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Mirith

Genesys: Possible Source of the L5R RPG

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Personally, I'm excited to see what new mechanics FFG will use for an L5R RPG, whether it's a tack-on to Genesys or something else entirely.

If I want to play R&K L5R, I have four full editions to choose from, all of which are basically the same game over and over.
Show me something new and innovative!

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The good

I have not been all that impressed with the new stories so far, so if they go this way at least I will get to save money.

The Bad

If they somehow manage to entice me with the story I may have to buy splat books for a game system I will not play.

SWNDS(Star Wars Narrative dice system) issues

After playing the SWNDS for over 3 years with three different groups (of 5,6,4 with only one player in all three my roommate) I found that 

A. The system can have a tendency to to override both the GM and the players.

   1. My biggest problem with the system as both a player and GM is the advantages/despair symbols. While they are great for new players to RPGs to get them into the story.They tend to be nothing more than an annoyance to experienced players who know how to tell their story and don't need the dice to tell them.

   2. Because of the layout of the dice the GM has to not only design his story to take into account  players going off in a different direction, but also to take into account the dice taking the game in a different direction then both the players and GM whats to go.

 

B. Depending on the groups the advantages/despair can just become a roll modifier with little thought of telling a story.

   1. In all the groups I ran, after the first few sessions players stopped telling stories with the dice and just started saying "I give so-and-so an extra blue" or "I give the stormtrooper a setback"

   2. Players became annoyed if I tried to narrate all the dice.

   3. Most of the time the players would just ignore their advantages when they are not getting any mechanical effect from them and move on as they did not add anything to the stories they wanted to tell.

 

C.  At higher dice totals it can become very hard to predict the out come of the dice, making the game challenge hard to set. It also made it impossible to surprise the players with the outcome since the TN(difficulty dice) are in their face.   

   1. Where in games like D&D, L5R, Shadowrun, etc. you have a TN that is set by the game or the GM for story purposes the SWNDS is way to erratic in its results. what you thinks should be an easy roll can end up throwing off the whole game. example: In L5R the players has a 6K5 Skill to spot the hidden door that the ninja used to enter the room. This will be needed to advance the plot and complete the adventure. So I set the TN at 10. With exploding dice this gives the player a Probability to succeed of 100% with the average result being 34.7 on the dice. Now since the player does not know this I can narrate this anyway I want. With the SWNDS I have to give the player difficulty/setback dice so he knows how difficult the roll is before he makes it taking away some of the suspense in the roll. And with the difficulty of judging the odds on the ND It forces me to either seriously limit the number of difficulty/setback dice or just not have them roll at all, so they just find this imported clue without any effort.  results obtained from http://lynks.se/probability/#5k3

 

D. The idea of the game specific dice is more of a cash grab then anything else. Like everything else on this post this is just my opinion, but to me the Dice in this game are just to make extra money.

   1. In every other game I have listed the number and type of dice can easily be acquired for cheap.

      a. L5R : each player needs a max of 10d10 to play. avg $8-10

      b. D&D: each player needs 1-2 sets of dice to play. avg $10 per set so around $20

      c. Shadowrun: each player needs around 20d6 max to play. around $10 for a set of 36d6

      d. SWNDS: in my experience players need around 3 sets to play. around $45 retail. or $36 for the best price on ebay.

not to mention that most Players have the dice needed to play the other games already.

All this said FFG can do what they want, but if they go this rout I will stick with 4th and they will lose my business.

Edited by tenchi2a

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1 hour ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

But there are a noteworthy number of people who think that Shadowrun is an abomination, on account of getting magic and elves in their dystopian hackers.  Equally, the clones and bioroids offer an interesting part of the setting that have no analogues in Shadowrun (that I'm aware of).

Shadowrun does more than a few things that can be cited for subjective abomination shaming. Editing comes to mind. Artificial Intelligence rules are a hot mess. Clones and humanoid drones are among the many things that Shadowrun purposefully makes bad options out of, for reasons. You don't have to pitch magic to want something other than Shadowrun. Not by a long shot.

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I'll be honest, if FFG goes with that system, I'll keep my money since I have all books from the 4th edition and I'll stick with it.

tenchi2a said exactly why I don't like the narrative dice and at that point, it won't change because I simply don't like it. I will not force myself to like something that I simply cannot like. I don't play D20 systems because I simply don't like the system since it feels way too static.

