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  1. While this has been verified by FFG staff, what of the Burning Sands is part of the L5R license has not. To the best of my knowledge on IPs, anything that AEG who actively held full rights to both licenses made part of the license would transfer with it, unless provisions where made during negotiations to remove it. So any L5R only book info, shared names and characters, or general BS info that was added to any office L5R books would be part of the L5R license. Not quite shore about the status of Legends of the Burning Sands RPG book as it was mostly the opposite having mostly BS info with a small amount of L5R info. Now even with this it is possible that FFG has made the choice to ignore all of BS original story and create the area from scratch.
  2. Story wise There has never been any real indicators to me that the heavens cared who was on the throne until Iweko I, and that seemed to be more about bring balance back to the heavens and Rokugan then any real interest in the mortal world as a whole. This can be seen many time, as has been stated before (Steel Chrysanthemum, the Gozoku, battle of the White stag ) where during these time the dragons did not come an protect the Hantei line or impose their mandate on Rokugan. I would say that as the Hantei line thinned the idea of 'Mandate of Heaven' was adopted to keep stronger/purer lines like the Hida from gaining a claim to the throne. You can play it like you want, but I have never seen anything in the old canon that stated or enforced a belief in the 'Mandate of Heaven'.
  3. I could be wrong, but I believe the OP was worried about a Samurai using armor in a rare spontaneous duel in court. So I was listing the few times that a Samurai would wear armor in court. That said, you are correct that outside of an arranged duel, wearing armor in a duel would not be seen as honorable. I guess I could have been clearer there.
  4. First let me say that all my experience comes from 1-4 ed. So that is where my examples will come from. Now to understand the position we first have to understand what a Courtier is and what they do. L5R uses the word Courtier which doesn't have the meaning that the writers are trying to portray. Courtier: noun / plural noun: courtiers European: A person who attends a royal court as a companion or adviser to the king or queen. Japanese: Courtiers are the rich people who live in the courts also known as the palaces. But that neither here nor there as it has become part of the game world at this point. The position of a Courtier is something that seems to get confused a lot in L5R games. In-world it is a job/position, But being an RPG the game has to make some distinctions between it and the Bushi class for balance and playability. This was do to the Class/School design from the first four editions of the game. It surprises me that they kept it in 5th since the structure of the new mechanics does not require it. Courtiers are Clan diplomats/representatives. They negotiate treaties, arrange marriages, and other political activities. In-world this can be done by anyone within the Clan with the clout to speak on the clans behalf. This can be a Champion, Family Daimyō, or an appointed representative with the status to accomplish the goal. A good example of this is the Phoenix Clan, who's Courtiers tend to be from Shugenja schools in-world and not Courtiers in the game "Class" sense. Now to the OP, first we must look at the "School" system in Rokugan. The word "School" is what tends to confuse newcomers to L5R. Rokugan schools are not like western schools. They are more of an apprenticeship program. 3/4th Ed Emerald Empire explained Rokugan schools as for lack of a better term like the Jedi order. You have a preschool like first part of your education where you lean the basics and then you are paired with a master for your farther education based on you skills. If the student is not up to the task of advanced training with a master, they are sent to the military as a grunt or a low level administrator/ assistant for a Courtier. So all Courtiers will probably have some form of low level martial training. Now whether that training is rank 1 quality would depend on the Clan/Family. Most often in Clans with a Courtier training curriculum I would say no. Now this by no means keeps a Courtier from practicing his/her swordsmanship. But a fully trained Bushi Yojimbo would still be a better choose then a partially trained Courtier so most don't bother. Another issues that come up a lot, is the belief that there are multiple Rank 3+ Samurai running around. When the fact is (at least from 3/4th ed) the majority of Samurai in Rokugan are Rank 1-2. Rank 3+ Samurai are rare and the PCs are part of this rare breed. Because of this most of your opponents will be low level, so a few ranks in Katana/Kenjutsu/or what ever they are calling it now, should be just fine. As to Armor in a duel. Outside of a battlefield it is rare for a Samurai to be in armor. Exceptions to this would be if ; 1.The Court is part of a siege or in an active warzone. 2. The Samurai is in an enemy court during a war. 3. The Samurai is a member of the Courts guard. In these instances it would be O.K. ? (depending on the Clan) to wear armor during the duel. Outside of that, no one is going to let a Samurai go get his/her armor to fight in a duel. This would show he/she has no faith in his/her position or skill.
