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sndwurks

Genesys Foundry, but for L5R RPG - Do we want it?

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For those who have not yet heard, FFG just launched a new user-created, paid content platform with Drive Thru RPG allowing creators to sell PDF creations compliant with the Genesys RPG system. For more information on what this entails, check out the article here: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/8/2/the-genesys-foundry/

For Genesys fans, this is excellent news. This is, quite literally, a platform by which people who want to make content for Genesys can GET PAID. This is basically a win-win all around, as it allows creators to get some kick back for all their hard work, they do not have to pay to platform their content (which is HUGE in the digital distribution world), and it gives FFG a wide talent pool from which to find product to promote and hire freelancers. If you have never tried to break into writing gaming materials, THIS IS LITERALLY THE WAY TO DO IT.

But what does that mean for those of us in the land of Rokugan? As Dave of the Five Rings, I broached this very subject with several of the people at FFG during GenCon. While they confirmed that there were no public plans at present to expand this platform to also support L5R content, they were very encouraging with the idea that if this is something we want? We should absolutely start talking about it.

And in the words of an excellent 1990's music group, what better place than here? What better time than now?

So, thoughts? Is this something we want? Is this something we will support? And if so, what kind of content would we want to focus on?

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23 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

For those who have not yet heard, FFG just launched a new user-created, paid content platform with Drive Thru RPG allowing creators to sell PDF creations compliant with the Genesys RPG system. For more information on what this entails, check out the article here: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/8/2/the-genesys-foundry/

For Genesys fans, this is excellent news. This is, quite literally, a platform by which people who want to make content for Genesys can GET PAID. This is basically a win-win all around, as it allows creators to get some kick back for all their hard work, they do not have to pay to platform their content (which is HUGE in the digital distribution world), and it gives FFG a wide talent pool from which to find product to promote and hire freelancers. If you have never tried to break into writing gaming materials, THIS IS LITERALLY THE WAY TO DO IT.

But what does that mean for those of us in the land of Rokugan? As Dave of the Five Rings, I broached this very subject with several of the people at FFG during GenCon. While they confirmed that there were no public plans at present to expand this platform to also support L5R content, they were very encouraging with the idea that if this is something we want? We should absolutely start talking about it.

And in the words of an excellent 1990's music group, what better place than here? What better time than now?

So, thoughts? Is this something we want? Is this something we will support? And if so, what kind of content would we want to focus on?

rewrite the corebook in part ?

Otherwise, probably adventures.
I feel school/clans and other things would just come in conflict with what FFG have planned ahead already. Inserting "non-canon" stuff as buyable. Which is weird. I think some kind of "foundry" works best for generic settings.

So yeah, basically, fix the books that are already out. That is what is mostly needed before it gets too late.

Edited by Avatar111

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Genesys is an open "Generic System" built from the ground up to be used for player-made content and for GMs to use as a system to build their own settings on top of. L5R isn't. It would be a lot more "limited" in scope than the Genesys foundry. I'm sure there's plenty of room to fill it with adventure paths, though.

Edited by narukagami
another thing crossed my mind

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14 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Otherwise, probably adventures.

That's what I'd probably suggest. As noted, giving home-brew clans, techniques and so on is an easy way for FFG to lose configuration control of 'their' world.

Whether you feel they're doing a good job at the moment or not, I would suggest that 'offically' publishing 'unofficial' rules might make it worse. Alternate suggested 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 spends for a given narrative situation, or obscure and exotic weapons, maybe, but not "I suggest you do duels this way and ignore the core rulebook".

If you want to house-rule stuff to fix errors you see, great. But rules variants.....yech.

Either update the book .pdfs with erratas (or, indeed, write said erratas) or leave them alone.

But new adventures? That's far more interesting, especially if there was an equivalent 'art library' for L5R to create 'foundry' stories that are even half as pretty as the 'proper' ones.

14 hours ago, sndwurks said:

And in the words of an excellent 1990's music group, what better place than here? What better time than now?

Indeed.

I was saying something about this in another thread - the old RPG adventure competitions FFG used to run for the 40k RPGs:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2009/10/13/dark-heresy-2009-adventure-contest/

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2010/11/1/2010-rogue-trader-adventure-contest-finalists/

Doing something similar for L5R seems quite a cool idea - either officially or unofficially.

:D

Let the LCG players fight over the titles of Hatamoto and Shogun - there is such a title as Imperial Storyteller....

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

That's what I'd probably suggest. As noted, giving home-brew clans, techniques and so on is an easy way for FFG to lose configuration control of 'their' world.

Whether you feel they're doing a good job at the moment or not, I would suggest that 'offically' publishing 'unofficial' rules might make it worse. Alternate suggested 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 spends for a given narrative situation, or obscure and exotic weapons, maybe, but not "I suggest you do duels this way and ignore the core rulebook".

If you want to house-rule stuff to fix errors you see, great. But rules variants.....yech.

Either update the book .pdfs with erratas (or, indeed, write said erratas) or leave them alone.

The line is extremly fine between "erratas/tweaks/fixes and, rules variants".

One that should not be crossed in most cases indeed.

