My players are officially recognized deputies, underlings of clan capital's chief magistrate, the most likely pretender to being next clan chief magistrate (same position but for whole clan, not just it's capital; a long-vacant position of great influence, right hand of the clan ruler, which their boss unofficially already performs in).

Obviously, they can make things happen and are good to have as allies. They've also shown themselves as clan heroes - effective, just, etc. A number of folks took notice and they have been asked, pleaded with and even harassed for help. They set up daily audiences.

Which is all well, but I don't want to spend most of our sessions role-playing audiences and thinking up requests. Thus...


I need a good system to:

  1. help me generate requests (more later)
  2. keep track of trivial (count, bulk effort, bulk consequences) and non-trivial (resources, consequences on success/failure) requests
  3. keep track of who made requests and what's been done (delegated to vassal, asked for confirmation, reported to proper authorities, promised help, denied...)
  4. do all this quickly and transparently
  5. preferably analog, so rather set of rules then a software program, an offline tool (though if program is best...)
  6. occasionally I'd want to tweak this to reflect changes (popularity drop, sabotage, etc.)

Ideas welcome!

I'll gladly expand the question with more information. Just ask.


to stress the generation of requests part. Tracking alone can be done in a random table (Party A requests B with conclusion C gained D lost E). Generation is more time- and effort-consuming.

Generation in more details

How I'd envision this:

  1. Which deputy gets it (some sort of personalization per PC /dis/advantages)
  2. Kind of request (military, law, finance, special)
  3. Scale (negligible - medium - major)
  4. Easy consequence system for failure/success (will make later for nice Honor /Reputation modifier)

Why not a table:

  1. Repetitiveness - I'd expect few dozens of requests per audience per deputy; alas requests start to repeat
  2. I don't see a good way to randomize table input per deputy and per situation: I can put requests in order (from requests more likely asked of A to neutral, to those to deputy B) but that doesn't help with situation modifiers
  3. small and simple table requires me to fill in the blanks (medium request, law, deputy A means I don't know neither how much attention A must put to it, whether he should or not, and the consequences)

System agnostic or L5R

I'd say this is system agnostic:

  1. yoriki = deputy or a lower official, some corpo manager etc.
  2. make his boss not a karo but someone senior with hopes to have an even more senior position

and off you go. That's my take on this however. I don't mind a L5R-only answer, I just think getting a NON-L5R-specific answer will be easier. :-)

Thank you to all editors, @SevenSidedDie and first answerer: @Bankuei, for helping me make this question better.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This may need to be system specific as system knowledge of the l5r stuff may be needed to adequately answer. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2014 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given the amount of setting specific detail in the question I agree, and have edited it accordingly \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Aug 8, 2014 at 13:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you clarify why this problem isn't solved by the standard methods: make and use a random table + write things down? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2014 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie - simple request's generation? I don't want to spend time thinking them up and table is pretty limited, unless I spent time thinking them up for a really large table. 2 hour of an audience is roughly few dozens of requests, that would be awfully large table to NOT run out for like a week. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2014 at 15:15

1 Answer 1



Given that this is mostly political, instead of tracking all the trivial ones, I would summarize general overviews for a day, or week, or month, depending on the scale of time you're working on.

Tracking all the minor ones seems like a lot of work for little payoff, and odds are just as likely you're going to end up with a lot of situations where the players either are bored with it, or start seeing trouble where there isn't, and you'd have to rework the "trivial" requests into something interesting OR spend the long period of time disentangling the players from false alarms.

"Trade is good this season, most of the favors or requests are small things, an extra boat, the right to first sale in this town, etc. Pretty typical. You notice there's an upswing in the Aoyama family's requests for financial loans. Something's going on there."

Skill Test = Question Asking

Another useful tactic might be to steal an idea from the Apocalypse World games - have the meetings result in a roll and the success gives the players a chance to ask general questions about the situation.

On a success, (as a player) ask 3 questions about the political, economic, military situation with the people you deal with.

ON a failure, ask 1 question.

"Damn, rolled terrible. WHY are the Isaya's asking for more horses?"

"Although they're shifty about it, you ask a few indirect questions and suss out they must be doing something that's got about 8 extra messengers running around constantly. Unusual, given that their lands are so small."

The dice rolls can be modified based on popularity and reliability, favors, disfavor, etc. What's particularly nice about that is you can use this as a fun cycle for the adventure part of play - good adventure actions earn favor, and bonuses for these kinds of skill checks. Good skill checks and choices leads to having information or favors when out in the field and dealing with action.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Both are incorporated already. @Bankuei, seems we think alike! :) However, what about request generation? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2014 at 15:21

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