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I found out recently that existed an RPG based on old samurai world and found this. Is it good ? is it recommendable for someone that never played before ? i dont even know how the ccg works but i love the setting of this and i played d&d.. dont know if its like it or not... 

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59 minutes ago, gmcc said:

I found out recently that existed an RPG based on old samurai world and found this. Is it good ? is it recommendable for someone that never played before ? i dont even know how the ccg works but i love the setting of this and i played d&d.. dont know if its like it or not... 

-it is an amazing concept of a game, with some very very rough edges and some downright butched rules/editing. if you are willing to delve very deep into the rules, read them multiple time over and come here to say you don't understand and/or alter rules as you see fit; this game is for you and you will find it extremely rewarding.

-the setting is the shinning sun of this rpg, it is absolutely glorious. but, you will need to dive heavily into understanding some lore, background, culture and societal rules otherwise the whole game loses its meaning. if you are willing to read a lot of fictions and lore books and discuss with fellow member of the community about how samurai would do this or that and how shugenja would do this or that, this game is for you.

it's that kind of game.

Edited by Avatar111

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59 minutes ago, gmcc said:

I found out recently that existed an RPG based on old samurai world and found this. Is it good ? is it recommendable for someone that never played before ? i dont even know how the ccg works but i love the setting of this and i played d&d.. dont know if its like it or not... 

It's a lot like D&D in that you will play a character that will grow in power over time. And the roles of Bushi, Shugenja and Courtier/Shinobi are somewhat comparable to the D&D classes of Fighter, Cleric (or wizard) & Rogue...the the Rokugan counterparts are a lot more flexible in design. Monk is Monk.

It's NOT like D&D in the idea of delving into dungeons and looting progressively more powerful magic items. The majority of your conflicts are going to be against other humans. And their gear is essentially the same as your...but mostly you won't need to loot anything because you have a Lord who is responsible for equipping you. You mostly won't fight in ancient dungeons (though  few do exist). Instead usually you will clash and experience drama in courts and back alleys...on the road, across rooftops, in peasant villages, and battlefields large and small.

The game is based on old (and new!) "Samurai Dramas" that emphasis the conflicts between personal rivalries, competing duties, and your character's personal desires. IMO a great L5R adventure sends you on a mission on behalf of your lord with instructions that turn out to be incomplete, you then intuit daylight between what your lord has explicitly asks for and what he or she actually wants along the way, and then you face moral dilemmas that force you to wrestle with what prices you are willing to pay to achieve what success. Also somewhere in there you cut someone into pieces with a katana ...

As Avatar111 says (and I strongly agree with him), while the core mechanic is solid &easy to learn ... there are rough edges that don't necessarily make sense. As a player or GM you can expect to wrestle with rough spots. As an example I recently wrote in a topic about the Ritual "Commune with the Spirits." The casting time of this ritual it is (rather unhelpfully) listed as both a Downtime Activity (takes several hours) and a Support Action (you action during 1 round of combat ... ie a couple of seconds). There is no guidance or explanation when it should be used one way or another. If it comes up in your game the GM will have to make decisions over how long it takes under different circumstances (players will obviously prefer for it to be a shorter amount of time).

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looks very interesting then !! i really want to try it can someone give me the links to learn more about this world and stuff.

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22 minutes ago, gmcc said:

looks very interesting then !! i really want to try it can someone give me the links to learn more about this world and stuff.

Read those, and buy the Emerald Empire sourcebook from ffg.

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Honestly, I can't say the game is all that good. That's my opinion of course, but since you asked...

I feel there are some fairly significant issues with the concept. The narrative part, supposedly a big selling point compared to previous editions and certainly an element that informs a large part of the mechanics, isn't all that convincing to me: ninjo vs giri and the strife that results in doesn't go anywhere. Strife is very pertinent when it comes to contests between characters, but otherwise it's largely inconsequential - for anyone really, but especially for characters that don't adhere too closely to being part of a Great Clan. The approach mechanic for the skill system appears interesting at the surface, but is in practice all over the place in terms of execution. The curriculum mechanic for schools is great, but the schools themselves are fairly bland. Many things, particularly things pertaining to balance, are left for the GM to interpret and manage; as a GM myself I enjoy having the freedom to make changes as I see fit, but I have that freedom anyway regardless of system or game - what I don't really have in this instance is a properly balanced and conceived foundation.

