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tenchi2a

I'm done being diplomatic.

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Nooot really.  The game doesn't have anything to do with Oriental Adventures.  Wick might have thought about it, and almost certainly had seen it, but it has no significant lineal ties, and suggesting L5R "has something to do with" Oriental Adventures paints a confusing and deceptive picture for somebody who doesn't understand the context.  Rokugan is far, far closer to the imaginary world of Fantasy Sengoku Japan used in Bushido being a single nation populated mostly by humans, and instead of creating a D&D-equivalent of the majority of races and kingdoms like Kara Tur basically was with its four or five nations and korobokuru and hengeyokai, etc.

Especially since the original question was: 

I gather it came out of the original D&D Oriental Adventures, so as a setting it's pretty old.

In that context, no, L5R didn't have anything to do with Oriental Adventures.  Trying to list everything that potentially inspired something is pointless. You could say "I gather Metallica came out of the original spirituals of former slaves in the Reconstruction Deep South" and you'd be semantically correct but might give somebody a fairly worthless idea of the lineage of early-80s thrash metal music.

Remember, semantics aren't always valuable.

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There's real anger-burn for AD&D out there isn't there. I hate to admit it, but if anyone designed a fantasy game from 1985 to 1995, then yes... AD&D was an influence.

I would even go as far as saying that the 1978 to1983 AD&D (pre-Unearthed Arcana, but including Oriental Adventures), could match or surpass any RPG of our current era. Everyone has to remember, back then, We didn't really know what We were doing.

Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, and Krynn were some of the best settings developed. So, I am sorry, if you had a bad DM, and it has clouded your assessment of the game.

I think L5R has potential, but either the game has to get over itself, or the people have to get themselves. Start from as scratch as possible. Star Wars did it, Marvel and DC do it regularly, reboot the setting and fire it up. The designers still need to find the inspiration. whether it's cinematic Samurai (Kurosawa), Mythic Fantasy (Lone Wolf/Baby Cart series), or something semi-Historical (anything by James Clavell).

I don't think debating whether a Geisha is a prostitute, or what adds to the daily stresses of being a Samurai, is really helpful for working through the Beta testing process of a game.

As I said, I like the theory behind the game, and I like the setting, but is it worth all this grief?

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1 hour ago, TheEldarGuy said:

*Snip* Start from as scratch as possible. 

*Snip* reboot the setting and fire it up.

They have done this to a certain extent with the card game. I'm assuming they will do something similar with the rpg. 

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That was how they did it before FFG bought it. The new LCG takes place pre-Scorpion clan coup. I'm assuming they will do something similar with the RPG as this seems to be the "Golden Age" apparently. *Shrugs*

Edited by JorArns

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16 hours ago, WHW said:

Have you tried out the Strife in practice?

Yes. It's a large part of why my playtest team declined to go on after a few sessions: the rules fundamentally did not do what we wanted them to do (support the narrative organically), and in the meanwhile demanded we do a bunch of other things we didn't want to do (carefully manage our Strife through correct use of stances and OP and so forth). The latter wound up actively interfering with our immersion in the story.

As I said: I adore the idea. All the people claiming the naysayers just don't like having the rules tell us how to act -- that isn't me. It's the way in which the rules try to tell me how to act that feels completely backward and mechanical.

 

12 hours ago, WHW said:

Which is factually incorrect, because Narrative Events also can trigger Strife. Sure, your GM might not decide to do that, but...you can also ask for that. Its in the rules. 

As a side dish, while the actual meat of the subsystem is the Strife generated by dice rolls. Again: that feels backward to me.

 

11 hours ago, Bazakahuna said:

Strife acts like a barometer to help you know the mental state of your character. I find it strange that people have issue with this, but have no problem with wounds/HP etc. that simply show the physical state of your character.

If wounds operated like Strife currently does, then sometimes you would randomly take damage from a stealth roll (I guess you smacked your shin against something) or an artisan roll (jabbed yourself with a carving tool), etc. With a passing note saying that you can of course also take damage from being in a fight, if the GM thinks that makes sense.

