The Legend of the Five Rings product line has a moderately interesting history (OOC and IC).
What I have been able to piece together of the setting's publishing history:
AD&D has a setting module Oriental Adventures, but it did not use the Rokugan setting.
By the time Oriental Adventures for D&D 3.0 ("OA") came out, Wizards of the Coast had acquired the license for L5R, including the Rokugan setting. The book features Rokugan as the setting. (L5R 1st and 2nd Edition were out by this time, and the setting was already in use.)
Since then several more editions of L5R have come out, including the current L5R 4th edition.
Some setting details are not the same between the editions. Because Rokugan is so strongly defined by its fluff, these differences could be significant. There are so many things any PC in L5R would never do because it is dishonourable (e.g. touching a corpse, let alone looting it).
What are the in-setting differences between Rokugan as presented in Oriental Adventures for D&D and that presented in L5R 4th ed?
In terms of the in-universe history, I am only concerned with prior to year 1158, as that is when the Oriental Adventures timeline ends. I am not sure if there are significant historical differences or not, but I am only concerned with very major differences, particularly in how people behave.
Note I am not interested in mechanical changes. Though I am interested in the fluff explanations. (Eg if magic works different)
Differences I've already found
So far I have found:
- OA: People eat meat. L5R: eating meat is taboo
- OA: the Dragon Territory is super mysterious. Getting to a city in dragon lands is a truly fantastical experience—roads may move overnight, etc. L5R: The dragon don't like guests—expect barriers might show up in your way, but nothing beyond the mundane or the capacity of a Shugenja.
None of my players, or myself, have played any version of Oriental Adventures, or L5R other than 4the ed, and most of us have played D&D 3.5 if not 3.0.
I want to play D&D 3.0 Oriental Adventures with them. As everyone is so familiar with L5R Rokugan it would be easy to slip into L5R fluff—I want to be sure of the differences.
Though I am sure you could just directly swap the setting and sweep the differences under the carpet, that would defeat my purpose...
The purpose of this is for a drinking game: "Every time you make a incorrect assumption about the setting that would hold in L5R, but doesn't in Oriental Adventures, take a drink."