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Kai Kazegami

Source book "Emerald Empire" preview

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2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Whoa, whoa, I want my dead tree stuff. DLC is ok for small extras, not for sourcebooks.

They can always do a dead tree compilation? But eh, I'm partial to PDF, so just spitballing :)

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4 hours ago, Horvagab said:

Also, this probably means that Minor clan stuff is going to be another book, or downloadable DLC perhaps?

I would guess that there will be a PDF 'bonus' associated with the book. The Starter Set had a PDF follow-up adventure, and the Core Book/GM Kit release had a PDF Minor Clan.

Maybe we'll get either a new type of shapeshifter/spirit or a castle/city layout with adventure hooks?

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Yeah, maybe the intention is to visit each Minor Clan through an adventure module. By adding the rules for a minor clan to each module, there is a higher chance that people will pick it up.

After all, I wouldn't have bought the GM screen if it didn't include the rules for making  Kasuga character.

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1 hour ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Yeah, maybe the intention is to visit each Minor Clan through an adventure module. By adding the rules for a minor clan to each module, there is a higher chance that people will pick it up.

After all, I wouldn't have bought the GM screen if it didn't include the rules for making  Kasuga character.

I'm not going to be happy if I'm expected to pick up adventure modules just to get all the clans' rules, to be honest. The GM screen's adventure revolves around the Tortoise, so it makes sense to include rules for them. I fully expect that those will also be in whichever sourcebook covers the Minor Clans though (and that there will be such a sourcebook in the first place).

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27 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

I'm not going to be happy if I'm expected to pick up adventure modules just to get all the clans' rules, to be honest.

There isn't really enough data available yet to make the conclusion that FFG will release all of the L5R products this way. However, if you look at the Star Wars lines, each module generally had extra things in them such as force powers, equipment, and other various  things that were not located in another book.

I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

Edited by JorArns

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2 minutes ago, JorArns said:

There isn't really enough data available yet to make the conclusion that FFG will release all of the L5R products this way. However, if you look at the Star Wars lines, each module generally had extra things in them such as force powers, equipment, and other various  things that were not located in another book.

I know. Not exactly happy about that either. Equipment and stuff is not the end of the world, but clan mechanics? Will be severely displeased.

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24 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

I know. Not exactly happy about that either. Equipment and stuff is not the end of the world, but clan mechanics? Will be severely displeased.

I couldn't agree more.

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1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

I'm not going to be happy if I'm expected to pick up adventure modules just to get all the clans' rules, to be honest. The GM screen's adventure revolves around the Tortoise, so it makes sense to include rules for them. I fully expect that those will also be in whichever sourcebook covers the Minor Clans though (and that there will be such a sourcebook in the first place).

 

Yeah, but think about it this way...

If the expectation is that players will be playing one of the 7 Great Clans... and maybe an Imperial or a Monk or a Minor Clan member from a previous adventure, so everyone is going to be from different clans...

Then what is better settings for a random party of people belonging to disparate factions being brought together than to be set to the task of solving problems for one of the many clans that are too small to solve their own problems?

And its not like the problems of each minor clan need by exactly the same or the adventure need by formulaic just because each one revolves and is themed around a different minor clan. And a whole adventure focusing on each is probably a far more thorough introduction to the clan than whatever blurb would be inserted into a sourcebook.

Which isn't to say that once the 10 adventures about the various minor clans series is finished, they can't all be gathered together into a single sourcebook with maybe a couple more new minor clans.

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26 minutes ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

If the expectation is that players will be playing one of the 7 Great Clans... and maybe an Imperial or a Monk or a Minor Clan member from a previous adventure, so everyone is going to be from different clans...

Notably, the 4e Core book had the Great Clan families, 4 schools per clan, the Imperial Families, 4 schools for the Imperials, and all the active and destroyed Minor Clan families and schools, and... 4 monkly orders? Some monkly orders, at least.

So I can see that yes, in the 5e, they expect people to play GC characters, but in the past, from the Core book that expectation did not exist.

