Actual Play – Chrysanthemum Emblem (5/24/2010)

GM: Travis Lindquist
Players: Chris, Sean, Eric, Steve, Alec and Tracy
System: L5R

Ummm… it’s been a while. And I’ve gamed a lot since this game. I didn’t take notes either. Or I can’t remember where I put them if I did. Here’s what I remember.

One big happy Toshi Ranbo

Looks like both Shimizu (Steve) and Rei (me, Sean) will be competing in the Sapphire Tournament. We’re two of the three only remaining members of the Sapphire Magistrates and Shiko has his sights set on the Ruby Champion. We’ve each got our reasons but their pretty similar; it’s a stepping stone to a higher position (Emerald Champion and Shogun respectively). My sights are just a whole lot more treasonous.

During the discussion Rei asked Tso-Lou to be the Hatemoto of the soon to be Sapphire Legion (an altogether different plan from the last month, where Rei began the formation of the Sapphire Legion with herself as general). Tso-Lou deferred that he was done with the Sapphire order.

Washichi chastised Rei about the usual stuff Chris’ character’s chastises my characters about (generally belittling their intelligence).

Otomo Koreno sent us out, as per our assignment, to search for the Emperor and keep his peace.

Imperial Magistrates… in your face

Kuni Shiji went home to Kuni lands in search of the Emperor. She had a fun scene with her mentor who smacked her up upside the head for closing her eyes next to the Wall. She talked to monks and kami and crazy stupid enlightenment seeking pilgrims. She got some clues as to the Emperor’s next location.

Tso-Lou went to scorpion lands and found a family daimyo locked up with Badger mercenary guards. Long story short he was on the run from the other Scorpion… so Tso-Lou hired the Badger out from under him and sent him running to the hills.
Shimizu went to Yasuki lands to figure out where they were fighting with the Crab… and found out. Some Gaijin pepper wielding saboteurs were pitting both clans against each other… and they beat up Shimizu and set him up as the fall guy. Kolat plots FTW.

Rei went to Lion lands and found that a small village of heimin were not revering Bishamon as they traditionally had. A monk of shinsei was preaching some doctrine inciting their change of ways. The old hetman claimed the monk practiced maho but was lying. Nobody in the town really seemed fit to lead, so she ordered both the new and the old hetman killed as well, found someone suitable and appointed him to the office. It was kind of a clusterfuck. She also got to train with her sensei and learn a new kata. Armed Brilliance in your face!

Shiko went to Matis lands to help evacuate the heimin before the great tidal wave struck. He got them to safety… right onto Yoshi’s Enlightenment. What a bandit!

Washichi went to Dragon (Hoshi) lands and found Kokujin up to his usual hi-jinks. He spent a week with him learning the Mad Prophet’s ways before calling him an abomination and turning the peasants he had converted against him. He also got to meet some yobanjin. That’s cool.

Woot… almost two weeks and I remembered everyone.

What rocked

The scene with Shimizu ended with a very cool turn of events. I’m looking forward to see where that goes. Being blackmailed should make for some good times.

Rei’s situation was a no win scenario. She’s going to sin and regret her actions. She was compassionate with other Lion and fears that will make her appear weak. She just had a hard time spilling more Lion blood unnecessarily. It’ll be fun to role-play later. I also had fun with my ancestors.

What could have improved

I’m growing really tired of the debate over the authority of an appointed post. Yes, the Emperor is the end all and be all of Rokugan law, but he’s one man. He can’t make his desires clear to every person in the Empire all the time (especially now that he’s on walk about). That is why he has Clan daimyos, and an Emerald Champion, and magistrates. We do not presume by acting within our stations, we do the duty the Emperor has assigned us. This argument has grown old and tiring to me.

Next up… Festival time!


  1. On the improved bit: Agreed. 100%. To me, the Emperor is in charge the same way the King of France was in charge circa 1200. ie: He’s in charge, but the average day to day business is conducted without his caring, in general.

    • This is, of course, juxtaposed with the Gozoku, that want to make the Emperor a figurehead with NO power, rather than someone with technical absolute authority, but practically, little absolute authority outside their personal demense.

    • And hence comes the arguments about jurisdiction and suchlike. Without a direct order from someone higher in the hierarchy, folks are going to tend to pick the appointed official whose edicts/beliefs fall the direction they’re inclined.

      It also means that you end up with arguments about who’s doing the ‘actual’ will of the Empire when two appointed official have different ideas about it and no way to back it up (because there’s no Emperor around). Come to think of it, that’s pretty much why we have a bajillion flavors of Christianity isn’t it? Different folks interpreting what an absent power wants?

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