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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
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Legend of the Five Rings: Path of Waves
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2020 10:24:47

This book offers new ways of playing in Rokugan without being a Clan Samurai. It also offers new techniques, advantages and disadvantages and guidelines to creating your own school. My only caveat is that I feel this book could have been released later down the line considering we still have so much more pressing stuff like better rules for mass combat and fleshing out monks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Path of Waves
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Legend of the Five Rings: Emerald Empire
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/06/2020 09:45:36

The book provide a more in depth information for the setting even experienced players of the setting will find useful information here and for newbies it Really is a must have companion for the core book. It also brings mechanics to play as a member of the Imperial Families and cool titles.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Emerald Empire
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Legend of the Five Rings: Shadowlands
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/05/2020 16:38:06

This book has lots of stuff to run a Crab campaign on the Wall or the Shadowlands or a ghostbuster/ cultist hunter campaign. Overall, the schools presented here are really good additions with the caveats for the Kitsu Medic School that feels off for the Family and Clan, the Mirumoto Taoist Blade looks like the answer to the question "what happens when you mix a Mirumoto with a Togashi?" and the Kuni Warden because, just like with the Mirumoto Taoist, they are both Monk schools with access to kihō when right now there are like half a dozen kihō (or less) for each Ring, so these schools might become interesting later but right now, they don't have many techniques to choose from. There are rules for creating Kakita Blades, but if you compare the rules presented here with the Kakita Blade example provided on the corebook, the one in the corebook is clearly a nemuranai and impossible to replicate with the rules provided here. There is only one page of new "common" techniques but there's a ton of new Mahō. the rules for creating your own Oni look solid as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Shadowlands
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Legend of the Five Rings Celestial Realms
Publisher: EDGE Studio
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/04/2020 10:22:38

All this is just for chapter 2 and 3, that contain actual mechanical stuff.

  • Centipede Clan: great to have some fleshing out of this minor Clan and I admit I don't know so much about it from AEG time, but they look cool. They provide 3 possible schools for the minor clan, and the book provides only one, which is fair, we have some guidelines on creating new schools now. The problem is that the Sun Sentinels, that for some bizarre reason have the shugenja AND bushi tags, even though they just mentioned that the Moshi do have a bushi school and it's a shugenja school with no access to invocations, except the ones given in the curriculum which is only Fire invocations, which would be fine, except that 9 pages ago, they mention how the Sun Sentinels are famous for their Air and Fire invocations. I guess someone failed on their proofreading check...

I had discussed this with others that had already given their opinion on the schools but now actually having the chance to read them, let's go through the other schools:

  1. Agasha Alchemist: a waste of a page. They are what the Yogo Wardmasters are but with potions instead of wards. Besides, the Agasha Mystic alredy have in their fluff, if not their mechanics, that they already use alchemy to fuel their invocations anyway, so having another Agasha school called Agasha Alchemist, is redundant to say the least. If this was an Agasha smith instead, to do a homage to the the Tamori...
  2. Asahina Envoy: another Crane Courtier school but at least they are not Doji. This school is actually interesting, providing another way to play an Asahina that is not a Shugenja and providing another way of playing a Crane Courtier that doesn't have to always deal in favors and gifts.
  3. Ishiken Initiate School: after almost 2 years of waiting we finally have the Ishiken. I gotta say I am actually surprised how interesting this school is compared to previous iterations of the Ishiken.
  4. Kaito Spirit Seeker: I like on this different aspect of the Kaito obligations. Really cool school.
  5. Kaiu Architect: another waste of a page. We have a Kaiu Engineer already, why have a Kaiu Architect. What are we going to have next Kaiu Surveyor? Kaiu Interior Designer? (which actually makes me think a Kaiu Shugenja/Sage based on geomancy could be a really cool school for them).
  6. Kitsu Realm Wanderer: a way better Kitsu School than the Kitsu Medic from Shadowlands. With an interesting fluff and interesting mechanics. Besides, they are from the only interesting family in the whole Lion Clan.
  7. Shosuro Shadowweaver: ooooh, look at me, I am so edgy I have 3 different tags and even though I have a misleading name, I don't have any Shadow Brand mechanics. Also, I am yet another Shugenja and Shinobi school in a clan where 6 out of 7 schools are Shugenja or Shinobi... It's interesting that they can work better inside obscuring terrain but their school ability is like creating a sphere of darkness from DnD on the battlefield and hope an adversary will decide to go inside? Granted, on Rank 4+ that's the entire battlefield covered in darkess but stil... As assassins, the Shosuro Infiltrator from the core works better than them, as Bushi, the Deathdealers are way more interesting, as Shugenja they have a different role than the Soshi, but still feels like a waste of a really good page for a better school.
  8. Utaku Stablemaster: another waste of a page. A school that feels like an NPC school or if someone wanted to play the Lone Ranger in a High Fantasy Samurai game... Guys, look, I can summon a ride when I whistle...
  • The new advantages and disadvantages are really good and offer some interesting ideas for more.
  • Ancestral Swords: I mean, I guess it can have some value for those that want to know what the equivalent to a DnD artifact could look like in L5R but they are more interesting for fleshing out their stories than their actual mechanics.
  • Agasha Pattern: that would have worked amazingly with an Agasha Smith school in this book. Instead, I guarantee in the future we will have an Agasha Smith school that won't have this pattern because they won't reprint this pattern in that book.
  • Techniques: lots of invocations. It would be nice if we had had some kihō as well, we could have definitely removed some schools to have 4 pages that could be filled with a dozen new kihō...
  • Inversions are strange, which I guess was the intention. I like the way they use the dice, focusing on blanks which is like a really insightful idea.
  • Places of power are really nice.
  • The Bond with a Spirit title is awesome and creates some interesting storytelling hooks. The moon cultist title on the other hand, feels like something that an NPC would have and in this case, it could just be an NPC profile instead, also, it contains a typo where it says a certain technique is a kiho when it is a ritual.
  • I am honestly disappointed that there's a single new NPC. I was hoping for more supernatural creatures being shown here.

