Released for immediate publication on Sunday, the fifteenth of April, year two-thousand and twelve.

In order to participate in a Legend of the Five Rings Campaign game, one needs a character. Players may have characters belonging from any of the Families and Schools found in recently published L5R products, except as limited by specific campaign guideline stipulations.

Player may never re-make a character because of the introduction of a new option applicable only during character “first-steps” creation.

When new options are introduced for character evolution, addition of the new feature at the next appropriate normal opportunity, which is a metagame activity.

Players are responsible to bring any materials necessary that may be necessary to appropriately run and represent their character(s) (other than the core rulebook).

Character creation is accomplished in steps according to rules-as-written (RAW) in the core rulebook. When done, have a character sheet filled with the numbers, descriptions and information regarding your custom-made persona.

All characters begin the creation process with Rank 2 in each of their Rings and Traits. These will be modified by Family, School and by spending Experience Points during character generation process. When a Trait that make up a Ring is increased, a Ring always remains equal to the lower of the two Traits.

Players may choose from any of the Great Clans. Players may also choose to be from one of the active Minor Clans, or to be Ronin. Players may also opt to forego a Clan and belong to one of the Imperial Families (Seppun, Otomo or Miya, with the exception of the reigning Emperor’s family itself), although the player character must purchase the Social Position Advantage (6 Experience Points) to belong to either the Otomo or Seppun families.

Characters may belong to any of the Families from their Clan of choice. Belonging to a Family awards a +1 bonus to a particular Trait, as defined in published L5R rules. Player’s should take note if a Family is legal in the campaign to be participated. Also, on the fact, that certain Families change allegiances during certain periods.

Status-existence, imperial recognition and./or Clan affiliation of any particular Family is dependent on the Era-of-play. When choosing a Family (or the lack thereof of a Family Name), ascertain it’s Clan affiliation in and according to the current timeline of the campaign.

A starting character may choose to attend any of the currently published Schools. Any Schools which are not currently updated to the latest edition of the L5R rules are prohibited for campaign-play.
Note that your Family does not necessarily dictate your destiny; a character for instance, chose to be a bushi was born in the Isawa Family (a Family mostly of shugenjas). However, characters almost always attend a School within their own Clan. If players choose to have a character attend a School from a different Clan, characters must purchase the Different School Advantage (5 Experience Points).
Also, non-Imperial characters who wish to attend Imperial Schools must also spend 6 Experience Points on the Social Position Advantage.
Belonging to a School grants a character an additional Trait bonus, seven Ranks of Skills that, unless otherwise specified, mostly begin at Rank 1, and a Rank 1 School Technique. Record these information on the character sheet placed under the appropriate sections (Traits, Skills, and Techniques).
Many Schools allow a character to choose one or more Skills from a larger group to represent the diverse training available at most dojos. This chosen Skill cannot be one that is already taught by the School.

Characters who choose a shugenja school must choose their starting spells from the selection available to their school. Each school shows the number of spell scrolls of each element that are available to the shugenja. The shugenja may only select spells from the 4th Edition rulebook. Spells from earlier editions would require GM’s review and approval, with a great possibility of necessitating modification and playability documentation.

There are two types of Ronin: Clan Ronin and True Ronin. Clan Ronin are samurai that once belonged to a Clan. True Ronin never had a master.

Clan Ronin Characters
 Created as normal for a clan-affiliated samurai
 Must take the 3-point Social Disadvantage: Ronin
 Clan Ronin gain the starting bonuses and Rank 1 Technique of their Family and School, but may not gain any further Ranks in their School
 Must seek out higher-Rank Ronin Paths when increasing in Insight Rank

True Ronin, Option #1
 Gains no Family bonus nor School; gains an additional 25 Experience Points during character creation
 Must take the 3-point Social Disadvantage: Ronin
 Starting Honor: 3.5
 Outfit: Ashigaru or Light Armor, Tattered Clothing, Daisho, Traveling Pack
 Must seek out higher-Rank Ronin Paths when increasing in Insight Rank

True Ronin, Option #2
 Gains no Family bonus; gains an additional 10 Experience Points during character creation
 Begins with one Rank 1 Ronin Path
 Must take the 3-point Social Disadvantage: Ronin
 Must seek out higher-Rank Ronin Paths when increasing in Insight Rank

All Player Characters start with 40 Experience Points with which to customize their custom-made persona. Ronin characters earn an additional 10 or 25 Experience Points if they would adopt any of the two options for creating a True Ronin character. You may further gain up to 10 additional Experience Points by taking Disadvantages.
Players may spend points any way they wish, within the following restrictions: you cannot raise a Skill and/or Trait by more than 2 Ranks beyond it’s starting Rank during character creation, or may begin play from character creation with any ability above 4. School and Family Trait bonuses do not count against this maximum.
 The cost for raising a Trait is equal to the Trait’s next Rank multiplied by four.
 The cost for raising the Void Ring is equal to the next Rank multiplied by six.
 The cost for purchasing or raising a Skill is equal to the Skill’s next rank. So, to purchase a Skill the character does not already possess costs 1 Experience Point to gain that Skill at Rank 1. Increasing a Skill from Rank 2 to 3 would cost 3 Experience Points. Emphases may be purchased for a Skill by the expenditure of 2 Experience Points.
 Advantages have a cost listed in each individual description. Disadvantages can be taken to gain additional Experience Points, up to a maximum of 10 extra Experience Points.
 Players may spend Experience Points to gain access to other benefits, such as: Kata, Kiho, etc…

Advantages, Disadvantages and Ancestors are limited to those printed in the latest published materials, and as permitted by the official rules of a specific campaign. The costs and effects of these Advantages, Disadvantages and Ancestors conform to their most recent printing and/or incarnation.

