Rob Hobart

Author, Game Designer

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Heroes of Rokugan I

Heroes of Rokugan II

L5R Homebrew

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This module was born out of an idea proposed about eighteen months earlier by the player of Hida Junzo, who had married Becca’s character Daidoji Miyui as a result of Interactive negotiations. (The marriage itself was depicted in the module Broken Words.) Junzo was both Tainted and Touched by Obsidian, and his player suggested that his character would eventually go insane as a result; he proposed a module in which his character would be the villain and the PCs would be trying to rescue Miyui’s children from Junzo’s maddened clutches. I thought this was a great idea and gave him the green light to write the module, but within a few months the player suffered a “flake out,” dropped out of the campaign and never returned. This left Becca’s storyline abandoned, so when Eric Menge stepped forward in Year Five and asked if he could write a module for HoR, I handed the Junzo/Miyui storyline over to him.

Menge’s previous experience with writing scenarios had been with Living Greyhawk (he had been part of a regional Triad), which made for an interesting contrast in styles. He wrote a very complete and refined draft, researched details on Japanese samurai residences to create the module’s setting (and map), and in general was among the most thorough and competent writers ever to submit material to the campaign. However, his LG impulses also led him to overload the module on combats (because D&D adventures require lots of combats) and to agonize at length over the proper “balance” of the fights. I solved these issues rather directly by cutting out several of the secondary fights and toning back the final one – as with many other late-campaign modules, I didn’t want to kill off a bunch of veteran PCs right before the big finale.

One neat touch that we worked into this module involved the crazed writings that Junzo scrawls all over the walls of his house, and that Eric created as a series of very nice physical handouts for the players. These were actually Junzo’s memories of the Emperor’s rantings from Voice of the Emperor – by this time, I had decided that it was a mistake to make Voice an Origins-only module, and I wanted to find some way of making the Emperor’s speeches available to the majority of the campaign that had not played that mod. The solution was to have Junzo – who _had_ played through Voice – share his insane memories of the event with the PCs.