Jump to content

Recommended Posts

17 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Max did not say his study ENDED with that weekend cram. He said it started with it, including reviewing classics of Japanese Pillow Books he'd read before.

I think you are mixing the two writes here, and I'm not sure how Japanese Pillow Books help with understanding L5R.

17 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Max did also mention prior interest in the genre.

from the video his only exposure to the game was from the office game Ms. Ostrander.

17 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Ms. Ostrander has the story control, and has played a prior edition (4th)... and is going to Max for mechanics that match her vision. 

SO she has played in a story neutered version of the game. Don't get me wrong I think 4th is one of the cleaner versions of the game, but it is also the version that they disconnected the story from the mechanics. When I run the game I have all the "way of", "secrets of", and Historical books (time of the void,etc) sitting on the self.  And from the interview I get that she depended more on her Japanese history studies then L5Rs story.

17 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

I'm actually relieved by the interview. They showed me both a love for what they're doing, and for the property.

Having a love for writing and game design, at least to me does not automatically equal a good game.

I found nothing in the interview that equated to a love for the property as is, but a lot of I like  Japanese history so that how we made the game.

To me this is the same attitude that brought us Star Trek : Discovery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one consent I heard from the interview was the continual uses of Japaneses history this and that. 

That is one of the major issues for me as L5R is not or has is ever tried to be Japaneses history.

If it was trying to be it failed. Luckily that was not the goal.

L5R was its own thing, it was not pure history, for that we have Sengoku rpg, or a high fantasy oriental game , since for that we have Oriental adventures and others.

The setting for L5R is what makes it L5R, And in changing that it just becomes another Oriental themed RPG with questionable mechanics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John's original inspiration for L5R was Japanese Pillow Books. I've gotten this directly from John at one point (I asked via FBk, IIRC). Pillow books are essentially Trashy Samurai Romances - Tale of Genji is now considered classic; in its day, it was a bestseller and considered rather trashy, lowbrow, even. It belongs in L5R's "Appendix N" equivalent. John also mentions them as an inspiration for L5R in the designer's notes for Blood & Honor. in fact, Tale of Genji is right there in the Suggested reading. Tomoe Gozen isn't, at least not in the revised 1E, but John's recommended it, as well, in various other places.

John blended Pillow-Books, Cthulhu, and a touch of the Nippon from the Bushido RPG, itself inspired by Pillow Books, and western elemental theory... 

So, they are going back to John's sources. Sources you're apparently unfamiliar with, in whole or part. They're intentionally tossing the AEG and Wizards baggage. Max's comments make it clear he has a passing familiarity with the storyline - and like many, doesn't care for how and where it went.

 

 

Edited by AK_Aramis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

John's original inspiration for L5R was Japanese Pillow Books. I've gotten this directly from John at one point (I asked via FBk, IIRC). Pillow books are essentially Trashy Samurai Romances - Tale of Genji is now considered classic; in its day, it was a bestseller and considered rather trashy, lowbrow, even. It belongs in L5R's "Appendix N" equivalent. John also mentions them as an inspiration for L5R in the designer's notes for Blood & Honor. in fact, Tale of Genji is right there in the Suggested reading. Tomoe Gozen isn't, at least not in the revised 1E, but John's recommended it, as well, in various other places.

The fact that John wick intended it to be one way a AEG went another has little to do with L5R as it stands today. The same can be said about 7th sea 1st ed and the new one. As AEG changed what he had envisioned for 7th seas. This was one of the issues for 7th sea 2nd edition as most of the contributors including me where expecting a cleaned-up version of 1st. The problem being that the game he wanted to make was not the game everyone had played. 

Quote

John blended Pillow-Books, Cthulhu, and a touch of the Nippon from the Bushido RPG, itself inspired by Pillow Books, and western elemental theory... 

Again what John wanted for the game is not an issues as the game even in the first print diverse greatly from what he was looking to make.  

Quote

So, they are going back to John's sources. Sources you're apparently unfamiliar with, in whole or part. They're intentionally tossing the AEG and Wizards baggage. Max's comments make it clear he has a passing familiarity with the storyline - and like many, doesn't care for how and where it went.

So they are going back to a game that was never made and throwing away 20+ years of development just like John did with 7th seas. 

To me that doesn't show respect for the setting or what came before.

It shows that you have a New IP to exploit and are doing so.

