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Kakita Onimaru

Are you enjoying this game?

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I am not trying to be mean or start a fight but wanted to ask a question in all seriousness: Are you currently enjoying this game?

 

Specifically, would you chose to play this game instead of another RP system? What RP system do you think this game is better than? 

 

Im about 50/50 myself and am not sure which way I am going to fall atm. There are parts of this mish/mash of of 4th ed and Star Wars that I like but others I dont think go together at all and kinda think the game would be better leaning more in one of those 2 directions. 

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I'm enjoying parts of it. The core mechanic is good for me, my biggest "hate this" element is going to have a replacement in next week's update, so...

I am hoping they can make dueling more interesting, or abstract it into one-roll-and-done. (If they don't, I will in my house rules. As is, duels just suck the air out of the room..

I like the stances system. I don't mind the minions, but I really hop they make them formulaic.

As is, tho', it's not my favorite samurai game. That still is "Blood and Honor" by John Wick. I should be able to get people to play this, tho.

Toss up whether to stick with L5R3 for samurai or go with L5R 5...

 

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Its funny - but narrative games seem to make it a bit tougher to role play, because the systems are too abstract.  In L5R 1st ed (the only l5r I ran, and the most run rpg by me.  I still ran it through until this beta) I would get more role play out of characters, as they used RP to embellish upon a more specific trait / skill system in order to earn free raises, or to specialize their character.  Players acted the fluff, and rolled the mechanics.

After playing FATE I felt like the abstract mechanics made the game a lot more transparent.  Players basically knew if they would more likely pass or fail a test because in FATE if a difficulty check was the same number as your stat you were basically flipping coins.  If your stat was 1 higher you had a decent chance of passing, if it was 2 higher you knew you would pass.  If you were 1 lower it was risky, but you were likely to fail.  If your stat was 2 lower you might not bother rolling.

In doing that a lot of the RP was taken out because there was no room for raises, or exceptional success.  You either passed or failed.  If you failed you would spent fate to pass anyway, and then try to throw your character under the bus to reclaim fate before the next critical check.

In this L5R I feel the abstract approach system kinda works against rp...  because you're focusing on taking an abstract system and getting a specific action out of it.  Just getting to the specific action takes all the time of the game.  For a character to RP I think the game needs to have a more narrowly defined skill set so a player can easily say "this is what I want to do," and then they can spend their time RP'ing it...  but what is the incentive for RP?  There aren't any free raises.  If I give void for good rp then players don't need to throw themselves under the bus to reclaim void points, and then what are disads there for?  Giving a bonus success or bonus op could be WAY too powerful...  idk.

idk - I'm kinda on the fence.  I'm excited that they are willing to make larger changes in the beta, but I really hope they make it easier to say "this is what I want to do."  Right now the approach system is too vague.  Too much time is spent just defining and action and deciding what the roll will be.  Then more time is spent trying to ensure players aren't just whoring their best ring value for every roll they make (combat is WAY too easy to just ***** the best ring value.)

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Only played it twice, and while the second session went a lot smoother, I'm not sure I can honestly say I'm enjoying this version thus far.  I think the main point of contention for me is that things feel like they're far more complicated than they really need to be, especially with regards to skills and what ring applies to which application of a skill.  Frankly, I think a better method might be to just simply have a list of guidelines of which thematic approach a ring entails when using a skill instead of the current method of hard-coding which ring to use for how you want to apply a skill.  Give the players the freedom to narrate how they are using a certain ring with the skill to achieve the desired result instead of forcing their hand to say that if you want to accomplish X goal with a skill, you must use this ring.

I agree with AK_Aramis that duels as they exist now are a drag (and I've been the player most heavily involved in duels), and really do need to be resolved in a single round so as to not drag the entire game to halt.

Then again, L5R's not exactly a major hit in my area, so odds of my playing any edition of L5R are pretty slim to begin with.

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I do enjoy the game, despite its failings. Yeah, the skills list is bad, combat is grindy and convoluted, Strife is annoying, and some of the rules are kinda bleak/weird, but the basics, the dice system with rolling and keeping symbols, the way Approaches and Rings and Skills mesh together, that stuff is friggin' awesome and I LOVE it. Really, I can, in fact, ignore everything else or just make up my own fixes on the run, because the foundations are so solid and enjoyable that nothing else matters if I so desire. Opportunity, in particular, is something I would play the game only for it. 

