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Courts of Stone, a new sourcebook

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

As someone who hasn't bothered to get really into the maths this edition (due to lack of playing it :( ), how do we think a Kenshinzen balanced up against a Mirumoto?

edit: A character can spend a void point to make the Kenshinzen ability not work... so basically, it is total garbage. Facepalm.
I really need a primer on what the designers envision with duels and iaijutsu, because either I don't get their intention, or something is escaping me, or it is just really badly designed.

but,

it have me thinking...

Just put that ability in Rising Blade Kata: 2opp; the target cannot defend from this attack.

Then its all perfect. 

On paper at least...?


Most importantly because it makes the "fantasy" of the Rokugani duel very tangible and flavorful, clearly making the two dueling styles (iaijutsu and kenjutsu) fun and viable and different.

And, since Rising Blade Kata is only a severity of 5, and that the initial TN for the check is Vigilance. It still makes it difficult for a beginner (rank 1-2) to consistently pull it off on any duelist with 3+ vigilance. And unless the character is a Kakita or have some way to increase the critical hit severity, he probably won't win a first blood duel with that technique anyway because of the low severity. And when you reach rank 3, Heart Piercing Strike is still the better option with a good fire ring.
Obviously, there is the niche endgame case that if 2 opponents are rank 5 with insane blades or abilities and their rising blade kata is something like 12 severity it can become a bit too good. But then again... At this very point, it all becomes about whos got the fastest initiative no matter what.

thinking...

Edited by Avatar111

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Well, Asmodé UK strikes again.  I've had Winter's Embrace for over a week, but the LGS hasn't even seen mention of Courts of Stone yet.  This probably means it won't be in next week either.

So, I wonder, has anyone who has got the book come across the name of the daimyo of the Seppun (or Agasha or Kitsu)?

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8 hours ago, ludo199 said:

Crane and deer clan have a mon description.

Why did not the Crab Clan (and other minor clan) have any?

Thank you! I saw that in Courts and thought "wait, did I miss that in Shadowlands?" But I didn't go back to check.

I mean the wiki definitely has their mons, but I agree it's strangely inconsistent, and the sourcebooks would have been a good spot for all of them.

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13 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Well, Asmodé UK strikes again.  I've had Winter's Embrace for over a week, but the LGS hasn't even seen mention of Courts of Stone yet.  This probably means it won't be in next week either.

Courts is showing out of stock on the FFG site, so I suspect it’ll be a while before we see it here in the UK.

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47 minutes ago, Shane said:

Courts is showing out of stock on the FFG site, so I suspect it’ll be a while before we see it here in the UK.

Wayland Games is saying the 26th of July is when they're expecting more stock to arrive, but I don't know if that's additional stock or just to fill their own backlog.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, BowelEvacuation said:

Reading it right now. If anyone wants to know anything ask away.

Can you share anything about the Shiba Artist? I'm especially curious what the school ability is like.

Edit: I heard through the grapevine what the normal school ability is like. I'm now personally more curious about the Rank 6 ability (and what their rank 1 curriculum is like, but that seems like more of a pain to describe).

Edited by MonCalamariAgainstDrunkDriving

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8 hours ago, BowelEvacuation said:

Reading it right now. If anyone wants to know anything ask away.

I'm hoping to update the Census, are there any new important characters?  For example, previously unnamed daimyo or family members - emerald magistrates or suchlike

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8 hours ago, Aldyramon said:

Does anyone know, when it will be on drivethruRPG?

Usually it takes about 2-4 weeks after the printed release for it to make its way to drivethruRPG. I am hoping rather sooner than later.

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Quick review of the book;

Lore is good, castles, courts and such. First half of the book is extremely solid.

Deer clan is awful. Just, uninspired. (The parts about meridians and Kiho while the school itself doesn't have any Kiho is a good representation of how bad it is)

Aside the deer clan schools, the other new schools do what they should do. Not all perfect but generally ok.

New gear is fun. A few mistakes or oddities in the mechanics but it is a decent addition.

New techniques, some are very well done, others are just badly designed or worded. All in all its ok, there are at least 50% of them that are sharp.

Gm's advices on courts and shinobi is great. I think it explains well how to design games for L5R. Put a lot of work into a cast of npc. Also some good general tips for the flow of the game.

