11
\$\begingroup\$

What are the mechanical differences between L5R editions?

I owned first and third editions, and played a fair bit of first edition. I'm sort of lightly interested in fourth edition, but am curious about what's been changed, fixed, or altered. If the question's too large, I'd settle for the differences between third and fourth and will edit the question accordingly.

\$\endgroup\$
8
\$\begingroup\$

Mechanical

  • 1st: Roll Stat+Skill, Keep Trait.
    Trait and Ring Cap=5
    Insight= 10x∑(Rings) + ∑(skills)
    All skills narrow. Purchase of skills with skill points is 1:1.
  • 2nd: Roll Skill keep Trait.
    Trait and Ring Cap=10
    Insight= 10x∑(Rings) + ∑(skill level-1)
    All skills broad as default. Purchase of skills with skill points is New Level SP for +1 level. Narrow skills optional, add skill level to totals.
  • 3rd: Roll Trait + Skill keep Trait.
    Trait and Ring Cap=10
    Insight= 10x∑(Rings) + ∑(skill level-1)
    Most skills broad as default. Purchase of skills with skill points is New Level SP for +1 level. Narrow skills optional, add skill level to totals. Most skills grant bonuses at level 5, many at level 2.
  • 4th: Roll Trait + Skill keep Trait.
    Trait and Ring Cap=10
    Most skills broad as default. Don't know the rest, since I've not got the book.
  • 5th Beta: roll ring in ring dice and skill in skill dice, keep a total number of dice equal to ring
    Ring dice: d6's, symbolically marked.
    Skill Dice: d12, symbolically marked.
    Ring cap: 5 (explicit); no traits.
    All skills broad, GM option to break out narrow skills.
    No insight; spend specified amounts of experience on school abilities to rank up.

Setting

  • 1st is pre-Scorpion Coup
  • 2nd is post Scorpion Coup; Supplements drag through the Clan War, 4 Winds, and Ancestor war... essentially the end of the Hantei Dynasti
  • 3rd is the Toturi Dynasty...
  • 4th - again, I don't know for sure.
  • 5th Beta is pre-Scorpion Coup.

Dice

  • 1st to 4th: standard d10's; if skilled, 10's explode, counting as 10+ another die (and note that the "exploded" die is counted as part of the initial die for number of dice kept, and this recurses).
  • 5th Beta customized d6 & d12
    • Ring d6:
      1. Blank
      2. Success
      3. Success & Opportunity
      4. Success & Strife
      5. Explosive Success & Strife
      6. Opportunity
    • Skill d12
      1. Blank
      2. Blank
      3. Success
      4. Success
      5. Success & Opportunity
      6. Success & Strife
      7. Success & Strife
      8. Explosive Success
      9. Explosive Success & Strife
      10. Opportunity
      11. Opportunity
      12. Opportunity
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ why do the dice in 5th ed scream "i am these FFG Star Wars dice" at me? \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Oct 31 '17 at 23:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish They are not the same as SW; they are in a similar mode of thinking. You cannot convert them, either... Yes, it's "Get you to buy dice." but it also is thematic enough to me to be worth it. Unlike SW, no difficulty dice, no separate bonus dice nor penalty dice. \$\endgroup\$ – aramis Nov 14 '17 at 18:04
2
\$\begingroup\$

4th edition was redesigned as a toolbox rather than focus on a single time period.

Mechanical changes between 3rd and 4th are mostly there to present a more clarified rules structure. Changes that will become apparent during play: void now is the cap for raises(higher of void or skill rank in 3rd), void price is x6(x4 in 3rd), free raises are very rare now, increased damage maneuver adds only rolled dice, all the bushi schools are more in sync as their abilities seem to grow at a similar rate between each other, minor changes to carapace, honor glory and shadowlands are all based on 10 ranks instead of five, some attribute bonuses from families and schools have been changed, actions are now divided into free simple and complex with chart to define what each does.

4th edition is a great system to introduce new players into Rokugan. It's structure allows for more attention to be placed on the actual story, and the toolbox design allows you to visit any time period in Rokugan history(or alternative history) with only minor changes.

For players that have played 3rd or 3rd rev. and enjoy that system there will likely be a feeling of the nerf hammer dropping on your character. Certain combos, weapon styles will need to be rethought if you make the change.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.