My gaming group is largely on the same opinion, tho some of them are less forgiving about the flaws. Not like it is a problem, really. We can fix it. We have the technology. 5R5 will definitely take over our 4.5 homebrew as of now. 

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8 hours ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

Are you currently enjoying this game?

Nope. The only enjoyment has been because of the people at the table.

I kinda regret setting aside time to play this. I love the setting and just expected better. I really want to like and enjoy the game, but it isn’t happening. Gonna give the game until after the holidays to see if it gets better. If not will move on  we have an alpha test of a system waiting for us to get into.

 

8 hours ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

would you chose to play this game instead of another RP system?

It really depends. There are a lot of crap games out there so this game while on the trash heap, isn’t at the bottom. 

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I'm still trying to grit my teeth and find the good parts, and see if I can get improvements to smaller things I don't like even if I won't change the core problems since I'm likely to have to play in this system regardless of my preference for it. As it stands for anything of my own preference it's easier to just port over the improvements I like from this edition to 4th ed.

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9 hours ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

Specifically, would you chose to play this game instead of another RP system? What RP system do you think this game is better than?

Depends on the system.  I'd play the **** out of this before I'd ever consider playing Palladium, Pathfinder, or D&D 3.X.

OTOH, I'm much more likely to play Star Wars (especially the FFG version but am amenable to D6 or Saga Edition), 7th Sea 2e, FATE (Core or Accelerated), Cinematic Unisystem (used for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel RPGs, and is quite a lot of fun), or D&D 5th edition, as I honestly think those are some of the best game systems I've sat down and played, mostly as they don't feel nearly as clunky as this version of L5R does.

And it's not just that the new L5R is a beta or the rules are unfamiliar, as I had a lot of fun playing the Star Wars betas (even ran a very fun Force and Destiny campaign that ended one **** of a surprise note).  The rules as they are might be solid, but they just feel too unwieldy and cumbersome, which may well be due to me simply being in a mindset these days of preferring RPGs where task resolution is quick and generally intuitive to figure out.

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I don't mind the game, it actually kind of cool from what I have seen and experience but until I see a complete core book and not just this beta I am withholding judgement. The big problem I have and this is a big one is the d6 and d12 custom dice. I dont mind the custom dice, it will actually most likely speed up the dice rolling part of the game. What I hate is the idea of d6s and d12s. I want a system that uses custom d10, full stop, no negotiation. Can we please crunch some numbers and just adjust for a d10 system the way God intended L5R RPG to be played? 

 

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The rules are quite cumbersome, apparently to drive the narrative but to me that narrative doesn’t become important enough to warrant the convoluted mechanics. I might like the game better if I felt the mechanics fulfilled their purpose better, though in truth that might also make it harder to sell to my players. Previous editions of L5R used to be my RPG of choice, this one is not.

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Not really. 

It's not that it's completely awful, and there are ideas with merit, but it's just "Not good" at almost everything it does.  Which means there's basically zero incentive to play this over previous editions of the game.  The attempt to bridge the gap between RnK and Star Wars/Genesys just plain doesn't work, and the game ends up in a hole I don't think it can dig its way out of without a ground-up re-write. The TN system is has terrible probability issues, character creation is creative but the results are still bad even after 2 revisions.  Strife sounded cool.  It doesn't work anywhere near intended. And when the Risk half of a Risk/Reward System doesn't work, the whole core mechanic suffers.  And you can't ignore Strife as a mechanic because it is built into the dice and without it, the entire rest of the game falls apart. Intrigues are boring. Duels aren't much better. Skirmishes have mechanical issues all over the place.

All just to "force" players to roleplay, which many experienced gamers know is a losing battle in the first place because if people want to roleplay, they're already doing it, and if they don't want to and just want to roll dice and do things, it's not like they're suddenly going to change their mind. And with this game, it doesn't feel like you're really "roleplaying" anyway, because the outcome is solely determined by the dice rolls most of the time. That's like calling a To-Hit roll "roleplaying" because you or the GM are going to describe what happens after the result. Not to mention that because it's basically just an add/subtract book-keeping exercise, the end results aren't really very coherent or logical so the "roleplaying" experience isn't great either. Characters just get agitated for whatever reason (usually good, sometimes bad), and then blow up based on whatever happens last. "I'm happy, excited, angry, excited, happy, sad, angry, <hit Composure score> OMG Whoop for joy!" Not a really compelling look at human psychology and stress management. But, most of the time, a well-built or higher-rank character isn't getting anywhere near their Composure Score, so they just sit around running a simple financial ledger trying to see if they can balance their revenue (Strife mitigation) against their overhead (accrued Strife results) and not go bankrupt.

