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UnitOmega

Courts of Stone, a new sourcebook

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On 6/19/2019 at 10:36 AM, Mirac said:

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

Since the Crane have never had that, ever, I'm not holding my breath for that. Harriers could do that anyways. Otherwise, it would be stepping on the Scorpion's toes too much in regards to themes. 

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Honestly, Crane probably don't need a dedicated "spy" school in the sense that say, Ikoma wants an intelligence guy. Doji are everywhere, they're married into all kinds of families, going to all kinds of courts and parties and stuff. They're picking up rumors and gossip and spreading misinformation just by existing. What they'd want is something like the Harriers, counter-intelligence and force multiplication because the Crane are kind of manwitched between two major military clans they can't necessarily contest in open combat, and you can strike with as little thought as you like when the gardener turns into a Scorpion plant and kills you with pruning shears. 

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Now receiving whispers on the winds that some people already have their copies - would like confirmation if anybody here has their copy. The reported schools:

Bayushi Deathdealer
Daidoji Spymaster
Doji Bureaucrat
Ikoma Shadow
Mercenary Ninja
Shiba Artist
Shika Matchmaker
Shika Speardancer
Togashi Chronicler
Yasuki Yojimbo

Reported titles:

Castellan 
Covert Agent 
Dreaded Enforcer 
Esteemed Negotiator 
Kenshinzen 
Kyuden Asako Shieldbearer 
Master Artisan 
Winter Court Champion 
Seven Fold Palace Acolyte

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Posted (edited)

Sad day for the Unicorns ;) And was hoping for a Sesai Shinobi instead of a Shiba Artisan. The Bureaucrat also seem redundant with the Doji courtier but we will see.
All else seems interesting.
Especially happy with;
bayushi bushi, mercenary ninja, yasuki yojimbo (i know, with the rule as written the Hida and Hiruma are like some of the best duelist in the game, but still... happy to see an official crab duelist that isn't just gimmick based).
Titles are also nice on paper.

Edited by Avatar111

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Not sure how I feel about Doji Bureocrat...seems similarly oddly specific/odd as the Kakita swordsmith..the idea is nice, but not sure it warrants a whole school.

 

Also, the lack of Kakita Artisan is not making me happy :(

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🥳

Bayushi Deathdealer
Daidoji Spymaster
Ikoma Shadow
Shika Matchmaker
Shika Speardancer
Togashi Chronicler
Yasuki Yojimbo

aaaaaaaaand 

Kenshinzen!!!

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11 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Sad day for the Unicorns ;) And was hoping for a Sesai Shinobi instead of a Shiba Artisan. The Bureaucrat also seem redundant with the Doji courtier but we will see.
All else seems interesting.
Especially happy with;
bayushi bushi, mercenary ninja, yasuki yojimbo (i know, with the rule as written the Hida and Hiruma are like some of the best duelist in the game, but still... happy to see an official crab duelist that isn't just gimmick based).
Titles are also nice on paper.

Wow no Unicorns 😞 I thought the Ide were going to be represented... 

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Daidoji Spymaster, Ikoma's Shadow, Bayushi bushi... whatever else there is in the book, I am already satisfied. Dreaded Enforcer and Esteemed Negotiator seem weirdly general titles, I thought they were supposed to be specific assignments from some higher authority. Covert Agent sounds close to Spy in Emerald Empire. Also, where is the Court Jester title?

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41 minutes ago, MonCalamariAgainstDrunkDriving said:

I'm excited for the Shiba Artist, but I'm not sure I understand what they're trying to do with titles.

Titles are an interesting concept. It allows you to multiclass, kind of. Or get some more status.

But the fact that it requires XP that could go in raising your school rank is an awful idea. I don't know how they could have made them, but the way they did is definitely not good as most players will downright skip them because they slow down their rank progress.

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13 minutes ago, Alisair Longreach said:

You could keep the intra-party balance by houseruling that PCs may not advance to their next School rank unless they also complete their current Title.

I like it. Will discuss with my PC. Obviously it is a democracy, so the majority will "win" and also not all titles require the same amount of XP. But something along those lines could be workable.

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I have my copy :)

It's about half setting stuff (a general overview of castles in Rokugan, as both fortresses and political centers), a quarter with some new toys (the Deer Clan, new Schools, Advantages and Disadvantages, Techniques, etc), and the remainder with advise for running games more focused on intrigue, espionage, and romance, with a lot of pretty good GM advise.

