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Actually RIP this time L5R 5th ed (2018-2020)

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2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Like the foretold prophecy.

It was doomed from the get go due to amateur design decisions and badly thought of line planning.

And only the blind didn't see it.

rip.

Considering that all the rpg lines are closing, not only L5R, I think this has nothing to do with it. 

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5 minutes ago, ajtheronin said:

Considering that all the rpg lines are closing, not only L5R, I think this has nothing to do with it. 

Agreed.  It is much more likely that the private equity firm that owns FFG is liquidating the RPG and interactive departments to pretty up the balance sheet for a sale or other form of equity cash out measure.  Most private equity firms make their money by inflating the value of their investments through such liquidations immediately prior to sale even if it damages the company or destroys profitable business lines in the process (e.g. most U.S. retailer takeovers in the past decade).  Both the article about the closing down of the lines and posts in Katrina's twitter feed reference this reality and we should probably look there for our answers.

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19 minutes ago, ajtheronin said:

Considering that all the rpg lines are closing, not only L5R, I think this has nothing to do with it. 

star wars was completed, mostly.

genesys is not like a bestseller, or, they do not see how to make profit from it in the long term (maybe the setting books didn't do well?)

l5R tanked (the corebook sold "ok" but then it was downhill from there)

here you go. my judgement.

but whatever I say... I've been clamoring this was a failed product (and overproduced for the small playerbase it have) from the get go. I am as sad as you are that I am right.

Edited by Avatar111

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2 hours ago, phillos said:

It is surprising to me that they would stop supporting L5R considering we feel like we are in the middle of the support for this edition, but I don't have access to their sales numbers.  They were extremely nice productions.  So I'm sure it's not cheap to produce these books.

I'm more curious how this effects the GeneSYS Foundry, since there is alot of people invested in that system.  Feels like we should get an official announcement sooner rather than later for that.

I hope this doesn't also mean that they are slowing down the fictions as well.  The fictions for this edition of the game have been consistently fantastic IMO.

FFG also stops publishing their small hardcover novellas. Aconyte, an Asmodee subsidiary takes over publishing Legend of the Five Rings, Arkham Horror, keyforge and Descent paperback novels. Their first L5R novel, Curse of Honor is due in May.

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3 minutes ago, Alisair Longreach said:

FFG also stops publishing their small hardcover novellas. Aconyte, an Asmodee subsidiary takes over publishing Legend of the Five Rings, Arkham Horror, keyforge and Descent paperback novels. Their first L5R novel, Curse of Honor is due in May.

That seem hopeful. Have Aconyte, with the use of freelancers, continue the line. 

Still a sad day, 'tho.

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I am sad to hear about the RPG department being gone. I am a BIG fan of Genesys: Terrinoth. I have been gaming (GMing) for decades and the Terrinoth campaign book is written in such a way that I was never at a loss for adventure ideas. Nearly every paragraph would include, in a subtle way, an adventure hook. The work was beautiful too. And Genesys (Star-Wars narrative system) is a unique and fun system. Such excellent work all around. 

As far as the game market goes we shouldn't lump the RPG market with boardgames. Boardgames tend to be for everyone. RPGs tend to be for GAMERS. Gamers play boardgames AND RPGs. Everyone else plays a boardgame now and then. So, in my humble 40+ years as a GAMER, I say that RPG markets are NOT boardgames and should NOT be in the general "games" stats.   

The RPG industry MUST find a way to become COOL to EVERYONE. Create a undeniable curiosity in the ONLOOKERS to discover what it FEELS like to play a game where you can become, for a while, a character that is the hero in a exciting narrative journey of danger and glory - and every other imaginable twist!  I know I couldn't resist. 

My best to the creatives who have been laid off at FFG. KEEP CREATING.

Happy gaming to all. 

Bob

Edited by Gamemasterbob

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5 minutes ago, ludo199 said:

I want more.

Every game that ends, be it videogame or boardgame, is a the same story.. a handful of fans with hopes of revival.

Let me tell you a hard truth. NOBODY will invest in releasing l5r content, they would at the very least need all the artworks. It will NEVER happen until ffg decide to sell the IP to someone else.

They screwed it up...

A 1v1 lcg with heavy rules wasnt a good idea.

An rpg that is done in an absurdly unwieldy way, with a production line plan that totally doesn't make sense (not even d&d does that), with interesting but ultimately clumsy rules.

Here is my take on it. We are lucky they keep the card game going.

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1 minute ago, Gamemasterbob said:

I am sad to hear about the RPG department being gone. I am a BIG fan of Genesys: Terrinoth. I have been gaming (GMing) for decades and the Terrinoth campaign book is written in such a way that I was never at a loss for adventure ideas. Nearly every paragraph would include, in a subtle way, an adventure hook. The work was beautiful too. And Genesys is a unique and fun system. Such excellent work all around. 

