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Ockbald

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  1. Well I'm looking forward Intrigue, Skirmish, Duel (who is getting a bit of rework soon, apparently?) and Mass Battle scenes then. I sure hope they tweak Mass Battle soon if it is clunky because I was a heavy user of the Mass Combat in 4th edition for better or for worse. I liked the ideas that I read for it, but I gotta test it.
  2. I guess it's a good thing I haven't reached combat on my playtest yet, I need to review the system. For some reason, I assumed "resilience" was your health pool.
  3. Thanks for clearing the first issue. The second issue, however, is still prevalent? Isn't it better for you to have less honor to make Warrior's Resolve to heal more fatigue?
  4. I will try to put into words how I felt about the game. Not in just a mechanical level, that I can do with other threads. Rather, I wish to share in this post what I and my playing group felt revisiting our favorite setting in a completely new way, through the Dark Promises adventure. L5R matters dearly for us, so forgive me if it sounds a bit too emotional. ** A Farewell to Rings I have started back in 2006. To me, L5R was something I always knew but never tried. The "Oriental Adventures" supplement for D&D 3.X who somehow ended up in my third world, South American Local Game Store beckoned me forward. Its cover was beautiful. While I was looking just for the next cheap class thrill for my ongoing D&D 3.X game, a familiar name popped in that book "Legend of the Five Rings". I was completely captivated by the setting, so much so I threw my old D&D game on the back burner and went ahead to hunt down all the old L5R books I could find. And for eleven years, I was hooked. And so, however, manages to share a table with me, I pride myself on being able to make others feel excitement for L5R, even it's just a glimpse. L5R is pure joy. And I wish to share this joy with the world. When AEG announced it had sold the rights to FFG, the internet was set ablaze discussing the new card game. I couldn't care less about any of that cardboard stuff. What about the RPG? What about the setting that I love? I was so scared and frustrated, in particular, because my favorite factions wouldn't make a showing in the now rebooted universe that I cursed the heavens. "Why is L5R changing?! Why can't we keep getting supplements for 4th edition? Every single god **** supplement we got was top notch stuff. What about the Winter Court? What about the Mantis? The Minor Clans? Rokugan your way? Different timelines? What about...The Spider?" - I went ahead towards a playtest session with my fiancee, another L5R fanatic (A very casual RPG player usually - But not for L5R. She loves it and dedicates time and effort to learn the ins and outs of the mechanics and the setting with this one) and one of my oldest friends who also places L5R in a special place when it comes to gaming. Character Creation "Oh look how cute they returned the twenty questions thing from the past edition!" "Nice this will hopefully help newbies to this setting to craft interesting characters as for mine I'll..." "Wait a minute! To create a character, you must play the game of twenty questions." That was an actual conversation that happened as we were checking the pdf for the first time. Maybe we are spoiled, with the unofficial character generator for the 4th edition of the game as well the fact almost every single mechanical decision you had in the past games (as well on this one) impacted a concept of your character. This isn't a traditional RPG in the sense that you need to go further with characterization when you put in "Elf Fighter" in your character sheet. Being part of a clan is a big deal. Being part of a family is a big deal. Studying in a school one can "physically" visit in the game world is a big deal. So while we felt that the game of twenty questions of old was great at helping newcomers but unneeded for those who are aware of said game concepts, the one in FFG's L5R is pretty much just a 20 step character sheet creation. Which is fine, I guess. These two characters came out from the question gauntlet: Bayushi Sun - Courtier of the Scorpion Clan The first character created was a deaf Samurai, that is actually quite scared of death and what lies beyond, grasping at whatever mystical bauble or mysticism he could get to keep his mind at ease. Matsu Suzaku - Bushi of the Lion Clan The second one is a fierce, anti-social Matsu who was forced into an Akodo school so she could refine her anger into something more honor-bound. Secretly just wishes to be left alone, despite being loyal to the Lion's goals. Just as we were ready to delve into the Dark Promises adventure, we realized the characters had 24 XP points to spend as described in the intro for the adventure. So they focused on buying off stuff that would allow them to pass over to rank 2 because why not, right? This is where I discovered there is some questionable stuff in the Akodo Commander progression. The Prelude I'll do a bulletin point thing to make things easier to read: - Sun and Suzaku arrived at Ishikawa Mura, the players were quick to "snap" into Emerald Magistrate roles due to their familiarity to the setting, with Sun proposing Suzaku to play the part of his Yojimbo, in which Suzaku