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L5r: Legend of the Five Rings

History of the L5R RPG

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The Legend of the Five Rings Role-Playing Game is a role-playing game that requires one person to be game master and any number of other people to play different characters. As with all role-playing games, there is no "winner" or "loser", and the players do not generally compete against each other. Instead, the players work together to find a solution to some problem which the game master has presented their characters. In the many years since its initial publication, the game and its rules have undergone many changes.

Legend of the Five Rings, First Edition Edit

To distinguish this game system from the d20 System mechanics (see below), it is often referred to as the "classic" system or the "Roll & Keep" (or simply "R&K") system. The setting is before the Scorpion Clan Coup, and after the "fall" of the Hare, around 1100-1124 IC.

The Way of the Clans series are written for this edition.

Note that the Referee's Screen has conversion notes for using 1st edition RPG characters in Clan War.

Legend of the Five Rings, Second Edition Edit

The second edition of the L5R RPG was published by AEG in 2000. It uses the Roll and Keep mechanics, with some significant differences in the details. The setting was advanced as well, to the time of the Scorpion Clan Coup. The core rules were released as two separate volumes, the Player's Guide and the GM's Guide. There are teasers of the various way of the clans books in both volumes.

This edition contuned in parallel with the d20 materials, and the dual stat information is referred to as "D10 System" in many of AEG's dual statted products.

The Secrets of the Clans series were written for this edition.

Note that Clan War: Daimyo Edition has conversion information for use of 2nd Edition characters in Clan War games.

Oriental Adventures Edit

Oriental Adventures was published originally in 1985 by TSR, Inc. as an expansion for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and was set in a land called Kara-Tur. In 2001, Wizards of the Coast re-released Oriental Adventures as an expansion for the prior year's re-release of Dungeons & Dragons after a decade-long lack of any official support for the Oriental Adventures product line. It was decided to make this new version of Oriental Adventures a showcase for their recently acquired Legend of the Five Rings.

Rokugan d20 Edit

However, before Oriental Adventures was published, Wizards of the Coast decided to sell off the L5R intellectual property. AEG acquired the license and published Rokugan, their own adaptation of the L5R world to the d20 System. Rokugan mostly overlaped and superceded the material presented in Oriental Adventures. The book was followed with Creatures of Rokugan and Magic of Rokugan, which were conversions of monsters and spells that already had been published for the L5R RPG. Additionally, AEG took the chance to move the storyline forward to the year 1158, when the Emperor Toturi I had just been assassinated and Rokugan was faced with a dynastic struggle between his four children.

Dual-stated books Edit

From this point until the realase of the Third Edition of the L5R RPG, all L5R books published by AEG were dual-stated for both the Second Edition L5R RPG and the d20 System.

Licensed books Edit

During this time, AEG licensed rights to Paradigm Publishing to publish additional material based on the L5R world. Production suffered great delays, apparently due to the slow approval process. Additionally, while the Bloodspeakers book had been advertised as a fully dual-stated book, the final product was almost completely d20, with only a couple of characters getting L5R RPG stats. Only the one licensed book was ever released.

Legend of the Five Rings, Third Edition Edit

With the release of Third Edition of the L5R RPG, and because of the lack of availability of the now out of print Oriental Adventures, the dual statting with d20 System rules was dropped from L5R RPG books. The ruleset from the Third Edition can be described as a return to the mechanics of the First Edition, with some selected mechanics from the Second Edition. With a much smaller leap forward in the story's timeline, the plot for the Third Edition began in the year 1166, the seventh year of the reign of Toturi III.

Legend of the Five Rings, Fourth Edition Edit

In 2010, Alderac released the Core Book for 4th Edition.

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