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FFG Max Brooke

Week 6 Content Update and Survey Link

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Greeting L5R Open Beta Testers,

Thank you for all of your hard work so far. We’re really excited about the direction the game is moving based on your feedback, and we’re looking forward to making some further refinements in the near future!

Updates

We’ve got a survey for you this week, so we aren’t adding anything to the updates document this week. However, we are in the midst of working on a few topics for the next update, including:

  • Optional rules for skirmishes on a tactical grid
  • Significant update to the damage/fatigue system to better unify theme and mechanics
  • Various refinements of becoming Compromised and the rules around Outbursts

Designer Diary

This week's newsletter designer diary delves into mass battles and the roll of PCs in large conflicts. For other insights into our development process, sign up for the newsletter!

Preview Vote

Additionally, after you give us your feedback on conflicts in this week's survey, please take the time to weigh in on which of seven classic schools you’d like to see previewed in next week’s update!

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38 minutes ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

Greeting L5R Open Beta Testers,

Howdy!

Quote

Preview Vote

Additionally, after you give us your feedback on conflicts in this week's survey, please take the time to weigh in on which of seven classic schools you’d like to see previewed in next week’s update!

I'm a huge supporter of L5R 5E. I think a lot of the changes from 4E are great, and that the ones that aren't great are either (1) getting there or (2) there for people who play differently than I do. I'm enthusiastically running a 22-person court game that my players are really enjoying. I can't wait to buy a copy of the core. (And I can't wait to buy a copy of this week's Dynasty Pack for the LCG.)

I say all of that because I want you to understand that what I'm about to say comes from a place of genuine support and a general, democratic spirit of thoughtful critique.

The name "Mirumoto Two-Swords School" is really bad.

I understand: you aren't calling anything the "[Family] [Role] School anymore." I've loved all the renames so far. Doji Diplomat, Kakita Duelist? Great. Bayushi Manipulator, Isawa Elementalist? Bring it on. Even the Iuchi Meishodo Master sounds right, if a little clunky.

Mirumoto Two-Swords School is way beyond clunky. It hits like a chainsaw on a rusty guard rail: all teeth and shrieking. I'm not even a Dragon fan. I bleed Kakita; I hate the Mirumoto. 

Please change it. Pick a name. You could:

  • Go with what's there: Mirumoto Niten School.
  • Play with its mystical orientation: Mirumoto Adept School.
  • Play with its wandering-swordsperson aspect: Mirumoto Wanderer School.
  • Emphasize its relationship with the Kakita: Mirumoto Duelist School.

Literally anything else. I'm begging you.

Thank you for your time.

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22 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

..()

  • Go with what's there: Mirumoto Niten School.
  • Play with its mystical orientation: Mirumoto Adept School.
  • Play with its wandering-swordsperson aspect: Mirumoto Wanderer School.
  • Emphasize its relationship with the Kakita: Mirumoto Duelist School.

..()

"Mirumoto Honor and Soul as One; Blade Chasing Blade Just as Lady Sun and Lord Moon Danced Together in the Heavens... School"

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2 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

We’ve got a survey for you this week, so we aren’t adding anything to the updates document this week. However, we are in the midst of working on a few topics for the next update, including:

  • Optional rules for skirmishes on a tactical grid

Thank the Maker! Thank his coming and his going!

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12 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:
  • Optional rules for skirmishes on a tactical grid

Before coming up with optional rules, could we have a detailed explanation on how the current ones are supposed to work ? With examples on how to track ranges when more than 2 persons are involved ?
We were quite divided in our interpretations.

Thanks.

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I voted Yasuki merchant. Really hoping they get in, but the system is missing an important detail that is needed for their existance to work... Might want to consider including the koku, bu, and zeni conversion rates. Currently im assuming its 4e conversions (5bu=1koku, 10 zeni=1bu), but if im not mistaken- i'm fairly certain previous editions had a more mertic conversion rate (10bu=1koku, 10 zeni=1bu). I dont care what the conversion is. It could be something completely new, with a fourth currency, or broken into equivalent rice for the year, month, and day. But there does need to be a conversion.

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1 hour ago, RodentJoe said:

I voted Yasuki merchant. Really hoping they get in, but the system is missing an important detail that is needed for their existance to work... Might want to consider including the koku, bu, and zeni conversion rates. Currently im assuming its 4e conversions (5bu=1koku, 10 zeni=1bu), but if im not mistaken- i'm fairly certain previous editions had a more mertic conversion rate (10bu=1koku, 10 zeni=1bu). I dont care what the conversion is. It could be something completely new, with a fourth currency, or broken into equivalent rice for the year, month, and day. But there does need to be a conversion.