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1 hour ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Yeah, but think about it this way...

If the expectation is that players will be playing one of the 7 Great Clans... and maybe an Imperial or a Monk or a Minor Clan member from a previous adventure, so everyone is going to be from different clans...

Then what is better settings for a random party of people belonging to disparate factions being brought together than to be set to the task of solving problems for one of the many clans that are too small to solve their own problems?

And its not like the problems of each minor clan need by exactly the same or the adventure need by formulaic just because each one revolves and is themed around a different minor clan. And a whole adventure focusing on each is probably a far more thorough introduction to the clan than whatever blurb would be inserted into a sourcebook.

Which isn't to say that once the 10 adventures about the various minor clans series is finished, they can't all be gathered together into a single sourcebook with maybe a couple more new minor clans.

Possibly as many as 2/3s of my characters across all editions have been ronin or minor clan samurai. I don't think that's common, but I've seen plenty of others occasionally step away from the Great Clan mold. That said, I don't really see how that makes for a decent sales model for items that focus on a single minor clan. How many people will be interested enough in those to buy them? 

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2 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Possibly as many as 2/3s of my characters across all editions have been ronin or minor clan samurai. I don't think that's common, but I've seen plenty of others occasionally step away from the Great Clan mold. That said, I don't really see how that makes for a decent sales model for items that focus on a single minor clan. How many people will be interested enough in those to buy them? 

They could do modules which implicate a Minor Clan, if not focus on them. Such as dealing with a Yobanjin raid in the northern mountains (and thereby introducing the Badger clan), or a Winter Court scuffle that drives a rift between the Dragon and Phoenix, with associated allies on either side (and also implicating the Dragonfly).

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38 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Notably, the 4e Core book had the Great Clan families, 4 schools per clan, the Imperial Families, 4 schools for the Imperials, and all the active and destroyed Minor Clan families and schools, and... 4 monkly orders? Some monkly orders, at least.

So I can see that yes, in the 5e, they expect people to play GC characters, but in the past, from the Core book that expectation did not exist.

Depends how far back you go.

1e did not have Minor Clans until a significant time in (it was product number 21 in the RPG series, and monks were later still.

2e you needed the Emerald Empire, IIRC.

It was only from 3e that the Minor Clans were in the core.

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1 minute ago, Hida Jitenno said:

They could do modules which implicate a Minor Clan, if not focus on them. Such as dealing with a Yobanjin raid in the northern mountains (and thereby introducing the Badger clan), or a Winter Court scuffle that drives a rift between the Dragon and Phoenix, with associated allies on either side (and also implicating the Dragonfly).

They could, and at the right price I'd be interested - but for the adventure, not the minor clan info. Single minor clan mechanics are pretty much worthless to me. But if FFG published a series of such adventures and a minor clans sourcebook, I'd buy just as many of the adventures and I'd buy the sourcebook on top of that. 

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2 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Notably, the 4e Core book had the Great Clan families, 4 schools per clan, the Imperial Families, 4 schools for the Imperials, and all the active and destroyed Minor Clan families and schools, and... 4 monkly orders? Some monkly orders, at least.

So I can see that yes, in the 5e, they expect people to play GC characters, but in the past, from the Core book that expectation did not exist.

At the same time, human NPCs were built like PCs, most of a characters capabilities were directly tied to school, and the Spider, Imperial, Minor Clan, 5 Monk Orders and the Ronin options were all crammed into 26 pages of the Advanced Options section while the 25 pages of GC options were in the Character Creation section.

4e put the GC options at the forefront while tucking away other not as fully developed (or weaker) options further back.

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9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I'm not going to be happy if I'm expected to pick up adventure modules just to get all the clans' rules, to be honest. The GM screen's adventure revolves around the Tortoise, so it makes sense to include rules for them. I fully expect that those will also be in whichever sourcebook covers the Minor Clans though (and that there will be such a sourcebook in the first place).

