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Legend of the Five Rings: 3rd Edition Revised
by Nicolas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2011 03:27:30

Extremely expensive for a badly scanned document. Très cher pour un maivais scan.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: 3rd Edition Revised
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Legends & Lairs: Traps & Treachery
by Rick K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2011 02:19:05

This is an excellent book. Originally I was looking for a book with some interesting "trap" ideas, but this book surprised me with a lot more material than I bargained for. There is some excellent information on running a thieves guild as well as more material on spells and trinkets related to the trade of thieves. After reading this book I had more adventure ideas for campaigns involving rogue characters, including more diplomatic roles (spy's) it really opened up the thief class as being more than just an underhanded activity.

At a $5 price this is a steal of a deal



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legends & Lairs: Traps & Treachery
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L5R Encyclopedia:The comprehensive L5R CCG compendium
by David R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2011 15:14:11

The bad rating is not a judgement on the book itself but rather on the PDF.

It is a scan of the book, which unfortunately means there is a significant downgrade of the quality of the text and pictures.

It is serviceable, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone other than die-hard L5R fans.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
L5R Encyclopedia:The comprehensive L5R CCG compendium
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Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:26:27

Nice introductory adventure to bring new players to the complex setting of L5R.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
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Secrets of the Crane
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:22:23

I didn't like this book so much as the older "Way of" books of first edition, the fact that this was during the time AEG decided to turn the game into a D20 didn't help either.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Crane
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Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2011 08:41:31

Legend of the Five Rings is one of the most complex and elegant pseudo-Japanese fantasy settings in the market today. It boasts of a reputation of being one of those games that plays up the importance of social and cultural aspects of life in the setting of Rokugan. This comes from the focus on Honor and Duty, which weigh very heavily in the lives of the player characters.

The Roll and Keep system has been improved and streamlined from the 3rd Edition of the game, resulting in a faster, easier to learn incarnation in 4th Edition. The book goes to great lengths to provide a wealth of character options that allow for a massive array of character types.

The setting itself is very vivid, and while some might complain about the overload of information and detail, the 4th edition actually tries it's best to be as friendly to newcomers as possible The book covers all the Major Clans of the setting in a fashion that plays up their unique cultures, beliefs and strengths in a manner that anyone can understand without having to be a long time fan or a player of their CCG.

The book itself looks absolutely gorgeous, with a stunning layout and excellent artwork. The presentation is top notch and leaves very little to be desired. Definitely a must have in any RPG collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
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Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
by DAVID F D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2011 06:00:28

My one gripe here is that, despite being a "complete" update, there's no full setting map. I've seen the 3.0 version, which has a 2-page map of the whole continent. This has little clips of it in sections, way back in the geography section, which is ok, but no big picture. As I haven't yet seen the 3.0 version available here (unless its packaged w/ the movie?), I'm still hoping to see a full map file show up. Art is good, mechanics are internally consistent, LOVE the heroic paths.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/12/2011 01:05:29

This is actually quite a good introduction to L5R for a group that has very little (or no) experience with the game. It does present a heavily cut-down version of the rules (and a small grimoire-worth of spells for the shugenja) that makes getting to play a swift experience. There are enough rules to play out the entire module, and they capture the flavour of the system very well. Groups wanting to continue will need to purchase the rulebook. The story in the module is, on the surface, very simple, but in true L5R style, there are many layers to peel back. It is possible to cruise through the module in a linear fashion, but there are a wealth of opportunities to engage with the social structure, etiquette and customs that make Rokugan such a rich setting. There are political and face-saving schemes afoot in the background, with plenty of clues and opportunities for characters to chase down leads (in a respectful manner, of course). There are a number of ways that the plot can be resolved, all with their own ramifications and enough meaty choices for philosophical souls to mull over.

The only detraction in this was the way in which the pregenerated characters are set out. they simply run on from page to page, and cutting them out to hand to players is a nightmare. I would strongly suggest that AEG take a look at how Catalyst handle their quick-play characters. Catalyst presents double-sided half-page characters with a small illustration; with the sheets easily cut, or torn out and distributed. Not so with this AEG product.

that said, this issue isn't insurmountable (more an annoyance), and the quality of the module more than makes up for it. I'd highly recommend this to absolutely anyone who has ever looked at L5R and thought 'it looks interesting...' It is indeed, and this module showcases why.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
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Legend of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/03/2011 20:24:31

This is the type of book that you want to read through in its’ entirety and then let the ideas clatter about inside your head. The sheer diversity of the adversaries covered makes this a remarkably appealing addition to any L5R GM’s bookshelf (virtual or otherwise). The designers have excelled in concentrating on a wide breadth of thematically different races and organisations so there is very little repetition throughout the book.

