Worlds of Inspiration - Rokugan

Today we look at Rogukan, home of Legend of the Five Rings, following on from Discworld and Dark Sun and the Warhammer World.


It is a setting strongly influenced by myths and legends of East Asia. Away from traditional western fantasy, Rokugan is one of the more detailed settings you will find. 

Stories revolve around the bushi and shugenja of the Emerald Empire and the many strange creatures that they encounter.

Originally a setting for a Collectible Card Game, The story of Rokugan has been told through a daunting combination of short stories, thousands of pieces of art and the cards themselves.

It has also gained a lot of detail from 4 editions of the Legend of the Five Rings role-playing game. 5 including an extra d20 version.

Legend of the Five Rings was bought by Fantasy Flight Games in 2015 and 2017 is set to see a new era in the history of Rokugan!

Inspiring Ideas

For many simply having the setting outside of a western-europe theme is enough. Tales of samurai, kenku, oni, shadowlands spirits and ancestors are all a departure from traditional fantasy fare.

Central to much inspiration are the tales of the samurai of the Great Clans, the conflicts between them and the virtues of honour, loyalty, duty and sacrifice that guide them. Each great clan has a different duty to the Emerald Empire, which shapes and defines them.

The Shadowlands is a place of darkness and corruption, which can cause the downfall and betrayal of those who journey there or are simply exposed to it´s minions.

The shugenja of the setting are priests who called on the spirits around them to grant them power over Air, Earth, Fire, Water and sometimes even the Void.

Other tales detail the monks who seek enlightenment over the five rings, the ancient empire of the serpent-like naga and the struggles of the the dynasties of the Empire and their associated families.


For finding out more about the world of Rokugan, there are five versions of the RPG which can provide many insights into the world. Another one is expected in the future from Fantasy Flight.

There is a Legend of the Five Rings wiki, and also a card search engine.

And Rokugan is due a new lease of life when Legend of the Five Rings games start to come out from Fantasy Flight Games in 2017...