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  1. My Moto family meishodo wielder with high Water and Earth was fun. He doesn't carry a sword, but can cast Staff of the Sorcerer (Bo of Water) when needed and if he gets an opportunity he can summon up a scimitar on the spot. That and his high endurance make him a decent melee fighter. It was fun playing up some of his foreign habits too. Unfortunately, I've only been able to play him when one of my players takes a shot at running the game.
  2. It must be a narwhal with legs. "He's a mysterious Moto with a dark past and a thirst for vengeance. She is a maho-mutated narwhal with a chipper demeanor and a knack for gadgets. Together, they fight crime!" These campaigns write themselves.
  3. If it sounds fun, consider playing up the character's "foreignness" a bit. That's what I liked about playing a Unicorn character. First, there are little things that make you stand out like sitting on a giant horse and looking down on everyone. Your character might also be physically taller than most Rokugani (except the Hida, perhaps), have a thicker beard if male, and generally look different. The character might wear leather boots, a loovuuz hat (https://www.google.com/search?q=loovuuz&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS838US838&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjCtd_Mn-7jAhXSxFkKHQqDDPUQ_AUIESgB&biw=1920&bih=969), and instead of a kimono wears a thick deel (https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS838US838&biw=1920&bih=969&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=7HJJXZv-BPDn_Qaxh73QDQ&q=deel&oq=deel&gs_l=img.3..0l7j0i10j0l2.2918.2918..3116...0.0.. If you want to play with this mechanically, consider taking the Gaijin appearance disadvantage. I believe there is also a Blunt disadvantage that could represent the character's ignorance of Rokugani subtlety. That sense of otherness might extend to the character's views on death. Unlike more squeamish samurai, your Moto character might wear leather, eat red meat, and be able to touch the dead without flinching. This may stem from differing ideas about purity and cleanliness, but it might also reflect a notion that death is just a natural part of the cycle of life and not something to be feared by itself. This could be represented by Disdain for Honor. Taking things even further, your character could have some closer relationship with the old gods of death that plagued the Moto in the AEG fiction (https://l5r.fandom.com/wiki/Shi-Tien_Yen-Wang). You could take the Haunted disadvantage to reflect this. Lastly, and just because it's cool, if your character is a shugenja with access to invocations (you are, right?), you might want to learn Yari of Air, Tetsubo of Earth. Each of these allows you to summon a melee weapon and each allows to you change the weapon with a opportunity. Imagine a righteous Unicorn charging into battle against the undead waving a scimitar made of the elements themselves.
  4. First, it might be worth it to remind the players that this is a game of heroes. You are playing characters who are big dang heroes who pro-actively do heroic things like argue a lost cause at court, get their hands dirty in a murder investigation, and yes, fight some baddies. I think it was Matthew Coleville (https://www.youtube.com/user/mcolville/videos) who said that RPG player characters should not be like Harry Potter, waiting under the stairs for an invitation to adventure. They should be Conan the Barbarian who sees what needs to be done and tries to do it. There is only so much you can do as a GM to provide story hooks, set the scene, and instigate conflict. If a player is still unwilling to engage, whether it's with a courtier in a battle or a bushi in an intrigue scene, that might just be on them. Second, starting characters aren't that different or specialized yet. Doji Ren, while a courtier, is well rounded enough. He starts with an Air Ring score of 3 and Martial Arts [Ranged] score of 1. Akodo Masako, the supposed bushi of the group, has 3s in Earth and Water and a Martial Arts [Melee] score of 2. So Ren could roll four dice in combat while Masako rolls five, which is close. Doji Ren would be fine as an archer in Air Stance firing off sniper accurate arrows while the more rough-and-ready characters fight with sticks and swords. There is room for the player to be creative with opportunities too and rolling four dice per shot should give Doji Ren some to use. Perhaps encourage the player to add some elements to the scene like a rope to swing on, a table to get behind, or a row of easily thrown lit paper lanterns. Or, use the opportunities to have the character do something really cool other than just "I fire off another arrow". Some of the suggested uses of Air opportunities are: *+: During a Movement action check, 1 range band of any distance you move per * spent may be vertical. (How cool is that?) *+: You are very subtle. Additional * spent this way increases the subtlety of your method. *: Add a kept Ring Die set to a * result to your next Martial check. Social skills can also be useful in combat. A good Performance roll could scare off or at least intimidate the adversary. Command could be used to get others involved. Sentiment might tell you whether the baddies are angry, frightened, nervous, protective, etc. Low rank Kata that would help an archer character include: Hawk's Precision (rank 1). Spend opportunities to increase the range of a ranged weapon. Pelting Hail Style (rank 2). Spend opportunities to inflict strife on targets equal to the base damage of the player character's weapon. Striking as Air (rank 1). Reserve unused dice and use them on the next roll. Striking as Water (rank 1). Spend opportunities to reduce a target's physical resistance until the end of the character's next turn. Low rank Shuji that would help in combat include: Feigned Opening (rank 2). Make it easier for everyone in the party to hit some target character(s) for a turn. Honest Assessment (rank 1). Let one of your allies ignore one of their disadvantages for the rest of the scene. Sensational Distraction (rank 1). Get the target(s) attention on you so your allies can sneak around. Stirring the Embers (rank 1). Make an allies' advantage even more advantageous. Courtier's Resolve (rank 1). Spend a Void Point to remove some of your strife. Lady Doji's Decree (rank 2). Target's can't attack you.