Agree that having a monetary exchange rate is useful. Disagree that it's a priority, or necessary for the Yasuki.

L5R has never been an economic simulation, and IMO, the Yasuki function work fine dealing in money as abstract - a function of useful goods or relative Clan/family/province capacity. 

Edited by Doji Meshou

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10 hours ago, RodentJoe said:

I voted Yasuki merchant. Really hoping they get in, but the system is missing an important detail that is needed for their existance to work... Might want to consider including the koku, bu, and zeni conversion rates. Currently im assuming its 4e conversions (5bu=1koku, 10 zeni=1bu), but if im not mistaken- i'm fairly certain previous editions had a more mertic conversion rate (10bu=1koku, 10 zeni=1bu). I dont care what the conversion is. It could be something completely new, with a fourth currency, or broken into equivalent rice for the year, month, and day. But there does need to be a conversion.

2E PG p.28:  1 Koku = 5 Bu = 50 Zeni. 1 bu = 10 zeni
3E p38: lists 1 koku = 5 Bu = 100 zeni; 1 bu = 20 zeni
3E p181 liest 1 koku = 5 Bu = 50 zeni, 1 bu = 10 zeni
D&D3.5 Rokugan Campaign Setting p 133:  1 koku = 5 bu = 100 zeni; 1 bu = 20 zeni
4E p 199: 1 koku = 5 bu = 50 zeni and 1 bu = 10 zeni

Note that while the Bu is a historic coin, the Koku isn't - tho the Ryū was nominally the same value. The Bu was 1/4 Ryū, the Shu 1/4 Bu, and the shu was 250 mon. 1 Ryū = 4 Bu = 16 shu = 4000 mon. 

Edited by AK_Aramis

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Beyond the equivalence between different money units, what would be useful is to have a feel of what you can actually buy with them - other than weapons and armor I mean. Logically this would change at different epochs of the empire (with inflation running its course) but we could have a baseline for the default setting of the game. 

Things like what does it take to run a household ; to stay at an inn ; what is a decent offering to put in a monk’s alms bowl ; a day’s wage for a commoner for hire ; how much does a peasant family need to feed themselves for a year (they might not use metal currency but I understand it’s all indexed on rice production so...).

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Assuming 4e, 1170 prices, 12 koku of rice feeds a man for a year. Assuming he has a wife and 2-3 kids, that's probably around 50 koku a year. Based on that, I would guess the family produces around 85 koku a year, with 25 going to tax and 10 going to their annual purchases of non-food items. I got to the 85 koku/year based on a yield value of up to 1.8 times the need of the family working the land (for rice -- much lower for European crops).

These peasants have a better tax rate than I do, but their income doesn't leave a lot of room for more tax. The bulk of their non-food expense is clothing, which historically is about 25% of the food expense. They also get conscripted and killed by bandits a lot more.

A commoner with similar status to the peasant expects around 85 koku of production per year, though his wife may provide half of that. That leaves 1/10th of a koku (or 5 zeni?) for a day's work.

Hopefully the devs have access to better world building numbers, but these may be are useful to you until then.

Edit: After some further investigation, I think a family can work 2 hectares, and produce 2 tonnes of rice per year (consuming 800 kg). This is enough rice to support 10 people. It's reasonable to imagine they can produce 2x as much, but that would lead to 20% farmer demographics, instead of 40%. They may also spend half their work time on non-farming tasks.

Edited by ubik2
Updated prices based on the 12 koku/man/year from okuma

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@Franwax Here's the paragraph that the system ate previously.

Given the Koku is 180.4 L of rice, and the bu is 36.8 L, and the zeni 3.68 L, and the human need is roughly calories equal to 0.4 to 0.5 L of dry rice per day... one masu of rice.
This gives us  about 7 days per zeni. At that, we get 350 days per koku. So, what's a weeks worth of "basic caloric needs only" cost? 

Most anything that can be made in a day should cost about a zeni plus the cost of materials.  In a week, a Bu plus materials. A meal should be about 1 zeni including beverages; a fancy meal, 2 or even 3 zeni.

There really should be a smaller coin.

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I do recall the 1 koku / person / year rule of thumb of previous editions, but 4E added a caveat to that: "The basic unit of currency in Rokugan, the gold coin known as the koku, is supposed to represent an amount of rice able to feed one  person for a year. (In practice, the actual value of the koku has become diluted over the centuries, as the circulation of new currency gradually erodes its value.)" (emphasis mine)

This makes sense, and as a result, you did not get as much for a koku in 1200 as you did at the dawn of the Empire. Would be nice to have a baseline for the time period this edition starts in.

