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What I took away from the article:

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 A wide variety of skills, techniques, advantages, disadvantages, and more allow players to customize their character mechanically and narratively.

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These elements, also called rings, were represented in the sacred spirits of the land and the natural world, but also in society and the human psyche

What ever system FFG ends up using they seem to intend to keep the nomenclature the same, everyone who played AEG's L5R RPGs knows what rings, skills, etc are so to use the same names for them makes sense.

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One of the fundamental choices a player must make during character creation is to select opposing ninjō and giri to represent a samurai’s inner desire and the external demands placed upon them by their lord and by fate.

This looks interesting. Will this be instead of Honor and Glory or in addition to them?

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Custom dice mechanics enable players to contribute to the unfolding story and decide whether their character succeeds, by how much, and how much it will cost them.

This could refer to the mechanics of the custom dice or dice mechanics customized for the L5R RPG, will have to wait until the beta's released.

Looking forward to see the beta rules.

Edited by ldorn

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I expect ninjō and giri to be like Morality from Force & Destiny.  As a GM, I am really looking forward to this particular addition.

I have my weekly 4th ed game tonight (Can the Soshi, Kakita and Mirumoto prevent the murder of the Miya envoy at the Dragon summer festival? Will they have another information gathering session in a bath house? Will Mirumoto Hitomi have the Kuni whacked out of spite?) so no doubt this will be a hot topic of conversation. 

I am really keen to see where it is heading.  After GMing FFGSW for about 400+ hours and alongside my players, falling hopelessly in love with the system, I can see real failings in just straight porting it to L5R and hope FFG can polish whatever they have planned.

I doubt it will be much in the beta but I am also keen to read more about how FFG have changed the setting compared to AEG's timeline.

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I was really looking forward to Worlds of Android being the first setting for Genesys but if FFG starts with L5R, I'm down with that.

My real concern is whether FFG continues the story of Rokugan as AEG left it or does it reboot the storylines? If FFG continues; at what point in the narrative do they pick it up?

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It has been speculated for some time that this would be coming out but I am very surprised they don't link it to the Genesys system. I get the impression that it will use a very similar system with minor differences. 

Not sure if I like that or not. Being a little more focused on L5R could make for a better RPG but I'm starting to get a little tired of buying what I feel like is the same RPG over and over again. I already own Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, and Force and Destiny. I did plan to buy Genesys and allL5R stuff I was expecting them to release for it, not to mention other interesting non-L5R books. Now I'm not so sure if I will even bother with Genesys.

With L5R I would probably own four slight variants of the same system. Not sure I want to invest in a fifth one.

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2 minutes ago, Deen Dough said:

My real concern is whether FFG continues the story of Rokugan as AEG left it or does it reboot the storylines? If FFG continues; at what point in the narrative do they pick it up?

Look at the LCG, that is where the FFG story starts.  The seven Great Clans are in conflict: Hida Kisada is smashing oni faces, Bayushi Shoju is wondering if Hantei XXXVIII is up to the job, Akodo Toturi is the brand new Lion Champion.  It is a lot like the 1st edition setting but we will not know just how much alike until FFG tell us what their story is.  We don't even know if any minor clans exist yet (or will ever).

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5 minutes ago, Deen Dough said:

I was really looking forward to Worlds of Android being the first setting for Genesys but if FFG starts with L5R, I'm down with that.

My real concern is whether FFG continues the story of Rokugan as AEG left it or does it reboot the storylines? If FFG continues; at what point in the narrative do they pick it up?

They rebooted the storyline in the LCG so I will assume it is the same here. The story takes place before the Scorpion Coup and it looks like they will be taking the story in a different direction. 

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I would be very happy if they did reboot the story line.  I loved the world in the early editions.  Now if I can find a group to play with on the regular.  That was always the hardest for me as I was the only one that like the Asian setting in my gaming group.

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I am nervously excited to see where they take this.

R&K is one of my favourite systems for games, and in all honesty the custom dice that FFG use for things like Star Wars has stopped me getting into those games.  I don't want to learn what a bunch of symbols mean when numbers has worked so well for so long

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Lest we forget the three SW RPGs were openly marketed as three components in the exact same system just covering different aspects of the overall universe. And they have been VERY well received along with people noting that they appeal to a specific type of role player - one who is more into the narrative and the moment than one who likes precise calculations. 

Obviously if they use some pieces of this system in L5R (like narrative dice) there will still be a rather different framework as the Rings (already mentioned) and Honor have to be core elements otherwise the story loses its feel. 

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What I hope we wind up having is that Genesys is the necessary core book of fundamental rules and the L5R setting book is all setting and exceptions/additions to the core rules.  

Clan and Family schools are natural replacements for Archetypes.

Specific rules for Iajutsu would be pretty much vital.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Shadowlands Taint is going to work.

