Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

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Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

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The first of a series of modules written by Parvez and featuring appearances by his primary HoR2 character, Toritaka Yamamiya. The inspiration for this personal storyline came from an incident late in HoR1 in which his character Toritaka Tonozaka had pledged to build a shrine in exchange for the assistance of a mountain’s kami. Parvez hit on the notion that Tonozaka had never fulfilled this oath and thus became cursed by the mountain’s spirit; eventually he went mad and committed seppuku (hence the name of this mini-arc), passing his curse down through the generations to Yamamiya… by which time it had become so strong that all Earth spirits sensed and reacted to it. The arc would become the story of how Yamamiya learned the truth about his curse and, eventually, took the actions required to end it. Of course, since HoR2 was not actually a sequel to the HoR1 storyline in which Tonozaka had lived, Parvez also developed an idea whereby Tonozaka had actually lived in “canon” Rokugan and imagined the HoR1 story during his late-life madness, populating it with his personal acquaintances. This allowed Parvez to work references to several other HoR1 PCs into the Yamamiya storyline, paying tribute to his favorite moments and stories in the first campaign.

The setting for this module – the first two days of the Emerald Championship -- was suggested by me, since an EC had to be held to replace the Emerald Champion killed in Topaz Championship. This would allow me to write a module of my own depicting events during the second half of that tournament. I also liked using this setting to bring back some of the prominent NPCs that had already appeared in Topaz, as well as giving other big-name NPCs their first “on-screen” moments. Parvez actually came up with the preliminary competitions of the EC himself (it would be a couple of years more until AEG finally published an “official” description of the EC tournament structure) but the specific noteworthy competitors who appear in the module -- such as Doji Mitsui, Yasuki Koruma, the ronin Akuma, and the eventual winner Kitsuki Jiro -- were my own creations. I tried to make them all vivid personalities so the PCs would feel invested and would “root” for one or another of them to win.

I really liked the idea of the PCs having to find a way to please and invoke Osano-Wo himself in order to learn why the spirits were angry. Role-playing a temperamental Fortune was always fun… and it was cool that there were two very distinct approaches the PCs could take – “kill a troll or marry a Matsu” – based on Osano-Wo’s own history. In fact, some PCs really did marry into the Matsu family as a result of this module.