Aside from that, there are no ways to fully correct most rpgs in every detail as they contain most often than not tons of errors. L5R is no exception.

All that to say, fixes are very difficult to do. My quick experience in trying to make some made me realize how difficult it is to consider every interactions and situations, at least core ones while improving the overall game. I think I fixed my "fixes" hundred of times.

So I can understand FFG doesn't even bother... I still feel they should do a pass on the corebook to polish its rough edges, and making the barrier to entry lower, and make some interactions between its system clearer. Having mistakes, loopholes, or blatant errors (like you can find in courts of stone) is not crucial to the game... They can probably just require a small errata pdf.

But core issues like the gameplay flow, wound system, basic opportunities bloating, duels, etc should be looked at, as well as the general editing.

I don't know how common it is to do these type of reworks in this industry though and if FFG even thinks this will help their product sell more. I for one would buy a second "revised" corebook in an instant, but I do not know the ttrpg market.

Edited by Avatar111

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42 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I don't know how common it is to do these type of reworks in this industry though and if FFG even thinks this will help their product sell more. I for one would buy a second "revised" corebook in an instant, but I do not know the ttrpg market.

FFG was pretty good at maintaining a 'living errata' for their 40k RPGs during the publishing run.

Whether they got updated into the .pdf versions, I've no idea, since at the time I was exclusively working off dead-tree versions.

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So, in the content guidelines for Genesys Foundry (https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/360031042772-Genesys-Foundry-Content-Guidelines), it does state that creators are allowed to add to the established worlds of Terrnoth (RuneWars) and Android (as long as they are not explicitly dealing with NetRunner). They are even provided Art Collections to fill their work, which is a huge step in presentation.

Regarding @Avatar111's point, I highly doubt a comprehensive system update / correction is coming any time soon. An L5R Foundry would not be the place to publish such, either. However, it WOULD be the place to show your ability to adjudicate and modify the existing rules with creations of new Techniques, Schools, and NPC profiles and the like which would get you involved with the next edition of the L5R RPG. At this point, I think it is a pretty openly acknowledged fact that the L5R RPG was rushed out the door before it fully had time to cook, and there are a lot of areas which needed more playtesting and work. Doing that playtesting and work costs money for a company like FFG, while supporting an open platform for publication takes a lot less.

However, I personally feel an L5R Foundry really would be the ideal platform for:

  • A Minor Clan write up (keep in mind, unless it comes from an official source, it is not canon, and entirely optional)
  • A collection of new Kata, Shuji, Invocations, etc.
  • A "Unexpected Allies" sourcebook of various NPCs with plothooks and storylines
  • Modules. So many modules.
  • A gazetteer style write up for various cities, not unlike "The City of Lies" or "Otosan Uchi".

To @AtoMaki's point - Is the "current system" you are referring to Foundry? Or the "one sourcebook, one adventure, with some DLC, every three to six months, FFG only" system?

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40 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

So, in the content guidelines for Genesys Foundry (https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/360031042772-Genesys-Foundry-Content-Guidelines), it does state that creators are allowed to add to the established worlds of Terrnoth (RuneWars) and Android (as long as they are not explicitly dealing with NetRunner). They are even provided Art Collections to fill their work, which is a huge step in presentation.

Regarding @Avatar111's point, I highly doubt a comprehensive system update / correction is coming any time soon. An L5R Foundry would not be the place to publish such, either. However, it WOULD be the place to show your ability to adjudicate and modify the existing rules with creations of new Techniques, Schools, and NPC profiles and the like which would get you involved with the next edition of the L5R RPG. At this point, I think it is a pretty openly acknowledged fact that the L5R RPG was rushed out the door before it fully had time to cook, and there are a lot of areas which needed more playtesting and work. Doing that playtesting and work costs money for a company like FFG, while supporting an open platform for publication takes a lot less.

However, I personally feel an L5R Foundry really would be the ideal platform for:

  • A Minor Clan write up (keep in mind, unless it comes from an official source, it is not canon, and entirely optional)
  • A collection of new Kata, Shuji, Invocations, etc.
  • A "Unexpected Allies" sourcebook of various NPCs with plothooks and storylines
  • Modules. So many modules.
  • A gazetteer style write up for various cities, not unlike "The City of Lies" or "Otosan Uchi".

To @AtoMaki

Thing is, new schools and techniques wont make the game better on a core level. And considering the setting is using a "living story format" which I think many people enjoy to follow, unofficial content will only start to contradict future releases.

It can be a good platform for wannabe writers to get a foot in the door though, sure.

But l5r rpg problem is not the lack of options, I feel. It is more of how some fundamental things are mechanically designed. Without adjusting this, nothing will really matters... I'd rather see modules that rewrite some part of the corebook as to make them more fun while still working with the rest of the content flawlessly.

The duel section, the wound/critical/condition section, the mass battle section, the grid movement optional rules, the basic opportunity tables on p.328-29, Intrigues goals. Progression systems (how titles and bonds etc should integrate better with it) titles rules and each of them should be entirely rewritten. That is a module I'd pay for.

