Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Game of 2014: L5R

I may have mentioned that I don't play RPG's as much as I would like to and that one of my goals in 2014 was to play more.

I spoke with my buddies a few weeks ago and they were talking Iron Kingdoms. I was like well, I know the setting from the old d20 books and the table top game, but don't have any of the new stuff. No problem, come on by early and we'll hash something out.

Talked to them before coming over and bam! It'd be changed to Legend of the Five Rings by AEG .

This is what I'm talking about when I mention the inspiration part of movies, books, and comics. The fact that a group of these guys went to see the movie and were so entranced by it, by the sound track, the visuals, the scenery, the background, and themes, that they said, "You know, that game of Iron Kingdoms we were going to play? That we discussed? That the GM has been prepping for months? Yeah, screw that game. It's time to get my Samurai on!"

For me it was good because I've also been getting a samurai fix form Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog where he's been posting about playing games of Ronin, a skirmish level miniature game by Osprey.

And man, I have the PDF. It's a huge thing being over 400 pages. And it's a gorgeous book. I really need to break down one day and buy the hardcover because while my Toshiba Thrive is still working, either I'm getting old and that 10.1 screen isn't doing it anymore, or more likely, like 99.9% of PDF's, it's the book with no regard given to being read in any other format than the print version.

Because it's so graphic heavy and so tight in text, it's not necessarily a pleasant experience reading it in standard format so you can increase the size of the text and make it easier on the eyes, but then it's not a page per 'sheet' or screen view if you will. That could just be me being crazy and suffering some OCD or something though.

Anyway, one of my friends did a Crane, another one a Dragon, another a Crab, and I picked Scorpion. We all picked Samurai, no courtiers or monks or ninjas or other weirdness.

Character creation wasn't bad. The whole five rings with four of them broken into two traits per ring and then the skills and schools and advantages and potential disadvantages took me less than an hour.

Speaking of disadvantages, in Legend of the Five Rings, how many people max those out? I didn't know if we were going to be playing again or what type of campaign it was going to be so didn't even bother with them and buffed up a few skills and picked a few advantages.

The GM ran something where we ran into the children of the emperor in a tavern full of semi-shady characters. There were some great interactions there with some notable NPC's and some people falling into the disadvantages like lechery or devoted to the spirits right away.

We followed along with the Emperor's children on a pilgrimage and well, long story short, two of the three were apparently killed, as were two of the players, in this case myself and +Sergio Rivera at the hands of +Tom Wright. I say apparently because the other players didn't stick around to see what happened, and while we were definitely outclassed, Legend of the Five Rings, at least story wise, has a long history of "No, that didn't actually happen see.", much like the old dime movies back in the day.

I've got a little less than a week to make my next character and I'm thinking of either another Scorpion or perhaps a ronin. The thing about ronin though, us unlike other game systems, unless it's changed dramatically, which it may, L5R is all about the clans so if you go ronin, you're really screwed at a character level.

Anyone have any Legend of the Five Rings advice out there? Any good sites I should be noting down and looking at? Help a poor man out here!