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Daemonmaster

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

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The guys from FFG France keep insisting no to worry, that L5R and Star Wars are not stopping (and they said they weren't only talking about the translations).

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31 minutes ago, Myrion said:

Which honestly just seems weird. Why would they either have info that the NA division doesn't or have permission to talk about it when NA isn't allowed to?

I know, right?

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1 hour ago, Tatoun said:

The guys from FFG France keep insisting no to worry, that L5R and Star Wars are not stopping (and they said they weren't only talking about the translations).

Is it possible the French FFG folks are conflating the Card/miniature games with the RPGs? 

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11 hours ago, ajtheronin said:

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

Reminded me I bought the dice app during the beta. Need to put that back on my new phone!

(another set of actual dice wouldn't hurt for the players but if I can just use my phone it means the dice can stay out in front of the screen rather than me needing to nick them every so often)

1 hour ago, Myrion said:

Which honestly just seems weird. Why would they either have info that the NA division doesn't or have permission to talk about it when NA isn't allowed to?

Probably none of them should be talking about it informally.

If the decisions are management-level decisions being mandated by the Asmodee hierarchy rather than made at FFG's level, it's quite possible people around their office might know before the people on the ground the decision affects. 

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1 hour ago, Myrion said:

Which honestly just seems weird. Why would they either have info that the NA division doesn't or have permission to talk about it when NA isn't allowed to?

If it were Asmodée France who would be producing it from now on?  That would also seem weird.

 

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On 2/18/2020 at 2:23 PM, Avatar111 said:

and overproduced for the small playerbase it have

This probably drives a lot of it, honestly.  I'll admit I don't make it down to the game store as often as I'd like, but I can only think of two other game lines being printed in this large hardback format with all these full-color glossy pages.  Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.  RPGs have very low profit margins even when they do well, So big sexy books are risky.  Legend of the Five Rings has always been a small niche inside of a niche hobby, so this one is going to be tricky.

Another difficulty is playing online.  More and more people are turning to Roll20, Fantasy Grounds and Discord in order to run their games.  I've played D&D in Roll20, and it's fine, but when I've tried to set anything up as a GM, it was a nightmare.  Star Wars and L5R needed some sort of special API and a premium account just to roll the dice (and I don't know what an API is, it was just another acronym in my way.  I think I'm old, guys).  Discord has worked okay for my Force and Destiny game, but it's been only me and 2-3 other players, and I hand-wave a heck of a lot.  I'm joining a Discord L5R game soon, and keeping track of all the die rolls seems a bit more daunting, since things don't just cancel out, and I don't have physical dice on the table to move around or discard when they're dropped.  The game is geared very much toward physical dice, and while I love the dice mechanics, I don't see it translating well to a text-based format online.  Compare that to the surge in Powered by the Apocalypse games, which I think can credit much of their popularity to their simplicity to play in a strictly audio format.  I know The Adventure Zone lost a lot of listeners when they went from D&D to Monster of the Week, but it seemed to me that the narrative flowed much more easily.

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11 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Well, this makes me happy: FFG just announced a new L5R novella - the Crab one.  Sukune in the Shinomen with a nemuranai.

That is some good news. Maybe the reason that didn't do a Lion novella (yet?) is because they initially were planning to release a Lion supplement in the second quarter. A Dragon supplement around March and a Lion supplement around June-July. Now that they have delayed PoW, they are releasing their almost finished Dragon supplement around June? We will probably see in the next month an announcement about a Dragon supplement being released in the second quarter. That is just my speculation.

I also speculate that the Dragon book will have the Dragonfly clan as its minor clan, together with more Kiho techniques. Another pet theory of my (but I'm still waiting for my copy of PoW) is that they originally planned lore for the Burning Sand to be a part of the (possible never to be released) Unicorn book. (The PoW doesn't dive much in this area right?)

One thing though what this circulation of news has done, is increased the l5r rpg sales. Most product stocks are empty and I have seen messages from people who were waiting to buy the books and are now rushing to buy every book. If they stop the production of the FFG RPGs because some suits at higher managements hopes to increase their number on a spreadsheet, then at least this news has done that already.

I hope very much that this rpg doesn't die, but it seems to be gloomy at the moment. Especially when the l5r LCG wouldn't make enough money and they would shut that down as well. That would probably be the end of l5r. The rpg seems to me always was an extra for them, the card game is their big money maker. Without the hope of new products, I though many people would want to pick it up, especially if other rpg still do have new books in their pipeline.

I would say, copy the information you want from this forum ASAP, before this forum is closed, like what has happened with AEGs l5r forum.

Edited by Kiso

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4 hours ago, The Grand Falloon said:

Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder.

The quality of Chaosium's books (Call of Cthulhu, Runequest) is at par with those 2. Heck, some of their releases (Masks of Nyarlatothep, I'm looking at you) put the big two to shame quality wise.

