RPGNow.com
Browse











Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/22/2011 13:38:24

The Great Clans is an amazingly useful sourcebook for Legends of the Five Rings, while not quite a necessity to own to run or play the game it comes close. It expands on both the Great Clans and the world they have made, providing a wealth of information and even some useful new mechanics.

The Great Clans, a sourcebook for the Legends of the Five Rings RPG (3rd edition) is a 306-page PDF (304 pages if you remove the cover), written by Shawn Carman, Rob Hobart, Brian Yoon, Kevin Blake, Nancy Sauer, Ryan Reese, Jacob Ross, Max Lemaire, Dave Laderoute, Rusty Priske, Mike Brodu, and Daniel Briscoe and published by AEG.

The layout is a straightforward design taken directly from the print version of the book, with a 2-column layout (and occasional one column commentary). The Great Class is lavishly illustrated with full color art throughout. The table of contents is complete and there is an index as well, so finding what you are looking for should be easy but you have to use that as the PDF book-marking only takes you to the start of each chapter.

As it says, this book is full of information on the nine Great Clans of the Empire of Rokugan. Primary, it is all general information, history of the clan, background of the families, useful cultural notes and roleplaying hooks. However, each family gets some new schools, new paths, new kata and additional ancestors for those who like mechanics to spice up things.

The background information on the clans is amazingly useful for both players and game masters, expanding on the very brief sections in the core book. In each clan’s section there is cultural information, such as courtly affairs in the Crane section and additional information on the tradition of ancestor worship in the Lion section.

Appendices handle the new(ish) Spider Clan, the various Vassal families of the great clans and the return of the heritage tables. Heritage tables are a way to give a character an additional roleplaying hook that may be positive, negative or a mixture of the two expressed as the character’s linage (such as an ancestor was a famous poet or a well-known coward). Each Clan gets its own table, there are some slight imbalances between the clans until you come to the Spider, who get two tables of bonuses and one of mixed good and bad things, but even then the good side far outweighs the bad. The Spider tables should not be used as written, as they are just a guaranteed mechanic bonus for the character, unlike all of the other heritage tables.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, I am friends with several of the authors, but I hope that has not shaded my opinion of the product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/17/2011 22:32:54

The recent AEG L5R products have shown a dedication to consistent excellence that would make a Crane proud. They are clearly working on conceptualising the game from a players perspective and offering titles that really flesh out the world of Rokugan and add to the immersion in their game.

'The Great Clans' is truly staggering in scope and also in the amount of flavour information they offer. The book is predominantly narrative, and general information, with each Clan given a single chapter.

The information presented in each chapter really goes a long way to making each Clan a very distinct entity and showcasing the diversity possible within the scope of each Clan. It generally avoids stereotypes, but does so in a manner that makes NPCs and ancestors more human whilst adhering to the distinct flavour of the Clan. Every Clan is treated to a historical overview of its roots, major achievements and conflicts throughout the history of Rokugan to give players an appreciation for how the Clan grew into its 'present day' format. There is strong attention to detail here with a solid internal consistency, but presented in a manner which is easy to read. Most of the history is presented as stories, with sidebars and additional boxed text providing clarifications or interesting facts. On this note, whoever was responsible for the layout needs to be congratulated. The text is easily broken up by high-quality art, and the text boxes provide something else to draw the eye to snippets of information.

In addition to this, you can expect to find some Alternate Paths for each Clan (I quite liked the Kitsune Ranger), new Schools (like the Daidoji Scout which is currently vying to be my favourite), Ancestors and NPCs (with full stat blocks which could be used for nay range of purposes), new Techniques and even new rules (such as Rural Traps, in the Crane section, which will be really useful).

In summary, excellent content, high quality production values and a book that should be on every L5R table.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: 3rd Edition Revised
by Nicolas P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2011 03:27:30

Extremely expensive for a badly scanned document. Très cher pour un maivais scan.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: 3rd Edition Revised
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legends & Lairs: Traps & Treachery
by Rick K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2011 02:19:05

This is an excellent book. Originally I was looking for a book with some interesting "trap" ideas, but this book surprised me with a lot more material than I bargained for. There is some excellent information on running a thieves guild as well as more material on spells and trinkets related to the trade of thieves. After reading this book I had more adventure ideas for campaigns involving rogue characters, including more diplomatic roles (spy's) it really opened up the thief class as being more than just an underhanded activity.

