Originating as a collection chronicling David Gordon’s return to the Legend of the 5 Rings CCG after a a number of yr absence, Dave of the 5 Rings continues on as he examines the current and future of the long-lasting world of Rokugan upon the game’s sale to FFG in 2015.
Chapter 39: The More Issues Change…
Good day once more, pricey reader. I hope that June has handled you nicely and that you simply enjoyed the present of the Daimyo L5R format in my earlier article. I want to start at this time by thanking each the Artwork of WarCast and the staff over at New England L5R for his or her continued help of this little experiment. I can be packing a Daimyo deck if I make my approach out to the Winter Courtroom World Championships in November for L5R, and hopefully we will decide up a recreation or two. Rumor has it that there may even be plans for a Daimyo take-over of a Skirmish pod. Who is aware of?
A Quick Daimyo Word
Moreover, because the query has been raised a pair occasions, the artist who offered both the format and the paintings of the Halls of the Daimyo Stronghold did a restricted time pre-order for a professionally printed version of the cardboard. Whereas that window closed on the end of June, it is still potential that extras could also be obtainable. I might advocate contacting Rhiannon McCullough by way of her web site to inquire about extras or different help for Daimyo L5R tournaments.
We can be internet hosting one in Derry, New Hampshire on August 11th at Midgard Comics and Video games. Will probably be a charity event, with all proceeds going in the direction of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Let me guarantee you, pricey reader, that there are only a few causes nearer to my coronary heart than the battle to stop suicide. Any help you may give them, I extremely respect.
Now, with that info out of the best way, we’ve got a whole month’s value of stories to discuss, don’t we?
The Swirling Sands of Organized Play
As all the time, it’s the Organized Play aspect of the Legend of the 5 Rings LCG which presents the liveliest of stories. Late Might noticed two main tournaments with drastically totally different metas, and June saw the native Elemental Championship right here in New Hampshire.
Both the Birmingham Grand Kotei in the UK and the Seattle Grand Kotei within the US have been held on Might 29th, with 249 gamers throughout two qualifying days within the former and 76 players within the one qualifying day in the latter. The Birmingham Grand Kotei, held at the UK Video games Expo, offered a robust presence of the Unicorn Clan throughout both qualifying days. The 16 spots which qualified have been pretty evenly distributed across Clan strains, with David Hoyland taking house the prize for the Crab Clan, besting the 2018 Shogun World Champion, Erik Baalhuis, who was enjoying Crane.
Resulting from a delivery delay, the Crane Clan Pack was not authorized for the Birmingham event however it was for Seattle, the outcomes of which differed drastically. Seattle saw a large presence of Scorpion Clan, although only one managed to make it by way of the gauntlet to the Prime eight. Yet Kevin Ho carried the Scorpion Clan all the best way to a victory over Aneil Seetharam, who was enjoying Crab. Congratulations to each David Hoyland and Kevin Ho for their victories!
Per typical, in the event you’re curious to listen to a more detailed rundown of the Birmingham or Seattle Grand Grand Koteis, examine their protection out over on the Imperial Advisor.
June in New England brought on both the summer time season and its Elemental Championship on June 22nd, hosted by Midgard Comics and Video games and giving me my first experience in operating a Formal degree occasion. Whereas not as giant as both the Saugus, MA Battlegrounds or Lebanon Black Moon Games Elemental Championships, we hosted 22 players throughout all seven Great Clans.
That stated, four of our players already held World Championship invitations and three held the title of Hatamoto, as soon as once more proving New England to be a specific crucible for L5R Organized Play. We ran four rounds of Swiss earlier than a reduce to the Prime eight, with one player bowing out after Swiss and giving her spot in the finals to 9th place. Congratulations to Brandon Lane of the NEL5R podcast, enjoying the Scorpion Clan and triumphing over our finalist, Ray Ortgiesen of the Dice or Dying Twitch stream, enjoying the Phoenix Clan. I want to give further shout-outs to Casey Hayes, our Paragon of Courtesy for her exceptional demonstrations of excellent sporting conduct, and Nick Mason of the Meek Info podcast, our Paragon of Honor for incomes the one Honor victory that event. The Meek Informant additionally streamed the matches with reside commentary and will probably be posting them on their YouTube channel.
Winter News In Summer time
In other Organized Play information, Tyler Parrott went on FFG’s livestream on June sixth to offer info relating to the 2019 Winter Courtroom World Championships for the LCG. This shall be held on the FFG Games Middle in Roseville, MN from November 6-10, 2019. Whereas no info was offered about the potential for RPG occasions at this event, he did affirm that the event can be open to anyone who had a ticket to any of the events held in the course of the Winter Courtroom, together with a Final Probability Qualifier on November 6th, which will probably be open to most of the people.