Overall, I would give this book a 4 out of 10. I had so many expectations for it and waited so long that I feel cheated. I honestly don't have much hope for Fields of Victory AT ALL, after this book. I sincerely don't get why we must have a school from every major clan in each new supplement and I would hope for more techniques, titles and creatures. I mean, the Shosuro Shadowweaver could have been a title that gives a Shadow Brand and would occupy half of a page. We have 4 schools that are slightly do-overs of previous schools or uninteresting that could have been used for kiho.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings Celestial Realms
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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-00: Back in Business
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:49:53

Simple mission: find someone, get paid in the end. It presents some of the major players for the campaign with extra possibilities of earning money. Plus, it has Maria Mercurial as background.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-00: Back in Business
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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-02: Extraction
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:47:29

Unfortunately my gaming group disbanded before we played this mission. The idea of this mission is a good one, but it relies a lot on the GM's ability of improvising, specially in the begining.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-02: Extraction
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Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
Publisher: EDGE Studio
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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Shadowrun: Aztlan
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:25:25

Great first edition book with a lot of fluff in it that can be easily used in fourth edition to bring back information from the 50's to the 70's. Plus, it has one of the best shadowtalks EVER!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Aztlan
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Secrets of the Crane
Publisher: EDGE Studio
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.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Crane
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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-01: Hiding in the Dark
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2011 21:37:17

Really liked the mission, it has a nice twist in the end that my players joked about it thinking it was too easy, just to discover it was. It's kind of a milky run, unless the GM really decides to tough it up. And since 2 of the 5 players were playing for the first time, it was simple enough for them to not feel lost what to do next.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Mission: 04-01: Hiding in the Dark
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Shadowrun: Gamemaster Screen: SR4A
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2011 07:39:59

Very nice tool for a GM indeed. My only criticism is that it does not have the social skill modifiers table (perhaps it is just that my group use them a lot, and I think it would be nice to have it in a screen)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Gamemaster Screen: SR4A
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Shadowrun: War!
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/31/2011 05:18:39

I was very disappointed with this book. I hoped it would be a book about the state of warfare in the Sixth World. Instead, half the book talks about Bogotá, as if the entire war between Aztlan and Amazonia happened there. By the way, the book HAS NO MAPS. NOT A SINGLE ONE. The other half talks about other hotspots, that, also, make no sense, given past fluff. The only chapter that really has any salvation, is the one about new rules and gear and even then, you should take care with some of them (some of them existe purely for munchkinism). I had really high hopes for this book, perhaps, that's why I was so disappointed in the end...



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: War!
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Shadowrun: 10 Jackpointers
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/21/2010 20:47:00

It doesn't have stats for the jackpointers, just fluff. But for those who love the Shadowrun setting you can practically consider it like a mini-novel.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: 10 Jackpointers
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Armageddon the End Times
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/21/2010 20:46:07

Great setting, also this edition covered all the problems of the first edition (like missing text, repeated paragraphs and reference page to non-existent pages). Also, a GREAT SETTING.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Armageddon the End Times
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