It's promising that they're willing to make changes, but the changes have been a lot of weird half-measures and stubborn refusals to address the fundamental problems, which isn't encouraging.  Because of the lack of coherency in design philosophy, they just create new problems a lot of the time. Calming Breath, or the switch to Fatigue, for example.

If I were to offer my honest opinion, they should just scrap the entire Beta. It's basically WHFRP3 or Dark Heresy 2 all over again, but without the robust built-in fanbase. This isn't Star Wars or 40K. L5R RPG is a small-to-moderate-sized demographic of die-hards with the potential to attract a moderate demographic of new players. This Beta (5ish Edition) has its fans and defenders, but like somebody joked on RPG.net (where the thread about this Beta died 18 days ago), any game that's not FATAL will find some small audience of champions.  This game just doesn't look like it will have any widespread appeal, and that higher likelihood of failure kills the L5R RPG license for the foreseeable future, which I don't want to happen.

Make L5R a campaign setting for Genesys if you want. Scrap the excessive clunky mechanics of this system and simplify it down to a storytelling game like PbtA or Savage Worlds and sell it as "L5R Narrative Gaming System" or something. Better to be good at one genre of gaming, than bad at several.  Then offer a gussied up reprint of 4th Edition and profit because it's a well-liked system with an existing player base willing to buy hardcover books and the work is already done. Sometimes simple is better.  FFG sold Black Industries' (GW/Green Ronin) version of Dark Heresy for 6 years successfully. Suggesting there's no money in just reprinting and continuing the AEG line is foolish.

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I really like it yeah. 

And my players did too. 

The Strife mechanism is very interesting both from a gamey perspective and a roleplay tool. 

The duel we had was both very cool and very cinematic. Even the players not involved in it loved it. 

The skirmishes were a bit too chaotic. And too many steps from rolling the dice for your actions to the end result. (maybe we just need more practice, to get a shorthand) 

Choosing the Ring/Skill is still a bit confusing. I don't know if it's because players are used to be told what to roll or something else though. 

Overall we had fun. And that's the goal. 

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Nope I don't enjoy it. Tbh probably wont. I think there is potential, lots of good ideas, some flexibility, it's actually more flexible than previous eds in regards to schools for example. But then many ideas have a bad execution, feel clunky, add unnecessary elements of complexity. 

Feels a bit like designers are trying to push us their homebrew of L5R, like "look how it is better than old L5R". Reinforced by the way the beta updates news communicate the feeling that they take our feedbacks in consideration but in fact not really.(you don't like something guys, let's change the name then...and let's not update the beta book, you guys do the bookkeeping of our updates) Makes it hard to get in the beta now if you weren't there from beginning. (I don't think it's that hard to update a master file and publish it updated) 

Maybe it would have been better to really change it all, rework it totally from the ground up instead of this bastardised 4e system (that gave me this homebrew feeling, and will make that previous editions aficionados will always keep 4e in mind, seeing not what it is but what it could or should have been). 

According to a good proportion of comments here, many folks will anyway directly homebrew stuff if they get this edition. If a new RPG needs home-brewing straight, it's probably a failed design. 

Makes me think of how the LCG (which on the contrary I really, really enjoy) has also some design issue mostly about wording unclear, and sometimes post release ruling of a card and design team feedback feels a bit like "you don't understand this card? You stupid guys, it's an evidence how it works". 

I'm a bit disappointed, also because I dropped a starting (1 session with pregens) 4th ed campaign to make sure I'd get free of bias and appreciate this beta fully, eventually making it play to my group of beginner RPG player. I won't, I don't want to lose my guys to this. 

Guess I'll finish the small old republic d20 saga I've started with them soon, and get them to good old 4e adventures. 

Edited by Nitenman

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My group's enjoying it. Busy preppin the next session now. Will post more later, if I finish my prep in time. (Wish me luck--adding a city & it's inhabitants....)

Not perfect. Some stuff I hope gets changed. I think the timeline is a little optimistic.

Edited by sidescroller

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The Beta in it current condition will never be of any interest to me.

FFG has made it clear that this is what they want L5R to be wither we agree or not so I don't see it changing.

As has been stated already, the writers are making a (fan)-conversion and I use that word loosely to their custom dice game and that final.

All the survey have been worder as to allow for no variation other then cosmetic changes.

As I have said elsewhere, this is not a Beta but a proofreading of what they can get away with among the fans.

That said I would never play or recommend this game to anyone.

 

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I think it's interesting to observe that the strongest voices against the new system, and thus not enjoying it, are those that have extensive experience with the prior editions of the game.  While those that are generally enjoying it tend to be those folks that are new to L5R in general or simply lack extensive experience with the AEG versions.

It's not unlike the transition to a new edition of D&D, be it 2e to 3e, 3e to 4e, or even the 4e crowd to 5e, all depending upon which edition of D&D one cut their teeth on.  I know 4e gets a lot of flak, but there are generation of gamers for whom D&D 4e was their introduction to the hobby, and that 5e pulled the rug out from what they understood just as 4e did do the gamers that cut their teeth on D&D 3.X.  And with AEG using the same core system for nearly two decades, it's probably not all that surprising that a large portion of the old guard are unhappy with this new version.

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Yeah. I am wondering how much dislike for the system is due to it not being the familiar 4thed or is genuine dislike for this particualr system. That said, the responses so far (and more own feelings) seems to stem from a lack of interest with the system in particular. The enjoyment we are having so far stems mostly from our knowledge of the setting and us playing around in-character without rolling any dice......which is the age-old secret of RPGs (mechanics are secondary to RP). But, that doesn't take away from the fact engagin with the games mechanics never seem to be particularly fun or engaging. 

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1 hour ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I think it's interesting to observe that the strongest voices against the new system, and thus not enjoying it, are those that have extensive experience with the prior editions of the game.  While those that are generally enjoying it tend to be those folks that are new to L5R in general or simply lack extensive experience with the AEG versions.

It's not unlike the transition to a new edition of D&D, be it 2e to 3e, 3e to 4e, or even the 4e crowd to 5e, all depending upon which edition of D&D one cut their teeth on.  I know 4e gets a lot of flak, but there are generation of gamers for whom D&D 4e was their introduction to the hobby, and that 5e pulled the rug out from what they understood just as 4e did do the gamers that cut their teeth on D&D 3.X.  And with AEG using the same core system for nearly two decades, it's probably not all that surprising that a large portion of the old guard are unhappy with this new version.

The bizarr thing here is ... I wasn't happy with the old system either. I think the design was deeply flawed and the mathematics of the system not fully grasped by the designer and the players.

However, I could tollerate RnK d10. You could exploit the **** out of it, character options were unblanced in all directions, and the core mechanics would allow from some ludicrous outliers.  BUT It worked, it worked on the most basic fundamental levels.

I was never fond of it and I would never GM a round useing RnK d10 again, but I would always be willing to jump into such a round. Again I can tolerate RnK d10.

 

This system... well as long as we only play narrative scenes...

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I've been playing the game for years. From second edition through the fourth. 

I've rand three campaigns, two in the third edition on one in the fourth. I've played quite a few characters with different GM and edition. 

And I really like what's coming with this new game. 

Perhaps it is because I don't see it as "L5R 4.5". As just a new iteration of the same thing. But as its own game. 

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1 hour ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

Yeah. I am wondering how much dislike for the system is due to it not being the familiar 4thed or is genuine dislike for this particualr system. That said, the responses so far (and more own feelings) seems to stem from a lack of interest with the system in particular. The enjoyment we are having so far stems mostly from our knowledge of the setting and us playing around in-character without rolling any dice......which is the age-old secret of RPGs (mechanics are secondary to RP). But, that doesn't take away from the fact engagin with the games mechanics never seem to be particularly fun or engaging. 

I'd attribute it more to "I wanted 4R, d***it, and so I won't give it a fair shake"...

and a few who keep hoping that if they B***h loud enough, might get 5E to be 4.1...or even 3.1.

My issues are mostly with the duel system and with goal setting. The core emchanic isn't bad at all. But it is a bit slower.

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