Well if you want the line to last you need to except that they are going to do things to make ALL the books worth buying. The mistake many a failed game company has made is not making all the books appeal to everyone and thus resulting in books that sell very poorly. I suspect the Star Wars model will be used where adventure books will have stuff that is onloy available there. 

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14 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Yeah, maybe the intention is to visit each Minor Clan through an adventure module. By adding the rules for a minor clan to each module, there is a higher chance that people will pick it up.

After all, I wouldn't have bought the GM screen if it didn't include the rules for making  Kasuga character.

This. As @Daeglan says, FFG, in "company who want to stay in business" mode, want there to be a viable reason for any gaming group, whatever clan(s) they represent and wherever they set their campaign, to have a reason to want each product they charge money for.

The GM's kit is a screen - a lot of GMs don't use one. But it also has an adventure, and background on slow tide harbour, and it has the tortoise clan.

The bulk of the Emerald Empire is setting (good for a roaming party), but it also has all the Imperial families (good for a campaign set mostly in and around otosan uchi).

....And so on.

The Mantis DLC is self-contained because, frankly, if you're not using the mantis at all, who cares but FFG don't care that much if you don't download it because it's not like it generates any real benefit for them.

10 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

They could, and at the right price I'd be interested - but for the adventure, not the minor clan info. Single minor clan mechanics are pretty much worthless to me. But if FFG published a series of such adventures and a minor clans sourcebook, I'd buy just as many of the adventures and I'd buy the sourcebook on top of that. 

That would line up with what they did for Dark Heresy 2.0; each adventure set on a different planet also included as an 'aside' box, "and this is how you make PC's from this planet!" - partly to add extra character options, partly because there would be a good chance you would be generating a new PC specifically after completing the adventure set on that planet (because dear holy god-emperor some Dark Heresy adventures had a difficulty curve like driving into a cliff).

Introducing minor clans via an adventure showing them doing whatever they do also helps introduce them to people who (justifiably) have much less idea about the minor clans, having, for example, come into the game from the FFG L5R CCG which pointedly currently shows only the Great Clans, plus Imperial and Mantis as 'keyworded' unaligned.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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5 hours ago, Daeglan said:

Well if you want the line to last you need to except that they are going to do things to make ALL the books worth buying. The mistake many a failed game company has made is not making all the books appeal to everyone and thus resulting in books that sell very poorly. I suspect the Star Wars model will be used where adventure books will have stuff that is onloy available there. 

Like I said, single clan mechanics wouldn't make an adventure module worth buying for me. I also dislike mixing adventure modules with game materials meant for players - players shouldn't want to read through adventure books. I get the notion of trying to sell more modules that way, but I doubt the effectiveness. Usually I see one person in the group buy such items, with the others getting a photocopy of the crunchy bits they need, or it's straight to (illegal) download (FFG's habit of going with small printruns that sell out in a week or two in Europe don't help in that regard either, nor the later release dates). Bigger, crunchier books seem to sell more consistently.

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I am excited for this book! This is the spot that will really hammer home the differences and similarities in setting with the previous editions.

Miya having two schools, my thoughts are the Heralds are courtiers and Cartographers are bushi. IIRC Otomo Schemers was the translated school name in 2ed. Seppun Astrologers I believe was also a previous name from a path. A good choice to make the full school name. Palace Guard still fits as a name, since there are more palaces than the Imperial and guarding buildings is their main focus of training. IIRC it was rare in previous editions for Seppun bushi to join the Imperial legions.

Fortunist Monks having limited invocations is a good way to make the temples specific without having to come up with a huge number of individual schools. Though it does lose out on the specializations seen in previous edition monk schools, kata and shuji should be able to emulate much of the previous techniques. It will be interesting to see which three technique groups each monk school has access to. Shinseist monks sound interesting and versatile. There can still be room for other monk orders in future books. I am also hoping this will be an opportunity to introduce a few new rituals. Even if they are set for less dramatic things such as consecration of shrines and such, or the spiritual duties of the Imperial family.

