Where can I find the rules?
The Learn To Play rule book can be found in the Core Set.
The Rules Reference is a digital rule book, and will evolve over time.
The latest versions can be found by following this link, and scrolling to the Rules section under Support.
How many core set boxes will I need?
One to play.
Two to compete.
Three for playset.
What’s in the Core Set?
ANSWER: Each single core set contains 1 of each clan card, 2 of each neutral conflict card, and 3 of each neutral dynasty card - except the Keeper and Seeker Initiates and the neutral holdings, of which there are 2 each.
How do I tell the difference between a Dynasty and Conflict card?
ANSWER: Look at the back of the card.
Alternatively, Conflict cards and Dynasty cards are distinguished by the 'C' or 'D' in the bottom right-hand corner.
What is my clan’s current role? Crab: Keeper of Earth Crane: Seeker of Air
Dragon: Seeker of Fire Lion: Keeper of Fire Phoenix: Keeper of Water Scorpion: Seeker of Void Unicorn: Keeper of Void
GENERAL PLAY QUESTIONS
When can I play events/attachments?
ANSWER: Check out pages 18 and 19 in the Rules Reference document.
Here, you can find the Framework. It’s a handy breakdown of the main timing sequences in the game.
Events can be played in any of the Action Windows.
Similarly, attachments can be played in all Action Windows, except the one in the Dynasty Phase.
Unless otherwise specified in a card’s text, all Abilities can only be triggered once per turn.
Abilities can be triggered even if the card is bowed, unless the ability requires the card to bow as a cost.
Keywords resolve as soon as their specified timing point is met, before any reactions to that timing point can be triggered.
[Answered by Nate French, 09/08/2017]
Lasting effects do last, but they only check their activation effects when they are triggered.
So, for cards like the Dragon Stronghold or Hida Guardian, changing the amount of attachments or holdings in the middle of the conflict, but after their bonuses are given out, won't change the bonuses they gave.
Will it be possible to do the old CCG trick of declaring an attack/conflict at a province and then not sending anyone to the battle?
ANSWER: No. At least one character must be declared as an attacker... in order to initiate a conflict. [Rules Reference: Page 21: Framework 3.2 Declare Conflict]
When Kakita Kaezin finds himself dueling the Otomo Courier (which could happen in a political conflict), what happens?
ANSWER: This duel cannot happen. A character with a dash skill value cannot be a challenger or challengee in a duel of that skill type. [Rules Reference: Page 5: Dash(-) ]
Do bowed attachments contribute force to a conflict, assuming the character is still ready?
ANSWER: Yes. If an attachment has skill modifiers, those modifiers apply to the skill of the attached character. Such modifiers apply to the character even while the attachment is bowed. [Rules Reference: Page 3: Attachment Cards ]
Does the term ‘Sacrifice’ have any mechanical difference to ‘Discard’?
ANSWER: Yes. Sacrificing a card does not satisfy other means (such as “discard”) of a card leaving play. [Rules Reference: Page 14: Sacrifice ]
If I take control of an honored character that I do not own, who gains the honor if they leave play before they are returned to their owner?
ANSWER: You will gain the 1 honor.
When a card leaves play: If a card would enter an out-of-play area of a player who does not own the card, the card is placed in its owner’s equivalent out-of-play area instead. (For all associated card ability and framework effect purposes, the card is considered to have entered that opponent’s out-of-play area, and only the physical placement of the card is adjusted.) [Rules Reference: Page 4: Control and Ownership ]
What happens when I want to play an attachment with restricted keyword on a character with restricted attachments already attached? Or can I not do this?
ANSWER: One of the attachments must be discarded. If at any time a character has three or more restricted attachments, that character’s controller must immediately choose and discard one of the restricted attachments on the character as soon as the illegal game state occurs. [Rules Reference: Page 13: Restricted]
Can a player discard a copy of a unique character to add a fate to a unique dynasty character in play during the conflict phase?
ANSWER: No. A player may, as a player action during step 1.4 of the dynasty phase... [Rules Reference: Page 6: Duplicates]
If I declare a Political conflict as my first conflict and my opponent switches the conflict type to Military (Kuroi Mori, Captive Audience), am I able to declare Political again for my second conflict this round? ANSWER: No. Declaring a conflict type is independent of what the conflict turns into via game effects. During the conflict phase, each player is granted one opportunity to declare a military conflict and one opportunity to declare a political conflict. [Rules Reference: Page 20: Framework 3.2 Declare Conflict]
DASH (-) SKILLS
Can Doji Challenger target Otomo Courtier to bring it into a conflict?
Can Bayushi Yunako use her ability to switch the stats of someone who has a dash skill?
