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lumia2

A little disillusioned

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Disclaimer/Background. I'm a big fan of the old L5R rpgs, especially 4th edition. I've enjoyed everything from Trinity and Changeling to Numenera and Call of Cthulhu and Dragon Age. Currently playing Infinity the RPG. My all time favorite system has to be Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3e by FFG. I think my previous posts reflects how enthusiastic I've been about FFG taking over this property. And randomly, I can't stand percentile systems. :) 

So. I've read through the beta a few times, and I've ran it once as GM for my group. And one question sticks in my mind: why do we need this?

I thought 4th edition was a brilliant refinement with great mechanics, a great world, and beautiful art. It suffered from a cluttered timeline and limited distribution & marketing. I own every book and have run some amazing campaigns with it. But I also love WHFRPG3E, and I thought the same type of mechanical genius and boldness in trying something new might be applied here. That hasn't been the case.

  1. WH3 has unique dice based on which stance you are in. Reckless is high risk, high reward. Conservative is slow, steady success. L5R simply has a little stance mechanics table.
  2. WH3 has many interacting dice symbols. Success and failure, fortune and misfortune, critical success and crisis, delays and stress/fatigue. A roll tells a story. L5R has a grand total of..... 4 symbols. On 2 types of dice. Why again do I need to pay for this? Why is it better than my old D10's and raises?
  3. WH3 has you juggling stress and fatigue, as well as critical wounds. If you want, you can add insanities, diseases, and mutations. Since it's Warhammer. L5R? It has you juggling.... your emotions. Seriously. 

I don't know, I could go on and on but I'm just disappointed. I had hoped for cool dice mechanics, but there's nothing here except emotional roll & keep with special dice... I had hoped for interesting, deep combat. I don't need Exalted 3E, but at least something with depth. Instead, I find a step backwards in tactics from L5R 4e. That's in addition to a lot of other little changes that rub me the wrong way, like how shugenja are no longer friends of the kami. They're magicians trading trinkets for power.

I really, really wanted to love this game. But neither I nor my group can understand why we need this or why it is better than L5R 4e. In my opinion, they should ask Jay Little to do a complete rewrite of the core mechanics. No cosmetic fix or balance change in the Beta can change what is, at it's core, a fundamentally uninteresting core.

On a final note, since I don't want to only bash the game without adding anything concrete, I do have suggestions on dice:

  1. Attribute/Ring Dice - Your potential.
  2. Skill dice -  Ýour training.
  3. Stance dice - Aggressive or defensive.
  4. Honor dice - Honor is stronger than steel.
  5. Difficulty dice - How challenging your task is.
  6. Obstacle dice - Additional challenges to success, like weather, defense, or distractions.

Let the dice results help tell a story. Give each bushi school, courtier school, and shugenja school a technique at each level to slightly bend and exploit the system in a thematically fitting way. Lion Bushi gain extra benefits from going aggressive, Scorpion with low honor can use honor dice if loyally sacrificing their honor for Emperor and Clan, Phoenix courtiers can neutralize Aggression dice, etc.

FFG + L5R should have been so, so much more than what we've got.

 

samurai_by_narandel-da4p9z9.jpg

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I think almost everything you listed as a critique is something I see as a positive.

Truly, one cannot please everyone.

Though I agree, percentile kinda suck.

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Besides the beta test, I currently play L5R with a percentile system :P

But honestly what you describe... I would not want that.

The system in its current form already needs some streamlining. The last thing we need is more mechanics, which makes things even more complicated without providing any depth.

And we also do not need more dice. The current dice pools are big enough. You can have up to 10 dice in the pool. Anything more becomes really uncomfortable.

pic535359_md.jpg

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To each their own. I'm very happy this game is the right fit for some. I want L5R to continue for a long, long time.

I'll wait out the final product, but the way it looks right now I'll stick with L5R 4e and the new Living Card Game. :-)

(And yes, I can understand why more dice types can seem intimidating...)

 

dice.JPG

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19 minutes ago, Yandia said:

Besides the beta test, I currently play L5R with a percentile system :P

But honestly what you describe... I would not want that.

The system in its current form already needs some streamlining. The last thing we need is more mechanics, which makes things even more complicated without providing any depth.

And we also do not need more dice. The current dice pools are big enough. You can have up to 10 dice in the pool. Anything more becomes really uncomfortable.

pic535359_md.jpg

I think he did not refer to Shadowrun dicepools. ^^

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I mean really we don't need a 5th edition. AEG finished L5R off as far as I understand. Using their system you can run all the L5R you ever wanted and not have to step out and try anything new.

But we get this system, because FFG saw a fanbase that didn't want to stop spending money on a game and a world they love. I think it was smart of them to rebrand the cards, the fictions and the RP for their own rather than try to keep doing what AEG had done in the past. AEG ran a story that lasted 20 years, dozens RP materials that many will say became a perfect representation of what AEG's world was.

If FFG is going to have any chance, they need to do their own thing. Which they seem to have done in regards to the cards, the fiction and now the RP as well. This isn't 5th edition L5R, it's a new 1st Edition. The Imperial Cycle LCG isn't the Imperial Edition CCG, it's a new game with familiar themes. The New fictions with Toturi and Kisada aren't the same ones that broke ground in the 90s.

To keep comparing this to the "perfect" 4e isn't doing either line justice. FFG doesn't seem to want to tell the same sort of story with their game that AEG did. AEG wanted a world where honor was stronger than steel. A world where the wrong words would end in a swift and deadly duel, and their dice mechanics sure make it deadly. FFG is interested in Samurai drama and internal conflict. This game's not meant to capture the story the same way AEG's did, even if you were to run the same campaign. And this is a beta, so it isn't working just right yet, but I think the recent update has made strides to capture their desired game experience pretty well.

