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Legend of the Five Rings RPG Beta Announced

dm4hire

Explorer
Fantasy Flight has announced they are going to do an open beta for L5R, starting next week.

It is an era of sudden change and upheaval in Rokugan. Mortal schemes, natural calamities, and celestial turmoil alike have disrupted the political, military, and spiritual equilibrium of the land. Long-simmering rivalries and fresh betrayals ripple through the courts and on the battlefield. The Chrysanthemum Throne is beset by threats from without and within, and the honor of the seven Great Clans shall be put to the test. Who among the clans will prove strong enough to guide Rokugan in these tumultuous times? Will their names be lifted up beside those of the honored ancestors, or will they fall among the ranks of the empire’s most infamous villains?

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game Open Beta. For years, the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game has provided a roleplaying system that puts players in the roles of honorable samurai in the world of Rokugan. Now, Fantasy Flight Games invites you to help us take the next step in the Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying game with an open beta, available for free download beginning next week.
You can read the rest on their page: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/9/26/legend-of-the-five-rings-rpg-beta/

Update: Beta is available. You can find the 233 page rulebook at https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2017/10/4/honor-and-adventure-await/
 
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Anselyn

Explorer
Excellent news - really looking forward to this. Also - if a beta PDF will allow playtesting then presumably no requirement for special dice. The signup page has quick survey on previous RPG experience and previous time with L5R/Rokugan, which suggests that they're thinking carefully about the market for the game. (As you might well expect with FFG).
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Interesting questionaire when you sign up for the open beta. Not only do they ask about your experience with any of the previous versions of the RPG and the card game, but your opinions regarding the pillars of roleplaying (i.e. Exploration, social interaction, and combat). They seem genuinely interested to know what kind of game the fans will want to see.

And how is this not on front page yet, but we can see Jeremy Crawford in three back-to-back articles previewing small bits for another semi-annual product yet to be released from WotC? *hope I don't get ninja'd while writing this*
 



aramis erak

Adventurer
Excellent news - really looking forward to this. Also - if a beta PDF will allow playtesting then presumably no requirement for special dice. The signup page has quick survey on previous RPG experience and previous time with L5R/Rokugan, which suggests that they're thinking carefully about the market for the game. (As you might well expect with FFG).
It requires special dice. It is NOT Genesys engine, either.

It's still a Roll X keep Y, but now the dice are symbolic, and skills' dice are better odds (and on a d12) than rings' dice (which are d6's).

The sticker-sheet printable page is in the PDF. A conversion table is in the task rules.

So... the Genesys/Star Wars compatible wanters aren't getting their desire, the "save the D10 R&K" crowd don't get their wish.
 

Anselyn

Explorer
It requires special dice. It is NOT Genesys engine, either.

It's still a Roll X keep Y, but now the dice are symbolic, and skills' dice are better odds (and on a d12) than rings' dice (which are d6's).

The sticker-sheet printable page is in the PDF. A conversion table is in the task rules.

So... the Genesys/Star Wars compatible wanters aren't getting their desire, the "save the D10 R&K" crowd don't get their wish.
Time to try 7th Sea: Khitai ...
 

dm4hire

Explorer
It requires special dice. It is NOT Genesys engine, either.

It's still a Roll X keep Y, but now the dice are symbolic, and skills' dice are better odds (and on a d12) than rings' dice (which are d6's).

The sticker-sheet printable page is in the PDF. A conversion table is in the task rules.

So... the Genesys/Star Wars compatible wanters aren't getting their desire, the "save the D10 R&K" crowd don't get their wish.
I just started reading the player section so I'm past the basic rules section with the dice explanation. I like what I am seeing so far as it's more an amalgam of both systems. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would like the Genesys system for L5R and the Roll and Keep system has its flaws too. They appear to be trying to give the best of both worlds in an effort to balance the game. As has been pointed out on FFG's forum one advantage is that investing in a higher skill rank is now important vs just bumping your Rings. Rings determine how many dice you keep, but add the d6 while skill ranks add the d12 to the pool.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
It requires special dice. It is NOT Genesys engine, either.
Without having looked into the Beta rules, yet, this strikes me as the worst possible approach.

If FFG doesn't trust their Genesys system to work with their own RPGs, why should I?

This sends all the wrong signals, imho.
 

defendi

First Post
I've read about halfway through the rules. I haven't read Genysis yet, but I've heard alot about it and I've played star wars and all the L5R versions to date. I'm impressed with what they've done. There are issues I intend to report (after I've seen them in play and confirmed they ARE in fact issues). But I'm cautiously optimisitic.

The problem with Genysis, as I understand it, is that it violates the core concept of Legend of the Five Rings, that being the five rings. They have taken the heart of what they think make their narrative system special and the heart of what they think make L5R special and tried to merge them. While I have reservations in certain places, I'm way happier with the result than I expected to be.
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Still working through the entire pdf, but I am quite pleased from what I am seeing thus far. This system is, in fact, its own game and with good reasons. The designers have obviously done their research, not only with the mechanics and stories of previous editions, but also on the culture and legacy of Samurai, historically and in popular fiction. It would have been a greater mistake to try and shoehorn this into their new generic RPG system as some people expected. In this regard, it was the right call to make giving the game and its legacy a stand-alone system tailored specific for the setting with a unique style all its own.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
I got a CGen session with half a session of play.

Note: I'm using a mat for dice conversion - roll the dice, and put them on the symbol with the correct number. This is slower than stickered dice, but faster than straight table lookup, and doesn't require nearly as much cash-out-of-pocket.

The Strife mechanic is good so far.
The dice are great so far.

The odds of success on the D6 are 6/12, and on the d12 are 7/12
The odds of success without strife are 2/12 on the d6, and 4/12 on the d12.
Odds of explosion are 1/6 with strife allowed on either; none and 1/12 for no strife allowed.

It's pretty dynamic, and a bit fiddly, but it works better than the SW engine for what it's doing.

Difficulties are BLOODY HARD...

My players chose to keep fewer dice several times to avoid strife.

Strife recovery at end of scene is fixed, not rolled - a nice change from FFG-SW.

The approaches need to be divorced from the skill groups, but once that is done, pick a relevant approach, find the attribute, pick a suitable skill, and roll.

They've incorporated bits of several games mechanics, not just WFRP3, FFG-SW, and L5R 1e-4e... I see bits of Fireborn, as well. The approaches system is a reasonable adoption of Fireborn's method of selecting attributes for tasks. (Fireborn is an older FFG RPG)
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Without having looked into the Beta rules, yet, this strikes me as the worst possible approach.

If FFG doesn't trust their Genesys system to work with their own RPGs, why should I?

This sends all the wrong signals, imho.
Seeing it in play, no, it's sending the right one. They are not going to try to shoehorn every new game setting into one engine...

I mean, look at SJG and Palladium. Both have their house engines, and use them for everything... but those things are not always good fits.

Star Wars' dice mechanic produces lots of wild swings - sometimes even to the silly.

Genesys is expected to do the same, since the dice are (save for the specific symbols used for the various values) identical in distribution to the Star Wars dice. (Yeah, people have counted in the illos.) And so it's likely to have the same wild-to-silly swinginess.

By lacking difficulty dice, and by lacking negative direct effects, and by using the "Keep ≤X of Y rolled" mode, the negative sybols, which are always 2 symbol faces, are thus always chosen. Perhaps, because you want to succeed, you keep them. Perhaps, because you don't want to go postal, you don't, but then you don't succeed.
 

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