  5. From my experience, The few 4th edition post I have seem have been deleted by the Forum Mods. Now I don't know if this is because they went of the rails or its just a ban on 4th edition post in general. But it has been a trend. So I would probably say no. I would also say it would depend on what the discussion was about. If you are looking to bash 5th then no. If you are looking for a discussion on possible house rules or just how a mechanic works then it depends on the Mod.
  6. As I have said before I'm here to follow the story. Did not know I have to like the RPG to do that. And the OP asked for both sides of the story.
  7. Overall I agree with @sndwurks review of the game. To sum it up "Nice try, but try again". The one major issue with the game that IMHO sndwurks missed was the character creation system. At lest to me (and every gamer I know) The character creation system is the first make or brake mechanic for a game. Where a game stands or falls before the dice are even rolled. An example would be A time of war (battletech RPG). It is a wonderful system, with great game balance and easy mechanics that work. But the Character creation system is horrible, so its not a popular edition of the game. Even though it has superior mechanics to the first three games. but L5R FFG fails out of the gate on both counts here. Not even having superior mechanics to fallback on. They took the 20-questions, that were meant as a guide, and turned them into a rigged fill in the blanks system. They took away a players freedom to create the character they wanted and replaced it with a one-from-column-A, two-from-column-B system. Limiting the players choices to one or two per question. Overall the game is a major pass, and I could not recommend it.
  8. Was not talking about this forum, as if your here you probably have a bias for FFG games. Was talking about more L5R orientated forums. And the Beta bombed with players in my area. As I said its no skin off my back which way it goes as I have all the 1st-4th edition books, and I'm good with that. I just thought it was coarse to respond like that. I will admit that I may not have had the whole story, but I said what I had to say.
  9. Well, that's no way to promote the game. First let me say I no longer really care one way or another what happens with this game. As I have said before I'm just here to follow the story and see if its worth using in 4th. But I see a few ways that this can go at this point. 1. FFG manages to capture enough of the old fan base + transfers from SW/Genesys to support the game. (From the response I'm seeing on the L5R fan sites that seems unlikely) 2. FFG gets an influx of players from SW/Genesys + new players to support the game. (Possible, but I have no info on this as I'm not in with the SW/Genesys) 3. Game fails to drive in the needed numbers and FFG release a Genesys setting for it. (Not sure on this one as I don't know if Genesys is working out for them) 4. Game fails to drive in the needed numbers and FFG release a updated version of the old R&K system. (I don't think they are likely to invest more money to do this) 5. Game fails to drive in the needed numbers and FFG drops the game entirely. (More likely if the sales are bad) If people come to this site and are treated like that, all you are doing is driving more players away from the game. While he may leave anyway I doubt he doesn't know other players that might be interested, and if they get the idea that the forum is hostile you may lose them before they even try it. That said, do what you want, that was just my 2¢.
  10. The where deluxe bound character sheets booklets, with a gloss cover featuring one of the Clan Mons.. Which I always found stupid since they cost to much to be used for what they where. So they just wound up being collectors items.
  11. I see this whole argument as pointless, since the approach/skill system is just a symptom of the larger problem with this edition. The attempted fusion of two totally different game system into one is the main issue. I have been saying from the beginning that 5th should have either been a Genesys system expansion or a R&K update. They tried IMHO to appease both camps and ended up with a hybrid mess of both. That said there are many issues with 5th beyond just the approach/skill system. Like how the Character creation system is nothing more then a fill in the blanks pre-generated character system. How the advantages and disadvantage have lost all their flavor and become a forced +1/-1 system. How Void has been reduced to a reward for failing to overcoming your disadvantage or for making your advantages into disadvantage. How the system rewards you for power gaming the approach/skill system. How thinking outside the box or trying to have a more diverse character is punished by the advancement system. How the writers have forced their view of what a character should be on the GM/players with the Character creation system and advancement system. How the game forces unwanted drama on the group with systems like Strife, forced disadvantage, and Ninjō /Giri. All things that should be created from role-playing between the GM and the players not the game. Before it is brought up, you will notice I did not attack the custom dice here. That is because outside of my feelings that the current system is to hit and miss and doesn't have the flexibility that a numbered dice system has. I think it worked here to an extent. Now just to be clear these are IMHO, If you want to know ways I would fix these issues I am more then happy to discuss it, but if you are just out to tell me I'm wrong then don't bother or expect a response.