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6 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

FFG proposed a very original and intuitive new system for the WH40KRPG line. It had Talent Trees, Action Points, lots-and-lots-and-lots of really awesome and interesting stuff. Effectively everything other than the dice resolution system was new or changed (and even dice resolution was slightly revised). It was also rather flawed, obviously, and it was up to the fans to evaluate and fix it. They did this so hard that FFG eventually danced back completely, scrapped the changes, and went back to the old and well-tested system rather than make the new one workable. 

It was pretty much like this 5R5 Beta, I even had a Beta Test Game topic there too. 40k Was all the jazz back then. Good ol' times. 

Well well. Thank you.

Kinda of reminds me when Mike Mearls introduce the Skill Die idea during the D&D Next Beta Testing. Yeah....., there's a reason why its an optional rule in the DMG and not a core rule. lol 

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I suppose the fundamental point is that RPG mechanics are supposed to simulate something. Not necessarily something realistic, but definitely something that helps immersion. And the way Strife works doesn’t feel immersive. I honestly can’t wrap my head around what it’s supposed to represent based on the mechanics that tell me how it works. It just feels like an abstract minigame, and abstract is definitely not what I want in a roleplaying game. Abstract and immersive don’t mix.

Strife management is borderline metagaming. It doesn’t incentivise roleplaying, it incentivizes looking at a random set of die roll results, figuring out how to manipulate that set to give you the most effective result and then making your character do whatever that manipulation requires. You’re not reacting to the scene, you’re reacting to a randomizer. That might be just the ticket for, say, improv theater but it’s not what makes a roleplaying game.

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2 hours ago, TheEldarGuy said:

I think L5R has potential, but either the game has to get over itself, or the people have to get themselves. Start from as scratch as possible. Star Wars did it, Marvel and DC do it regularly, reboot the setting and fire it up.

I have a few thoughts on this.
Star Wars and Marvel and everything are known for reboot upon reboot, sure, but I hate that. Especially since;
L5R is literally about tradition, ancestry and lineage. That and it is renown for having a fairly perfect die-system. (not always all of the rules and rule systems, but the 10K10 D10 system is pretty much perfect in my opinion, and has been for editions of the game, and for hundreds of generations of samurai.) It's a game that at it's core is about respecting and cherishing the old ways and those who came before you. Samurai culture is VERY Shinto, right? I dunno. Maybe that's part of why all of this reboot stuff and burning down the history is rubbing me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong - while I appreciated the idea behind letting CCG tournaments advance the RPG plot, that crap got CONVOLUTED and UNWIELDY. So maybe some rewriting is in order - but a lot of the mechanics in the new system seem way more convoluted and unwieldy than any system I've ever played, and I've played both DnD AND the myriad Warhammer 40k RPGS.

Like, DnD is the worst. Here's a rundown of every single campaign ever run in DnD
1. Kill monsters > Get loot
2. Sell loot > Buy bigger weapons
3. Kill bigger monsters > Get bigger loot
4. Repeat, until
5. Dragon

Like, do the -characters- call it a "plus one broadsword?"

Haha, sorry I am getting way off topic. I just really loved 3rd ed L5R right up until 4th came out and blew it out of the water. Now fifth (to be fair) has some really cool ideas, but it's... I dunno. Convoluted and unwieldy. For any complain with any rule in this edition, my suggestion would always (always) be "Streamline it." A lot of people are suggesting more charts, more advantages etc, more systems and rolls and approaches, and I would like way, way less of them.
It's wild that there are in effect only 25 things that you can do in this game (indicated by the 25 approaches) but I still very badly don't want there to be more of them.

Meander meander, grumble grumble, etc.

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1 hour ago, Darksyde said:

My understanding from previous additions the core book kinda always started from the same place in time and later source books updated things with ccg current events.

Naw, I think 2nd ed was Clan war era up to 1135 (I started L5R in 3rd ed, so my 2nd intel might be off.)

3rd was in the Rain of Blood era post 4 Winds around 1165.

