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10 hours ago, Kaiba6798 said:

The only other viewpoint to point out is what all the Tournament contains. Its entirely possible the tournament is being rewritten into something like a "team" effort. Where you need X number of player types.

say round 1. is general bushi swordsmanship

round 2. courtier skills

round 3. magic

round 4. melee w/o swords

If it was being reworked a bit to be like this then it would make sense. a roll for each player to have a dedicated section and at the same time allow all the characters to be used evenly.

Having read the fiction and with FFGs track record for old IPs they pick up. I would say its highly unlikely that they are going to change the make-up of the tournament. The current fictions seem to imply that the past (Pre-restart time) is for the most part intact. That and changing the Topaz Championship like that would be like turning the Emerald Championship into a dance-off. Now all versions of the Topaz Championship have had a major and some minor sidequest and that what I think will be the main adventure in the beginners box.

9 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

It's called a beginner game for a particular reason. It is designed to introduce newcomers to the system and/or role-playing in general. Character creation can be both time consuming and daunting, especially to people new to the game. The premade characters is a compromise.

That's also one of the problems. If you are trying to add new players to a setting, it's not a good idea to have them start as more involved classes/schools. You want them to get the basics of the game before you start adding things like tattoos and spells. In my experiences, most new players that play Shugenja fall into the D&D tropes really quickly, wanting to cast fireballs at every perceived threat. Also, no offence to players that like them, but I found that a lot of new players that don't understand the game yet find playing Courtier boring. That said I understand that they are trying to offer a range of options to play in the game, but in the long run I think they would have been better off saving on the fancy character folios, and just giving a larger range of characters/school options to play.

On 5/7/2018 at 8:38 PM, sndwurks said:

We do not necessarily know that, honestly. We actually do not know how the new version of the Togashi monks operate, in relation to the Samurai / Monk dichotomy. All we know for the moment, based on the fiction The Rising Wave (https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/04/b4/04b426b3-8ab0-4fbe-8215-ba1461e59f62/the_rising_wave.pdf), is that the Togashi family does rule the Dragon Clan, and that they take in foundlings at temples, and that their acolytes begin their training as children. If they hold status as samurai, it is not impossible that they would need to go through a gempukku like anyone else. They just would serve similar to shugenja as more religious / spiritual than a warrior capacity.

This would firmly separate the Togashi monks from the Brotherhood of Shinsei, however, which even if there are close ties between the orders, would be good for the setting.

Highly doubt they are going to change what the Togashi monks. I think people are reading to much into the reset. At least to me it was intended so they could tell a new story from the reset point, not so they could totally rewrite Rokugan from the ground up. There would be no point in spending all that money on buying the IP if they where just going to start from scratch. If that was the case they would have been better off just creating a Japanese/Samurai setting for Genesys

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1 hour ago, easl said:

To your first sentence: I think the vast majority of L5R purchasers are going to be past L5R role players. If a $40 product isn't intended for them (i.e. not designed to let them have fun with it), then I think that's a big mistake.   I very much hope you're wrong, and that the basic game has been designed at least in some respects with past players of L5R in mind.  Want a $40 introduction to the new system? That makes sense, it's greatly different from any previous edition.  But a $40 introduction designed to appeal mainly to people who haven't played L5R before? I really hope not.

Based on some kind of evidence? I assume you have at least some poll data to back up such a sure statement, otherwise I would be led to believe you are simply projecting your own personal feelings on the situation. We are all men, women, and various cartoon animals of rational thought and reason, backed with decades of scientific resources. Feelings and opinions have no place, only facts and actions!

And anyway, I have bought four of Fantasy Flight's beginner boxes and they all have a pretty uniform design. From personal experience, they do a pretty bang up job of getting people into a game.

And $40 isn't bad for a product designed to get people into something. I'd rather dump that much on something and learn in a single night that I don't like it, rather than $60 and a fortnight.

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1 hour ago, Swordbreaker said:

Based on some kind of evidence? I assume you have at least some poll data to back up such a sure statement, otherwise I would be led to believe you are simply projecting your own personal feelings on the situation. We are all men, women, and various cartoon animals of rational thought and reason, backed with decades of scientific resources. Feelings and opinions have no place, only facts and actions!

The evidence is that they bought an existing IP. You don't buy an already established IP to try to start an all new fan-base. You buy one to gain the already active fan-base and then try to expanded it. That's just business 101.