Included is a widespread conspiracy that most think of as a folktale (the Kolat), the monsters of the Shadowlands and the Undead, the Bloodspeaker Cults, Ronin, Nezumi, Naga and my personal favourite – the Nothing (an unknowable, implacable elemental force beyond human comprehension). The choice of ‘evil’ for your campaign is a huge strength to the book, but it goes far beyond simply providing a horde of stats and new powers. Whilst these are present, the real gold lies within the descriptions. Comprised of legends, half-truth, rumour, advice and ‘behind the curtain’ designers sidebars, each chapter fulsomely covers the enemy, gives advice for scaling character interaction with it, and even foreshadowing its arrival. There is plenty of fodder to flesh out a campaign centred on only a single chapter, providing rich story information, as well as the much-needed stat blocks.

The writing style shifts from conversational to storyteller to informative as required and makes the text easier to read, and the artwork is brilliant. I especially liked the quasi-Japanese watercolours set behind the pages (although the artistic values for the chapter on The Nothing are superbly executed).

I had no complaints about this book save the fact that I don’t have the free time to launch into an L5R campaign immediately after purchasing this book. That’s probably for the best though – it will give the seeds of adventure a little more time to take root. For those of you with the time (and I am deeply envious of you), this represents a solid addition to a long line of good L5R books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire
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Anima: Beyond Fantasy Game Master's Toolkit
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2011 02:32:57

The description pretty much states what you get, so I'll fill in more details with a review of the adventure and the format of the PDF.

The adventure is a three-act multi-session adventure for 3-5 first level characters. Each act is unique. The first takes place on a zepplin, involving the characters daringly saving the passengers and crew from a hijacking. The next find the characters lost on a settled island, slowly sinking into fear and despair. The last brings the characters to a climactic conclusion, in which they must release a Lady of Nightmares to defeat not one, but two, Between Worlds Beings. Quite a bit for first level, eh? The adventure has a healthy dose of combat, investigating, and interactions with colorful NPCs unique to the Anima universe. While the plots of the acts aren't too far from your typical FRPG adventure, the NPCs are definitely of the romance and villainy of Final Fantasy and similar computer RPGs.

The PDF is in beautiful color, and is best for iPad and color laser printer output. I do wish that a printer-friendly version of the book was included. Some of the rich color art becomes too dark in greyscale. And, of course, much of the eye-candy that impresses in a publisher-printed book becomes a source of ink and toner consumption when printed by the purchaser. The PDF comes with a four-panel reference screen that I had trouble printing on four separate sheets. That being said, a major advantage of printing out the PDF as individual sheets is that the game master can let the players access the first half of the book (new rules and new options) while keeping the rest of the book (the twenty pregenerated first-level characters and the adventure) to himself.

So if you're an iPad owner who's considering this supplement, you're definitely better off buying the PDF than the book. Others will have to judge how much the aesthetics of a beautifully published book from the publisher matters against the half price of the PDF.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Anima: Beyond Fantasy Game Master's Toolkit
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Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
by Michael W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2011 16:59:06

Anima Beyond Fantasy is a very good-looking roleplaying game that is heavily influenced by Japanese Anime and JRPGs. If you are into games like the Final Fantasy series, you will definitely like Anima's setting. The rules of the game remind me a lot of Rolemaster. It almost looks like a direct clone in certain aspects. While I am normally into more rules-light games, I found Anima's system strangely compelling. The campaign setting included in the book is a mixture between fantasy and historic elements. As noted before the artwork is top-notch and I could see people picking this title up for the artwork alone. The only drawback is the steep price. While the hardcover edition is well worth its price because of the high printing quality and size of the book, I find $30 are a bit too much for a PDF. But aside from that, I wholeheartedly recommend Anima Beyond Fantasy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
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Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Dennis S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/01/2011 23:48:55

Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition continues to provide the same interesting, flavorful japanese roleplaying game in its latest edition. The rules are still the same roll and keep you knew, and if you knew it, you'll be able to pick everything up quick. There are changes though, and I believe they're for the better. Schools have been organized better, they're more balanced, and they're very interesting. If you don't know the rules, they're easier than ever to pick up, although there's a lot of stuff to be read. Still, there really isn't any RPG like L5R out there. It's not for everyone, but the people who understand it will buy this edition of the game. It's well worth the reinvestment.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
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Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
by Kevin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2011 15:52:58

