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I'm done being diplomatic.

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If 4th Edition books are going for well over three times the PDF price, certainly somebody is buying them.  I mean, if there's no audience for an L5R reprint, there's no audience for a 5th Edition either if it doesn't cater to the baked-in audience.  I know my group has four people who would buy one if they could get it on Amazon for less than $120.  None of them will by 5th Edition at this rate and they definitely haven't bought the PDFs.  I was listening to one of the currently running Twitch streams, and 3 out of the five players were jealous of the other two's hard copies of the rulebook.  Even the GM didn't have them. Clearly there are people who want to buy it.  That's why FFG has to decide what it wants its game to be and cater directly to that audience.  Because it owns 4th Edition.  Heck, they could even just offer a pre-rdered custom printing for 4th Edition and still move enough copies to justify the print run.  I'd bet you'd have people buying multiple copies just to speculate on the secondary market since clearly 4E rulebooks have value based on rarity and demand.

 

This isn't Star Wars.  L5R doesn't sell itself. 

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9 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Not to be the squasher of hopes and dreams, but I don’t see FFG budging on 4E unless this new editions bombs out so completely they scrap it altogether. And given that it’s a tabletop RPG, even one with an excellent reputation and a fairly strong following, I don’t think the bar for “acceptably successful” will be super high.

Very true. Compared to other Juggernaut RPGs, like D&D, Pathfinder, World of Darkness (esp with Vampire), Shadowrun (look at the crazy success of 5th Edition), WH40K, etc, I am totally aware that L5R is at the lover end of the RPG totem pole as far as popularity goes. Also, from my experience, L5R RPG does't have the most... positive reputation... 

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8 minutes ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

Also, from my experience, L5R RPG does't have the most... positive reputation... 

I've noticed this also and I'm not entirely sure why this seems to be the case.

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7 minutes ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

Very true. Compared to other Juggernaut RPGs, like D&D, Pathfinder, World of Darkness (esp with Vampire), Shadowrun (look at the crazy success of 5th Edition), WH40K, etc, I am totally aware that L5R is at the lover end of the RPG totem pole as far as popularity goes. Also, from my experience, L5R RPG does't have the most... positive reputation... 

It’s a niche RPG that isn’t carried by a massive IP, unlike for instance the Warhammer lines or Star Wars. Its popularity is always going to be limited. Unlike your experience though, I found those players who are interested in such a setting tend to like L5R. Just not every edition equally much.

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3 minutes ago, JorArns said:

I've noticed this also and I'm not entirely sure why this seems to be the case.

The system has been easily broken in the past by power gamers so some GM's have been put off by their experiences and pass on running it.

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It is also an off genre. Modern, sci fi, european fantasy are things the majority of purchasers have already been exposed to. You can quickly get in to those genre's of worlds since we've seen them over and over on tv, movies, and books. The historical japan esc. setting is a lot more unusual and a little harder to get in to off the bat. There is a lot of terminology that is just simply alien. I am really interested in Coriollis sci fi game but have a similar issue where its roots are an arabian knights esc. society which I am not personally that familiar with so getting in to that head space is more of a challenge.

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3 hours ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Which has nothing to do with preparation, which is the topic at hand.  For that NPC to exist, the GM had to prepare him, the scene and the setting. You just showed up and talked.

I don't do nearly as much work as you do... maybe that's why I prefer the new L5R system.  Its very fluid, allowing you to improv much better.  I have plans for my games, but I rarely get too specific because I prefer to journey with the players rather than shuttle them around as I design it.  One of the best features of my last game was a Water Assessment element added to the scene by a player that basically replaced the 2 other options I had prepared, so its good I didn't spend too much time preparing it.  I knew what I wanted the players to experience and learn from the scene, they added some side things they wanted to check on.  The backdrop changed from a military camp or a smithing tent that I thought to us to a ritual circle with Shugenja providing rites to the dead.  It turned out to be a really great scene.

I get why you call it a story game - if story game means "suited for improv gaming."

I don't think its a bad thing.  I played FATE which is a very narrative game system and found the system severely lacking.  So far new5r is a great balance and concept.  I'm excited to see it continue to develop.  It might just not be your thing, in which case - don't play it.  Stick to 4th ed, its already released so you don't have to wait.  Don't worry about what homebrew rules you want to use vs what someone else uses, there aren't any tournaments for it. 

 

2 hours ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

 

Were that i'twere so simple. I've gotta figure out whose week it is for ninjo and giri, and how to artificially insert that into the storyline alongside everything else I have to improvise this week.  And frankly, I have a hard time believing you improvise everything and keep a coherent narrative going.  Unless you're just the GM for AtoMaki's Jackie Chan game and he's drawing the scenery for you.  I mean, maybe you have 10 years of GMing L5R under your belt and you can seamlessly write fantasy Japanese and Wushu stories train of thought. If so, I think we can paint you in the minority.