 

Free League also has some spectaculars books.

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@The Grand FalloonoFFaFalloonoonoFFa for Discord, there's a really good dice bot with the L5R dice. I'm not currently able to post the directions for setting it up on your server, but ask on the big L5R Discord, they'll help.

Edit: sorry. Seems the mobile interface LOVES your name and keeps inserting it over and over.

Edited by Myrion
Black magic

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2 hours ago, Myrion said:

@The Grand FalloonoFFaFalloonoonoFFa for Discord, there's a really good dice bot with the L5R dice. I'm not currently able to post the directions for setting it up on your server, but ask on the big L5R Discord, they'll help.

Edit: sorry. Seems the mobile interface LOVES your name and keeps inserting it over and over.

I have the Discord dice bit, and it works fine, I'm just thinking about after the roll, going, "Okay, so I'm going to keep that exploding success with strife, that other success without strife, and the opportunity, and then... Okay, roll another for the explosion... and I have that other opportunity from my Air roll last round, and then..." That doesn't even count rerolls from Advantages or Disadvantages.

It's not bad for one roll, but when you have to do that every single time, the physical dice are much easier to deal with.  Roll, make any rerolls, sweep aside any dropped dice, make your explosions, and so on. It can still be kind of a confusing process, but you always have the results sitting in front of you.

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I've used a dice bot on Discord that lets you give a !keep command after showing you your results and might even have !reroll on it as well.  It's some months since I used it, and that server no longer exists, so I can't go back and check, but I'd ask around (on Fan & Sword perhaps?) to see which one does that.

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Just now, Tonbo Karasu said:

I've used a dice bot on Discord that lets you give a !keep command after showing you your results and might even have !reroll on it as well.  It's some months since I used it, and that server no longer exists, so I can't go back and check, but I'd ask around (on Fan & Sword perhaps?) to see which one does that.

Well holy smokes. Looks I just need to read the dang help file.

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20 hours ago, The Grand Falloon said:

RPGs have very low profit margins even when they do well, So big sexy books are risky.  Legend of the Five Rings has always been a small niche inside of a niche hobby, so this one is going to be tricky...

...The game is geared very much toward physical dice, and while I love the dice mechanics, I don't see it translating well to a text-based format online...

I think you're right about the second part;  the specialized dice has been both FFG's biggest selling point and it's biggest hurdle to easy play. 

As for the first comment; 2nd edition was the last edition of L5R I bought in dead tree version. But I've appreciated the attention to the the art in the later editions just as much. So personally, I think they could get along just fine by keeping the high quality art, but ditching the costs that go along with dead tree production. That's just me though.

Edited by easl

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I own everything 4e and 5e hardcopy, even the hard-to-find 4e stuff like Atlas, Strongholds etc.

If this is the end of the L5R RPG era, and I were to pick one edition to run as GM (or player ,really), I would actually pick 5e over all the others, even though there is much more 4e material (and the quality is good).

For all the criticism 5e gets (and I am ignoring Avatar11 here), and the bad sales, I think its the best system L5R ever got when it comes to actual gameplay.  The ONLY area in which 4e is better, IMO, is magic/shugenja, for sheer variety and creativity. 

The problem is that the RPG genre has a lot more players today, and overall the market is larger but more diverse, with tons of players getting parts of the cake - outside of DnD 5 and possibly one specific german-language juggernaut, the time of dominant RPG brands seems to be over for now. 

Due to the large number of competitors, quality and expectations have skyrocketed, and I will freely admit, FFG has not put out good RPG products when compared to a company like Modiphius, who are the new modern face of RPG business, and simply play on a different level design-wise. (Conan 2D20 is an incredibly good, fast, flexible system that does virtually anything that L5R does better, for example).

In that market, and seeing how they struggle in their board games department as well, I believe FFG is a dinosaur who doesnt want to evolve, and L5R fell victim to that. This is a RPG in the style of the 2010 era indeed.

Edited by Kaiju

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I'm disappointed, but the system did not manage to grab me even if I loved some of the concepts. It's one of those cases where IMO the whole was less than the sum of it's parts.

 

I think L5R would have benefited from something simpler, faster and more friendly towards online play, and maybe streaming...

 

I still bought all the books because the story reboot has been wonderful. Well, except Sins of Regret that doesn't seem to be available anywhere...

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On 2/20/2020 at 5:45 PM, The Grand Falloon said:

Well holy smokes. Looks I just need to read the dang help file.

Yeah, it allows you to add specific results (opp, success, explosion, strife) to the pool, reroll specific dice, and add explosions. It's a very good bot.

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On 2/18/2020 at 2:23 PM, Avatar111 said:

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.