The big differences being that 7th sea was John's baby to begin with, and he was trying to publish the game he wanted to make in the first place.

So as had been said they will lose a lot or most of the old timers.

They will continue with the few new players they get and the left over old timers.

If that's what they want then more power to them.

 

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

They're intentionally tossing the AEG and Wizards baggage.

I dunno about this. The story is essentially the same but Hoturi is now a girl. The L5R Standard Samurai Drama(tm) is the same, and even more heavy-handed. Shugenja are still fireball-throwing wizards in the RPG, and they can throw infinitely more fireballs now. Really, as far as I can determine, the only thing they cut out was the Rokugan Your Way approach for the RPG and the silly tournament prizes for the card game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I keep hearing that I just have to laugh at is that FFG is taking the story and game a new way.

First, I have yet to see FFG do anything with the story besides decompress the old AEG story.

This I have no problems with as the old story was made in a time when AEG was not sure how long the game would be popular so they had to get as much out off it as they could. 

But all we have seen from FFG so far has been filler and gender-swaps.

For example, while not down playing the writing as I feel it was one of the best written fictions so far, Risen From The Flames to me serve no other purpose then to have one more clan ruled by a women.

Don't get me wrong, I happen to like Shiba Tsukune, she was one of my favorite  phoenix characters from the AEG story, But this change like the gender-swap for Hoturi removes a lot of story about how she got there and why she had the attitude she did with the masters. 

Overall, the story so far seems to be AEG story with some filler and changes for political correctness.

As for the new RPG 

The character creation is the original 20 question expanded poorly.

The school system was lifted from Warhammer 40k which had been dropped in WH40k since it was not all that well liked.

The dice system is an extremely dumb down version of the R&K mechanics mixed with the narrative dice system poorly.

And people like to say 4th dumb down the game but give this one a pass, go figure.

The damage system seems to be stolen from 7th sea.

I could go on, but the point is that there is nothing really new here. 

It is a grab-bag of castoff and abandoned mechanics shoehorned together with very few new ideas.

 

All this shows me that FFG is going to squeeze every penny they can get for the least amount of effort out this IP then toss it to the way-side.

Luckily AEG made a fine product before they sold it to FFG, that My players and I can continue to enjoy.

Anyway My group and I have decided to start a Shatterzone campaign and will be busy with that. 

Edited by tenchi2a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vastly prefer the 4th edition ( I have all the hardcovers) to any of the previous editions, although I admit the Second City plotline is not my favorite. The Imperial Histories books are especially genius.

I like narrative dice systems, enjoy Star Wars and regret never having bought the WHFRP 3rd before it went extinct. So I went into the beta intrigued, and I believe the one area where the 4th edition lacks is balanced and good game mechanics and proper character advancement. This seemed to do these things better, at the expense of less flexibility for deviating from your pre-set character personality and the whole nino/giri mechanics.

I also never liked the Roll+Keep system in terms of its probability spread, since its hard for new players to estimate success chances.

So I am curious if FFG will release a quality product here, I am looking forward to it, but since I own an excellent RPG for L5R already, they would have to deliver top notch for me to buy into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Kaiju said:

I vastly prefer the 4th edition ( I have all the hardcovers) to any of the previous editions, although I admit the Second City plotline is not my favorite. The Imperial Histories books are especially genius.

Yeah the later stories suffers from a lack of direction.

11 hours ago, Kaiju said:

I like narrative dice systems, enjoy Star Wars and regret never having bought the WHFRP 3rd before it went extinct. So I went into the beta intrigued, and I believe the one area where the 4th edition lacks is balanced and good game mechanics and proper character advancement. This seemed to do these things better, at the expense of less flexibility for deviating from your pre-set character personality and the whole nino/giri mechanics.

I'm a firm believer in the system should be made for the game, not the setting adapted to a rule set. 

The only company that IMHO has done a generic system well is GURPS. 

And they did this by having a large selection of books and a highly generic system that allows for almost every gaming style.

11 hours ago, Kaiju said:

I also never liked the Roll+Keep system in terms of its probability spread, since its hard for new players to estimate success chances.

This might help: http://lynks.se/probability/#5k3

11 hours ago, Kaiju said:

So I am curious if FFG will release a quality product here, I am looking forward to it, but since I own an excellent RPG for L5R already, they would have to deliver top notch for me to buy into it.

