Preview New Player Options in the Shadowlands Sourcebook for Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying
It takes the heart of a true samurai to survive in Fu Leng’s domain. Those who travel south of the Kaiu Wall understand the risk they are taking, but many who travel the Shadowlands never return, and those who do return to the safety of the Emerald Empire are never the same.
Within the Shadowlands sourcebook, you'll be introduced to new schools, advantages, disadvantages, heritages, weapons, and more for the samurai of Rokugan who dare to venture into the Shadowlands. It also allows players to make a samurai hailing from the mystic Falcon Clan, a clan sworn to battle spiritual menaces in the Emerald Empire. Join us today as we preview new player options in Shadowlands, a new sourcebook for Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying!
As a special bonus for pre-ordering Shadowlands through our website, you’ll also a receive a bookmark and eight 5" x 7" art prints showcasing art from the book. This bookmark is the perfect way to mark important sections of the sourcebook such as charts or NPC information. Meanwhile, the art prints represent beautiful moments and characters found within the Shadowlands sourcebook!
Rokugan is a land filled with wonders, but it is also a land filled with threats. Ancient and often menacing entities lurk within the Emerald Empire’s bounds, though many dismiss them as mere children’s tales or superstitions. Among these beings are dangers from the spirit realms, from ghosts driven by endless hunger to stalking specters that predate the dawn of humanity. Such creatures lurk in the shadows, in those patches of shade that seem not merely empty of light but filled with darkness. They are nightmares made manifest, terrifying spirits eager to prey on the living.
Those who can perceive these spectral entities know that they infest all of Rokugan in seemingly endless numbers. It is the sworn duty of the Falcon Clan, a Minor Clan to the north of Crab lands, to face these spiritual predators. It is the Falcon who hear the wailing cries in the night, who can see the ghastly forms that have no business existing on the Mortal Realm. The Falcon do more than just battle with yūrei and similar ghostly threats, however. They also seek to understand them, and to use that knowledge to better protect the Emerald Empire.
Shadowlands not only includes an in-depth history of this Minor Clan, it gives players the opportunity to create a Falcon samurai of the Toritaka family. Falcon Clan samurai will receive an increased Void ring and a greater knowledge of Theology during character creation, allowing them to examine these strange occurrences in the world of Rokugan with a perceptive eye.
A new school option also allows you to take on the role of a Toritaka Phantom Hunter. From the days of the Falcon Clan founder, Toritaka Yotogi, Toritaka Phantom Hunters have sought out gaki and other malign supernatural beings—a task that is unfortunately easy, given the Falcon Clan’s proximity to the haunted Shinomen Forest and the corrupted Shadowlands. Phantom Hunters often act in concert with Crab Clan warriors, using their legendary abilities to detect supernatural threats that others, even the skilled bushi stationed on the Wall, cannot perceive.
This school gains access to various invocations, rituals, and shūji that allow them to commune with spirits, as well as a special attunement to the spirits around them. For more information on the Falcon Clan, you can read "Small Mercies" by Robert Denton III!
Seven other schools, each representing a different Great Clan, are also introduced in Shadowlands to help you fight against Fu Leng’s monstrous hordes, including the Moto Avenger school!
The Moto revere life, death, and the passage between the two. Life comes from the meeting of earth and sky as the rain falls to the plains; at death, the two are divided, for the body returns to the soil while the spirit returns to the sky. Moto spiritualists work to guide spirits to their proper place, that they may return to the eternal cycle, keeping the cosmos in balance. However, some beings defy the cycle through heresies like undeath—and the Moto Avengers are specialists trained to rectify such perversions of the natural order. The many Moto who have become Tainted within the Shadowlands have drawn Avengers from the distant corners of the Moto lands, that they might destroy these abominations and free the spirits of their fallen comrades.
The Moto Avenger School trains shugenja to battle against the darkness of the Shadowlands, manipulating the energy within others to drain or nourish them as you see fit, and hunting down former allies who have fallen to the darkness.
Gifts and Curses
The Shadowlands also brings with it distinct advantages and disadvantages that you can use to shape and mold your samurai who have spent their lives adjacent to the darkness and corruption of the south. Perhaps your time in the Shadowlands has afforded your samurai the Light Sleeper distinction. While the nightmares of the Shadowlands may have robbed your character of ever having a decent night’s rest, you'll always be prepared for an ambush. Light Sleeper allows a player to reroll up to two dice during checks that call on rapidly recovering from sleep!
But not all traits of the Shadowlands are advantageous. Some trap your samurai in a fate they must constantly fight against. You can lose many things in the Shadowlands: your life, your soul, or even your name. A samurai with the Lost Name adversity no longer has a name to call their own. Instead, their name now belongs to an oni. Perhaps it was stolen from you in a moment of weakness, or maybe you gave it up willingly in a quest for greater power. Regardless, when you make a check that involves personal convictions (such as a Meditation [Void] check as part of your quest for Enlightenment or a Survival [Void] check to create a spiritually harmonious rock garden), you must choose and reroll two dice showing success or explosive success results. After resolving the check, if you failed, you gain one Void point.
Living without your name is a cursed life. The oni knows your every secret, hears your every thought, and can see the world through your eyes. You are bonded now, and this bond will surely destroy you in the end if you cannot find some way to sever the connection.
Scars and Skills
Life around the Kaiu Wall is unique in Rokugan. Samurai who spend their lives hunting down the shadows have a unique set of skills and scars that both elevate their abilities and haunt their dreams. Will your samurai find their purpose and history in the dark web of the Shadowlands?
Fight against the darkness with the Shadowlands sourcebook (L5R06), available now for pre-order from your local retailer or our website!