[Legend of the Five Rings] Never a Dull Blade – Postmortem

Posted: March 5, 2012 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Legend of the Five Rings, Roleplaying Games

Right, so now that the campaign is over, it’s time to look at it from an objective point of view and find out what worked, what didn’t and what I can use for my next games.

What worked:

Sharper Focus – Putting everyone on the same side as Lion Clan samurai felt restrictive at first, especially during character creation. However the merits of this approach became clear the moment that the players started realizing that once one of them was in trouble, all of them were in trouble. Thus it became a matter of taking care of the interests of the group, while retaining your individuality

Careful Pacing – My games before Never A Dull Blade tended to burn out from being too fast paced. Too many things happening at the same time, and leaving the players and the GM just got too stressed out to have any fun in the game anymore.

What didn’t:

Introducing the Way of the Daimyo – I attempted to slip in a city-building and administration sub-game in the campaign, but it was eventually phased out when I realized that I could get the same results without the bean counting. In the future, I should consider carefully before adding complexity to the rules when it doesn’t equate to fun.

Overall, I consider the campaign a success. That said, I’m still of the opinion that I could have tightened up the way I ran it in a few spots.  Some plot hooks were a little lackluster, and I still had too few NPCs. I always seem to have too little NPCs in my games, something that I’m trying to correct. I don’t want the world feeling too small, with too little people in it.

This is something that I’ve been busy trying to sort out with regards to my future games. Mage in particular worries me because of the number of Cabals I need to put together to form the Tokyo Consilium. I suppose since I’m about to run the first game already this weekend, I’d better get started.

  1. mythicast says:

    Well to be fair, when I ran games I liked having more fleshed out NPCs so they would create the stories for themselves but its not easy to create multi-dimensional characters nor is it easy to switch from one character mindset to another.

  2. dbro36 says:

    Don’t overfocus on the bad things, when you had a bucketload of good things going on. For starters, you saw it through to the end, and I can’t imagine your players not having any fun when even I enjoyed reading about the stories. If the game was enjoyable than that’s the most important thing. I think it was a wise idea to make them all from the same clan. I can’t imagine how a game would be fun if they weren’t, and I mean… Players are often given too much freedom at the cost of coherency and ultimately fun. Players sometimes just need to accept some things so that everyone can have fun, and I applaud you for having done that.

    • Hikkikomori says:

      And I applaud your last statement – “Players sometimes just need to accept some things so that everyone can have fun”

      And I couldn’t agree more on your second to the last statement:
      “Players are often given too much freedom at the cost of coherency” — or logic.

  3. mythicast says:

    Maybe having more of the things you mentioned might actually scatter the whole story instead of pulling it together.

  4. Antonio says:

    Yeah, to be honest I can’t actually see an L5R campaign working all that well with samurai from different Clans. I mean, having a Scorpion Ninja and a Lion Warrior in the same group together? That’s just ASKING for a duel to the death between PCs…

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