Legend of the Five Rings Acquired by Fantasy Flight, Being Relaunched

Legend of the Five Rings Acquired by Fantasy Flight, Being Relaunched

The venerable setting for card game and RPG alike, Legend of the Five Rings has been acquired by Fantasy Flight Games. It is to be redesigned and relaunched in time for Gen Con Indy 2017.

"Understand the Will of Heaven and you make all things possible. Ignore it, and you will accomplish nothing." So says the Tao of Shinsei, and veteran players of the Legend of the Five Rings should take those words to heart. The classic setting, which encompasses both a CCG and an RPG, has been acquired by Fantasy Flight Games, and will be redesigned and relaunched in 2017.

It's not dead; it's just taking a little break.

This may strike long-time players as sad news, but if there is one company that knows how to take a classic card game and modernize it without alienating its truest fans, that company is FFG. The current iteration of the L5R CCG will come to a close with the Evil Portents expansion later this year. Afterwards, the game will go on hiatus until FFG reveals their take on it. As expected, it will become a Living Card Game, eschewing random boosters for regular, non-random expansions.

L5R has quite a history, and developed a passionate fan base. Created in 1995 by Alderac Entertainment Group, the setting is largely inspired by feudal Japan, infused with myth, folklore, and other East Asian cultures. Players build two decks each and face off against one another, calling unique warriors, scholars, and creatures to their side in a cultural battle.

One of L5R's strongest and most unique aspects is its rich narrative, inspired by players' own actions. Real-world tournaments could decide the fate of characters or entire clans within the game. People are killed, or transformed, or evolve over time and new cards are printed to represent these changes. I have no doubt that Fantasy Flight will stay true to this facet of the setting.

For my money, though, Legend of the Five Rings appealed to me for its Civilization-like victory system - other than simply destroying their opponent, a player could work towards increasing their honor past a certain number, or acquiring all five of the legendary rings of power in an Enlightenment Victory.

Alderac Entertainment Group, for their part, will continue to publish their revamped Doomtown: Reloaded, a Western-themed game which takes a great deal of inspiration from L5R, especially with regards to its dynamic and evolving storylines. Maybe other maligned card games are due for their own second coming?

Any fans of the game at The Escapist? Anyone especially upset about this - or do you think this is what the game needed if it was going to survive at all in the market? Alternatively - is there a game that you are just hoping to see be cool again?

Source: Fantast Flight Games

Permalink

For a second I thought maybe this was a Captain Planet reboot...

CCGs have never been my thing outside of Final Fantasy 8, which already combined it with an RPG. This game here however, going just from this article is one that I imagine will appeal to a few people. Many more will see it as too complicated, and probably not dig the whole "my cards will become obsolete due to the actions of players I'll never see and I'll need to buy new cards" gimmick.

That's CCGs in their totality. "I'll need to buy new cards."

KoudelkaMorgan:
For a second I thought maybe this was a Captain Planet reboot...

CCGs have never been my thing outside of Final Fantasy 8, which already combined it with an RPG. This game here however, going just from this article is one that I imagine will appeal to a few people. Many more will see it as too complicated, and probably not dig the whole "my cards will become obsolete due to the actions of players I'll never see and I'll need to buy new cards" gimmick.

That's CCGs in their totality. "I'll need to buy new cards."

Not a fan of CCGs either, but the RPG is pretty great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Fantasy Flight does with it.

Please don't ditch the Roll and Keep system, FFG. Change it up a little, throw in some weird symbols dice a la EotE if you must, but don't actually ditch the old dice system entirely.

Afterwards, the game will go on hiatus until FFG reveals take on it.

I think that sentence is missing an 'its' there.

Scars Unseen:

Not a fan of CCGs either, but the RPG is pretty great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Fantasy Flight does with it.

Please don't ditch the Roll and Keep system, FFG. Change it up a little, throw in some weird symbols dice a la EotE if you must, but don't actually ditch the old dice system entirely.

I like the RPG as well; it's got a lot of Wick's lousy GM nonsense in there, but the mechanics were workable, interesting, and unique, and I still hold 1e's mass combat system as one of the best in an area where many RPGs struggle.