ANSWER: No If a character has a dash skill value, that skill value cannot be modified or otherwise changed by card abilities and effects. [Rules Reference: Page 5: Dash] Can you Charge a character with a Dash skill value?
A character that cannot participate in a conflict would not be able to enter a conflict they cannot participate so they would remain in province with the game state unchanged.
[Answered by Nate French, 23/08/2017]
SPECIFIC CARD QUESTIONS
HEIGHT OF FASHION When can I play Height of Fashion?
ANSWER: Height of Fashion “cannot be played during a conflict”.
It cannot be played during the Dynasty Phase (No attachment can).
It cannot be played during a conflict, but can be played during the Conflict Phase.
Thus, it cannot be played in the Conflict Action Window (3.2.2).
It can be played during any other Action Window.
WAY OF THE LION If I play two Way of the Lions on one character in the same conflict will it quadruple its base strength? Or triple it? Or the second Way of the Lion has no effect?
ANSWER: It effectively adds the base Mil. So a second one will add the base Mil again. (Livestream June 24)
TOGASHI KAZUE Can a player add a fate to Togashi Kazue, who is in play as a attachment, by discarding a second copy of Kazue from their conflict hand?
ANSWER: No. Kazue is played “as an attachment”, thus changes cardtype. Duplicate rule refers to characters. If an ability causes a card to change its cardtype, the card loses all other cardtypes it might possess and functions as would any card of the new cardtype.
[Rules Reference: Page 3: Cardtype]
A duplicate is a copy (in a player’s hand or provinces) of a unique character that is already in play and under the same player’s control.
[Rules Reference: Page 6: Duplicates]
ELEMENTAL FURY What happens to the fate on an unclaimed Ring when it is switched to by Elemental Fury? Does the attacker get the fate as well?
ANSWER: Yes. When a ring becomes the contested ring in a conflict, move all fate on that ring to the attacking player’s fate pool. [Rules Reference: Page 14: Rings]
CLOUD THE MIND Can you use Cloud the Mind to blank Hida Kisada's text box? Or is their text considered a trait?
ANSWER: Hida Kisasa two traits: Bushi and Champion. The rest of the text, other than flavor text, is a constant ability. The constant ability will be blanked. Most cards have one or more traits listed at the top of the text box and printed in Bold Italics [Rules Reference: Page 16: Traits]
Blanking effects (like Cloud the Memory) do not trigger the "cards leaving play" for abilities they may have blanked. So if you've used some character's action, then they get Clouded, then the Cloud is removed, the action is still considered to have been used even though it vanished for a while.
BLACKMAIL Does Blackmail work with Spies at Court? Can you take control of the opponent's character, dishonor it, discard cards from your opponent's hand, and then return this dishonored character back to its owner?
ANSWER: Yes. A Blackmailed character is returned at the end of the conflict (3.5), while Spies at Court is played when the conflict is won (3.2.3).
What happens to an attached Way of the Dragon when a character I control is the target of Blackmail?
ANSWER: Way of the Dragon is discarded, as it is no longer attached to a character you control.
“Attach to X” is a continuous check. If X is not true, it becomes an illegal attachment. If a situation arises in which an attachment is not legally attached, discard the attachment. [Rules Reference: Page 3: Attachment Cards]
REPRIEVE If I have Reprieve on an honored character that I use for Noble Sacrifice, can I use Reprieve to save the character and still get to discard an opponent's dishonored character?
ANSWER: No. If the selected card does not leave play, the sacrifice is not considered to have been made. [Rules Reference: Page 14: Sacrifice]
TOGASHI YOKUNI Togashi Yokuni copies the ability on an Adept of Shadows. Can Yokuni be returned to a player’s hand?
ANSWER: Yes. Nothing prevents it. That copy can then be played as if he were a conflict character, or discarded as a Duplicate. If an effect discards a random card from the player’s hand (Ring of Earth), use a die to pick randomly.
[Answered by Brad on Discord]
Togashi Yokuni’s ability copies another triggered ability “until the end of the phase”. If Yokuni copies Shiba Tsukune’s interrupt that triggers “When the conflict phase ends”, will Yokuni be able to use the interrupt or will he lose it before it triggers?
ANSWER: Yes. Shiba Tsukune’s ability is an Interrupt Ability, so will be resolved before the triggering condition of the conflict phase ending. [Rules Reference: Page 16: Triggering Condition] [Confirmed by Brad on August 5 Live Stream]
LET GO If I play Let Go, choosing an opponent’s Watch Commander, do I lose an honor?
Let Go is played. Watch Commander reacts to the card being played. Then the effects of Let Go resolve. [Rules Reference: Page 9: Initiating Abilities / Playing Cards] [Answered by Brad on August 5 Live Stream]
STEWARD OF LAW Steward of Law will only protect a character from gaining the Dishonored status.