Though I agree with most of what you said since I am not a big fan of the New story/Mechanics of L5R , I believe the death of the RPG lines of FFG have more to do with Star Wars then L5R.

 The true issues IMHO is the new Star Wars movies destroying the fanbase and driving people away from the IP.

Without a continuing Star Wars well of collectors and gamers alike to support the line, it was only a matter of time before the licensing fees for the IP overtook the sales figures and put FFG's RPG branch in the red.

One of my roommates who is an avid Star Wars collector and happens to like the game too noticed a major drop in the quality of the editing and layout of the game a couple of books back and saw this coming.

This is normally (but not always) an indicator of a company trying to offset cost by limiting the backstage expenses like full-time editors.

So with their major cash cow dying, and the fact that (though you might not like the idea) L5R and Genesys are niche products at the best of times. 

Add to this the large amount of the L5R fanbase they lost with the New Story/Mechanics and the line was doomed to failure without the continual revenue from the Star Wars Line.

The end of the RPG branch was pretty much guaranteed.

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I'm more inclined to blame the private equity firm that owns Asmodee (and by extension, FFG) than I am nebulous claims that the Star Wars sequels drove players away from RPGs set distinctly in the time period the original Star Wars trilogy takes place in or that sales were bad. To my knowledge, all FFG products were doing fairly well on DriveThruRPG (which is the biggest shop-place for PDFs I know of); L5R was in the top 200 (putting it on equal with fairly popular contemporary RPGs such as Shadow of the Demon Lord, Apocalypse World, and Onyx Path's more niche gamelines like Changeling or Demon), and Genesys in the top 50 (selling about as good as Onyx Path's big three RPGs, which is a pretty big deal since Vampire the Requiem is a top 5 seller in the industry period.) According to ICv2, FFG's Star Wars RPG was still holding out third place for best selling RPG gamelines in spring 2019. I'm thinking this is just the private equity firm doing what private equity firms always do, which is scalping profitable things because they aren't making all the profit possible, so they can sell the company off to some other company that obsesses over meaningless metrics.

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On 2/20/2020 at 2:44 AM, Tonbo Karasu said:

If it were Asmodée France who would be producing it from now on?  That would also seem weird.

 

It makes some sense. I know for the card game at least, L5R is insanely more popular in Europe then the Americas. So if the same goes for the RPG, maybe? Especially if they are being the most vocal about the RPG currently.

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On 2/21/2020 at 4:59 PM, tenchi2a said:

Though I agree with most of what you said since I am not a big fan of the New story/Mechanics of L5R , I believe the death of the RPG lines of FFG have more to do with Star Wars then L5R.

 The true issues IMHO is the new Star Wars movies destroying the fanbase and driving people away from the IP.

Without a continuing Star Wars well of collectors and gamers alike to support the line, it was only a matter of time before the licensing fees for the IP overtook the sales figures and put FFG's RPG branch in the red.

One of my roommates who is an avid Star Wars collector and happens to like the game too noticed a major drop in the quality of the editing and layout of the game a couple of books back and saw this coming.

This is normally (but not always) an indicator of a company trying to offset cost by limiting the backstage expenses like full-time editors.

So with their major cash cow dying, and the fact that (though you might not like the idea) L5R and Genesys are niche products at the best of times. 

Add to this the large amount of the L5R fanbase they lost with the New Story/Mechanics and the line was doomed to failure without the continual revenue from the Star Wars Line.

The end of the RPG branch was pretty much guaranteed.

Yeah, the $1.07 billion Rise of Skywalker took at the box office are a sure sign that no money can be made from Star Wars. Dead property. No interest from anyone. Mandalorian, similarly, hasn't been an enormous success propping up the Disney+ network all by itself. Anyone who thinks money can be made out of Star Wars is mad.

Ultimately they've produced an LCG that hasn't taken the world by storm but must be making enough since they're continuing with it; fiction that people like but that we've got no real idea on the financial success of, but again they're continuing; and an RPG that FF/Asmodee don't believe there's enough profit to be made out of to invest the money.

The RPG had some good points and some bad points, but it was a game that always had a limited audience, an audience that would have to be nurtured, something that didn't seem to happen. Instead we got a mixed set of messages about what the game was about: it is a social game with limited social rules, it is a game about fighting monsters but the combat isn't that detailed, it is a game about politics but the real politics are driven by the metaplot of the card game and the fiction, it is a game about samurai and now we're introducing all sorts of non-samurai characters... 

Sadly, it was also a game that attracted a passionate and poisonous community - that's you guys - that left it with no chance of success. Any time a newbie popped their head in they were told how terrible it was. You can't pee in the pool every day and then act surprised when the pool shuts down because nobody wants to swim in it.

It is what it is, I'm going back to 4th Ed and maybe the future will bring something better.

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