This is a resource page for my all-Mantis L5R RPG campaign, "Pincers."

Player Characters
  • Watanabe Konchu, Mantis courtier with a knack for being uncomfortably candid
  • Yoritomo Miyuki, Mantis shujenga and "fish out of water" in a land-based game
  • Yoritomo Gotsu, Mantis bushi, former pirate and (literal) infamous bastard

Game Details
The game is scheduled for Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM Eastern time. Sessions will last until approximately 11:30 pm and will run every week. The game will be conducted over Skype, with Dabbleboard used for combat and sharing visual aids

EDIT: Due to limitations of technology and DM skill, the game is full and I am not accepting new players. If this changes I will announce it on my blog.

The Premise
The year is 1120.  You are all samurai of the Mantis Clan, the largest of all the minor clans (which is a bit like being the tallest midget in the room). The Mantis are a clan of seafarers and their holdings are on the Islands of Silk and Spice.

Except for one. The Mantis Isles, while rich in many resources, do not have an abundance of fertile land. They have to trade timber, ore, silk, and other items to buy the rice that feeds their people. Fortunately, the Mantis are rich enough that this isn't a problem.

Feeding all of their people IS a problem for the Crab Clan, however, who are cursed with the troubles of fighting an eternal war against the forces of the Shadowlands (aka Hell on Earth) and lacking the arable land needed to support the largest army of the Empire.

However... while the Crab are terrible at farming, they excel at kicking ass. It was very easy for them to march north and claim a fertile village in the middle of unaligned lands for food production. It was much harder to administer it, because the Crab can't afford to garrison troops there when they are needed on the Wall.

Fortunately, the Crab and the Mantis share a common ancestor, and have always looked upon each other as brother clans. In addition, there is a proud tradition of the Great Clans using Minor Clans as buffer states.

So the Crab say to the Mantis, "Here is a village we can't protect. Would you like it? No, don't ask us where it came from, it fell off the back of a truck. Anyway, here's the deal: You protect the village and grow food. We get 60% of your village's rice crop to feed our armies. Everything else is yours to keep or sell, plus you get a foothold on the mainland."

The Mantis agreed.

Enter the PCs, Mantis samurai fresh from the boat, assigned to a new village on the Mainland (A15 on the map). It seems nice enough, but it sits at the intersection of two merchant roads. To your north and west are the lands of the Scorpion Clan -- liars, backstabbers, and cheats, and those are their nice qualities. To the south lie the lands of the Crane -- prissy fops who nonetheless control the machinery of the Empire and who have a wickedly lethal dueling school to boot. To the east are mountains, mountain passes, ronin, bandits, another Minor Clan called the Wasp who specialize in bounty hunting but who might also be bandits themselves. Your best neighbors are some monks to the southwest, but they're close to a hundred miles away.

Into this mess you are tossed, to serve the clan and protect this village. The locals call it Mimura, but your clan refers to it as "Promise Village". Your time here promises to be memorable. As low-level Samurai working for the local lord, you will have ample opportunities for heroism, but few of them will be epic. You aren't the FBI; you aren't even NYC homicide. You're small-town sheriff's deputies.

This will be a "return to base" game, in that at the end of each game session every character will need to return to Mimura. This is so that if one of the players can't make it that night, it's easy for the GM to state that the character had to pull guard duty at the castle (or whatever) and isn't available.

The Rules
We will be using mostly 3rd Edition Revised rules, with 4th Edition improvements to combat and some changes to Mantis clan schools & families (see below).

The Handouts

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

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