Je propose qu'on discute ici des nouvelles règles introduites par la 3ème version de notre cher jeu de rôle favori
"c'est toujours mieux quand on discute
..." (cf. Young GTO)
Pour commencer un petit review que j'ai choppé sur internet :
Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game: Third Edition
Reviewed by: Wayne Tonjes
Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game: Third Edition by Alderac Entertainment Group is the latest L5R version of the classic Jade Empire. This volume offers a complete revision on both the setting and system, simply updating the first and restructuring the second. This is still the same world and underlying mechanics of the earlier versions, so old fans will still recognize the game while new fans will find a rich and sordid history backed with a straightforward system.
The book is naturally divided into five chapters after the five rings or elements of the setting. The first chapter provides an overview of the setting outlining the major factions, covering the twelve centuries of history, assorted customs, units of time and date, basic details of the land, and then the specific families of the assorted clans and power groups provided first. Most of this material is purely descriptive, although the last section on the assorted families of the eight Great Clans, nine Minor Clans, four Imperial families, monastic orders, ronin, and even Shadowlands provide the base character trait bonuses belonging to such grants.
The second chapter addresses character creation more fully as it provides the majority of elements needed to shape a character. This includes a selection of questions that can be used to define a character concept, and the basics of the game mechanics so players can determine where to invest character points. As in the previous versions of the game, all characters are primarily defined by five elemental rings of traits, family, and school. Four of the rings are set by two traits, matching the lower of the mental and physical trait under it, while the last ring is set by a single set of Void points which can be spent directly to modify rolls and assorted or game tricks. Family and school modify the base traits, which can be further increased with character points. Schools also provide assorted types of martial or courtly techniques and spell bases, as well as starting honor, skills, and gear. These bases can be expanded with a small selection of starting character points or subsequently gained experience, as well as a selection of character advantages or extra rolls on an optional heritage chart.
This chapter also presents more detailed rules on skill rolls, the definitive skill lists, the main forty-six samurai schools of the assorted clans and families, although it excludes five main monk schools, a list of common names, and heritage tables. These listings include some generalized schools for ronin, despite their true lacking of clan support. The fifty-three skills are roughly divided into four groups, bugei, high, low, and merchant skills, with subtypes of artisan, craft, lore, performance, social, and weapon skills. The definitions are rather flexible, as an example many of the low skills can be performed by any noble, specific clans, or for specific ends. All of these skills can be taken with emphases, which absorbed many of the skills from 2nd Edition including Specialized Weapon Skills. This change stems from the aims of the new edition, as summarized on the page 311 in the “Book of Void”:
“First Edition characters relied upon Traits. Second Edition characters emphasized Skills. Third Edition seeks to strike a balance between the two, but this also means that characters optimized for the previous systems may experience difficulties.”
Overall, the shifts in the skill selections and subsequent technique, advantages, and other mechanics seem to fulfill this goal admirably.
The third chapter provides a more detailed guide to the game mechanics, starting with die rolls. All checks use the slightly altered dice pool mechanic of the previous versions to reach some target number. Dice pools are typically a number of ten sided dice equal to the trait plus skill ranks out of which only the trait value are kept. Typically the target numbers are either fixed or generated by opposed checks, but a character can increase the target number by five with a raise to gain some advantage such as extra damage dice on an attack’s damage although doing so can be chancy even with the dice exploding on a roll of 10.
The book jumps around a bit here, inserting poison and disease rules with metsubishi before covering the handy uses of Void points and step-by-step rules of combat include a sampling of special situations. Armor, weapons, and a small selection of miscellaneous gear are provided next along with item quality modifiers and the crafting rules. Glory, status and honor are presented next, providing the basic mechanics and some guidelines on how actions can cause these measures of a samurai’s worth to shift. Unfortunately, while there is a mechanic provided to set starting honor, no such baseline or tips are given for status or glory. Admittedly glory and status will depend on the starting character, as a samurai starting as Emerald Magistrates will start out with greater status than one working for a rural daimyo in the hinterlands of some clan’s territory. Just a little more detail or examples would have been nicely expletory.
The rest of the chapter offers just as mixed a selection of rules. The first collection are the katas, special, extended maneuvers taught in assorted schools that can be activated to provide some long term benefit for specific situations. These are similar to the other techniques of the various schools, although they have to be bought separately with character or experience points and take at least ten minutes to activate with a corresponding, extendable duration of at least forty minutes. Unfortunately, their usage is a little unclear and a few of them seem relatively unhelpful. The mass combat rules are somewhat better, as they rather simply increase the duration of a combat turn, add a simple mechanic to determine what sort of action a player character encounters on the battlefield which can help sway the course of the battle, and a check to decide who is winning the battle. This allows a massive battle of thousands to be resolved with a few skirmishes by the players and a few background checks on the overall combat flow. The chapter then closes with general rules for using and awarding experience.
The fourth book presents a brief overview of the underlying magics of the setting. It maintains the holy aspect of all magic in Rokugani, so starts with a brief overview of the three main religions, the kami and elemental dragons themselves and a summation of the main Spirit Realms. Some guidelines for nemuranai, awakened items that tap their inherent kami to mystically bestow advantage on their owner, are given, although they are kept general as such items are supposed to be rare. The more prevalent form of magic, shugenja spell casting is provided next along with the universal and five rings of their spells.