 

idk - I think its pretty easy to just throw these things in.  Again - I don't prepare too much for my games.  I have a general idea of the direction of the story, and if I look at my player's Ninjo and see one has "must help the sick" and another has a Giri of "protect my charge at all costs", I can easily combine them to a single point where the yojimbo grabs the monk by the arm to keep him from touching the sickly hinin for fear of him getting ill himself.  Now they can engage each other, maybe they wrestle, maybe they mix words - but whatever it is, it didn't take more than a moment to put those two together and have some fun with it.

48 minutes ago, Darksyde said:

For the record. 1st through 4th eddition are up on Drive Thru.

And on piratebay...

Edited by shosuko

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46 minutes ago, Darksyde said:

It is also an off genre. Modern, sci fi, european fantasy are things the majority of purchasers have already been exposed to. You can quickly get in to those genre's of worlds since we've seen them over and over on tv, movies, and books. The historical japan esc. setting is a lot more unusual and a little harder to get in to off the bat. There is a lot of terminology that is just simply alien. I am really interested in Coriollis sci fi game but have a similar issue where its roots are an arabian knights esc. society which I am not personally that familiar with so getting in to that head space is more of a challenge.

I have Coriolis. Would like to play, willing to GM, but the setting is more of a barrier for players than L5R’s here. Faith might be an easier sell for a futuristic RPG, I’ll put it out there one of these days. To be honest, I’m not sure the setting is the real dealbreaker. If I find a hook of sorts that works on my players, that’s enough to get them to try. Could be setting, could be mechanics. Maybe I just need to refine my sales pitch for Coriolis. I still have to get round to Tales From the Loop, which my players want to play just based on the artwork and the Super 8 and Stranger Things references.

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37 minutes ago, JorArns said:

I've noticed this also and I'm not entirely sure why this seems to be the case.

From my experience 

  • The game is extremely lethal (FFG's Critical Strike keeps that reputation alive) 
  •  Bad first impression with the fluff and lore of the setting, not the dice system, however
  • Had a hard time getting into it b/c of the mindset (Asian Storytelling vs Western Storytelling) 
  • To heavy on the fluff which makes the setting comes off as to intimidating 
  • Game is for weaboos (those people being insulting for the fun of it)

Note that the game system itself never came off as a negative, besides the lethality. 

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1 hour ago, Darksyde said:

The system has been easily broken in the past by power gamers so some GM's have been put off by their experiences and pass on running it.

Considering the right (or wrong) word from the right (or wrong) person in the right (or wrong) ear can easily make ir break anyone in Rokugan, I never found this to be an insurmountable issue. Shugenja can be a bit too versatile, but there are ways around that too. 

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And on piratebay...

Which is why it needs a physical reprint.  Nobody cares about getting PDFs of 4th Edition.  Or any edition, that is.   People like having physical books to leaf through. Means we don't need a jungle of power cords running all over the room to keep people's laptops and readers running. Wouldn't even need to reprint the whole series. Just the core rulebooks.

Agreed. No need to compete with themselves.

You only cannibalize sales if you have two products people want to buy but they only need one.  Right now they have zero products I want to buy.  Which is why I'm saying they need to  figure out what they want 5th Edition to be. Because it they are aiming a game at the storygame market that plays games like Star Wars, that's not going to sell to the people who don't like those kinds of games while they already own the version people like me want to play, and it comes at a zero developmental cost. I mean, if 4E is available as a PDF, it's not suddenly competing more by being available in hardcover too.  Heck, they can leave it Online Only if they want to keep it from competing on the shelves.

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4 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Which is why it needs a physical reprint.  Nobody cares about getting PDFs of 4th Edition.  Or any edition, that is.   People like having physical books to leaf through. Means we don't need a jungle of power cords running all over the room to keep people's laptops and readers running. Wouldn't even need to reprint the whole series. Just the core rulebooks.

You only cannibalize sales if you have two products people want to buy but they only need one.  Right now they have zero products I want to buy.  Which is why I'm saying they need to  figure out what they want 5th Edition to be. Because it they are aiming a game at the storygame market that plays games like Star Wars, that's not going to sell to the people who don't like those kinds of games while they already own the version people like me want to play, and it comes at a zero developmental cost. I mean, if 4E is available as a PDF, it's not suddenly competing more by being available in hardcover too.  Heck, they can leave it Online Only if they want to keep it from competing on the shelves.

They already know what they want 5th to be, a hybrid of their narrative and roll and keep. Whether I like it or not, they seem to have made up their minds about it. I enjoy both L5R4e and the narrative Star Wars rulesets. Not everyone does. Not everyone will. I also think that they have made a good fiscal decision by changing the rulesystem. Making the older books POD would be a good bone to throw those players who don't want to play their new rulesystem and if they are smart, they will do that (it's basically money for a product they didn't have to pay anyone to develop, you'd think it would be a no-brainer). I don't think they will though as they will probably see it as competing with themselves: money spent on the old rulebooks is money not spent on the new rulebooks.

