Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

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Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

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Parvez’ second submission to the campaign was originally supposed to premier at CogCon in September. However, when the RPGA gave us the boot, we were not initially certain that we’d be able to continue the campaign independently, and thus decided to release Duty on the Wall at GenCon as a “go out with a bang” module. Not only was it our third Shadowlands module, but it was also the first Shadowlands mod to feature the Mass Battle Table – complete with extra Wounds and with “Duel” results getting changed to “Death Touches You” (one of my favorite little bits from Bearers of Jade).

Structurally and thematically, this was a very straightforward module – the PCs are saddled with a few months’ duty on the Kaiu Wall, go on a scouting mission with a Hiruma, and then fight a battle. However, I added an element to the scouting mission that delivered a subtle tribute to Bearers of Jade: the sinister Lost leader who is coordinating the impending attack on the Kaiu Wall is actually none other than Hida Atarasi, the fallen Crab Thunder. In Bearers of Jade, there is an apocryphal story that Hida is still fighting his Lost son after a thousand years… and the day that Atarasi wins the fight will mark the doom of the Empire. By inserting Atarasi into this module, I was signaling the players that in this campaign, Bearers of Jade was 100% canon. Later I would expand his role in the storyline, eventually having him use his shapeshifting powers to replace Hida Kisada as ruler of the Crab Clan. One interesting side-note… the Hiruma scout who leads the PCs on their mission is female. In-setting, the Crab Clan is by far the most traditionally male-dominated clan in the Empire, for the simple reason that the clan needs as many children as it can get. This is even more true of the Hiruma, a family that has clawed its way back from near-extermination. Yet all three Hiruma scouts to appear in HoR modules submitted by other writers, whether in HoR1 or HoR2, have been female! Why is this? I’m not sure, but I suspect it is because each author wanted their Hiruma scout to be distinctive and memorable, and making the character female seemed like the easiest way to accomplish this.