The book changes gear at this stage to introduce the creation rules for monks, providing them with five general schools as well as their kiho, or techniques, that are somewhat mystical as they reflect the holy orders attunement with the elements. This section also details the mechanics of Shadowlands taint that threatens with very nature of those who fight the evils of the region. The effects of taint and the powers it can instill in those who gain it intentionally are also provided, including guidelines for creating a maho spell caster. Their spell lists conclude the chapter.
The last book in the volume addresses a few assorted game-mastering aspects. The first one addresses how to get gaijins into the feel of the game. The life of a samurai is not the lone wolf adventurer typified in adventure role playing games so getting one, much less a whole party, really into the game can take a bit of work. It also presents a partial selection of creatures characters may encounter as well as three abilities they may manifest. The list includes twelve normal animals, three sentient races, twelve Shadowlands creatures of either category and four sample non-player characters. It then offers nine alternative time periods to play the game in and an extensive gazetteer of 264 locales keyed to the maps contained in the front and back covers. The book concludes with some added resources such as bibliographies on game specific and general sources of information that can help bring the setting to life, character conversion guidelines, a glossary of Rokugani terms, index and two sided character sheet.
L5R Roleplaying Game: Third Edition presents the major details for the new version of this great setting. Unfortunately, the presentation suffers somewhat due to two main flaws. The first is simple ordering issues. Character creation features are spread throughout the volume in three or four of the five books rather in one direct chapter. The main splits are from the family bonuses being given in the first, the bulk features appearing in the second, with the exclusion of most monk schools, which appear in the fourth. The third chapter could also be counted as containing character creation information as the school-derived katas and character advancement rules are presented here. Another flaw with the ordering is a lack of consistency in it. Chiefly this comes from the arrangement of Shadowlands character details. In the first chapter, they are included in the listing of families as stated on page 28 “for completeness and so that the GM might utilize them to create Non-Player Character (NPC) villains.” Yet, their schools are detailed in a separate section two books after those of the clans. Putting all of the Shadowlands information in one place would have been just as complete and helped keep them separate as elements truly not available to players.
The second problem is the loss of attention to details. There are a lot of typos, grammatical errors, and misreferences, and the resulting, numerous flaws vary from the subtle to the blatantly flagrant. An example of the first is the setting redefinition of the day having twelve hours and the occasional use of ‘hour’ in general discussion where it is never made specifically clear if a Terran or Rokugani hour is meant. A more transparent example is the repeated mention of ninjas, yet there is no information made on creating one anywhere in the book. Similar matches to this are the failure to provide any statistics for horses or the nagas. The first is particularly grievous, given the supreme importance horses play in the lives of the nomadic Unicorn clan, as well as their more general use as cavalry. There are a lot of niggling details like this that leave things confused that really should have been caught by the editors, such as the fact that 25 cubic feet is not at all ‘massive,’ the exclusion of the declared listing of ‘sample target numbers,’ or the lack of some basic rules for handling assorted environmental hazards like hypothermia, falling, or heat exhaustion.
The rest of the layout is solid with plenty of art, good section breaks, and supporting material. The book is full color making the images all the more impressive, although they are not labeled. While the full-page images used at the start of each book do not require such labels, the portraits directly interspersed throughout the text are never really identified as either specific, important individuals or general courtiers, shugenja, monks, and samurai. At least all of the section titles are listed in the table of contents. The index and glossary are also quite thorough.
So, fans of the Jade Empire should definitely consider a copy of the new version. Anyone looking for an alternative setting with challenging roles and a captivating history should also take a look at this game. The system is a delight and the setting is rich. So, strap on a daisho, put on a formal obi, or offer a prayer to the Fortunes and enjoy the benefits and agonies of honor and duty.
For more details on Alderac Entertainment Group and their new Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game: Third Edition, check them out at their website http://www.alderac.com
and at local game stores.
Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game: Third Edition
From: Alderac Entertainment Group
Type of Game: L5R Revision
Written by: Rich Wulf, Shawn Carman, Seth Mason, Brian Yoon, and Fred Wan
Edited by: D.J. Trindle and Katie Yates
Contributing Work: Rob Vaux
Creative Direction by: Mark Jelfo
Art Direction by: Jim Pinto
Graphic Design by: Nate Barnes, Mario Rivas and Rodney Saenz
Cover Art by: Nate Barnes
Additional Art by: Christopher Appel, Steve Argyle, Matthew S. Armstrong, Drew Baker, beet, John Donahue, Al Eremin, Carl Frank, David Hudnut, Llyn Hunter, Hugh Jamieson, April Lee, Michael Kaluta, Michael Komarck, Malcolm McClinton, Tony Moseley, Lee Moyer, William O’Connor, Jim Pavelec, and Brad Williams
Cartography by: Bertrand Bess
Number of Pages: 318
Game Components Included: Hard Cover Book
Retail Price: $39.95 (US)
Reviewed by: Wayne Tonjes
Voilà déjà pour ça. J'attend le reste d'ici la fin de la semaine ^_^v
- Moi, je dis qu'on a la belle vie. D'accord, on pourrait être plus cultivés, plus à l'écoute des autres et moins superficiels... mais c'est cette superficialité qui nous rend heureux. Cette superficialité, c'est le vrai luxe, c'est le droit au bonheur.
Nous sommes les milliardaires du bonheur car nous sommes plus heureux que ne le seront jamais tous les magnats du pognon.
- Tu dis ça parce que tu le penses ou c'est pour nous déconcentrer ?
- Pour vous déconcentrer...