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TheEldarGuy

Legend of 5 Rings vs. AD&D Oriental Adventures

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Oriental Adventures is the mark.  Admittedly, it ran off the world's best RPG system, but as a supplement, the game was amazing.

As an old-time RPG player and designer, I hope that the game is successful and I'll be looking forward to it.

 

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6 hours ago, Daigotsu Kai'Sen said:

Ugh, then there was travesty that was the 3rd Edition Oriental Adventures that used Rokugan as its setting.  The 3rd Edition D&D version of L5R was bleh.  I remember some good times with ADnD OA though.

The rules may have been bleh, but the I thought that the layout and organisation of the setting details in the Rokugan book was the best by far.

But then, given how cluttered 4th edition's books were, I'd see FFG's version as a triumph is they manage to avoid page numbers overlapping the artwork!

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FFG has a very unique approach to their RPG's in particular the last couple (WFRPG 3.0 & Star Wars... and of course now Genysis).  Mainly its focused on Narrative & Cinematic resolution, its generally very abstracted and typically driven by "high adventure" and a lot of eye-balling it.  Nothing wrong with it, in fact I love their RPGs.

The question is whether this is a stylistic choice, or if its the result of designer style.  Another words are they capable of doing something more earthy and grounded in reality.  I mean we know they can make a High Fantasy Adventure, Star Wars Edge of the Empire in my humble opinion is without question one of the best systems ever made to represent the space opera/high adventure story.  That approach however layered over Legend of the Five Rings and we are right back to where the D20 system left us, where the abstraction was just too heavy where it is effectively D&D Asian Fantasy.

I would like to see Legend of the Rings get a more earthy tone, a mechanic more grounded in realism.  I think its a great world but its been represented too often as a High Fantasy cartoon. In fact to date I haven't liked any systems that have represented it.  Setting is great, systems have been quite terrible.

Edited by BigKahuna

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3 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

FFG has a very unique approach to their RPG's in particular the last couple (WFRPG 3.0 & Star Wars... and of course now Genysis).  Mainly its focused on Narrative & Cinematic resolution, its generally very abstracted and typically driven by "high adventure" and a lot of eye-balling it.  

Odd. When I played Edge of the Empire, the only thing I had to eyeball was range in combat, because it was divided into loosely defined range brands. Heck, it felt crunchier than 4th Edition.  

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FWIW I think you'll find that the new Legend of the Five Rings RPG is more its own creature, perhaps similar to FFG's Star Wars RPG (at least in terms of being narrative dice driven), but definitely distinct. Everything I've seen for the new Genysis system comes across as FFG establishing their own narrative dice version of the old GURPS system. Great for generic or homebrew settings, but not intended for the "major" IPs like Star Wars and L5R. And I'm sure this open beta will be the perfect opportunity for the fans to voice their opinions (and air their homebrew alternatives) for FFG to mull over. 

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30 minutes ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

And I'm sure this open beta will be the perfect opportunity for the fans to voice their opinions (and air their homebrew alternatives) for FFG to mull over. 

Oh boy... I was there back in the Dark Heresy 2.0 Beta, and if that story is any measure, we are going to have R&K back :P.

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On 9/27/2017 at 9:01 PM, TheEldarGuy said:

Oriental Adventures is the mark.  Admittedly, it ran off the world's best RPG system, but as a supplement, the game was amazing.

You're going to have to do a lot of work to back up "world's best RPG system", especially as applies to L5R.

Also, I think your actual bar needs to be Seven Samurai: the Game, or Twilight Samurai: the Game.

Or really Toshiro Mifune is Super Awesome: the Game.

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On 9/28/2017 at 4:29 PM, AtoMaki said:

Odd. When I played Edge of the Empire, the only thing I had to eyeball was range in combat, because it was divided into loosely defined range brands. Heck, it felt crunchier than 4th Edition.  

True if you only use the mechanical rules, but with elements like translating Narrative Dice results, Force points spending and Maneuver definitions the system itself encourages a heavier focus on narrative results, rather then mechanical ones.   This is without question one of the most "Eyeball it" games I have played in 30 years of GMing.  I'm surprised to hear anyone thinks the opposite.  I mean sure its plenty crunchy, but by its design its pushing you towards "just make it up" cinematic, pretty much every core mechanic in the game basically says "here are some rules.. BUT.. here is how we would do it" and the examples are always clear eye-ball narrative results.

