27 September 2017
Samurai-themed spin-off follows revival of ‘90s CCG as living card game
After bringing back ‘90s collectible card game Legend of the Five Rings as one of its living card games, Fantasy Flight has now confirmed that it will reboot the 1997 roleplaying spin-off with a new edition.
Legend of the Five Rings take place in the land of Rokugan, which is heavily inspired by feudal Japan, and focuses its action on the political and military clashes between seven clans of samurai.
The Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game explored the world further, initally using a d10 system before later editions added support for an equivalent d20 framework. Dice could ‘explode’ and be re-rolled to add to a result, with the game’s ‘roll and keep’ mechanics allowing players to pick and choose a specific number of dice from their pool to influence the outcome of an event.
It’s not yet clear whether Fantasy Flight’s upcoming revision of the RPG will utilise a similar system, as the publisher’s announcement simply refers to ‘custom dice mechanics’ that will let players “decide whether their character succeeds, by how much, and how much it will cost them” – which could hint at a return of the roll and keep concept.
Player characters will be aligned with one of the seven clans and will apparently have to balance their commitment to a social code – ‘giri’ – and their personal feelings – ‘ninjō’. During character creation, players will choose traits to represent these opposing external and internal forces, which can then influence their narrative and development over the course of a campaign.
As in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, the titular rings will also play a prominent role in gameplay, with characters selecting one of the symbolic elements to help them perform every task – the choice of ring can then have an effect on the success and outcome of each test.
Fantasy Flight hasn’t announced a release date or period for the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, but will be running a 12-week open beta from next week onwards to “receive feedback from players to be taken into account when finishing the design for the final product”.
The open beta PDF won’t include every mechanic in the final game, and is described as being a form of starter set for players. You can sign up for the beta over on the Fantasy Flight site.