L5R Speculation in 2017

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Kakita Isao
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L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Kakita Isao » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:18 pm

So, in 2017 a new era for the Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) is going to dawn under the stewardship of Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). With the conversion to a Living Card Game (LCG), L5R is in a position to undergo significant changes. While details are vague at best, we do know mechanically the game will be 100% incompatible with the CCG produced by AEG. Assuming a GenCon 2017 release, that gives FFG 22+ months to design, playtest, print and ship a product. I think that is more than enough time to accomplish this feat as the entire model we are used to is a thing of the past. So, in order to better understand what to expect, let's look at FFG's other products.

First off, what is a Living Card Game?

"A Living Card Game® (LCG®) offers an innovative fixed distribution method that breaks away from the traditional Collectible Card Game model. While LCGs still offer the same dynamic, expanding, and constantly evolving game play that makes CCG’s so much fun, they do away with the deterrent of the blind-buy purchase model that has burned out so many players. The end result is an innovative mix that gives you the best of both worlds!

"The Core Set is the heart of a LCG. Each LCG’s Core Set is a completely self-contained game experience packed with content, including high-quality game pieces and immersive game aides designed to enhance play. Additionally, each Core Set contains multiple decks that provide an exciting and infinitely replayable game experience right out of the box.

"While the LCG Core Sets provide a fantastic stand alone game experience, those that wish to can expand even further! Monthly installments of expansion packs, each a set of fixed cards, provide ongoing and regular additions to the available card pool. These expansion packs add customization, variety, and an ongoing sense of theme to your experiences with the Core Game, while evolving the play environment in exciting new ways."

Now, let's take an in depth look at FFG's other LCGs regarding card pools for their base sets. Thank you Tekwych over at the FFG forums for the breakdown.

A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition  

28 Plot cards
20 Stark cards
20 Lannister cards
20 Baratheon cards
20 Greyjoy cards
20 Targaryen cards
20 Martell cards
20 Tyrell cards
20 Night’s Watch cards
31 Neutral cards
1 Fealty Agenda card
8 Faction/Agenda cards
6 Melee title cards

Two to four players sharing a single core set can enjoy a full game experience without the need to build their own decks by using pre-constructed “out-of-the-box” decks. These decks are intended only for games played out of a single core set, and ignore the loyalty rules that are used for custom deckbuilding. This is enough for 4 people to play with ’starter’ decks using Just or melee rules. Starter Decks would be Stark, Night’s Watch, Targaryen, and Lannister. These are not fully tournament ready decks.

Android: Netrunner The Card Game

28 Haas-Bioroid Cards
28 Jinteki Cards
28 Weyland Consortium Cards
28 NBN Cards
22 Neutral Corporation Cards
33 Anarch Cards
33 Criminal Cards
33 Shaper Cards
15 Neutral Runner Cards

To make a starter deck, take all the cards of a single Corporate or Runner faction and shuffle in all of the neutral cards for the chosen side. Starter decks are legal for tournament play. This means two playable decks at any one time.

Star Wars: The Card Game

240 Cards, consisting of:
- 117 light side cards
- 117 dark side cards
- 3 Force cards (dark side)
- 3 Force cards (light side)
36 Objective Sets in 6 factions and 2 neutral factions
Rebel Alliance - 7 Objective Sets
Smugglers and Spies - 2 Objective Sets
Jedi - 7 Objective Sets
Imperial Navy - 7 Objective Sets
Scum and Villainy - 2 Objective Sets
Sith - 7 Objective Sets
Neutral Light - 2 Objective Sets
Neutral Dark - 2 Objective Sets

This is enough for ’starter’ decks for Jedi, Alliance, Navy, and Sith. These are not fully tournament ready decks.

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest

30 Space Marine Cards
30 Astra Militarum Cards
30 Ork Cards
30 Chaos Cards
30 Dark Eldar Cards
30 Eldar Cards
30 Tau Cards
12 Neutral Cards
10 Planet Cards
2 Reference Cards
40 Miniature Cards (for token units)

This is enough cards to make 2 ‘starter’ decks at any one time. These decks can be based on any of the factions and their are two variations of each for 14 possible ‘starter’ decks right out of box. Starter decks are legal for tournament play.

So, using A Game of Thrones Second Edition and Warhammer 40,000: Conquest as an example, what do you think we can expect in a base set with a relaunch of Legend of the Five Rings? I am not versed in the ways of FFG's LCG models but it seems to me A Game of Thrones has been their most ambitious game yet with eight factions out of the box. I was informed Warhammer just announced two new factions in a deluxe expansion so it is possible to see Shadowlands Horde, Ratlings, Naga and other classic L5R factions represented but I doubt we'd see them in an initial launch. I think it is safe to say FFG will at most launch with eight Great Clans. Of course how FFG relaunches L5R with regards to story could allow anywhere from seven to nine factions. Right now there seems to be two popular ideas:

1) A Clan Wars reboot with the original seven clans.

2) An Onyx/post-Onyx Edition reboot with the nine modern Great Clans. Spider as a Great Clan or Shadowlands Horde is up in the air.