Ninjō and giri sound more interesting than Honor and Glory, but since Genesys has four motivational traits I wouldn't be surprised (or upset) if L5R has all of them.

Edited by Manic Modron

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Depending on what's in the Genesys book, there is part of me that is in favor of having L5R as an add-on so that I can also have the Genesys rules.

On the other hand, I would rather not spend sessions trying to remember "Was that rule in the Genesys book or the L5R book?" Part of me is rather hoping we see L5R as a stand-alone book (even if it is using an identical to Genesys narrative dice system.)

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2 hours ago, TechnoGolem said:

They rebooted the storyline in the LCG so I will assume it is the same here. The story takes place before the Scorpion Coup and it looks like they will be taking the story in a different direction. 

Where i can read about this?

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1 minute ago, Richardbuxton said:

Genesys should be out before Christmas.

Since L5R has its own forum thread it's probably a stand alone core book. Add the fact it's having an open beta (something Genesys never had), I would think it's going to have a heavily modified version of the narrative dice system. 

I like the way you think

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Suzume-san, I get what you are saying there.  Which is why the rules in the L5R book would have to be VERY specific!  Honor, Glory, ninjō, and giri?  Clearly Rokugani terms, easy to remember are in the L5R book.  Combat in general?  Genesys.  Iajutsu?  Rokugani term, so right there in the L5R book.

However, I'd really like to avoid the Star Wars model (though I have to say I do understand why they did what they did), where there are multiple books with the same rules repeated over and over again.  

My ideal model is a refinement of the World of Darkness games... well, before the whole weird schism between Onyx Path and the new White Wolf.  One core book, multiple game world books.

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1 hour ago, Joelist said:

Lest we forget the three SW RPGs were openly marketed as three components in the exact same system just covering different aspects of the overall universe. And they have been VERY well received along with people noting that they appeal to a specific type of role player - one who is more into the narrative and the moment than one who likes precise calculations. 

Obviously if they use some pieces of this system in L5R (like narrative dice) there will still be a rather different framework as the Rings (already mentioned) and Honor have to be core elements otherwise the story loses its feel. 

I started writing this response when the above had been posted. Others have posted since, so I hope I'm not stepping on too many toes or being too redundant.

 

A couple of thoughts from the announcement article:

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These samurai serve their lords as warriors, courtiers, priests, or monks

So it looks like the standard roles are in place. I kind of like that they’re emphasizing the priestly nature of some samurai. I presume they will use the word shugenja later since they use it in the LCG. I hope they steer away from too much perception as wizards and really focus on the priestly aspect. But that’s just my personal taste, and if they don’t then, hey, whatever.

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Custom dice mechanics enable players to contribute to the unfolding story and decide whether their character succeeds, by how much, and how much it will cost them.

This seems to be the stickiest sentence in the entire article, especially because it enigmatically seems to capture the entirety of the game mechanics without really telling you anything. There is certainly a lot to be said about the difference between “Custom-dice mechanics” and “Custom dice-mechanics”. As it stands, I could seeing going either way. There is certainly precedent for custom made dice to be used in any FFG game. However, they don’t mention the Genesys system or even really hint at it or any of the terms used therein within the article. This leads me to believe that they aren’t going to go the same track with it. Otherwise why would you miss the chance to cross advertise your own product? You could say that they’re afraid it will make people mad but that shows a lot of lack of faith in both Genesys and L5R products so if it were to be Genesys, I would think they would emphasize that rather than hide it.

The idea of deciding whether you succeed and by how much could possibly be a reference to something like the raise wager system, but that’s pretty baseless speculation. What is much more interesting to me is the idea that there may be a cost to your actions and that you can increase that cost to increase your chances of success. Sacrifice of valuable resources in return for the possibility of greater gains seems like a great way to give players control of their choices and make them sweat at the table. As a GM and erstwhile amateur game designer, I love it.

Alternately, they may just be hinting at Void Points or somesuch.

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One of the fundamental choices a player must make during character creation is to select opposing ninjō and giri.

There are a lot (and I mean a LOT) of things wrong with World of Darkness games, but one of the things I really like about them is that there are mechanical things that reflect the actual narrative value of your character built into the system. That is to say, with things like WoD’s Personality archetypes, F&D’s Morality, and things like that there are stats on your sheet that inform your character and your roleplaying which can get you mechanical benefits if you act consistently within the bounds you have set for your character.

Furthermore, by ensuring that they are opposing values of ninjo and giri, FFG has basically said that characters will never get everything they ever want and will always be lacking in complete happiness. They will always have a reason to be somewhere between slightly miffed and completely miserable. This is the essence of samurai drama and a real key to having fun with internal conflict in role playing. If the system is designed well. It seems right on track for portraying the real samurai feel of L5R.

