The best damn rpg ever
Legend of the Five Rings began, for me, as a cool new CCG alternative to Magic: The Gathering, towards the middle of 1996. We slurred it into "el-five-ahr," and cradled its strategy, astounding art, rich story, and plain old coolness of setting to our hearts. I still play on occasion, but it's the rpg that I came to treasure more. I'm not certain when Alderac released the rpg, but the first I became really aware of it was towards the end of my senior year of high school, or early-mid '97. I began playing a pair of identical twin Unicorn samurai that summer, and lost my heart to a world that's Japan as romantic Westerners would want it. I've played many a character over many years... although I have since branched away, into other games, there's still a part of me that's hooked irrevocably to L5R.
There's a couple choices in this section, but here's the rundown. Most people are probably interested in the Reference. I got tired of waiting for X to return Way of Y to Z's house so I could look at it. I still recommend buying the Clan sourcebooks, but for an at-work or on-vacation character-making experience, shoo to the Reference, shoo. There's also a copy of my Jinzoo review of L5R there.
There's the Way of the Magistrate, reprinted without permission from the L5R CCG's newsletter The Imperial Herald. I wish I knew Scott Gearin, because he's come up with some incredible ideas for supplements to the L5R rpg. So far as I know, the Way of the Magistrate never made it into print other than in the Herald.
Finally, my second L5R GM gave us extra experience for writing chronicles of what happened in our sessions. There's a respectable amount available.