Very pretty art too :D

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Posted (edited)

The question is; is the adventure Winter's Embrace looking good? With intrigues, duels, deep characters and more of a focus on politics and difficult decisions ?
Mask of the Oni was pretty meh (actualy, very extremely meh)... but, this time Katrina Ostrander said she was involved in the writing of Winter's Embrace. So I have high hopes.

Edited by Avatar111

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9 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

definitely not good as most players will downright skip them because they slow down their rank progress.

I disagree. I'm not playing with power gamers who only care about getting to level 20. Titles offer a chance to broaden ones abilities, even mid game, without the complexities and unevenness of dual classing in the traditional sense. To me everything about L5R so far has been about the characters and journey, not the finish line.

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58 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

So the school and title list is correct?

The Schools are

Bayushi Deathdealer

Daidoji Spymaster

Doji Bureaucrat

Ikoma Shadow

Mercenary Ninja

Shiba Artist

Shika Matchmaker (who are Shugenja! I did not see that coming)

Shika Speardancer

Togashi Chronicler

Yasuki Yojimbo

 

The Titles are

Castellan

Covert Agent

Dreaded Enforcer

Esteemed Negiotiator

Kenshinzen

Kyuden Asako Shieldbearer

Master Artisan

Winter Court Champion

Seven Fold Palace Acolyte

 

The Bonds also add a special action, like the School and Title Abilities (as well as just getting more cool as you invest more xp into them)

Family (Strong Roots Grow Deep: Once per scene, you may call upon your bond to treat your composure as increased by your bond rank until the end of the scene)

Comrade (Just like Old Times: When you perform a check in which your comrade has at least 1 rank, you may call upon the bond to negate bond rank Strife results.)

Lover (With you, the Storm Subsides: At the end of a scene with a lover or reminders of them, you may call upon your bond to remove additional strife equal to your bond rank)

Rival (I Will Surpass You!: When making a check, call upon this bond; gain Strife equal to the bond rank, then reroll up to that many dice.)

Nemesis (They Were Responsible!: Call upon your bond to learn if you Nemesis was behind the current nonsense, which the GM should clearly confirm or deny as well as providing a clue or other element you can determine it. If they are, reduce the TN of your next check to deal with the nonsense by your bond rank)

Bond Abilities can be used up to (Bond Rank) times per session.  Importantly, they can be used even if the person you are bonded with isn't present- even if they are dead! The bond represents what you have learned from them and how the relationships has changed you as a person.

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46 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

The question is; is the adventure Winter's Embrace looking good? With intrigues, duels, deep characters and more of a focus on politics and difficult decisions ?
Mask of the Oni was pretty meh (actualy, very extremely meh)... but, this time Katrina Ostrander said she was involved in the writing of Winter's Embrace. So I have high hopes.

I didn't get the adventure, cause I'm a player in my game. So... uh, dunno.

I did also get a packet of really cool art cards!

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Posted (edited)

So mathwise, I've realized technically this works out - since Unicorn and Crab basically have extra schools, if by the end of this series tied to the Clans everybody to be even, you might have to make Unicorn and Crab skip one or two entries - so I'd wager we'll probably not see Crane in one book or two upcoming, and the others may catch up by doubling in some cases instead. A bit weird about the Phoenix and Dragon entries though, I guess we don't think Unicorn need more courtiers...

I think a lot of people had it pegged Deer got two schools from their preview articles, Matchmaker and Speardancer we both mentioned by name so it'd be weird if they were the same. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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1 hour ago, UnitOmega said:

So mathwise, I've realized technically this works out - since Unicorn and Crab basically have extra schools, if by the end of this series tied to the Clans everybody to be even, you might have to make Unicorn and Crab skip one or two entries - so I'd wager we'll probably not see Crane in one book or two upcoming, and the others may catch up by doubling in some cases instead.

Current Crane and Crab have 7 schools and everyone else has 6. If Crab and Crane are skipped 1 time each all the Great Clans might end up with 11 schools. If instead each clan gets 1 school in the 5 other books with the central clan getting 2 we will end up with 12 schools each for the great clans.

1 hour ago, UnitOmega said:

A bit weird about the Phoenix and Dragon entries though, I guess we don't think Unicorn need more courtiers...

Shiba Artist is a psuedo-Courtier School and Togashi Chronicler is built around the Monk advisor achetype. Unicorn will likely get new courtiers in the future but they will likely not be courtiers focused on the courts.

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