Quote

And anyway, I have bought four of Fantasy Flight's beginner boxes and they all have a pretty uniform design. From personal experience, they do a pretty bang up job of getting people into a game.

You have to qualify this with what beginner boxes you are talking about. If they are the Star Wars ones that's not saying much, since the name alone can sale them and spark interest in the RPG.

Quote

And $40 isn't bad for a product designed to get people into something. I'd rather dump that much on something and learn in a single night that I don't like it, rather than $60 and a fortnight.

It is when you take into account that most beginner boxes are going retail for around 20-35 bucks all with about the same or more product in the box.

D&D 5th: 19.99

Pathfinder: 34.99

all Star Wars boxes: 29.99

Shadowrun 5th: 19.99

Battletech RPG: Beginner Box: 14.99

The fact of the matter is that its a one time use item with little to no replay-ability outside of stores using it to sell the game. I have all the listed box sets and after the run they sit on the self gathering dusk.

where the Core book that is only $20 more in your example since we don't know the price, and has unlimited replay-ability.

This is not a normal market price for this type of thing, it is also not providing any amount of greater content then the rest, in fact it has less in it then most of the stuff listed.

The other advantage to the book is you can skim it in the story to see if you want it, while with the box set its a blind buy. You don't know how the adventure is setup, if its the type of game your players will play, if the character where picked to work with the adventure or just because they covered the types of schools. In truth I normally get the beginner boxes for the dice, punch-outs/standees, etc, and at the prices listed it is normally cheaper then buying them separately. Which I'm not getting from this box.

Edited by tenchi2a

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18 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

Based on some kind of evidence? I assume you have at least some poll data to back up such a sure statement, otherwise I would be led to believe you are simply projecting your own personal feelings on the situation...

Sword, I said "I think..."  This is my opinion. My 'own personal feelings' if you want to try and emotionally downplay the statement.

As tenchi said, L5R has a fan base. Both rpg and ccg.  And as others have said on this very thread, the nonwestern setting can tend to throw players used to more standard sword and sorcery type rpgs.  Now sure: new company, new look, and hey many star wars rpgers might visit FFG's site, see the new game, and buy it based on their like of FFG.  I sure hope they do!  But L5R is (again, my opinion) a somewhat niche game in a niche market.  Launching the product line with an unusually expensive product not designed to appeal to the fan base seems somewhat unwise to me. 

But maybe we're quibbling. After all, I think the difference between you're liking it and my not liking it is probably 4-5 additional free released pdf character sheets, and maybe some story text in the box for players of previous editions.

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On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 3:58 PM, nameless ronin said:

I think the point being made is that for someone new to L5R, this would be a very easy mistake to make when it comes to playing a Scorpion. Honestly though, even if the 3 Great Clans left out are the least traditional ones I think it’s a bad idea to single them out like that. Especially since the Dragon are arguably harder to wrap your head around than them anyway. Focus on how the Clans each do follow Bushido and which aspect means the most to them, not on how they stray from the norm, and it will most likely work out well.

Indeed. Scorpion are not random murderers.

They are, on occasion, very specific murderers. Who are generally very punctilious about avoiding collateral damage, regret the necessity of the action, and - in the extreme - consider themselves and their personal reputation as well as just their life expendable in the service of the clan & empire.

Essentially, the 'by any means necessary' faction. Anyone who's done any of the FFG 40k RPGs with one of the less 'hereticsburnmaimkillmuahahahahahah!' inquisitors should be able to get the right mindset.

On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 6:13 PM, nameless ronin said:

Which is honestly bollocks. A Crab being uncouth at court doesn’t get a pass because he’s a Crab. Neither does a Unicorn get forgiven for a breach of etiquette on account of being a Unicorn and supposedly unaware of it being a faux pas. If something like that happens because of player ignorance, you explain what they didn’t know and let them correct their actions if necessary. Heaping trouble on players for being new is the exact opposite of what should be done.

Indeed. It's more a case of finding the balance between what the player knows out of character and what the player's character knows because he's got Courtesy 3.

The latter - on a courtesy check - shouldn't be committing faux pas, or should at least get an out-of-character warning to a new player "this is a bad idea".

 

You should still be able to proceed with the bad idea, because that's the difference - at least in the beta, honour is very much an internalised thing. Crab suffer lower honour hits for poor courtesy not because people forgive them, but because the crab themselves don't care so much - or at least, not enough to be dishonourable in other ways in order to 'spare someone's feelings'.

