DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories













Back
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook $49.95 $24.95
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
43 6
11 0
2 1
0 1
0 0
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Click to view
You must be logged in to rate this
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2020 10:56:37

This new take on L5R by FFG (now EDGE) presents some novel ideas on the old roll and keep. the novelty dice might look like a cheap money grab (which I'll partly concede) but they work marvelously with the new system. My only complaint about the book and the main reason why I give 3 stars instead of 5 is because of chapter 6. Chapter 6: Scenes and Conflicts is the meat of the system, providing rules on how to play the many situations where players face opposition. The problem here is twofold. The system tries to be a narrative and tactical system at the same time and accomplishes neither. So you can have situations where going strictly by the rules, a samurai with a katana dueling someone with a bow can hit the bow user even if they are out of reach, also, Duels provide many different actions but the only one worth taking is always attacking, so forget about the old Iaijutsu duels where one strike decided the victor. Intrigues, the "social conflict" provides few examples and not enough guidelines, so a rookie GM might have trouble adjudicating an Intrigue scenario. Skirmishes, the default combat scenario works only if everyone is already adjacent to everyone else, because tactical moving in this system doesn't work. Finally, Mass Combat is awful, it takes forever and clearly it wasn't playtested enough because just like duels there's only one right choice and that is kill the opposing commander. Finally, the book is highly disorganized, with information being found in unexpected places like sidebars in a previous chapter. I have hopes that with Edge taking point now, they will plan on releasing a revised edition of the corebook where they fix chapter 6.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Alex N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/19/2020 01:56:26

Great ruleset. Cant say enough good stuff about narrative dice vs the d20 system. I appreciate FFG including section on crafting your own everything (equipment, monsters, etc).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Piotr K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/01/2019 05:19:35

Some great improvements over 4th edition in terms of modality and narrative pacing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Luigi Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/22/2019 19:32:55

I was new to the Legend of the Five Rings, having never played the previous editions nor the card game - and I fell in love with this game. It is samurai drama at its finest. The setting and system are geared towards the fantasy of living in the complicated society of honor-bound samurai. Dividing the land into seven clans, each with personalities of their own, is amazing. To date, there's been two sourcebooks detailing more of the scenario. It has been wonderful. And the support from Fantasy Flight Games is amazing. After release they provided us with a PDF with a higher res version of the maps and, so far, five adventure books - three of them free to download from their website. I'm also part of a Discord channel with other L5R to set up games and discuss, which makes it even more fun. Currently, Legend of the Five Rings is my favorite TTRPG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by YANN E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2018 09:58:00

For me the best L5R edition so far out of the L5R edition produced by AEG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Stephane D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/21/2018 02:36:51

Not a review of the overall book, but the PDF version didn't see much attention. In particular the map on page 19 is too low resolution to be usable. A clickable index and table of contents would also have been nice.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/01/2018 23:46:01

*“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

– Bruce Lee*

This game does not take on the same form as the old Legend of the Five Rings. Instead, it has changed for the better. Gone are old mechanical hangups, needless complexity, and even cultural missteps in the setting.

Guided by an appreciation for what came before, the designers exerted genuine effort to recreate what made it great by improving on what it was. In many ways, it was the change that we needed to bring the setting forward in a way that would remain relevant, accessible and fun for the next 20 years.

The rules are more narrative, and sometimes I can’t correctly map out the right Skill to use with an action, but that’s okay. What the new game loses in precision, it makes up for in spirit. It knows the themes and culture and tone it wants to be, and engages appropriately.

The Strife system is the trickiest to understand from a old gamer who never had to deal with stuff that was originally perceived as being part of pure “roleplaying.” But once it clicked, it brought a host of benefits to the game. Add the fact that it is also key to several other mechanics (most notably in Dueling) then you have a mechanic that says something about the setting.

Each of the subsystems has the seeds for great stories. Intrigues finally has a mechanical backbone to support itself, while Skirmishes, Duels and Mass Battles all make a return. While I have some small concerns about Intrigues and Mass Battles, they all do their intended jobs, and in the hands of a competent GM, can be used to spin off into some very interesting scenarios.

The new approach to schools is a welcome change in my eyes, and allows for players to build their characters to their personal vision. There has been some niggling about “sub-optimal” choices, but to be perfectly frank, if optimization is your thing, then this version of L5R is probably not for you. 3e and 4e are still widely available if you’re here to optimize builds.