The biggest point in favour is that this is the currently supported edition of the Legend of the 5 Rings RPG. I apologize for sounding so negative, I just don't see any truly shining features.

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1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

Honestly, I can't say the game is all that good. That's my opinion of course, but since you asked...

I feel there are some fairly significant issues with the concept. The narrative part, supposedly a big selling point compared to previous editions and certainly an element that informs a large part of the mechanics, isn't all that convincing to me: ninjo vs giri and the strife that results in doesn't go anywhere. Strife is very pertinent when it comes to contests between characters, but otherwise it's largely inconsequential - for anyone really, but especially for characters that don't adhere too closely to being part of a Great Clan. The approach mechanic for the skill system appears interesting at the surface, but is in practice all over the place in terms of execution. The curriculum mechanic for schools is great, but the schools themselves are fairly bland. Many things, particularly things pertaining to balance, are left for the GM to interpret and manage; as a GM myself I enjoy having the freedom to make changes as I see fit, but I have that freedom anyway regardless of system or game - what I don't really have in this instance is a properly balanced and conceived foundation.

The biggest point in favour is that this is the currently supported edition of the Legend of the 5 Rings RPG. I apologize for sounding so negative, I just don't see any truly shining features.

the core concepts are awesome to me, the execution is amateurish.
I am SAD to you are right in saying that; yes... this edition is flawed. And I am sad because the potential and core idea was so great. But it feels unfinished, untested, unpolished and... abandoned.

😕
thx for giving me a reality check @nameless ronin

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I find the game excellent. Strife management has worked well for us, the advantage mechanic is great, and the few issues I have are clear typos.

Strife has been central to many scenes; ninjō, anxiety, and passion have driven RP and been driven by RP.

The duel system has worked quite well for us - the very things Avatar111 has claimed don't work have been used by my players and I to great effect. 

The mass combat is a weak spot for me, because I would rather have had a damage to cohort rather than damage to army, but it plays fine as is - which brings up an issue: It works just fine if one changes one's playstyle to what is written, rather than trying to force the game to support an incompatible playstyle.

There is little support for non-clan characters, but already it has support for two minor clans... which is better in terms of stage of product-line than 3E or 4E was...

I seriously think 90% of Avatar111 and Nameless Ronin's "issues" with the game are due to it not being suitable for their playstyles, and an unwillingness to change their playstyle to fit what's there,  rather than it  being a game riddled with errors.

 

 

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1 minute ago, AK_Aramis said:

I seriously think 90% of Avatar111 and Nameless Ronin's "issues" with the game are due to it not being suitable for their playstyles, and an unwillingness to change their playstyle to fit what's there,  rather than it  being a game riddled with errors.

There aren't many errors. Certainly not enough to count that as a major flaw. My issue is that there are no shining features that make me want to play this over other games either. Other than that it's L5R anyway, but there's a handful of other editions I can go to for my Rokugan fix.

 

6 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

There is little support for non-clan characters, but already it has support for two minor clans... which is better in terms of stage of product-line than 3E or 4E was...

 Totally not getting this one.

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@AK_Aramis


One of my player took the advantage Daredevil, and the disadvantage Fear of Death.
And I was like "well that won't work..."

Duel system is broken only for Iaijutsu duels (the other types of duels are fine), the 2 unique actions to duels, predict and center, being atrocious, pointless and almost unusable. I'm sorry to say, if you think this is good design, you worry me.
though, if you don't care about predict and center being totally useless and never used, and ok with Iaijutsu duels being played around earth stance and incapacitating the opponent. Then yes, they still "work".

Movement system is a mess. It is not detailed enough and on the other hand it is heavily tactical. But then you have "squads" of opponents ? In a system that have range bands as precise as L5R does, it is just awful. Not to mention their grid rules are designed totally different and are bad too.
Range band system worked great in Star Wars, why come up with something kind of "more precise but less thought of" for this game ?

advantage and disadvantage system have a ring attached to them, why? and some "tags" that means absolutely nothing. Please, clean up your shiite designers. Also they are sooo open to interpretation that you cannot remotely say they are balanced or not, they just "are" (which I'm ok with if that is the intention).

schools are 1 special ability. nothing else. the only other ability is hidden at the end of the progression nobody will ever reach. plus, they manged to mess up the writing so badly giving thechniques like Rushing Avalanche as starting techniques for Hiruma and Matsu. How did that not get double checked?

