Tuesday, July 13, 2010

L5R RPG : FInal Rest : Part 6 : Hour of the Monkey

Hour of the Monkey
In this chapter, Samurai X reaches the half-way point of the story and the first real break in his travels. A small village in a remote part of the province is the resting place of several cult members, indulging in worldly pursuits before their plans see fruition.

There are many roads the samurai can take here. Direct confrontation will most likely lead to violence, which isn't necessarily a bad thing… these cultists deserve to die, but it could mean jeopardizing the mission. Subterfuge will lead to more information about the whereabouts of the enemy, but an honorable samurai would never reduce himself to suck chicanery. Taking a cultist alive won't help matters as they are sworn to secrecy. And waiting to see what the cultists do is not an option, as time is running out.

It is up to the GM to determine the next course of action for the hero, as time is running out.

Let the samurai set his own path here.
Be prepared to dig two graves.

Required Rolls
Kenjutsu
Dodge
Anything related to fighting

Homage
Ronin Gai

Monday, July 12, 2010

L5R RPG : FInal Rest : Part 5 : Hour of the Goat

Hour of the Goat
In this chapter, Samurai X must take time to re-center himself and reflect on what has happened so far and where he is going. Wisdom gained here will help him in all the following chapters of the story.

After the last chapter, the samurai should be on the right path to finding the cultist. The road is brambly, overun, and generally not well maintained, but eventually he will reach a bridge over a calm brook of water. Serenity starts to seep in and the surroundings take the samurai away to a better place. Cherry blossoms fall to the earth and mingle with the near-perfect beauty of the surroundings.

The scene is breathtaking, even for a a samurai who has seen it all.

Almost blending into background is a lone, elderly monk, who leans on his staff and watches the water cascade ever so effortlessly down the brook. He beckons to the samurai to join him in quiet contemplation upon that which Amaterasu has blessed us with.

The goal here is to calm the samurai who is most certainly vexed by the situation he is in.

Guide the samurai to inner tranquility
Get him to focus his mind and body
Offer him wisdom that will aid him in the final chapters
Answer one question he has
Offer the samurai experience points once it is over

Required Rolls
Void
Meditation
Tea Ceremony

Homage
House of Flying Daggers

Friday, July 09, 2010

L5R RPG : FInal Rest : Part 4 : Hour of the Horse

Hour of the Horse
Once again, speed is of the essence. If Samurai X wasted time in the previous chapter — as he should have — then he should feel as though the trail is growing cold. If he questions the locals, they know nothing. If he searches for tracks, they are washed away by a small creek. If he pushes on, despite having little clues, his horse collapses in exhaustion.

The is a good time to get the samurai lost. Take him down a road into a part of the empire he is not familiar... and watch what happens. This should be a short distraction from the task at hand, but being lost should definitely worry the PC. He is now in a place where the villagers do not recognize him or do not trust him. Perhaps they even have their own dialect. Play it up however you like.

Do not distract the samurai for than one (rokugani) hour, but make finding his way back difficult.With or without a horse. Throw in a minor side-plot about a peasant needing help with a bully or something if you really want to mix it up.

I don't recommend it, but it's your game.

Required Rolls
Willpower
Perception
Honor

Homage
Throne of Blood

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

L5R RPG : FInal Rest : Part 3 : Hour of the Serpent

Hour of the Snake
In this chapter, Samurai X must choose between two paths. He can believe whatever lie the cultist told him last time or he can go the opposite way (it is the GM's job to make sure that there are only two real possibilities at this point). One decision will surely put him hours behind where he needs to be.

The point of this chapter, however, is to heighten the tension and let the PC think he has lost time. Perhaps the cultist had a map to a place that does not exist. Perhaps he gave bad directions or with his dying breath tells the samurai the missing girl is in a place far from where she really is.

Speed up the action
Slow down the action
Describe unimportant things in detail
Gloss over seemingly important things so the samurai must ask questions


Required Rolls
Perception
Willpower
Intelligence
Honor

Homage
16 Blocks

Friday, July 02, 2010

L5R RPG : FInal Rest : Part 2 : Hour of the Dragon

Hour of the Dragon
In this chapter, Samurai X comes upon one of the cultists on the road. The cultist is disguised, and is actually here to detain the samurai, but that should not be evident. Vengeance should fill the mind of the samurai, clouding his decision-making. The overly helpful-cultist should send up a warning flag, eventually, but only after he has done everything in his power to confound the samurai.

Should the samurai try to the cultist, however, the cultist is ready.

If a fight ensues, make sure it spills into the streets and becomes as public as possible. While this is the last thing the cultists want, this is a great way to heighten the drama and tension. Now the samurai has publicly defeated (murdered) another person. Certainly magistrates or authorities will hear of it.

Lie to the samurai.
Lie some more.
Give false information.
Misdirect.
Offer aid that is unreasonable, but seemingly a gift.

Required Rolls
Manipulation
Kenjutsu
Perception

Homage
Kill Bill, Vol. 1

Thursday, July 01, 2010

L5R RPG : FInal Rest : Part 1 : Hour of the Hare

Hour of the Hare
In this chapter, Samurai X must give chase. And quickly. Speed is everything here. Do not give the PCs time to think about anything. Every peasant they talk to gives different information about where the cultist went. Most did not see them. Others are terrified of both the samurai and the cultists. A few are willing to help, but don't know much. Only one knows the truth.

Keep the PCs on their toes.
Keep them guessing.
Put an hourglass on the table to increase the tension.
Play music from the Onimusha video game.
Distract them with the descriptions of mundane activity all around until they focus their mind on the task at hand.

Required Rolls
Void or Meditation

Fire or Dexterity
Air of Awareness

Homage
Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog


Goru runs to the street, finds a peasant gathering water from the well for early morning tea and soup. He makes wild accusations, he points and shouts. He even threatens the peasant. This continues for several minutes as he goes from peasant to peasant looking for answers. In desperation, Goru starts running north to the edge of the village and he does not stop running until he spots a dirty mendicant digging in the mud of worms… a few zeni should get this man to tell Goru everything he needs to know.

"My steps never faltered. My resolution never wavered. I am samurai. I am the way and the path and the sword. Nothing, not even the ignorance of the cravenly will deter me from finding Kajime. These villains will taste my blade. The heavens will tell my tale."

L5R RPG : Final Rest, Part 0 of 12

In contrast to the previous adventure which takes place over many days, weeks, etc... depending on the length of the chase, this adventure is structured over a 24-hour (12 in Rokugan) period, with each hour broken down into a separate chapter.

Having nothing to do with the the show 24, this idea was based on a video game I played where the main character was racing up a hill against a clock... and that blossomed into what you are reading now.

This is the start of a 12-part story, that I will detail over 12 small blog posts.

Zero
Samurai X must get from location A to location Z in 24 hours. The reason is inconsequential to the story. The GM is encouraged to make this a revenge story, but it's not necessary. The threads of the plot will be left open for you to detail.

Each chapter will have an example based on the idea that Goru must reach the Swift Viper's Temple before the sun rises tomorrow in order to stop the Cult of the Snake from sacrificing his daimyo's niece — Kajime — to the great serpent.

"The run was rising. Kajime was already gone… My head still spinning from last night's sake and whatever those bastards used to poison me. They should have used a lethal dose. Whatever lead time they thought they had, wouldn't help. I am coming for you."