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Netace

Core release design - How would you do it?

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One of the recurring threads that circulates in this board is the anxiety that comes about when we discuss what the core set is going to look like. About how there are a TON of factions within the world Rokugan, each with very loyal and passionate devotees. One of the problems that comes with this are the limitations of a core set "Board Game" style format. The board game needs to avoid being outragously expensive, and the it needs to provide some basic choices. This has been handled in defferent ways in the past. The Star Wars LCG opted cut the Scum and Smuggler factions from it's core set (a few cards were there, but nothing like the other four), and then release a supplement to fix that within the first six months.

 

So here's the question.

 If you were in charge, how would you debut this game?

 

Here's my thought. I call it the Core+1 method.

The core set abandons all pretense at all inclusiveness. It contains 4 formally recognized factions and a bunch of useful deckbuilding options that aren't faction specific. The four factions you choose don't matter a ton, but you DO NEED those factions to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, and to offer a glipse into the diversity of play and 'culture' of rokugan. in my mind, I think that the best four to include to that end are (in alphabetical order, to avoid the appearance of bias)  Crane, Lion, Phoenix, and Scorpion.  I feel these four have the greatest potential to show of the critical core of military, honor, dueling, Magic, and subterfuge, in the most strait forward way possible. Maybe Crab instead of Lion. Maybe. I also think that some shadowlands aligned cards need to be in the core because of how much it affects the world, but it should not be playable standing alone out of the box. You want to introduce things like Oni, but they should start as a seasoning in other decks willing to take a risk in exchange for a power boost.

 

TL;DR Make a core set with limited focus, but include a ton of generally useful non-faction cards everyone will be interested in.

 

After that, quickly release faction focused packs. Nothing like the size of the deluxe expansions. You want these to be lean and as cost effective as possible. Think like a Chapter pack just for that faction. You need these to be viable for more than just that faction to use, so ensure they have some cards that are going to be desirable outside that faction.  Do not put faction signitures in other factions packs. (The Unicorn pack probably should not include a boss duelist action. It should have a boss military action instead)

 

Does that sound good? How would you go about designing a profitable and desirable starting set for L5R?

 

Rules: You may not exclude any current great factions. Minor factions grow into existence as the card pool grows, but all major houses need to be equally playable within 6 months.

            You must consider profitability. We know it would be best for players to be able to selectively buy just what we want for ourselves, but that model doesn't make money. Unprofitable games stop being made at all.

Edited by Netace

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i think it depends heavily on how tightly FFG is going to hew to the original design. apparently (i never played it but this is what i hear) netrunner is notably similar to the ccg that it is based on. close enough that the original players jumped very quickly over. if FFG takes this route, then i do not believe they will go the route of excluding clans. the clans are fundamental to the l5r design and tradition, and if they are making any pretense at keeping the design of the lcg close to the ccg, i think they'll try and follow that route. 

 

that said, i don't think that they will or should go that route. i'm moderately convince, though not at all certain, that the best way forward is to abandon clan specific strongholds, and instead have victory condition type cards replace them, layered with senseis. which would suck, cause strongholds are a fundamental part of l5r's design, but they cut the game really sharply into blocks. these cards go with this deck archetype for this box, and these for this one, etc. tying them to victory conditions, so that cards are either clan personalities, or fit into a victory condition bucket, gives them the ability to fit more punch per set. 

 

i think theres also an outside chance that l5r will be a larger base set, as far as the number of cards, go than previous lcgs, due to the number of factions. 

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It also depends on whether they're going to keep the storyline leading into Onyx. If so, I don't think it's possible to avoid having Spider in the basic set, even if it means pushing out someone else (in your scenario, Crane's the only safe choice, with Spider having options for the other three). 

