Thursday, September 24, 2015

FFG Now Owns L5R

This came out around two weeks ago and I did not see a whole lot of discussion on it ... and I suppose that says a lot about why I think it's a good thing. Presumably there was discussion on the current L5R forums and groups but outside of that I saw one article on EN World and one on Bell of Lost Souls and that was about it. Since then - nothing. L5R doesn't seem to have much buzz at all right now but becoming a part of Fantasy Flight will surely change that. The card game will get a lot more attention, there will undoubtedly be a boardgame or six released in the next few years, and the RPG will get a complete redo, I presume.

Big factor, IMO: FFG's big hitters are licensed - Star Wars, Warhammer, Game of Thrones - all are licensed properties and it's hard to plan for the true long term with a heavy dependency on someone else's universes. With a somewhat known brand & setting - in gaming circles at least - completely owned in-house, FFG can really dig in and take it somewhere without fear of a license change a few years down the road.

For me personally I have a very limited relationship with L5R. I never got into the card game - there were so many when it came out in the initial rush after Magic exploded! I was temp[ted and came very close to picking up the miniatures game but that's one I managed to resist. I do own a copy of the RPG but I've never run or played it. There just is not enough interest in fantastic medieval Japan here to ignite a session, let alone sustain a campaign. I have always thought it was interesting though, and I thought the "roll and keep" system was pretty slick. The 3E D&D Oriental Adventures was a nice book, used the same setting and I thought that might be one way to lure my players in - sadly it was not.

So while I have no real personal stake in the game it is nice to see that it is getting a good home with one of the "good" gaming companies.


Anthony Emmel said...

Yes, because I for one want to see the game split into 3 different core books...because bushi, courtiers, and shugenja are really different genres and shouldn't work together. Oh, yes, and let us not forget proprietary dice that you'll have to buy for the game as well.

Blacksteel said...

You know FFG publishes a whole other RPG line besides Star Wars, right? One that uses regular old d10's and d6's?

And it's not like L5R hasn't put out a bushel of splatbooks in its various editions too.

Seems premature to assume the worst.

Anthony Emmel said...

Well, let's see...40K Universe, what are we up to 4 core books? and there's a difference between splat books and having different core books that you need to play the whole game.

Case-in-point, Star Wars. A New Hope: the party is made up of characters from all 3 FF Star Wars books. As opposed to d6 or d20 where there was one comprehensive core book.

Blacksteel said...

40K line has 5, any one of which is "the whole game". The circumstances where it makes sense to have a party containing an Inquisitor, a Rogue Trader, a Space Marine, some Guardsmen, and some Chaos Marines would be unusual at least, and temporary at best. Their campaign-oriented approach to 40K makes a lot of sense to me.

Their Star Wars approach doesn't make as much sense, but I don't think it's THAT bad. I'd say d6 had one book because it only had 3 movies to cover, but FFG does seem to be deliberately focusing on the 3 original movies too - I didn't agree with that choice when they announced it. I still think Saga is the best Star Wars RPG when it comes to covering the entire spectrum of Star Wars.

All that said, I still don't see how moving L5R from a company that's doing very little these days to a company that's thriving and has shown a ton of respect for other settings is a negative development.