There are several sets of corresponding Advantages and Disadvantages, with certain restrictions regarding how they may be combined:
 No character may have both a Paragon Advantage and a Dark Paragon Advantage
 No character may have both a Consumed Disadvantage and a Failure of Bushido Disadvantage
 No character may have more than one Advantage or Disadvantage from a matched set (including Seven Fortunes’ Blessing/Curses, Paragon/Failure, Dark Paragon/Consumed, Touched by the Realm/Cursed by the Realm, etc.). for example, if you have Hotei’s Blessing, you may not also possess Benten’s Blessing
 If a character possesses an Advantage from one set (Dark Paragon, Paragon, Touched by the Realm), then s/he may not possess a Disadvantage from the corresponding set (Consumed, Failure of Bushido, and Cursed by the Realm, respectively). The Seven Fortunes’ Blessings/Curses are exempt from this restriction, as it is possible for one Fortune to bless an individual and another to curse them without regard for one another’s wishes
 GMs of course are entitled to override these restrictions, but such decisions should not be made lightly, and must be fully documented since combining these Advantages and Disadvantages can have an unbalancing effect on gameplay

Some Advantages and Disadvantages cost more (or less) for members of certain clans or professions. This is to represent both the frequency with which these things are found among that group, and how appropriate they are for members of that group. Unless otherwise specified, discounts are cumulative, but can never reduce the cost of an Advantage below 1.

Ancestors are a special form of Spiritual Advantage, and are purchased with Experience Points in the same manner as other Advantages. All Ancestors are governed by the following restrictions:
 Loyalty : An Ancestor will only advise someone from the same clan/faction. They will not aid those who are not part of the clan they served (and in some cases, founded) in life, even if that person can claim a direct blood descent from them.
 Piety : A character who has an Ancestor is expected to offer veneration and devotion on a daily basis. In general, any character with an Ancestor Advantage should expect to spend at least one hour a day in prayer and devotions. Unusual circumstances (e.g., character is in the Shadowlands, on a ship in a storm, etc.) allow this requirement to be set aside, but the character must make amends with renewed prayers as soon as s/he is able.
 Jealousy : Only one Ancestor will ever advise a character. Further, if the favor of that Ancestor is ever lost, no other Ancestor may be purchased to replace it – the character’s failing will be known in Yomi, and other Ancestors will disdain to approach her/him, no matter how noble her/his later deeds.
 Demands : All Ancestors place specific demands on the character they help. In return for the Ancestor’s potent aid, the character must live a life which accords with the Ancestor’s beliefs and principles. If a character fails to meet these demands, the Ancestor leaves, perhaps forever.

Before a samurai’s gempukku ceremony, s/he is a Rank 0 character, a youth still learning and is yet to receive the responsibility of being part of an important caste in Rokugan.

The following supercede the rules-as-written (RAW) on page 289 of the L5R 4th Edition core rulebook:

A Rank 0 samurai starts with Rank 2 in each Trait (not counting Family and School bonuses, which still apply), plus School and Family bonuses. The character begins with 7 Skills that a starting samurai receives from their School training, and with 25 starting Experience Points to build their character. They are only allowed to amass 5 points worth of Disadvantages, and they cannot take Advantages, nor Disadvantages based around social promotion or demotion (such as Social Position). They do not have yet their School’s Rank 1 Technique (shugenjas get no Affinity nor Deficiency), and are given only the most basic outfit. Rank 0 characters may not carry a katana,” although they are allowed to carry other weapons (including a wakizashi) as a mark of their samurai station.

In the centuries since, Tsuma (of the Crane lands) and it’s dojo have hosted an extremely illustrious gempukku known as the Topaz Championship. All participants who succeed through the rite are permitted to vie for the title of the Topaz Champion, to hold the prestige until the next year.

As it is a gempukku ceremony, all player characters who participate must comply with the stipulations of a Rank 0 Campaign mechanic (as detailed above).

The championship will be held once every spring of the year, as an annual introductory adventure. The winner of which assumes the Path: The Topaz Champion, and its according Technique, and thrusting the character to Rank 1.

Unless there are intentions to continue a Rank 0 Campaign, all participating characters should be adjusted accordingly to reflect their Rank 1 incarnations after the event.

Such title has no set duties or other particular rewards other than the Technique it offers, and an exquisite suit of armor. But rare is the Topaz Champion who is not invited to fill some manner of prestigious position, whether in her/his own clan or within the organization of another Jeweled Champion or one of the Emperor’s Chosen.

