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UnitOmega

A Lordless Life - Path of Waves Preview

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There was also an official statement the RPG would continue. There's no news on PoW because they got all the previews out for it to come out in December, so there's nothing to write, they won't give us a date until they know what it will be. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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The only reason I can see is that, well, I don't think the game is selling that well (for an FFG rpg). At least when I check and it isn't in the top 100 on Drivethru and the rapidly declining Forum participation.

But I sure hope I am totally wrong, that it is doing wonderfully, and that we will continue to see products. At least the other "clan" books.

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20 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

The only reason I can see is that, well, I don't think the game is selling that well (for an FFG rpg). At least when I check and it isn't in the top 100 on Drivethru

Slicing the catalogue by FFG products, and then ordering it by popularity, it doesn't do that well in the lineup...

  1. Genesys Expanded Player's Guide
  2. Genesys Core Rulebook
  3. Skills Guide: Skills Supplement for Genesys (Foundry)
  4. Gamemaster's Eclectic Toolbox (Foundry)
  5. Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
  6. Shadow of the Beanstalk
  7. Zynnythryx's Guide to Magic: A Beginner's Guide to Genesys Magic (Foundry)
  8. Equipment Guide (Foundry)
  9. Realms of Terrinoth
  10. Legend of the Five Rings: Courts of Stone

That's not that promising given that you've got what are essentially two houserules compendiums (very well done and high quality ones, but still) above the core book, and only one non-core-book entry in the top ten.

I would agree that I would hope to see the clan books as a minimum - I do think sourcebook/adventure/download is a great model and frankly feel spoiled by the quality of the art and the amount of 'stuff' we've had (the token sets with adventure books is less useful to me since I've got digital rather than physical versions) and I hope we see it continue.

 

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That has to be based on recency though, there's no way more people bought the EPG than Genesys core, surely, it's only more popular because it came out recently and so people are looking at it and buying it. Good on Genesys for being so well represented though they only get like a book year. L5R is arguably better supported. Anyway, I remember looking up retailer data (not PDF, sadly digital customers are clearly not first in thoughts despite being better for the company) when L5R first came out, that quarter it outsold the Star Wars RPG. 

I expect you're interpreting the data in reverse. L5R is not slowing down in releases because it's unpopular, it's currently not making a lot of waves because it's not had any releases. Courts of stone was quite a while ago, and still showed up, while Genesys has had much more recent news (Foundry, EPG, new announcement of product) it's only natural people would be reminded of and looking at it more. It would be better to compare them when Path of Waves actually comes out to see how far a brand new book penetrates. That will take a while of course, with PDF releases being about a month behind. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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11 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

That has to be based on recency though, there's no way more people bought the EPG than Genesys core, surely, it's only more popular because it came out recently and so people are looking at it and buying it. Good on Genesys for being so well represented though they only get like a book year. L5R is arguably better supported. Anyway, I remember looking up retailer data (not PDF, sadly digital customers are clearly not first in thoughts despite being better for the company) when L5R first came out, that quarter it outsold the Star Wars RPG. 

I expect you're interpreting the data in reverse. L5R is not slowing down in releases because it's unpopular, it's currently not making a lot of waves because it's not had any releases. Courts of stone was quite a while ago, and still showed up, while Genesys has had much more recent news (Foundry, EPG, new announcement of product) it's only natural people would be reminded of and looking at it more. It would be better to compare them when Path of Waves actually comes out to see how far a brand new book penetrates. That will take a while of course, with PDF releases being about a month behind. 

There is no L5R product in the top 100. If the corebook cannot be in the top 100...

I'm not certain this is making any decent money past the initial corebook release hype. At least, maybe not enough money for the quality of prod value we are getting.
Will they keep going nonetheless? That is a different concern. Can they figure out a way to have player acquisition ?