As far as the game market goes we shouldn't lump the RPG market with boardgames. Boardgames tend to be for everyone. RPGs tend to be for GAMERS. Gamers play boardgames AND RPGs. Everyone else plays a boardgame now and then. So, in my humble 40+ years as a GAMER, I say that RPG markets are NOT boardgames and should NOT be in the general "games" stats.   

The RPG industry MUST find a way to become COOL to EVERYONE. Create a undeniable curiosity in the ONLOOKERS to discover what it FEELS like to play a game where you can become, for a while, a character that is the hero in a exciting narrative journey of danger and glory - and every other imaginable twist!  I know I couldn't resist. 

My best to the creatives who have been laid off at FFG. KEEP CREATING.

Happy gaming to all. 

Bob

Totally agree.

Genesys system (star wars) was a masterpiece of its time.

The new way to sell rpg is not that though... Especially not for L5R with its small playerbase.

They should have done a smaller, concise, and precise game. Like Blade in the Dark, Fate Accelerated etc. Something that suits the recent market. Even d&d is not doing like a sourcebook every 3 months and dumping character options and garbage unpolished rules on their fanbase all the time... That was d&d 4e era.. the era of Swrpg also. L5R for all kinds of reason, was still stuck in this era while trying to incorporate narrative concepts from newer game. With that high of a prod value? What were they hoping for? Fantasy Samurai would all of a sudden become mainstream enough to sustain that cadence?

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Anyway, sorry. I must be bipolar or something. I am hurt too, despite it all, I have a ton of time spent on this game. A ton. We can consider ourselves lucky any publisher even took a chance with a product of this quality in term of prod value. Lets cherish what there is, and lets hope the lore keeps dropping.. and the maps.

Edited by Avatar111

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1 minute ago, Avatar111 said:

Totally agree.

Genesys system (star wars) was a masterpiece of its time.

The new way to sell rpg is not that though... Especially not for L5R with its small playerbase.

They should have done a smaller, concise, and precise game. Like Blade in the Dark, Fate Accelerated etc. Something that suits the recent market. Even d&d is not doing like a sourcebook every 3 months and dumping character options and garbage unpolished rules on their fanbase all the time... That was d&d 4e era.. the era of Swrpg also. L5R for all kinds of reason, was still stuck in this era while trying to incorporate narrative concepts from newer game. With that high of a prod value? What were they hoping for? Fantasy Samurai would all of a sudden become mainstream enough to sustain that cadence?

Precision is a good keyword. Leave the complexity to the interaction of simple concepts.

L5R is deep and complex in its setting. The setting must come alive or the games tanks. The game must have a GM and players who are WELL acquainted with the world, its politics and traditions for it to BE L5R.  This is my take and experience. I played in a couple of sessions as a character and because I was NOT astute in the world (as a player) I had difficulty with tactics and roleplaying my CHARACTER. The other players were "scholars" of the setting and my newbe-ness dragged the immersion and flow down to a crawl. I didn't play L5R again. And I liked the system. Just didn't study. ...

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20 minutes ago, Gamemasterbob said:

Precision is a good keyword. Leave the complexity to the interaction of simple concepts.

L5R is deep and complex in its setting. The setting must come alive or the games tanks. The game must have a GM and players who are WELL acquainted with the world, its politics and traditions for it to BE L5R.  This is my take and experience. I played in a couple of sessions as a character and because I was NOT astute in the world (as a player) I had difficulty with tactics and roleplaying my CHARACTER. The other players were "scholars" of the setting and my newbe-ness dragged the immersion and flow down to a crawl. I didn't play L5R again. And I liked the system. Just didn't study. ...

I have been playing L5R since 1997. We just bought the book because the cover was freaking cool (we didn't knew there was a card game). The little plot that was in the book hook us. The system was the line. The great compendium of supplement...sinker.

But we did notice this too. As the main group became more acquaintance with the setting (or our version of the setting), having new players became more difficult unless that player expend hours and hours in our conversations, not only about the setting but about how we played. 

All of us had tried to play with other groups (life been what it is) but we never manage to get that "buzz" unless is with that selected group of players (or players that have a very close variation of how we did things). 

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30 minutes ago, ajtheronin said:

I have been playing L5R since 1997. We just bought the book because the cover was freaking cool (we didn't knew there was a card game). The little plot that was in the book hook us. The system was the line. The great compendium of supplement...sinker.

But we did notice this too. As the main group became more acquaintance with the setting (or our version of the setting), having new players became more difficult unless that player expend hours and hours in our conversations, not only about the setting but about how we played. 

All of us had tried to play with other groups (life been what it is) but we never manage to get that "buzz" unless is with that selected group of players (or players that have a very close variation of how we did things). 