accepted. This made the fact that Hirohide wished to pursue Michiru on his own while they were tasked to hunt down Keinossuke much easier and natural. - Because Suzaku is to guard Sun, she followed him around. No party splitting! This allowed the duo to roll more and often when they examined the crime scene. In a surprise twist, Suzaku was the one who uncovered most of the information of the crime scene while Sun was feeling the dread (strife) of confronting such a gruesome mortality scene. - Water Opportunity activated by one particular spicy roll from Suzaku gave her the whetstones. - The whetstones sent the players for a loop. They begin to question if Hirohide was being truthful with them, thinking someone planted something to point to a ronin in the crime scene. Well, that's the problem when the main investigator of the team is a Scorpion, I guess! Always see malice, even when there isn't... - This actually added tension to all other scenes, for the players were trying to reformulate and understand the fateful crime scene with every information they could piece together. For instance, Suzaku figured out that Hida Kayo was killed while suffering two wounds, of which one was fatal. Confronting the heimin in charge of cremation of the body, they manage to develop a theory that Kayo killing blow came from behind, meaning he was probably distracted by the first blow. - Naturally, all this talk about cremating bodies with Heimin gave Sun even more strife. Poor Scorpion just wishes to tell the fortune right now, only to be sure he won't die today. - But duty calls, and while the duo had an ok time questioning Yoshida about what happened in that evening... - It was when Mirumoto Chiaki was introduced that Bayushi Sun time to shine came into the picture. Quickly realizing the Dragon is hiding something, the Scorpion pretended to know exactly what Chiaki was hiding and blackmailed her into revealing whatever she knew about Hida Kayo's last moments. - Not even Suzaku realized Sun was lying about this. Well, that's a Scorpion to you! - Inspired by his success, Sun decided to go "off rails" a bit and interrogate Yoshida's daughter (a npc I added just to put some color into the intro scene) which I then used to be the random "peasant information" that the adventure lists to point the two out towards Totsu the blacksmith, that pointed out where probably Keinossuke escaped And with that, we finished the Prelude. Some thoughts: About character creation - Giving schools two different technique pathways is pure genius. Allows for more diverse characters even within a single school. - Rules to create your own advantages & disadvantages is a smart decision - The way Advantages and Disadvantages work in this new system is fantastic. This is coming from someone who always presented the old system as being something unique to the l5r rpg and that other games should incorporate - The idea of mechanics shaping the narrative just by being there is something that exists throughout the book, which pleases me immensely. About the dice: - I hate funny dice. - However, the fact that there are only 4 symbols help the system a lot. It's easy to read, painless even. - The opportunity system is something I need to master, but I didn't feel it to be intuitive outside combat. About skill rolls: - I thought I was going to hate it. - Turns out, approaching things a certain way is very flavourful and fits the setting perfectly. Next post, Chapter 1 of Dark Promises.
  5. here is the thing though: Are they doing it wrong? The players, I mean. If they are playing a stubborn, pragmatic, and stern Samurai, wouldn't "Earth" be his most favored approach in almost all things? Considering the game now has techniques for Courtiers and the new scheme system, is it really an issue?
  6. All right so there are 2 techniques that you may take to level up as an Akodo Commander. 2 techniques in the school curriculum a newbie Akodo Commander may take to please his teachers and continue own his path to greatness: - Iron Forest Style Which he cannot take because it's a rank 2 technique. Meaning only a multi-school character would benefit from this entry. Is this on purpose? Seems weird. - Warrior's Resolve Which makes no sense for a Lion samurai to learn, since it goes against everything the Lion is about. It is a technique that punishes a warrior-type character for having honor. Allow me to explain - It reads: "Description: The bushi draws a deep breath, exhaling as they rise to their feet. Pain can be conquered so long as there is a duty to be done, they remindthemself, for honor is stronger than steel." The flavor, the concept described here is very Lion-like. This is not the issue. "Prerequisites: School rank 1 XP Cost: 3" Neither this - This is fine. "Activation: Once per scene, as a Support action, you may spend 1 Void point to recover from incapacitation." "Effects: Heal wounds until your total wounds are equal to your resilience minus your honor rank." Which means this is a powerful technique for a character who has very low honor, for it will heal wounds for its resilience minus its honor rank. Now I don't think the mechanic of this particular technique is wrong, or broken. I rather like how it plays out. However, it is not in line with the Akodo Commander. And it's description is misleading for Honor takes away from his healing power.