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6 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

You only cannibalize sales if you have two products people want to buy but they only need one.  Right now they have zero products I want to buy.  Which is why I'm saying they need to  figure out what they want 5th Edition to be. Because it they are aiming a game at the storygame market that plays games like Star Wars, that's not going to sell to the people who don't like those kinds of games while they already own the version people like me want to play, and it comes at a zero developmental cost. I mean, if 4E is available as a PDF, it's not suddenly competing more by being available in hardcover too.  Heck, they can leave it Online Only if they want to keep it from competing on the shelves.

It gives the wrong impression. Regardless of being supposed to appeal to different types of players, having two editions in print at the same time looks weird to anyone who hears about the game and wants to look what it’s about. It’d get even worse if players showed up with another, freshly-bought, edition than the GM at the first session. It doesn’t matter whether it’s real competition, or even if it would be significantly cannibalizing the sales or only marginally. It starts with the impression.

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It's the Marketing team's job to do that. Star Wars has three core games, lol.  And they just reprinted the old West End version. I know Star Wars is a no-brainer product considering how easy and forgiving Star Wars fans are, but if it doesn't have the impression problem by having three different core games (4 technically) for its different settings, surely L5R can survive with one game marketed as "L5R Narrative Adventures in Rokugan!" and "L5R Classic Roleplaying Game."  Consumers aren't that stupid.  I work in marketing, lol. For a company much bigger than FFG.  The opportunity costs on limited runs or PoD is almost negligible if you have a customer base that clearly wants Product A but has no interest in Product B.

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2 hours ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

If 4th Edition books are going for well over three times the PDF price, certainly somebody is buying them.  I mean, if there's no audience for an L5R reprint, there's no audience for a 5th Edition either if it doesn't cater to the baked-in audience.  I know my group has four people who would buy one if they could get it on Amazon for less than $120.  None of them will by 5th Edition at this rate and they definitely haven't bought the PDFs.  I was listening to one of the currently running Twitch streams, and 3 out of the five players were jealous of the other two's hard copies of the rulebook.  Even the GM didn't have them. Clearly there are people who want to buy it.  That's why FFG has to decide what it wants its game to be and cater directly to that audience.  Because it owns 4th Edition.  Heck, they could even just offer a pre-rdered custom printing for 4th Edition and still move enough copies to justify the print run.  I'd bet you'd have people buying multiple copies just to speculate on the secondary market since clearly 4E rulebooks have value based on rarity and demand.

 

This isn't Star Wars.  L5R doesn't sell itself. 

I have two copies of the 4th core rules, the standard and the Phoenix mon 15th Anniversary Special Edition 

 

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TheVeteranSergent, I'm curious why you decided to be in the beta if you hate the premise of the game. It's like the people who go into an mmo beta and constantly complain they shouldn't have to work with others.

If you don't like the premise of the game, then play the one you do like. To you, this game is a train wreck. To me, the old versions were. 

We obviously have different desires for the game, but mine lines up with the game design this time. 

There is nothing wrong with playing older versions of games. ****,  I still like 1st edition ad&d better then any of the newer ones. No one shows up and takes my books from me and tells me I have to run the new versions.

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31 minutes ago, SideshowLucifer said:

TheVeteranSergent, I'm curious why you decided to be in the beta if you hate the premise of the game. It's like the people who go into an mmo beta and constantly complain they shouldn't have to work with others.

If you don't like the premise of the game, then play the one you do like. To you, this game is a train wreck. To me, the old versions were. 

We obviously have different desires for the game, but mine lines up with the game design this time. 

There is nothing wrong with playing older versions of games. ****,  I still like 1st edition ad&d better then any of the newer ones. No one shows up and takes my books from me and tells me I have to run the new versions.

I'm speaking for myself and my players here, not TheVeteranSergent or anyone else when I say these rules are a train wreck.

That said, I think they can be fixed if FFG is willing to listen and not take a hard-line stance that everything is fine nothing to see here.

I have, as you know given my views on what needs to be changed earlier in this thread so I'm not going to repeat them here.

But this constant back and forth with no suggestions on how to fix it aren't doing anyone any favors.

Now if FFG ignores everything I have said so be it, but at least I gave them the reason I have issues and something to ignore.

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1 hour ago, SideshowLucifer said:

TheVeteranSergent, I'm curious why you decided to be in the beta if you hate the premise of the game.

 

Hated the premise?  Heck no. I love L5R.  I read it, then I realized it was garbage and it was now my giri to ensure that it doesn't get published in such a shoddy, unplayable format.

If you'd bothered to read what I wrote, what I want is this to either be fixed so it doesn't suck, or for the 4th Edition rulebooks to be reprinted like they did with West End's Star Wars so some of my newer players can get copies without paying through the nose on EBay. They need to know there are players who think this version is terrible and won't buy it without substantive revision, but would buy a reprint of the 4th Edition books.If you like it, that's fine. Convince FFG they did a good job. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm not here to agree with you, lol. You don't have to like that, but it will be less painful for you if you don't pretend like I don't get an opinion. An L5R storygame might be the best thing that ever happened in your life.

Edited by TheVeteranSergeant

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