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GM81 Protocol Droid

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  1. Mostly I am just backing up what others have said. I have done Emerald Magistrates multiple times, usually starting with the Topaz Championship, and that is the simplest method since not only can the group be cosmopolitan but it sets up an easy basis of travel, relatively independent authority, and a wide view many adventuring players may be used to. A variant with Imperial Cartographers was fun in an alternate post 2nd day of Thunder with a teenage Empress Kachiko the II and an Imperial Regent. The idea was the Imperial Cartographers were looking for trouble spots for the Heralds to follow up with, since post Clan War there was a lot of devastation and change. This usually meant investigating then dealing directly with rebellion, blasphemy, and Shadowlands threats. Once the immediate threat was handled, assessing what was needed to get the area back to proper rokugani standards and sending a report back to the Heralds to do a more long term rebuilding. Creating a common enemy also works. I have used a foreign "khan" that wanted to conquer Rokugan. Shadowlands is an obvious staple that was my original standard in first edition. The enemy doesn't necessarily have to be a war time threat. Investigating naga activity, dealing with gaijin, criminals, etc can be a strong basis. Cities tend to make good base for a cosmopolitan campaign. A PC may even be the sole representative of their clan and deal with their lord by letters and couriers. This definitely works as a palace/court/fort setting as well with representatives and guests, though I've never done that as the basis of a campaign with a very mixed group. When I've done this in previous editions these games ended up similar in structure to some of my Vampire the Masquerade games. The conflicting loyalties issue is even similar. A musha shugyo/warrior's pilgrimage is a good basis. Basically going ronin for a year or two to hone your skills. Though it tends to push towards bushi in my experience. Other school types need to be able to hold their own in combat for this type of game. Thankfully that isn't too hard in 5th. Doing single clan or from a small group of choices can be best with a specific story in mind. This should be done with some input with your players of course, as some people have strong likes and/or dislikes of clans. I've done a few short all Scorpion games. Those were enjoyable. With a big size group (4-6 players) I will do something like a clan or two, then say one person can be something unusual like a monk, ronin, kitsune, ect depending on what would fit. I try to be careful and only do this when I think a person isn't interested in the standard choice but everyone else is. So far it hasn't been an issue but it requires diplomacy on the GMs part. With the current clan book structures I've been considering doing a choice of great clan and minor clan. Another thought I have had was recently retired samurai, called back into service for some big event. They are technically monks but are mechanically their pre retirement schools. That creates interesting conflicts like, being good with a sword but not carrying a daisho.
  2. So that booth was Level Up dice! They had dice sets, 5dRing and 5dSkill, in either obsidian with white font or lavender jade (jadeite) with black font. At GenCon I bought a set of the lavender jade. They were very friendly and let you pick the five out from all of their sets, it at least a couple. IIRC I bought the third to last set. Someday I might be tempted by obsidian as well. The booth people told me they were officially licensed. https://usa.levelupdice.net/search?q=Legend+of+the+five+rings The dice have a good weight to them. They seem fairly sturdy and roll without chipping. Though I only roll them on a play mat. Like metal dice I probably would be weary of the thinner dice towers. Forgive the potato quality of my picture, I used the thumbnail instead if taking the time to edit down the file size. If these sell well I could see some wooden runs. Maybe sandalwood or agarwood if those are reliable woods. I could see FFG possibly doing alternate sets of plastic dice, and maybe licensing out. Either way I would expect the price to be about double that of standard dice. Q Workshop under an AEG license had made clan (including Mantis and Spider, plus Imperial) d10 sets. The Mon was the 0 face. That wouldn't work for 5E but clan specific color schemes would. I think before Q Workshop someone else did a licensed run of d10s, but my memory of that is fuzzy.
  3. Very true. You still have to break it the turn you stall it. Which can be very tough since it is Crab defending.
  4. Other options that stop the engine: Command Respect and Gossip. Just have to get through the Crab's Defend Your Honor first.
  5. SUPERB is a handy acronym to remember the order of resolving Conflict Resolution from steps 3.2.2 to 3.2.8. Skill compared (Win/Lose determined) Unopposed honor loss Province breaks (if applicable) Effect of the ring is resolved (for a winning attacker) Ring is claimed (by winner) Bow and go home (Conflict is over after this) Spoils of War Reaction: After you win a conflict as the attacker – Glorious Victory Reaction: After you break a province during a conflict – Spoils of War reacts after winning so is played after the Skills are compared after step 3.2.3. Glorious Victory reacts after breaking the province so is played after after 3.2.4. So yes, you can play Glorious Victory (or For Greater Glory) if drawn with Spoils of War. However you are also correct that Reaction to winning effects can continue to be played after being drawn with Spoils of War since you can continue to play more Reactions to winning after the first. Examples include The Fires of Justice, Fallen in Battle, Indomitable Will.
