Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game
It is an era of sudden change and upheaval in Rokugan. Mortal schemes, natural calamities, and celestial turmoil alike have disrupted the political, military, and spiritual equilibrium of the land. Long-simmering rivalries and fresh betrayals ripple through the courts and on the battlefield. The Chrysanthemum Throne is beset by threats from without and within, and the honor of the seven Great Clans shall be put to the test. Who among the clans will prove strong enough to guide Rokugan in these tumultuous times? Will their names be lifted up beside those of the honored ancestors, or will they fall among the ranks of the empire’s most infamous villains?
This is the stage of the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Beginner Game, a new roleplaying experience in the world of Rokugan.
For years, the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game has provided a roleplaying system that places players in the roles of honorable samurai of Rokugan. You can take your first steps on your journey with the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Beginner Game—the perfect entrypoint for three to five players to transport themselves to the Emerald Empire as young samurai.
What is the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game about?
In the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, players take on the roles of samurai from the seven Great Clans serving their lords across Rokugan, a rich and complex setting based on a fantastical and romanticized version of feudal Japan (while also taking inspiration from other East Asian myths, literature, and history). Characters are warriors, courtiers, priests, and monks defending their lord’s interests while upholding the Code of Bushidō, a code that demands samurai ignore their own desires in favor of justice, loyalty, and honor.
What lines will your character cross at their lord’s order? What desires will your character sacrifice to uphold their ideals? Adventures in the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game take their cues from eastern storytelling, which valorizes individuals sacrificing themselves to maintain societal harmony, as opposed to western narratives that reward heroes for defying society. However, ideals and human emotions cannot easily be put aside even by the greatest of samurai, and this inner conflict drives the drama of Legend of the Five Rings.
A World of Adventure
The recent untimely and mysterious death of the Emerald Champion, Doji Satsume of the Crane Clan, has thrown the Emerald Empire into turmoil. Each of the Great Clans suspiciously eyes the others and wonders whether the death was no tragic accident, but a dishonorable act of murder.
In these times of strife, a group of youths approaches the village of Tsuma for the Topaz Championship and their gempukku, the coming-of-age ceremony that will mark them as fully- fledged samurai. Each contestant has come from a different clan and dreams of being the highest-scoring contestant in the tournament, earning the title of Topaz Champion. Despite being pitted against one another, they are all united in their desire to succeed and bring honor to their clan and family.
The Topaz Championship is a pre-made adventure gives you all the tools you need to introduce new players and Game Masters alike to the world of Rokugan. But many more adventures await. Be on the lookout for the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Core Rulebook, coming later this year. This hardcover book will include an expanded and more sophisticated ruleset, including detailed chapters on character creation and advancement, information on new adversaries including Shadowlands creatures, guidance for developing your own adventures, and much more!
The Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Beginner Game allows players to dive into the action with a set of of four pre-made character folios. These folios give players the opportunity to play as a youth in the world of Rokugan, looking to represent the Lion, Crane, Phoenix, or Dragon in the Topaz Championship.
These folios not only introduce you to your characters but provide all the relevant information needed to guide you on your adventure. A filled-out character sheet, complete with beautiful artwork, is your stepping stone into the Emerald Empire, and a variety of reminders and special abilities will let you roleplay your character with ease.
The Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Beginner Game features a fusion of the Roll and Keep system from previous editions of the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game and the Narrative Dice System featured in the Genesys Roleplaying System. Custom dice included in the Beginner Game feature a number of unique symbols that will guide you on your adventures.
Success- This symbol helps you complete the task at hand.
Explosive Success- Not only does this symbol count as a success, it allows you to roll additional dice, giving you the opportunity to succeed at extraordinary tasks.
Opportunity- While not a success, opportunities can present new narrative options to aid your character in some way.
Strife- This symbol adds strife to your character, once your strife surpasses your composure, your character has some kind of outburst ill-fitting for a samurai.
When players wish to make some kind of check, the Game Master first determines what it is they are trying to accomplish, and which skills their character is utilizing. But there are many different approaches to these problems, and the samurai on Rokugan rely on the guidance of the five Elemental Rings to help them succeed. Each Ring represents a different way to approach a problem
- Air – Precise, subtle, cunning
- Earth – Defensive, thorough, reassuring
- Fire – flashy, creative, inspiring
- Water – affable, flexible, perceptive
- Void – Mystical, wise, instinctive
Players describe how they would like to approach the problem and the Game Master determines which elemental approach they are using. At this point the Game Master also determines how many successes the player needs to accomplish their task.
Players then assemble a pool of dice, using a number of white skill dice equal to their appropriate skill number and a number of black ring dice equal to the character’s ring value of the element they are using to approach. The player then rolls all of these dice, views the results, and chooses to keep a number of dice equal to their appropriate ring value. If these kept dice show a number of successes equal to or greater than the target number, the task succeeds, but complicating events may occur, depending on the symbols of the dice.
Example of Play
Togashi Yoshi is chasing a bandit through the city, but comes to an impasse as the bandit makes an impressive leap over a wide ditch. Togashi Yoshi wants to follow and must make a skill check to see if he succeeds. The Game Master determines that Yoshi is attempting a feat of physical prowess, which gives him two skill dice. Yoshi decides he wants to quickly examine the environment around him to find the best way to get across, which the GM determines to be a Water approach, which gives him two ring dice. The GM also decides the target number for this check is two. Yoshi’s player roles his dice pool and gets the following results:
Yoshi ends up with a couple of options, he could succeed and accumulate two strife, or perhaps fail and gain some sort of opportunity. Yoshi wants to succeed, no matter the cost, and chooses to keep the two dice that will assure success. Yoshi uses a jagged rock as a stepping stone and effortlessly crosses the ditch. Yoshi briefly thinks the bandit is a fool for not using a similar tactic, feeding into his internal strife.
How are opportunities different from raises in past editions?
Opportunity is a new mechanic for the fifth edition of the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game that allows players to contribute to the unfolding narrative with new and interesting details, or to activate powerful techniques, including kata, kihō, shugenja invocations, and a totally new form of technique called shūji. Shūji are rhetorical devices courtiers use to outmaneuver their rivals in intrigues or rally their allies on the battlefield. Opportunity is reminiscent of the raise mechanic from previous editions, in which players could raise the difficulty of a task to perform cool side effects. This time, however, opportunities are one of the choices players can make while keeping dice, as opposed to calling raises before the roll. Opportunity resolves independently of success and failure, so players can help guide the direction of the scene even if their character doesn’t accomplish their intentions.
The Dice App
The dice used for the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game are unique in nature, using custom symbols. While the Legend of the Five Rings Beginner Game contains all the dice you need to play the game, Fantasy Flight Games has also created a dice app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play! The app features a standard set of dice as well as the custom dice featured in the game, inviting you to perform checks with just the click of a few buttons!
A World of Adventure Awaits
Dive into the Emerald Empire with the newest edition of the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game! With pre-built characters that keep the rules at your fingertips and an in-depth adventure, the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Beginner Game is the perfect starting point to launch your journey into Rokugan.