At a $5 price this is a steal of a deal



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legends & Lairs: Traps & Treachery
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

L5R Encyclopedia:The comprehensive L5R CCG compendium
by David R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2011 15:14:11

The bad rating is not a judgement on the book itself but rather on the PDF.

It is a scan of the book, which unfortunately means there is a significant downgrade of the quality of the text and pictures.

It is serviceable, but I wouldn't recommend to anyone other than die-hard L5R fans.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
L5R Encyclopedia:The comprehensive L5R CCG compendium
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:26:27

Nice introductory adventure to bring new players to the complex setting of L5R.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Secrets of the Crane
by Diogo S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2011 14:22:23

I didn't like this book so much as the older "Way of" books of first edition, the fact that this was during the time AEG decided to turn the game into a D20 didn't help either.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Secrets of the Crane
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2011 08:41:31

Legend of the Five Rings is one of the most complex and elegant pseudo-Japanese fantasy settings in the market today. It boasts of a reputation of being one of those games that plays up the importance of social and cultural aspects of life in the setting of Rokugan. This comes from the focus on Honor and Duty, which weigh very heavily in the lives of the player characters.

The Roll and Keep system has been improved and streamlined from the 3rd Edition of the game, resulting in a faster, easier to learn incarnation in 4th Edition. The book goes to great lengths to provide a wealth of character options that allow for a massive array of character types.

The setting itself is very vivid, and while some might complain about the overload of information and detail, the 4th edition actually tries it's best to be as friendly to newcomers as possible The book covers all the Major Clans of the setting in a fashion that plays up their unique cultures, beliefs and strengths in a manner that anyone can understand without having to be a long time fan or a player of their CCG.

The book itself looks absolutely gorgeous, with a stunning layout and excellent artwork. The presentation is top notch and leaves very little to be desired. Definitely a must have in any RPG collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
by DAVID F D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2011 06:00:28

My one gripe here is that, despite being a "complete" update, there's no full setting map. I've seen the 3.0 version, which has a 2-page map of the whole continent. This has little clips of it in sections, way back in the geography section, which is ok, but no big picture. As I haven't yet seen the 3.0 version available here (unless its packaged w/ the movie?), I'm still hoping to see a full map file show up. Art is good, mechanics are internally consistent, LOVE the heroic paths.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midnight: 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/12/2011 01:05:29

This is actually quite a good introduction to L5R for a group that has very little (or no) experience with the game. It does present a heavily cut-down version of the rules (and a small grimoire-worth of spells for the shugenja) that makes getting to play a swift experience. There are enough rules to play out the entire module, and they capture the flavour of the system very well. Groups wanting to continue will need to purchase the rulebook. The story in the module is, on the surface, very simple, but in true L5R style, there are many layers to peel back. It is possible to cruise through the module in a linear fashion, but there are a wealth of opportunities to engage with the social structure, etiquette and customs that make Rokugan such a rich setting. There are political and face-saving schemes afoot in the background, with plenty of clues and opportunities for characters to chase down leads (in a respectful manner, of course). There are a number of ways that the plot can be resolved, all with their own ramifications and enough meaty choices for philosophical souls to mull over.

The only detraction in this was the way in which the pregenerated characters are set out. they simply run on from page to page, and cutting them out to hand to players is a nightmare. I would strongly suggest that AEG take a look at how Catalyst handle their quick-play characters. Catalyst presents double-sided half-page characters with a small illustration; with the sheets easily cut, or torn out and distributed. Not so with this AEG product.

that said, this issue isn't insurmountable (more an annoyance), and the quality of the module more than makes up for it. I'd highly recommend this to absolutely anyone who has ever looked at L5R and thought 'it looks interesting...' It is indeed, and this module showcases why.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/03/2011 20:24:31

This is the type of book that you want to read through in its’ entirety and then let the ideas clatter about inside your head. The sheer diversity of the adversaries covered makes this a remarkably appealing addition to any L5R GM’s bookshelf (virtual or otherwise). The designers have excelled in concentrating on a wide breadth of thematically different races and organisations so there is very little repetition throughout the book.

Included is a widespread conspiracy that most think of as a folktale (the Kolat), the monsters of the Shadowlands and the Undead, the Bloodspeaker Cults, Ronin, Nezumi, Naga and my personal favourite – the Nothing (an unknowable, implacable elemental force beyond human comprehension). The choice of ‘evil’ for your campaign is a huge strength to the book, but it goes far beyond simply providing a horde of stats and new powers. Whilst these are present, the real gold lies within the descriptions. Comprised of legends, half-truth, rumour, advice and ‘behind the curtain’ designers sidebars, each chapter fulsomely covers the enemy, gives advice for scaling character interaction with it, and even foreshadowing its arrival. There is plenty of fodder to flesh out a campaign centred on only a single chapter, providing rich story information, as well as the much-needed stat blocks.

