This is originally an article that I did up for the folks at Beasts of War but I never heard back from them. Either it wasn't what they were looking for or with all their recent issues my post fell through the cracks. Since it's been a while I figured I'd clean it up a bit more and throw it here.
Known for their successful Japanese inspired Collectable Card Game, the Legend of the Five Rings, Alderac Entertainment Group decided in 1997 to print the first edition of their role-playing game that took place in the same setting of their CCG.
|Example of the gorgeous art|
art by AEG - used without permission
Rokugan is a unique setting. Instead of drawing from European medieval styles and tropes, AEG looked at inspiration from medieval Japan with some influence from China, Mongolia and Korea. Like classic fantasy settings, players took on the roles of heroes who fought vile corruption, foul beasts that roamed the country, and participated in epic quests. Unlike those settings, it was not filled with armor clad Knights or eccentric and wise Wizards. Instead kimono clad masters of the Katana and elemental spirit priests were given as roles to the players.
Familiar and fresh all in one, the Legend of the Five Rings RPG became a hit. It won the Origin’s Award in 1997 for best game. They expanded the world with a collection of books for each clan, a series of adventure modules, and a pair of campaign box sets. With the world expanding the rules needed a clean up to adjust for some of the weaknesses in the rules.