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L5R: Players Make An Impact

4 Minute Read
Oct 31 2017
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Legend of the Five Rings has an on going story – and it’s one the players help to craft.

When Fantasy Flight Games rolled out the newest version of Legend of the Five Rings players were wondering what would happen with the games dynamic story line. If you aren’t familiar, the way the game has worked in the past is that the players directly influence the story by participating in tournaments. It was a neat way for players to feel like they were making an impact and helping to guide the story and game.

Ultimately, the results of the tournaments/seasons/matches/etc. would get written into the overall story and then L5R game designers would craft new cards and abilities to progress the game. It was – and still is – a really cool feedback loop between the players and designers/writers/creators of the game. Folks were curious how that would work out when FFG took over and purchased the license. Well, the good news for the fans is that they are STILL making an impact.


Through the Organized Play events and the World Champs, players will be able to impact the story line once again. Specifically, the World Champion will be appointed the Shogun and will have to decide the fate of the Lion and the Crane Clans conflict. You can read about the conflict through these three short stories.

But it’s not just the Shogun that has an impact – there are other effects that can be felt as well as seen quite literally! For example, the Dragon Clan won the Emperor’s favor at the GenCon release (the Kiku Matsuir Preview Event). Because of that victory, the Dragon Clan is hosting the World Championship’s Winter Court and the tournament grounds will be decked out in Dragon Clan regalia! That’s a really cool way to show-off a faction’s victory – and a great way to motivate the other clans to elevate their game.

Another example is that dozens of players have been promoted to the rank of Hatamoto and have gotten a chance to influence the game as well. They had to decide how to best deal with the Unicorn Clan’s use of the meishōdō, which is their clan’s mysterious name magic. They opted to allow the practice to continue and the Emperor requested the Unicorn Clan teach his Hidden Guard how to harness their magic. It was an offer the Unicorn Clan could not refuse…


So how do YOU get to make an impact in the L5R story? You have to play, of course! To earn the rank of Hatamoto you have to attend The Winter Court Champs and be highest ranked players from your clan. All Hatamotos in attendance will be recognized and, just to spice things up a bit, if you defeat one during the Swiss rounds you’ll earn a special Hatamoto Triumph pin!

The Top 4 players will ALSO be promoted to Hatamoto (if they aren’t already). And, if you haven’t guessed by now, only the Victor will be declared Shogun for the season! If you’re interested in all the details you can read about the Winter’s Court HERE. And if you’re curious for more about the story itself, you can read about that HERE.

Legend of the Five Rings is one game where the players can directly see their impact on the lore and the decisions moving the story forward. That makes the events take on a slightly different tone as the competitors aren’t just playing for prizes or a trophy – they are also playing to steer the course of a game’s story they are passionate about. The Shogun will not only get to decide the fates of the Lion and Crane Clans, but the player will also get to inspire the design of one of the cards for L5R. Both of those events will make an impact that will be felt by the rest of the players of Legend of the Five Rings.



If you were the Shogun would you seek the path of Duty or Justice? How do you feel about players making an impact on the actual story moving forward? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Author: Adam Harrison
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