An Older Bit of Roleplaying Game Design?

I‘ve made nothing resembling a secret of the fact that I play tabletop roleplaying games–witness this, this, this, and this for some general examples. Nor yet have I made a secret that much of my involvement in roleplaying games has associated itself with the Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying game (L5R) in its several iterations–as witness this and its antecedents, as well as this and its antecedents, this, this, and doubtless others.

This is what it looks like now.
Banner image from the current owner, Fantasy Flight Games, here and used for commentary.

It should be no surprise that, in the years I’ve spent playing L5R that I would spend time running games–and drafting work to help me do so. And, some years ago, when L5R was in its revised third edition (it is in its fifth at the time of this writing), I put together a campaign setting for the game, one I call West of Rokugan. I forget when I started working on it; I recall that I finished it in 2010, and I have learned a lot since that point. (Hell, I’d barely passed my prospectus at that point, and I still thought I’d have the full-time continuing teaching job I had then. Ah, youth!) I had thought that I might be able to move the group I was playing with at the time towards it, but, alas, it never happened.

What did happen was what happens to many roleplaying game groups: the group fell apart. Schedules conflicted, people moved, and somehow, we never did find ourselves in another game. Nor have I been able, in the time since, to get an in-person game going–and the edition of the game has updated twice since, anyway, so the stuff that I’ve got linked above is unlikely to play well with any of the online groups to which I have access.

But I have been thinking about running a game again, and I went back through my files to look at the things that I have done as part of the prep-work for doing so. Looking back over it was…strange; it is the most involved document I’ve compiled other than my dissertation, but it has…issues. Again, I was much younger when I wrote it than I am now, and I’ve learned at least a couple of things since that point.

It’s possible, of course, that I will adapt what I have in the older materials to newer systems. It’s more likely, however, that I will pull some concepts rather than pulling the materials directly. Some things, I remain proud of; others, not so much–but it is good to be reminded, from time to time, of who and what I have been other than in my working life. And it may be that somebody gets some use out of my old efforts; I’d be gratified to learn that it happened.

Could you send a little my way to help through these strange times?


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