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If there would be a need for Spider, which it would be if they keep the storyline going they could cut the Scorpions out of the 4 named. Both are dishonorable and both have ninjas. Sure the focus is different but the rough idea is there. I for one always liked the Dragon, but seeing the storyline it's hardly possible for there to be a Dragon deck. :(

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i think it depends heavily on how tightly FFG is going to hew to the original design. apparently (i never played it but this is what i hear) netrunner is notably similar to the ccg that it is based on. close enough that the original players jumped very quickly over. if FFG takes this route, then i do not believe they will go the route of excluding clans. the clans are fundamental to the l5r design and tradition, and if they are making any pretense at keeping the design of the lcg close to the ccg, i think they'll try and follow that route. 

 

that said, i don't think that they will or should go that route. i'm moderately convince, though not at all certain, that the best way forward is to abandon clan specific strongholds, and instead have victory condition type cards replace them, layered with senseis. which would suck, cause strongholds are a fundamental part of l5r's design, but they cut the game really sharply into blocks. these cards go with this deck archetype for this box, and these for this one, etc. tying them to victory conditions, so that cards are either clan personalities, or fit into a victory condition bucket, gives them the ability to fit more punch per set. 

 

i think theres also an outside chance that l5r will be a larger base set, as far as the number of cards, go than previous lcgs, due to the number of factions. 

 

Hmmmm. I've thought about what kind of game FFG would make L5R. I'm pretty sure when the announcement of the sale was made, it was also announced that the game was going to be entirely different. So much so that existing L5R cards wouldn't be compatible at all, iirc.

My thought was instead of making the clans separate factions, making the factions be the elemental rings. Throw the base set out with the 5 basic elemental rings. Then later on, include more factions with other rings like Dark Rings, etc. Then no clan loyal person can complain about their faction getting axed! haha

But seriously, I think that would be a kickass game that way. You'd still have clan personalities for your decks, but they would be geared to what style of ring your chosen faction is. I have Spider and Mantis personalities teaming up in my Ring of Water deck!! :D

Edited by Sparks Duh

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Ahh! More theory-crafting!

 

Well, since we don't know what the basic structure of the game will be, lets start with that.

 

Two rule book Victory Conditions (Military and Political).  Any other VCs (like Enlightenment) would printed on a card in the Event deck.

Two Decks: Events (like GoT2nd) and everything else in the main deck.  Events would give gold production that round, as well as a Military and a Political goal (two ways to see the story of the Event).  Alternate VC Events would have GP and the win condition.  (Like so)

  • Enlightenment

​5 GP

If it is your 5th turn or later and you have all Five Elemental Rings in play, Remove one of your personalities with 5 or more Chi from the game.  They have seen through the Tapestry of All Things and attained Enlightenment.  You win the game.

 

 

No Stronghold.  Instead there would be Four fortifications/locations that would be aligned to one or more factions.  These locations would determine what factions you can include in deck construction (and perhaps some that you can't).  You would need Three locations for the same faction to be able to include Loyal personalities from that faction in your deck.  Unique personalities would require two of their aligned locations.  Multifaction locations would require X personalities from each Faction (like banners of GoT2nd).  Locations may also provide other abilites (+gp, + starting honor, send home, etc.).  Locations may be destroyed by Military Goals (like provinces in the ccg).

 

 

 

Factions

 

Since the rules of this thread won't allow me to off any of the Clans (you got lucky Lion and Phoenix), I wonder about combining some of them.  Storywise, it would be quite easy to combine Crab and Scorpion  and have Naga join the Mantis/Minor Clan Megalliance (whatever we end up being :lol: ).

 

Either way, I would make it a big box (one of each card), include all Nine Clans, and give each Clan the options for a Military or Political deck.  No Loyal personalities would be in the base set and no faction would get more than three aligned locations (not counting Multifaction locations).  Only after the first or second expansion would Clan/Faction pure decks be possible.

 

 

(Full disclosure:  Most of these ideas came to me while typing, so there are probably more than a few holes in the plan.)