 

The honour gain/loss modifiers in the beta were good for this, because they didn't stop an event being 'honourable' or 'dishonourable' by itself (randomly stabbing a dude in the street is still a massive loss of honour even if no-one knows you did it and you never get caught), but they did drive the different clans to different choices when presented with 'lesser of two evils' situations.

 

To explain

  • Take Wildcats and Dragons Teeth as an example.
  • Any sword-tutor to a spoiled noble brat, if challenged to a 'proper' fight by their pupil, has an awkward choice - throw/forfeit the duel, or fight properly and kick the absolute crud out of their cocky student.
    • Forfeit
      • Arguably a violation of Gi (Righteousness) by lying to protect someone's feelings
      • Arguably a violation of Yu (Courage) by backing out of a challenge
    • Win
      • Arguably a violation of Jin (Compassion) and Rei (Courtesy) by publically humiliating your opponent

Hence either choice will involve an honour boost with two aspects and an honour hit with two.

  • Crab suffer double penalties from courage and half from compassion. Enjoy your education.
  • Crane suffer double penalties from courtesy and half from courage. To a crane, the wiser choice is not to cause a scandal by smashing your student in the face with a bokken.

etc, etc.

 

 

 

On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 3:44 AM, tenchi2a said:

That said with this mix of player characters I would not be running the Topaz championship. 

1. No Crane, Dragon, Scorpion, or Phoenix bushi. So, unless they are going to neuter the NPCs the players have little chance of winning.

2. Shugenja and Courtier have never done well in the championship traditionally, and have more served as plot point in other incarnations.

3. The  Dragon Monk doesn't fit this adventure at all. The Topaz championship is a gempukku ceremony. The Dragon Monks don't have a gempukku ceremony in this sense.

4. So, you have 4 core PCs, and only 1/4 of them have the skills and/or reason to truly compete in the Topaz championship and have any chance. While they should do fine in the side adventures, this just seems like the wrong setting for the group that you have.

I agree about the Togashi monk - it feels a bit odd because the Dragons are a bit reclusive and don't normally do that sort of thing. That said, the beginner game folios tend to come with a page or so of background; maybe there'll be a reason given. Equally, it's a new edition, they might have rewritten the background of the Topaz championship a bit - such that there's a reason the togashi would want to send/be expected to send a competitor.

The shujenga and courtier aren't in such a bad state. Assuming they have kept the same broad mechanics from the beta, the way rings work means the game is no longer divided into 'physical stats' and 'fellowship/mental stats' with bushi having primary claim on the former. Anyone with a decent ring score can put on a decent showing in general physical competition.

My thoughts on a new version Topaz championship during the beta

Ultimately, the various competitions:

  • Sumai
    • Bushi might have an advantage but it depends if they have Melee (Unarmed) - the Togashi Monk should in theory be showing everyone up here.
    • Advantage Lion/Dragon
  • Heraldry
    • The diplomat should have the edge here as this is probably based on Culture checks, but knowledge skills are a shujenga speciality too.
    • Advantage Crane/Phoenix
  • Athletics
    • Anyone with Fitness should be winning this one.
    • Advantage Lion/Dragon
  • Horsemanship
    • Horsemanship in the beta was a subset of survival, which isn't a martial skill. The fighting from horseback is still a martial skill, survival probably something I'd expect the monk to be best at.
    • Advantage Lion/Dragon
  • Law, Ettiquete and Bushido
    • If the Crane can't win this one they should hand in their platinum hair dye, but again, it is knowledge and philosophy so don't count the phoenix out.
    • Advantage Crane/Phoenix
  • Weapons
    • This should definitely be a bushi-centric one, but as noted a high ring gives you a fighting chance, regardless of which ring it is, if you can shape your fighting style appropriately. The Monk should do okay if he actually has decent Martial Arts Melee, but he may not.
    • Advantage Lion
  • Poetry
    • Composition skill - very much a shujenga-centric skill as it's used for wards and prepared invocations.
    • Advantage Crane/Phoenix
  • Go
    • Depends how they model it. If it's competitive Games checks, it'll be dependent on who has the Games skill - it's a good way to give an otherwise disadvantaged player a leg up. What I hope they'll do is make it a simplified intro to the mass combat rules, because it's the one conflict scene (intrigue/duel/skirmish/mass battle) which I can't otherwise see how to put into the event.
    • Advantage none.
  • Courtier
    • It does exactly what it says on the tin. It's an intrigue, the diplomat's day job.
    • Advantage Crane
  • Hunting
    • Like Horsemanship, a mix of survival and martial arts.
    • Advantage Lion/Dragon
  • Iaijutsu
    • Theoretically a bushi speciality, but two critical things are the iaijutsu technique, which the Lion may not have and the Crane might. Equally, Meditation skill and a high composure is important and might let the Phoenix and Dragon balance out the higher Martial Arts Melee of the Lion.