Conclusion

This edition is all about the stories you can tell. About characters with strengths and weaknesses that will go through moments where you will want to tear your hair out as they make bad decisions, and cheer when they are able to rise above the challenges that face them.

Few games give me the impression that it can be used to run games with high emotional stakes, like a romance, or a tragedy, but 5e seems to be tailored to it. Strife, Anxieties and Adversities all act as signposts that can guide a samurai through a gauntlet of emotions that they can’t publicly acknowledge, leading to some particularly spectacular moments of catharsis when they finally unmask and let loose upon the unfairness of the world.

If there’s one tiny downside that I can think of, it’s that as a GM, it can be taxing. Each player can use a multitude of Approaches in a given situation, paired with any of the skills. Framing those, and working it into the story is a shared load between you and the players, but since it’s likely that you have more experience with it, you’ll be doing the heavy lifting.

If you’ve ever had any love for samurai imagery, eastern cinema, wuxia stories or even anime, then buy this book. If you were a fan of L5R prior, then buy this book. If you’ve never heard of this game, then congratulations and buy this book.

It’s not without the occasional mechanical hiccup, but with the host of innovations to both rules and concepts, Fantasy Flight Games’ Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game is a triumphant return of one of the best intellectual properties in gaming to the form that suits it best.

Art and Layout

It would be unfair to end this without a quick note to the absolute quality of the artwork of the book.

The layout of the book is easy to read with a subtle textured background that doesn’t tire the eyes or make it hard to read the text. The text is in a standard two-column format, with callout boxes and little sidebars that add context or options as needed.

The artwork is top-notch, and I’m happy to say that there isn’t a single piece of art in the book that I wasn’t happy with. Overall, stunning work by the art team to make the book into something that I’d be happy to display publicly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Core Rulebook
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/05/2018 10:51:48

The first thing I noticed about this pdf is that the file performance is downright dreamy compared with the enormous and sluggish AEG pdfs. Pages load quickly, the main text font is a lot more readable even at small sizes, and it manages this without compromising the visual quality of the document. While I do somewhat miss the varied backgrounds of the 4th edition books, many of those went unread because it took anywhere from 3-5 seconds to turn a page. This book is a vast improvement in that regard.

(edit: OK, it's not entirely perfect in that regard. On pages with a large number of tables, such as the school curriculae, there seems to be some sort of incompatibility with Windows 10's native pdf rendering engine, making it display improperly or crash in Edge and other apps that use the same engine. It works fine with other readers, so this is more likely to be a Windows issue, thus I'm not taking points off for it).

I have mixed opinions on custom narrative dice systems, due to the learning curve involved in memorizing what the symbols are and what they do (and also partly due to the difficulty in convincing other people to use them), but compared with FFG's other offerings in that regard, the L5R dice are relatively simple, with only two types of dice and four symbols. The fact that they finally make the Roll&Keep mechanic relevant rather than just being a time-consuming extra step (as our group increasingly found to be the case in 3rd and 4th edition) is a major point in their favor. A lot of the mechanics of previous editions were ones our group simply forgot to use or used incorrectly for years, so the opportunity for a fresh start is welcome. Though personally it would be nice if Void points had been replaced with some sort of success-at-cost mechanic to further reduce the amount of resource management (since my group always forgets to use point-spending mechanics no matter what game they play), but this is not likely to be a problem for most groups.

I particularly approve of the encouragement for players to narrate both their own successes and failures, something that I try to promote but which many other games seem to actively discourage. As an improvisational GM, anything that takes some of the pressure of running the game off me is a benefit, and being freed from the responsibility of describing how characters fail is a major plus.

Overall, this ruleset should make running games in Rokugan a lot easier for me. I'll still continue to use my old books for setting information and inspiration (although I plan on moving over to the rebooted continuity, as I like most of the changes that have been made to the major characters), but having one with fewer specialty rules to remember and that doesn't take three times as long as it should just to turn the pages makes me very happy with this product.

I also recommend the dice app - it's very good quality and supports standard dice too, so it can still be used for 4th edition games (or anything else) if you want.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 8 (of 8 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
0 items
 Gift Certificates