If there is one think I will give FFG, They do manufacture quality books and minis.

The content my not be the greatest but you can count on them for using good quality materials.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Beta we were given was a very small slice of the final game, and felt very much like an entirely new take in some areas (a la carte techniques, narrative dice), but a rough copy & paste in others (I am looking at you, Honor / Glory / Status... you know what you did #gameshaming). 

I think the final product will have a good, solid engine, with a lot of things to love in the Techniques, and a lot of expansion space in the area of Schools and Techniques. In fact, I almost guarantee it will be set up with four schools per Great Clan (one Bushi, one Shugenja, one Courtier, and one Ninja / Monk / Scout / Special), with enough Techniques for each one to have a single unique, in-School Technique, and a wide selection of generic ones. There may be rules for Minor Clans, but I would not expect to see Schools for them. Instead I would expect to see there be a Generic Bushi, Courtier, Shugenja, and Monk to cover Minor Clans, Imperials, Brotherhood, and Ronin. 

Why? Because this way they can sell us more books, and decks of cards with Techniques.

Where I think the final product may still fall down is the rules which force what the designers consider “samurai drama” and the artifacts of previous editions which have been hung on the new skeleton without connecting them wholistically. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Kaiju said:

This seemed to do these things better, at the expense of less flexibility for deviating from your pre-set character personality and the whole nino/giri mechanics.

My players don't seem to be too interested in the ninjo/giri mechanics in general, and while it's very possible I'm running the game incorrectly, I have more or less ignored the ninjo and giri mechanics and the game hasn't really seemed to suffer for it. I consider this to really be the ideal; it's an interesting system for groups that really want to delve into it, but for groups that aren't interested in that part of the system, having the ability to just not use it but still have a good game is a great bit of flexibility (though perhaps not intentional on the game designers' part.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the biggest failures of the Beta we were given is how easy it is to ignore Ninjō vs Giri. While I think the Strife mechanic is supposed to inform it as a theme of the game, it fails to do so utterly. 

It is one of the biggest failures in terms of Mechanics As Metaphor in the Beta. Both solutions the designers have presented to fix it (the Training Wheels AKA the Discord Tracks for GMs AKA We Don’t Trust GMs to Know How To Balance and Engage Character Motivations, and the Pivotal Scene AKA I Spend A Void And Now Everyone Has To Watch An Entirely New Scene Just About Me And How Awesomely Dramatic I Am) fail to do so, and feel more rooted in a distrust of players and GMs to intelligently and dynamically engage with samurai drama. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm okay with Ninjo and Giri basically being background material for use in character creation, and for the GM to use to springboard adventures, etc. Strife works decently well as a "strain" mechanic that limits your characters' abilities to do stuff as they get overwhelmed, representing a sort of fatigue (which gets confusing with how wounds have been re-worked as "fatigue," but I digress.) 

While I have no interest in using the Discord tracks or the Pivotal Scene mechanics, the Discord track can be a nice tool for GMs, especially newer ones, who want to use it to find themes and ideas for game sessions. But I personally would not slavishly hold myself to the Discord track even if I used it.

Now, from a design perspective, the fact that players can basically ignore what is supposed to be the lynchpin of the game may imply that the mechanic wasn't implemented well. But for my purposes I am enjoying playing the game without being beholden to mechanics I don't want to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am working on a full article on this, but the root of my feelings is this: mono no aware in the LCG is communicated effectively by the mechanics of the game, while ninjō vs giri is not effectively communicated by the RPG.

By paying lip service to the concept, but not hinging much mechanics upon it, the L5R Beta is a weaker game overall. Either it should inform every aspect of the game (like the Five Rings do, another thematic element shown very well through the mechanics of the game), or they should not harp on it so much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The distrust towards the GM, and a way of giving mechanical power to the players is something I initially objected to (I have been a GM since the age of 11, that being near 25 years ago), but a few years back I owned a FLGS as a kind of teenage wish fulfillment. While I have moved on to bigger things, I used the time there to talk to many, MANY MANY players of all kinds of RPGs, campaign boardgames and tabletop leagues, all with the same concept of one player being the main antagonist, the organizer, the storyteller.

Since then, I fully understand why this trend is necessary in modern roleplaying, and while I personally allow myself the arrogance of thinking my players do not need it, I wouldnt be too surprised if I was wrong here too.