  5. I had to look up the Eyes of Nanashi: https://l5r.fandom.com/wiki/Eyes_of_Nanashi For anyone else who doesn't know about them: "The Eyes of Nanashi were a local otokodate in Nanashi Mura who regulated all local affairs under the direction of a village headman and the appointed Dragon magistrate. With the assistance of a band of sohei from the Temple of Ebisu they also policed the village. The Eyes were supported via a special fund collected weekly from the major businesses in Nanashi Mura." Apparently, there are several organized bands of ronin like the Eyes: https://l5r.fandom.com/wiki/Otokodate Cool stuff.
  6. I will now be squeezing "no way Hantei" into every session whether appropriate or not.
  7. Has anyone heard if Fantasy Flight will have any special materials available for Free RPG Day tomorrow (June 15, 2019)? Will there be anything released for Legend of the Five Rings? I've searched around the internet briefly and haven't found anything. https://www.freerpgday.com/ https://www.facebook.com/FreeRPGDay/ https://www.meeplemountain.com/articles/the-beginners-guide-to-free-rpg-day/
  8. You'll probably get a lot of responses going back and forth about these rings mean and what each clan should be. A lot of them will be hypothetical. I'm of the opinion, however, that while ring allocations can look a little weird, they work out in practice so don't worry about it. I've had players who notice the same weirdness you do and what I tell them is that they should try making a character using rules as written and if they still think think their character's ring scores don't reflect their idea of their character, then they can move some ring points around after the fact. Just so long as their total ring points adds up to 10 in the end, I'm fine with it. So far, though, I've had nine players and none of them have taken me up on my offer since all of them were comfortable with their character stats after they went through the 20-Questions process. It helps that each player gets to pick one ring of their choice during character creation to represent how they stand out. So, if someone wants to play a passionate and aggressive Lion, they can take a point in Fire there. That seems to be enough to satisfy players. That's my practical answer. If you're looking for debate about what the game should be, there's plenty of that to be found on this forum as well.
  9. Good catch. I assume that this in reference to the Sinister Oni on page 320? Yeah, that looks like it's a typo and in this case "Spiritual 5" should be "Supernatural 5". The oni would have both Physical and Supernatural resistance. The closest item quality I can find in the core rulebook (pages 240-241) to "Spritual" is "Sacred" and that wouldn't make sense in this context.
