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About shizumaru

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  • Birthday 05/07/1986

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    Toulouse, France

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  1. In all seriousness, though, this character generation isn't as free as you know and love L5R to be. And yes that means you can't literally decide your dude's life will be all about shougi and fishing for example at chargen if it doesn't fit what the system has in mind for your Clan and family and school. That is very true. There is little room for "I already know my concept and I am going to generate this specific character at 0xp" in this system, and this can be a weakness if that is what you are looking for in this game. Granted. But on the other hand, it's also deeply thematic. You can literally let the questions guide you and you end up with a playable, interesting, both flawed and cool character, with some NPCs thrown in, a stance on Bushido and your Clan and your training. You can not accidentally build a murderhobo if you follow the 20 questions game and that's very very good in my opinion. And it can help new players get into the game a lot. One way to look at this is to accept that at chargen you won't have done much with your life. You're not an expert shougi player and great fisherman. You just wish you could prove to the world your tactical brilliance through shougi and want to honor a fisherman ancestor by fishing more, and that's where your first few XP are going to go, and that's fine as well. You're mad because you can't build the exact dude you thought of out of the box, but the rules as written allow for that dude to happen after litterally two game sessions, no matter how short are the sessions you play, and include those cool concepts you wanted at chargen into your progression, and maybe even in your curriculum. What freedom you lose during chargen you more than make up for in swift evolution. And the lost freedom will be a massive boon to newbies who want to discover L5R with this edition. I believe it's a fair trade, but I can understand how that's a dealbreaker for you.
  2. Oh thanks for offering! [rambles on for days and days citing different sources like games powered by the Apocalypse or Lady Blackbird to illustrate how being given statblocks doesn't kill creativity and it's absolutely fine, and way more friendly to new players, and people who preferred the old ways can go back to them and that's 100% fine too]
  3. I'm sure I can whip out two Hida Bushi who come from the Hida family and despite having close starting Rings and a few starting skill ranks in common are not similar and would feel pretty different to roleplay, meet in court or fight alongside on the battlefield. You are getting your hand held through the process and it does lead to some similarities at chargen, but that's it, you're still free to write a ton of different characters. The rules allow that. Except if you think character generation is mostly deciding Ring distribution.
  4. I've heard that too, several times, and it sucks. I feel 5th ed is kinder on everyone with what it brings to the table, how it teaches the game, how it handles Honor and overall how it greets newcomers. That's a very important part of any game that gets left out a lot in this forum on grounds of most people here not being newcomers at all.
  5. @TheVeteranSergeant You write this as if it was a bad thing. I rather like a guided chargen. Sure it's not "Here's a bunch of point, put them anywhere" like it used to be, but it does give you a sense of who your dude is and how he fits in rokugani culture. I started DMing L5R with 4th ed and I swear the fact that the 20 questions game was divorced from mechanics made it so that my players would have just juggled around with trait and skill ranks if I hadn't pestered them about the setting, proper flaws, actual NPCs they knew, liked or disliked, how they felt about society and so on. 5th ed chargen does take away a lot of liberty, granted. But what it gives back is a method to ease everyone new into a rather hard game to learn. One of the biggest problem in L5R has always been the entry cost. You need to learn a lot and adapt to a lot in order to just play a game. I know a lot of people who hate the game just because they played it in a one-shot and couldn't make sense of any of it while the one dude at the table who knows how Bushido and Honor works did everything. 5th ed shows you the game, holds your hand, shows you what's going to matter in the fiction. And once you're done with the 20 questions, you're set. It has its flaws. But you're talking like you need to fine-tune everything on your character sheet. And this edition just isn't about that. This edition is about flawed samurai held up to perfect standards and struggling between personal longings and duty. And in that context, fine-tuning of scores on your sheet (which are bound to change fast with XP anyway) matters far less than exactly how your character is functional or dysfunctional in that society.
  6. Yes. I love this with the kind of giddy enthusiasm that would put my sensei to shame.
  7. Honor in 5th ed only goes down if you allow it to. The DM can't trick you into dishonorable behavior, it's how Honor is presented here, in opposition to what it was in previous editions. DM gives Honor, PC chooses when to compromise it. So a small Honor Boost can actually go a pretty long way. And a single Rank in a previously untrained skill is only worth 2xp. That's one hour of play. Barely long enough for the group's Hida to break wind and for the group's Ide courtier to apologize in his stead. I get the logic of "I'd rather have a solid, permanent bonus than one that may go", but in this case both are fairly minor, and the Honor boost ain't that bad.
  8. Hi, it's me, your friend who loves simple systems and cares veeery little about actual fights to replicate. I can see how having the same TN to hit a master swordsman and a drowsy peasant is weird. I also appreciate how a simple +1 hop in TN is a big deal and +2 hops in TNs can seriously break the game (much like facing someone with very large Reflexes scores could screw things royally in 4th ed in terms of pacing a fight where nobody hits the other dude). So hear me out, here is my fix: At Rank 3, every bushi, monk and ninja gets their TN to hit bumped to 3. At Rank 4 or 5 (haven't decided yet), every shugenja and courtier does too. Voila.