The 128 seat event is barred to these whom already have a Worlds Invitation and will qualify the top 64 players to play within the World Championships. It was confirmed that this might maintain true even when less than 128 gamers signed up. As one of many many who have not earned a World’s Invite, I applaud this choice by Fantasy Flight Video games to keep the Winter Courtroom event accessible to as many individuals as attainable.
Right here is hoping my finances hold regular and I can make the flight out there in November…
Restricted Listing Modifications
The ultimate piece of OP information from June was the release of a new Guidelines Reference Information and an replace to the Restricted Record, which went into effect this week. While hypothesis ran rampant earlier than the release of this announcement, the actual modifications finally targeted around a single dominant deck. With Spyglass being added to the Restricted Listing, the Unicorn Clan finally have joined the ranks of the opposite Nice Clans with one thing on there. It was added, nevertheless, not on account of any of their decks, however the dominant Crab Clan deck that has existed because the recreation was re-released in 2017.
This deck, a Crab Clan deck with a Unicorn splash, targeted on establishing an enduring board presence whereas pressuring Dishonor via Watch Commander and Spyglasses. Such decks shared some area within the Crab Clan with wide-board strategies for a short time earlier than Rebuild exchanged places with Iron Mine on the Restricted Listing, eliminating that technique virtually overnight. Mockingly, the official reasons given have been to not weaken the Crab Clan, who’ve been performing fairly properly within the current Kotei season, however to drive them to vary and evolve their decks. This has not essentially gone over nicely amongst Crab Clan players generally, however quite like their Clan in the lore of the sport, most easily accepted that they’ll simply need to do extra with much less – though some have begun to embrace a just lately launched Province which permits for an almost infinite combo. (I might advocate testing a current article from Joe From Cincinnati for extra info on that front.)
The brand new Guidelines Reference Information also offers additional language relating to the interplay of the Disguised key phrase and the way it necessitates the discarding of a non-Distinctive Character as part of its costs. If the non-Unique Character cannot be discarded, it is an illegal goal for the activation of the keyword, thus stopping the Disguised Character from getting into play using it.
The Good And Dangerous News of New Pack Statuses
The ultimate two Dynasty Packs have been announced for the Inheritance Cycle, together with several previews. A Champion’s Foresight will focus around the Dragon Clan’s involvement within the coming chaos as a result of eat the Imperial capital in the wake of the dying of Hantei the 38th. Shiro Kitsuki, the primary new Dragon Clan Stronghold because the Core Set, permits a Dragon Clan participant to name a card every Battle, and declare a Ring each time their opponent performs that card. How this enables a Dragon Clan player to advance in the direction of victory could be very unclear, although some predict that this will probably be a mid to late recreation economic Stronghold.
For my two zeni, I’m most curious how this Stronghold will work together with the present Enlightenment Multiplayer guidelines, as it may possibly permit for an accelerated victory by simply claiming Rings outdoors of profitable Conflicts.
The sixth and remaining Dynasty Pack of the Inheritance Cycle, Shoju’s Obligation, presents a very curious consequence of the events of the coming fiction. Due in November, this pack would coincide with the Winter Courtroom World Championship and encompasses a new version of the Scorpion Clan Champion. With paintings displaying Bayushi Shoju sitting on the Jade Throne of Rokugan, the flavor text of this card speaks to his reluctance to take on this activity. Other previews from this pack present a spotlight around the Scorpion Clan and the Imperial keyword, presaging a gathering of each the facility of the Imperial throne and the Emerald Empire’s villains par excellence. As a fan of the previous lore, I have my cash on Shoju taking the throne within the wake of chaos, figuring out that the Great Clans will overthrow him and take away him. He’s doing what is important, the ugly obligation of being the villain the Empire must survive. The question remains of where the Heirs are on the time of this, and if they’re both even nonetheless alive.
The first Inheritance Cycle Dynasty Pack, For The Empire, released on June 20th within the US, and its influence on the game is already being felt. As aforementioned the new Province, Gateway to Meido, has opened up an infinite combo to the Crab Clan, though play has shown that even with out the infinite a part of the combo, the Crab Clan can still make the Province shine.
Time will inform if the brand new Events designed to make the Bushi key phrase stronger will succeed, but the Unicorn Clan have undoubtedly found a winner in Adorned Barch. Its potential to move a Character into a Conflict whereas bowing an opponent punishes any dedication out of your opponent. As an Attachment, it doesn’t bow throughout Battle resolution, and so it may be used to maneuver a bowed attacker right into a defending military, locking down the opponent’s largest tower in doing so. I truthfully anticipate to see this merchandise discover its means into any deck splashing Unicorn and on the lookout for something spicy to run alongside their Talismans and Gaijin Customs. With Spyglass on the RL particularly, anticipate to see this take its place in Crab.