It will not prevent a character from going from Honored to Ordinary. [Answered by Brad on August 5 Live Stream]
HIDA KISADA Will Kisada’s constant ability cancel an opponent’s Voice of Honor of it is the first card they play?
Kisada's ability reads that he can “cancel the effects of the first action ability your opponent triggers...".
This means his ability only affects those abilities with the keyword "Action". Triggered abilities fall into one of the following types: actions, interrupts, and reactions. [Rules Reference: Page 16: Triggered Abilities]
SHINJO TATSUO If Tatsuo is participating in a conflict, can he use his ability to move himself and another non-participating character to the conflict?
ANSWER: No A card is not an eligible target or an ability if the resolution of that ability’s effect could not affect the target at all. [Rules Reference: Page 16: Target] [Answered by Nate French, 23/08/2017]
What happens if Shiba Peacemaker targeted with Blackmail?
ANSWER: Cannot participate status is a binary check to see if a character is eligible to participate in the conflict they are participating in. When control of the Shiba Peacemaker changes, the character would no longer be able to participate and would be sent home bowed. [Answered by Nate French, 23/08/2017]
AMBUSH Do I need to reveal the character that I'm going to put from hand? Or just any eligible target?
ANSWER: Yes. Part of declaring your intention to trigger Ambush is to indicate which character(s) you intend to put into play, which will be revealed (though not leave your hand) when checking the play restrictions for triggering the ability (Step 1 of the initiation sequence). As such, the decision to cancel (in Step 6) is made with full knowledge of which character will actually be put into play by the successful resolution of the ability. [Answered by Nate French, 23/08/2017]
IKOMA EIJI Can Ikoma Eiji put Deathseeker into play participating in the conflict, allowing the Deathseeker to also trigger?
The Rules Reference Guide only gives the player the option of putting the character into play directly into a conflict if it is played from hand during a conflict. Since it is being put into play and is not coming from hand it does not have this option and is placed in the home area.
[TBD: Find references] [Answered by Nate French, 23/08/2017]
3x of 2 neutral provinces that are seeker / keeper only, and 3x of another limit 1 dynasty so its clan locked, not even splash... they could have given those just 3 card slots of the 60 instead of 9...
The guy you played, Mat, is my meta mate and friend and we discussed this between nearly every round. It simply blew us away how careless people were being with their honor. In fact, he won every single game via dishonor, if I remember correctly.
It works fine if both people bid 5, then it's just a conflict card extravaganza.
But if you bid 5 on turn 1, and your opponent bids 1 you're already down 4 honor. If your starting honor was 10 (as with Crab, Unicorn, Dragon and Scorpion), you're at 6 before you play a single card. One Air conflict, you're at 5. One unopposed conflict (as 2 characters each is a typical turn 1 in 1 core environment, that means unopposed conflicts were 1 Rout/Outwit away) and you're at 4 after just a single turn (not including any self inflicted honor loss, like Banzai or Assassination)
Sure, those 4 extra cards may get you a province on turn 1, but you're now inches from losing. Mat had a guy down to 2 honor entering the second round in one of his matches, which is basically just game over.
Every person was running 2 assassinations and 2 banzais, 2 of the most potent conflict cards in the 1 core environment, so that's more honor loss right there.
****, I got 5 dishonor wins in two days and I wasn't even trying to do dishonor most of the games unless my opponent just begged for it (like by bidding 5 on turn 1 and 4 on turn 2).
I have found that it's best to just bid 2 to 3 and see what your opponent does. If they bid high, you may have a slight card disadvantage for a round, but you'll have more honor meaning you have more liberty to use Assassination and Banzai as well as go after other rings while your opponent has to soon go for Air and Fire to give themselves breathing room.
From there, you can evaluate whether or not you can get them to 0 honor or if you just want to use that extra honor as card advantage and bid a bit higher on turn 2.
If they bid low, you lose only 1 or maybe 2 honor, which isn't so bad and then you can decide if you have the honor available to bid in that mid range or if you want to bid low again to preserve your honor.
This past weekend I saw too many people lose to dishonor with 8+ cards in hand. Having more cards is great, but I've found it best to gradually slope into card draw (as well as utilizing Ring of Earth and draw effects, such as Fertile Fields and holdings) as to not risk a loss to dishonor. Nothing feels worse than seeing your honor diminish and knowing there's very little you can do about it other than be first player and get that Ring of Air conflict.
that is a good observation - I've been wondering what "bidding meta" may evolve. I've heard good things about a stronger up front bid but I've also seen my own hopes shrink after bidding heavy... Until I'm building optimally with full card pool and more experience I doubt I can judge it - so I'd love to hear what other players have experienced.