This pdf was made available for free, which is definitely a shame, as I would have been extremely happy with my purchase had I spent money on it. This module is ready to go, no NPC creation necessary. It deftly handles multiple paths a group of samurai handling this adventure might take, written out like a mini "choose your own adventure" for STs. I have never read a module and immediately felt comfortable with the thought of running it without making some kind of change, but this did not need any. I truly hope AEG makes more of these, and I will purchase any that they make.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
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Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun
by Kevin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/02/2011 09:50:29

This book is nothing but general setting info, often repeated from other L5R sources, most of which in no way pertains to a court setting. I purchased this in hopes of better understanding how a traditional Winter Court would flow, a topic strangely absent from this book. The book did give me noteworthy NPCs (for the time period) and a map of Kyuden Seppun, but I am no closer to understanding the schedule of events or traditions of an actual court in Rokugan. This is the first L5R book I have purchased and later felt cheated.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun
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Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/25/2010 10:06:23

Passing by a couple of pages tabulating and categorising the dragons herein, we come to a Welcome! which explains both that this is the first softcover book in the Legends and Lore series (although preceded by several hardbacks) and something about the contents. The dragon, of course, is THE iconic fantasy monster, and one which characters, however powerful, ought to fear. Some of the dragons presented here are designed to be just that, the fearsome end-of-campaign climactic challenge. Others, whilst still posing sufficient challenge to make any character think twice about taking them on, have purposes such as populating specific environments or meeting particular needs.

Each dragon is presented in a standard manner, with a stat block and considerable amounts of descriptive material. Tables cover the necessary detail pertaining to draconic abilities based on age/size. Most are going to provide opposition to your characters, although a few have sufficient intelligence and inclination to become allies or companion beasts. The aquatic varieties are of particular interest, as is the cavern dragon which is only to be found in the darkest depths underground. This dragon is blind, but has excellent hearing and sense of smell - it is said that one you have attracted the attention of a cavern dragon the only escape is to get above ground, as they do not venture out onto the surface. Their lack of sight provides for some unusual treasure hoards as they eschew the 'shiny' items in favour of those which feel or smell attractive.

Diamondback dragons like mountainous regions near deserts and feature a rattle on the end of the tail, the source of their magical abilities which include hypnosis and suggestion, although they are powerful fighters and have a breath weapon as well. They are crafty and, as they are restless wanderers, ensure that their lairs are protected by ample traps to guard them whilst they are out.

As for the aquatic dragons, a fun one is the dragonshark, which combines the most savage aspects of a dragon and a shark - not something you want circling around when at sea. They number amongst the several 'mindless killing machine' dragon varieties in this book, although some aquatic communities claim to have managed to tame dragonsharks if captured young. There are aquatic 'real' dragons as well, the oceanic dragon poses a threat to ships while the reef dragon is smaller and weaker, using skills, magic and allies to make up for their less-than-imposing stature.

A reclusive and uncivilised group of sentient humanoids, the dragoth, are available as NPCs or indeed characters. Bearing draconic characteristics such as coloured scales (in the hues of the main chromatic dragons) and accessing, at higher levels, breath weapons they could prove an interesting culture to interact with, despite being regarded as mere legend by many.

Drakes are smaller cousins to the true dragons and can prove valued companions if they choose to befriend you. Variants can serve as mounts, guards, scouts or couriers, all exhibiting great loyalty as well as mental communication with their companion being... and, it seems, the drake is convinced that it's an equal partnership, whatever the companion may think!

Tome lizards are strange, although not smart enough to be able to read they love books and are drawn to libraries. They can be trained as guards, provided you can keep them from eating the volumes in their care! Their breath weapon is a black ink, prized amongst wizards for writing in spellbooks, and they can make good familiars. They have more dubious uses: wizards have been known to release one in a rival's library and they can be used to destroy other records that a crafty individual would prefer remained unknown or unavailable.

Amongst the other varieties presented, another intriguing one is the woolly dragon, which lives in extreme cold and is an intelligent and cruel hunter. Although scaled, they also grow fur or wool, hence the name. They do not fly but climb well, and harbour a mutual racial hatred for white dragons.

From the ecological stand-point, this is a fun assemblage of variants on the theme of 'dragon' - you can imagine numerous learned tomes tracing the relationships between the creatures here and the classic dragons we already know. There's plenty of scope for adventure and encounters involving these creatures, in all a neat collection.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legends & Lairs: Draconic Lore
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