Also, seeing the whole story reset is another reason for me to be careful with it. While some people like that, I don't. Why? Simply because I don't need to buy anything to have an empty story. Sure, there's stuffs with the old timeline that I simply didn't like, I just tweek them in a way to make it more plausible. Also, while it's a huge timeline, I saw a lot of plotting hooks to start new campaigns. I also followed the following rule: "Once I picked a point in the story, the rest may diverge from the official storyline." That way, my players never complained that my campaign doesn't follow the main story.

Anyway, we'll see, but right now, I'm seeing this as "L5R, a FFG RPG like any others" At some point, why don't they only sell a core system book and some setting supplements? Because that's what they are doing... Copy pasting the system on another setting. A quick and cheap way. I've misread the objectif of Genesys, it is that already. Which means that RPG will all have the same system, all you do is just picking your flavor... So yeah, L5R will only be a low graded setting, just like Oriental Adventure for the D20... I'm really sad with this.

Edited by Crawd

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24 minutes ago, Crawd said:

I'll be honest, if FFG goes with that system, I'll keep my money since I have all books from the 4th edition and I'll stick with it.

tenchi2a said exactly why I don't like the narrative dice and at that point, it won't change because I simply don't like it. I will not force myself to like something that I simply cannot like. I don't play D20 systems because I simply don't like the system since it feels way too static.

Also, seeing the whole story reset is another reason for me to be careful with it. While some people like that, I don't. Why? Simply because I don't need to buy anything to have an empty story. Sure, there's stuffs with the old timeline that I simply didn't like, I just tweek them in a way to make it more plausible. Also, while it's a huge timeline, I saw a lot of plotting hooks to start new campaigns. I also followed the following rule: "Once I picked a point in the story, the rest may diverge from the official storyline." That way, my players never complained that my campaign doesn't follow the main story.

Anyway, we'll see, but right now, I'm seeing this as "L5R, a FFG RPG like any others" At some point, why don't they only sell a core system book and some setting supplements? Because that's what they are doing... Copy pasting the system on another setting. A quick and cheap way. I've misread the objectif of Genesys, it is that already. Which means that RPG will all have the same system, all you do is just picking your flavor... So yeah, L5R will only be a low graded setting, just like Oriental Adventure for the D20... I'm really sad with this.

Nothing is 'official' yet about an L5R rpg so hope yet lives.  I am still holding out for L5R to get its own core rather than be a tacky tack-on to a generic system.

It strikes me as sad that I'm already attempting to create houserules for something that hasn't been written yet.-_-

Oh well, it just means I'll get some use out of those SW books that I bought but havent used.

Edited by Kuni Katsuyoshi

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On one hand, there are open rules systems that I have loved using for running many different genre of games. The HERO system, for all of its clunky crunchiness, is fantastic in many ways. FATE is very cool, though it does seem best when modified a bit for certain setting (as in The Dresden Files RPG). 

On the other hand, an RPG system with mechanics that truly evoke the feel of that particular setting are a thing of beauty. L5R RPG has certainly never been perfect for that, but it does nail it in some ways. 7th Sea is another system that really made the players feel like they were in the setting. (I guess I'm Dave Williams and John Wick were rather good at creating evocative rpg systems together).

I've run L5R with HERO, and it was fun, but I'd be sad to see the official version of RPG be a setting book for a 'universal' system. 

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Yeah I think it sounds like everyone in here probably would prefer that L5R was it's own RPG product rather than a supplement for a generic system.  To me it would be weird to play an L5R RPG that wasn't tied at it's heart to the five rings themselves.  Not sure how they could accomplish that by just making it a supplement to a generic system.

Though in fairness even if it is just a supplement for their generic system and that proves to be an unpopular move I mean 4th Ed is still out there.  They haven't introduced anything really story-wise that would invalidate still playing with 4th Ed in the new continuity.  So I'm not gonna get too upset either way.  Since I can always go back and play 4th Ed I do hope we get something new with the FFG RPG (rather than just a small tweak of the old roll and keep system).  I guess ultimately for me it doesn't matter.  If the new RPG product gives us a dump of new setting information I'll probably buy it regardless of whether I'm gonna actually play it or not.

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1 minute ago, phillos said:

Yeah I think it sounds like everyone in here probably would prefer that L5R was it's own RPG product rather than a supplement for a generic system.  To me it would be weird to play an L5R RPG that wasn't tied at it's heart to the five rings themselves.  Not sure how they could accomplish that by just making it a supplement to a generic system.