Edited by Coyote Walks

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Core Netrunner managed 7 factions by having a large amount of generic stuff.

 

If you are familiar with Romance of the 9 Empires (an AEG spoof CCG with mechanics based heavily on Legend of the Burning sands) you'll know that each of the 5 factions in that box had 2 keywords on their 'stronghold' card.  One was a national keyword, the other something else: for example the Kingdom of Holden was Holden, Renowned.  Any card that had either of those keywords was in-faction.  This includes Renowned personalities from other kingdoms.

 

So, what I would do would be to have a Stronghold for all the Great Clans that are relevant (anywhere between 6 and 9, depending on the historic time) with each having a Clan keyword and an Element keyword.  Kyuden Hida, for example,might be Crab and Earth.

Then, you set up the core box so that it's possible to put together a legal deck for each faction by gathering every card marked with the two Keywords and one set of generic cards.   Cards would have one or more keywords: a Daidoji bodyguard might be Crane, Earth, whereas a Kakita duellist would be Crane, Fire and the Crane clan Champion just Crane.  Non-clan specific cards could be just elemental: Heavy Infantry may have Earth, but Light cavalry would be Water, Fire.

They could even include the influence mechanic from Netrunner, which I think works quite well.

The only thing that would be impossible with one core would be playing two decks of the same elemental keyword against each other.

 

Also, I don't think they'll use the 2-deck format.  No more dynasty and fate.

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i think theres also an outside chance that l5r will be a larger base set, as far as the number of cards, go than previous lcgs, due to the number of factions.

 

I don't see that happening.  If you look at all their other LCG's they're $40, because at that price a starter set is a decent deal.  If they include more cards that means the cost goes up and that prices people out of the game.

 

There is simply no way they can include all the Great Clans into a starter box if each clan has it's own deck.  That means either they don't include all the clans, or the majority of a deck is generic in nature with something for each clan like a strong hold card or such.

 

Let's assume Spider is included, that means there are 9 clans, if each clan gets a 60 card deck, that's 540 cards compared to 240 cards in Star Wars or the 252 in Netrunner, 226 in LotR... So it's safe to say 250ish is the most you'll see in a starter box.  Also keep in mind that all starter boxes are intended to be playable by two people...

 

That means 26 cards per each of the 9 clans...  Clearly that doesn't work.  So the most reasonable thing is to see something like Star Wars with the starter deck having 3-5 clans and deluxe boxes for the other clans.  That or perhaps two different starters with 5 clans in each, with one clan getting repeated.  If they include Spider I could see that one being the one repeated in both starter sets.

 

The other thing is some sort is as I mentioned above a more generic system where some part of the deck is generic cards and you add clan based cards to it.

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i think theres also an outside chance that l5r will be a larger base set, as far as the number of cards, go than previous lcgs, due to the number of factions.

 

That means 26 cards per each of the 9 clans...  Clearly that doesn't work. 

 

I don't know about you, but most of my L5R decks had less than 26 'clan specific' cards in them. 18 or so personalities (not all were clan specific either), clan holdings, maybe some clan weapon or something, but yeah... other than that, the decks consisted of generic holdings, attachments, and fate cards that were usable by any clan. So how does this clearly not work?

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So how does this clearly not work?

 

Well the last time I played L5R was in the mid 90's so I don't really remember what the decks looked like any longer.

 

But the way that doesn't clearly work is if the decks are made up of mostly/all clan specific cards.  If as I said most of the deck is generic stuff then that's a whole different thing.

 

It all depends on how they do it.  As I understand it Netrunner is largely generic cards, where as Star Wars is more faction based cards.  

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So how does this clearly not work?

 

Well the last time I played L5R was in the mid 90's so I don't really remember what the decks looked like any longer.

 

But the way that doesn't clearly work is if the decks are made up of mostly/all clan specific cards.  If as I said most of the deck is generic stuff then that's a whole different thing.

