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  1. Like
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in New Campaign Characters   
    So...a very short session, not least because Goriate's player was absent.
    Having played a part in defeating Frayed Whisper and saving Lucky Silver, they accompanied her back to the village. After the battle, as downtime, Uiri tried and failed to repair his damaged Dao (I made it TN2 instead of TN1, since [1] he was trying to restore Sacred as well as just remove Damaged and [2]  he was working with Shapes Metal's rather basic workshop and scavenged tools). Horonigai also tried and failed to use purifying ritual to remove afflicted from him. Since Nezumi don't suffer from and don't really understand the concept of 'afflicted' and hence 'purifying', her attempt to perform the ritual was slightly interrupted by a couple of older Nezumi pups sat a foot away, staring at her in a fascinated-but-bemused expressions and occasionally squeaking "what're you doing?" They got as good a night's rest as you get anywhere in the shadowlands, and the following morning, before setting out, went to see Lucky Silver.
    They showed her the saya of Hiruma Daisuke's wakizashi, pointing out that it matched, and explained again what they were heading to the castle for. They said that they believed they would need the blade to save the spirits of the Hiruma trapped in Yume-do 'from a Blood-Painter'. Uiri didn't manage much with his courtesy check, but managed to get an opportunity, allowing him to assist Goriate. Goriate got three momentum- his status as an obvious Crab samurai helping in his interaction with Lucky Silver. Horonigai initially got two momentum - which wouldn't have been enough. She spent a void point to invert her Fear of Failure disadvantage, and offered a gift to replace the sword; her Omamori of Yasakune that she was given by Masayo in The Scroll and the Blade. This, plus the fact that they had helped save the tribe, was enough to tilt things the player's way. Lucky Silver sent them a guide to the edge of Knotted Tails territory.  
    The border of the territory was a deep, slow-running river, spanned by a somewhat unstable-looking stone bridge carved with screaming faces. Beyond was a mile or two of fetid-looking swampland leading away from the river's edge, before the ground firmed up into a - surprisingly beautiful - forest of maple trees, leaves autumn-red, growing from dry clay. The ornamental plants, according to their guide, had once formed the far extent of Shiro Hiruma's landscaped gardens, now grown wild.
    The players couldn't help but notice the bleached white of the odd bone between the trees. "Was there anything else?" They asked their guide. "Yes." he replied, jabbing a claw downwards. Horonigai looked quizzically, as the nezumi scooped up something wriggling and chomped on its head. "Pop-pop bugs!"  The Nezumi snaffled a few, stuffing them into a loose bag. Horonigai looked at the swarming bugs, and raised an eyebrow. "Don't even ask. Trust me." was Uiri's response.
    Crossing the bridge wasn't too challenging. Horonigai used her bow and some rope to fire a line across the river in case the bridge proved less than stable, whilst Uiri made a labour check to identify the dangerous weak spots.
    The biggest challenge was then making a command check to persuade Goriate that to cross safely, he needed to remove the bulk of his ridiculously heavy O-Yoroi. Goriate didn't disagree with Uiri's assessment, but the idea of removing his armour whilst in the shadowlands was.....not well received. "Shed the plate," Uiri responded, "or try and swim in it." He pointed at the river, the surface of which occasionally rippled with something that - this being the shadowlands - was almost certainly predatory. In the end sanity prevailed, and Goriate's (carefully bundled) armour crossed the bridge suspended on the rope. The horses, increasingly diseased and exhausted, needed to be left at this point. Crossing the swamp took about half an hour of unpleasant squelching in ankle-high water, leaving everyone afflicted. Fending off finger- and fist-sized leeches didn't help people's mood, and sharp craggy spines of obsidian out of sight under the water inflicted some fatigue on Horonigai, though she was able to assist Uiri in avoiding them. (We've yet to make Goriate's roll, but since he re-armoured it's going to be a lot harder, plus his fear of corruption anxiety is likely to trigger at wading through shadowland-tainted water). Eventually they reached the edge of the woods, with the beautiful leaves rustling gently in the wind. There were indeed, bones - quite a lot of them, in fact - on the otherwise bare, cracked clay in which the trees grew. The samurai started to progress away from the swamp, hoping to get at least into direct sight of the castle before dark. After a few minutes passing through the trees, Horonigai realised a series of unpleasant facts. The bones were picked completely clean. Skin, flesh, ligaments - and fabric from clothing - were all gone, leaving bare bone and the odd scrap of metal. The trunks and branches of the trees themselves looked almost dead and petrified, despite the lush foliage. One thing you normally see on the floor of a forest is dead leaves. There were none here. There wasn't actually any wind to provoke the rustling noise coming from the branches.  
