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Shadowlands sourcebook and Mask of the Oni adventure announced

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My guess on the first adventure was wrong. I am glad this builds from the GM Screen adventure. That makes it easy to link both BB adventures, Dark Tides, and MotO into a decent campaign. Very interesting that it comes with tokens and a map. Very old school nostalgia having an adventure come with pieces. The art of course, looks gorgeous in both books. No mention of player content, and the most likely minor clan I would have expected is in the sourcebook. Being $20 and not hardback is a different choice than was made for the Star Wars books. I actually prefer that for adventures. Having it come out with a sourcebook that feeds into it is also a good choice in my opinion. 32 pages might feel a little anemic compared to the Star Wars adventures being 96 pages.

Seeing the sourcebook has a heavy clan focus gives us the plan for this line. Having a great clan and minor clan each appear in a themed sourcebook sounds a great way forward. It puts the clan in a book that should have a lot of relevant information about the world, while still being incentive for people to grab the book that are not as much into the clan. I wonder if each such sourcebook will come with a related adventure. That would be great! I know adventures don't always sell the best, but I feel they are a necessary part of a healthy RPG line.

I wonder how long until these books are out? Two or three of these books a year would seem about right for me, especially if they came with a related booklet adventure. Four would be doable but might be too rapid for some. Being smaller adventures it might be interesting to see FFG experiment with a more rapid output.

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On 12/11/2018 at 3:35 AM, TheBoulder said:

Yes, the appearance of "pre-order bonuses" means I won't get this. 

It's really only viable for those in the States due to exorbitant shipping costs... It means FLGS get less business... And it encourages blind buying. 

It's a sad day.

My store preordered for me... they let me know today. I get my Rokugan book tomorrow, because Asmodee embargoed it for thursday. And my FLGS does not violate he release date embargoes. 

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7 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

My store preordered for me... they let me know today. I get my Rokugan book tomorrow, because Asmodee embargoed it for thursday. And my FLGS does not violate he release date embargoes. 

But that's via a distributor presumably, which means no prints/bookmark. The pre-order part is not an issue, the extra goodies if you order directly from the website are the issue.

Edited by nameless ronin

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18 hours ago, GM81 Protocol Droid said:

Very old school nostalgia having an adventure come with pieces.

Honestly? I loved the starter boxes for star wars having the token sets. If every adventure book is going to expand on the token sets as well as maps (or even let us by them independently of the books), I'd absolutely go ape.

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On 12/12/2018 at 8:34 PM, Magnus Grendel said:

"The Wall" includes the place that the Hida court is held, which is supposed to be a common "kiddies first winter court"

No matter how direct the Crab might be in pointedly reminding everyone else that the Shadowlands is dangerous, they need supplies to fight it, etc ... they're not putting a bunch of their own courtiers within spitting distance of The Wall for no better reason than that. Foreign courtiers are right out. Everyone who can't fight can all be somewhere nicely austere and distant from any bushi that can still do their job.

Kyuden_Hida_4.jpg

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Anonymous reporting is claiming that the new schools are: Asako Inquisitor, Kakita Swordsmith, Kitsu Medic, Kuni Warden, Mirumoto Taoist Blade, Moto Avenger, Toritaka Phantom Hunter, Yogo Preserver, does anyone have a copy yet to confirm?

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My books arrived today. I can confirm that these are the new schools. Some interesting things going on here. The Toritaka Phantom Hunter is a shugenja school that starts with a katana. A number of 4 skill 3 technique schools.

Also introduced are patterns which are crafting templates that can be learned with experience and the right access. Scrolls which are invocation powers that can be learned with access to the scrolls and experience. A number of rank 1 to 3 maho techniques. A smattering of other techniques. New gear, including three types of shields. New character templates and demeanor.

Important to us GMs in the NPC templates: Crab Clan, Falcon Clan, and Tainted templates!

 

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10 minutes ago, GM81 Protocol Droid said:

My books arrived today. I can confirm that these are the new schools. Some interesting things going on here. The Toritaka Phantom Hunter is a shugenja school that starts with a katana. A number of 4 skill 3 technique schools.

Also introduced are patterns which are crafting templates that can be learned with experience and the right access. Scrolls which are invocation powers that can be learned with access to the scrolls and experience. A number of rank 1 to 3 maho techniques. A smattering of other techniques. New gear, including three types of shields. New character templates and demeanor.

Important to us GMs in the NPC templates: Crab Clan, Falcon Clan, and Tainted templates!

 

Does the Toritaka receives Katas? Or any ability to enhance their katanas?

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27 minutes ago, Nheko said:

Does the Toritaka receives Katas? Or any ability to enhance their katanas?

