House Rules

At the Table

• Don't be a jerk. Seriously.
• The GM's word is law. Admins will only step in under the most extreme circumstances.
• If you're using mechanics from a book other than the core book, have a copy of those rules on hand so the GM can look over them if they desire.
• Be respectful of your fellow players.
• Have fun without hampering anybody else's ability to do so.

At Conventions

• Bathe. Please.
• Dress appropriately.
• Remember your badge. Most Cons require you to have it to play.
• Arrive on time.

Character Creation

Character creation follows the basic rules outlined in the Fourth Edition Legend of the Five Rings core book except where noted below.
At character creation, you may also select to serve a Provincial Daimyo.

If you are unhappy with your character for any reason, before you play your 4th adventure with that character, you may change anything and everything you wish about that character, keeping all xp you've earned from modules. This can include drastic changes, such as clan and school or even making a completely new character. Once a given character has been given credit for his 4th adventure, no more such alterations can be made.


Skills at rank 1 do not add to insight. Once a skill has been raised to rank 2, they contribute full insight. This means a skill at rank 1 is worth 0 insight, however a skill at rank 2 is worth 2 points, rank 3 is worth 3, and so on.

New(ish) Minor Clans

While the Tiger, Frog, and Oriole clans are now available as minor clans, any mod prior to SoB 32 played by a member of that clan should treat that pc as if they are Ronin for all purposes that matter in that mod. Oriole samurai can use the Tsi Smith School. Schools for the Tiger and Frog clans will be available soon.


Restricted Items

All mechanics or character options that are listed as “Restricted” require permission from the Campaign Admin. This is achieved by contacting the Campaign Admin, and providing both an out-of-character explanation of the things you as a player want to do with that type of character, and an in-character fiction or character history that would explain how such a character will fit into the setting. Certain options, like ronin and Minor Clan samurai, will be much easier than others, like Brotherhood monks; others will be essentially impossible (non-human characters or Lost). The focus of the game is on the interactions of the Great Clans on an Empire-wide level, and the more divergent from that focus a character’s concept is, the more justification will be required.

As L5R is a continuously growing and evolving game, there are always new books coming out with new mechanics. The setting of the Heroes of Rokugan campaign makes some of these mechanics impossible, and some are very difficult to use within the limitations of a living campaign. Therefore, the following mechanics have been altered or restricted. Restricted mechanics require persmission from the Campaign Admin staff to play; mechanics listed as "Open" have no such requirement.

Base Book

The mechanics in the Book of Fire are allowed with only a few modifications or Restricted items.
• The Tamori Family and Shugenja School in the Dragon Section are named "Agasha" for purposes of this campaign. Additionally, while the Family bonus remains the same, the School bonus becomes Intelligence, and the School has an Affinity for Fire and a Deficiency for Water. They receive Sense, Commune, Summon, 3 Fire, 2 Earth, and 1 Air for their spells. All other mechanics of the School remain the same (Technique, Skills, Outfit, etc).
• The Togashi Tattooed Order is Restricted. The Hoshi and Hitomi families are active in this setting, but will be dealt with as being mechanically identical to Togashi.
• The Kitsune are not a Mantis Clan Family.
• The Agasha family of the Phoenix have recently been renamed "Gennai."
• The Shosuro Infiltrator School is Restricted.
• The following Advantages are Restricted: Allies, Blackmail, Blissful Betrothal, Dark Paragon, Darling of the Court, Different School, Forbidden Knowledge, Friend of the Brotherhood, Gentry, Great Destiny, Higher Purpose, Inheritance, Inner Gift, Ishiken, Multiple Schools, Sacred Weapon, Sacrosanct, Servant, and Touch of the Spirit Realm.
• The Kharmic Tie Advantage may only be taken with another PC (and only with the permission of that character's player); it may be selected for an NPC only with the express permission of the Campaign Admin.
• The following Disadvantages are Restricted: Bad Fortune, Bitter Bethrothal, Consumed, Cursed by the Realm, Dark Fate, Dependent, Forced Retirement, Hostage, Jealousy, Lord Moon's Curse, and Sworn Enemy.
• PCs may take an Obligation at character creation, but must select an entire Clan or faction that can call in the favors owed.
• Additionally, no Advantage or Disadvantage may be taken multiple times unless it specifically has ranks.
• All Rank 6 spells are Restricted.