  7. All right so there are 2 techniques that you may take to level up as an Akodo Commander. 2 techniques in the school curriculum a newbie Akodo Commander may take to please his teachers and continue own his path to greatness: - Iron Forest Style Which he cannot take because it's a rank 2 technique. Meaning only a multi-school character would benefit from this entry. Is this on purpose? Seems weird. - Warrior's Resolve Which makes no sense for a Lion samurai to learn, since it goes against everything the Lion is about. It is a technique that punishes a warrior-type character for having honor. Allow me to explain - It reads: "Description: The bushi draws a deep breath, exhaling as they rise to their feet. Pain can be conquered so long as there is a duty to be done, they remindthemself, for honor is stronger than steel." The flavor, the concept described here is very Lion-like. This is not the issue. "Prerequisites: School rank 1 XP Cost: 3" Neither this - This is fine. "Activation: Once per scene, as a Support action, you may spend 1 Void point to recover from incapacitation." "Effects: Heal wounds until your total wounds are equal to your resilience minus your honor rank." Which means this is a powerful technique for a character who has very low honor, for it will heal wounds for its resilience minus its honor rank. Now I don't think the mechanic of this particular technique is wrong, or broken. I rather like how it plays out. However, it is not in line with the Akodo Commander. And it's description is misleading for Honor takes away from his healing power.
  8. I was having trouble picking a clan after they squat'd my past faction. This spreadsheet helped me pick my current clan, something new for me: The Phoenix. Currently, I'm reading up all the lore I can about the faction, if anyone knows any interesting personalities from the faction, please recommend me away.
  9. Agreed on both sides. I feel the RPG should influence two the story, even if it's something that will only be noticed by those adveturing through Rokugan instead of smashing some provinces. Warhammer Fantasy Third Edition was a terrible game that did not understand the point of the 2nd edition of that game and died a horrible death. Let us hope for our sake that we get Legend of the Five Ring roleplaying game and not an encore of that debacle.
  10. It's not like Roll and Keep cannot be explored further or anything. I'd love to see new things inside something that is associated with the setting in it's RPG format instead of going into specialty dice route.
  11. Why change something that works and it's beloved? FFG track record with systems that use narrative dice so far is 50/50.
  12. Let's start from the beginning: Roll & Keep is the mechanical soul of the game system and changing the structure of rolling and keeping dice would change the game way too much. It wouldn't feel like L5R. Want to see what L5R looks like with a different rule system? Check "Oriental Adventures" for D&D 3.X. It feels wrong. Let's talk about narrative dice. I personally hate them for a passion and they killed one of my favorite games (Warhammer Fantasy) with that crap. You enjoy the Star Wars RPG? Good for you. Here's my argument against it: 1) It would be a poor substitute to roll and keep. The mechanical structure of the game is about rolling and keeping dice, different numerical tiers tie to narrative effects already. Narrative dice would HAMPER the narrative you can create with the system not improve it like I saw some people arguing. We already have a system that is simple, intuitive and it's all about the narrative without some stupid specialty dice throw into the mix. 2) It would be a complete nightmare to play it online. Which may seem like a small problem when you realize there's a huge community for this online including a big bi yearly event in the Winter Court. tl;dr Why change what already works? Refine it, improve on it, but do not scrap the soul of the game. And by the love of everything that is sacred keep that narrative dice to Star Wars or something.
  13. What exactly are your plans for the Spider? Or better yet, what are your expectations? What kind of Spider would be proper for the game? There are some concerns and discussion over our clan forums, getting a clarification would help us.
  14. So I went ahead and opened this thread here: http://spiderclan.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2178 My goal is to drum up interest, fix the wrongs, polish our goals and wait until all the fiction and the application process is up. I'm glad Spider is given a chance to be a thing.
  15. Ah the Spider clan, where the future is nebulous and the player base all have their own views to how the clan should work. Here's hoping we finally get something and that the FFG stick to it. For real all we really needed was a focus and a pursue of said focus. We have been pinballing all over the place.
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