4th ed was Iweko dynasty around 1180+
 

They definitely added a bunch of random junk from card game tournaments in suppliments (some of which was good, some was incomprehensible) but it's an advancing and recorded history.
Or, moreso -was.-

Edit:

2nd: End of Hantei dynasty
3rd: Toturi dynasty
4th: Iweko dynasty

Edited by GhostSanta

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25 minutes ago, GhostSanta said:


Like, DnD is the worst. Here's a rundown of every single campaign ever run in DnD
1. Kill monsters > Get loot
2. Sell loot > Buy bigger weapons
3. Kill bigger monsters > Get bigger loot
4. Repeat, until
5. Dragon

Like, do the -characters- call it a "plus one broadsword?"
 

Wow.

That's the sort of hate on I'm talking about. Back in 1st ed AD&D days, the Orc was about 14 to 16XP, ran with and average 4 to 6 HP, attacked with either 2d4 or d6 damage, had a THAC0 of 19, and in terms of loot had <5GP worth of kit. The poor Magic User had to accumulate 2,500 XP to advance to 2nd Level. I don't know what games of D&D you played, but I'm pretty sure that not EVERY campaign ran like the style you described.

I reckon I'm backing off now. I'll watch and see what they do with the RPG, and hope that something interesting comes out. 

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Ha! Sorry, I don't mean to attack or offend - I don't have anything against people who do enjoy DnD, and I even play it on the regular with some people from work. It's just not my cup of tea. FOr the record, we've played a lot of 3.5, 5th and Pathfinder.

 

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A feeling I would like to share while reading through this Beta PDF a few times over... 

Generally speaking, It feels uncomfortable to read. I'm not saying that the language is bad, the setting is bad (love the setting) or that the charts are disorganization..., it just comes off as off putting.  It feels like I'm painting without a foundation to paint on and my body is not there. Am I just not grasping what the developers want with this game, or am I just not feeling it? 

I have read and played Pathfinder, New World of Darkness, L5R 4th Ed, D&D 3.5 and 5th Edition, Shadowrun 4th through 5th , etc, etc, and when learning these games (both fluff and crunch as best I can) I have never felt like these RPGs were uncomfortable to read. Little bit of learning here and there as per normal for a new player, but never uncomfortable. Maybe the update of the beta will fix this, whatever this is. 

Yes, I know this sounds SO weird but I just wanted to share this just in case someone else might have felt this way too, or close to a similar experience. :)

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On 10/18/2017 at 6:19 PM, Kinzen said:

This is exactly what I'm trying to get at. Right now the system encourages either constant swings of emotion (because you aren't managing your Strife well), or no actual effects other than to make you pour lots of time and energy into managing your Strife well. What it doesn't do is the slow and inexorable burn, the buildup over time that leads to a moment which will be truly dramatic, a turning point in the story. I would trade a hundred little "you laughed at an inappropriate moment" and "you shut down in this conversation rather than continue to engage" moments for a single one of the points in my campaign where a PC broke down crying in public, or picked up an enemy's severed head and threw it at their attackers, or whooped with joy and hugged someone when they discovered that person was alive. The latter are memorable; the former aren't.

But that doesn't mean the former don't have a place. If the Strife system were changed to a slow burn, with accumulations coming less frequently and reductions being more difficult, then you could choose to burn off a tiny bit of Strife any time you wanted with a small display of inappropriate behavior. Those out-of-place laughs or refusals to engage become little vents, in the player's control. Don't want to take the little hits of Honor and Glory that will come with 'em? Then your character is a Proper Stoic Samurai . . . who either has to manage his life (not his rolls; his life) very carefully to keep himself in balance, or inevitably lose his cool in a spectacular and story-making fashion.

This was a fee pages back, but Kinzen makes the best argument against the strife system, in my opinion, so this the argument I would like to address.

Personally, I would rather the game keep track of the little things and leave the big things to me. Negotiating peace terms with the opposition? That will undoubtedly add some strife that I probably wouldn't think about otherwise, and an outburst would be a boon for me for telling a story. Relying on the same mechanic to inform me whether I should react when I discover my brother survived the battle? I don't need it for that. I can handle the big stuff on my own, and prefer to. It's the small details that add to the story that I like the idea of strife for.

Does it need fine tuning? Maybe. I need more chance to play around with it, but what WHW says leads me to believe it works pretty well.