  12. If you read the descriptions of what a Shugenja is doing when he cast a spell, he pretty much is groveling to the Kami.? A spell in L5R is a proven way to appease the Kami to act in you interest. Now as for what AtoMaki said, I read this as boosting the confidences or adding moral support to the Shugenja, not trying to impress the Kami.
  13. As AtoMaki stated in 4th it did both. example: Heavy armor: Bonus to TN: +10 Damage Reduction: 5 Light armor: Bonus to TN: +5 Damage Reduction: 3
  14. And to cut-off the argument before it comes up, as this is the rebuttal I always get. The Phoenix elemental legions are not just a legion of combat Shugenja. This is a misconception that was brought on by the Clan Wars mini game. Each legion was a full legion of Samurai and a support legion of Shugenja trained to work together in combat. Whether it was: Fire: Shugenja providing range support or wrapping the Samurais swords in flames. Air: Shugenja enhancing the range of the archers. Water: Shugenja Improving the mobility of the Samurai by providing waves for them to ride into combat or illusions to fool the enemy. Earth: Shugenja providing stamina and armor enhancements. The Shugenja of the legions are support units not frontline fighters.
  15. Yet the ritual that you are bringing up does just that. The flavor text may say that you are not talking directly to the spirits, but the effect seem to imply something completely different. "Only shugenja can speak to and hear the kami directly as though they were speaking Rokugani to one another. However, other priests and laypeople are able to use this ritual to receive less specific guidance from the spirits, such as a leaf that falls to the ground pointing in the direction of the person or thing they are seeking." But the results say Sense the Kami: Detect all spirits and uses of their magic by shugenja within a number of range bands equal to the ring you used plus your bonus successes. Spiritual Knowledge: Learn one fact the spirits know about the area. Try to explain how you are suppose to get a fact about the area from a leaf falling? Or how a spirits are going to inform you about their numbers and all the spells cast in the area through subtle signs? Or how the spirits are even going to have a clue what you want or need if you can't talk to them? The game seems to want to "have its cake and eat it too" here. This has been argue to death in the beta forums, and the defense has always been that Rokugan is a mystic place and samurai can talk to Kamis but just not on the level that Shugenja can. Let me first clarify something. My use of the word priest may have been confusing to some. In the sense that I was using it, I was more describing them as non or light combat clerics. To me a Shugenja is a support character not a frontline fighter. So the fact that they don't get to swing ever turn like a Bushi is not an issues. Add to this that they are rare and have a spiritual duty and they should not be in the forefront of combat anyway. That's why they have yojimbo in the first place. As for the spells per day being antiquated and unnecessary, that would depend on how they are set-up in the game. 1. Are they middle of the road in power and serve as just another range type unit. (Then whats the point) 2. Are they Swiss army knife support characters (Then why give then offensive spells) 3. Are they powerful wizard types that can bring down fire and lightning on their enemies (Then they need limitation on how offend they can do it or they become overpowered) As for Spiritual Backlash, it seem to me you and others are putting way more on this system then it is capable of delivering when it comes to power control. 1. The Shugenja has to roll 3+ Strife on kept dice (this is per roll not cumulative). So it is within the Shugenja power to except failure to avoid it, and since there is no spell per day limit he just miss one round of spell-casting with no other effects. 2. Update 4.0 changed a lot of the results of Spiritual Backlash in some cases limiting the number of people effect by the backlash. Add to this that only fire and air spell can directly effect the party and the TPK issues is not as much of a issues as you are making it out to be. Also, the secondary area effects are not limited to only the party, so the NPC are effected by them also if they are in the area which means that both sides are burden by the backlash not just the party. 3. Like most Strife based effect Spiritual Backlash is more a problem for lower level PC then more advanced PC where the power issues that spells per day combats are, so Spiritual Backlash is not a deterrent to high level power casting.
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