 

That looks like a list of events that's not impossible to be balanced between those four characters, especially since in the beta you could tweak a couple of skill ranks or techniques as part of character creation.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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On 4/30/2018 at 5:00 PM, sndwurks said:

Eh. Twenty years is a long time. Resetting the story to where it began was a necessary step for FFG to reboot the game without baggage. Player impact on the storyline was, honestly, fairly minimal. We made a few major decisions every few years, some of which were pretty strange and challenging, but most of them never really saw the light of day.

Except for the poor Ratlings trapped in Tomorrow protecting the gate to Rokugan. That was a story choice that removed an entire clan from the CCG. Also before the CCG had ended the Mantis were voted out and were going to be killed off. Spoiler for the unreleased set "The Blackest Storm" showed all Mantis Clan abilities were powerful but all involved the cost of sacrificing themselves. 

Yoritomo_Hiromi,_the_Final_Storm-card.jpg

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8 minutes ago, spudboy58 said:

Except for the poor Ratlings trapped in Tomorrow protecting the gate to Rokugan. That was a story choice that removed an entire clan from the CCG. Also before the CCG had ended the Mantis were voted out and were going to be killed off. Spoiler for the unreleased set "The Blackest Storm" showed all Mantis Clan abilities were powerful but all involved the cost of sacrificing themselves. 

Actually, the fate of the Last Tribe lead by Br'nn was a Storyline Tournament held in the Fall of 2014. The removal of the Ratling faction was a decision made prior to that by the Brand Lead at the time, as part of the push towards the Ivory Edition / Twenty Festivals release. The story choice did not remove the faction from the CCG. They were already LEAVING the CCG. The Story Choice resolved HOW they would be leaving the CCG.

The Mantis Clan at the end of the Ivory Edition / Twenty Festivals arc were in a similar position. The L5R Brand Lead at that time had made the decision that they would be removing the Mantis Clan faction from Onyx Edition, and wrote an appropriate storyline to explain their absence. The Mantis Clan were never "voted out", and in fact, left the game with a Kotei season where they DOMINATED the tournament scene. Once again, this was a story decision handed down from the Brand leadership to the players, and not made by the players going upwards.

The closest we have ever seen to a faction being eliminated by player decision was during the Race for the Throne, with the Dragon Clan declaring "Thronin' or Ronin!" and the "one faction will be eliminated!" stakes. By the results of that tournament season, the Spider Clan actually should have been removed from the game as a playable faction, but Brand decided to instead eliminate the Ratling faction. So, yeah.

Seriously, you could do a MAJOR analysis opinion on how little genuine impact players had on the Storyline of the CCG, if that information was still available. The Jade Hand used to keep track of outstanding story prizes, but they are defunct. Certain elements of the old CCG are absolutely the result of player action (Creation of the Shadow Dragon! Redemption of Hitomi! Ascension of the Iweko! Akasha joins the Unicorn Clan!), but the broad strokes of the story were not (Destruction of the Ratlings and Mantis! Sleep of the Naga!). And the closer you look, the more you can see the hand of the Brand Team in pushing the story in certain directions (see: the Ascension of Iweko II for more details).

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23 hours ago, sndwurks said:

Actually, the fate of the Last Tribe lead by Br'nn was a Storyline Tournament held in the Fall of 2014. The removal of the Ratling faction was a decision made prior to that by the Brand Lead at the time, as part of the push towards the Ivory Edition / Twenty Festivals release. The story choice did not remove the faction from the CCG. They were already LEAVING the CCG. The Story Choice resolved HOW they would be leaving the CCG.

The Mantis Clan at the end of the Ivory Edition / Twenty Festivals arc were in a similar position. The L5R Brand Lead at that time had made the decision that they would be removing the Mantis Clan faction from Onyx Edition, and wrote an appropriate storyline to explain their absence. The Mantis Clan were never "voted out", and in fact, left the game with a Kotei season where they DOMINATED the tournament scene. Once again, this was a story decision handed down from the Brand leadership to the players, and not made by the players going upwards.

