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About bloodycelt

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  1. They are still a small company, and any communication has to be made with official approval. That means a person has to verify the post with marketing, game design, and sales (or whomever, I don't actually know who is involved at FFG with that). I suspect they will be reaching out to former champions and what-not to beta test what they got soonish. But that will be all NDA'ed. If the game debuts at Gencon next year, they might stay tight-lipped to increase the impact of the reveal.
  2. #5 I think they only reluctantly added counter-spelling because at least in the fluff, Shugenja aren't really involved in combat, they have Yojimbo for that. The problem with 4th is... unless you are a specific school, most non-combat/healing spells are useless. I think the combat system and mechanics are mostly fine, the only problems are the tacked-in special snowflake sub-systems like dueling which break flow because you have to look up the mechanics instead of just making a roll. I also think Kiho, Maho, Spells, Kata should just all get rolled into School/Techniques, or if you want to still have some extra-curricular powers, make them techniques that you buy with XP, and have to find the master and dojo that teaches it.
  3. Last I looked into this, I sort of had in mind this: These rules basically remove Shugenja from combat, this provides a clear role distinction. 1. Add skills: Commune, Exorcism, Importune, Prayer, Sumnmon 2. Shugenja use above skills to interact with the Kami instead of spells. Each school deals with a particular element/type of Kami. 3. Some spells get replaced by school techniques, shugenja schools have 5 base techniques like every other school. (Kuni get Jade Strike, Tamori get the weaponcraft spells) But largely a shugenja's role is to ask the Kami questions, and banish evil spirits. And, they now have enough skills required for thier role that they can't also focus on courtier and bushi skills.
  4. Part of me thinks the best thing is to reset the metaplot and start at the clan war, but at the same time there are some awesome things that came out of the CCG plot. - Tsuruchi, and the Wasp clan. - The Mantis as a great clan. I think the Mantis are a good foil to the rest of the Great Clans, the only flaw is that the Yoritomo family is overdeveloped, I sort of felt it would have been better if they made the Kitsune the main diplomatic family, the Moshi the main shugenja family, and the Yoritomo as the bushi, with Tsuruchi as the specialized school. ( Especially since the Yoritomo Courtiers overlap with Yasuki heavily. ) - The Tamori, I think the militant crazy shugenja thing is also fun.
  5. 4th edition was designed as a response to prior editions tying mechanics too heavily to the CCG plot. So they tried to put in rules for most of the major factions from the ccg and families, etc even if in the current ccg those factions did not exit. For example: The Snake Clan school prior to being tainted. 4th Edition is a great system, and is great for people familiar to the setting. But... sometimes I think it may have been better to have made space to better explain the setting in the Core book, and moved the advanced mechanics to a second book. I have never had a problem with multiple books, so long as I have one place to find all the rules on a particular subject.
  6. The RPG actually has an alternate path that does in fact allow a Kitsu to summon an ancestor. Just as they added one so the Kitsune can summon animal spirits as per the CCG.
  7. I would add one thing to this: making your roll sans talking to the kami should be a meaningful thing. Right now, any samurai can pray to their ancestor or a Fortune, sure. But it's 100% window dressing, unless you've paid the XP for a capital-A Ancestor who gives you a mechanical benefit so long as you honor them. I believe it was Mirumoto Saito who had a homebrew system on the old boards that I've borrowed for my Togashi Dynasty campaign, where you can try to earn favor from celestial entities. You don't need to be a shugenja; you just do something to please them and then roll Lore: Theology / Void at a TN that gets lower the bigger your pleasing action was. Success earns you Favor points that spend like XP for short-term benefits, e.g. a temporary rank of a skill or briefly suppressing a disadvantage, but you can also earn Wrath from opposing entities. It works beautifully for making religious matters a more relevant thing in game, without restricting them wholly to the purview of shugenja. I was thinking that by default it would be a free raise to an action in theme with that Ancestor or Fortune. Maybe if they roll well, or earned favor multiple free raises. Or a +1k0 to a trait roll in keeping with the fortune's purview. A more depth version would have each character choose an ancestor. And that Ancestor would have a fixed benefit they get based on their Prayer roll. (Ancestors would no longer cost XP) And Fortunes would have specific blessings you can pray for that would work similar to spells. But yes my idea would be a mechanical advantage for everyone using the Prayer skill, and replacing the Advantages that currently represent them.
