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Veterans of the other editions, sell me on this game

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4 hours ago, Shosur0 said:

Fixed TN to hit is another thing I dont really like, the air stance change kinda helps if you want to make the stereotypical agile/dodgy swordsman

This is better represented by Striking as Air and spending opportunities to increase your TN to be hit.

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36 minutes ago, deraforia said:

This is better represented by Striking as Air and spending opportunities to increase your TN to be hit.

One thing about the Beta I really did not like was the horribly complex techniques.  They created a massive burden of knowledge.  Where ol5r raises were very fluid, the new system requires you to purchase a technique to unlock what that opportunity can do.  You have to read through many techniques and chart out far too much to build a character...  Its ironic because so much else about the game - the stats, skills, conflicts, ect - are all made much more simple and flexible to make a narrative system, but then you get to combat and you need several cheat sheets and index cards just to maneuver a single die roll...

If I were to name a single thing as the "worst part" of this system it would be techniques.

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11 hours ago, deraforia said:

I think the beta made it seem a lot more complex than it actually is. And I don't really have a problem with a technique letting you use a resource in a new way.

I think that, essentially, is what a technique should be. You learn a new way to handle a situation, including new way of taking advantage of opportunities (used here in the literal, not dice, sense) that present themselves. The training teaches you to find openings and advantageous moments where you would not have before.

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20 hours ago, Shosur0 said:

Fixed TN to hit is another thing I dont really like, the air stance change kinda helps if you want to make the stereotypical agile/dodgy swordsman, but I dont like tying the bonus to the school rank. So suddenly... high rank shugenjas are master evaders?  Ive thought about tying the bonus in air stance to the character's air ring which makes more sense imho. 

To be fair, this sort of thing has been an issue in all iterations of this game to date. Insight Rank is an absolute in-fiction measure of power. AEG never made any bones about that. It's like with the rings in previous editions being more explicit combinations of a physical and mental trait in tandem. Your ring did not go up unless both attributes did, and critically for shugenja to go up in power was the need to raise rings, not just traits. So Earth Shugenja were never just iron-willed norms, they were also sturdy and often big and always hale and hearty. Water shugenja were always physically powerful. It's just an artifact of the setting and mechanics colliding. It's fair to take issue with those things, conceptually.

I get the disconnect. I find it a bit unfortunate that you can't make a neophyte dodge monkey myself. Just be careful of what else you might change when you make alterations like moving the bonus from Insight Rank to Air Ring. I always try to play for a while with no changes before I alter something that might impact the rest of the system in unforeseen ways.

The old systems are still perfectly workable, though, and there is nothing wrong with staying there. There is a lot of material for 1E, 3E, and 4E that's still really cool. I can't imagine anyone would fault you for using them over 5e.

Personally, I got to the point where I disliked some of the quirks of 4e enough I moved my last game to Fate (which had its own issues, full disclosure). For me, that means the fungible Ring/Approach is familiar. Having played every edition of this game, I have had plenty of people min-max 1e-4e as well, with the static pairings. It's pretty easy. The approach system of 5e does indeed require more policing and more narrative buy-in and it's a change in how things work. A less lethal system like 5e seems to be helps players get into graciously accepting sub-par pairings for rolls because they know that their PC is not necessarily risking it all, that there is a way out with failure that did not really exist in the older versions of L5R. If they fail, they aren't necessarily dead. In 1e-4e, failure typically meant death. Also, min-maxing in L5R carries its own mechanical and setting punishments in 1e-4e that may not be present in 5e. I just don't have enough experience to know yet.

The PCs set their stance prior to a combat roll in 5e and can thus exert control over their Ring/Approach that way anyhow. They just have to be willing to accept the effects of the selected stance when they do which could help curtail too much abuse at the table.

I also find that a campaign should only change rule-set when there is a mechanical issue you can't get past. Campaigns don't always survive a system changeover like that. If your 4e game is still running, I would say leave it there for now and don't risk hurting it. Wait until there is a natural break in the story or the characters before you consider the new edition.

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21 hours ago, Shosur0 said:

- Using Rings and approachs with skills instead of fixed attributes-skill pairs. This seems very exploitable by min-max players.

Trying to min-max Approaches is largely moot because:

  1. The system is built in such way that even the min-maxiest character will feel quite diverse at the table and have a lot of utility.
  2. Min-maxing your Rings will create a unique roleplaying environment through playing the Approaches. 
  3. High Ring = lots of kept dice = lots of Opportunities = lots of FUN.
  4. Balanced characters are kinda boring anyway.
  5. Ring Balance is pretty good, so min-maxing is really tough.

When it comes to creative players breaking game balance, I have considerably more bad experience with Advantages and Disadvantages. 

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5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Trying to min-max Approaches is largely moot because:

  1. The system is built in such way that even the min-maxiest character will feel quite diverse at the table and have a lot of utility.
  2. Min-maxing your Rings will create a unique roleplaying environment through playing the Approaches. 
  3. High Ring = lots of kept dice = lots of Opportunities = lots of FUN.
  4. Balanced characters are kinda boring anyway.
  5. Ring Balance is pretty good, so min-maxing is really tough.

When it comes to creative players breaking game balance, I have considerably more bad experience with Advantages and Disadvantages. 

My observation from playing balanced (all Rings at 3) character is that outside of combat, your strength is the ability to pick the easiest approach for the task, often reducing the TN, allowing you in turn to dedicate more keep slots towards opportunities. Using Void and Water Opportunities to reduce TNs of other Rings (but not themselves) is also pretty fun. 
Balanced characters have it slightly rougher in combat, though. You don't get "perfect approach TN discount" you can get by cherry picking the proper approach to NPCs disposition or doing the path of least resistance for other challenges; you need to get through that TN2+Modifiers on your own. The upside was that you were able to largely ignore the Wounded mechanic, as you would just switch to unwounded Ring and proceed as normal. 

