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Everything posted by neilcell

  1. Indeed. The beauty of the free PDF version when you buy the hardcover version is that you can print out sections and scribble or write over them while keeping the original in a pristine condition. Sometimes I keep the annotations of the printed out pages in the same spot in the book for quick reference.
  2. Depends entirely on what you priorities are. I tend to prefer physical copies so I am not reliant on a device or computer that could distract me. Also useful for when you are a long distance away from an outlet where you can recharge. But then, I an not like most people. I tend to get more from holding a book than looking at a screen.
  3. Besides running all of the other adventures first so that the characters are not novices before you drop them at point Nemo in the middle of the ocean? Not much.
  4. That might be why I did not pick up on it so quickly. Either way, it is a credit to your skill as a DM.
  5. I love how you worked the Hiruma scout from the Knotted Tails adventure into the Oni's Mask plot. I didn't even realize it until you triggered the ambush scene. Nicely done! And as usual, the party banter is thoroughly entertaining.
  6. I got the hint about the ally behind the scenes, but I just can't seem to figure out who. I guess I did not roll enough successes on my dice. Yes, his bull in a china shop personality would naturally offend delicate and dare I say "dainty" Crane sensibilities. And I seriously doubt the Hida would want to part with one of their Jar-heads, I mean meat shields, woops, loyal soldiers to a rival clan. Personally, while I am hoping that the two have an opportunity to back out gracefully, it is possible that their paring may give rise to a new minor clan.
  7. Indeed. Historically there were hundreds of Rajahs and Thakurs. Only Alexander the Great's capture of Punjab and his subsequent crossing of the river into India proper caused them to set aside their difference and unite against the foreign invader from the West. Glad to see that will be replicated to some degree.
  8. Hilarious! Crab deadpan snark on full display. I love it! And Goriate being set up with Riku? I am shocked to hear that the Crane would approve. But since the Deer clan is who suggested it, well, the clan of Peacocks would be more inclined to accept the proposal coming from them. Kind of explains why auntie took Riku-kun aside as soon as they met. Talk about being in a VERY sticky situation.
  9. I'm hoping there are rules for creating character from Merenae and Thrane from across the Sea of Amaterasu. At a minimum, the Battle of White Stag begs the question as to characters from the nation(s) that dared to wage a Naval War with Rokugan, even if the latter refuses to acknowledge it as an official war.
  10. I hope they don't lock out a necro threat for I believe there is value to context. To your point, it is a judgement call. I would certainly recommend using Core Rules to build characters from scratch. The Four character folios (and the three downloadable characters) can be used for helping to plan said character creation. Now, the Core Rules built characters WILL be more powerful than the folio versions. Knowing that, it might be wise to add in some of the other features earlier in the game. The initial with the cart in the mud scene could easily use strife right out of the gate, as can the scene when the go to check into their rooms. This early strife accumulation can easily make the nighttime scene even more of a challenge. And knowing that not getting proper rest after that night encounter can easily drive up the difficulty of the Topaz Championship if the characters are carrying over strife from the previous day. Another option is to add more scenes to the game using the suggestions at the end of the adventure such as a fire in town or during one of the tests. My father and I had an additional scene after the characters checked into their room by having them go to the Maki Neko Sake Brewery and interact with the staff and patrons. Breaking up or starting a brawl there could have unforeseen consequences later on in the adventure. My suggestion is to ask your players if they want to play it as written (easy and rather bland), or if they want you to embellish it so as to ramp up the difficulty. Even if they start out preferring as written, if they ask you to up the challenge or otherwise indicate that it is not entertaining, that could allow your creative juices to kick into gear and up the challenges in response to your players.
  11. I like how you have not just one Giri, but parsed down a short term and long term Giri. Might be wise for the rest of us to adopt that structure as it would give the DM/GM more options to create personal conflict.