    A few moments later, the leaves on the nearest tree went from rustling to fluttering. They unfolded themselves into a vast cloud of moth-like insects - but moths the size of a human hand, with two vicious-looking mandibles that had been gripping the branches as they slept. Beyond, she could see the 'leaves' of every other tree in the copse beginning to stir....
  2. Like
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in Kingdom on Netflix, have y'all seen this?   
    Sounds good. I'll have to have a watch. I agree - you could easily adapt this as a Maho-Tsukai plot of some kind.
  3. Like
    neilcell reacted to Avatar111 in PDF or physical?   
    I download the map on the artist's website directly, they do not have the "tags".  I then photoshop whichever tag I want in and print for players.

    Not a proper solution, but it works.
  4. Like
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in PDF or physical?   
    Being able to hand each player a printout of one of the nice artwork maps is useful too.
    It still bugs me that FFG felt the need to add the label "Secret Room" on to the maps of Shiro Hiruma and Shiro Yogasha, but they are beautiful - and it's arguably even more useful to be able to do that with Emerald Empire; since the maps of the towns, waystations, etc, tend to be on page spreads directly opposite adventure seeds for using them.
    Great for a GM reading the book - lousy for use in game because if you want the PCs to see the map - and you do because they're (a) useful and (b) pretty - you've got the plot of the adventure in nice big obvious bullet-points on the opposite page!
  5. Like
    neilcell got a reaction from Magnus Grendel in PDF or physical?   
    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.
  6. Like
    neilcell got a reaction from T_Kageyasu in PDF or physical?   
    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.
  7. Like
    neilcell got a reaction from Avatar111 in PDF or physical?   
    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.
  8. Like
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in PDF or physical?   
    Badger your retailer into signing up for Bits and Mortar?
    I'm pretty much exclusively using .pdfs, but I will often print bits for players.
  9. Like
    neilcell reacted to T_Kageyasu in PDF or physical?   
    Both! (If you can afford it ) Physical books are fantastic, tangible, and high quality, but I also like the convenience of searching for key words on the fly, which happens often enough in this game. For sessions I only carry the books I'm likely to use, so weight is not much of an issue. I'd say both physical and pdf for the core rules but only physical for everything else imho.
  10. Like
    neilcell reacted to Ni Fang in PDF or physical?   
    If you can at least get it in PDF, then go that route, if you're blessed with incredibly good luck to find it in print, GET YOUR PAWS ON IT. trust me on this. I made the mistake of passing over getting L5R 4th edition IN PRINT at a used bookstore for 34 bucks, Never can find it that cheap even on AMAZON for the actual tangible book.
    But thjankfully I got it for dirty cheap as a PDF. but even then there is something overly amazingly romantic about reading an actual book. So if you're able to go the rought of in print over PDF, then go for it. Maybne have a rolling cart from a l,.ocal hardware/walmart store or somethingh to cart them around ?
  11. Like
    neilcell reacted to Avatar111 in PDF or physical?   
    Books are easier to manage, pass around etc around a table. And I only play trpg around a table.

    PDF would be good for the GM prep time and printing though. To be fair, it is insane that you do not get the PDF for free when you buy the physical book. Well, not insane, just, cheap.