  8. The CCG fiction aside. I wouldn't say it breaks anything. Its an aspect of horror, a cost so to speak. It adds a hard-mode to the game that makes the players just NOT want to face an Oni, or a Maho-Tsukai, as there is a risk that they will lose their characters in a more tragic fashion. I would say the flaw in some sense is that 4th edition assumes a GM will just use character creation rules for NPC samurai, and so when you see the antagonist section full of tainted creatures... it does cause a bias. So since 1st edition, the setting at least as I interpreted it as default was: A world that is a battle for survival against the corrupting influence of Jigoku, where there are soldiers dying every day in a never ending war for their very souls, but... The players and the rest of the Empire are sipping tea and laughing at the blundering Crab who could not get the grain they need, so more of his comrades will starve this winter, and it will be all that much harder to hold the wall. Oh and off in some library a foolish Isawa wonders, what harm is a little taint if he can figure out how this spell works. I've never seen the Taint as a core Pillar per-se, I've seen it as core to the Tragedy of the Crab, and the Tragedy of the Pheonix. But no, its not some cracked pillar threatening to pull the entire setting down. The real flaw with the setting is the plot is based on the CCG, which has vastly different needs. Constant war, and big bads threatening to overwhelm the empire... good for card games, good for comic books, not good for an RPG setting. Removing the taint and shadowlands diminishes the Crab, they are defined by their war, and the wall. It also reduces the theme of dangerous knowledge that the Pheonix have (though that could be replaced with gaijin pepper in some ways... some fool Isawa blows himself up and sets fire to the Library because he was curious about gaijin pepper... Scorpion says to himself "works every time" ) Granted, as one that suggested multiple core books, the crab would have been pretty much only present in the Shadowlands book. But if you notice... A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE AGAINST MULTIPLE CORE BOOKS. I think a lot more folks would be against removing an entire great clan, and a huge part of what makes L5R unique from the entire game.
  9. The core of it is: "How supernatural should L5R be? And how does it impact for better or worse the theme I like about L5R?" I think everyone agrees: Shugenja are tied to the role of supernatural in L5R. The other aspect is that both Courtier and Bushi in a sense master a set of skills anyone else can buy and be just ok at. In 4th Edition, its a few techniques and 4-5 spells total that can deal with some of these threats, or in other cases incredibly rare items. So for this proposal, lets forget any of my other proposals. 1. Establish a clear demarcation as to how anyone can interact with the supernatural and codify it with skills. -> Ancestors, any Samurai should be able to pray to their ancestor. It should be a Awareness/Prayer Roll. Some shugenja schools such as the Kitsu get bonuses to their prayers, and can even summon them to fight for them. -> Fortunes, anyone visiting a shrine should be able to make an offering and pray to that fortune. It should be a Awareness/Prayer Roll. Some shugenja such as the Yoritomo can get bonuses to their prayers, and even invoke Osano-Wo's wrath/blessing. -> Anyone with the right Lore should be able to determine if the local spirits might be out of harmony, based on Investigation and Lore rolls. Shugenja can just ask the local spirits. -> Anyone with materials and lore should know how to banish a ghost, or other spirit that does not belong in Nigen-do. Some Shugenja such as the Kuni can use the power of Jade and Crystal to fight it, or enable others to do so. Some Shugenja will have spells (see below) that can bind spirits. -> Anyone with jade can ward off the taint, anyone can go to a shrine to purify themselves. Shugenja can Banish the local kami, and some such as the Kuni can even clear the taint from an area. 2. Now to balance shugenja with bushi and courtiers. -> Make spells items, remove mastery levels, just set costs and TN's. -> Each school gives a set amount of spells to start, AND most of them are fixed, some will be a choice between a few spells. (Like any Craft Spell) -> Shugenja schools would have 5 techniques, and they would gain new spells unless their lord gave them a spell. -> Importune, Summon, Commune, Banish, Counterspell would be actions not spells. This encourages shugenja to talk to the kami more often and gain clues for the story. -> Spells would be Ring/Spellcraft. 