There are many bad GMs out there. There are many GMs that are ok, but could improve a lot if they let players add creativity. There are many MANY groups out there where the best-suited person to be the GM is not the GM. Quite frankly, as we can see in the current trend in video games, trying to protect and isolate people a little from the vagaries of human interaction, even if its just so much as giving them a few "defensive" mechanics against GM favoritism, is quite possibly a smart and necessary choice in a world of entertainment where all other products do so.

As a GM in a modern RPG, I am not storyteller first. I am not the author of an interactive book, or the bard telling an old legend occasionally added to by the people around the fireplace. I am not the god of this endeavour.

I am the director of a movie with only a barebones script. This is a significant difference, and it allows for players to have more agency in what is going on, beyond merely being allowed to act within my story - they can CHANGE the story, because it never was MY story in the first place.

This is something many experienced GMs already do, or have been doing for a long time. L5R RPG, and some others, merely put a mechanical emphasis on it, to drive the point home to those who havent yet evolved.

I believe in the age of video games with great stories, of great literature and movies, the RPGs main point is the ability for everyone to mold the story in ways beyond the intended script, and for that, you have to give them tools to beat the gatekeeper (the GM) now and then.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kaiju said:

I believe in the age of video games with great stories, of great literature and movies, the RPGs main point is the ability for everyone to mold the story in ways beyond the intended script, and for that, you have to give them tools to beat the gatekeeper (the GM) now and then.

 

Over here, it is considered a sign of the GM becoming lazy if they start handing control to the players over the story. Games also have an immediate tendency of falling apart under player input because of differences in personal preference and become absolutely abominable. In our collective ranking of "worst game ever played" that Blood&Honor campaign gets it worse than our fling with FATAL, and I kid you not here. 

Edited by AtoMaki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Over here, it is considered a sign of the GM becoming lazy if they start handing control to the players over the story. Games also have an immediate tendency of falling apart under player input because of differences in personal preference and become absolutely abominable. In our collective ranking of "worst game ever played" that Blood&Honor campaign gets it worse than our fling with FATAL, and I kid you not here. 

And yet, my best samurai game ever was B&H. Constant evolution of the story in surprising ways, and in no small part, deep interpersonal drama since it's a design that handles PVP perfectly well. My best Samurai campaign was squarely due to secure self-aware players and their deep inputs to the story.

Sounds like you need better players.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

And yet, my best samurai game ever was B&H. Constant evolution of the story in surprising ways, and in no small part, deep interpersonal drama since it's a design that handles PVP perfectly well. My best Samurai campaign was squarely due to secure self-aware players and their deep inputs to the story.

1

Yeah, our final conclusion was that we should have written a chain-e-mail fic or something like that, and not bother with actually, y'know, play the game. 

Also, for the players, we really like to spend our time doing roleplaying and not storytelling. The latter is the job of the GM, it is the reason we keep him around. And again, personal preferences are quite swingy over here, we have a lot of very-very different people playing in our club. If anything, we need more monolithic player groups for B&H rather than better ones - but then cookie cutting is not really my table of things. 

Edited by AtoMaki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/10/2018 at 8:27 AM, AtoMaki said:

Over here, it is considered a sign of the GM becoming lazy if they start handing control to the players over the story. Games also have an immediate tendency of falling apart under player input because of differences in personal preference and become absolutely abominable.

I don’t even understand how that’s supposed to work. Player input starts before the game already, with character creation, and continues on from there. Of course the GM creates the basic story, but you can’t set the way it will progress in stone. I mean, I’ve had players kill the Hiruma daimyo in Mirror, Mirror when the standard approach is clearly to try and bring him back alive and well. They were unbelievably lucky to pull it off (and then not lucky enough to make it back to Kyuden Hida, which just goes to show), but was I supposed to just tell them no? You’re not allowed to do this, you have to do that? Players have all these advantages and disadvantages, but they can’t act on them unless it doesn’t conflict with the GM’s idea of where the campaign will go? If most of the party dies during an adventure, the few remaining characters can’t take that as a hint they should probably try something completely different? 

