Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bringing Everyone Back Together

My friday night L5R game is coming off of a small hiatus - we missed last session due to me being sick - and a five year time gap. The fun thing is though that when the time skip began the PCs were all, effectively if politically, banished from the core setting for the game, but I'm not changing settings as we come back. Which, of course, means that the PCs have to get back into the city, now don't they? So, here's the plan.

One Is Already There
Not all of the PCs left. One has gone into an area of the city where even the city magistrates do not venture lightly. He has been there for five years investigating and training to become someone better and to seek out one of his ultimate goals in the form of knowledge. For him, getting back involved is easy.

Two Are Scorpion
Two of the PCs are Scorpion and for them this is easy as well. I am giving them a mission that will involve being in the city, and because of that the Scorpion clan - a clan defined by its subtle tactics and manipulations of the courts - will help them to get in. This one is also easy, especially considering the nature of their mission.

Then There Is The Challenge
The last PC is the reason I'm writing this. For him this is a bit harder. His clan is not known for being subtle, manipulation, or breaking the will of others. His character is more of a researcher and back lines person with little reason to be there. So finding a reason for him is a bit harder. Except...

Hinting At The Future
As I said his character does research. What this means is that if I can give him something to research, something that requires him to be in the city then he will have to go. So what can I do? Well, essentially, I'm going to have to change my plans and start revealing some of the plans I have for the future in order to help make things work. This isn't all bad. It will let me warn the PCs ahead of time, and it will also let me put a PC into a good position to be important in the lore later on.

How It Works
Essentially, I need to go over my plans and find out what I can reveal that will give a good warning and hint at it. I need to add another layer of mystery on top of something that is coming up soon, and then had that mystery to the player. Have it be big enough, immobile enough, that he has to go to the city again and yet hard enough that it'll take time for him to work on it. That he may need to interact with the other PCs. Hopefully it will work. I suppose I'll find out on Friday.


  1. So you missed one session, yes? And you decided that five years will have gone by since two sessions ago? So the players had finished their current quest? You decided on the time lapse to let the PCs develop their characters? Five years is quite a while - how did you come up with that length of time?

  2. My L5R game is a generational campaign. the idea being that time moves through the game, and the players hop from generation to generation to both see and shape how the world, and core setting, develops. The 5 year gap was a planned gap, it just so happened that we also missed a session during that gap.

    As for how I came up with 5 years? I wanted a long length of time to enable real development of characters and a growth of power. I also wanted time to have things change in the city, without necessarily becoming completely different. Also, in this case, 5 years brings us close to a major event in the L5R timeline which I intend to end this - the second generation - with.

    Mostly though, when I do time skips I try to do set increments. 1 year allows some development but not a whole ton (as time skips are more peaceful and thus less experience granting.) Beyond 1 year I'll tend for either 3, 5, or 10 year gaps depending on how much bigger I want the PCs when they come back.

    With this game it is also fun because PCs are different ages, and it is possible that a time skip could have a PC retiring if they cross a certain age threshold. So far it has worked out.