Regrettably, we are nonetheless awaiting the release for the Lion Clan Pack, The Emperor’s Legion. The newest info states an anticipated release date of August 2019, though it’s not anticipated to be obtainable before or at Gen Con. Right here’s hoping that it’ll not be struck with an sudden delay. The Lion Clan have been on the backside of the competitive barrel because the release of the primary Restricted Listing, and giving them a playstyle extra than just “Huge Pink Numbers” can be a welcome change.
Roleplaying Releases and A Pricey Deer Clan Letter
Late June was moderately fruitful for RPG releases, nevertheless. The last week of June saw the release of two books for the RPG along with a short state of affairs to accompany them. Courts of Stone is a brand new sourcebook in comparable size to Shadowlands and offers element for the castles of Rokugan, together with the political intrigue and courts held inside. Courts of Stone also particulars the Crane Clan, fleshing out every of its families and tweaking a number of the fluff ever so barely from earlier editions.
Whereas the Doji and Asahina households stay principally the identical, the Kakita family are made much more specific of their position as the provocateurs of the Crane Clan, dwelling as much as each trope of the handsome, most popular jock in class who will get away with the whole lot they need as a result of they will win each struggle. The Daidoji are given probably the most distinct change though, with the family’s troublesome process of defending Crane lands given much more detail than in previous editions and an emphasis given to their devotion to non-public Honor. It’s a recent reinterpretation of the family which made “To Do What We Must” their signature move, sacrificing their lives for the dignity of the Crane Clan.
Sadly, I want I might give as much praise to the Deer Clan. A Minor Clan new to Legend of the 5 Rings completely, the Deer Clan is an offshoot of the Crane Clan who got the Aokami Woods on the border between the Lion and the Crane. Ostensibly a clan of matchmaking shugenja and their spear-wielding shinobi assassins, the Deer Clan failed to really deliver something new to the table. Placing apart the credulity of a Minor Clan able to manipulating all levels of society and getting away with it (L5R is a recreation about magical samurai; any argument favoring “realism” is doomed to failure), the Deer Clan compete in many ways with present parts of the world.
Setting Nice Clans towards each other to keep them in stability, particularly by means of manipulative marriages? This can be a play straight out of the Otomo household. Shugenja who can see the strains of Destiny and manipulate them? That is primarily what the Tonbo of the Dragonfly are all about. After which there are the spear-wielding shinobi assassins. Why have been the Deer Clan given two faculties when the Falcon Clan were given just one? Why not detail the Dragonfly Clan if we needed fate-reading shugenja? If we needed a shinobi Minor Clan, why not the Cat Clan which have been mentioned within the Core Guidelines?
As it stands, the Deer Clan feel like the pet venture of one of many writers, and as that, they feel unfocused and occupy area which historically fell to other teams. Nevertheless, I’ll say one constructive thing about this clan: there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the renegade Shika Matchmaker, who travels round Rokugan, looking for out their subsequent One True Pairing, and then makes use of their magic to pressure their chosen victims right into a succession of more and more unlikely meet-cutes, all while lurking within the shadows, murmuring “Now KISS!”
Courts of Stone finishes with an expansive section of latest mechanics, targeted primarily across the several new shinobi faculties the ebook introduces. Each the Ikoma Shadow and the Bayushi Deathdealer I anticipate to grow to be favorites of players looking for extra dependable reroll mechanics in the L5R RPG, while the Doji Bureaucrat and the Mercenary Ninja present choices for these of us preferring extra dependable talents. Several new weapons and gear complement a set of latest Methods, with new Ninjutsu and new Games-related Shuji being the actual shining stars right here. Bonds are a brand new mechanic which perform just like an interpersonal Benefit system, however I don’t see them gaining a lot traction with how unforgiving the Curriculum system works in the RPG.
Courts of Stone additionally offers a guide for storytellers to raised incorporate shinobi and Courtesy into the RPG and the best way to give every their alternative to shine. All in all, Courts of Stone supplies extra to a GM and player of L5R RPG than Shadowlands, and I might highly recommend any GM or any player taken with enjoying a coutier or shinobi purchase it. While I am not a fan of the Deer Clan, I am sure it has its audience, and I hope to see it develop and develop into a Minor Clan equal to the others within the lore.
