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  1. First impressions (I hope I did understand correctly most of the rules, sorry if I misinterpreted anything after a partial read) : • I like a lot of the new mecanics. I find the custom dice an improvement (not sure yet about their design, I need to test them to see if it is easy to read in one glance, maybe it will be easier when we will see them color coded in the final product) since it allows a more ergonomic TN and avoid to have to do (even easy) mental calculation when you should read a result in one glance. I specially appreciate the general mechanic of the outburst. I believe it will create a lot of opportunities to create emotional depth during conflicts and involve the players beyond the dice rolling. • I love the limited numbers of skills (I don't even want to use the subskill optional rules, but I think it's nice to propose it as an option rule). • I also love the whole mechanic of approaches. Previously, players tend to balance their rings to be able to progress and it created very similar characters, now it seems more interesting to give a character strong rings and weak rings and the mechanic allow to give different outcomes to successfull checks, depending on the approach. So, if I understand correctly, a courtisan with a strong Earth Ring and a weak Air Ring is still interesting to play : even if he will have trouble to spread rumors or to lie, he can still try to navigate his way in the court with reason and patience. He can still be effective as a courtier, but there are still limitations in what action he can achieve. • I 'm in awe with the whole Ninjo and Giri chapters : clearly well thought and really helpful. • I really like the new school mechanic and the technique categories. I like the freedom it gives. But I fear that for high rank bushi having 15 techniques may create a lot of complexity and uncertainty about what to do when you roll dice (especially when you obtain opportunities). Of course, I have to test it to know if this fear has any ground. • I never cared for the Honor Mechanic. It seems to have improved, but I'm not sold yet. For me, the first problem is that the name is (like it always was) misleading : Honor can be a lot of things in Rokugan (familial honor, for instance, can be harmed by the actions of a spouse or a son) and not only the adherence to the tenets of Bushido. I never understood why it is not called Bushido Points since it would prevent quite a few headaches. Plus, the moral complexities of the bushido make sometimes really hard to know where is a character on such a numeric scale because tenets of the bushido can (should) be incompatible from time to time. P182 even states that"The other rich story opportunity associated with Bushidō occurs when its tenets inevitably come into conflict with each other." But the mechanic seems at odd with that statement. I find anticlimatic to end a beautiful scene in which a PC has sacrificed a Bushido precept for another and the player is heartbroken by such a choice by explaining step by step what happened, trying to keep track and stating out loud what should be best left unsaid. "By the way, you should loose 6 points of honor for this action since you choose not to tell the complete truth to your daimyo when he specifically asked for it… Of course, it was because you didn't want to tell him about the shameful way its youngest and most beloved son acted just before he died. But I guess it was a compassionate act. And it was loyal since you surely understood that your daimyo would be weakened by this testimony when he needs to be strong of mind because he must obtain a difficult treaty with his enemy in one hour with the whole future of its house at stake. And your lie was the only comfort he could have since this tragic death. Well maybe you should regain the honor you forfeited but then this great scene would have no impact on your character honor which seems absurd… Okaaay… I'm realllllllly not sure how it works!". I believe there should be an elegant way to resolve this issue, and not put the GM in a spot where he has to comment complex moral actions of the PCs with tricky Honor reward or Loss just after the fact, because sometimes the consequences of a choice will appear later… and the player himself should be unsure (or decide later) if what his PC did was the honorable choice or not. • The whole Glory Mechanic and explanation has also improved from the 4th Edition, but some of what I said about honor points can be transposed here. Numbers seems to me as a clumsy way to keep tracks of complex situations. It doesn't help that the Glory (and Honor) mechanics seems scattered between two chapters… (P22 and P182) Nitpicking : • P40 : "If your character has a fundamental disagreement with their clan’s beliefs, policies, or practices and has defied these in the past, gain an additional rank in one of the following skills based on clan (…) Dragon Clan: Seafaring" So when a Dragon bushi hates meditation and prefer to act first, he learns how to navigate a boat?… OK I may be wrong, but maybe I understand the idea behind it : seafaring, as a Trade Skill, can be a good way to set apart a free-thinker samurai of a mountain clan. Even if I'm right, it seems a bit silly and I don't think it works as a common creation rule – an argument could be made that a faithful to his roots Dragon Clan samurai is even less likely to be proficient in "Current events, historical trends, and etiquette" (even if courtier is not a Trade Skill) than able to "Sail and live on the ocean"…
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