Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

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Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

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Parvez’ fifth module and the campaign’s final Low-Rank module, Twisted Forest was created to depict the meta-plot effects of the earlier Tao of the Naga. That module ended with Mirumoto Daini and the Naga emissaries traveling to the Imperial City to meet with the Emperor and explain about the looming threat of The Foul. Of course, the Emperor was actually Shadow-corrupted, so the Naga mission would end in catastrophe, with the emissaries slaughtered in the court after trying to attack the corrupt Hantei. I decided the Emperor would respond by dispatching the Imperial Legions to attack the Shinomen forest – thereby conveniently eliminating the Legions from any further influence on Rokugan’s wars.

Parvez came up with the idea of a low-rank module about a group of characters whose lords “volunteer” them for service with the Legions and thus find themselves in the Shinomen forest amid a catastrophic defeat. Among other things, this allowed the module to incorporate sub-plots about the problems of finding food and drink in a hostile wilderness – something that normally didn’t come up in L5R, and showcased characters with schools and skills that usually didn’t get much chance to shine (such as Hiruma Scouts). Of course, since the whole reason for the Emperor’s attack on the Shinomen was his Shadow corruption, the module had to include a sub-plot involving a Goju. However, the various encounters were also designed to showcase the strange and mysterious nature of the Shinomen forest, and even included an opportunity to interact with a pair of hengayokai – pretty much the only time that happened in HoR1, aside from a very brief tangential reference way back in A Chance Meeting. (I really liked the whole animal-shapeshifter mythology, but never really found an opportunity to explore it properly in this campaign… an oversight I would rectify in HoR2.)