  10. As a GM, here are my two cents on the matter. Generally, I would be happy to give shugenja some special powers/tools regarding rituals, but I have some concerns about the specifics. With the exception of Threshold Barrier, I would be hesitant to let characters perform rituals in a quickly moving skirmish or even narrative scene. It makes sense that Cleansing Rite, Commune with the Spirits, and Divination be strictly downtime activities since it would be narratively jarring to stop the action while a character does these things during any kind of structured time. With that said, channeling seems designed to work within structured time as it lets the character build up a pool of dice over multiple turns. If I kept rituals as downtime activities than building up dice over turns wouldn't make sense. I suppose I would allow a character to channel across a few downtime scenes, but that would have to fit into the story. Importuning a ritual would make more sense than channeling. I would be okay with a shugenja character performing a ritual they have not learned yet provided they make an appropriate offering and the TN is increased by one (see Importune Invocations on page 189). Whether or not Spiritual Backlash (page 190) was a risk while performing rituals is something the player and GM would have to agree to in advance. I suggest only adding the risk of spiritual backlash when the shugenja character is importuning a ritual. Thanks for bringing this up. If it comes up, I'll let me shugenja players now that they can attempt to importune rituals they haven't learned yet, but when importuning they: Face a higher TN Should make an offering Risk spiritual backlash
  11. Cool, I didn't know that. Would you mind telling me/us what it's like and if there is anything you would port over from that system to the new one? Did characters roll initiative using Sentiment, choose social goals, take turns taking actions, and accumulate Momentum toward their goals or was it something different?
  12. Sorry to sound pedantic, but I suppose there is no "current" edition and if you liked older versions, please play them. I know players who are playing more than one version, but with different groups. The Fantasy Flight version is certainly the newest. Play what you like. Okay, to actually answer your question and hopefully be more helpful, some of my players have experience with AEG's 4th edition and the new FFG version. They say that some of the biggest changes have been: The use of Approaches. Unlike in previous versions, your character can now combine any skill with any ring. The ring is determined by the approach you are using. For example, calmly giving well-reasoned orders to some troops might mean that you roll your Command skill dice with your Earth ring dice. If instead, you gave a passionate exhortation to the troops, you might use Command and Fire instead. My understanding is that in older editions, most skills were tied to certain rings most of the time. Strife, Composure, Ninjo, and Giri are mechanics that give added emphasis to the personal struggle your samurai is facing. It seems FFG is trying to add features making the game more of a samurai drama simulator. Rolling unique dice. You've probably seen the dice. I like them and my players like them, but if you really like D10s, this will be a big change. There is a little less math to the game. Also, the inclusion of Opportunity results gives players a chance to contribute to the story in interesting ways regardless of whether or not they were successful with their roll. There is a formal way to handle court scenes and other adversarial social encounters. These are called Intrigues and like Skirmishes, the GM can decide that this particular engagement has gotten complicated enough to warrant taking turns and such. I don't know if this was present in older versions. Someone could correct me on this. Deadliness. I've heard different takes on this and maybe other players familiar with AEG's model can chime in. In the FFG game, it is possible, but not probable, for a player character to take out a minion NPC in one hit. It's not easy, but a strong warrior character rolling the right ring dice could do it. It's harder to take out a player character or an important NPC. Instead, these special characters (basically, people important enough to have names) are more likely to suffer an injury of some kind. There's a special Critical Strike table for this that lists outcomes ranging from just damaging your armor, to suffering a debilitating and permanent wound, to instant death. Fighting is still dangerous and something players wouldn't want to jump into unprepared, but there are ways for the GM to make sure that player characters and important NPCs that lose in a fight don't outright die if it would derail the story. At least, that's how I use those rules. Lastly, the official story has been rebooted, but since you're making your own story this may not matter. We are having fun with this new version of L5R. If you still like samurai drama like you did in the '90s, then give it a shot.
  13. This is a good question and one of my players was wondering the same thing when he created his character. Each school gives some fighting ability so we discussed them in terms of "what other role(s) do I want to fill in the party?" The Togashi monk can be the party healer if you take Medicine and Ki Protection, even more so if you tie Ki Protection to a mystical tattoo. The Fortunist monk can be the diplomat or face of the party. The Shinseist monk seems like more of a straight fighter.
  14. Option 3. Treat the attacked character as Incapacitated (not actively defending) and inflict a critical strike. If an invisible character successfully attacks another character, the attacker is using an appropriate weapon (a blade, for example), and the defender is not actively trying to defend against the invisible attacker, the attacker deals a critical strike equal to the deadliness of the weapon used. If the attacked character is still in the fight after this, they are alerted to the invisible attacker and defend against additional attacks. Subtract 1 from the TN of subsequent attacks targeting this character (to a minimum of 1), however, since they still can't defend against an invisible foe very well. Also, consider making your invisible character use their Air ring to sneak up on an unaware character and attack them without making noise.
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