EDIT
As for dodge monkey - narrate your Fatigue as fancy dodging and crafty footwork, keep your Earth and Fire high to keep your Endurance cap pretty, and hone your Fitness to dodge the Crits better. 

Edited by WHW

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I current run a variation of the magistrate concept which is dealing more with political intrigue tha magistrate duty. I'm using the Naishou province book with a my own spin on a few areas, namely a vast influence of the Realm of the hungry dead in the Kawa forest (because shadowlands responsible for all the bad supernatural things in the empire is boring). I'm running a variant campaign of my long running 'Scorpion Victory' setting (The Scorpion Held the line long enough during the Coup that the Crab gave them backing. All Hail Shoju III), in which the players are Minor Clan characters looking to vie for influence and power amount them are

Our recently appointed Kitsune shugenja Jade Magistrate who is the party head named Mori. Young, idealistic, and completely in over her head as the level of shenanigans they've gotten into pluis her person power has draw the attention of the local governor, who helped make recommendation for her.  My player has been around long enough and she had mentioned she wanted to try politics. so here we go 

Another player is playing a Komori (Bat) shugenja with my most inexperienced player who has developed a crush on the Scorpion candidate for the governorship, so I'm doing the courtly game with here ATM

Our youngest player is playing a home brewed Tora (tiger) Minor clan shugenja (fire aspected) and is the groups nuke and person you want to point at the incoming hordes. She also has a crush on a Dragon bushi

One of my older players is playing a Tora trained as a Matsu Spearman, who is ambitious and wants to get ahead.

My last one is playing another home brew I have local to Naishou known as the Matsudaira (history joke), who live within the Kawa Forest, and whose skill set looks suspiciously close to ninja, but could be explained by living in the forest and having to fight within it. Fighting within a literal haunted forest (think Fangorn Forest from LOTR). It makes for interesting social situations.

The minor clans work together to advance themselves as the expense of the majors. Much to the majors irritation.

 

That all said, the new rule set is a weird fusion of the Narrative Dice system and Roll and Keep. My players are dubious to say the least over this change, as we've switched from FFG star wars to D6 for systems (the narrative dice system irritated the day lights out of several of my players, but  R&K 5.0 looks to be far cleaner than Genesys). But I've reading over the system and it seems solid and some things seemed a bit too abstract (range bands, I'm looking at you) but there are enough new things to fiddle with, that I will be picking it up anyway for evaluation purposes. The new fluff and meta is worth it to me as ideas springboard if nothing else.. I may run it later when I look it over in detail and evaluate it as a few of my players are curious.

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15 hours ago, WHW said:

As for dodge monkey - narrate your Fatigue as fancy dodging and crafty footwork, keep your Earth and Fire high to keep your Endurance cap pretty, and hone your Fitness to dodge the Crits better. 

This is a good observation. It requires a shift in the way dodging is viewed by players though, which could be problematic. To a sizable cohort, that's going to be hard for them to wrap their heads around in a way that is satisfying for them. It also requires a bit of system mastery that they generally don't have the first time out or an understanding of the way the rules interact that would obviate the complaint anyway (if they can see that right off, they probably aren't the players that will have issues with it). My aim will be to show them these things in practice by NPCs and hopefully they'll pick up on it.

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On 9/6/2018 at 8:48 AM, Tonbo Karasu said:

An advantage of the new custom dice system is that it actually makes the choosing part of Roll & Keep meaningful much more frequently.  In 1e - 4e, the times when you would choose anything other than the highest dice were few and far between.  In the one game I ran, I saw people picking different levels of success and opportunities over successes.

It also slows resolution down a good bit. Especially with Advantage/Disadvantage rerolls, especially when remote. My current L5R group is remote - they're all in my hometown, I'm no longer there. They're not up to using the discord l5r roller. so... for disads, they have to read each die to me.

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On 9/9/2018 at 1:31 PM, Shosur0 said:

 

- Using Rings and approachs with skills instead of fixed attributes-skill pairs. This seems very exploitable by min-max players.
 

I would counter that the ring approaches is min-max resistant.  If you build hard stats, where you always use agility to hit, or strength for damage, you may feel the many required stats holds back the min/max game, but in reality it codifies what stats are used for what situations - so as a GM you can't do much to prevent a high agility / strength character from annihilating anyone in combat.

Compare that to the ring approaches.  They may try to use the Water ring for every approach, but what is to stop me from presenting them with challenges that are best suited to a more showy approach (fire) or a more bait / switch approach (air) ?  Which ring is used for which check is not locked in, so I simply need to provide scenes for which certain approaches are naturally more difficult so that every character can shine.

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6 hours ago, shosuko said:

I would counter that the ring approaches is min-max resistant.  If you build hard stats, where you always use agility to hit, or strength for damage, you may feel the many required stats holds back the min/max game, but in reality it codifies what stats are used for what situations - so as a GM you can't do much to prevent a high agility / strength character from annihilating anyone in combat.

Compare that to the ring approaches.  They may try to use the Water ring for every approach, but what is to stop me from presenting them with challenges that are best suited to a more showy approach (fire) or a more bait / switch approach (air) ?  Which ring is used for which check is not locked in, so I simply need to provide scenes for which certain approaches are naturally more difficult so that every character can shine.

Even in combat. Whilst your swordsmanship is driven by Martial Arts (Melee) but different rings drive different combat situations; a high fire character causes maximum damage but gets 'exhausted' easily and struggles to protect themselves, whilst high water/earth makes for an effective tank. Added to criticals 'wounding' the ring you're currently in, not having a decent 'fallback' ring is a problem even if you're not one to switch stances tactically mid-fight.

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