3. Rework some spells -> I think buff spells should be reworked to provide a buff for the entire group. This would encourage shugenja as a support role for bushi in combat. -> Counter spelling should be easy to handle mechanically, this would encourage shugenja to actively protect their comrades against rival shugenja. -> Integrate spells with Mass Combat, to reflect that some Shugenja such as the Isawa would have access to spells that can be unleashed against the legions. -> Social spells should either be reworked, or last longer, or just done away with. If the Shoshi are getting techniques, some of them could be the information gathering they do in the courts. 4. Lastly, put enough detail in to handle the Shugenja asking the Volcano Kami for a favor. -> It should be perfectly reasonable for an Isawa to sing an angry volcano to sleep.
  10. locust, it does have a relevance since... if one is arguing for a focus on samurai drama, the conflicts of bushido and find the shadowlands, the taint, and jigoku distracting, then one could expand that to removal of shugenja as well... since they really don't have anything to do with traditional samurai drama. You also don't necessarily need shugenja to appease angry spirits like the prior examples.
  11. I've played L5R from 1st edition. Dabbled in the CCG, and i can tell you. The Taint and the Shadowlands are not needed in most campaigns, except as an existential threat thats somewhere south, and nobody talks about it. Part of it is... as tragic L5R is, its usually considered poor storytelling to have the players forced to retire their characters because they unknowingly ate tainted food, or a maho-tsukai succeeded on a roll to infect them with the taint. Unless its a game focused on that horror; which can be amazing.
  12. Well, if 5th edition is going to force me to read through each book to get a small snippet of something to get the whole picture like 4th, forget it. The pain of waiting 9 months for a "pillar" supplement is understandable, but the pain of having to search through 12 books to find that small bit of info on something is forever.
  13. Hmm, you're right... SW does have too much overlap. I mixed that up with the 40K books. I haven't fully read Dark Heresy, but I know Deathwatch and Rogue Trader have very little overlap.
  14. You may be right, there might be too much repetition. Perhaps when I get a day to look further into it I can sort of get an idea by making a table of what should go where from which book, and see. My goal would be at most 20-30 pages of repetition. You see the Setting info would be IC, so the histories would all be different, with certain common plot points illustrated. And also very whitewashed to represent what characters without forbidden knowledge would know.
  15. Well, that is core to the setting in many ways. If you discount the fact that the CCG has a world catastrophe every week... supposedly a typical Samurai almost never encounters a ghost or an angry fortune. He prays to his ancestors, the fortunes; attends the yearly rituals; but doesn't hear the kami. And hopes his ancestors look favorably on his actions. The mantis, just assume Osano-Wo is blessing them when they set sail in the middle of a furious storm. Anything returning from death; is horror. Not just in a macabre sense... but for a people that sacrifice personal desire and happiness for duty in the hopes of reincarnation; the idea of being trapped in a rotting corpse; or stuck as a ghost is horror. Hence they can't speak of it; and avoid those who must deal with it. And yes; in some ways because its so easy to put shugenja effects as magic spells, some of the wonder is lost in terms of the kami. The fictions suggest shugenja tend to be a bit... odd because the kami always talk to them. The system is woefully inadequate for portraying a class of people that just happen to hear things from thin air. And no... normal kami is supposed to be wondrous, a miracle. Part of the reason I try when allowed to play the Fox is because their rapport with the kitsune spirits holds a bit of that wonder.