iaijutsu strike cannot do critical hits. I mean. What is an iaijutsu duel again?

titles, the way status is gained from them is inconsistent between Core and EE.

a lot of abuse can be made by intentionally missing TN on a check (like gaining void points with disadvantages, or abusing mechanical opportunities). you can do some SUPER CHEESY stuff with that.

talking about opportunities, the example could have been way more streamlined and balanced, right now it is very bloated (especially p.329) and absolutely not thought of; p.328 earth martial "reduce critical severity of the next critical strike you take" but then people cannot crit you when you are in earth stance... lol.
p.329, you have stuff like "gain an extra kept dice set to an opportunity result to your next check you make this game session" seriously who thought about that gamey thing?
please. you hav2 pages of examples, can you design them properly?

spiritual backlash, since you have 100% control if you trigger them or not, can you at least design them with more randomness? or cool factor?

then lets not talk about the dozen of typos.

almost every 30 minutes of play, we come upon a rule that requires the GM to interpret and tweak because the core is too mushy.

3 months in, they can't even correct the typos and page mixup in their player ressources section PDF.

edit: conditions, how come a Dying 5 round is basically weaker and less consequent than a maimed arm ? It is kind of counter intuitive that you'd rather take a severity 13 crit rather than a severity 9.
bleeding, the way it does criticals... on a character with lots of endurance it explode him right away, on a character with 4 endurance, it can basically only damage his armor :D
burning, why not calculate it end of turn ? instead of when performing an action ? just to screw up water stance? badly designed.


 
and stop saying "the game is not suitable to your playstyle". that is not the issue at all. I like this game, it's just so **** buggy and unfinished. Why excuse sloppy work ?
 

Edited by Avatar111

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54 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

There is little support for non-clan characters, but already it has support for two minor clans... which is better in terms of stage of product-line than 3E or 4E was...

Sorry... what? 4e had most minor clans, imperials, brotherhood monks in the core rulebook! Maybe I don’t understand what “stage of product line” means...

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7 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

p.328 earth martial "reduce critical severity of the next critical strike you take" but then people cannot crit you when you are in earth stance... lol.

Oh this one is very useful later on. Three words: heart piercing strike!!

There are other ways to crit than double opportunities. 

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11 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Oh this one is very useful later on. Three words: heart piercing strike!!

There are other ways to crit than double opportunities. 

that won't convince me :D 
HPS is a rank 3 technique. They cannot design a general opportunity spending to work specifically for a rank 3 technique most adversaries are not even designed to have lol.
its a GENERAL opportunity spending. they didn't have that many to design. No excuse for lameness there.

oh, also, the fire opportunity spending in martial p.328 is kind of as good as the kata striking as fire. also an example of trash design.

Edited by Avatar111

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before people start flipping, I love that game. But I won't stop complaining that they delivered an half finish product and that they clearly don't show intention of correcting or polishing a bit further.

probably because it is too much thing to rework. It would need a reprint with hefty corrections and changes. so they are "letting it ride".

edit; but then, @AK_Aramis pushed me into this rant! I was fine with the new player before I got triggered and all the anger inside exploded while I unmasked and showed how flawed this game is despite having to face the ire of the court for my outburst.

Edited by Avatar111

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 8:30 PM, gmcc said:

looks very interesting then !! i really want to try it can someone give me the links to learn more about this world and stuff.

You can also read a self-contained adventure (with stock characters) here:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/1/18/love-and-death-at-kyotei-castle/

It's....different to normal D&D in that there's a rather higher emphasis on diplomacy and 'court' scenes, but I think it's a great game.

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13 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

One of my player took the advantage Daredevil, and the disadvantage Fear of Death.
And I was like "well that won't work..."

Sorry to ask, but... why would anyone take these 2 together ? "Because he can ?"

You need a bit of common sense when building a character.

I've been playing L5R since 2nd edition. I found the game mechanic of this edition very refreshing, and it achieve to find balance bewteen rings and skills, something no previous edition clearly made.

Katas are finally interesting, skills are general enough to avoid getting 27 skills on your character sheet. I LOVE the fact that you can play on every ring according to your approach of the task. And my players are pretty fond of the system.

It needs work, of course. The game is not perfect but you can have a real blast.

 

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28 minutes ago, eScoub said:

Sorry to ask, but... why would anyone take these 2 together ? "Because he can ?

