Monday, February 18, 2013

L5R homebrew rules

Homebrew rules I need if I were to run L5R again.

L5R was the first game I played in college regularly, my GM was my High School teacher back in 1999, this was the conditioning that allow us to take character death well. Combined we must have had +16 character deaths in about 20+ sessons. Wish I kept a journal then, I had a character die 10 mins after creating him. My last character was a Kitsuki Magistrate, suffice to say Prevention was what kept him alive - and kitsuki's were a "courtier" that could fight, no more cheeseyness in this latest edition.

Feats of Strength and Encumbrance Rules. Because L5R players may have a very adversarial reationship with the math of keeping track of encumbrance and equipment.  A VERY simple encumbrance tracking system would be needed. Probably ones that use key words like negligible, light, moderate, heavy, very heavy, and extremely heavy. Maybe a rules of 5, where every 5 of a particular "weight class" advances the encumbrance to the next category. The character is at the encumbrance of the heaviest item (typically armor, if any or primary weapon).

Regarding Feats of Strength, characters can only lift to the limits of their Strength but to go beyond those limits they need to make a test of earth. I can't imagine how I am going to make simple low math system for this, but it is an interesting puzzle to solve.

Fatigue Rules. It is easy to elaborate on the current fatigue system, I just made "Activity" levels: easy, light, moderate, heavy, very heavy, and extremely heavy. I would qualify where running, paced running, marching (fast hiking), hiking and casual stroll would fall. I also give examples like what kind of effort mental actions are like - debate/arguing, active discussion, light conversation, entertaining conversation, etc...

Traveling and overland Travel. if people only knew how expensive it is to upkeep an Utaku battle steed, and the logistics involved compared to a pony. Some basic guidelines for Trailblazing and allowing the emphasis be in Athletics.  

Harsher Wounding and Healing Rules.
Healing in the game is like DnD, high level characters bounce back quickly. I was considering that wound ranks determine the pace of how long it takes to heal a point and that of the 9 wounds ranks each rank is calculated as Earth x1 instead of Earth x2. So the Signature katana would kill a man in one blow.

Shields Rules.
The Japanese did use shields, at least their infantry. I don't want to give a history lesson or argue samurai military theory. When it comes to L5R, it is a simple matter of placing Peasant keyword with the weapon. (so mantis use shields). Wicker shields serve as arrow catchers (the wicker shields like a thick dense weave catching arrows).

If I were to run L5R again, I would run it in the Scorpion Clan Coup because it is the easiest storyline to keep track off, and a great launching point to diverge. Plan to go SIFRP with less magic and supernatural, and more Intrigue, Strategy, and Intelligence. I'm not a fan of the writing and how the tournaments kinda made the stories more convoluted.

I really want to throw out the holy cows of the systems and allow for Dynastic Games, where houses Fall and new ones rise. I like the mess and convolution in the relationships and intrigue, not the magic and supernatural.

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