Edited by Avatar111

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Well, my campaign is coming to a close, after starting it with the release of Shadowlands, and using material from all the books, Path of Waves is by now simply too late to be of any use. I imagine most people having finished their campaigns by now, or sometime in the next few months. L5R is not like DnD 5e where you keep getting material and keep starting new campaigns, it requires a lot more effort from everyone, and player recruitment for these tiny niche games is also not that easy. A steady release cycle of material inspiring new campaign ideas or at least clan materials would have been important.

I imagine we might see one last book after PoW though, because that was probably already halfway through production when the RPG department got the axe.

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I dunno about you, but my campaigns tend to last years and be rather independent of book releases - so I don't think you can generalise your experience and game style.

Nor do I think it has much bearing on the production of the RPG.

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I'm actually secretly hoping that whatever that'll come in the future will be enough materials for me to house rule a generic system out of it. Heresy to the celestial order yes, but I kind of like this system better than Genesys.

Edited by HelloRPG

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33 minutes ago, HelloRPG said:

I'm actually secretly hoping that whatever that'll come in the future will be enough materials for me to house rule a generic system out of it. Heresy to the celestial order yes, but I kind of like this system better than Genesys.

It does some stuff better, some worst. 

For me, the ultimate mix would be to take some parts of L5R into Genesys. I can definitely see an amazing mix out of it. The dice are probably cooler in Genesys though, having those threat/despair is really interesting, it creates opportunities for "I swing at the opponent and hurt them, but, I drop or damage my sword". It also have more granular target numbers with difficulties, upgrades, setback dice etc. L5R is very stiff with TN 2-3-4 and that is mostly it, not many ways to add a quick bonus or penalty to a check, tough the roll and keep helps with "can't keep dice with strife" for example, that is cool, but not merely enough to be a game changer compared to the flexibility of the genesys narrative dice.

But those L5R approaches, advantages/disadvantages, stances, the way they handle strife, the fatigue vs critical hits etc... Some good stuff in there!

Honestly.. there is probably a masterpiece in waiting if you manage to properly mix both systems. And please, make those opportunities/advantages more streamlined, no more dozen of tables of relatively similar choices with bonuses that you need to keep track of over multiple turns.

Edited by Avatar111

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I am new here (although I have been lurking for about a year), but I think there is more room for hope about L5R 5th edition than some might think.  First, I looked at most top 100 ranking at drivethrurpg and noticed that a lot of those titles (e.g. all the Onyx Path titles) do not have the traditional print runs that all the L5R books are getting, whose sales would not be included in those totals.  I had to buy my copy of Hurt Locker (a Chronicles of Darkness book) through Drivethrurpg, but purchased my copy of Courts of Stone for instance at a book store. Drivethrupg is not a monopoly distribution channel and its results may not be representative especially when we are talking about books with the art budget L5R has.

The other reason for optimism is that L5R is owned outright by FFG.  Because they have a sunk capital cost on their balance sheet to amortize and do not have to pay licensing fees, the number of books they need to sell to make L5R RPG profitable is much smaller.  It is likely therefore that FFG is being straight with us and we will have L5R 5th edition for years to come.

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13 hours ago, Myrion said:

I dunno about you, but my campaigns tend to last years and be rather independent of book releases - so I don't think you can generalise your experience and game style.

Nor do I think it has much bearing on the production of the RPG.

Interesting, I havent heard of such campaigns and I am quite active in the community in german-speaking europe. Some systems are one-shot systems, some are campaigns, but I havent heard of a successful multi-year campaign using one of the newer RPG systems except 5e, and "Das Schwarze Auge", the by far biggest RPG in the german market. Pretty much everyone is playing 12-18 month campaigns with newer systems, if they try for longer they most often just die off at some point.

I actually dont know a lot of L5R 5e campaigns anymore, but the setting has always been a bit of a hindrance with its high demand on background knowledge. 

Be that as it may, according to occasional interviews with RPG designers, they definitely state that people leaving a system over content draughts or too much crunch/too little inspirational fluff is a problem. In my decades of experience GMing and playing, I can certainly say that inspiration for GMs to start campaigns most often comes from new material or new ideas being presented to them through new releases and lore (like books, movies, other games) exposure.