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20 hours ago, Suzume Urusai said:

D20 was such a terrible format for l5r. All of the richness and beauty crammed into a bloated feat system. The alignment system doesn't mesh with bushido.

Agreed, but really in my humble opinion all L5R RPG's have sucked something fierce.  Pretty much the worst systems in recollection, always thought it was a pity given I feel quite the opposite on the setting, hands down one of the best I have ever read.  Hopefully FFG can get it together and put it to a system deserving of the setting.

Edited by BigKahuna

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3 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

True if you only use the mechanical rules, but with elements like translating Narrative Dice results, Force points spending and Maneuver definitions the system itself encourages a heavier focus on narrative results, rather then mechanical ones. 

1

Narrative resolution of the dice results does look like a problem as far as I'm aware, according to this very forum. Apparently, people mostly go crunch with the dice and use the tables rather than go narrative and make things up on the fly. 

I can only remember a single (subpar) option to spend a Light Side Point for a small narrative effect. Other than that, there are... what? Two Talents with narrative effects? 

In my opinion, the EotE system is pretty darn crunchy and has nothing on real narrative systems like Blood&Honor (just for a close example).  Like Talent Trees? Narrative Skills being actual Skills? Turn/action based combat? In a supposedly narrative system? For real? 

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12 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Narrative resolution of the dice results does look like a problem as far as I'm aware, according to this very forum. Apparently, people mostly go crunch with the dice and use the tables rather than go narrative and make things up on the fly. 

I can only remember a single (subpar) option to spend a Light Side Point for a small narrative effect. Other than that, there are... what? Two Talents with narrative effects? 

In my opinion, the EotE system is pretty darn crunchy and has nothing on real narrative systems like Blood&Honor (just for a close example).  Like Talent Trees? Narrative Skills being actual Skills? Turn/action based combat? In a supposedly narrative system? For real? 

Pure narrative systems are ALWAYS awful because their is always a complete lack of structure and reliable mechanics to apply to conflict resolution.  Its the age old lazy mans design of "hey you don't need rules you can do whatever you want!".  That's not a role-playing game, that's freeform storytelling and contrary to what "real narrative systems" claim is a bunch of useless BS and does not make for a good experiance.  Which is why most of these systems no one has ever heard of.

A good RPG will have firm, clean and easily applied rules that don't slow the game down while having open paths to building narratives and creating scenes that won't get bogged down by "simulationism" and "rules lawyering".

Another words, have great rules, that can be applied or ignored without it feeling like the system is irrelevant. 

I think Star Wars Edge of the Empires does this beutifully.  You have firm crunch, defined rules, yet you have dice results like a success with 2 disadvantages, a Triumph and a Despair.  How does that translate to the scene?  That's where players and GM's can have fun playing with the narrative.  If you don't have any good ideas, you have applicapable mechanics you can call upon to define that role for you.

With an absence of good rules to define results, you have nothing to fall back on, but simultanously the rule system is designed to faucilitate cool/fun cinematics.

Now I don't know that this would work in every setting but for Star Wars this is perfect.  I think Lot5r needs something a bit more gritty as its a setting that kind of wants to get more real and less "over the top".  That might just be my opinion/reflection on it, but I don't see Legend of the Five Rings as a cartoony super hero world like D&D or Star Wars where there is an expectation that a hero can abstractly do stuff no actual human being could pull off.  

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On 9/28/2017 at 11:59 PM, El_Ganso said:

Ugh D20 L5R was the worst. I remember people expecting stat lines for the Kami, which really goes against the feel of L5R IMO

You do know they have stats for two of the Kami in the 4th ed R&K system right?

And Fu Leng has stats in Time of the Void.

Edited by tenchi2a

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24 minutes ago, BigKahuna said:

Pure narrative systems are ALWAYS awful because their is always a complete lack of structure and reliable mechanics to apply to conflict resolution.  Its the age old lazy mans design of "hey you don't need rules you can do whatever you want!".  That's not a role-playing game, that's freeform storytelling and contrary to what "real narrative systems" claim is a bunch of useless BS and does not make for a good experiance.  Which is why most of these systems no one has ever heard of.