Because it is foggin fun. This is the "terrible life choices" character who can't help himself but jump into dangerous situations despite being absolutely terrified of said situations. He is either someone whose motto is "I took the calculations, but man am I bad at math!" or he is the Norville "Shaggy" Rogers of the party. Either way, this is a pretty good character concept if your party is light on comic relief. 

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24 minutes ago, eScoub said:

Sorry to ask, but... why would anyone take these 2 together ? "Because he can ?"

You need a bit of common sense when building a character.

I've been playing L5R since 2nd edition. I found the game mechanic of this edition very refreshing, and it achieve to find balance bewteen rings and skills, something no previous edition clearly made.

Katas are finally interesting, skills are general enough to avoid getting 27 skills on your character sheet. I LOVE the fact that you can play on every ring according to your approach of the task. And my players are pretty fond of the system.

It needs work, of course. The game is not perfect but you can have a real blast.

 

Common sense, interpretation, adjustment, management, is all things you have to expect when playing a pen&paper RPG. But, it isn't an excuse to bad design.

I also like the skill/ring system.

Yes, the game is ultimately fun and bring really neat ideas to the table! But that was not my point, my point is; this is an unfinished, unpolished, untested, "beta" quality product when it comes to rules design. The few examples I gave are just that; a few. The rules are mushy on so many levels.
Also, considering the amount of unclear things, and looking at their butched FAQ, you can all but tell nobody really cares (the latest "playmat" also makes it obvious that no designer is in charge).

Those are two MAJOR strikes in my book. So I'm complaining. Ultimately, I love this game so much that I wished it was more polished and better followed up on by designers who care.

that's all! keep on rollin'!

 

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22 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Because it is foggin fun. This is the "terrible life choices" character who can't help himself but jump into dangerous situations despite being absolutely terrified of said situations. He is either someone whose motto is "I took the calculations, but man am I bad at math!" or he is the Norville "Shaggy" Rogers of the party. Either way, this is a pretty good character concept if your party is light on comic relief. 

that was the idea of the player, basically he wanted to play a Daredevil who's super ballsy UNTIL it puts his life in danger.
then we realized the mechanics just won't work as written; so either we "adjust/interpret/change" the way it is written, or we choose another option. Sure, common sense allows you to understand that the way the advantages are written you cannot take daredevil with fear of death. But at first sight, during the 20 questions, we didn't see that detail. So we had to come back and correct it later after the game was started.
 

anyway, that was only one of my many "complaints". it is the addition of all those complaints that can make for a tedious experience that needs a group of players that are willing to accept that the rules are mushy and not to be taken seriously.


We did a combat with a grid one time, the player was at range 1 and used one range band and backed off 3 squares, he ended up at range 3.

Next fight, it was without a grid, the player was again at range 1. So he used 1 range band expecting to back off to range 3. NOPE, he could only back off to range 2.


In the end, it is a game that requires a huge amount of GM's input and rule lawyering because the rules are butched/unpolished when you go beyond the core ideas which are mostly great, at least imo.

Edited by Avatar111

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I'm enjoying the game. My current group is a narrative group and not a power roller group which helps as I prefer that style. 

As to the rules you can take/change/leave what you want. 

What I am looking forward too is a big campaign. I am designing one myself but it would be nice to have a large standalong campaign produced by FFG. 

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Hello,

I´ve been playing Lo5R since the beginning (all editions) - This edition has some truly intriguing and unique mechanics (rings not attributes, approaches pp) At my table it all worked well and the System supports characterizing the samurai person you want to play. Ocassional hand-waiving rules by the GM is welcome and can assure flexibility in story-telling. I don´t see the system as broken.

The strife- mechanic is interesting to exploit as well.

For my players (all Lo5R veterans) it has been an interesting narrative experience to describe how the character reacts with his strife overboarding, be it in combat or socially.

Sure, you can do this without the strife-mechanic but on the other hand players tend to ignore such things especially in tight role-play situations, where an outburst might not come in handy. By the way, it is still the decision of the player to have an outburst or not, be it with some in-game drawbacks then.

It was all fun so far. 

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8 minutes ago, Grimbeard said:

Hello,

I´ve been playing Lo5R since the beginning (all editions) - This edition has some truly intriguing and unique mechanics (rings not attributes, approaches pp) At my table it all worked well and the System supports characterizing the samurai person you want to play. Ocassional hand-waiving rules by the GM is welcome and can assure flexibility in story-telling. I don´t see the system as broken.