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Whether a samurai chooses happiness or duty in a given moment will have narrative and mechanical consequences

See above, especially as relates to the mechanics of being miserable.

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 In every task they undertake, they must choose an elemental approach, and the suitability of one approach over another can give them the edge they need or diminish their chances of succeeding.

This is also cool in that it implies there are different ways you can go about doing things, which is actually present in AEG’s L5R RPG ruleset but not used as often. By the same token, stating that some elements are better suited to some tasks than others discourages people from min maxing into one element all the time and letting it overpower everything they try to accomplish.

Although, I am a little trepidatious of this as well, as it needs to be carefully thought out and applied. If you play FATE or FATE Accelerated you can often see how switching up one stat or Approach for another makes all stats feel very similar and waters down any variety you may have wanted within the character (D&D 4E is also guilty of this in their combat design.) It’s akin to the principle of “When everybody is special, no one is.” That said, I hope that FFG pulls off such a mechanic well.

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The Open Beta will not include every mechanic in the final game

I note this because I think it’s important to say that this will not be the final product. The very point of releasing an early Beta is to get feedback so changes can be made. We as a community should be forgiving of flaws in design at this stage because we’re not seeing the entire thing. Because many of us are connoisseurs of role playing games, and prone to rightful critiques of our media experiences we have a tendency to jump the gun when looking over early presentations. Let’s try to look at what this game COULD be and what it needs rather than what it lacks and then feed that information to the designers so they can consider how to implement something that will be good for the community and good for business.

AND ANOTHER THING!

It seems odd to me that this game would be Genesys based given the release schedule of this beta and the Genesys Core RPG. This Beta PDF releases next week and Genesys comes out...in the next couple months...probably? It would be awkward to release a game supplement (even if it contained the full rules for the game) ahead of the flagship game itself (ESPECIALLY if the supplement contained the full rules.) This makes me think FFG has something else they’ve been stewing for the last while.

When FFG bought the L5R IP they noted that there are a lot of L5R fans working on their development team. So these are people who care about a.) quality products, b.) actual game design, and c.) Legend of the Five Rings. If the release of an L5R RPG was meant to be a quick throw away money grab they could have hijacked any of their other game lines with a veneer of samurai and released it without much playtest (and certainly without an open beta with commentary period) as a way to establish unified lore and make a few bucks. The fact that this is a long time coming is a sign of a work of caring development and quality. I hope that FFG delivers and I think they deserve a chance to wow us.

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idk - I'm excited to see what they've done - but in all of my RPG playing, I've rarely relied on any core book.  After a brief stent with Robotech, MERPS, and D&D I dove into a custom DBZ system my group created together because we knew what we wanted to play.  It wasn't exactly hard, a d20 system is basically using a percentage dice rolling at 5% per number.  Roll & Keep is essentially a more varied system which gives you about 5 per kept die, with a tendency to go higher so you can be more daring and confident in your rolls allowing you to take raises.  idk about this "narrative dice."  I played FATE and loved the focus on narrative, but the dice system seemed a bit flat.  If I gave someone a target number even just +1 from their stat it was extremely risky, if it was -1 it was suddenly not risky...  If it was +2 or -2 it was either a death sentence or a sure thing and no one batted an eye.  Having a higher set of numbers (ICE MERPS system using simply percentage rolls, or the higher number values in a R&K system) allow the game a bit more leeway to say "This is somewhat challenging, but you have a reasonable chance of hitting it" or "This is somewhat easy, you could boost some for a greater effect if you wanna take the gamble."  Ironically FATE's system was extremely unforgiving.

I don't know if I'm a fan of the dice telling me, the GM, that the player gets some bonus or penalty just because they rolled it...  When I play any RPG I pretty much take what I want from the system, and tell the players not to expect everything the book says to be real because I will have the game work how I want it to work.  I had a player one time show up to an L5R game using Honor's Veil poison rules for a rank 1 Scorpion character and it was WAY too OP, and I had never read Honors Veil... I booted him because he was too much of a power gamer and my games focus on story.  The climax of that mission had an Ise Zumi use a chameleon tattoo to look like the cult leader, and he lead the sect in a ritual suicide to have the sect take themselves out...  I didn't plan it, that was their idea, it was narrated awesomely by them and we didn't have a single die roll in the final scene because it was so fun to just describe the scene back and forth, and they had done an immaculate job of setting up the perfect heist, kidnapping the leader without arousing any suspicion.  

Anyway - tl/dr - whatever the system is, I may or may not use it - because my game I'm starting right now is already using a good amount of custom rules, based on 1st ed R&K.  I plan to give this a shot, but if it doesn't jive then it gets the boot - just like 2nd ed L5R did.  The core book was alright, but everything after that sucked lol.

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