It’s been a while since my last review, but finally, I bring to you my take on Legends of the Five Rings: Enemies of the Empire for 4th Edition. This is the second book to come out for the L5R 4e. It kind of comes off as a Monster Manual of sorts; the book gives the GM a plethora of possible foes to ram up against the players, but the book isn’t just a bunch of stat blocks. It is so, so much more.
This book follows the example set by AEG with most of their books, especially the core rulebook for L5R 4e: it is extremely beautiful and makes it into my RPG Coffee table books category. I will point out that some of the art was carried over from the first book, not a lot, but I did find a few picture repeats. I kind of dislike it when companies do this with their books. It is likely something that can’t be avoided, but you see it a lot, especially with Wizards of the Coast and the many carry-overs from one edition to the next. The full color standard that L5R is setting right now with their stuff is setting the bar very, very high. This may of course seem very superficial, but when you are paying what they are asking for their books you want to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.
When last we left our valiant adventurers, they had climbed Mt. Doom and were about to toss the Ring into the giant Volcano… wait… think that is a different story. Ah yes! Now I remember, last time, in the Quest to Turn My Wife into a Roleplayer we had finished character creation and I pondered what kind of game we were actually going to be playing. I decided that I wanted to start up the game before my wife forgot what kind of character she was actually playing (in case you may have forgotten, she is a Hare Clan Smith trained by the Oriole Clan; interest include money, sweets, men, and she is afraid of bugs).
I only did some very light prep for the session, most of which actually entailed me writing out her character sheet in very big color-coded numbers so that she would be able to quickly remember where the numbers she needed were. I didn’t include stuff like Wounds on the sheet, since that probably wasn’t really going to be an issue. In fact, the sheet really became a very boiled down version of the game, primarily limited to just Rings, Traits, and Skills accompanied by Advantages, Disadvantages, and School related benefits. I also just jotted down for her the damage on her Katana and her armor (just in case I decided to endanger her life).
I was really, really surprised and excited to see the great response behind my first post in this series. I’m really happy to see everyone chiming in to comment and relate. It’s good to see that I’m not entirely alone on this issue; I am however going to continue in my conversion endeavor and for that reason, I have come back again to relate my never ending journey of turning my wife into a gamer.
Last time, I talked about my plans for using L5R as our game system of choice, due to its relatively easy rules and also thematically easy to relate to premise. I also decided that we are going to be going a bit away from a purely murder, death, kill, loot style of gaming. But, when last we parted, I wasn’t exactly sure about what I would be doing with the game; this week, the game type gets narrowed down, and we move into the realm of character creation. Good stuff.