How to create a character for a Before the Five Rings Campaign

For those people who have played the Legend of the Five Rings RPG before, creating a Before the Five Rings character is essentially the same as creating a standard character, with different options allowed. If you new to the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, fear not! The purpose of a Before the Five Rings campaign is to serve as a complete introduction to the world of L5R with no prior knowledge required, and character creation is no exception.

Step 1: Imagine Your Character

A Before the Five Rings campaign is set in a ruthless and barbaric world full of mystery and danger. Think Robert E. Howard meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Your character comes from the Tribe of Kohaku; one of many hunter-gatherer tribes of humans who survive by following food sources and make war upon each other. Do you want to play a strong warrior? A clever craftsman? Or perhaps a perceptive spell-caster. Any character type you can imagine can be created in a Before the Five Rings campaign.

Step 2: Pick Your School

All Before the Five Rings characters have a unique school chosen from the following list:

  • Agility Hero – A skilled and athletic warrior with a talent for controlling the ebb and flow of combat with special Maneuvers.
  • Awareness Hero – A character with a talent for interacting with people. They can easily understand and manipulate the emotions of others.
  • Intelligence Hero – A flexible character who learns quickly and uses their knowledge and understanding to improve Skill Rolls.
  • Perception Hero – A character who uses their attention to detail to gain an advantage in almost any situation.
  • Reflex Hero – A fleet and nimble warrior whose speed and maneuverability allow them to gain an advantage over slower opponents.
  • Stamina Hero – Tough and tireless, this warrior relies on their durability to stay in the fight longer than their opponents.
  • Strength Hero – A warrior who relies on raw power to smash through an opponent’s defenses.
  • Willpower Hero – A stubborn and determined character who thrives in difficult circumstances. They are fearless and refuse to give up or fail.

These schools represent your character’s personal abilities honed beyond the capabilities of the average person through sheer talent. While the term “school” may be a misnomer since your character’s special abilities were gained through personal aptitude rather than instruction, it is used for continuity purposes with the L5R RPG base rules.

Step 3: Customize Your Character

A Before the Five Rings character receives 50 experience points to spend at character creation to represent what your character has experienced in life up to the point in time that the campaign starts. In the L5R RPG, characters earn experience points after every session and spend those points to increase their skills and abilities and eventually increase in Insight Rank.

How to create a character for a Before the Five Rings Campaign

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