I actually think we might be lucky enough to get like... a little something before the "real" end. Maybe a book to finish the writing on the other clans after Crane and Crab.

They must have had "something" in the pipeline that they will decide not to cancel even if it means they come up with no profit (but no loss) for it.

Something to tie the knot and end the game in a proper way. Like, an honorable seppuku.

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4 hours ago, Alisair Longreach said:

It looks like it is paprback novels only.

They just announced a new Arkham Horror hardcover novella though, and those seem wildly popular.  So I'd have to imagine there's a financial incentive to continue the novella product line.  Also what was the point of rehiring Katrina if there are no stories to manage?  Those points all give me hope.  I wish they would make official announcements about all this stuff rather than leave us to speculate.

Those Aconyte  paperbacks appear to have nothing to do with the main L5R  story (and not handled by our normal stable of writers) so honestly I'm less interested.  I will pick them up and give them a try but it's not the same sense of urgency.

Edited by phillos

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2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Totally agree.

Genesys system (star wars) was a masterpiece of its time.

The new way to sell rpg is not that though... Especially not for L5R with its small playerbase.

They should have done a smaller, concise, and precise game. Like Blade in the Dark, Fate Accelerated etc. Something that suits the recent market. Even d&d is not doing like a sourcebook every 3 months and dumping character options and garbage unpolished rules on their fanbase all the time... That was d&d 4e era.. the era of Swrpg also. L5R for all kinds of reason, was still stuck in this era while trying to incorporate narrative concepts from newer game. With that high of a prod value? What were they hoping for? Fantasy Samurai would all of a sudden become mainstream enough to sustain that cadence?

And a low production value is supposed to bring in the masses? L5R has a loyal player base which is the reason AEG sold it in the first place, but it still requires investment to keep the system going and they probably wanted to expand the base. I think it was a fantastic reboot but not necessarily for everyone. RPGs are by nature a niche hobby, and the market is currently flooded with a 3 inch ocean. At least TSR ran themselves into the ground with over production rather than an overabundance of caution.

My thoughts and hopes go out to former employees and their families.

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6 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

I wouldn't put the date at "2020" just yet, persay, Katrina is being very specific in saying "long term" on Discord and places, we don't actually know what that means yet, they could have another year of books indev they don't want to just slash and burn yet, for instance, or it could be "long term" until the latest PDF comes out. It's "dead" but will probably shamble around for a bit longer. 

Path of Waves at least should have some guidelines needed for more approachable homebrew to new 20 question options and schools. 

To put some perspective on this, L5R 1st edition ran for 3 years. 2nd and 3rd ran for 5 years each. 4th ran for 8 years. If this runs 2018-2021, that will be disappointing to be sure. But we were probably looking at 2023+/- a year or two anyway, even assuming this edition would run a full, regular lifecycle.

I'm not happy. The FFG concept of complications etc. overlaid on success/failure is cool. But, I'm sure I'll get psyched about 6th in 2022, too. :)

 

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24 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

And a low production value is supposed to bring in the masses? L5R has a loyal player base which is the reason AEG sold it in the first place, but it still requires investment to keep the system going and they probably wanted to expand the base. I think it was a fantastic reboot but not necessarily for everyone. RPGs are by nature a niche hobby, and the market is currently flooded with a 3 inch ocean. At least TSR ran themselves into the ground with over production rather than an overabundance of caution.

My thoughts and hopes go out to former employees and their families.

L5R corebook is not in the Drivethru top 100 anymore. Is not in the top 100 at BGG rating. For a game that probably cost a LOT to make, it probably isn't a really good sign.

Now, how should they have approched the IP and the new edition? Hard to answer properly. Probably much smaller scale (at least to begin with), no unique dice (or Genesys dice, at least. Trying to improve their narrative system instead of a totally new one), much more streamlined and approachable rules that are intended to tell a story first instead of diving into mechanical complications.
But there is probably no right answer here... The only thing we know is that for what it costs right now, FFG doesn't think it is worth pursuing.

 

edit: but I do hope they at least make a book that ties the knot (other clans lore) and finish the line... for honor.

 

Edited by Avatar111

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I do like the system - I will accept, and agree with, many complaints about it, but the basic roll-and-keep mechanic, and the structure of the dice, I think makes it even better than Genesys (the TN being fixed rather than randomly generated), and the fact that you have to chose between succeeding, getting non-success opportunities, and managing your strife/exhaustion means that you actually have to think rather than just "pick dice that rolled highest".

L5R is produced to an incredibly high standard. The artwork is jawdropping and the story excellent. That itself, however, makes it expensive and releasing sourcebooks in essentially sets of three (.pdf 'taster', player sourcebook, and adventure) must amp the cost up further.

