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Kaiju

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  1. I own everything 4e and 5e hardcopy, even the hard-to-find 4e stuff like Atlas, Strongholds etc. If this is the end of the L5R RPG era, and I were to pick one edition to run as GM (or player ,really), I would actually pick 5e over all the others, even though there is much more 4e material (and the quality is good). For all the criticism 5e gets (and I am ignoring Avatar11 here), and the bad sales, I think its the best system L5R ever got when it comes to actual gameplay. The ONLY area in which 4e is better, IMO, is magic/shugenja, for sheer variety and creativity. The problem is that the RPG genre has a lot more players today, and overall the market is larger but more diverse, with tons of players getting parts of the cake - outside of DnD 5 and possibly one specific german-language juggernaut, the time of dominant RPG brands seems to be over for now. Due to the large number of competitors, quality and expectations have skyrocketed, and I will freely admit, FFG has not put out good RPG products when compared to a company like Modiphius, who are the new modern face of RPG business, and simply play on a different level design-wise. (Conan 2D20 is an incredibly good, fast, flexible system that does virtually anything that L5R does better, for example). In that market, and seeing how they struggle in their board games department as well, I believe FFG is a dinosaur who doesnt want to evolve, and L5R fell victim to that. This is a RPG in the style of the 2010 era indeed.
  2. I had seen the Path of Waves announcement before I picked up my CoS, but living in europe means release dates can vary a lot, so it might have been a different order in the US. My main concern comes from the mixture of silence about new product for over half a year now, in combination with past cases of such behaviour by FFG pretty much always ending with cancellation (Runewars Minis, Imperial Assault, Black Crusade even before the licensing deal fell through, some LCGs, SW: Destiny most recently) as FFG doesnt like to communicate its cancellations until the last possible moment. Of course, there is really enough material out there to play. But I have a hard time seeing an additional 4-5 books in this line for the "missing" clans. But one can hope Has anyone picked up the adventure too? After the disappointment with Winters Embrace and Mask of the Oni, I am skipping this one.
  3. I just got it. I will say this is the best Book of the entire line right now. THIS is how a sourcebook should be. It goes full-on into areas we havent seen explored, it offers a ton of new stuff to old characters while retaining new options for new characters, and rather than spread itself too thin, it focuses on 2 gaijin nations but gives them a TON of new stuff. Now, some of the techniques are really, REALLY strong. The combo of one of the new Iaijutsu cuts with one of the new schools, a pattern-forged ivory kingdoms sword etc. will result in a duelist monster, and the archery/ranged stuff can be devastating too. I think we are now approaching the territory of "gamemaster says no" that we ve had in other RPGs due to tech creep. But that doesnt matter to me much - i play Exalted and SWRPG, after all I wish we would get more books of this quality, size and dedication, and its a shame that it seems this may be the last.
  4. Financially speaking, it seems RPGs are fine. Just like with board games, a lot of money moved to kickstarter, where even niche RPGs can gather pretty massive funds (look at the Exalted kickstarters for example), and there are plenty of 5e third party products that were funded with huge numbers. I think we are seeing the RPG sector going the same way as the board games - traditional publishing is waning, and I believe that is in part due to the slow release cycle, whereas kickstarted RPGs often drop half a dozen books on you at once. For example, I went all-in on the 2D20 Conan and it was money REALLY well spent - first wave gave me enough material to run a long campaign, 2nd wave gave me a ton of new options to give everyone interest in another campaign with new stuff for every taste. In comparison, the only new release we saw during our L5R campaign which started with Shadowlands was Courts of Stone - a single supplement with material that mostly appealed to 2 of the 5 players. The other 3 are still waiting for some material to show up that inspires a desire to go for something new. I would imagine a L5R RPG kickstarter, properly run and advertised, would lead to much better product, in particular with the kind of fan feedback cycle that Modiphius does.
  5. Interesting, I havent heard of such campaigns and I am quite active in the community in german-speaking europe. Some systems are one-shot systems, some are campaigns, but I havent heard of a successful multi-year campaign using one of the newer RPG systems except 5e, and "Das Schwarze Auge", the by far biggest RPG in the german market. Pretty much everyone is playing 12-18 month campaigns with newer systems, if they try for longer they most often just die off at some point. I actually dont know a lot of L5R 5e campaigns anymore, but the setting has always been a bit of a hindrance with its high demand on background knowledge. Be that as it may, according to occasional interviews with RPG designers, they definitely state that people leaving a system over content draughts or too much crunch/too little inspirational fluff is a problem. In my decades of experience GMing and playing, I can certainly say that inspiration for GMs to start campaigns most often comes from new material or new ideas being presented to them through new releases and lore (like books, movies, other games) exposure. Well, lets hope for the best!