While the post I quoted doesn't include it, I have seen a lot of people stating that it is a failure of the system that something like cooking dinner can cause as much or more strife than seeing your family murdered by an oni. Why are you rolling dice to make dinner, though? Do you also roll dice to make your character walk down the street? If the consequences of success and failure are not both interesting, don't roll.

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I hated every edition of the l5r rpg thus far. It was clunky and the rules constantly got in the way of the game. I have always loved the setting however and have been involved in the ccg for many years, I even had a character card made for me.

This new addition is the first edition I feel that captures what I wanted with the game, and that is completely to do with the stress system and dice.

Without that, I could run the setting better under almost any other system. Combat has always been a mess in l5r rpg and courtiers were never really worth playing. Now I feel there is a great use for both.

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25 minutes ago, SideshowLucifer said:

I hated every edition of the l5r rpg thus far. It was clunky and the rules constantly got in the way of the game. I have always loved the setting however and have been involved in the ccg for many years, I even had a character card made for me.

This new addition is the first edition I feel that captures what I wanted with the game, and that is completely to do with the stress system and dice.

Without that, I could run the setting better under almost any other system. Combat has always been a mess in l5r rpg and courtiers were never really worth playing. Now I feel there is a great use for both.

It has been a long time since I have been honest-to-goodness baffled by something, but this post has done it.

I disagree 100% with absolutely everything you've said! That's so funny. what a varied playerbase we have. No wonder a radical edition is such a bone of contention.

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3 hours ago, Kinzen said:

Yes. It's a large part of why my playtest team declined to go on after a few sessions: the rules fundamentally did not do what we wanted them to do (support the narrative organically), and in the meanwhile demanded we do a bunch of other things we didn't want to do (carefully manage our Strife through correct use of stances and OP and so forth). The latter wound up actively interfering with our immersion in the story.

As I said: I adore the idea. All the people claiming the naysayers just don't like having the rules tell us how to act -- that isn't me. It's the way in which the rules try to tell me how to act that feels completely backward and mechanical.

 

Did your group actually play through the Outbursts?  What were their Outbursts they did?  How did these effect the scene?

From my experience I had a group of 4 characters.  We didn't do anything crazy to manage our Strife.  Only one of the characters had an Outburst, at which point she said an Inappropriate Remark, lost 3 glory, and was able to ignore Whispers of Treachery Disadvantage which may have been useful if the player needed to convince anyone to trust them - but was actually quite benign in a combat scene.

When I hear people speak against the Outburst and Strife system I hear a few things that make me feel players think the system is too oppressive.  People talk about having to stay in Water stance to constantly drop strife, or constantly play some Strife management minigame, or how an outburst ruins their character...  yet I feel the outbursts are all pretty tame.  Except for the Enraged one none of them actually create much of a disturbance in the scene or much of a penalty for the character.  

So what were the Outbursts your players encountered?  How did they effect the game?  Or did you skip the system without properly playing through it because it just seemed scary and out of control?  I mean, respectfully, did you even give it an honest chance?

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5 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I have very fond memories of AD&D, but you probably couldn’t pay me to play it again. That’s neither here nor there though, the issue is whether Rokugan was based on OA to any extent. And that seems highly unlikely to me.

Same here, since John didn't play D&D much, according to his writings of the era, and when he did, he made others do the game mechanics. John still holds that he barely played D&D last I checked.

Also, he lives in the area where Tunnels and Trolls was born... 

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On 18.10.2017 at 2:31 PM, WHW said:

You basically want a generic system for task resolution, while they want to make a narrative system for genre emulation. And the genre being emulated here *is* cheap katana opera drama.

It's fine to not like meat, but don't call a hamburger bad because it has meat in it. 

I find genre emulation is still a simulationist approach, not a narrativist one. I am so far mostly disappointed with FFG, since I always hear people talk about their games as narrativist, but I just find simulationist games when I take a look.

L5R leans itself to a narrativist game, but it is speaking how bad Giri and Ninjo are currently designed. The designers clearly saw that this should be important, but they lack the tools to actually design narrativist mechanics around that, but instead make then simulationist game mechanics around honour, glory, strife and outbursts. And leave the Giri and Ninjo as a horrible mess. But well, at least I cannot say that AEG was any better, in this regard, they did had even less of an idea how to put samurai drama into anything else but simulationists game design and sucked at that too.