I see it as a compact - the GM creates an adventure that suits the characters the players created and allows the players to roleplay their characters the way they think is best, and the players both create their characters and play them in a way that’s not disruptive to the game. If this results in the game going off in an unexpected direction, that’s not a problem - as long as everyone abides by the compact, the game will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

the GM creates an adventure that suits the characters the players created and allows the players to roleplay their characters the way they think is best, and the players both create their characters and play them in a way that’s not disruptive to the game

 

These are the two things that tend to get killed by player input because either/and:

a., Players have different ideas of what is disruptive to the game. 

b., The adventure created by the GM does not survive a player input that is otherwise not disruptive to the game. 

If you try to avoid these two with some heavy-duty pre-game briefing then you are gutting the whole idea behind this kind of gaming because you are back to having game defining constraints - you just draw them out before the game rather than during it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

These are the two things that tend to get killed by player input because either/and:

a., Players have different ideas of what is disruptive to the game. 

b., The adventure created by the GM does not survive a player input that is otherwise not disruptive to the game. 

If you try to avoid these two with some heavy-duty pre-game briefing then you are gutting the whole idea behind this kind of gaming because you are back to having game defining constraints - you just draw them out before the game rather than during it. 

I may have constraints in place (I wouldn’t use the term “heavy duty” anywhere near this context, but hashing that out here would only derail the ongoing discussion), but on the other hand I do have (non-disruptive) player input. The impression I get is that you have no real player input at all, which seems like a much more stringent restraint from where I’m standing.

Could you give me an example of what you imagine I might be saying pre-game and what about this kind of gaming I would be gutting with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

I may have constraints in place (I wouldn’t use the term “heavy duty” anywhere near this context, but hashing that out here would only derail the ongoing discussion), but on the other hand I do have (non-disruptive) player input.

1

If you do have constraints in place then I'm not arguing against your style. My dislike is specifically against non-constrained input like in B&H. We too have plenty of player input floating around, but all are controlled and are ultimately up to the GM's permission. You can tell how you kill the bandit, ****, you can say how you kill the bandit without actually rolling for it, but if the GM speaks then you listen. If the GM does not speak a lot then we will think he is growing lazy because he is either running out of story ideas (relying on the players to do the work for him) or losing sight of what his players want from the story (and just letting them fill the scene however they want). Here a good GM tells an engaging and satisfying story that does not require player input because the GM covers all the corners, so the players will enjoy the story as-is without promoting themselves into pseudo-GMhood. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the issues here is not that players should not have input into the game.

The problem comes when one of the characters starts trying to run the narrative from the players chair.

And just to be clear I don't mean his personal narrative, but the narrative of the game.

Players should only have input into their characters actions and into the group's decisions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not having played it I can’t judge B&H fairly, but from what I heard it’s not for everyone. That said, I can’t agree that players taking part in shaping the overall narrative is absolutely a bad thing. I’ve been part of several groups where the GM gave us players a lot of leeway, for several systems, and that worked - but again, it’s not for everyone. That aside, character actions and group decisions tend to affect the narrative to a certain extent anyway in my experience, unless the module is a complete railroad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/27/2018 at 8:18 AM, tenchi2a said:

But here's the thing (again IMHO).

I have found in my many years of gaming in board-games, CCGs, LCGs, computers, RPGs, etc. The first three work best when there is a major event that they follow wars, galactic crisis etc.

RPGs tend to be more fun in-between these events. Pre-clan coup, after the coup, after the spirit wars, etc.

Computer games can do both well.

The issues this causes, its that for a CCG/LCG to keep going there needs to be crisis after crisis. 

While this is great for CCG/LCG games and their sales.

It tends IMHO to hinder RPGs and play havoc on the storyline.

 

You have to also think, the Card game doesn't have to be Calendar/Linear with it's events/releases. After it pushes through whatever it's building to now, they could place their next major event/Rokugan-spanning storyline as starting anywhere from the point that the heroes from the original crisis are still purifying from all the bloodshed/stitching wounds closed to the time of the heroes children/grandchildren/great grandchildren, etc. or even go back as far as the fall of the Kami if they so wished. Unlike an RPG they have no time constraints on when they're going to have "Mysterious Villain X" start to screw with Rokugan again.