As a result, with nothing announced post Path of Waves, I guess we can probably consider this range closed. A last sourcebook (even .PDF!) with all-the-clans would be great but I wouldn't hold out too much hope. The one thing I think is realistic and would very much encourage FFG to do is to release The Highwayman from the last Gencon, and perhaps to put on a final 'goodbye' event at Gencon 2020.

I am incredibly sorry that the system is closing - the good news (I hope!) is that the LCG is successful enough for there to be an ongoing source of fiction and artwork for suitably determined GMs to plagiarise 'draw inspiration from'.

 

 

Genesys may or may not survive, depending on how FFG choose to approach it. As a system-free core rulebook, if they treat that as a free-to-use SRD and keep the 'Foundry' label open, then they have a continuous source of income - it may not be much but it's at basically zero cost to them, as the foundry stuff is all third-party-developed, and you can expect to see a fan-written knock-off of whatever unique fantasy or sci-fi setting becomes popular in a given year.

I would, if I were a suspicious man, point at the date where the foundry was announced as a concept (about correct for 6 month consultations about voluntary redundancies before the layoff process started) that this might well be the plan to create a commercially viable 'lifeboat' for what is, as noted, a very good system.

 

 

 

I would like to thank everyone involved in the FFG RPG department over the years. I'd like to underline that - despite being a longstanding RPG player - I've never actually played either D&D nor its illegitimate offspring Pathfinder; my first 'proper' involvement with RPGs as an adult came from FFG picking up the Games Workshop 40k RPG license when Black Library lobbed it across the Atlantic, and for closing on a decade and a half of a half of devious plots, running gunfights, awesome naval battles, catastrophic psychic and sorcerous backfires, 'NEVER TRUST THE SCORPION CLAN EVER', inept TIE fighter wingmen, heroes, monsters, 'EVERYTHING IS HERESY', and occasionally, just occasionally, the players managing to save the day.....

.....I'd like to say 'Thank you'. I hope everyone's able to find work continuing to do what they love and I hope I'll see familiar names pop up elsewhere.

 

 

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Well, that was egg on my face.

Being said, Katrina has been somewhat cagey in what she has been saying publicly. She is confirming that she told people that FFG is planning on winding down its development of RPGs going forward, sometime in the next six to nine months. Apparently, my reputation does interfere a little bit here, since I do actually approach reporting on L5R as journalism, and people at FFG are very careful what they say in my presence (which was honestly WEIRD when Tyler at Worlds started to say something, looked directly at me, stopped, and told people to talk to ME about it)?

Still, I think it is important that Katrina is the one who is breaking this story. Katrina very much loves L5R, and has never struck me as someone who deliberately misleads the community. If she has said this, it is because it is not against any NDA, and she feels it is important to we know this. However, development =/= production.

What this means is that FFG has no plans to make further supplements for their RPG lines. Giving production time in the industry, there could be one or two more supplements on their way for release in June or August, but after that, nothing. There are any number of reasons for this. Closing out marginal lines of profit is one. Having to switch printers and not being able to afford the new one is another. But we cannot view this in a vaccuum. Asmodee North America has had two CEOs in three years, and still has not announced the new CEO after Andrew Navarro left. It shuttered an unsuccessful studio (Fantasy Flight Interactive), but has opened three more subsidiary companies which WOULD have been under FFG previously but aren't. Atomic Mass Games is making miniatures, which WAS something FFG was doing. Aconyte Books is making novels, which WAS something FFG was doing. Gamegen!c is making game bling for Keyforge, which WAS something FFG was doing.

What does this mean for us, the community of L5R players?

This means that now is not the time for hope, but a time for action. Seriously. If you like L5R RPG? Go out and buy Path of Waves. Get on social media and make noise. Make a ruckus in a public space that the business people behind Asmodee North America and FFG can see. But do not expect ANA / FFG to change what they are doing.

They are no longer developing the RPG. But as long as there is money to be made? They will keep it in print. And who knows? Maybe they are looking to open a user-created paid content platform like Genesys Foundry. Maybe they are planning on opening an entire RPG studio to handle their (non-Star Wars) RPG lines. Maybe this is the end of this version of the RPG. Luckily, the game is still out there, and this community still exists, and we CAN keep it alive.

For the time being, though, get comfortable with the mystery of L5R RPG's fate. We have no idea what is going to be coming next, and we won't until it gets here.

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1 hour ago, sndwurks said:

This means that now is not the time for hope, but a time for action. Seriously. If you like L5R RPG? Go out and buy Path of Waves. Get on social media and make noise. Make a ruckus in a public space that the business people behind Asmodee North America and FFG can see. But do not expect ANA / FFG to change what they are doing.

I mean, at this point I can only buy more dice. 😂

But yeah, keeping the conversation going in social media or other forums is key. Keep it positive, though. 

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