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  1. Like
    Matrim reacted to Avatar111 in Dueling Question?   
    in a duel to the death, the system is really well done. it is always a game of high risk high reward; are you willing or not to risk taking a critical hit? how do you manage fatigue/strife?
    they are quite epic.
    obviously, you never use predict/center (both are absolute trash, binder fodder).

    for a duel to first strike / first blood. it is a bit broken. the safest way to win those is to have a huge earth ring. Iai Kata in Earth stance, and then Strike in Earth stance all the subsequent turns. You have lot of composure and decent endurance, so you just grind your opponent down. If he doesn't use Earth stance himself, you use a void point and strike with Earth and go for the crit to win it, or Fire to have more chance of getting the 5+ severity if you have a decent fire ring.
  2. Like
    Matrim reacted to sidescroller in How good is this game?   
    Yes, this is a good game. And like any edition of L5R, that's largely because of a compelling setting. The major selling point of L5R has always been the setting, not the system. I think @Avatar111 made getting into the setting sound more daunting than it really is; don't feel like you *have to* read more lore than the core book provides; if your particular implementation*** of Rokugan looks different than other peoples', that's fine. If you're having fun, you're doing it right.
    As others have noted, it started with some great ideas, and followed up with mediocre execution--so, it's just a *good* game, not a great game. 
    Recommended for someone that has never played before? Depends on what that person has never played. Never played an RPG? Maybe, if the GM knows the system well. Never played L5R? Sure.  
    IMO, the game shines through 3 main concepts: 1) the setting, 2) the approach system, 3) multifunctional dice.
    Primarily, though, I think it shines in comparison to past editions of L5R; in my own observation, L5R is the RPG that gets most frequently and extensively house-ruled to try to fix the game (as opposed to just add more to it, like additional classes in D&D). I expect that will be true for this edition, too, but I'm glad they took the game to a different system. 
    ***keeping in mind the major sources of drama will make the setting accessible: different clan "personalities", samurai are servants with lords, and the game is interesting when tenets of bushido conflict; if you focus on those three things, you'll have a good game of L5R. If everyone is new to the game, I'd start everyone in one clan (maybe 1 or 2 PCs on loan from a neighboring/allied clan), focus on conflicts of a provincial daimyo. After a few sessions, introduce a couple characters from another clan, and then as your campaign reaches a climax, introduce a third clan. No need to feature every clan in your first campaign. 
  3. Like
    Matrim reacted to Franwax in Dueling Question?   
    Hey there! For damage and critical strikes, try and check out one or two topics below that one “spending Void point and critical strike”. It has some good intuitions on how to understand “damage” (which is not really damage tbh) and what a connecting strike actually is. 
    Then, duels and the various objectives (first strike, first blood, death) start making a bit more sense. 
    Long story short, as Avatar said, it’s nigh impossible to land a killing blow in the first round of the duel, and totally impossible to inflict any critical strike (which are victory conditions in pretty much any duel) on an opponent in Earth stance that is not incapacitated. 
    From there, we usually reach a counter intuitive spot that, for first strike/blood duels, initiative (and bidding Strife in staredown) matters little. You’d rather sit in Earth stance and take advantage little Strife as possible. Then trade blows and try to make the other guy incapacitated before becoming compromised yourself (remember, each duelist takes Strife equal to the number of the round each round: at the 3rd round of a duel, both sides will have taken a total of 6 Strife!)
    Also, if you don’t have an Iaijutsu cut technique, you usually won’t draw and strike in turn 1, unless you’re in Water stance (and then, you’re vulnerable to being critted yourself). Though if you’re confident in your abilities and your adversary foolishly did not pick Earth stance to begin with, you can win a first strike duel in round 1 by goons Water stance, drawing and striking, and hoping to succeed with 2 opportunities to land a winning crit... in this case you may want to spend some Strife to secure initiative, but that’s a borderline case. 
  4. Like
    Matrim reacted to Hida Jitenno in Dueling Question?   
    You kinda skipped the middle chunk.
