This review will give a general impression of the book, followed by a more detailed examination of the separate sections. Adventures in L5R are often described as encompassing some combination of combat, politics, and investigation. Emerald Empire is primarily a setting book — it gives the reader an in-depth look at Rokugan, including its geography, economy, politics, war, society, legal system, religion, and the arts. The book is appropriate for players, gamemasters, and the non-playing reader. Emerald Empire is a revision and expansion of the Third Edition supplement of the same name.
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This review will give a general impression of the book, followed by a more detailed examination of the separate sections.
Adventures in L5R are often described as encompassing some combination of combat, politics, and investigation. Emerald Empire is primarily a setting book — it gives the reader an in-depth look at Rokugan, including its geography, economy, politics, war, society, legal system, religion, and the arts. The book is appropriate for players, gamemasters, and the non-playing reader. Emerald Empire is a revision and expansion of the Third Edition supplement of the same name.
It is longer, covers more topics, and goes into more depth on the topics that reappear. The layout gives the books a bit of an Asian feel, without overwhelming the text or the plentiful artwork.
There are numerous full-page or double-page images, as well as those interspersed throughout the text. The book perhaps opens with a bit too much art 8 of the first 14 pages are full page art , but the placement otherwise seemed good. The proofreading did not feel quite as good as the prior two 4E efforts, but perhaps this was due to my randomly noticing about a half-dozen errors in the first three chapters at least double what I noticed in the whole rest of the book.
The book has a fully functional Table of Contents and Index. Contents Emerald Empire chapters each tackle one broad topic. Most chapters also contain a single Basic or Advanced School. It may make the book less literary than some other fluff, but it conveys a lot more information.
I know there are maps of Rokugan printed elsewhere, but this chapter felt like it could have used one for reference. The crunch in this chapter is the Minor Clan Defender Advanced School, a bushi school that is open to any minor clan character. It lets you spend Void to temporarily gain Status, and then lets you make more attacks in a couple of ways. Much of Rokugani morality is about knowing your place in the Celestial Order, and acting appropriately to your station. The chapter includes the Imperial Scion Advanced School, a courtier school only available to members of the Imperial Families.
Although not as necessary for routine gameplay as some other sections of the book, many Clans believe that there is supposed to be something more to a samurai than the three feet of steel he carries around, and the arts are one way to round out a character.
They can also give the GM ideas to round out a season in court, as high level courts have frequent artistic entertainment, and not everything is conducted in open court or in secret chambers. The Arts also gives more background on the artistic traditions of the Kakita, Shiba, and Ikoma. Like the Shiba Artisan, the Kobune Captain is fairly narrow and may not fit well into many campaigns.
The Doji Magistrate focuses primarily on martial arts — unarmed combat, non-lethal ways of winning fights, and being hard to it. The Soshi Magistrate focuses on Intimidation and disabling foes in combat. Contrary to what you might think from the school titles, neither has any bonuses regarding investigation.
Unlike many of those worlds, however, religion is an integral part of the setting and, because aspects of that religion are animist, religion can be pervasive. The Religion chapter details all aspects of Rokugani religious thought — the powerful and singular gods Kami and Fortunes , the lesser kami that inhabit the universe, and the more-human philosophy of Shintao.
The Dark Paragons gain Kiho, can use their Theology skill in rolls for other skills, and can use the Taint or lose honor to power their Kiho. The chapter talks about apprenticeship, dojos, typical education for bushi, courtiers, and artisans, and the gempukku ceremony. The Taoist Swordsman is harder to hit when unarmored, can use his sword in a grapple, and gets attack and damage bonuses when using a sword.
The chapter covers typical military posts, some of the quirks in how the individual clans run their armies, the traditional army organization in Rokugan, specialized forces for each of the clans, the Imperial Legions, logistics, maneuvers, sieges, and martial arts the 1 page on martial arts feels oddly placed in the middle of the four pages on sieges. In addition to some suggestions for using the mass combat rules for sieges, the War chapter includes the Hida Pragmatist Basic School, a Crab Clan bushi school.
The Hida Pragmatist gets bonuses when fighting unarmed or with improvised weapons, and gets to make lots of attacks. It is full to the brim with the sorts of detail that can really help players and GMs bring Rokugan to life at the gaming table. What if you already have the 3E version of Emerald Empire?
Download [l5r 4e] Legend of the Five Rings 4E - Emerald Empire.pdf
Seamus Conneely 6 Comments Simply knowing the rules for Legend of the Five Rings is not enough; even passing your gempukku and earning your place as a samurai in the Topaz Championship will not truly prepare you for the trials ahead. If one is to survive, even thrive, in the land of Rokugan then one must know Rokugan: its places, its people, its customs and history and spirits. Is it worth getting yourself? Introduction The introduction is actually a history overview chapter, written in-universe by Imperial Scribe Miya Chinatsu, covering everything from Lady Sun and Lord Moon and the creation of the world to the present day of IC. Chapter 1: Strongholds of Power On the face of things castles and palaces are the primary subjects of this section. The book does go into quite a bit of detail about their construction, the different types of stronghold, the architectural and cultural details of castles and palaces if you build a castle ten stories high, get ready to be killed for trying to put yourself on the same level as the Emperor , and several example strongholds.
Review: Emerald Empire (L5R RPG 4E)
Malat I was worried that you had delineated differences between 1 and 5, not 1 and 4 because of the recent release of 5e and was just checking. Seppun Guardsman 5 4rh These men and women rarely associate with one another in person, communicating instead through carefully encoded messages, discrete tattoos, and secret hand signals. Stealth Stealth becomes a School skill; bonus Stealth Emphasis; can Move at normal speed during Stealth; no terrain penalties while using Stealth Strongholds of the Empire p The majority of the family joined other Lion families, and many others took their own lives in shame. This ronin shugenja order was founded in the wake of the second war with Iuchiban. Imperial Registry — Index of all Schools in L5R 4e PixelBreath They have a bad habit of occasionally getting obsessed with forbidden knowledge and causing daemonic incursions, though.
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Emerald Empire: Fourth Edition