All characters have Wound levels listed on their character sheets. The number of Wounds on each level is equal to the character’s Earth x2 (except for the “Healthy” level, where number of wounds are equal to Earth x5). Characters will naturally heal their Stamina + Insight Rank in wounds every morning. Twice this amount if the day was spent solely tending to their wounds.

Your character’s Insight represents how powerful and well-known they are in their Clan and School. And, consequently, whether they can learn their School’s more advanced Techniques, represented by School Rank abilities.

All characters have a total of Insight Points. A character’s Insight is equal to the total of (all Skill ranks) plus (ten times total Ring Ranks).

Gaining Insight
Whenever a character gains a Rank in a Ring, s/he also gains 10 points of Insight. Likewise, each additional Rank in a Skill earns an additional point of Insight.

School Rank
A character who gains Insight is bringing glory and fame to their school. The more famous they become, the more secrets the School’s sensei is willing to teach them. This is represented by School Rank. All characters begin at School Rank One. Whenever they gain enough Insight to advance a School Rank, they return to their School and learn their new School Technique. Shugenja characters instead gain three new spells, in any element available to them; increases the number of dice rolled on a Spell Casting Roll; and determines what Mastery Level of spells s/he can cast. Increases in School Rank take place automatically between adventures.

Rank 1 0 – 149 points
Rank 2 150 – 174 points
Rank 3 175 – 199 points
Rank 4 200 – 224 points
Rank 5 225 – 249 points
Rank 6 250 – 274 points
Rank 7 275 – 299 points
Rank 8 300 – 324 points
+1 Rank +25 points of Insight

At the end of each adventure, the GM will award your character a number of Experience Points. These points can be used to increase your character’s Skills and Traits, to make spells into Innate Abilities, purchase new Advantages, buy-off existing Disadvantages, and/or purchase special abilities such as Kata.
The cost for such purposes are as follows:
 It costs 1 Experience Point to learn a new Skill at Rank 1.
 Increasing a Skill costs a number of Experience Points equal to the new rank.
 To raise a Trait to the next Rank, spend a number of EPs equal to four times the new Rank.
 To raise the Void Ring to the next Rank, spend a number of EPs equal to six times the new Rank of the Ring.
 To make a spell your character knows into an innate ability (memorized, and thus allowing spellcasting without a scroll), spend a number of EPs equal to the Spell’s Mastery Level.
 Kata and/or Kiho cost an amount of EPs equal to its Mastery Level as indicated in each individual entries
 Purchasing Advantages after character creation costs a number of EPs equal to twice the indicated Experience Point cost. Certain Advantages, depending on their Subtype, cannot be purchased after character creation; or can only be acquired after sufficient EPs are paid, and until in-game situations fulfill GM requirements.
 To buy-off a Disadvantage costs a number of EPs equal to the original Points received when the disadvantage was taken. Plus, it requires appropriate character development and in-game situations as determined by the GM.

A character’s beginning Honor Rank depends on her/his School. Honor will change during play, rising or falling depending on player character actions.

Characters begin the game with a Status and Glory Rank of one (except where modified by Family and/or social positions). Status and Glory can and may increase – or decrease – as a result of game play actions, much like Honor. However, a player character’s Status and Glory Ranks can never rise above 7.0 (Rank 7, 0 points).

Each character begins with a different “Outfit” of equipment and money, depending on their School and clan, as listed in the L5R Rules and various other sourcebooks. A player character’s outfit “refreshes” (returns to starting levels and conditions) at the beginning of each new adventure.
Extra equipment and money which a player character acquires during play does not “refresh,” and once used is gone for good.

Obtaining Wealth
During gameplay, characters may obtain wealth, positions of authority, gifts, curses, and – in very rare cases – nemuranai (magical items). For every extraordinary item, position of authority, special gift, grant of land, and nemuranai a form of documentation will be provided proclaiming the validity of such claims. Such documentations may come in the form of certificates. These certificates can NEVER be traded or transferred to another character (with provisions). If a certificate is lost, then so is the item or position it represented.
If a character gains an annual income (through a land grant or Advantage), the income is “paid” on January 1st of each real time calendar year. As mentioned above, money and equipment gained in this fashion does not “refresh” like a character’s starting outfit.

All other terms and conditions in generating and/or managing a character shall remain the same as prescribed and detailed in the core rulebook, and by officially recognized publications.

Analogous to the campaign(s) under the banner of IMPERIAL HISTORIES-L5R RPG, this Article and future releases just like it designated as RITSURYO Articles, are Living Documents. RITSURYO Articles, such as this one, shall be made up-to-date to remain current with changes in Legend of the Five Ring Living Campaigns and with the introduction of new rules and publication from which It derives from. Each update shall be a succeeding numbered RITSURYO Article, adding to the rules applicable to the running campaign, or amending previously released Articles.

If any provisions of this Article shall at any time be found to be invalid, the remainder thereof not affected by such declaration shall remain in full force and effect.

All conditions, terms, regulations and/or rules inconsistent with the provisions of this Article are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.



Imperial Histories: L5R-RPG SupremeBeing