 

It all depends on how they do it.  As I understand it Netrunner is largely generic cards, where as Star Wars is more faction based cards.  

 

 

All good, man. I just saw the numbers and got confused as to how you came up with that 26 wasn't good for each clan. Keep in mind that less than 26 clan specific cards went in to 80 (40/40) card decks as well. So out of the 80 card decks, only about a quarter of the cards were clan specific. The rest were usable by anyone, imo.

Edited by Sparks Duh

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The rest were usable by anyone, imo.

 

Yeah I get that and why it would be confusing.  I've played the Star Wars LCG and for the most part you couldn't mix factions much.  A jedi deck was to a point all jedi, a Imperial deck all Imperial, ect...  But in Netrunner I believe that the bulk of the cards are generic within the larger Corp vs Runner factions. 

 

 I'm not sure how the other games really go, those were the only two I really looked at.  The Warhammer LCG's might give a bit of clue since I think those had a lot of factions, or the AGoT LCG since there's 8 there apparently.

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The rest were usable by anyone, imo.

 

Yeah I get that and why it would be confusing.  I've played the Star Wars LCG and for the most part you couldn't mix factions much.  A jedi deck was to a point all jedi, a Imperial deck all Imperial, ect...  But in Netrunner I believe that the bulk of the cards are generic within the larger Corp vs Runner factions. 

 

 I'm not sure how the other games really go, those were the only two I really looked at.  The Warhammer LCG's might give a bit of clue since I think those had a lot of factions, or the AGoT LCG since there's 8 there apparently.

 

netrunner is mostly factional. theres a small amount of generic but the majority of the cards are tied to a corp or hacker faction. its actually kind of a pain when it comes to buying sets, since in any given set, if you're like me and play trash decks that are either a) thematic garbage that don't work or b) netdeck nonsense, then in many cases 2/3rds of the cards are useless, and you know that going in, and you can't use them. same as with l5r, so its gonna be a problem, i predict. 

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No one seems to be addressing the real issue here, which is:  what will tokens be used for?  I mean, It's practically guaranteed that, being one of FFG's games, it'll have hundreds of thousands of little, cardboard tokens, so what will they be used for?

 

Perhaps we'll have tokens to track victory conditions (enlightenment tokens...honor tokens...etc.)?  Actual Poison/Follower/Whatever Tokens?  Maybe you'll be able to damage provinces even if you don't outright destroy them, placing damage tokens on them?

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No one seems to be addressing the real issue here, which is:  what will tokens be used for?  I mean, It's practically guaranteed that, being one of FFG's games, it'll have hundreds of thousands of little, cardboard tokens, so what will they be used for?

 

Oh, that's easy!

 

Non-human spirit tokens for the Kitsune deck.  

 

Big foxes, little foxes, force reducing foxes, sparrows, hungry bears, angry bears, bees, deer, uncorrupted badgers, snakes, elephants, boars, poo flinging monkeys, butterflies, and maybe a panda.  :D

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No one seems to be addressing the real issue here, which is:  what will tokens be used for?  I mean, It's practically guaranteed that, being one of FFG's games, it'll have hundreds of thousands of little, cardboard tokens, so what will they be used for?

 

Perhaps we'll have tokens to track victory conditions (enlightenment tokens...honor tokens...etc.)?  Actual Poison/Follower/Whatever Tokens?  Maybe you'll be able to damage provinces even if you don't outright destroy them, placing damage tokens on them?

Money and victory points (whatever they'll be called) most likely.

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I would introduce an "ally" mechanic and back it up with a story event or something. Then you could combine 2 clans into one deck for starter proposes. have...4-6 clans in the core set with allied cards allowing you to combine pairs of them.

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Well, the clans have always had their own personal alliances and feelings for each other, so why not have some form of alignment chart based on that?

 

Like, you can have Crab and Mantis or Crab and Unicorn cards in the same deck, because they are close allies, but you couldn't have Crab and Dragon or Crab and Crane because they hate each other.

