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L5R FFG Beta?

Originally Posted by pyresight View Post
I don't think Opportunity dice are bad in and of themselves as a concept. But in this particular instance, everything you've said about how spotting Mercedes would affect his character are things provided by the setting, and that's where I think the divorce in thought comes from. The "opportunity" here was something that was available without the dice. Simply seeing a character within your line of sight doesn't seem like that much of an "advantage". And the implications are fairly clear--being alone, at night, in private.

It's not the best example, as mentioned. As a narrative tool, I think it could work rather similarly to the way the Cortex system allows players to make small alterations to a scene. In fact, that may be how it's intended.

The struggle is moving from a results-oriented system to a narrative system, as they have going from AEG to FFG. It adds new bits in some places, but simplifies others where it may not have been needed.
I think you "get it" for the most part. There is one aspect, however, that seems to elude you. And you are not alone as it is often the hardest bridge to cross.

The narrative approach isn't about the resolution of a task, as we are so used to in many traditional RPGs where the outcome is determined by a single numeric quantity or array and interpreted in binary form from the individual responsible for rolling or arbitrating the results. FFGs approach has been to invoke discussion from the entire group as a storytelling experience. You can argue that no dice ever needs to be rolled in any situation. That is just freeform. But in games like this, rolling the dice and translating into the possible narratives IS the game. What I find unique about this particular system is that the dice pools are derived from player-made decisions regarding their character with aspects that define the nature of their character (i.e. Rings and approaches) as opposed to just physical and mental attributes.

The courtyard scene would not be of interest if it didn't evoke an opportunity for conflict, or drama. The dice used is determined by the character, but the player determines what the end result will be. And because it is presented openly to the table as the audience watches a play, it invites discussion and involvement as a group who does not need to just wait for their turn. Better suited at a table or in chat, more difficult for PbP.

Any time you have a radical shift in mechanics, it tends to happen. Look at AD&D into 3.x. Or 3.x into 4e, etc. People get attached to systems they have a history with, especially if it does everything they needed already.

I'm not adverse to the new system. I might even give it a chance. But, much like I love AD&D over 3.5, I'll always have my preference. Maybe it'll win me over, but I have my doubts.

Jacob, I understand perfectly what they were trying to do. I still maintain that the courtyard scene was a shoddy example. I wouldn't have argued that was enough for the Opportunity crest used. Because, as I said, it's reasonable to say that he might have seen them normally. If anything, I feel like Charlie's player shortchanged himself, because it doesn't feel like it added anything to the scene. I feel like that would have been a natural consequence of the narrative if no dice had been rolled in the first place.

It really does mirror Cortex in this regard, which I'm coming to enjoy as a narrative system. Changes the player make to the scene can alter the course of events in new ways. In this particular case, it's not the dice that added any drama or tension to the scene. He spent that opportunity on something that I feel like would have been a logical outcome if no dice had been rolled at all. And as I said, in this particular case, the drama and conflict are naturally occurring and provided by the norms of the setting, not particularly the dice rolled.

TL;DR -- I know how narrative systems work, I'm still gonna rag on this scene for being so horribly written as their flagship example. :P

There is nothing wrong with that. But I do my best to help others get a better frame of mind when approaching something so radically different. It helped me and my circle of friends when we tried it out. I personally may be more enamored with the style itself, but I don't expect everyone to love it the same way that I do. And that's fine as long as they let others come to their own decisions without inflicting thier prejudice. I thank you for your civility and engaging the discussion, and hope I was able to give you a little more insight.

I'd disagree that the players determine what the end result is going to be, in this edition.

The table with difficulties is crystal clear: if you don't roll enough successes, you don't really get to succeed. I'd call "deciding whether you succeed on your stated intention" a major part of the claim that "the player determines the end result".
Furthermore, I have little doubts that many GMs will simply decide by themselves what the "opportunities and challenges" on the dice mean, so that's going to be out of player hands as well.

I guess I'm just not seeing where this claim is coming from.

Originally Posted by pyresight View Post
Any time you have a radical shift in mechanics, it tends to happen. Look at AD&D into 3.x. Or 3.x into 4e, etc. People get attached to systems they have a history with, especially if it does everything they needed already.
Yes, this was the basis of my prediction. I was mainly thinking about the D&D 4e and how it was received.
(For the record, I wasn't part of the hatewave back then. I didn't think 3.x does everything it's supposed to, so a new edition was needed, in my book. In fact, I actually liked most of the apparent design goals.
However, I didn't like how 4e implemented them, so I wasn't part of the people that played it for long. There were other games to look at).

Now, the fun fact is...I have almost no history with L5R, and I'm not sure the current system does everything I want it to. But so far, it has been doing all that I'd needed it to. I couldn't tell how much of this was down to the GMs, though, and those were one-shots anyway. I was looking to get into the game with the new edition, and still might do just that.
So I am as unbiased as one could get, while still participating in the discussion. Of course, everyone has their preferences, but there's no avoiding that.
Funny enough, it would be actually easy to achieve the same outcomes as the Opportunities and Problems on the dice offer for this edition. Because basically, they are just ways to turn the success/fail mechanic into a six-directional "no, and/no/no, but/yes, but/yes/yes, and" system. Mind you, it's not a better way, just a possibility.

I'm not adverse to the new system. I might even give it a chance. But, much like I love AD&D over 3.5, I'll always have my preference. Maybe it'll win me over, but I have my doubts.
I guess I'm just moving away from more narrativist systems, and towards lighter systems that depend more on the roleplaying and interpretation, and less codification. (It's the "less codification" part that narrativist systems tend to miss, in my book, especially lately. That's not a dig against them - I used to be "that guy that uses Fate for everything" a few years ago! Now, not so much).
It just seems that the new L5R is moving in the opposite direction from me. I'm still thinking it over, and will definitely give the system a chance, since the diceroller seems to answer my problems with the dice...but if it doesn't win me over when I do, that would be it.

In my ideal system I'd like a nice quick method for resolving checks and pretty sparse mechanics for determining things. GM sets a difficulty and players roll to get it. My big beef with L5R previous editions was the HUGE skill lists. It should have been much simpler. Like pick 10 skills categories and go with it.

This one just seems more cumbersome. "Resolving Checks" has 15 steps! Obviously some are easy and would quickly move past but it's just a bit the special symbols and lack of a clear roll this+that type mechanic will slow it down.
  1. Declare Intention
  2. Determine Skill Group
  3. Determine Skill
  4. Determine Approach
  5. Determine TN
  6. Roll Dice
  7. Apply Advantages
  8. Apply Disadvantages
  9. Consolidate Adv & Disad
  10. Resolve Adv & Disad
  11. Choose kept dice
  12. Reroll explodes
  13. Count Strife
  14. Count & spend opportunity
  15. Narrate results.

well, I have friends who are not easy at all with taking over the DM's duties of narrating action results... that kind of system will not fly for them.


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