For the rest of the little imbalances or errors, we can only hope for an official errata. But that is not a main concern, for example, it is obvious the new castellan title should have a different wording on its status gain as it doesn't make sense as is, or that the new shinobi rope&dagger weapon should use melee skill instead of ranged skill etc are all easy "fixes".

Just my opinion though.

Edited by Avatar111

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31 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

To @AtoMaki's point - Is the "current system" you are referring to Foundry? Or the "one sourcebook, one adventure, with some DLC, every three to six months, FFG only" system?

The latter. I like the DLC branching, there just needs to be more of it. 

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

Thing is, new schools and techniques wont make the game better on a core level. 

Well, how many little changes can you make before you are not fundamentally playing the designer's version of the game anymore?

Create a scenario that modifies or tweaks the rules a bit (One Thousand Years of Darkness); I'd pay for that!

Voluntarily use yet another reference sheet for all the "fixes" to the game; no thank you!

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8 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

Well, how many little changes can you make before you are not fundamentally playing the designer's version of the game anymore?

That is the fine line to walk on... Fixing, while staying true to the vision. Having contained fixes that improve the game greatly and that do not render other parts of the system broken.
So far, so good.

Edit; but if you see no problem with the gameplay whatsoever, or do not feel the need to correct them, either by not incorporating some rules at all, or narratively making them work for you on a case by case basis, all good. But I would be extremely surprised if by playing the game you didn't stumble upon cracks.

Edited by Avatar111

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11 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

But I would be extremely surprised if by playing the game you didn't stumble upon cracks. 

As you stated previously, all games are imperfect, and L5R is no exception. When I come across a "crack" I've gone from trying to fix the game and second guessing the designer's, to attempting to see if my perspective and expectations are too narrowly defined by previous editions or other RPGs. I'm much happier now

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1 minute ago, T_Kageyasu said:

As you stated previously, all games are imperfect, and L5R is no exception. When I come across a "crack" I've gone from trying to fix the game and second guessing the designer's, to attempting to see if my perspective and expectations are too narrowly defined by previous editions or other RPGs. I'm much happier now

I personally never played previous editions.
And, I don't think the issues are in any way tied to what other rpg do better or worst. It is just bad design in a lot of cases, stuff that just always come up as wrong or unfun when you play. Again, this is relative to your own experience. If you rather just be happy that the crack is there, and fall again into it and smile again, or just accept it and avoid it because you know its there, all these are good reasons to not "fix or second guess".

And being happy is good. Plus, it makes me happy to fix and second guess :D
After all, it is a game, and for the greater part, the game is good!

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1 hour ago, T_Kageyasu said:

As you stated previously, all games are imperfect, and L5R is no exception. When I come across a "crack" I've gone from trying to fix the game and second guessing the designer's, to attempting to see if my perspective and expectations are too narrowly defined by previous editions or other RPGs. I'm much happier now

Ah, truly a man of enlightenment, as one would expect from a fellow Dragon. 

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1 hour ago, UnitOmega said:

Ah, truly a man of enlightenment, as one would expect from a fellow Dragon. 

I'm beyond enlightenment at this point. My players like the rpg so much that now they want to get me into the card game (they just bought it) even if I told them I had no intention to play it before starting the RPG.

Talk about some mad GMing skill to bring all those people who never played anything L5R into the game and the setting. you should believe in my houserules ;)

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Whatever works for your table, friend.

In regard to foundry content, I'll agree with sndwurks that some materials are better suited for setting and custom DLC, rather than a +0.5 edition. I'll also suggest "gazetteer" updates for running campaigns in other historical periods of Rokugan, especially if cultural shifts and perspectives differed, and entire clans or families were not yet in existence. Kind of like a Who's Who or Unexpected Allies for a time period.

Edited by T_Kageyasu
clarity

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4 hours ago, T_Kageyasu said:

I'll also suggest "gazetteer" updates for running campaigns in other historical periods of Rokugan, especially if cultural shifts and perspectives differed, and entire clans or families were not yet in existence.

That's a particularly interesting one. The old Imperial Histories touched on it but didn't provide too much content - it was mostly setting background - but it would give RPG players the chance to 'visit' some of the famous bits of Rokugani history and - in the process - not tread on the 'living' L5R storyline.

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On 8/7/2019 at 10:53 AM, sndwurks said:

However, I personally feel an L5R Foundry really would be the ideal platform for:

  • A Minor Clan write up (keep in mind, unless it comes from an official source, it is not canon, and entirely optional)
  • A collection of new Kata, Shuji, Invocations, etc.
  • A "Unexpected Allies" sourcebook of various NPCs with plothooks and storylines
  • Modules. So many modules.
  • A gazetteer style write up for various cities, not unlike "The City of Lies" or "Otosan Uchi".

This.

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In theory, I like the idea. One such thing that would have to be remembered is anything done by the fans in a Foundry like setting would be non-canon, and FFG could make it moot at whim. That said, a place for adventures, alternate campaign eras, or, you know, even re-telling the O5R story lines? I could definitely see something like that. Even call it something representing that it is varied content? Sure, players could tell their stories for the current Rokugan, or they could do the Thousand Years of Darkness, or they could tell various periods in history, or alternate futures..that would be a cool idea.

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