No Kata in general, and lack the bush trait. There are a few of the spiritual Kata on their curriculums at higher ranks. Invocations, Rituals, and Shuji. There is a ritual to improve items that seems fitting. They can start with Martial Arts Melee. Their school ability affects initiative when dealing with otherworldly beings and their mastery ignores some resistance of the same. Essentially, they have a little more access and incentive than most shugenja, but are not bushi shugenja like the Kuni Witch Hunters.

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My sources have reported the following to me:

Asako Inquisitor - Courtier/Shugenja that can identify the previous use of supernatural abilities
Kakita Swordsmith - Artisan/Courtier that can apply 2 patterns (new weapon modification system) at Rank 6 and start with Kakita Pattern (+1 deadliness)
Kitsu Medic - Artisan/Bushi that removes bonus fatigue when treating others
Kuni Warden - Monk that can Silence those within weapon range for one opp per target
Mirumoto Taoist Blade - Kiho that affect unarmed attack profiles also apply to weapons used in one handed grip. Gets bonus successes to those Kiho also
Moto Advenger - Shugenja that can transfer fatigue between themselves and the target when they use invocations
Toritaka Phantom hunter - Shugenja that can spot Otherworldly beings easily
Yogo Preserver - Shugenja that uses Shikigami the best

And speaking of patterns:
Pit Forged Obsidian - Weapon, +1 damage +1 Deadliness Unholy increase TN to resist getting the taint from the Afflicted condition
Kakita Pattern - Weapon, +1 deadliness
Kenzo Blade - Weapon, -1 damage +1 deadliness Resplendent
Shirogane Jade Inlay - Armor/Weapon, +Sacred -1 physical resist(armor) -1 deadliness (weapon)
Uchema's technique - Armor, -Cumbersome -1 physical resist
Ysunori Steel - Weapon, -Ceremonial, -Cumbersome, -Resplendent (can not gain those 3 qualities) +Durable or +1 deadliness if already Durable

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Nice! I like when patterns give trade-offs rather than simple bonuses... seems fitting. 

Taoist sword looks completely crazy!! Fire Fist together with a Iaijutsu cut? Ouch!

Are there new Titles as well? I can picture most of the new schools now, except for whatever the heck that Yogo Preserver is supposed to be... In a shadowland book, my money was more on the Kuroiban, but maybe that’s a title rather than a school?

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25 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Nice! I like when patterns give trade-offs rather than simple bonuses... seems fitting. 

Taoist sword looks completely crazy!! Fire Fist together with a Iaijutsu cut? Ouch!

Are there new Titles as well? I can picture most of the new schools now, except for whatever the heck that Yogo Preserver is supposed to be... In a shadowland book, my money was more on the Kuroiban, but maybe that’s a title rather than a school?

The patterns are very fun. While I originally hoped for an attachment/modification system similar to Stars Wars/Genesys, the pattern system is very thematic in its focus on access and obscure knowledge to work these materials/methods. Every pattern has a history or role in the setting.

The Mirumoto Taoist Blade School is quite crazy. They are one of the four skill and three technique schools. The fewer techniques than other such monk schools helps balance out the craziness of their techniques. This school definitely makes a type of character I have seen players try to create. A great way to make a very spiritual weapon based warrior.

There are a few new titles:

The Damned - Tainted warriors great at fighting other Tainted. Terrible at social rolls but also frighten the non-Tainted.

Harvester - Crab that collect specimens for experimentation. Skilled in hunting Tainted things. Usually Hiruma, and work for the Kuni.

Twenty-Goblin Crab - Former ronin that joined the Crab through a Twenty-Goblin Winter. They demoralize and frighten goblins.

Witch-Hunter- Almost always Kuni, usually shugenja, that specialize in hunting maho-tsukai. A technique that punishes those who target the witch-hunter with maho.

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I am mostly through the Shadowlands locations part of Chapter 1 now. The horror elements are very chilling. Plenty of unsubtle unnatural or gory elements, but mostly focused on the deceptive slowly maddening nature of the Taint. The writing is not as frightening as first edition Shadowlands material generally was, but I think that is due to a lack of in depth detail and atmospheric immersion. The book is more useful as a play aid because of that. The Dark Moto are presented. As is a character that incorporates elements of the Demon Bride of Fu Leng but with some other possibilities and attached to the Forgotten Tomb of Fu Leng. Most of the pieces are presented as somewhat nebulous for Gamemasters to tailor. Very unreliable narrator pieces that are intended for players.