Regardless, that means each Great Clan or "Faction" would get 20-30 specific cards in the base set. Going forward, their expansions are 20 cards (with 3 copies of each card), allowing design space dedicated to 14-18 for Faction specific cards.

Knowing the game is being completely redesigned, what do YOU see happening in 2017?
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Faris Kalin
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Faris Kalin » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:43 pm

I'm really only familiar with the Netrunner LCG so I'm speculating based on that. Perhaps there will be an influence system that will cover splashing other clans into your main Clan's deck. That feels like it would work well. There could be unaligned cards just like in Netrunner that don't cost influence. These could be ronin, naga, ratlings, etc.

The core set could have a stronghold that focuses on a main theme of each Clan with expansions giving other options. Have the first Crane stronghold be political honor. Have a dueling honor stronghold after. For scouts maybe that would require a deluxe expansion since that would need a lot of military style cards.

I think that honor & dishonor are going to be the hardest things to fit in since it feels like those require more dedicated cards. so perhaps those victory conditions will get tweaked somehow so that they are still there but are different from the way honor/dishonor works in the ccg.

as far as the story goes, it feels like they could start it at Onyx. there was supposed to be some sort of time skip right? starting up after a time skip seems like it could work well. that feels like it could be good reasoning for various changes.
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Kakita Isao
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Kakita Isao » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:01 pm

I think from a creative stand point, picking up where AEG left off with the story is not in FFG's best interest. This means FFG is tethered to everything that came before and since this means FFG 100% owns the IP like Android: Netrunner, they are not restricted to canon storylines like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones. FFG has the freedom to do ANYTHING they want to the story and if you were just given creative control over the story, would you restrict yourself to a story you as an author are not invested in? I feel its only a logical decision what we see will vary vastly from what has come before.

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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby KakitaKaori » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:21 am

Isao-san,

I venture to disagree. L5R's IP is greater now than it was when the original game came out, and it is in FFG's interest to have access to all the elements of it. But it is possible that FFG values even more its long-term L5R player base. If it were to roll back to the very beginning of the game, and runs through L5Rs original stories again, it would bore L5R players who have heard all these stories before and are receiving no new content. And if it changes or allows players to impact all those original stories, it would anger L5R players who 'know' that the story was supposed to be a different way. It puts FFG in a no-win scenario with those long time players.

However, we already know that Onyx edition is planned to essentially burn the empire to the ground. If FFG works with the story team, they can use that storyline as a want to rebuild the empire the way they want it to be by late 2017.. If they want 6 factions instead of 7, the Onyx storyline can remove the factions they want to have removed. If they want to shift a family or clan focus, they can use the Onyx storyline to destroy or change the necessary factions. If they choose to start their CCG in a very dark place, Onyx can take it as dark as they want it to go. If they want to start fresh with a peaceful shiny new empire conformed to their liking, they can use Onyx to reform the empire and kill off all the existing characters, let the good guys 'win', then add a 50 or 100 year time gap to reset the world. That means that old players don't get anything 'taken away' from them, but FFG has a shiney new world from which they could do anything they want.

I think FFG would be wise to choose that option, and I hope they see the value in it too.
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Kakita Isao
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Kakita Isao » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:58 am

Whatever happens, not everyone will be happy. If we don't go back to the Clan Wars, my heart won't be broken but AEG has been trying to recapture that original magic. Its definately an opportunity to introduce new players to tbe setting without twenty years of lore to trudge tbrough. Let's not kid ourselves here that the setting in and of itself is a barrier of entry. The entire purpose of FFG relaunching L5R is not just reaching to the previous players, but a newer audience. They already have us interested, but its the new players who have never heard of the story before they want to engage. L5R needs to appeal toa newer generation of players and telling them they need to go read twenty years of fictions to "catch up" is not in their best interest. But at the end of the day what FFG does is their choice but like I said, not everyone will be happy. Except me, because the setting isn't changing and the Crane will still be around.
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Martino » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:11 am

I really think the biggest concern is that FFG's various LCG games have much smaller card pools. Given how close so much of the L5R community is, this could lead to very stagnant metagame environments very quickly after the release of any set, as the player will more quickly determine which are the best decks.

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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Corbeau » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:40 am

I wouldn't want to see a story reboot. I haven't played in years and years but I still wouldn't want to see accumulated player choices blotted from the game's history.
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Kakita Isao » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:29 pm

Martino wrote:I really think the biggest concern is that FFG's various LCG games have much smaller card pools. Given how close so much of the L5R community is, this could lead to very stagnant metagame environments very quickly after the release of any set, as the player will more quickly determine which are the best decks.


Well, that's a Con we have to live with.
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Corbeau » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:00 pm

Let me tell you a story about Gabriel Santiago and Engineering the Future...
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Re: L5R Speculation in 2017

Postby Dare » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:16 am

Corbeau wrote:I wouldn't want to see a story reboot. I haven't played in years and years but I still wouldn't want to see accumulated player choices blotted from the game's history.


Are you likely to play the LCG John?


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