Well, lets hope for the best!

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19 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

Interesting, I havent heard of such campaigns and I am quite active in the community in german-speaking europe. Some systems are one-shot systems, some are campaigns, but I havent heard of a successful multi-year campaign using one of the newer RPG systems except 5e, and "Das Schwarze Auge", the by far biggest RPG in the german market. Pretty much everyone is playing 12-18 month campaigns with newer systems, if they try for longer they most often just die off at some point.

I actually dont know a lot of L5R 5e campaigns anymore, but the setting has always been a bit of a hindrance with its high demand on background knowledge. 

Be that as it may, according to occasional interviews with RPG designers, they definitely state that people leaving a system over content draughts or too much crunch/too little inspirational fluff is a problem. In my decades of experience GMing and playing, I can certainly say that inspiration for GMs to start campaigns most often comes from new material or new ideas being presented to them through new releases and lore (like books, movies, other games) exposure.

Well, lets hope for the best!

There is enough material for dozen of campaigns so far. Many castles, maps, schools etc. The amount of content is not L5R's problem. Though, yeah, it probably isn't a system to make like a 50 games campaign. More like 3-4 sessions per rank. So I'd say around 20 sessions it is probably time to restart with new characters. That is fine by me.

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On 1/29/2020 at 1:16 PM, Avatar111 said:

the rapidly declining Forum participation.

I'm sure more questions and excitement will arise when PoW is released. I think by now most of the uncertainty regarding rules are past the initial player base, and newest posts are from newcomers.

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6 hours ago, Kaiju said:

Interesting, I havent heard of such campaigns and I am quite active in the community in german-speaking europe. Some systems are one-shot systems, some are campaigns, but I havent heard of a successful multi-year campaign using one of the newer RPG systems except 5e, and "Das Schwarze Auge", the by far biggest RPG in the german market. Pretty much everyone is playing 12-18 month campaigns with newer systems, if they try for longer they most often just die off at some point.

All the campaigns I know of here in Switzerland, whether Call of Cthulhu, D&D, Pathfinder, GURPS or whatever, either fizzled out after 3-4 sessions or lasted for multiple years. (With one exception of a Fate Accelerated campaign. We finished one adventure and then decided that the system felt too goofy to turn it into a full campaign.) People play a lot of one-shots too, to try different stuff.

As for draught of material, most of what I've seen doesn't use pre-written adventures, and once you moved away from that, there's already so much inspiration out there, that's never seemed to stop any GM I've seen. But I'll believe the designers if they have any stats. What's more likely, I think, is that fewer new people can find games without regular releases. They're always an extra marketing boost, after all. 

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What I can say about the German market is that FFG is weirdly under-supporting it. When Courts of Stone came out in July, you had to wait to SEPTEMBER to get it in Germany. They did not supply any sellers here before that. That is one way to make your customers feel special...

I generally have the fear that P&P RPG is waning. D&D is still the biggest name, but if you lived through the 3.5 or 4th Edition times, it is incredible how much material came out then vs. now. 4th Ed had about 40 rulebooks alone in its 4-year-publishing-time, 3.5 had way more with all the D20 stuff. A golden time.
D&D 5 is running far longer and has maybe 5-8 rulebooks. And what comes out is meme-chasing trash like AquInc or the Rick & Morty D&D book. They even sound like someone was making fun of releases.

When the biggest name in the business doesn't publish enough to keep a handful of developers busy year-round, it is little surprise that a nice product like L5R is having problems.

But it is not my fault, I have all L5R rulebooks in print AND pdf. I did my part.

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10 hours ago, Kaiju said:

Interesting, I havent heard of such campaigns and I am quite active in the community in german-speaking europe. Some systems are one-shot systems, some are campaigns, but I havent heard of a successful multi-year campaign using one of the newer RPG systems except 5e, and "Das Schwarze Auge", the by far biggest RPG in the german market. Pretty much everyone is playing 12-18 month campaigns with newer systems, if they try for longer they most often just die off at some point.