The writing style shifts from conversational to storyteller to informative as required and makes the text easier to read, and the artwork is brilliant. I especially liked the quasi-Japanese watercolours set behind the pages (although the artistic values for the chapter on The Nothing are superbly executed).

I had no complaints about this book save the fact that I don’t have the free time to launch into an L5R campaign immediately after purchasing this book. That’s probably for the best though – it will give the seeds of adventure a little more time to take root. For those of you with the time (and I am deeply envious of you), this represents a solid addition to a long line of good L5R books.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Anima: Beyond Fantasy Game Master's Toolkit
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2011 02:32:57

The description pretty much states what you get, so I'll fill in more details with a review of the adventure and the format of the PDF.

The adventure is a three-act multi-session adventure for 3-5 first level characters. Each act is unique. The first takes place on a zepplin, involving the characters daringly saving the passengers and crew from a hijacking. The next find the characters lost on a settled island, slowly sinking into fear and despair. The last brings the characters to a climactic conclusion, in which they must release a Lady of Nightmares to defeat not one, but two, Between Worlds Beings. Quite a bit for first level, eh? The adventure has a healthy dose of combat, investigating, and interactions with colorful NPCs unique to the Anima universe. While the plots of the acts aren't too far from your typical FRPG adventure, the NPCs are definitely of the romance and villainy of Final Fantasy and similar computer RPGs.

The PDF is in beautiful color, and is best for iPad and color laser printer output. I do wish that a printer-friendly version of the book was included. Some of the rich color art becomes too dark in greyscale. And, of course, much of the eye-candy that impresses in a publisher-printed book becomes a source of ink and toner consumption when printed by the purchaser. The PDF comes with a four-panel reference screen that I had trouble printing on four separate sheets. That being said, a major advantage of printing out the PDF as individual sheets is that the game master can let the players access the first half of the book (new rules and new options) while keeping the rest of the book (the twenty pregenerated first-level characters and the adventure) to himself.

So if you're an iPad owner who's considering this supplement, you're definitely better off buying the PDF than the book. Others will have to judge how much the aesthetics of a beautifully published book from the publisher matters against the half price of the PDF.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Anima: Beyond Fantasy Game Master's Toolkit
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
by Michael W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/10/2011 16:59:06

Anima Beyond Fantasy is a very good-looking roleplaying game that is heavily influenced by Japanese Anime and JRPGs. If you are into games like the Final Fantasy series, you will definitely like Anima's setting. The rules of the game remind me a lot of Rolemaster. It almost looks like a direct clone in certain aspects. While I am normally into more rules-light games, I found Anima's system strangely compelling. The campaign setting included in the book is a mixture between fantasy and historic elements. As noted before the artwork is top-notch and I could see people picking this title up for the artwork alone. The only drawback is the steep price. While the hardcover edition is well worth its price because of the high printing quality and size of the book, I find $30 are a bit too much for a PDF. But aside from that, I wholeheartedly recommend Anima Beyond Fantasy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
by Dennis S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/01/2011 23:48:55

Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition continues to provide the same interesting, flavorful japanese roleplaying game in its latest edition. The rules are still the same roll and keep you knew, and if you knew it, you'll be able to pick everything up quick. There are changes though, and I believe they're for the better. Schools have been organized better, they're more balanced, and they're very interesting. If you don't know the rules, they're easier than ever to pick up, although there's a lot of stuff to be read. Still, there really isn't any RPG like L5R out there. It's not for everyone, but the people who understand it will buy this edition of the game. It's well worth the reinvestment.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
by Kevin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2011 15:52:58

This pdf was made available for free, which is definitely a shame, as I would have been extremely happy with my purchase had I spent money on it. This module is ready to go, no NPC creation necessary. It deftly handles multiple paths a group of samurai handling this adventure might take, written out like a mini "choose your own adventure" for STs. I have never read a module and immediately felt comfortable with the thought of running it without making some kind of change, but this did not need any. I truly hope AEG makes more of these, and I will purchase any that they make.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend of the Five Rings: Legacy of Disaster
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 106 to 120 (of 204 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG