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Seasons of Peace: a BfR 3 player variant.

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In order to capture some of the courtly intrigue of L5R I've come up with some new variations to the regular rules. This will likely only work with a 3 player  count. 

1. After determining the first player each round the other 2 players form a tentative alliance opposing the first player. At a 3 player count it is quite often that the player performing the best is determined to be the first player by the initiative deck. This gives the 2 players opposing the first player an opportunity to work together to unseat the first player from his position of dominance. These players also now have a round where they can take a break from opposing each other's forces. Of course these players have the option to forego this alliance and attack each other as normal. 

2. To provide incentive to not take aggressive actions against this other player, each non-first player that takes no aggressive actions against their allied player will gain an additional Scout card at the end of the round. There will be 4 extra scout cards at a 3 player count. 

3. Additionally, any player may exchange 4 Scout cards for a Shugenja card. I would recommend using all 6 of your combat tokens each round (5 drawn plus bluff) in addition to this variant. It will make the use of Shugenja cards more blind rather than an informed decision where a Scout card is used prior to the use of a Shugenja card. That way it's more probable that Shugenja cards are used on bluff tokens. I think this will help with possible balance issues. The extra shugenja card will also help players who have lost momentum and have trouble getting access to the first player card a little boost in power in later rounds. 

I would like to mention that I came up with these variations because I have yet to see any players become Ronin in any of our games and I am actually intrigued to see this happen. 

Quite often in our games the initiative cards such as Master of Tactics/Governance etc, give an advantage to the player doing the "best" and it would take the combined efforts of opposing players (or horrible  token draws) to reign in this player. With the exception of the diplomacy token there isn't much in the way of politics in this game. Although its called BATTLE for Rokugan, is it Rokugan without alliances, broken alliances, spies at court, or the Emperor's Favor? With these subtle changes the additional Scout cards can represent things like informants, magistrates, courtiers' rumors proving to be true. The extra shugenja cards could be the Imperials sending their agents to seek peace on their behalf or aid those being oppressed by stronger forces. 

Please comment or ask questions if I was unclear. I'm no game designer, just a guy wanting to have fun and needing more content now for this awesome game. 


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