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50 minutes ago, Franwax said:

I do recall the 1 koku / person / year rule of thumb of previous editions, but 4E added a caveat to that: "The basic unit of currency in Rokugan, the gold coin known as the koku, is supposed to represent an amount of rice able to feed one  person for a year. (In practice, the actual value of the koku has become diluted over the centuries, as the circulation of new currency gradually erodes its value.)" (emphasis mine)

This makes sense, and as a result, you did not get as much for a koku in 1200 as you did at the dawn of the Empire. Would be nice to have a baseline for the time period this edition starts in.

It lowered down to 1 koku/person/month by the end of the 4th edition timeline.

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3 hours ago, Franwax said:

I do recall the 1 koku / person / year rule of thumb of previous editions, but 4E added a caveat to that: "The basic unit of currency in Rokugan, the gold coin known as the koku, is supposed to represent an amount of rice able to feed one  person for a year. (In practice, the actual value of the koku has become diluted over the centuries, as the circulation of new currency gradually erodes its value.)" (emphasis mine)

This makes sense, and as a result, you did not get as much for a koku in 1200 as you did at the dawn of the Empire. Would be nice to have a baseline for the time period this edition starts in.

This is what a koku represents in ancient Japan.

Where one masu is enough rice to feed a person for one day

koku of rice weighs about 150 kilograms (330 pounds).

Since a koku was a unit of measure in Japan an not a currency this only changed in 1891 when it was given a smaller official weight of 180.39 liters, or about 5 bushels (40 imperial or 48 US gallons), or ~68.4% the size of the original "koku"

The koku was used more as a marker of power then a currency, such as The smallest kokudaka to qualify the fief-holder for the title of daimyō was 10,000 koku.

Japanese currency 

Name (Metal)                    Value in food            Koku(Rice)                   notes

Zeni (Copper)                           1 day                       0.001

Monme-ita (Silver)                 1 month                   0.083                     Was made the Bu in Rokugan. probably because Bu is easier to pronounce.

Bu-shoban (Gold)                    1 year                       1                           The Bu-shoban or Bu is the inspiration for the Rokugan Koku

Ni-bu (Gold)                             2 years                      2                           The word means 2 bu

Ryō (Gold)                                 4 years                     4                           Rarely found outside the wealthiest estates.

 

Other coins

Cho-gin (silver or gold)            1 year                      1                           was used in trade with china

2 hours ago, okuma said:

It lowered down to 1 koku/person/month by the end of the 4th edition timeline.

Missed this, what book was this in?

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In the 4E Core rulebook, page 47, there is a sensible explanation of why the monetary value of a koku would vary over time - that is where my quote was from. In short, even though it is originally intended to reflect a unit of rice production at the start, it is also money that is minted, hoarded, exchanged and everything else people do with money. Over time, the value of the coinage becomes disconnected from the underlying commodity (mind you, this also happened in feudal Japan). Try this over a span of a thousand years and voila :)

Okuma is, I think, referring to the sidebar on page 199 of the same Core rulebook: it explains that by the year 1170, it would require approximately twelve koku to purchase rice sufficient to feed one man for a year.

This does make a load of sense to me, and the prices of weapons and armor are supposed to reflect this inflation. 

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On 11/15/2017 at 5:42 PM, FFG Max Brooke said:

We’ve got a survey for you this week...

There is one question that sticks out as as the answer options do not address the problem.

Quote
As a gm/player, which of the following do you see as the most significant point of complexity in conflicts in the Open Beta?
  • I have not yet participated in a conflict
  • Starting the conflict/assessment
  • Finding the mechanical action that reflects the story you want to tell
  • Finding the “most optimal” action
  • Managing techniques
  • Managing distances and range bands
  • Understanding how the abilities play out in the narrative

 

This really needed to be a more open ended question. The complexity comes from lots of little things all across the system. The game is really a bunch of loosely connected systems. The game design lacks an internal logic and consistency and shows the tell-tell signs of a creative team who is too close to their work to see the fundamental flaws.

If there is one thing to point a finger at, it isn't what's on the list of options provided with the survey question above, it would be the strife mechanics that add bookwork and complexity to every single roll in the game. It isn't a lot of complexity, but it adds up and it always there jamming up the mechanics.

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Agreed.

 

Strife bookkeeping has been consistently the millstone around the neck of the system for us. Everything else we have managed to work with, around of, or change in way we prefer.

Strife has consistently sucked the fun out of the game for us.

Edited by Suzume Chikahisa

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