Look at the early 1990s' Magic the Gathering releases. Each had a time of crisis that affected their worlds then smaller stories that wrapped the chapter of the chapter overarching story up or lead into a new one. For example, after the main focus point of the Brothers' War (Ending in calendar year 70), it skipped over to Rabia (Their version of the Burning Sands, only a different plane of existence) to show how the events on their main world/region affected others (not counting the birth of it's feature character) it was set about 30 years afterwards (IC 100) then skipped to Fallen Empires Cycle, who's first event (covered in a story) started in year 130 and took place (mostly in stories) over hundreds of years (Basically giving a taste of a fall of it's societies and the rise of Barbarism as the world gre colder), which lead to Ice Age (The next major non-reissue deck release) set in the 400s. The next time confirmed event after that was in 600, then around 1800, etc. etc. etc.

Just because the people who decided what went on with the old L5R canon didn't understand the concept of pacing doesn't mean that FFG will make the same mistakes. After all, AEG was started when gaming was still undergoing it's infancy. No one knew how to do games right. (****,evne the games that were "getting it right" by the old standards were still pieces of crap compared to current standards... like D&D switching from that whole battle-chart-thingy to THAC0 was still being praised as "The ultimate move the Tabletop Industry could make), as it's biggest competition (Shadowrun) was bringing us it's Milkcrates of D6s. Even the 1e roll and keep system was "a vast improvement, as long as you don't mind highly lethal games."

Plus, there's the setting location/size you decide to use. Using the Mimura book for example (The setting you could slap down anywhere in the Empire and be good to go with a few bare minimum tweaks suggested in sidebars), drop that setting in, say the lands between the Shinomen Mori and the mountains that mark the Unicorn clan border, and guess what... all those major plot points become Caravan-spread rumors until you, as GM, decide to drop the events into their laps like so much scalding hot coffee.

For example, using the new Canon, news of the Tsunami may reach the village but it would just be rumors until Crane-sama gets news of a Relative or beloved Sensei's death, or the Death of Satsume and Akodo Toturi winning the tournament to replace him would just be background info until Toturi orders the current Magistrate replaced. The Perfect Lands Sect could just be seen as a group of fringe religion loonies until you decide to drop that they're whatever FFG's got in store for us.

Or going back to classic Canon, the Crab marching with the Shadowlands would be seen as "vicious scorpion slander" until you'd have a mixed Shadowland/Crab army marching through the area, looting/pillaging/doing various other bandit-y things to the people there, or Hantei XVI's return would be dismissed as "Heimin Talk" until he'd march a Returned Spirit Army into the villages and demand they all swear fealty to him as Emperor. Same with the Spider Clan being a thing.

Also, it is a GM's choice how close to Canon they want to stick to. Many of my favorite campaigns went painfully off-canon to those who treat game Canon like it was the Holy Bible, Torah, Book of the Tao, etc. Toturi never returned through the Oblivion Gate causing a Rokugani Sengoku Jidai as the remaining thunders sacrificed their lives to destroy the Nothing, Kaneka turning the Empire into a Shogunate, every variation of Clan Champion/Thunder becoming Emperor after Hantei XXXVIII or XXXIX's death, etc are just examples.

Edited by Daigotsu Naraku

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/23/2018 at 3:14 AM, Daigotsu Naraku said:

You have to also think, the Card game doesn't have to be Calendar/Linear with it's events/releases. After it pushes through whatever it's building to now, they could place their next major event/Rokugan-spanning storyline as starting anywhere from the point that the heroes from the original crisis are still purifying from all the bloodshed/stitching wounds closed to the time of the heroes children/grandchildren/great grandchildren, etc. or even go back as far as the fall of the Kami if they so wished. Unlike an RPG they have no time constraints on when they're going to have "Mysterious Villain X" start to screw with Rokugan again.

Look at the early 1990s' Magic the Gathering releases. Each had a time of crisis that affected their worlds then smaller stories that wrapped the chapter of the chapter overarching story up or lead into a new one. For example, after the main focus point of the Brothers' War (Ending in calendar year 70), it skipped over to Rabia (Their version of the Burning Sands, only a different plane of existence) to show how the events on their main world/region affected others (not counting the birth of it's feature character) it was set about 30 years afterwards (IC 100) then skipped to Fallen Empires Cycle, who's first event (covered in a story) started in year 130 and took place (mostly in stories) over hundreds of years (Basically giving a taste of a fall of it's societies and the rise of Barbarism as the world gre colder), which lead to Ice Age (The next major non-reissue deck release) set in the 400s. The next time confirmed event after that was in 600, then around 1800, etc. etc. etc.