Though in fairness even if it is just a supplement for their generic system and that proves to be an unpopular move I mean 4th Ed is still out there.  They haven't introduced anything really story-wise that would invalidate still playing with 4th Ed in the new continuity.  So I'm not gonna get too upset either way.  Since I can always go back and play 4th Ed I do hope we get something new with the FFG RPG (rather than just a small tweak of the old roll and keep system).  I guess ultimately for me it doesn't matter.  If the new RPG product gives us a dump of new setting information I'll probably buy it regardless of whether I'm gonna actually play it or not.

the death of 'timeline neutrality' will at least allow for a depth in the setting material we havent seen since 1st edition, so there is one bright spot.

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If FFG wants to use special dice system for L5R, I can so see the concept of elemental dice. 

The symbols/colors of a 10-sided die would include.

-2 Air

-2 Earth 

-2 Fire

-2 Water

-2 Void

 

or for more detail symbols... 

 

-Air: Military

-Air: Political  

-Earth: Military

-Earth: Political

-Fire: Military

-Fire: Political

-Water: Military

-Water:  Political

-Void: Military

-Void: Political 

The base foundation of something interesting.  

 

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2 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

A. The system can have a tendency to to override both the GM and the players.

   1. My biggest problem with the system as both a player and GM is the advantages/despair symbols. While they are great for new players to RPGs to get them into the story.They tend to be nothing more than an annoyance to experienced players who know how to tell their story and don't need the dice to tell them.

   2. Because of the layout of the dice the GM has to not only design his story to take into account  players going off in a different direction, but also to take into account the dice taking the game in a different direction then both the players and GM whats to go.

 

I'm kind of curious how you account for then in other systems for players failing important roles. I've played games for years, and am currently running SW, and as a story teller, I love the dice. But I've also been more of an improv story teller in that regard.

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1 minute ago, RandomJC said:

I'm kind of curious how you account for then in other systems for players failing important roles. I've played games for years, and am currently running SW, and as a story teller, I love the dice. But I've also been more of an improv story teller in that regard.

Depends on What you mean by failing important rolls.

In the example above since all my players create their characters on l5rcm I have a running total on all their stats and just set the TN to a point that they can always hit if its within their skill set.

I also try to make sure that all players can be important. As this group had a Kitsuki Investigator I made it an Investigation skill roll that only he could beat.

Now if the roll is important but, I have a backup plan if it fails then I just go with the flow and tell them they could not find anything.

Overall it depends on how  important I want the roll to be and if the players need direction or are driving the story on their own.

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2 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Depends on What you mean by failing important rolls.

In the example above since all my players create their characters on l5rcm I have a running total on all their stats and just set the TN to a point that they can always hit if its within their skill set.

I also try to make sure that all players can be important. As this group had a Kitsuki Investigator I made it an Investigation skill roll that only he could beat.

Now if the roll is important but, I have a backup plan if it fails then I just go with the flow and tell them they could not find anything.

Overall it depends on how  important I want the roll to be and if the players need direction or are driving the story on their own.

Good in theory, but sometimes more difficult in practice.  Our L5R GM sometimes suffers from not planning around this, because we don't always pick up on his overly subtle hint, or we just miss an important roll.

You say 100% chance, that is not correct.  On 6K3, the only thing you have 100% chance of making is a 3.  However, you are correct that it is highly likely, and if you have multiple people roll then it is nearly impossible for everyone to miss.

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Just now, tenchi2a said:

Depends on What you mean by failing important rolls.

In the example above since all my players create their characters on l5rcm I have a running total on all their stats and just set the TN to a point that they can always hit if its within their skill set.

I also try to make sure that all players can be important. As this group had a Kitsuki Investigator I made it an Investigation skill roll that only he could beat.

Now if the roll is important but, I have a backup plan if it fails then I just go with the flow and tell them they could not find anything.

Overall it depends on how  important I want the roll to be and if the players need direction or are driving the story on their own.

So you make the rolls with no chance of failure?

If you have a backup plan if the roll fails, then how is that different than having one for Narrative dice?

Personally, I've enjoyed it because it allows me to create interesting quirks in a story. Example from my play group:

One character is a bit of a techy, decides to rig the ship to explode based on a signal he can send, or if someone tries to do launch without him. He succeeds with disadvantage, so he rigs it through the comm system. Later when he tries to use the comm system for help, he learns he's fried it.

It had me think on my feet a bit, but was no one at the table complained about it.

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There is a RPG like Shadowrun but without the magic, alves, orcs, etc. It's called Cyberpunk. And it's awesome. :)

I'm pretty sure a Generic system around FFG story dice would be really interesting for a Netrunner or L5R RPG.

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2 minutes ago, Mirith said:

Good in theory, but sometimes more difficult in practice.  Our L5R GM sometimes suffers from not planning around this, because we don't always pick up on his overly subtle hint, or we just miss an important roll.