  6. Well, my campaign is coming to a close, after starting it with the release of Shadowlands, and using material from all the books, Path of Waves is by now simply too late to be of any use. I imagine most people having finished their campaigns by now, or sometime in the next few months. L5R is not like DnD 5e where you keep getting material and keep starting new campaigns, it requires a lot more effort from everyone, and player recruitment for these tiny niche games is also not that easy. A steady release cycle of material inspiring new campaign ideas or at least clan materials would have been important. I imagine we might see one last book after PoW though, because that was probably already halfway through production when the RPG department got the axe.
  7. Judging from the lack of sales or gaming events, I expect Keyforge to have another year at most. However, Destiny seems to be a little like Games Workshops idea of "gig" games, that last for a short time only, and are never meant to stay around for years and years. Looking at how L5R LCG crashed and burned too, I imagine you simply cant go up vs. Magic in the competitive arena these days, thus the cooperative stuff being much better.
  8. Any signs of life on this one? Its long overdue in terms of the usual schedule, and recent news makes me concerned it might be an "Atlas of Rokugan" type deal, where its just thrown out in small numbers to be done.
  9. Hasnt stopped FFG from cancelling card games and anything else ASAP though.
  10. I have been running SW campaigns for a couple years, and now a year of new L5R. Star Wars scales up in complexity a LOT more over the course of a campaign, especially once you figure in vehicles, starships, second specializations, signature abilites and the entire subsystem that is equipment modding. Star Wars at low credits, no force, down-and-dirty beginner characters is indeed much more simple than L5R. Star Wars after 150ish XP with half a million credits in hardware among the group is an entirely different beast.
  11. One of the laid-off people said on reddit the RPG department is pretty much gone. So either they use freelancer work (not unusual in RPG business) or we are looking at the end of FFG RPGs.
  12. We had a similar issue. I used a temporary slow-down, but by then players had become addicted to high XP, and it doesnt slow down after rank 3 - rank 4 and rank 5 follow rather soon in my experience. Seeing how rank 6 is totally broken, I have come to the conclusion that the XP curve of L5R is not suitable for really long campaigns. Its a system that allows for people to grow from small fry to masters within a year.
  13. I suggest 3 or 4 players, PLUS a DM. So a total of 4-5 people. Its not so much about the system as it is about organizing regular game nights with more people being kind of a pain
  14. Both from wording, ingame logic and thematic logic, Katana of Fire means its always supernatural damage. Basically, whenever you used your katana to do damage, its now supernatural. The game rules arent watertight, and of course there is always somebody who can interpret something some other way. But strictly going by classic rules text analysis, Katana of Fire trumps the others because its an "always active" condition clearly connected to the use of the item in question. If in doubt or if you want to go by thematic argument, read the fluff texts of each technique and decide if its actually the Katana doing the damage, or some other element. Whenever there is mention of the weapon, that means its supernatural instead. If thats not enough for you, strictly text-wise, this is the way reads: Thunderclap Strike = you obviously use the weapon for that damage, so its supernatural. Strike action = all physical damage is supernatural, you strike with the weapon, thus it becomes supernatural Flowing water strike = all physical damage is supernatural, thus in any case the entire damage is converted to supernatural because you use the weapon Crimson Leaves Strike = did you attack with the Katana? In this case the "all physical damage is now supernatural" clause means that your physical earth ring damage also gets transmuted to supernatural. The ONLY case in which this would not apply is if you did not use the Katana to attack ( even though holding it) by using the Kick weapon to trigger any of these katas. As Kick is a separate weapon (one of the two unarmed ones), it wouldnt convert even though you are holding the katana in your hand. I think trying to cherrypick what "inflicted by this weapon" means has no basis within the rules. Its very simple: you pick a weapon to use, then you use an Attack action with it.
  15. Thanks a ton everyone! I ll check out Endless Vigil then, and the era sourcebooks. That should do nicely, as I fully expect the story arc to follow at least 1, if not 2, jedi characters go through the clones wars and, hopefully, at least one survives the Order 66 moment, and will have to go into hiding, which makes crafting lightsabers a potentially crucial undertaking.
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