  9. I positively love the idea of rolling as little as possible. But some systems just don't work well that way. Say, pretty much all games powered by the Apocalypse give you xp on failed rolls. That means an MC that makes you roll a lot will induce faster growth. I believe the only thing that limits rolls (and that's a good thing in my book) in L5R 5th ed is their definition of when to roll: When there is a chance that you fail, when there is a chance that you succeed and when it would be interesting to fail and to succeed. So, you won't be rolling for basic stuff or impossible stuff. You won't be rolling for things that bring nothing to the story. You will only roll when cool things happen in consequence of the roll no matter how you roll. The rest is roleplay and autosuccess/autofail. That being said, I suspect OP was in a combat, and there's no skipping those rolls, and if they incur too much Strife to make the game playable, it is a thing to consider at that stage.
  10. It's also widely accepted nowadays in rpg theory (or maybe I am just an insufferable reader of indie games who enjoys sniffing his own farts) that the quality of a game lies in how much the system makes it easy and straightforward to replicate the intentions stated by its writers. For example, Geist: the Sin-Eaters is a game that says it's about death and second chances and making your peace with what will pass and keeping hope and talking with ghosts to resolve their unfinished emotional business. And provides only rules for fights and being buddies with other guys like you. Geist: the Sin-Eaters is terrible. Now if you want to play samurai drama, FFG makes it very clear that that's what they're going for. They repeat it time and again. And maybe you don't like that, and that's fine, you don't need to play this game and previous editions are still there if you need them. They're good too, in their own way! But it's a bit rich to blame them for trying to write a system that does everything in its power to keep its thematic promise.
  11. I like the idea of regaining Void by playing your disadvantages. It makes for fine atmosphere, and balances the issue of putting numbers on merits and flaws. Streamlining this makes it nicer: Heavy disadvantages will come in play more often, and that's its own reward. It's a fine way to avoid the old "I'm a hunted megalomaniac albino, therefore I'm stronger than everyone else at chargen" we all have known and hated since the early days of Vampire: the Masquerade. And actually roleplaying your flaws is very good in a game that focuses on people being actually flawed despite the perfection that is expected from them. But yeah starting always at 1 Void point is terrible and may make every start of a session be an embarrassing moment of "everyone be bad at everything right this moment please!" just to have enough Void points to not feel naked. The more I think about it, the more I want to set starting Void points for each session at half your Void Ring, rounded up. So anyone with 3 Void starts at 2 Void. That would also be a nice incentive to raise your Void Ring, which is pretty meh as a cap if you start each session at 1 and only regain them with playing up your disadvantages. I mean, really, you are pretty much bound to never have 4 Void points and wish you had a fifth one so you could stock up on just one more with an extra moment of weakness.
  12. I like Chilitoke's and BitRunr's take on this. Like, this is something your Clan made you do because you didn't fall in line. That's a distinct L5R flavor alright. So yeah if it were worded like that, I guess having a choice between, say, three skills for each Clan, that could be nice. I'm afraid it could open a door to optimization at chargen, more than my fix of "free rank in a non-school non-family skill", but it's clearly more flavorful and I like it.
  13. Someone's having an Outburst. Seriously, though, my first reaction was: Custom dice, obvious marketing scheme, I'm never buying stupid dice for a single game, this is garbage, I'm not reading this, not playing this, it's bad and should feel bad, I'm buying every 4th ed book and pretending 5th ed never existed. And then I actually gave the book a chance. Those beta rules are good. This forum isn't terribly uncivilized either. I haven't seen the kind of fights referenced in OP's post. Sure, some people are mad it's not 4th ed, I get the feeling, I was like that for a few days before I sobered up. But it's not like everyone is trolling and being insufferable about who is right and who isn't. This is a beta, and there is civilized discussion about what works and what doesn't. And I wish OP would have come to us with a more detailed story of what didn't work in his attempts to run these rules, because well that's precisely the point of a beta, and it could have helped us all.
  14. If I recall correctly, the game tells you to give about 3-4 xp per scenario. Up to 7, for a meaty piece of story. I was notoriously generous in XP and gave about 7 per session, and almost every session was a full story, very few scenarios spanned two sessions and when they did I gave 14 or 15xp for the two sessions. I hate forced realism in character evolution. Especially the kind that forces you to spend time during the game session looking for a mentor or making pointless rolls just to prove you've been training. In my opinion things happen offscreen, and you can become a goddamn Shougi master if you put the XP in it without games ever being part of the campaign, and that can even be a very nice surprise to everyone when they do pop up and everyone finds out what you've been doing in your downtime. I'm a "large amounts of xp freely spent" kind of guy. Anything that isn't horribly cheesing your character into overpowered builds is fine by me.
  15. First of all, because of roleplay reasons. An Honor boost is sweet, and this game is supposed to be at least in part about Honor. And taking a +1 in a Skill that isn't a family or School skill makes sure it's not a skill that stacks and starts at 2 or more. All in all, it's a 2xp headstart in something small that won't count towards advancing your curriculum. Doesn't look like that terrible a deal to me either way.
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