 

Not sure how to do more than two Clan combos, if that should even be a thing.

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Assuming FFG inherited and intends to use AEG's art slush for Onyx, we're also looking at Naga, but potentially little to no Mantis yet. 

 

With that in mind, I'd think they'd try to repurpose as much of the art as possible for neutral characters, with a bend toward making only the significant faces of the clans as aligned -- essentially, making Loyal cards the primary means to determine clan affiliation, while having the bulk of the deck mixed. Instead of a stronghold, you essentially begin with a leader of your clan in play -- not necessarily the champion, but someone of note and pull, and who (as previously suggested by Karasu) has bold traits to determine who he can recruit. The more traits in common, the better the synergy, but the less likely it is to pop up in the first place. Only the big name characters have abilities worth mentioning; everyone else is just stats.

 

For example, let's go old school and say Kuni Yori is your leader, and has the following three traits: Crab Clan, Shadowlands, and Shamed (or a similar trait to represent Deathseeker, Damned, etc.). His ability is to destroy one of his allies to summon a number of undead tokens equal to the traits Yori has in common, so the deck's going to have a good mix of all of the above. Throw in cheap goblins, ronin, and Crab chumps, but someone like Omen (who'd share all three) is pretty much an auto-include even before you see his ability. 

This way, it'd also be a touch easier to balance a winning leader, since you'd be starting from the perspective of "this guy is intended for this deck," rather than accidentally tripping over it later in the arc. 

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1 copy of each card.

 

Also, I'll include all 9 factions, since faction-only cards are less than one of the two decks, it won't be a problem. Neutral cards i'll include would be enough to make a couple of decks, one militar focused, the other honour focused, and some spare kihos and spells and stuff.

 

But 1 copy each.

Edited by Tobogan

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But 1 copy each.

 

I'm guessing they'll do this, but in similar fashion to AGoT -- a few extra copies of some staples to make sure each "starter" deck list has certain cards (like the basic economy cards) for mutliplayer play right out of the box.

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Most likely is a seven or eight clan initial release with a hopeful assumption that FFG values the story enough not to break up clan introductions.  I predict clans will have a few cards 8 - 12 (20 max) per clan and trend toward a lot of generic cards (60-120) with a rule for importing personalities from other clans.  Initial CORE set will have 30 card game decks typical of LCG model and players will be strongly encouraged to buy three sets to complete a full clan deck.       

 

I don't see this game using two decks in the L5R traditional sense.  I could see a main deck and a nine (estimated) card location/fortification deck.  Predicting this game will mirror Star Wards LCG with the objectives (but not having set deck construction).  I would really like to see two decks but I just can't see it happening given history of card count combined with my hopeful assumption of a complete eight clan release.  

 

I really like the a symmetric fortifications, I'm hopeful FFG will keep but this is not a must for me.

 

In my dream world, FFG skips the traditional CORE set and allows gamers to buy an individual clan one at a time.  If you ask me this is important to the legacy of the game as it was the first decision every L5R player made; which deck to buy first.  (Never happen but man that would be cool).  

 

**Edit: one hour after original post**

Occurred to me that FFG could possibly use a complete two deck system and still meet card limitations by providing a complete (no room for customization) fate deck.  This would be sixty cards (two 30 card decks)!  There is hope!

Edited by notyetsuperman

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In my dream world, FFG skips the traditional CORE set and allows gamers to buy an individual clan one at a time.

 

Last time i suggested this solution in this forum it finished with calling me an assh0le. :D

Edited by kempy

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In my dream world, FFG skips the traditional CORE set and allows gamers to buy an individual clan one at a time.

Last time i suggested this solution in this forum it finished with calling me an assh0le. :D

Don't pretend that the reason was because of your thoughts on release and not the way you talk down to people. That's disingenuous. Edited by BayushiCroy

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