Okay, complete and total newb. Explain L5R to me.

Legend of the Five Rings just celebrated its 15th anniversary. The games center around Rokugan, a fantasy setting with more in common with Sengoku era Japan than medieval Europe. It is low magic, though when magic is seen it is very powerful. The game system itself is known for its lethality, even the most powerful character in Rokugan can be killed outright by a few peasants with knives in a single round unless the character rolls very well. Game of L5R are frequently told with a more Asian style, so a tragic death for a hero is seen as more noble than a “happily ever after”. The game is also notable for its emphasis its factions (known as Clans) which create a strong political game.

I’ve heard that L5R is just “Fat Men In Bath Robes”, and the richness of the setting is lost in LARP. Is this true?

We don’t know yet, but immersion is one of the selling points we hope for in our game. While we do not expect everyone to go buy expensive hakama for our game, there will be a dress code, and players not adhering to it will miss out on rewards, and in some cases be directly penalized. One of our hopes for this game is that it will become known for its excellent costuming, not the opposite!

I’m not a big fan of anime or japanese history, will I like the game?

We know plenty of people who hate anime who love the Rokugan setting. It is a rich fantasy world with its own history that happens to have a culture similar to Sengoku era japan. If you like games of intrigue with strong moral choices, we think you will enjoy L5R. It is however not for everyone, it is a game of high consequence where death rates can be high and the world somewhat unforgiving. If you like a casual, popcorn sort of game this is not the one you are looking for.

It looks like a lot of things require paying for in game currency, but I can’t afford much more than to make a simple costume and pay game fees. Will I be left behind or destroyed?

Absolutely not! While the game is a small business, it thrives on as many players having a good time as possible, no matter what they choose to pay. That’s why everyones first character registration is free! Fortune Coins (our currency) provide primarily defensive PVP bonuses, short term boosts, long term investment over multiple series of games and extra flair. Players can also earn Fortune Coins by volunteering or creating works for the game, so if you are really into our L5R game, you may be wealthier in Fortune Coins than you think!

Can I bring my katana? It’s so authentic!

No real weapons please, though scabbards can represent them. However, we may have photoshoots later on for promotional materials where we’d love to have them. Besides, weapons in court? SO RUDE!

I’ve looked at the L5R setting materials and there is SOOOOOO much! I’m overwhelmed! Where do I start?

There plenty of great fan made wikis out there for the history. Also, this game will focus on original characters as the heroes of the realm, and thus it is starting very early on in Rokugani history. Much of the history in the setting materials will change as time goes on in our game, or be used to fill in gaps where players do not touch. This is your Rokugan, tell us what you wish to do and we will help make it happen in a world we hope you enjoy. Just learn the basic themes of the Great Clans and the GM team will help you from there!


Service In Sword and Quill MitchellSmallman