    Not every action has to modify strife levels (though certainly can depending on how you roll). Note that not every duel is a single-strike duel. In this edition Duel is essentially 1v1 combat with an objective to perform.
    This is wrong.
    As finishing blow notes, the first time Shiba Al becomes compromised or unmasks, Daidoji Ben gets a finishing blow. Initiative has nothing at all to do with the Finishing Blow itself. I'm not sure where you get the combined initiative from all rounds part.
    Basically, here's a finishing blow example:
    Shiba Al's turn. He's in... Air stance. He decides to Strike.
    Shiba Al has Air 2 and Martial Arts Melee 1. So he assembles a dice pool of 2 Ring (black) and 1 Skill (white) die. DOn't ask me why he's in this duel with these stats, he just is.
    Shiba Al rolls: Success/Strife, Success/Strife, Explosion/Strife.
    Now Shiba Al has to choose which dice to keep. He's at 10/10 Strife, and you always have to keep minimum of 1 die. But since he's wanting to hit, he keeps Success/Strife and Explosion/Strife.
    Next you resolve the Explosion: Opportunity. Then choose if you want to keep it, which he does.
    Next you resolve the Strife: 12/10, causing him to become Compromised for the first time in the match.
    Now Daidoji Bob gets to interrupt with his Finishing Blow. He may make an attack action with any readied weapon. He thinks this is hilarious, so he uses Strike with a punch. He's got Fire 3 and Martial Arts Unarmed 1. So 3 black, 1 white.
    He does great and gets: Explosion, Explosion/Strife, Opportunity, Success. He keeps 2 Explosions and 1 success.
    Resolve Explosions: Success/Strife, Success/Strife. He keeps both.
    Resolve Strife: Because he's been keeping it cool, he's now at 7/8 strife.
    Resolve Opportunity: Inflicts 2 strife on Al for fun.
    Resolve Successes: 5 successes against TN 2. He succeeds with 3 bonus, plus thanks to Fire stance, 3 more bonus successes. Punch is deadliness 2, so double that for Finishing Blow to 4, plus his 6 bonus successes equals 10 Severity.
    Shiba Al gets a resist roll: 2 Fitness 1 Air: Success/Strife, Blank, Explosion/Strife. He is compromised, so he can't keep any Strife results. He keeps the blank die, weeping silently.
    A 10-severity critical results in a Maiming Blow.
    Daidoji Bob's punch lands solidly in Al's windpipe, giving him Bleeding and the scar disadvantage Muteness.
    GG, Shiba Al.
  5. Like
    Matrim reacted to Magnus Grendel in Coiled Snake   
    This. He was being polite about it, but the impression I got was that he was offended and annoyed by Sotorii's intrusion as well, he just knew his place socially well enough to know he wasn't allowed to get angry, and - whatever he felt internally - kept a lid on it publically.
    "I agree that you are an honored guest, Hantei Sotorii-sama,” he said, his voice solemn, “but your behavior has been…” Dairu swallowed. “It has been inappropriate. I must object to it on behalf of my clan, whose hospitality you currently enjoy."
    For someone to say that directly to the Imperial Heir, before witnesses, is pretty serious stuff.
    This. Regardless of the behaviour of the other two, Bayushi Dairu comes out of this whole escapade looking like a very promising samurai - courteous, competent, and honest. Of course, that's not necessarily an entirely promising scorpion samurai.
    This. Whilst the old version of the Scorpion Clan Coup isn't happening (because characters who died in it are already dead and the story is moving in a different direction) we might well have something which looks very much like it because a lot of people will assume it's a coup if it's handled wrong.
    Akodo Toturi knows first-hand the Emperor's intentions but even his own clan aren't taking his leadership all that well, and - if he's going to start being completely honest, he also knows (or at least suspects) the scorpion tried to 'fix' the Emerald Championship.