You say 100% chance, that is not correct.  On 6K3, the only thing you have 100% chance of making is a 3.  However, you are correct that it is highly likely, and if you have multiple people roll then it is nearly impossible for everyone to miss.

You are correct only if the player does not have an emphasis on the skill. the results I posted also take into account emphasis and exploding dice. the average is pretty dead on in practice.

 

3 minutes ago, RandomJC said:

So you make the rolls with no chance of failure?

If you have a backup plan if the roll fails, then how is that different than having one for Narrative dice?

Personally, I've enjoyed it because it allows me to create interesting quirks in a story. Example from my play group:

One character is a bit of a techy, decides to rig the ship to explode based on a signal he can send, or if someone tries to do launch without him. He succeeds with disadvantage, so he rigs it through the comm system. Later when he tries to use the comm system for help, he learns he's fried it.

It had me think on my feet a bit, but was no one at the table complained about it.

The point is not that they have if they truly have a chance of failing the roll or not.  Its that I don't tell them the TN so they think they have a chance of failure. With the SWNDS they know by the dice I give them that they can't fail.

Its about stories telling and the PC not having anymore info then their characters.

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5 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

You are correct only if the player does not have an emphasis on the skill. the results I posted also take into account emphasis and exploding dice. the average is pretty dead on in practice.

 

The point is not that they have if they truly have a chance of failing the roll or not.  Its that I don't tell them the TN so they think they have a chance of failure. With the SWNDS they know by the dice I give them that they can't fail.

Its about stories telling and the PC not having anymore info then their characters.

There is always a chance of failure, no matter what dice you give them. On any d-8 there is only a 50% chance of success. On any D10 66% chance. Add even one difficulty die and those numbers become lower. If the character is profiecent and only has one difficulty die to deal with there is a great percentage of success, but there isn't a guarantee of success. and if they role despair, then while they succeed they also fail.

If a character is a good hacker, then the character has just as much an idea if they can hack the system or not as the character based on the dice.

Edited by RandomJC

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2 minutes ago, RandomJC said:

It's why my group bought the FFG app.

Yeah I myself have never liked dice apps

1. I like the feel of the dice in my hand

2. Dice apps are not random but a set of number sequences that are programmed to appear in a set order. Computer can't do random.

3. I don't want to have to recharge my dice or be tethered to a cable because I forgot to charge my phone.

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3 minutes ago, RandomJC said:

There is always a chance of failure, no matter what dice you give them. On any d-8 there is only a 50% chance of success. On any D10 66% chance. Add even one difficulty die and those numbers become lower. If the character is profiecent and only has one difficulty die to deal with there is a great percentage of success, but there isn't a guarantee of success. and if they role despair, then while they succeed they also fail.

If a character is a good hacker, then the character has just as much an idea if they can hack the system or not as the character based on the dice.

Here you are wrong. If you need to roll a 5 or higher on 5 dice you can't fail. The point of multidice systems is to remove the flat line probability issues with single dice games such a D&D

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4 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Yeah I myself have never liked dice apps

1. I like the feel of the dice in my hand

2. Dice apps are not random but a set of number sequences that are programmed to appear in a set order. Computer can't do random.

3. I don't want to have to recharge my dice or be tethered to a cable because I forgot to charge my phone.

This I agree with. I could also just print out the conversion table for the #s to symbols for regular die, but been lazy.

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2 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Yeah I myself have never liked dice apps

1. I like the feel of the dice in my hand

2. Dice apps are not random but a set of number sequences that are programmed to appear in a set order. Computer can't do random.

3. I don't want to have to recharge my dice or be tethered to a cable because I forgot to charge my phone.

#2 isn't valid.  You can get true random on computers, and honestly most simulations of true random is random enough.  

However, #1 and #3 are spot on.  I hate technology in my tabletop RPGs.  I don't like using PDFs, I want the actual book (At least at the table).  I don't want "Dice Apps" I want Dice.  I don't want digital character sheets, I want a piece of paper with stuff written on it.  I want, after a few months, to have to either find a new place to put my HP or rewrite the sheet because it has become impossible for me to record my damage.  It isn't the same without them.

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2 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Here you are wrong. If you need to roll a 5 or higher on 5 dice you can't fail. The point of multidice systems is to remove the flat line probability issues with single dice games such a D&D

I'm not wrong because the dice in Star Wars D8 are either 0 (4 sides effectively), 1 (3 sides), or 2(1 side). I roll 5 dice, I am not guaranteed a 5. If I roll 5 dice, it is very possible to roll 0 in Star Wars.

Edited by RandomJC

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