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  1. The example of the scenario card on the announcement page doesn't tickle my "Oh, this will be eminently replayable" senses. Looks like the specific scenario deck will be linear. I worry about the randomness of the box's components. Will I get given the things I need to actually be able to complete the things I get given to do? Or will it be so anodyne a setting and story that it won't really matter whether I have a Lumberjack or a jet pilot? Will I be given a Mountaineer in a forest (and will their 'special ability' be so broadly defined that somehow they'll be as useful as a lumberjack would be)? I don't particularly have a problem with the game being unique, it's the problems with producing a satisfying game while accommodating the immense variability. Or will it just be that the names and portraits of the characters are different? Keyforge has unique backs to deter deckbuilding (not that you couldn't design some sort of draft format with opaque card sleeves). Will the contents of these boxes be likewise distinctive to preclude combining parts? Would combining parts just foul it all up? It's a new paradigm, that's for sure, and FFG have obviously invested some treasure in the whole technology that's permitting the variability. I just hope they don't let the new toy get in the way of making good toys.
  2. You might be aiming to do something like clear out the attackers, or cripple them and then parachute a weak defender in who'd be vulnerable to being returned home or bowed by a special ability, so you wouldn't want to commit them early in the exchange.
  3. No, the Scorpion are not less efficient in their task because they're less honourable. They are *more* efficient (indeed, can only fulfill their role) because they have accepted that they will do dishonourable (by the definitions of Bushido) things. Being more willing to be decietful and "fight dirty", they are freed from some of the constraints of Bushido which limit and restrict other Clans. They do not accrue as many of the advantages that a reputation for adhering to Bushido would gain them, but their advantages lie elsewhere: in freedom of action.
  4. I agree that the current approach to subskills is thoroughly uninspiring, and redundant, as well as mechanically disastrous in 99% of game cases if implemented. I think your suggestion bears some merit. One of the tricky details of designing 'specialisations' into any game is pricing them in XP and any 'points-only' freeform chargen method which might at some point be produced. Making them a flat, separate benefit, as you suggest rather than an actual skill dice increase probably makes that task easier. However, I'd be inclined to: first of all reduce the number of subskill picks your character gets at game start: keep the one or two picks from your school skills, or the school-plus-Family skills, and at most one 'free bonus' pick from another skill group as a 'hobby' specialism. second, reduce its potential effects. At most two levels of specialisation, and each allowing a reroll of a single die when using that skill. Having a specialisation be an auto success or an auto-opportunity on every roll is way, way too powerful, IMO, and having a level 3 specialist knock off up to three strife from the roll every time they use their skill means they'll hardly ever accrue any strife of their own on that skill; getting a couple of 'specialisms' in a handful of key skills will drastically impact the strife economy. An alternate effect might be: each specialism allows you to add a success or an opportunity to a 'strife-only' dice face in a roll. Maybe this would be a 'once per scene' option, or a 'once per outburst'. Maybe even an effect at the level of the rerolls I suggest above should be restricted to 'per scene', and if it's one at a time only, then you could have a flat price per 'level' and no cap, so 'specialisations' just mean you tend to be more consistent in the given skill.
  5. The whole 'subskills' concept needs revisiting. As it stands, a 'subskill' isn't anything of the sort. The 'subskill' mechanism means 'divide a skill up into lots of smaller specialisms that replace it'. So instead of having "Aesthetics" and paying 2 x [rank gained] XP to improve at flower arranging, origami, Bonsai, drawing and all the rest at once, you have to spend the XP to improve at *each* of them, separately: being extra good at rock gardening will give zero additional expertise at block printing. As it says in the blurb on p79 about subskills, you'd probably only want to do this, and only in a limited fashion, if you're running a game that's sharply focused on a single area of endeavour, given the paucity of skill points available, especially at game start. The blurb's example could possibly be read to say that you could split just one 'subskill' off an existing skill, but that makes even less sense. On the flip side, it certainly seems a bit odd that a fellow who's a master at one of the very broad skills that are offered as default should inevitably be a master of all the aspects covered by the default subskill grouping: while footwork is important, it's about the only commonality between naginatajutsu and kenjutsu, and sculpture shares little with Kodo... I think a 'specialism' rule should be a default system. An extra dice for the specialism, say, and possibly having the specialism (sometimes) enforced by the school of the character that gives them the skill, if it does - Kakita duellists should probably specialise in kenjutsu, classically. The skills as they are do seem overly broad (shooting a crossbow and a Yumi are very different skills, though they both involve similar judgements). A Specialism cascade would allow for greater differentiation without meaning a specialist would be entirely incompetent with the (sub)skills that share common elements, currently grouped together as one skill.
  6. I do (and it's purely a personal view) hope that what seeps across as "Evil Fandom" for the acceptance of the Shadowlands stuff as 'legit' in Rokugan and I gather was as a consequence introduced by player-driven excesses in the CCG-effect on the game world, will be reined in sharply. Scorpion Coup: fine. Shadowlands alliances: not so much...
  7. We've still 6 days to go of "last week's 'next week'"...
  8. Aye. The OP kit costs money. Staffing the event may incur additional overhead.
  9. Hi all Pleased to announce that Battlefield Hobbies will be hosting a Launch Party event on 7 October, 11:00, at our gaming space in Daventry. As a learn-to-play event, we're not aiming for it to be competitive; that's for the next two in the series! Details and tickets here. Any questions about the event, I'll try and answer. Regards, Russ
  10. North Korea hasn't been attacked in any material way since the Armistice, ditto modern-day Russia. They still manage to arrange to demonise the 'not we', to distract their population from the regime's shortcomings... With a good enough propaganda machine, there can always be an external threat. "We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia..."
  11. You've encapsulated two differing schools of thought there. There were plenty of historical leaders who encouraged the perception of the external threat to keep their unruly subjects from gathering together and noticing they could possibly revolt, as well. Divide and rule is an option that weaker overlords can pursue; you have to have the ability to enforce the law (regarding internecine strife, as well as the normal 'courts') before you can create a peaceful realm without necessarily prosecuting conflict against an external threat. An overlord without their own military or moral force in sufficient quantity will struggle against united subjects, so must play them off against each other. Not that any of these approaches are exclusive with one another; you can promote discord between your vassals while using your power to maintain the rule of law, and prosecute external wars at the same time...
  12. Only for the first pick though. After that, 'everyone' is going to be working with a 'sub-optimal' role pick (assuming the first year the choices are, as you suggest, obvious and standardised, and I don't think you're far wrong). So after the Worlds in November, the roles are going to be 'sub-optimal', cos initial assignments are being made, if I've read the organised play articles correctly, at GenCon.
  13. As a staff member at a FLGS and gaming venue, I'm keen to see if we can support the launch programme of this return to a well-beloved and classic IP, but we have a busy Autumn schedule already, and I need to know what weekend the launch will be on before we can commit to supporting it. I get that there'll be shenanigans at GenCon (mid-August), and it's 'on the boat' (so "4-6 weeks" from landing in LeftPondia). Pre-orders by 21 August make me think 'second weekend of September', but is there any official date I'm missing, or if I'm not just being blind, when will they announce the general release? GenCon? We'll be preordering product, that's for sure, but drumming up support for the launch needs as much notice as we can give...
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