  12. Like
    neilcell got a reaction from Nheko in Module Timeline   
    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.
  13. Like
    neilcell got a reaction from Avatar111 in PDF or physical?   
    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.
  14. Like
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in Module Timeline   
    Not really. The big question is why the PCs have been invited, and by whom. Given the whole crane v mantis theme of the adventure, reintroducing Hitoshi, as totally-not-Kakita-Toshimoko's illegitemate son offers potentially interesting conflicts at Kyuden Doji.
  15. Like
    neilcell reacted to KreenMage in New Game Starting   
    We wrapped up session a few days ago.
    The coup was eventually resolved by the PCs pointing out that everyone was playing into the maho-tsukai's hands by causing chaos, which got them all to agree to sit down and talk to each other.  Essentially, the elder sister (the one the general and seneschal wanted to place as the new daimyo) agreed to forget the coup ever happened, and keep the coup as blackmail material to make sure they would be kept in line.  Daimyo Fushigi would only be told of the events of the night in the vaguest terms (he had been moved to a 'safe location' but never formally told what happened), in exchange for agreeing to roll back some of his reforms and slow down his attempts to model the Crab Court after an Imperial Court.  As we all delighted in pointing out, introducing this much treachery and blackmail effectively meant our Scorpion player had converted the Crab Court to a Scorpion Court.
    The fight with the maho-tsukai was nasty... she had a lair in the city in an abandoned house with an attached ghost story, and had raised a bunch of zombies to defend it (she'd fled once she'd heard that the PCs had probably identified her).  I had various Crab NPCs fight the zombies and the hario-nago she'd raised, while the PC's fought her... after the Phoenix shugenja set the house on fire to draw her out.  I gave the maho-tsukai the direct damage spell that did damage equal to her Water ring +Tainted rings... I went kind of easy on the PCs here since their main combat monkey had had a really bad day, had taken some fatigue from staying up all night, and probably wouldn't have done well with being one-shotted, so I only had her have two tainted rings.  It still ended up being a somewhat tense fight as she had a lot of endurance and the PCs had some bad rolls and struggled to put on damage; it was really the Courtier who managed to Daze her with a Shuji that prevented anyone from taking a crit at the least.  They knocked her out after a few rounds and she was taken to be interrogated... her confession (presumably under the tender mercies of the Kuni) helped clear some of the nastiness of the earlier events and made it easier to justify everyone coming out of this without anyone having to commit seppuku.
    The remaining plot thread was that the Lion shinobi had absconded with the Daimyo's wife, telling her there was a coup going on and he would keep her safe (mostly true).  The PCs ended up eventually convincing Akane that it was safe to return (they got some good rolls and used her Demeanor, it wasn't a simple check).  I gave a brief epilogue wrapping up a few of the unanswered mysteries... the young ronin that was hanging around was actually a Crane samurai who had run away from his gempukku, and the kansen-haunted Phoenix shugenja (not the NPC) was a red herring; she was laboring under a blood curse from a maho ancestor and was there to research the Kuni records to figure out how to clear her condition.
  16. Haha
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    It does leave the character disturbingly made of wafers with respect to Endurance and Composure, but Void 3 also means 2 Void points at the start of each session instead of 1.
    Opening the ball by throwing Sieze The Moment and Exploiting A Target's Disadvantage or Leveraging her own Disadvantage into the same roll means she can pull off a surprisingly effective roll even for a situation where she has relatively limited skills - for a 0XP starting character a bonus rolled skill die and a bonus kept die is huge.
    During the brawl in the Poisoned Water Sake House she got the job of being Hitoshi's 'babysitter' since the PCs assumed (wrongly) that the thugs had been hired to scrag him in particular.
