The Path to the Tomb
2023 / 05 / 17
For centuries, a once-mortal man has laid a silent siege on the Empire. A diabolical sorcerer who commands the power of True Names and defiles the sanctity of blood. He spites the Celestial Heavens by beckoning both the dead and the living, in body and soul, to further his twisted and elaborate plots. Few even among the samurai of the Great Clans know enough to fear his name and recognize that the whispers that surround his legend are neither myth nor that of history—he is one of Rokugan’s greatest threats, and he is very, very real.
The Tomb of Iuchiban is a campaign set in the East Asian inspired fantasy world of the Legend of the Five Rings. This 144 pages hard-cover book developed by Edge Studio is the first supplement for the Adventures in Rokugan game line, a series that uses the easy-to-learn open-source 5th edition SRD mechanics made popular by Wizards of the Coast.
Adventures in Rokugan takes the traditional Legend of the Five Rings universe and focuses less on courtly politics, intrigue, and the nuances of samurai life and instead taps into the mystical and heroic elements of the setting—for you, that means new species, adventures in a fantasy world akin to feudal Japan, daring duels and deadly skirmishes, and an introduction into the rich and vibrant lore of the Emerald Empire.
Tomb of Iuchiban takes inspiration from the boxed adventure of the same name originally published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) in the late 1990s and explores some of the more sinister elements of the setting, including blood cults, horrific beasts, moral gray areas, and forbidden power.
This campaign is geared towards mature audiences and deals with a variety of sensitive themes including body horror, death, demonic and undead entities, torture, and possible party-on-party animosity. Players can take on the roles of characters that are good, bad, or in-between. This is also a very high-level adventure, starting characters off at 8th level in the beginning and becoming 10th level by the time they make it to the tomb itself.
Death is very possible, especially once characters have entered the tomb. Only through cunning, creativity, and luck will a party stand a chance at overcoming the odds and finding their way to the hidden heart of Iuchiban’s lair.
Who are You?
You might be a noble samurai committed to rooting out evil, or you may be a practitioner of vile arts seeking power and prestige. You may be acting under the guise of good intentions, but secretly hope to claim forbidden treasures and cursed knowledge for your own selfish gains. You might be a villain and find light in your twisted soul by the end of your trials, or you may enter a paragon of righteousness only to witness your sense of mortality slip away as the tomb tests you at every turn.
In addition to the classes and archetypes available in the Adventures in Rokugan core rulebook, Tomb of Iuchiban introduces a new player class, the Bloodspeaker, and a new archetype for the Acolyte class called the Keeper of Names.
The Bloodspeaker class allows players to lean into the taboo and forbidden art of blood magic in two distinct ways represented by archetypes. You can follow the path of the Executioner who employs devastating Malefic Words of Power to punish their enemies and reinforce themselves or choose to become a Summoner that focuses on manifesting entities through sacrifice.
The Bloodspeaker uses vitality, a new resource, to empower their abilities. They must be mindful, however, because failing to expend the needed vitality for a malefic word results in painful feedback effects.
Keeper of Names: Acolyte Archetype
The Keeper of Names archetype allows players to become mystics who possess the ability to bond with and carry spirits within talismans by learning their true names and gaining their trust. This archetype allows you to create a spiritual companion that aids you and others and that levels up with you as you gain experience throughout your adventures.
What is the Tomb?
The namesake of the campaign is called a tomb because that is what many have believed it to be. It is rumored among the Great Clans that the hidden lair holds the heart of Iuchiban. Some say it is still beating, or that it is the only true way to kill the ancient sorcerer’s life once and for all. Others call it a tomb because those that enter seeking Iuchiban’s end or his favor find only their graves. Stories have circulated throughout history of the riches and horrors that are locked away within the crypt’s depths.
It is sought out by heroes and villains alike, all of which seek power in one form or another—the power to protect, the power to control, the power to save, the power to destroy. The Great Clans that govern Rokugan under the Emperor Hantei wish to destroy the cursed place and keep whatever evils it holds from falling into wicked hands. Fringe cult groups with varying beliefs seek the tomb to prove themselves to the grand name sorcerer, hoping to be gifted a fraction of his power or to be chosen as one of his favored elites. Others search not for the promise of greatness, but for the thrill, the challenge, or to simply see if the legends are true at all.
The tomb is not a place that can simply be found—the thralls of Iuchiban, or perhaps even the tomb itself, seek out those worthy of being tested. The journey can begin in many ways, but your story begins with a whisper in a dream.
A dream so real you feel the sweat on your flesh and smell the stink of blood so strong you nearly gag at the intensity. You are invited to follow the path. You are promised what your heart desires most, if only you can find the key and open the door.
The choice is yours, the path forked. One side promises the destiny you have always deserved, if only you can overcome the obstacles presented to you. The other promises only that you might return to your life, haunted by what might have been.
The choice is yours.
The City of Lies
You are guided through cryptic dreams to the lands of the Scorpion Clan. Known for being the underhand of the Emperor, the Scorpion act as spies and often unseen puppeteers in the Empire and work to maintain Imperial control. The City of Lies, also known as Journey’s End City, is one of the largest urban centers in the entirety of Rokugan. A hub for trade, politics, and crime, those that answer the whisper find themselves here. Your task is to locate a porcelain mask—a key—that will both lead you to the tomb and open it.
You are not alone, others are seeking the mask, too. Some are marked in the same way you are, temporary allies, while others only serve to hinder you. You will have to traverse the sprawling city and its shady inhabitants while contending with a cult of Bloodspeakers, practitioners of blood magic, and those determined to stop them.
Somewhere in the city, in a darkened place that reeks of flesh and fear, a horror covets what you seek. Claim the mask or die in the pursuit of your ambitions.
The Seal Undone
In your story, or perhaps the story of another, you have been tested and have earned passage to the tomb. You are one step closer to your goals as you and your branded allies venture into the unknown. If you manage to withstand whatever dangers lie before you and follow at your heels, you will earn the privilege few have ever been graced with—to lay your eyes on the fabled entrance to Iuchiban’s tomb.
The seal is undone and the door is open. You are worthy, you are welcome.
If you are prepared to enter the tomb, then, Tomb of Iuchiban is already waiting for you in your FLGS.