Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

Home Novels L5R Other RPGs Miscellaneous Writing About Contact

Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

Download The Adventure

Originally this module was supposed to be our second GenCon premier. As previously noted, the RPGA had strict rules about their GenCon schedule – all scenarios had to be premiers and there were no “open slots” for people to play older mods or intro scenarios. Since GenCon was our best chance to recruit new players, I felt it was vital for one of the premiers to be a low-Rank scenario aimed at new players. However, once the RPGA cancelled us, Parvez and I instead went for “out with a bang” via Duty at the Wall, and this module got pushed back to CogCon.

Day & Night was probably the last “pure concept” module I did in HoR1, written to explore scenario ideas rather than to advance metaplot. It was another return to my favorite themes from Year One and Year Two… “love sucks” and ghost stories, here combined into a single story. I really liked the idea of a skilled, elegant Scorpion courtier-ko falling in love with a grizzled old Crab – it’s the sort of romance that feels very “real” and human, but would be hugely problematic within Rokugan’s social and political system. I also liked that the scenario’s best solution was not the application of force/power, but instead for the PCs to convince the ghost-Scorpion that she needed to depart for the afterlife. I threw in both a gaki and a kappa as distractions/red herrings; neither of these classic creatures had yet appeared in the campaign, so it gave the scenario a lot of originality.

The Toritaka ghost-hunter NPC who appears in this module was my first attempt to grapple with the absence of any sort of “exorcist” in L5R, a hole in the setting that always bothered me. Japanese pop-culture is full of stories about priests who drive out evil spirits by slapping paper wards on people’s foreheads, an idea that traces back to the historical Onmyoji of the Heien period, yet nothing like this had ever appeared in L5R – even the Yogo “ward magic” was only a distant cousin to the idea. Since the Toritaka were specifically supposed to be specialized in hunting ghosts, it made perfect sense for them to have exorcism wards – plus, the paper wards let me give the PCs an emergency option for dealing with the ghost if they had no other choices.

Many years later, after I became part of the L5R Design Team, I officially created the “Toritaka Exorcists” Path and finally closed this hole in the setting. I also recycled Day & Night as an “introduction to L5R” scenario that I ran at conventions on behalf of AEG.