All mechanics in the Book of Water are Restricted. This does include ronin and Minor Clans, as well as Imperial samurai and monks, - the game's focus is on Clan samurai from the Great Clans, and it is important for players interested in those other options understand their character's place in the campaign.

Enemies of the Empire

• The Shadowed Heart Advantage is Open.
• All other mechanics are Restricted.

Emerald Empire

• The following Schools are Open for play: Shinjo Bushi, Doji Magistrate, Soshi Magistrate, Mirumoto Taoist Swordsman.
• All other mechanics are Restricted.

Great Clans

• The following Schools are Open for play: Mantis Brawler, Yoritomo Shugenja, Yogo Wardmaster, Moto Vindicator
• The Heartless Advantage is Open for play without restriction.

The following mechanics are availible to play with minimal restriction following normal campaign guidelines:
• Kuni Witch-Hunter Basic School (the Rank One Technique needs modified; the altered text will be on the cert)
• Kaiu Engineer Basic School (much of it requires Crafting certs)
• Matsu Beastmaster Basic School (the cert will include the campaign's stats for warcats, and the fact that the animals are simply not appropriate for a large number of situations in the campaign)
• Meishodo Shugenja Basic School (requires Crafting certs)

• All other mechanics are Restricted.

• As there are no mechanics for the Vassal Families, there are no campaign restrictions in place for them. It is suggested that players be aware of the timeline and research the foundation of any vassal family they are interested in before using this as inspiration for their character's background.

Imperial Histories

• The following character options are available for play without restriction: Imperial Scribe Advantage, Hiruma Scout School.
• All other mechanics are Restricted.

As a specific note: the mechanics presented for Returned Spirit characters in this book are not being used in this campaign.

Book of Air

• The optional Artisan Skills (such as Kite-Making) are not Restricted, but are not likely to see use as anything but flavor for PCs without Crafting certs.
• All other mechanics except for the spells are Restricted. All Mastery Level 6 spells are Restricted.

Book of Earth

• All mechanics except for the spells are Restricted. All Mastery Level 6 spells are Restricted.

Strongholds of the Empire

• All mechanics are Restricted.

For ease of reference, in the current timeline of the campaign:
• Broken Wave City does not exist, as the island it will be built on has not been created.
• Otosan Uchi is the capitol of the Empire, not a Tainted ruin.
• Water Hammer City has not yet been built.
• Toshi Ranbo is currently held by the Tsume family of the Crane, and is a point of contention between the Lion and Crane Clans.
• Zakyo Toshi remains an independent city for now; as the Scorpion have yet to annex it.

Banned Items - Don't even ask.

• All Spider clan schools and paths
• the Kenku swordsman school (EoE)
• Ikoma Lion's Shadow school (EE)
• The "Enlightened Madness" Disadvantage, (GC)
• "Asako Henshin" Basic School (GC)
• "Shosuro Actor" Basic School (GC)
• Ancestors will remain unused in the campaign, as will the Heritage Tables.

A note on sexuality in the campaign

The campaign contains several adult themes, including the concept that samurai are often (if discretely) sexually active. At no point, however, should any of the events in this campaign turn into a rape scene - whether by physical force or by taking away a player's control of their character through social mechanics. Such content is NOT appropriate for Heroes of Rokugan!

One last thing:

The Campaign reserves the right to reward your characters for Doing Cool Stuff! If your benevolent Campaign Admin deems you worthy of reward, be courteous with your two refusals and politely accept it.