In fact, my strongest criticism of Courts of Stone is in its copy modifying, as I was capable of spot multiple vital errors in my first learn by way of. While I did not discover an prevalence of the previous “Reference Web page XX”, there was a outstanding line describing the Kakita family as “cultured rouges”, and a repeating of a line in the description of a Faculty Potential which was obviously rewritten with out the previous text being removed.
Winter’s Embrace additionally launched in June to accompany Courts of Stone. Set in the course of the Winter Courtroom the yr earlier to the dying of Doji Satsume, Winter’s Embrace provides a robust introduction to the Rokugani courtroom. The module is well-paced and reveals several fascinating secrets about sure loyalties, one in every of which I’m notably curious on how it will inform the occasions of the Inheritance Cycle fiction. The Scroll or the Blade is a free DLC companion state of affairs written by Ian Houlihan, which may serve to flesh out the occasions of Winter’s Embrace, just like how Knotted Tails expanded on the events of Masks of the Oni. I discovered that The Scroll or the Blade presents a superb addition to the module, and one which ought to get gamers used to the thought of ‘no right decisions, just penalties’ which is important to good storytelling in Rokugan.
Rokugan In Arrested Improvement
In terms of present lore for the game, nevertheless, things have been abnormally quiet. No new fiction released in June, though a notable story determination was made on the UK Video games Expo. As beforehand mentioned, Shiba Tsukune was contemplating where she would send her advisor, Asako Maezawa. In particular, she wanted to choose between sending him to the Imperial capital of Otosan Uchi to root out evil magic there, or hold him back in Phoenix Clan lands. Gamers finally decided to maintain Asako Maezawa at house, a improvement principally considered the “protected” selection in the storyline. It’s going to definitely maintain Maezawa out of what has been referred to as by Tyler Parrott as the “worst 24 hours the Imperial capital has seen in a while”.
This subsequently marks the third month hanging on the cliff edge we slipped off during The Last Stone Played by Robert Denton III. The one hints we’ve acquired about what’s coming has been pieced collectively by livestream statements and the varied covers, titles, and previews of the Inheritance Cycle’s Chapter packs. Story inserts have been faraway from the Inheritance Cycle Dynasty Packs to make the story extra accessible (by eradicating the gate of having to buy a Dynasty pack). Still, the choice has been made to hold back the fiction for the Inheritance Cycle until all of it can be released as as soon as, though when that may come about has additionally but to be stated.
Current speculation places the discharge of this fiction to coincide with the street date of the discharge of the sixth and last Dynasty Pack in November – one thing the L5R group is just not proud of, by and enormous. For myself, I see each side of the difficulty. I might like to have extra fiction to read and talk about with the group, and nine months is a very long time to wait between one improvement and the subsequent. Then again, this provides the L5R Story Group the time and area to incorporate the outcomes of the 2019 Kunshuu Kotei Season and structure the Great Clan Story Decisions on the Winter Courtroom to mirror the fiction.
Luckily, there’s some hope on the horizon. The Everlasting Knot by Marie Brennan has been announced as the Dragon Clan novella, a reputation which must be acquainted to any long-time L5R fan. Marie Brennan was a featured member of the Story Workforce in the course of the preliminary fiction roll out in the course of the recreation’s relaunch. She also fleshed out the Togashi Dynasty as part of the L5R RPG underneath AEG. The Everlasting Knot will comply with the story of Togashi Kazue, a mysterious monk who has been mentioned briefly in the course of the opening Dragon Clan fiction, as well as Togashi Mitsu, a fan favorite character from each the previous lore and the new. Happening earlier than the beginning of the current storyline, this novella will doubtless reveal the sinister powers of her mysterious, titular tattoo and explore the mystic world of the Dragon Clan in higher detail. I look ahead to The Eternal Knot, and hope that FFG will give us extra info on its launch date soon.
And that brings us to the top of June’s news in Legend of the Five Rings. July is shaping up to be a relatively uneventful month, with Gen Con 2019 looming giant at its finish. And for those who did not secure your personal ticket to Fantasy Flight Games’ InFlight Report at Gen Con (or gained’t be attending the convention in any respect), haven’t any worry pricey reader! For up to the minute information for that occasion you’ll merely need watch my Twitter feed as I shall be livetweeting the event (especially any L5R gadgets). I even have tickets to the Grand Kotei and secured a ticket at the final table of an RPG state of affairs written for the occasion, “The Highwaymen”.
Fingers crossed that they’ll let me go house with a number of the materials this time! Until then.
Carry the Fortunes.
David Gordon is a daily contributor to the location. A storyteller by commerce and avowed tabletop veteran, he also has an extended and sophisticated past with L5R. These are his stories. He may be reached on Twitter.
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Photograph Credit: Legend of the 5 Rings photographs by Fantasy Flight Games.