Just because the people who decided what went on with the old L5R canon didn't understand the concept of pacing doesn't mean that FFG will make the same mistakes. After all, AEG was started when gaming was still undergoing it's infancy. No one knew how to do games right. (****,evne the games that were "getting it right" by the old standards were still pieces of crap compared to current standards... like D&D switching from that whole battle-chart-thingy to THAC0 was still being praised as "The ultimate move the Tabletop Industry could make), as it's biggest competition (Shadowrun) was bringing us it's Milkcrates of D6s. Even the 1e roll and keep system was "a vast improvement, as long as you don't mind highly lethal games."

Plus, there's the setting location/size you decide to use. Using the Mimura book for example (The setting you could slap down anywhere in the Empire and be good to go with a few bare minimum tweaks suggested in sidebars), drop that setting in, say the lands between the Shinomen Mori and the mountains that mark the Unicorn clan border, and guess what... all those major plot points become Caravan-spread rumors until you, as GM, decide to drop the events into their laps like so much scalding hot coffee.

For example, using the new Canon, news of the Tsunami may reach the village but it would just be rumors until Crane-sama gets news of a Relative or beloved Sensei's death, or the Death of Satsume and Akodo Toturi winning the tournament to replace him would just be background info until Toturi orders the current Magistrate replaced. The Perfect Lands Sect could just be seen as a group of fringe religion loonies until you decide to drop that they're whatever FFG's got in store for us.

Or going back to classic Canon, the Crab marching with the Shadowlands would be seen as "vicious scorpion slander" until you'd have a mixed Shadowland/Crab army marching through the area, looting/pillaging/doing various other bandit-y things to the people there, or Hantei XVI's return would be dismissed as "Heimin Talk" until he'd march a Returned Spirit Army into the villages and demand they all swear fealty to him as Emperor. Same with the Spider Clan being a thing.

Also, it is a GM's choice how close to Canon they want to stick to. Many of my favorite campaigns went painfully off-canon to those who treat game Canon like it was the Holy Bible, Torah, Book of the Tao, etc. Toturi never returned through the Oblivion Gate causing a Rokugani Sengoku Jidai as the remaining thunders sacrificed their lives to destroy the Nothing, Kaneka turning the Empire into a Shogunate, every variation of Clan Champion/Thunder becoming Emperor after Hantei XXXVIII or XXXIX's death, etc are just examples.

While I understand what you are saying, you seem to have missed the overarching point of my post. 

CCGs and LCGs thrive in times of conflict because that is what they are made to simulate. They are designed to give the feeling of great armies of Samurai/Shadowlands monsters marching across Rokugan. 

In L5Rs case they are also made to simulate the politics of Rokugan at the highest level.

The different is that a RPG at its core is about the individual. even thou they are in a group each player is telling the story of their character not Rokugan.

In a time like the pre-coup era, Everything that the players do is important. From saving a village from bandits to smoking out a Bloodspeaker cult. 

In a war the question becomes why are they doing this and not fighting for their Clans in the army?

The main issues come in what the PCs are, they are samurai in service to their daimyo. They should not be out doing their own thing when the Clan is in jeopardy. 

Don't get me wrong something like the Scorpion Clan coup or the Clan Wars make a great ending arch for an RPG game, but if used to early they tend to make the characters seem out of place.

To explain this, look at the cards in the game. The character cards you play tend to be the rank 4+ characters of Rokugan, not the rank 1-3 characters.

The rank 1-3 Characters of Rokugan are the followers cards that you play on them. It is rare for this level of character to have that much of an impact on the game of war.

So in most games they get relegated to the level of side-quest that is to unimportant to the main characters to bother with. 

This issues is even worse in Rokugan, as the PCs are at their core soldiers in the armies of the Clans. It takes major justifications to explain why a group of Private/Lieutenant are wandering and not with their units during a time of war.

Add to this that in most cases the PCs are from multiple Clans and you have a bigger issues. Yes you can use the old standby of they are Imperial magistrates, but this starts to get old quick.

Now all of this falls by the wayside when the PCs reach higher levels, but they don't start that way and need time to reach it. This is why eras like the the pre-coup, post -coup, golden age, etc, make for better RPG games then the wars or conflicts that are the center-point of the CCGs, LCGs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...