So I e-mailed him:
Think of this as a movie trailer but for a game. You don’t have to know what everything means just yet. You definitely don’t have to know how it will turn out.
All that’s important is that you get the vibe. Its epic samurai fantasy. It isn’t quite Japan. It has as much to do with Japan as the Lord of the Ring’s Middle-Earth has to do with historical medieval Norway.
You’ll be playing a big, gruff samurai with a testubo who has recently inhereted his father’s castle and is in charge of his family, soldiers and a tremendous responsibility.
Your father left you a piece of the Kaiu Wall. It is the same stretch of wall that your family has guarded for generations, set to the task by the Hida Family Daymio, the warrior family of the Crab Clan.
Above your castle’s door are the words, “Millions Die If I am Weak,” carved into the stone by masons long ago.
On the western side of the wall is a lovely countryside, white cherry blossoms, rolling hills, a crystal bay. On the eastern side is a hellish
landscape filled with globlins, demons and all manner of nightmares.
The Empire never thanks you for doing your duty, only notices when some monstrousity escapes. The Empire does not send enough resources to keep the wall strong, only court politics and disdain.
And you receive three letters:
1) A Lion Courtier from the capital city of Otusan Uchii wishes to take a tour of the Shadowlands, see the danger for himself. He is being sent to your stretch of the wall.
2) While buying provisions in ths next province, your brother has fallen in love with a beautiful maiden in the effete Crane Clan; she is promised to another.
3) Maidens have gone missing in a nearby village. The headman has asked that a Kuni Witch-Hunter be sent, but they are few and far between. One might wait years gaining an audience with a true Witch-Hunter.
Millions Die If I am Weak
He e-mailed me back that he was into the concept, which I figured he would be. Then I asked if he had any questions or thoughts on the matter. To which he replied:
I am married to Matua, daughter to a fallen grand master and mistress of the art of ————-. Twin sons Tyi and Sogen 8 years old, and brother-in-law to Hayete who is a Kuni Witch Hunter. Hayete and I have not spoken since the twins were born.
Holy shit, we’ve got a gamer. He totally geeked out and ran with it.
I’m now considering using a tweaked version of Dust Devils for the game itself, rather than L5R. We’ll see.