The closest we have ever seen to a faction being eliminated by player decision was during the Race for the Throne, with the Dragon Clan declaring "Thronin' or Ronin!" and the "one faction will be eliminated!" stakes. By the results of that tournament season, the Spider Clan actually should have been removed from the game as a playable faction, but Brand decided to instead eliminate the Ratling faction. So, yeah.

Seriously, you could do a MAJOR analysis opinion on how little genuine impact players had on the Storyline of the CCG, if that information was still available. The Jade Hand used to keep track of outstanding story prizes, but they are defunct. Certain elements of the old CCG are absolutely the result of player action (Creation of the Shadow Dragon! Redemption of Hitomi! Ascension of the Iweko! Akasha joins the Unicorn Clan!), but the broad strokes of the story were not (Destruction of the Ratlings and Mantis! Sleep of the Naga!). And the closer you look, the more you can see the hand of the Brand Team in pushing the story in certain directions (see: the Ascension of Iweko II for more details).

All true.

This was talked about a lot earlier in the CCGs life due to the expanding nature of the story and the early belief by the writers that the game would not last past Emerald. While the players had been controlling the CCGs story early on, this changed either in late Emerald (Clan Wars) or early Gold, can't remember which to a you have these choices method. This was an attempt to reel in the story.

As for the removal of factions, this was a necessary action due to the faction explosion that had accrued during the game. 

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I picked one up at Gen Con from FFG's booth, and it's pretty impressive. (That said, there's an obnoxious typo in the player character booklets, and here's hoping for the sake of new players that a correction goes up on the website when the supplementary stuff gets posted.)

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2 hours ago, Asako Taiyo said:

To those that have picked up a copy: is there information on creating characters, or can you only play one of the four featured characters?

I doubt there are rules for creating characters. All the Star Wars beginner games have a character sheet with your starting character. When you play it over the supplied adventure, the character sheet advises you how to improve your character.

Check out one of these character sheets in the player resources section.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/star-wars-edge-of-the-empire-beginner-game/

I suspect the LoFR will be similar.

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Four characters. No character creation guidelines. Much like all the SW beginner boxes. The SW BB's usually had a couple more downloadable characters along with another adventure. There is going to be a downloadable adventure but I don't know about any other playable characters.

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23 hours ago, MythicFox said:

I picked one up at Gen Con from FFG's booth, and it's pretty impressive. (That said, there's an obnoxious typo in the player character booklets, and here's hoping for the sake of new players that a correction goes up on the website when the supplementary stuff gets posted.)

What's the typo? Does it impede understanding of rules/gameplay? Like, will you play wrong if you follow what's on the page?

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3 hours ago, sidescroller said:

What's the typo? Does it impede understanding of rules/gameplay? Like, will you play wrong if you follow what's on the page?

It does indeed impede understanding.

There's a point in the adventure when the players get to spend some XP on their characters (there's a blank version of each character sheet for the purpose of such improvements). When discussing the XP costs for improving Rings, the text says that the cost is "equal to twice the new value." Then it gives specific examples of improving a Ring from 1 to 2 as costing 6 XP, and 2 to 3 as costing 9 XP. (emphasis mine)  This exact same text appears in all four folios.

(Last I checked, the beta test rules consistently charged three times the new value for improving Rings, BTW.)

A new player, spending a few minutes to stop and metaphorically squint at it, will likely puzzle out the correct cost -- but, in case it needs to be said, they shouldn't have to.

 

5 hours ago, Lindhrive said:

They have said they'll be doing PDF folios for the other Great Clans.

I'd have to dig it out, but one of the rule books in the set also points this out and lists the characters by name and clan. It doesn't say when that's supposed to be available, though the official street date is a pretty safe assumption.

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1 hour ago, Duciris said:
 

That art on page 33, the one with the Crab girl having a meal, is so quintessentially Crab in every aspect I will use it to show new players "this is what being a Crab looks like". It is just too perfect: the way she is the only one smiling, her slightly rugged and unkept appearance,  how she is bigger than the Scorpion dude,  the Scorpion and Crane company she has, and most importantly the whole moment of that big ball of rice waiting for her to devour it. It screams CRAB CLAN more than any piece of art showing burly men with tetsubos fighting house-sized daemons :D

Does anyone have it in a bigger size? 

Edited by AtoMaki

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