    Added to the fact that Doji Kunawan would probably blame the Scorpion Clan for his father's death by sheer spinal reflex given half a chance, and the Scorpion's sudden acquisition of the Empire's second city via Imperial Protectorship, and the concept that it's all actually a scorpion plot to functionally replace the ruling family sounds painfully credible in-character
  6. Like
    Matrim reacted to DGLaderoute in Coiled Snake   
    I won't presume to speak for FFG and their release of products--not my place at all. However, I will say that this story was conceived of, and written, quite some time ago, as part of the overall ongoing L5R story. It was really important for the readers and fans to gain some insight into the inner thoughts, motivations, etc. of the Emperor and his sons, because they're so integral to where the story is about to go. And, that's where I slam headlong into my NDA, so I'll keep it to that.
  7. Like
    Matrim reacted to Franwax in How good is this game?   
    One feedback I got from some players - not big L5R buffs but otherwise experienced RPG players - is that the learning curve is steep at the beginning. The custom narrative dice are great and very well suited to the setting, but having to chose among 6 or more different possibilities on how to spend the opportunities you rolled can lead to a form of “analysis paralysis”. I think it gets better as the player gets used to their character and to the system, but it definitely demands an effort of them. It matters less in narrative scenes than in conflicts because a) you tend to roll less checks and b) you feel less compelled to find the best way to spend those opportunities, mechanically. So narrative scenes have been more fluid and enjoyable so far. The big end-of-adventure fight we had dragged on for longer than anticipated for that very reason. 
    That’s where having a GM who knows the rules very well helps a lot. When the players hesitates, you need to be able to narrow down their choices to 2 “good” ideas. 3 is too much and does not really narrow it down much, and 1 may give them the feeling that they don’t have much agency in playing their character. Even then, this can break the flow of the game so ideally, players should learn the patterns that “work well” on their own sooner rather than later. 
    In short, it’s a lot of work and takes some getting used to... but it’s worth it!
  8. Like
    Matrim got a reaction from Void Crane in How good is this game?   
    I'm enjoying the game. My current group is a narrative group and not a power roller group which helps as I prefer that style. 
    As to the rules you can take/change/leave what you want. 
    What I am looking forward too is a big campaign. I am designing one myself but it would be nice to have a large standalong campaign produced by FFG. 
  9. Like
    Matrim reacted to AK_Aramis in How good is this game?   
    I find the game excellent. Strife management has worked well for us, the advantage mechanic is great, and the few issues I have are clear typos.
    Strife has been central to many scenes; ninjō, anxiety, and passion have driven RP and been driven by RP.
    The duel system has worked quite well for us - the very things Avatar111 has claimed don't work have been used by my players and I to great effect. 
    The mass combat is a weak spot for me, because I would rather have had a damage to cohort rather than damage to army, but it plays fine as is - which brings up an issue: It works just fine if one changes one's playstyle to what is written, rather than trying to force the game to support an incompatible playstyle.
    There is little support for non-clan characters, but already it has support for two minor clans... which is better in terms of stage of product-line than 3E or 4E was...
    I seriously think 90% of Avatar111 and Nameless Ronin's "issues" with the game are due to it not being suitable for their playstyles, and an unwillingness to change their playstyle to fit what's there,  rather than it  being a game riddled with errors.
  10. Sad
    Matrim got a reaction from Avatar111 in RPG Playmat   
    On the main site at https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/2/7/prepare-for-the-journey/
    Interesting. Lovely art. I might purchase just for that. Not sure about the play aids but the visual initiative tracker is useful.
  11. Like
    Matrim got a reaction from Nheko in RPG Playmat   
    On the main site at https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/2/7/prepare-for-the-journey/
    Interesting. Lovely art. I might purchase just for that. Not sure about the play aids but the visual initiative tracker is useful.
  12. Like
    Matrim reacted to Horvagab in Children of Tradition   
    Well ****. I mean... Sotorii is still a bully, but I have a feeling no one actually...taught him anything? Or dunno.... not on a very basic level? It's like they expect him to pick up cues by himself, and he didn't manage. Not ot mention I have a feeling that in some ways the Emperor (and the Crown Prince) is almost exempt from the regular nuances of Rokugani society.
    I mean, he is still a bully, but it seems he doesn't have the tools to engage in a non-bully way?
