need to know or use any of the canon material.
The important feature of this story will be that the location is a civilised city. The time is an Asian-fantasy with heavy influence from Japanese culture (because we love their swords) and Chinese culture (because we love their system of government). The inciting incident will be one or more crimes. There’s been a murder, and someone is responsible, to quote Plan 9 From Outer Space.
Anything else such as who are the protagonists, the where’s and why’s of the investigation and/or coverup, will be discovered in play. The information concerning the Magistrates is included because I decree that the system of Magistrates is present – because I want them in. This does not necessarily mean that the story need be from the Magistrate point of view. It could equally be from the view of those who are being hunted by them. Only the story as it is revealed will tell…