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UnitOmega

Courts of Stone, a new sourcebook

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20 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/5/29/the-winter-court/

More preview, must be getting closer to that release. This one is all on the GM side, which discusses using Winter Court, the new bonds system and Courtesy as a tenet of bushido

The bonds idea is quite a nice one - reminds me a bit of the kill-team legacy in deathwatch; the idea that a group of players can not just agree a convenient narrative reason to be hanging out together, but actually spend XP and receive some sort of mechanical benefit from their relationship with one another and/or their recurring NPCs.

Especially since one of my players in my RPG group at home is currently trying to arrange to have another PC be betrothed to someone by their family behind their back.

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On ‎6‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 4:28 PM, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

My concerns with the Deer - How are the Crane matchmakers not shutting them down as hard as possible?

Maybe because as a minor clan they're as close to a 'neutral party' as you can find in the game of Rokugani politics. Crane Matchmakers are everywhere but will always default to offering either crane spouses or pushing spouses from crane political allies. I can't imagine a Doji matchmaker is particularly welcome at Kyuden Ikoma, for example.

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I also would assume some sort of illusion of neutrality, especially if the Deer is brokering a match between clans. Or they avoid the truly big matches, so Great Clans can fight and plot over those and nobody is bothered by the Deer clan.

There are plenty of minor clans lacking nakodo, ronin and less important Great Clan samurai who are beneath notice of their own clan's nakodo.

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At the moment I'm seeing Deer Clan as kind of a "more things in heaven and earth" situation. The LCG and fiction naturally focus on big conflicts and big name characters, people involved in big situations which might lead to storyline decisions by players at major tournaments or natural big movers and shakers or talented individuals who make good fodder for unique and interesting cards. 

The RPG is written to be much more flexible in how much depth and breadth it can have, and vary wildly on what stakes and level of play to go in on. You can be in a campaign where you're all peasants and born ronin trying to climb the social ladder, or you can be young heroes with the literal mythic fate of Rokugan in your hands. So hopefully even if Deer Clan is just a writer's pet project to see a new group or school doing things not necessarily directly seen in the RPG before, I'd hope they are presented appropriately so they can match this kind of breadth and varying stakes.

Maybe you're playing a "Minor Clan Alliance" game and you need a face - well then you can't play a Doji. Maybe you're playing a rise from the dust game and so lower status/rep matchmakers make sense to run into. Maybe you're playing the purely social or Winter Court game, but the GM needs some kind of natural progression or escalation - toppling Otomos over right away can be a bit harsh to start, but cutting your teeth dealing with Minor Clan members is less likely to end in Imperial Censure. And if they're really too powerful, maybe your "Fate of Rokugan" game involves wiping them out to the last, like so many other poor Minor Clans nobody liked (and sometimes some did). Or maybe none of that is clear - and it's like two pages then some schools and it's just a high level concept and then it really is whatever the player and GM decide it is. Any way, the RPG needs a bit more flexibility because it can handle a lot of different stories, and sometimes you need minor (heh) details to fill in some blanks - I think Minor Clans are usually good for this, because you don't usually have to worry about vast territory or tipping the fundamental power balance of Rokugan. 

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It seems to me that there is a tru here to stop the "monopoly" on certain category of concepts. The Wasp were the only archery specialist, now you have the Kaito to. The Scorpion had the only Shinobi, now the Cat is here. The Crane were the matchmaker, now you have the deer... I think it's a good idea to let a little more option to a player who want to play with a concept but not be limited to only 1 Clan because "there are the only ****** of Rokugan"

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It's official boys, Scorps and Bayushi have a bushi school, and they're also shinobi, and also do some dueling. 

Also I just double-checked the Deer article, "Mercenary Ninja" is the same school from that one - so I guess they edited that because I'd bet my ninja stars that was "Mercenary Shinobi" a few weeks ago. We also name check a few new techniques: Deceitful Strike, Cunning Distraction, Like a Ghost and Silent Elimination.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/6/12/moving-in-shadows/

l5r08_art_scorpion.png

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Yeah, I think FFG is having some issues with products, I know a couple of minis product releases have been experiencing delays or uneven distribution. There's a multitude of reasons a release might have been pushed back, some by choice, some by circumstance. I Hope Q3 is still only next month, because CoS and the adventure are both listed as "On The Boat" right now, and also kami knows how long I have to wait for a PDF as is. 

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6 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

It's official boys, Scorps and Bayushi have a bushi school, and they're also shinobi, and also do some dueling. 

Also I just double-checked the Deer article, "Mercenary Ninja" is the same school from that one - so I guess they edited that because I'd bet my ninja stars that was "Mercenary Shinobi" a few weeks ago. We also name check a few new techniques: Deceitful Strike, Cunning Distraction, Like a Ghost and Silent Elimination.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/6/12/moving-in-shadows/

l5r08_art_scorpion.png

I'm optimistic that this school will scratch that itch many have had since day one. Maybe I'm overly pessimistic that broad utility will make it harder for them to stand out against more specialized schools. There is something to be said about unpredictability I guess, as long as multiple paths exist to help make them effective, rather than general purpose shock troops.

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1 hour ago, UnitOmega said:

Yeah, I think FFG is having some issues with products, I know a couple of minis product releases have been experiencing delays or uneven distribution. There's a multitude of reasons a release might have been pushed back, some by choice, some by circumstance. I Hope Q3 is still only next month, because CoS and the adventure are both listed as "On The Boat" right now, and also kami knows how long I have to wait for a PDF as is. 

Oh, I missed that update! Last week it was still "In Development," so maybe it's two steps forward with that one step back.

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Just curious what'll be the difference between deathdealer and infiltrator, as both seem to be on the edge of "ninja AND bushi"

 

So looking forward to that.

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4 hours ago, Horvagab said:

Just curious what'll be the difference between deathdealer and infiltrator, as both seem to be on the edge of "ninja AND bushi"

This one says "Bayushi" on it so we finally have a Bayushi-family Bushi school.

Beyond that, we'll have to wait and see. The description mentions Iai training, so the curriculum will likely be fairly different, and naturally the school ability should be unique.

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Posted (edited)

Been thinking about this with the shinobi tag - 

Infiltrator is [Shinobi, Courtier]. Your primary job is ninja assassin, and let it never be said you can't kill lots of dudes, but you tend to do so as part of covert ops, along with other stuff. When not actually out ninja-ing around, you're a social character - you're pretending to be a normal actor or courtier, or are even deep cover as somebody else entirely (though since False Identity is a thing I don't assume a character is deep cover automatically). You can pretend to be a bushi, but anybody giving you jobs knows that's not technically your training. 

Deathdealers will probably be [Bushi, Shinobi] - when you run into one out in his daily life, or look at the clan records, they are noted as bushi. They stand guard, they command troops, they are yojimbo. Just as is typical for the Scorpion they know a few dirty tricks and occasionally they might be asked to go from fighting guys in the open to jumping a guy in a back alley - for the good of Rokugan surely. You can do sneakypants stuff, but your superiors know you have the training to go duel or catch criminals or do a watch shift. Your life is not necessarily consumed by black ops, just you totally can be sent on such a mission.

Edited by UnitOmega

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7 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

If we get Ikoma Spymaster, I'm going to have to allow one of my players to redo their character's school.

What is the player using right now?

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1 hour ago, kpsmith said:

Hopefully we get a Daidoji Scout or Harrier.

I would prefer some more courtly Crane shinobi to support Doji everywhere. Actual spy instead of wartime saboteur.

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