Fantasy Flight likes to mess with a good thing, though (see: WFRP), and their obsession with little metagamey pieces has usually not worked out in RPGs, EotE excepted.

Well this is a surprise. I remember playing LFR both as a table top and a card game. It was highly popular in a few of the shops I frequented to see a card game going, but the table top was a slog honestly. Still its nice to see something like that make a comeback. I'd love it if the current version of White Wolf would release their Vampire CCG from that era. I have fond memories of a deck I'll never get back because of both the rarity of the cards I had AND the rarity of those cards in general. I didn't care about the monetary value, I loved the artwork.

KoudelkaMorgan:
For a second I thought maybe this was a Captain Planet reboot...

CCGs have never been my thing outside of Final Fantasy 8, which already combined it with an RPG. This game here however, going just from this article is one that I imagine will appeal to a few people. Many more will see it as too complicated, and probably not dig the whole "my cards will become obsolete due to the actions of players I'll never see and I'll need to buy new cards" gimmick.

That's CCGs in their totality. "I'll need to buy new cards."

I think there's been a misunderstanding, the changes don't impact the usability of older cards, it's merely for narrative purposes. I don't know if you're familiar with MTG, but it's like Legendary Creatures or Planeswalkers; The plot's advanced, and this is what the character's up to now. This is just a neat way for players to influence the narrative that's being forged by the company. I mean, you'll still probably "need" to buy new cards, but $15 every few months to own 100% of the content in the game is a far cry from games like Yugioh, wherein your super-chocolatey-fudge rare card will set you back a car payment(and by the way, you need 3) and be worthless in a year.

OT: L5R has always been one of those "that game looks neat, too bad no one plays it or I'd buy in" kind of things. The switch to LCG will dramatically lower the barrier of entry, and as with so many other games will probably be enough for me to pull the trigger on a purchase. I really wish more games were abandoning the CCG model and going LCG already. Unless it's being ported from Japan (where the business model still flies, and longevity isn't the goal), new games just can't compete with MTG for your lottery ticket money. If the rebooted DBZ TCG was an LCG, they'd have so many people on board so fast. As it is, see my comments about super-chocolatey-fudge rare cards.

PS: Bring back the Crab Clan. Flying Tricycle makes sweet modal life counters for games that you can swap the face plates of. They used to make Crab plates because they were a playable faction, but when that stopped, so did the plates. They look sweet, but I'm not shelling $50 for a used plate from some guy in Greece via eBay.

Haven't really looked at L5R 4e RPG much as of yet, but if they can make the metagame/plot/history make a bit more sense then that would be good. Otherwise, I've got 3eR sitting next to me as I prep for a new campaign.

Haven't really cared much about CCGs since M:TG died originally in 95. Too bad it didn't stay dead.

Well, I did enjoy the first online CCG, ChronX.

I am not sure how i feel about this. I like FFG, but their focus on card games and RPG specific dice worries me. I like the roll/keep system that L5R has, it is simple and quick and seeing that thrown by the wayside for something new makes me a little iffy on FFG's take on things.

I really liked L5R, played it when I first saw it at Gencon in the UK (yeah, we had it once also). The way they had story arc tournaments was awesome, evolving the future sets based on the outcome of the tournaments, it gave a nice feeling of players being involved in the whole game world.
Never really played the roleplay, had a lot of the books but could never find anyone interested in the setting other than a couple of people, so we just ended up Shadowrunning or Dungeon crawling as usual.
The change to the LCG format would be OK I guess but not sure the uniqueness of the clan decks and play styles would be available straight away. Might take a few story arc packs to really take off, which is pretty much the only downside of that format.

I'm actually kid of worried for the IP; FFG did say that the franchise is going on hiatus until GenCon 2017, which is a little over two years from now. I'm worried that the fanbase will dwindle away completely before then unless something is done to keep it alive.

Are they rebooting the setting?!

Please say they're rebooting the setting!!!

Undo the total mess that hack Shawn Carman made of the thing!

I'm not too enthused. My only exposure to the setting comes from this:


The 5 Rings part starts about 15 minutes in.
That said, Fantasy Flight has a good reputation, so things should be fine.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here