    At the same time he is astutely ware that Daisetus is better than him in most ways, my gut feeling, so he knows he's not measuring up, but doesn't know how to be an emperor, and people just expect him to know.
    Also, it's kind of strange. Daisetus has Dairu, Jodan has Shoju, but Sotorii has no one. I wonder if that means he scared anyone away who could be a friend of his, or he never really got anyone "assigned" to him as a friend.
    I don't know what I want more: the stories where he showed up to be seen from his PoV, or from the PoV of his honor guard, the people who spend most of their time with him.
    Also, while we see the Emperor lower his guard with Shoju...I have a feeling he doesn't do the same with his sons. Both seem to think of him as a distant figure, which is really not helping matters for either one.
  13. Like
    Matrim reacted to DGLaderoute in Children of Tradition   
    No one has said DGL is doing the Crane book/novella...or not doing it. I realize that's pretty wishy-washy, but FFG is pretty clear that we writers write what we're given to write, and then shut up about it until publication time. So, seriously, I can't say that I am or am not writing the Crane novella...I just don't want anyone to come away thinking for sure that I am.
    And thanks for your kind words about "Children", glad you folks are enjoying the story (so far!)
  14. Like
    Matrim got a reaction from Corg Ironside in Skirmish Combat   
    Thanks for the comments all, the article has actually just been re-written to clear out some of the nastier rules issues that have been pointed out and no doubt is now equally wrong but in totally different areas.
    It has been a useful exercise just in clearing up 'how' things work for me.
  15. Thanks
    Matrim got a reaction from Tonbo Karasu in Skirmish Combat   
    Thanks for the comments all, the article has actually just been re-written to clear out some of the nastier rules issues that have been pointed out and no doubt is now equally wrong but in totally different areas.
    It has been a useful exercise just in clearing up 'how' things work for me.
  16. Like
    Matrim reacted to sndwurks in Major Changes in 2019 to Organized Play   
    You can read it here: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/1/30/the-future-of-organized-play/
    We are still figuring out how this impacts L5R Organized Play, but the big changes that I can parse:
    In Store Support is going from tournaments to "Casual Play" model The In Store Support package is only for 8 players for 3 months Premium In Store Support packages will be available for certain games (presuming L5R is one of them) Worlds Championships are going to Invite Only Prime Championships provide 1 Invite; Grand Championships provide Top 4 Invites; Continental Championships (likely GenCon and European Championships) provide Top 8 Invites No word on what the retroactive Hatamoto titles given out to Top of Clans in previous Grand Kotei will be given or if they still have an invitations to the Worlds Kotei are NOT within this structure, but are instead an "Open Event", which may or may not be included with these events on a case by case basis The biggest change is that the local tournament scene is going to twice a year per store, and World's Championships are going to strictly Invite Only. No word as of yet if the Worlds will allow people in the door who are not competing in the main tournaments, but it is likely that if they do? This is the start of FFG moving in the direction of turning their World Championships in November into more of a mini-convention.
  17. Like
    Matrim reacted to Bazleebub in Imperial Advisor   
    We've had a busy week at Imperial Advisor.
    First up we had coverage of the Cork and Phoenix Kotei. We keep adding to these with more decklists and updates, so don't be surprised if you come back in a week and more has been added.
    We have a few more articles. Baz wrote a theoretical piece about the fate system called The Rhythm of Waves. We also have a great piece called The Red Lion by Akodo Hato, a Lion Hatamoto who has had success with a Scorpion splash. He talks about the current situation with Lion and how he was rethink his approach to the game to have any chance at being competitive.
    Tonight (31/01/2019 19:00 GMT) we'll be on Twitch recording a new episode which will be out on YouTube and Podcast a short time after that.
  18. Like
    Matrim reacted to Liono58 in Legend of Five Rings Minicrate Models   
    Finished Naga Hunter with base intended to capture feel of Shinomen Mori.

  19. Thanks
    Matrim got a reaction from OB-1 in Skirmish Combat   
    Thanks for the comments all, the article has actually just been re-written to clear out some of the nastier rules issues that have been pointed out and no doubt is now equally wrong but in totally different areas.