    One particularly unfortunate ruffian caught the wrong end of a Short Temper-ed shrine attendant's knee and spent the following turn being hammered unconcious against a table with the Kaito yelling "I" smash "Am" yelp "Totally" thud "Calm" gurgle "And" crunch "One" snap "With" thud "The" thwack "Void" splat
  17. Like
    neilcell reacted to AtoMaki in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    Ah, yes, the moment when players forget that their characters are samurai and thus can testify against the culprit themselves despite their involvement. This is only funnier if the GM forgets this and builds an investigation case on "lack of witness testimony" when a PC outranks the unsuspecting murderer. 
    By the way, two things that tell me I'm in an L5R game: 
    The great majority of PC deaths are at the hands of other PCs.  Players show up for the game with huge matrix charts that detail optimal Honor gains and losses.
  18. Sad
    neilcell reacted to sndwurks in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    When you have an intricately laid out, engaging story arc planned, and see the opportunity to hand an exit to the player who is moving away. Said exit involves a duel PC loses said duel to the first blood, but survives PC then hurls insults at the Brash opponent to trigger them to attack Brash opponent cuts down PC illegally Party turns and kills Brash opponent Dead PC's final statements (after losing the duel, but before being cut down) hold up in the local governor's courts, as he is a (Scorpion) magistrate and died to deliver his testimony implicating the associates of the brash opponent Cased closed. Good guys win. Bad guys lose. Everyone learns an important moral lesson. Player truly enjoys his send off, and thanks you as the GM for it. Rest of the players decide that this is obvious the end of the campaign Because no one is going to top that PC death.
  19. Haha
    neilcell reacted to Harzerkatze in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    Only in L5R?
    - A PC dies in the very first adventure. By literal suicide.
    - A PC dies because he bowed to a ghost.
    - The group gains the equivalent of a magic item (kakita pattern katana) and the shugenja destroys is as an offering to the kami.
    - When the most powerful one in the party is the Utaku's horse.
    Happened in L5R, but it REALLY shouldn't have?
    - The Emerald Magistrates PCs using Courtesy (Air) checks to spread false rumors on the hinin bride of a guard they killed, to force her to flee from the town.
  20. Like
  21. Haha
    neilcell reacted to Scrivener Spills in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    When the Scorpion's "mother" comes into town to make sure her son is getting properly married, and proceeds to flirt with the rest of the party, with him present. 
  22. Haha
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    When running a one-shot intro at a local game store:
    "So...the city gates aren't locked down, and people are coming and going, but they're being questioned a bit more closely than ususal. If the Lion Clan realise specifically who you are, things could get interesting very quickly. I'll call it a TN2 deceive/skulduggery or deceive/government for you and your attendants to get past the town watch without drawing too much attention to yourselves."
    Kakita PC [Rolls] "An Air ring check, you say? All good..." Bayushi PC [Rolls] "A Skulduggery check, you say? All good..." Asako PC [Rolls] "A Government check, you say? All good..." Shinjo PC [Rolls] "....Erm. So, not drawing attention, you say?"  
  23. Haha
    neilcell reacted to sakieh in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    "Let's challenge this guy to a duel.." is one of your player's first thought when they mess up and the local Magistrate shows up.
    A dead body in a barrel is NOT the worst thing the players find in that alley...
    Porcelain masks lead the players to debate burning a district of the city they are in down "to be safe."
  24. Haha
    neilcell reacted to Ni Fang in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    Another "What Ni Fang cannot suggest to the GM in a RPG"
    ... Your Scorpion Courtier has a bounty on his head, and the bounty hunter wont let him off, so Hana has an idea, nobody likes it but the Lion and the Scoprion Courtier hates it. But it somehow works. The bounty hunter works for the party now and Hana is upset because her opium is gone and the hunter is loaded
  25. Like
    neilcell reacted to Magnus Grendel in You Know You're Playing Legend of the Five Rings When...   
    When the whiteboard in our dining room has NEVER TRUST THE SCORPION CLAN EVER written on it in rather large text. This is somewhat difficult to explain to random dinner guests.
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