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  1. It's a beautiful and well written and illustrated game when it comes to narrative and general rule concepts. But unfortunately, its quite bad, unwieldy and bloated when it comes to details. Just don't sweat it too much... play the game, tell stories, chill out
  2. There is so much tactical cheese that you can do with techniques and opportunities that it becomes a "gamey" theatre of the mind. Sure if your players are not really aware of all the rules and details it can EASILY be skipped (for the best).
  3. straight up one of the biggest conceptual problem with the design. it depends on the GM too much. "hard counters" as I call them.
  4. It is just boring. A pack of minions in earth stance is "boring". So are big enemies in earth stance. BORING. Sure, maybe a player have the technique to debug earth stance. And that is all good. But as a design ? something that binary ? I really think it is a mistake. Again, not because of its power level (This game is out of whack anyway and it really doesn't matter), but because it is BORING.
  5. Earth Stance is not too strong, it is too boring and badly designed. Big difference.
  6. "And since L5R5 clearly isn't trying to be that" Hmm.. hard to say... Feels like it is trying to be everything at once.
  7. like a wise legend once said: "Everybody plays this game differently, and I mean it."
  8. Nothing is broken when everything is. Everybody plays this game differently, and I mean it. Just enjoy the game, do cool stories.
  9. Start by asking your questions. If they are setting/lore questions, I am pretty sure it'll be a pretty awesome discussion. If it is rules questions, then it is probably bound to be very heated because most of the time there are no "right" answers and it is strictly depending on how your group plays the game. And most of the time, it all goes back to the same answer; the rules are finicky and depend on interpretation. The subforum about "Lore Discussion" is where you want to have your cool discussions about Rokugan. It seems the right place for the questions you are about to ask.
  10. And that is what L5R RPG is all about. Hard counter the cheese with cheesier cheese! Make then unable to use their abilities! "Oh you want to challenge the big NPC with your shield and bragging that your combat style is better?" "OK! My big NPC have a technique to make you drop your shield! Or, he wins a social check and make you fight without the shield!" MUHAHAHA
  11. Yup, that is basically how to handle it. Using the setting and changing the situations. It still feels like major crutch most of the time though, and is not really friendly to new players. But yes; using the setting, being a good GM that likes to put that extra work in, and having good players that are not looking at breaking rules can make it work. Basically, the rules are making it harder, they are an hindrance, instead of facilitating different playstyles. All your ideas is what I am doing to deal with, well, stuff that can break certain types of encounters. Basically, not using those encounters (or only as push overs) and designing situations in which the players cannot use their tools (or at great cost, honor, status or else). I do not think it is good design (far from it!) but that doesn't mean it is unplayable.... It just is, very finicky.
  12. For whatever reason the qamarist shield only requires a movement action to use the ability, while other shields require other types of actions, I think. Its just so all over the place. It definitely is very strong. But beyond "strong" ... (which is something that happens in most rpg with ton of gear and without the design quality of d&d), the issue is one of gameplay. The rock/paper/scissor gameplay of L5R is problematic on many levels. There are many techniques, stance, opportunities, gear or what not that create a hard situation for the GM in which you have to compensate for all that cheese by throwing cheese yourself; "allright, my player have a sacred weapon, well, I can't put ghost now because they become irrelevant and easy to beat". Or, "oh, my player have Bind The Shadows, so I cannot really put otherwordly creatures that fight in this or that stance otherwise they immobilize them for the whole scene, or a full year. Or, "oh, my big crab player have a laquered armor and fight in earth stance? I guess I cannot really put him against this or that npc because they will have no chance to do anything... Ok, I'll give them this technique to counter the player..." The more you play (and at higher ranks) the more you "feel" these problems with the design. It is so mechanically swingy and binary that it becomes tedious for the GM to deal with all that, and it feels very cheap for the players when the GM come up with a bad excuse to "nerf" or "counter" one of the PC capability that is screwing up with tons of encounter possibilities. Anyway, it is what it is.. both l5r rpg and lcg are wonky designs. I guess you need to overlook that a bit and enjoy the setting/art.
  13. Because the player will always have the qamarist shield. So in every encounter you will face the issue of having to deal with it. To deal with it, you need to add techniques to your npc, or use cheese, or whatever. Lets say this character goes out there and start challenging others to duels. But he stick to his water ring and just attack and heal strife. Now, you, as a GM, needs to find a way to "beat that cheese". And I can guarantee you it will feel forced and not fun for the player. The "shield" is only one example. There are so many totally busted designs in the game that as a GM you have to do gymnastic all the time. For sure, those problems are not really apparent when you play mostly narrative and all players agree on some sort of honor code. But that really doesn't excuse the weakness ands flaws of the design. You cannot call this "good design". You can maybe say "there are ways to deal with it as a GM". But thats about it.
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