By comparison, I consider a campaign a failure if it doesn't last for at least a year. In fact, I can barely be bothered to do the work to set up an Ars Magica saga if I don't expect it to last for at least 2 years. My current Ars Magica saga started in 2015, and that's not terribly unusual. And for perspective, this edition of Ars Magica ended with Dies Irae, published in 2016.

So it may be related to the people you know?

3 hours ago, Harzerkatze said:

What I can say about the German market is that FFG is weirdly under-supporting it. When Courts of Stone came out in July, you had to wait to SEPTEMBER to get it in Germany. They did not supply any sellers here before that. That is one way to make your customers feel special...

We had that problem here as well, back with the 40K games.

Those are still played here as well, actually.

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3 hours ago, Harzerkatze said:

What I can say about the German market is that FFG is weirdly under-supporting it. When Courts of Stone came out in July, you had to wait to SEPTEMBER to get it in Germany. They did not supply any sellers here before that. That is one way to make your customers feel special...

I generally have the fear that P&P RPG is waning. D&D is still the biggest name, but if you lived through the 3.5 or 4th Edition times, it is incredible how much material came out then vs. now. 4th Ed had about 40 rulebooks alone in its 4-year-publishing-time, 3.5 had way more with all the D20 stuff. A golden time.
D&D 5 is running far longer and has maybe 5-8 rulebooks. And what comes out is meme-chasing trash like AquInc or the Rick & Morty D&D book. They even sound like someone was making fun of releases.

When the biggest name in the business doesn't publish enough to keep a handful of developers busy year-round, it is little surprise that a nice product like L5R is having problems.

But it is not my fault, I have all L5R rulebooks in print AND pdf. I did my part.

Financially speaking, it seems RPGs are fine. Just like with board games, a lot of money moved to kickstarter, where even niche RPGs can gather pretty massive funds (look at the Exalted kickstarters for example), and there are plenty of 5e third party products that were  funded with huge numbers.

I think we are seeing the RPG sector going the same way as the board  games - traditional  publishing is waning, and I believe  that is in part due to the slow release cycle, whereas kickstarted RPGs often drop half a dozen books on you at once. For example, I went all-in on the 2D20 Conan and it was money REALLY well spent - first wave gave me enough material to  run a long campaign, 2nd wave gave me a ton of new options to give everyone interest in another campaign with new stuff for every taste.

In comparison, the only new release we saw during our L5R  campaign  which started with Shadowlands was Courts of Stone - a single supplement with material that mostly appealed to 2 of the 5 players. The other  3 are still waiting for some material to show up that inspires a desire to go for something new.

I would imagine a L5R RPG kickstarter, properly  run and advertised, would lead to much better product, in particular with the kind of fan feedback cycle that Modiphius does.

 

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D&D 5e did it smartly. Released a corebook that was very polished and easy to learn, with a system that is easy to play, kept the crunch addition to a minimum in the sourcebook. The rest is setting stuff or "open source material" for people who likes crunch.

And, if you do not want to play a character who reads the book, you just play a non spellcaster.

L5R doesn't have that accessibility, cleanliness and polish. It is actually kind of unwieldy. Plus, it requires one **** of a good GM to run (even more so if the players are not familiar with the setting).

If you have a heavy setting game like that, you need a more streamlined system like blades in the dark, much more elegant and focuses on creating narratives.

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@Avatar111is right, it's one the problem with this edition of L5R, rule-wise: there's informations everywhere, about everything, in margins, really, everywhere. A lot of time you don't know where to search. It can really be an hindrance when playing.

That and calculing strife in battle for opposing PNJ can really drag the game unnecessarily.

A possible fix would be a "companion" or "player's guide" type of book, ordering things a little more.

Anyways, seems those books are finally gonna be released. It's good, I was begining to lose hope.

Edited by Tatoun

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