Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

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Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

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Probably the most interesting thing I did in Year Five was this little three-part arc which depicted the aftermath of the Fall of the Phoenix. This happened partly because I wanted to do a module about the Last Wish (which meant Phoenix lands) and partly because I had two different module submissions that both fit the theme of a region thrown into danger and chaos by a recent eruption of Taint and evil. The first of those submissions became this module, which premiered in January at Weekend in Rokugan.

Corrupted Ground had the PCs trying to locate a missing lord’s daughter who had been kidnapped by a Dokufu (Mountain Spider) disguised as a monk. I added the framing device of the PCs performing a “survey” of the Phoenix lands; I also expanded the investigation portion of the module, adding more clues and more clue-paths for the PCs to follow, in order to ensure this would make a full-round scenario.

The original author had intended that the PCs would be able to rescue the lord’s daughter at the end of the scenario. However, when I revised the mod, I realized this was impossible – a Dokufu would never keep anyone prisoner, so even if it saw her as the ideal “mate” it would simply implant her with its eggs just like it would with any other victim. Thus the tone of the module wound up much darker and more tragic than in the original submission – which was only appropriate, really, since it was at root a samurai horror-story.

Amusingly (in a twisted sort of way), many parties desperately did not want to accept that their only choice was to mercy-kill the daimyo’s egg-implanted daughter. (You’d think gamers, familiar with the “Aliens” franchise, would recognize the nature of the situation.) For the most part, this was a doomed effort, but one group _did_ figure out a way to do it… by combining the spell Force of Will with a Rank 5 healing spell (I believe Peace of the Kami), they were able to perform improvised surgery on the maiden and then heal her back. Of course, the experience left her insane and comatose. “Here, my lord, we have returned your daughter safe and unharmed!”