The strife- mechanic is interesting to exploit as well.

For my players (all Lo5R veterans) it has been an interesting narrative experience to describe how the character reacts with his strife overboarding, be it in combat or socially.

Sure, you can do this without the strife-mechanic but on the other hand players tend to ignore such things especially in tight role-play situations, where an outburst might not come in handy. By the way, it is still the decision of the player to have an outburst or not, be it with some in-game drawbacks then.

It was all fun so far. 

The system does roleplaying really well. I don't think many people argued about that. It is one of the few system that manage to impose roleplaying mechanically in a fun way while keeping it not too punishing nor too overpowered.
My guess is that it is because it repose on a solid foundation that doesn't have many moving parts. So the rules are tight and are not numerous.

The breaking apart at the seams mostly happens when a lot of numbers and options are involved. This is the weak side of the design, the tactical/mechanical rules are a bit mushy despite trying to invoke a really tactical gameplay (you do have range bands for; grapple range, sword range, spear range.. after all...).
All those tactical components, while still able to mesh with each others, are held up by tie wraps a lot of the time. A lot of the time you will need to quick fix (or downright alter) a rule on the spot because it starts to fall apart.

If you just want to RP being a samurai and roll skill checks without concerning yourself too much with the pletora of technical details and balance and logic between these components, you'll see no issue at all.
I would have probably be less critic about the system if it actually followed its heart and assume being a narrative/story system first and just have very generic and SOLID rules for the rest. But instead, it tried to be too precise on some aspects and failed lamentably to make this complexity work.

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Yes, this is a good game. And like any edition of L5R, that's largely because of a compelling setting. The major selling point of L5R has always been the setting, not the system. I think @Avatar111 made getting into the setting sound more daunting than it really is; don't feel like you *have to* read more lore than the core book provides; if your particular implementation*** of Rokugan looks different than other peoples', that's fine. If you're having fun, you're doing it right.

As others have noted, it started with some great ideas, and followed up with mediocre execution--so, it's just a *good* game, not a great game. 

On 2/8/2019 at 3:41 PM, gmcc said:

Is it good ? is it recommendable for someone that never played before ? i dont even know how the ccg works but i love the setting of this and i played d&d.. dont know if its like it or not... 

Recommended for someone that has never played before? Depends on what that person has never played. Never played an RPG? Maybe, if the GM knows the system well. Never played L5R? Sure.  

IMO, the game shines through 3 main concepts: 1) the setting, 2) the approach system, 3) multifunctional dice.

Primarily, though, I think it shines in comparison to past editions of L5R; in my own observation, L5R is the RPG that gets most frequently and extensively house-ruled to try to fix the game (as opposed to just add more to it, like additional classes in D&D). I expect that will be true for this edition, too, but I'm glad they took the game to a different system. 

 

***keeping in mind the major sources of drama will make the setting accessible: different clan "personalities", samurai are servants with lords, and the game is interesting when tenets of bushido conflict; if you focus on those three things, you'll have a good game of L5R. If everyone is new to the game, I'd start everyone in one clan (maybe 1 or 2 PCs on loan from a neighboring/allied clan), focus on conflicts of a provincial daimyo. After a few sessions, introduce a couple characters from another clan, and then as your campaign reaches a climax, introduce a third clan. No need to feature every clan in your first campaign. 

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One feedback I got from some players - not big L5R buffs but otherwise experienced RPG players - is that the learning curve is steep at the beginning. The custom narrative dice are great and very well suited to the setting, but having to chose among 6 or more different possibilities on how to spend the opportunities you rolled can lead to a form of “analysis paralysis”. I think it gets better as the player gets used to their character and to the system, but it definitely demands an effort of them. It matters less in narrative scenes than in conflicts because a) you tend to roll less checks and b) you feel less compelled to find the best way to spend those opportunities, mechanically. So narrative scenes have been more fluid and enjoyable so far. The big end-of-adventure fight we had dragged on for longer than anticipated for that very reason. 

That’s where having a GM who knows the rules very well helps a lot. When the players hesitates, you need to be able to narrow down their choices to 2 “good” ideas. 3 is too much and does not really narrow it down much, and 1 may give them the feeling that they don’t have much agency in playing their character. Even then, this can break the flow of the game so ideally, players should learn the patterns that “work well” on their own sooner rather than later. 

In short, it’s a lot of work and takes some getting used to... but it’s worth it!

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