  12. The simple answer is that if the Giri gets fulfilled in an adventure, then a new one is assigned. It can be specific or more general as both the player and the GM decide. A more general one would be campaign spanning while a specific one would likely only factor into one or two stories. As for the second part, not they do not have to share Giri. In fact, for a game focused on character driven conflict, each character having different and possibly conflicting Giri adds to the tension and the drama. Just make sure those party conflict Giri don't become too disruptive unless your players have either agreed to it or everyone has decided that this will be their last adventure together so the kid gloves are off and it is an anything goes free-for-all.
  13. I don't know what to tell you about characters already in progress, but I did create full character sheets for the beginner characters using the Core Rule set. Nominally the characters at the end of the Topaz Championship should be on par with a newly created character but having compared it, the beginner characters are slightly weaker. I would suggest experiment yourself as it will make you more familiar with character creation.
  14. I think it should be a collaborative choice by both GM and player. The player should create a thematic motivation that the GM can use to create conflict, while the GM themselves should be open enough to allow creatively on the part of the player. Good question to ask, BTW. It just goes to prove that role playing games really are "interactive storytelling". The GM is nominally the narrator, but the player is effectively writing the character's story with the framing of the GM.
  15. I agree with Tonbo Karasu. If the character was adopted prior to their training, then you build the character first and the adopted name is from the family selected during character. If adopted later in life, then the stats should remain the same with only the character's family name changing. Example: Adopted as a Child- Kaito Yuki, Choses Phoenix Clan and Kaito Family(or peasant family) during character creation. Adopted later in life, Born and Gempuku as Hida Kaede-, Choses Crab Clan and Hida Family(or peasant family) during Character creation. Later adopted into the Mirumoto Clan. Just my worthless two cents.
  16. Don't forget that those adopted into the family will often take the name in place of their original family name. The recent Lady of Kyotei Castle is an example of changing family names.
  17. That is kind of my point. Even when they are not trying to show off they still manage to be flashy. Even the Peahens have iridescent heads despite being more subdued than the males. While I will complement Riku-kun for at least trying, she seems to have brought MORE attention to herself because of how obvious it is in her attempt to be subtle. Hence why calling cranes glorified Peacocks should still be a very cutting insult, especially if told to their face in public.
  18. The way you have fit in the Dragon's old flame into the daimyo's court already shows you are up to the challenge. I look forward to hearing the results. Hopefully it is not a Shakespearian tragedy.
  19. Pretentious Cranes always have to ruin everything with their extravagance, don't they? Frickin' premadonnas strutting around and preening like **** peacocks. That should be the clan's symbol rather than the more subdued bird. Can't wait to hear how Kaito-san's inner Artemis reveals itself when she unleashes that withering barrage of flesh ripping arrows.
  20. Both Rise of the Runelords Hard Cover and Curse of the Crimson Throne were reprints though. The Emerald Spire was all new material, though that mega dungeon is more interesting when combined with the Thronekeep Kickstarter Book. I used the dungeon level completion as a rough guide to events happening topside with Fort Inevitable and Thronkeep's gangs having an effective war. The players got caught in the middle because I put level keys from both the Spire and beneath Thornkeep in the other dungeon. That put them in the position where they had to either pick a side or play both against each other to advance further down the dungeon, though it was possible to simply refuse to take sides in which they were hassled by both. I do like you idea of something along Red Hand of Doom. Each adventure area should have goals and objectives for each clan. And while there may be an outright victory condition in a particular area, that should not preclude other factions from gaining advantages they can leverage later (tactical retreat for strategic gain). I like it because much like the card game tournaments, any faction could come out on top, but it is also not so binary as a one on one match. And using my example above, the players could potentially play clan rivalries against each other or simply pick one faction and go loaded for bear into the rival clan areas.
  21. How does that stack up against the other hardcover books though? And a hard cover reprint would do exactly that for those adventures. As for a reprint of the corebook, that is a simple matter of making sure further releases from the printing press use the errata version rather than the original file.
  22. I would be absolutely okay with them eventually taking several of the adventures and putting them into a compilation book similar to Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition. Given time, they could take Topaz Championship, Palace of the Emerald Champion, Dark Tides, Oni's Mask, Knotted Tails, and A Ronin's Path into one campaign book. Even though I have those adventures, I would shell out the cash for a compilation hardcover book.
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