Overall the setting material is feeling very solid and does a great job at setting up playing in the Shadowlands or with the Taint as an important character. I'm looking forward to the other parts.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Franwax said:

except for whatever the heck that Yogo Preserver is supposed to be...

Shikigami are magic creatures created by Shugenja with the Craft Shikigami ritual. The Shugenja can seal their invocations (losing access to sealed invocations while the Shikigami is alive) into the Shikigami to improve the Shikigami's stats. Once per scene the Shikigami can autocast one of their invocations with 2 bonus successes and 2 opportunities. They share turns with their creator and can only act when their caster uses a Support action to have the Shikigami perform an action with the shugenja granting assistance. Most Shugenja can only have one Shikigami at a time.

The Preserver can have a number of Shikigami equal to their school rank plus 1 and can once per scene direct a Shikigami to act after performing another action.

They are in effect Mon masters who create their own mons.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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5 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

Shikigami are magic creatures created by Shugenja with the Craft Shikigami ritual. The Shugenja can seal their invocations (losing access to sealed invocations while the Shikigami is alive) into the Shikigami to improve the Shikigami's stats. Once per scene the Shikigami can autocast one of their invocations with 2 bonus successes and 2 opportunities. They share turns with their creator and can only act when their caster uses a Support action to have the Shikigami perform an action with the shugenja granting assistance. Most Shugenja can only have one Shikigami at a time.

The Preserver can have a number of Shikigami equal to their school rank plus 1 and can once per scene direct a Shikigami to act after performing another action.

They are in effect Mon masters who create their own mons.

That is indeed super cool. Not sure what in Jikoku this new stuff is doing in the Shadowland book and why someone thought we needed a second Yogo Shugenja school, but that’s fun stuff so I’ll let it slide  😛 

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Posted (edited)

Bushi are becoming quite boring. They have like a handful of katas, most of them not that good, while everybody else gets access to much cooler stuff and can do the bushi job as good as them.

Otherwise;

Kakita swordsmith is overkill, not needed, the other Kakita could have done the same.

Moto avenger, cool.

Asako inquisitor, great.

Mirumoto taoist sword, probably overpowered and can do all kinds of broken stuff. They are simply better bushi than most bushi. Facepalm on that one, trash design again.

Yogo preserver, looks fun.

Kitsu medic, cool.

Kuni warden, great.

Toritaka hunters, great.

Edited by Avatar111

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6 hours ago, GM81 Protocol Droid said:

I am mostly through the Shadowlands locations part of Chapter 1 now. The horror elements are very chilling. Plenty of unsubtle unnatural or gory elements, but mostly focused on the deceptive slowly maddening nature of the Taint. The writing is not as frightening as first edition Shadowlands material generally was, but I think that is due to a lack of in depth detail and atmospheric immersion. The book is more useful as a play aid because of that. The Dark Moto are presented. As is a character that incorporates elements of the Demon Bride of Fu Leng but with some other possibilities and attached to the Forgotten Tomb of Fu Leng. Most of the pieces are presented as somewhat nebulous for Gamemasters to tailor. Very unreliable narrator pieces that are intended for players.

Overall the setting material is feeling very solid and does a great job at setting up playing in the Shadowlands or with the Taint as an important character. I'm looking forward to the other parts.

Are there any changes to the Taint rules so that if you are tainted in one ring it will over time spread to the others?  Any Tainted powers, like spikes popping out, extra eyes, acid blood etc?  I found the Taint rules in the Core Book to be a bit basic, was hoping they would develop it a bit more in this book.  

Also, did they give us any new Mahos?

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17 minutes ago, Miwt said:

Are there any changes to the Taint rules so that if you are tainted in one ring it will over time spread to the others?  Any Tainted powers, like spikes popping out, extra eyes, acid blood etc?  I found the Taint rules in the Core Book to be a bit basic, was hoping they would develop it a bit more in this book.  

Also, did they give us any new Mahos?

GM81 mentioned that there are new rank 1-3 Maho techniques.

And overall on Taint, I agree that the presentation in the Core rulebook was a bit... tame. Nothing very scary and more importantly nothing very enticing that would push someone on the proverbial slippery slope. And it is apparently perfectly possible to cast Maho for years without ever becoming Tainted 😕

I sure hope there are new aspects to reinforce the dread of the Taint (and support the risk/reward pattern that may push ambitious samurai over the edge). Keen to hear about that :)

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Posted (edited)

Core Taint rules were one of the greatest disappointments for me in new edition. Great mystical and unrelenting threat had become minor inconvenience, like a stutter. One player new to the setting even took several Taint disadvantages for his samurai, because he didn't feel they were that big of a problem.

Edited by Mirac
Misspelled one

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