Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

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Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

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Parvez’ fourth module also was something of a milestone for the campaign, since it marked the first time that we released outside submissions back-to-back (in fact this would become even more of a milestone, since the _next_ mod was also an outside submission). The inspiration for this module was, obviously, Kurosawa’s movie “Seven Samurai” – it was probably inevitable that the campaign would have something like that at some point, given the iconic nature of the film.

I think Parvez put more effort into this module than any of his other HoR1 submissions – he wrote up a detailed description of the village and its various inhabitants, drew out a sketch-map with the routes the bandits would use to attack, and devised a clever introduction that used his own character, Otaku Taro, as the Quest Giver. Aside from writing up the NPC stat-blocs, my main contribution was a re-drawn and more detailed version of the village map, with some descriptions of additional locations and NPCs to go along with it. Maps were somewhat unusual in HoR, since the game did not use “tactical combat” in the manner of D&D-type RPGs, but I sometimes found them quite useful for helping the GM and players to get a mental picture of the setting. In this module, Parvez actually came up with a clever idea to have _two_ maps – one that the PCs would use to plan their defense of the village, and the other showing the actual attacks of the bandits.

While the primary bandit-defense scenario was, indeed, a tribute to “Seven Samurai,” Parvez also gave the module a sharp plot-twist – at the end, after the bandits have been driven off, the PCs discover that the village is about to become a battleground between the Lion and the Crane. Unless they can persuade both commanders to take the battle elsewhere, all their efforts are rendered in vain as the village is destroyed in the fighting. This was a classic “samurai tragedy” ending that caught a lot of players off guard; it could also result in the PCs winding up on the dangerous Mass Battle Table.