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1 hour ago, GhostSanta said:

It has been a long time since I have been honest-to-goodness baffled by something, but this post has done it.

I disagree 100% with absolutely everything you've said! That's so funny. what a varied playerbase we have. No wonder a radical edition is such a bone of contention.

Yeah we all tend to find threads of what we love about things and hold them close. The l5r rpgs of the past are like scion to me, love the setting and the material, absolutly hate the mechanics. 

Ended up running l5r through savage worlds and everyone loved that much better.

We just always had too many issues with the old rpg. Combat was usually won by whoever hit first, there were no real useful courtier abilities, and mass battles were terrible.

I do admit that dualing was much better done than in this beta though. ?

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1 hour ago, SideshowLucifer said:

I hated every edition of the l5r rpg thus far. It was clunky and the rules constantly got in the way of the game. I have always loved the setting however and have been involved in the ccg for many years, I even had a character card made for me.

This new addition is the first edition I feel that captures what I wanted with the game, and that is completely to do with the stress system and dice.

Without that, I could run the setting better under almost any other system. Combat has always been a mess in l5r rpg and courtiers were never really worth playing. Now I feel there is a great use for both.

Well I have to say as you have before maybe L5R is just not the right game for you.

To me you never liked the L5R Rpg you liked the setting which is fine. 

But those mechanics that you dislike have been L5R for all these year and is what made it popular.

I have said this before, people seem to be under the impression that L5R could lose all its old-time players and survive.

Pointing to Star Wars  as an example. As I have said before you can make Star Wars toilet paper and it will sell (its been done).

L5R does not have that powerful of a name.

Look what happened with Warhammer Fantasy RPG and the failure of that line when that changed the mechanics.

Or as has been stated before when they tried to change WH40K RPG

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Yeah warhammer fantasy was just awful. I was in the dark heresy beta and it just plain didn't work.

It's true, the old l5r rpg was not for me, even though I suffered through heros of rokugan.

This new iteration, however, is exactly what I'm looking for. I seriously doubt they will get rid of the dice on stress. It could use some fine tuning to make a happy middle ground though.

I still feel combat and formatting is a train wreck and void points need some adjusting. Mass combat is done better than any game I've played so far though. Dualing could use a fresh approach to work with the core mechanics a bit better too.

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Yeah, formatting and explanations are simply not done well and dueling feels off. Void point regeneration should be more plentiful.

But let's go for constructive remarks:

  • What if composure is a more fixed number, or at the very least does not use 2 rings in it's calculation? Strife generation already scales with your dice pool, more experienced characters generate less strife, so no need to have composure scale as well.
  • Remove the strife reduction from water stance, move it to an action, representing taking a moment to regain his wits and calm. This would ground it more in the fiction, making it less meta and allows more active instead of passive control.
  • As mentioned before: suppose you could, as an outburst, negate displaying emotion and be forced to receive the disadvantage/anxiety "repressed anger" (or some similar appropriate one to the circumstances from a list of suggestions). This would be the samurai bottling it all up, would not affect you in the scene directly, but would then impact your self-control one notch further until such time as you 'buy off' the disadvantage with narrative events such as a breakdown at a more narratively opportune time.

  • Allow centered stance, or the the action mentioned above to generate a void point by spending a number of opportunities, say 2.

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26 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Well I have to say as you have before maybe L5R is just not the right game for you.

L5R 1-4 May not have been.  FFG L5R looks to be a good one, though.  And I say this as someone who has a good... half of the 4e books.  I played it, but it seemed lacking.  I will not repeat the flaws that I encountered, because they have been stated elsewhere, by myself and others.

As for mechanics making 1-4 popular... WHICH ONES?  4e is filled with optional rules on how to make the game your own.  Who is to say that your Rokugun is the same as someone else's?

Every Fantasy Flight game I have ever played, I have had fun.  Sometimes it was a bewildered fun, as it took time to learn the rules, but always fun.  So I will ALWAYS give them the benefit of the doubt.

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