So, a couple months ago our regular Pathfinder group suffered two TPKs (total party kills, for the uninitiated) over the course of roughly a month. Both of these were for the same essential cause: bad dice rolling. This was around the time DH discovered Larry Correia‘s wonderful posts of the Legend of the Five Rings gaming group he’s part of. At the time DH was trying to convince me to run an occasional L5R campaign, but after TPK #2 we took a vote on what to do next and I happily urged L5R. (I had two main reasons for this. One, to give our d20s a break, since they had obviously decided to go on strike. And two, because I hate GMing.)
We began with five players, although one of them quickly determined he didn’t care for the system and dropped out for the duration of the game, and just this week we’ve added two more, who I will introduce properly after they show up.
Because we’re a bunch of newbies on this system, DH gave us a tutorial story arc by way of the Topaz Championship (hat tip to Mr. Correia for the idea, and much of the implementation, since he couldn’t find another resource for what actually goes on in said championship). That said, he’s also playing fast and loose with canon, so if you’re a fan of the game (especially the CCG), the characters I talk about are probably only loosely connected to their official counterparts – sometimes they may share no more than a name.
One of the things my DH is doing is awarding up to two extra experience each meeting for quality writing to fill in narrative gaps regarding the events of the meeting. I have been writing a journal for my character, and those will become a regular feature of this site. (I know, content of any sort comes across as a feature right now. I need to get better about posting.) One of our other players has also expressed interest in having his character writing posted, and I will make that available as well.
So. Our original party consisted of Kakita Satoshi, a Crane duelist; my character, Mirumoto Kasumi, a Dragon Niten practitioner; Iuchi Iwao, a Unicorn shugenja; Hiruma Tamotsu, a Crab scout; and Kitsune Hitoshi, a Mantis warrior from a family known for their shugenja. We approached the Topaz Championship in the “village” of Tsuma on five different roads, coming from five different directions, and all arrived at the same checkpoint at the same time.
Kasumi’s journals and letters will fill in most of the story from that point, but before I post the first entry I’ll give you a little background about my young Dragon.
To begin with, she is overconfident, idealistic, brash, and driven to prove the superiority of the Niten style of swordplay. Yes, these are all actual disadvantages in game play, and in a way they serve to turn one of her advantages into a disadvantage: she’s a clear thinker, which in practice means that she always has excellent reasons to justify her insanely dangerous plans. This has nearly gotten her killed more than once. It is also worth noting that the original Mirumoto, her ancestor, has taken up residence in her skull. Most people don’t realize he’s actually talking to her and guiding her almost constantly.
She didn’t always get on very well with her parents (her father is the clan champion, see previous paragraph and following note) and her sensei think she’s an arrogant b*tch (again, see previous paragraph, especially since Mirumoto has given her the insight to know when they’re wrong but not the wisdom to keep her mouth shut).
Tomorrow, I will post her first entry (or maybe two) from the Topaz Championship.
UPDATE: DH is not playing fast and loose with cannon, as I originally wrote. In the first place, they’re hard to get a hold of, and in the second place, that would likely run us out of house rather quickly. Also, I was mistaken in thinking that Mirumoto Hojatsu was the original Mirumoto, and the Ancestor advantage is the original Mirumoto.