Right I think there is a trap of thought you can fall down by only considering the cost of the components and not consider all the other costs that go into the product. This was certainly not a cheap product to produce. Seven factions with a fairly large card pool to start needed to be design and developed (this was not a rehosting. It was a complete redesign of the game). The story team needed to coordinate and reboot the story, and have been giving us a really frequent stream of new fictions free of charge. In my opinion even the stories that are considered weaker by the online community are still great pieces of fiction so far. The organized play program they are proposing is the most ambitious program I've ever seen them propose, and that had to take a good deal of time and effort to work out. Lastly this game is gorgeous. I think that's a pretty widely held opinion. Art has to be one of the most expensive parts of game production and FFG has amassed a pretty great stable of card artists and graphic designers. Their services don't come cheap. That's all before we start talking about the company's operating costs and the product line turning a profit.
So it's not a matter of there is 300 cards and 5 sheets of counters. The components cost X, the retailer needs to make Z off the purchase to make it valuable to them and I want to make Y profit so I'll charge X+Y+Z. It's more like art costs A, game development costs B, writing costs C, buying the licensee from AEG cost D... I need to recoup A+B+C+D. My profit Y needs to cover that and make the game profitable for me in the core set since each expansion will reintroduce these costs again. My projected competitive audience for this game is V gamers. Does Y*V cover my costs? Does Y*V*2 cover my costs? Does Y*V*3 cover my costs? Also is X+Y+Z around 40 USD because that's what my market research tells me is an acceptable maximum price for an introductory product to attract the widest audience.
Something like that I would assume is the thought process, but of course what do I know. Only FFG knows it's business plan
It's not about the components in the box. It's about not making a core set that is like 100 bucks to cover the initial risk on development costs, art assets, buying the license to begin with... No casual or fence sitter would give the game a try at that price. This way they have the low price casual entry point and the high price hobby entry point. This way they also don't split up the card pool into different products by faction, which would introduce a host of other issues like scarcity of popular faction products, economic pressure to over support popular factions, bloating shelf space on retail shelves with even more LCG products...
Look I'd like if I could get the core set full play set for cheaper. I don't love just throwing money away, but I think FFG doesn't have an easy obvious solution to replace the current model. Also considering the model is reasonably popular why fix something that isn't necessarily broken. It's a problem for the first couple months of the game and then people stop talking about it. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the investment you'll be making in this game if you play for years.
Ultimately I want this game to be profitable for FFG. I want them to keep supporting it. I want them to expand their L5R product range. So I'm not going to begrudge FFG the desire to make money off this product. Look that's the whole point. Yeah you'll have some redundant cards when buying 3x core sets, but by my last count I think there is something like 160 singletons in the core. That is still a pretty reasonable value for that last core set, and all the neutrals you'll have extra copies of can be used to construct multiple decks at once. Therefore the actual amount of waste you are purchasing with this core set product is pretty minimal compared to something fairly wasteful like the Netrunner or LOTR core sets.
If I were Shoju I would be outraged. So much so that I would read some scrolls about how I could ensure that I was never beaten by the Crane again.
Now where to find such a thing.......what was Junzo talking about again?
Phoenix got Seeker of Void. That's really good for them. Crazy no one picked Seeker of Earth. Keeper of Air is interesting for Crab. Not at all what I would have picked. Though it's not a bad choice given limited experience. Keepers extra influence is always a nice benefit and many other clans care an awful lot about Air. Keeper Initiate also I guess is nice to keep more bodies on the field for defense and sacrifice.
Since these roles will be re-chosen at worlds it's only in effect for a very short amount of time. It's honestly almost best if you just pick nonsense this first go around since the next pick will have a longer life. I mean most of us won't have the core set for at least another month.
Before anyone gets too salty remember this is just for FFG organized play. You can still play any role you want when playing casually or in any privately run event.
Before everyone gets all bent out of shape, remember that these Roles will be changing at Winter Court this November (I think it is November).
And you cannot pick the same Role two times in a Row.
So maybe Crane took Keeper of Water instead of Fire because they knew that if they took Fire it would only be good for the next three months, and then unable to be chosen again for at least a Year, until at least next Winter Court.
I noticed that you didn't mention crab. Is it because no one is playing or is it that everyone is too afraid to speak the name of Hida Kasada. Or are they just being so average that no one seems to notice.
I'm on the edge of my mate! Thanks for keeping all of us who couldn't make it posted!
Also, and this is unrelated, but the first time I looked at this post I read your name as "Zeus Shadaban." I was trying to imagine this group of Phoenix shugenja standing around in their orange kimonos with one random white-toga'd dude in the middle throwing lightning all over the place.