Hooray for kitsune! The choice to only do a single spirit at a time to keep the focus on mortal pcs is interesting. I wonder if some may feel the lack of a book that centralizes them makes it too rare. It seems the rules will largely keep them as very similar to mortal pcs instead of a big subsystem on spirit powers with taboos to earn more spirit points.

For future sourcebook, I fully expect adventures to have something like a minor clan, spirit, title, and/or set of unusual techniques in each one. I wouldn't be surprised if a tengu based set of techniques and probably a title is an early choice. I doubt we will have a minor clan centered book. Instead I suspect we will see them scattered throughout various supplements. Hopefully FFG keeps up the pattern of dlc for major releases!

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5 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Like I said, single clan mechanics wouldn't make an adventure module worth buying for me. I also dislike mixing adventure modules with game materials meant for players - players shouldn't want to read through adventure books. I get the notion of trying to sell more modules that way, but I doubt the effectiveness. Usually I see one person in the group buy such items, with the others getting a photocopy of the crunchy bits they need, or it's straight to (illegal) download (FFG's habit of going with small printruns that sell out in a week or two in Europe don't help in that regard either, nor the later release dates). Bigger, crunchier books seem to sell more consistently.

If they dont put stuff in the adventure books to appeal to players then they wont do adventure books at all because they will sell very poorly.

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10 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

If they dont put stuff in the adventure books to appeal to players then they wont do adventure books at all because they will sell very poorly.

If I wasn't clear in my previous post: then I think they'll sell poorly regardless. Unlike a crunchy compilation book. 

This isn't Star Wars. L5R is a wonderful IP, but it's never going to have that kind of appeal. If 10% (just ballparking a number) of the SW RPG players and GMs buy adventure books, that makes those an ok investment of time and resources. If 10% of the L5R RPG players do the same, that's a lot less interesting. Better to work on stuff that might interest a larger percentage of the player base - adventures will never get that much interest, whether FFG throws some crunch in or not. Illegal copies are too easy to get nowadays.

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58 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

If I wasn't clear in my previous post: then I think they'll sell poorly regardless. Unlike a crunchy compilation book. 

This isn't Star Wars. L5R is a wonderful IP, but it's never going to have that kind of appeal. If 10% (just ballparking a number) of the SW RPG players and GMs buy adventure books, that makes those an ok investment of time and resources. If 10% of the L5R RPG players do the same, that's a lot less interesting. Better to work on stuff that might interest a larger percentage of the player base - adventures will never get that much interest, whether FFG throws some crunch in or not. Illegal copies are too easy to get nowadays.

I'm sorry but your beliefs about the superiority of crunchy compilation books is wrong. Those books tend to be the least financially viable types of products.

It is easier and more profitable to sell 100,000 copies each of 6 products than 500,000 copies of one product even if both sets of product have all the same information.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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43 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

If I wasn't clear in my previous post: then I think they'll sell poorly regardless. Unlike a crunchy compilation book. 

This isn't Star Wars. L5R is a wonderful IP, but it's never going to have that kind of appeal. If 10% (just ballparking a number) of the SW RPG players and GMs buy adventure books, that makes those an ok investment of time and resources. If 10% of the L5R RPG players do the same, that's a lot less interesting. Better to work on stuff that might interest a larger percentage of the player base - adventures will never get that much interest, whether FFG throws some crunch in or not. Illegal copies are too easy to get nowadays.

we all have books that we would prefer to see.

i'm actually hyped for some kind of "npc" (more npc building tool, more "abilities", more roleplaying features to add on their kit etc) book mixed with some kind of "encounter design helper" (situations for intrigues/mass battles, traps and such, more terrains, layouts, etc). basically a DM's manual mixed with a Monster's manual.

I would buy an Adventure book simply for that, to get encounters/npc that I could potentially use in my own campaign/adventure.

to me, more school etc is not that appealing as i think there is more than enough now to do a long lasting campaign. so i'd rather get tools to create my campaign and challenges for my players.

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