Details on the Courtesy tenet is nice.

Titles are.. titles. I never thought of them as well implemented mechanically and never liked how they require xp out of school ranks. But as RP potential for added flavor, they can help. Titles are a missed opportunity in term of game design, but just having names/lore on them is a plus.

Talking about opportunities, the new tables for spending opportunities are just unnecessary bloat. Not sure these will see play in most games, but maybe with very experienced groups that are ok with added mechanical options on each checks.

Bonds... Again with the XP need. Not a fan, do not think they are worth it or add anything to the game. But, for RP purpose, you can probably find interesting stuff in there and use some of the mechanical effects as "special abilities" given throughout campaigns to add flavor between two characters. Especially between pc and npc that got latched on, interacted with a lot. I see it more as a RP tool than a "progression system".

Setup a court in 7 steps. Unnecessary and just weird. Basically a mini game of character (npc) creation. Could be interesting as a session 0 with the right group, maybe.

Other; the book is full of small mistakes and reeks of a lack of polish.

End comment; a hit and miss book. Clearly shows that L5R is handled a bit randomly. Whenever they write lore while taking stuff from the older lore it is well presented and fun, but whenever they try new things mechanically or with the setting, it is not very good. Passable at best.

If it continues like this, this game will become an amalgam of weird rules and interactions that will be best played by choosing which part you want or not. As taking everything will just make for a disaster.

Read it for; the castle lore, the crane clan lore, the new schools, techniques, gear and very few extremely solid gm's advice hidden under many unpolished and random stuff.

 

 

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On 7/9/2019 at 11:05 PM, MonCalamariAgainstDrunkDriving said:

Can you share anything about the Shiba Artist? I'm especially curious what the school ability is like.

Edit: I heard through the grapevine what the normal school ability is like. I'm now personally more curious about the Rank 6 ability (and what their rank 1 curriculum is like, but that seems like more of a pain to describe).

Rank 6: Sudden Clarity.

When you use your school ability, you may remove one or more of the following conditions from each chosen character: Dazed, Disoriented,  Enraged, Exhausted, Intoxicated. Additionally, each chosen character removes 3 fatigue.

 

Rank 1:

Artisan Skills, Courtesy, Culture, Performance, Rank 1 Fire Shuji, Offend the Sensibilities,  Fun and Games.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/14/2019 at 11:45 AM, MonCalamariAgainstDrunkDriving said:

Oh, I like it. Not super powerful or anything, but it seems flavorful. Based on the shuji, the class seems geared towards Games though. Weird that it's not a starting skill.

Doji bureaucrate are geared toward using social checks to put strife on others, but their fire ring is awful and they have no fire shuji.

I guess the designers wanted you to get stuff out of curriculum to use your school ability.

Go figure. Your guess as to what they were thinking is as good as mine. And I say this in the most positive negative way :D

Edited by Avatar111

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14 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Deer clan is awful. Just, uninspired. (The parts about meridians and Kiho while the school itself doesn't have any Kiho is a good representation of how bad it is)

Gm's advices on courts and shinobi is great. I think it explains well how to design games for L5R. Put a lot of work into a cast of npc. Also some good general tips for the flow of the game.

End comment; a hit and miss book. Clearly shows that L5R is handled a bit randomly. Whenever they write lore while taking stuff from the older lore it is well presented and fun, but whenever they try new things mechanically or with the setting, it is not very good. Passable at best.

Good summary, seems pretty much as I expected (including the Deer being stupid). More options for Opportunities helps new groups into the system, I have always felt they should be situational inspirations like "can I see what courtier A is doing while I duel yojimbo B?" and examples are helpful.

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Winter's Embrace mentions there should be a downloadable sheet for quick reference of the calender of events and characters.
I cannot find it on the website (it isn't the court sheet).

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Its worth noticing that with CoS, the Scorpion doesnt have the true ninjas anymore. Since only the Mercenary Ninja school allows access to ALL Ninjutsu, the Scorpion Schools cannot use most of the book.

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2 minutes ago, Alisair Longreach said:

The Kolat Saboteur from Emerald Empire also gains access til Ninjutsu.

True, even more insult to injury for the boys and girls in red. Not a good day to be a Scorpion I suppose

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