Fate of the Five Rings

Fate of Rokugan
In general, the Fate-family does not rank particularly high on my priority list. However, there are concepts which almost audibly call out for Fate to be used.

Fate of the Five Rings (or Fate of Rokugan, Legend of the Five Fates or – for the German version – Turbo Rokugan) is one such concept, which arose out of discussions surrounding yandere’s Unknown Rokugan and Fantasy Flight Games’ Beta Rules for their version (vision?) of a Legend of the Five Rings RPG (which also played their role in the creation of Matze’s Blades of the Five Rings).

So, Legend of the Five Rings/Rokugan based on Fate:

As our base we are using FAE, to which we make the following changes:

The first change caters to my personal haiku fetish and was the real underlying reason for even thinking of Fate in the first place.

Across all versions of Legend of the Five Rings, crafting a haiku has become the final, concluding and most important step of character creation for me. It is both a ritual and an excercise in understanding the character, reducing the character to their essential core and then expressing this in a highly setting-immersive form.

Here, we put this excercise at the beginning.

On the one hand, this makes the step even more prominent, even more central – achieving what was the essential goal of Fate of Rokugan in the first place. On the other hand, we make things much more difficult and may even change their very nature by doing away with the preparation, with the structured inspiration in the shape of the original character creation process, with the very impressions we would normally seek to reduce and encapsulate here.

What we actually do is to write a poem following the structure of a haiku describing our character.

Each line of the haiku is interpreted as an individual aspect, giving us three aspects.

After this, the character receives a single stunt named after the character’s school.

(Alternatively, instead of a haiku we write a tanka and assign a total of four aspects and one stunt to the poem’s five lines. There is no separate school stunt in this case.)

The second (and last) change concerns the character’s approaches.

The six FAE approaches are exchanged for Legend of the Five Rings’ eponymous five rings (for simplicity’s sake we may borrow a page from the Fantasy Flight Games Beta Rules as a guideline for what the different rings might be good for – an inspiration made that much more obvious by the use of the word “approaches” by the Beta Rules when talking about what a ring might represent or be used for).

As we now have only five approaches remaining, we assign one less average approach during character creation.


PS: For the giri/ninjo fetishists out there (you know who you are), who already got Unknown Rokugan amended, character creation can be adapted as follows: Write a haiku for three aspects, define ninjo and giri for an additional aspect each, finally, gain a school stunt.

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