    It has been a useful exercise just in clearing up 'how' things work for me.
  20. Like
    Matrim reacted to Avatar111 in Skirmish Combat   
    Oh it will be wrong. This system is obscure to say the least. Especially when it comes to opportunity spending, everything is different and there are no standards, it can get absolutely mind boggling.
  21. Thanks
    Matrim got a reaction from Monkey Bloke in Skirmish Combat   
    More for beginners out there I have posted up a combat walkthrough to cover some of the detail
    Enjoy! or not...
  22. Thanks
    Matrim got a reaction from Monkey Bloke in Skirmish Combat   
    Thanks for the comments all, the article has actually just been re-written to clear out some of the nastier rules issues that have been pointed out and no doubt is now equally wrong but in totally different areas.
    It has been a useful exercise just in clearing up 'how' things work for me.
  23. Like
    Matrim reacted to The Grand Falloon in Skirmish Combat   
    This is very good, but I'm also noticing a few things.  Franwax already pointed out the limitations of Earth Stance.  It's very useful, but it does not negate as many Opp spends as it first appears.  Things like Iron Forest and Striking as Water are still completely valid, as are Kata that require a Resistance roll, such as Crashing Wave Style.
       Also, you wrote that "'Way of the Lion' is a very strong ability that both reduces risk (from bleeding)..."  Way of the Lion does NOT help you with Bleeding, nor does Void Stance, or any other ability that helps prevent Strife.  If you keep those symbols, you take that Fatigue, even if you're able to mitigate the Strife.
       Actually, later in the fight, you write that "She turns one of the strife into a bonus success (the Way of the Lion ability) making a total of five success and one received strife."  Not how Way of the Lion works, but close.  Way of the Lion has no effect on the Strife received from the roll.  It removes it from your character.  This actually makes it better, because you don't need to roll any Strife symbols to make use of it (pretty handy at Rank 6).  Now, I'm pretty sure that, even if you start the roll with zero Strife, you can gain it on the roll, then remove it.  But BE CAREFUL!  If you're in a duel, close to your Composure, accepting that Strife can trigger a Finishing Blow before you can remove it!
       Nitpicking aside, though, this is some very helpful work.  This system is not always intuitive, and has some pretty weird ways to manipulate die results.  In-depth examples like this are really handy to new folks trying to wrap their heads around these things.  And here's hoping it's also helpful every time one of us pushes our taped glasses up and jumps in with an "Ackshually!"
  24. Like
    Matrim reacted to nameless ronin in Skirmish Combat   
    It's rare for different groups to play 100% the same in any system. Not just because of mistakes either - between houserules and interpretations, different groups just try to make the game play in the best possibleway for them. This is a good thing, not a problem. Obviously it's better if the game itself is intuitive and easy to understand, but when push comes to shove all that matters is whether the group wants to play and is willing to work past rules they don't understand or don't like. I enjoy discussing rules as much as the next person, but if consensus can't be found that's not a drama: it's not about what's right, it's about what's right for the group.
    The recent discussion about free hands needed for invocations is an excellent example. There are so many ways you can handle this, and they can all be equally valid. Needing both hands free is not better or worse than not worrying about free hands at all. You can keep it simple and say one free hand is needed, or you can complicate matters by creating a houserule that modifies the check based on how exactly you're attempting your invocation. Mechanics are not the focus of the game, they're a means to an end. We should not put them on a pedestal.
    Now, that said, if this is intended as a walkthrough, a demonstration, that changes things a little bit. Deviating from rules that are clear as written runs counter to that goal, after all. Nonetheless, there's great value here. If mistakes are made, so be it - we can discuss them here and that will foster more understanding too.
  25. Like
    Matrim reacted to Franwax in Skirmish Combat   
    No rush! It’s already great that you found the time to do all that, and if this can be rerun factoring those few changes, I think this stands to be a very good tool for people to gets hands-on examples of how skirmishes are run. 
    We’re all but students of the game
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