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20 minutes ago, Yandia said:

Besides the beta test, I currently play L5R with a percentile system :P

But honestly what you describe... I would not want that.

The system in its current form already needs some streamlining. The last thing we need is more mechanics, which makes things even more complicated without providing any depth.

And we also do not need more dice. The current dice pools are big enough. You can have up to 10 dice in the pool. Anything more becomes really uncomfortable.

pic535359_md.jpg

lol Freaking gold mine for Shadowrun 

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1 hour ago, Mirumoto Saito said:

Just wanted to add this: 4e wasn't "perfect" or "finished" by a long shot. It absolutely needed a new edition or, at least, a massive rework.

Very little under the sun is perfect, but I wouldn’t say 4th needs a massive rework. I quite enjoy playing 4th ed campaigns.

That said, a new edition by a different company should be more than a superficial update.

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10 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Very little under the sun is perfect, but I wouldn’t say 4th needs a massive rework. I quite enjoy playing 4th ed campaigns.

That said, a new edition by a different company should be more than a superficial update.

I would say that 4e just needs a small tune up. As I mention it else where a few times on the forums, I like how CGL use the base foundation of Shadowrun 4e to fix/altered/balance/etc for Shadowrun 5e.  Something like that. 

Also, there is no such thing as a perfect game. 

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L5R 4e is good  and I really like it but this is not about 4e vs 5e  this is about 5e  and how it can be i  improved  and it has a lot  of flaws but that's why we are beta testing to help smooth it out it is a lot different than 

how 4e plays yes it's not as intuitive , or smooth for combat, the strange dice make it hard to see how it flows with out real dice to test with(apps do not  work like RL dice  and real dice we do not have how the facings  are actually set on dice. so  with that said  lets focus on stuff we can help with reorganization of information cover page for character creation so we have like a flowchart and page numbers for referencing stuff during it. maybe a screen with all the opportunities breakdowns , quick reference for skills(ring) effects,and list of techniques with quick mechanical references . I am sure we can come up with more.

 

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Lets not be to generous here. 4th had some issues

1. the raise system gave few reason to risk the bid. Had to use a house rule for this.

2. traits were more important then skills.

3. there were some overpowered abilities. Shiba 1st/5th rank combo I'm looking at you.

4. some weapons are out of wack.

5. no reach rules.

and a few more.

This is what could have been fixed by a 5th edition. 

 I can say I know quite a few people that would have bought it.

But instead we got this.

 

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13 hours ago, Yandia said:

And we also do not need more dice. The current dice pools are big enough. You can have up to 10 dice in the pool. Anything more becomes really uncomfortable.

Actually, more than 10. 

Rings cap at 5.

Skills can go above 5. (page 20); unlike rings, they are not capped.

Helpers add dice - 1 each.

Void can add dice. (page 21)

 

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12 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Actually, more than 10. 

Rings cap at 5.

Skills can go above 5. (page 20); unlike rings, they are not capped.

Helpers add dice - 1 each.

Void can add dice. (page 21)

For some reason I tought that skills were capped as well (which did make sense in my mind, so I guess I overread the fact that they are not).

Helpers and Void I ignored, but yes they can push your dice pool even beyond.

Edited by Yandia

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29 minutes ago, Yandia said:

For some reason I tought that skills were capped as well (which did make sense in my mind, so I guess I overread the fact that they are not).

Helpers and Void I ignored, but yes they can push your dice pool even beyond.

It's not explicitely said, but is implied by the 'cannot normally' statement on P.21:

Quote

Powerful kami, Elemental Dragons, oni, and other such beings of vast wisdom and experience might possess skills of rank 6 or higher. Player characters cannot normally reach these values.

 

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The problem is that the level discriptions are just that discriptions. While they are providing a general idea what the ranks represent the concrete rules for increasing the rings/skills during play
are written down on page 44. The advancement table that is displayed here is not mentioning any hard cap of 5 for rings and skills and therefore these are not capped at 5.
The only restriction for rings is the void ring one.
That means that their descirtption is contradicting their rules and why you might think that you can´´t go above 5 the rules don´t say that.

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8 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It's not explicitely said, but is implied by the 'cannot normally' statement on P.21:

 

which is contradicted on page 20:

Quote

Rank 6+: This represents enlightenment on a given matter, or a degree of supernatural knowledge that exceeds human limitations. 

note the or in there.  if it really is a cap, it needs to actually be a stated cap.

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On 11/3/2017 at 4:45 AM, AK_Aramis said:

which is contradicted on page 20:

note the or in there.  if it really is a cap, it needs to actually be a stated cap.

Heh. "For mechanics on how to become enlightened and what an enlightened character can do, please turn to page 113."

(The Way Of Shinsei, 1e. For the beta, that would be page 222.)

Edited by BitRunr

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36 minutes ago, BitRunr said:

Heh. "For mechanics on how to become enlightened and what an enlightened character can do, please turn to page 113."

(The Way Of Shinsei, 1e. For the beta, that would be page 222.)

for those too lazy to check, he's referencing a blank page.

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1 minute ago, AK_Aramis said:

God, that pissed me off.  I was hoping for what the cover text said.

Lucky for me I was at hot training in the Air Force when it can out, so I saw the reviews before I got it.

Due to the backlash from that it will never happen again. :)

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