A good RPG will have firm, clean and easily applied rules that don't slow the game down while having open paths to building narratives and creating scenes that won't get bogged down by "simulationism" and "rules lawyering".

Another words, have great rules, that can be applied or ignored without it feeling like the system is irrelevant. 

I think Star Wars Edge of the Empires does this beutifully.  You have firm crunch, defined rules, yet you have dice results like a success with 2 disadvantages, a Triumph and a Despair.  How does that translate to the scene?  That's where players and GM's can have fun playing with the narrative.  If you don't have any good ideas, you have applicapable mechanics you can call upon to define that role for you.

With an absence of good rules to define results, you have nothing to fall back on, but simultanously the rule system is designed to faucilitate cool/fun cinematics.

Now I don't know that this would work in every setting but for Star Wars this is perfect.  I think Lot5r needs something a bit more gritty as its a setting that kind of wants to get more real and less "over the top".  That might just be my opinion/reflection on it, but I don't see Legend of the Five Rings as a cartoony super hero world like D&D or Star Wars where there is an expectation that a hero can abstractly do stuff no actual human being could pull off.  

I have to disagree with the second part. Yoritomo was his 20 best men. Hida Yakamo had a demon crab claw hand. Togashi Mitsu could breath fire. Shugenja could turn whole armies into flowers. Shina Aikune melted people with the last wish. 

Han Solo would get shot first by Tsuruchi and Isawa Tadaka would crush Luke with his X-Wing. Any Crab Berserker that had a story arc was absurdly larger than life. 

Super hero samurai is the name of the game. Though not all stories feature characters like these, neither do all Star Wars games.

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3 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

 Pure narrative systems are ALWAYS awful because their is always a complete lack of structure and reliable mechanics to apply to conflict resolution.  

1

Uhm... that's the whole point of having a narrative system. If you don't like it, then don't play it. If you have a crunchy system with elements of narrative resolution, then it will be still a crunchy system, but with some special dice that can be ultimately ignored altogether, one special rule option, and two Talents. I mean, that might be enough for the marketing department, but for me, that's BS. 

Quote

 

You have firm crunch, defined rules, yet you have dice results like a success with 2 disadvantages, a Triumph and a Despair.  How does that translate to the scene?

1

Two Boost Dice and one upgrade for the next allied check, and the character's gun runs out of ammo. It is right in the rulebook :rolleyes: .

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Uhm... that's the whole point of having a narrative system. If you don't like it, then don't play it. If you have a crunchy system with elements of narrative resolution, then it will be still a crunchy system, but with some special dice that can be ultimately ignored altogether, one special rule option, and two Talents. I mean, that might be enough for the marketing department, but for me, that's BS. 

Two Boost Dice and one upgrade for the next allied check, and the character's gun runs out of ammo. It is right in the rulebook :rolleyes: .

Yeah, I think your missing the point here.

The main difference between a purely narrative game and a crunchy one is that in a crunchy one you can ignore the rules at any time and go narrative, in a narrative system there are no rules when you want to go crunchy.  One has options, the other has none.  

This argument that a crunchy system is not narrative is pretty ridiculous. 

Adding rules to an RPG is not optional, its a requirement for it to qualify for it actually being an RPG.  Having rules, is not some sort of obsticale to role-playing, but not having rules IS an obsticale to it being a game.  RPG's are both, a role-playing experiance and a game.  

Edited by BigKahuna

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58 minutes ago, BigKahuna said:

The main difference between a purely narrative game and a crunchy one is that in a crunchy one you can ignore the rules at any time and go narrative, in a narrative system there are no rules when you want to go crunchy.  One has options, the other has none.  

 

And this is why Genesys is a crunchy system, not a narrative one. It does the first thing with a twist (it makes ignoring the rules a rule, essentially), not the second. If it was, it would wave away unincluded skills, scrap 90% of the weapon stats and qualities, probably do away most of the attributes and auxiliaries, and let the game ride all by itself... y'know, relying on actual abstraction and eye-balling and stuff. 

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