  6. I hope the Bayushi Bushi is in Courts of Stone as well. That seems a reasonable place for them to arrive. Shosuro Actor is another contender for the Scorpion school.
  7. RPG boxes just haven't sold well of late from what I understand. I am all fine with FFG trying. I suppose their beginner's game boxes do decently well, they just don't do storage. Also in fairness to FFG, their board games don't really do storage either. It all just sort of floats around once the tokens are punched. To be cheap it needs to be produced in good numbers. I think the big hindrance for FFG is that these would be items that are a niche product for a niche product. They do plenty of those products so it this isn't a deal breaker. I can think of plenty examples for board and mini gaming storage, but I cannot think of anything like this for RPGs that do both book and token storage. I'm sure there are out there though,
  8. I use 3 ring holders that slip into the middle page and place them in a binder. The tokens go into a bag. A box might be too specific a product. Special edition boxes seem to work as an upgrade for hard cover books for some companies, but for soft covers a box seems imperfect. I just don't see that being a viable product at this point in the industry. Especially as a retail product.
  9. I am mostly through the Shadowlands locations part of Chapter 1 now. The horror elements are very chilling. Plenty of unsubtle unnatural or gory elements, but mostly focused on the deceptive slowly maddening nature of the Taint. The writing is not as frightening as first edition Shadowlands material generally was, but I think that is due to a lack of in depth detail and atmospheric immersion. The book is more useful as a play aid because of that. The Dark Moto are presented. As is a character that incorporates elements of the Demon Bride of Fu Leng but with some other possibilities and attached to the Forgotten Tomb of Fu Leng. Most of the pieces are presented as somewhat nebulous for Gamemasters to tailor. Very unreliable narrator pieces that are intended for players. Overall the setting material is feeling very solid and does a great job at setting up playing in the Shadowlands or with the Taint as an important character. I'm looking forward to the other parts.
  10. The patterns are very fun. While I originally hoped for an attachment/modification system similar to Stars Wars/Genesys, the pattern system is very thematic in its focus on access and obscure knowledge to work these materials/methods. Every pattern has a history or role in the setting. The Mirumoto Taoist Blade School is quite crazy. They are one of the four skill and three technique schools. The fewer techniques than other such monk schools helps balance out the craziness of their techniques. This school definitely makes a type of character I have seen players try to create. A great way to make a very spiritual weapon based warrior. There are a few new titles: The Damned - Tainted warriors great at fighting other Tainted. Terrible at social rolls but also frighten the non-Tainted. Harvester - Crab that collect specimens for experimentation. Skilled in hunting Tainted things. Usually Hiruma, and work for the Kuni. Twenty-Goblin Crab - Former ronin that joined the Crab through a Twenty-Goblin Winter. They demoralize and frighten goblins. Witch-Hunter- Almost always Kuni, usually shugenja, that specialize in hunting maho-tsukai. A technique that punishes those who target the witch-hunter with maho.
  11. No Kata in general, and lack the bush trait. There are a few of the spiritual Kata on their curriculums at higher ranks. Invocations, Rituals, and Shuji. There is a ritual to improve items that seems fitting. They can start with Martial Arts Melee. Their school ability affects initiative when dealing with otherworldly beings and their mastery ignores some resistance of the same. Essentially, they have a little more access and incentive than most shugenja, but are not bushi shugenja like the Kuni Witch Hunters.
  12. My books arrived today. I can confirm that these are the new schools. Some interesting things going on here. The Toritaka Phantom Hunter is a shugenja school that starts with a katana. A number of 4 skill 3 technique schools. Also introduced are patterns which are crafting templates that can be learned with experience and the right access. Scrolls which are invocation powers that can be learned with access to the scrolls and experience. A number of rank 1 to 3 maho techniques. A smattering of other techniques. New gear, including three types of shields. New character templates and demeanor. Important to us GMs in the NPC templates: Crab Clan, Falcon Clan, and Tainted templates!
  13. My order should arrive Wednesday. I'm looking forward to the new books. After I receive these, I will decide if I will direct order the Crane pair.
  14. I decided to collect all of my house rules and game adjustments into one thread separate from the general Homebrew thread. Feel free to question or discuss any of my changes. A few items have been tested, and a few have not. I will try to point out where I agree and disagree with the official errata and FAQ document. Clans and Families Schools
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