Beginner Game (Legend of the Five Rings) Review | Zatu Games UK

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    Awards

    75%

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You Might Like

    • A samurai world filled with honour, duty and duelling.
    • The encouragement of narrative play in the system.
    • The ease-you-in style for both rules and world.
    • The web enhancements.

    Might Not Like

    • The fairly free-form rules.
    • The difference from the standard rules of the full game.
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    Legend of the Five Rings: Beginner Game Review

    Legend of the Five Rings - Beginner Game Review

    As with almost any good RPG these days, Legend of the Five Rings has its own Beginner Game, a starter set containing almost everything that you need to play (just add pencils and rubbers). This box is a brilliant way to get your first exposure to the world of Rokugan and the adventures and intrigues that you might have there.

    Featuring a stripped-down version of the full rules, this box features four pregenerated characters (with two more available online as a web enhancement) to give yourself an introduction to the world and the gaming experience.

    Each character is a young samurai from one of the six Great Clans, showcasing both the general premise of the game, as well as allowing you to experience your character’s gempukku (or coming of age). Of course, things are never as simple as that, especially not when your gempukku takes place, not in the safety of your own clan lands, but at the prestigious Test of the Topaz Champion- your clan honour rests at your feet as well as your own future.

    Once done, you can download the free web enhancement ‘In the Palace of the Emerald Champion’ to continue the storyline as well as setting up future adventure seeds.

    Contents

    Built in Fantasy Flight Game’s traditional style, this box contains a miniature rulebook with stripped down versions of the rules including some NPCs (some of whom do not feature in the Core Rulebook). It also contains:

    • Four pregenerated characters (Crane Courtier, Lion Bushi, Phoenix Shugenja and Unicorn Bushi).
    • 10 custom dice (five skill and five ring dice - essentially one full ‘player’ set).
    • The Topaz Championship (an introductory adventure).
    • A double-sided map (included a map of Rokugan, one adventure site for the box and one for the web enhancement).
    • A selection of tokens that can be used to represent PCs and NPCs.

    Gameplay

    Using the same system as both Genesys and FFG’s Star Wars line (see the review of the full game) this system privileges storytelling over specific actions, and the beginner adventure really focuses on this.

    Building from a few basic rules introduction encounters, the scenario does become a little repetitive at times (players have a series of tests to complete and so each scenario requires them to decide how they will deal with the test and roll some dice, record a score and then move on), but these are interspersed with an unfolding intrigue that the players become embroiled in and may well have a hand in stopping.

    Final Thoughts on the Beginner Game

    Not as broad as the full game, this Beginner Game offers an excellent entry into the Legend of the Five Rings game and world, teaching players the game as well as many details about the world, it's especially good for those who don’t know the extensive world of Rokugan.

    Sadly, there are a few let-downs: firstly, the adventure, at times, is a series of test after test (you need to wrestle, how? Okay roll this… next up you need to answer some heraldry questions, how? Okay roll this… etc.) and doesn’t always represent the full rules (for example the duels at the end of the test are single rolls; secondly, the one spellcaster (the Phoenix Shugenja) doesn’t actually have any rules-ability to cast anything so is simply a second-rate courtier unless the GM and player can work together.

    That said, the Beginner Game is a good introduction to the world and system, and is an excellent way to get the custom dice for the system that can often be hard to purchase.

    Zatu Score

    75%

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You might like

    • A samurai world filled with honour, duty and duelling.
    • The encouragement of narrative play in the system.
    • The ease-you-in style for both rules and world.
    • The web enhancements.

    Might not like

    • The fairly free-form rules.
    • The difference from the standard rules of the full game.

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    First found Zatu on eBay where I bought a copy of the "Call of Cthulhu" starter set. This arrived promptly and in excellent condition. They sent me an email with a discount code for their website so I decided to have a look. I was very impressed with both the range of products and the prices. The mystery boxes are a great idea! I've ordered a premium box and look forward to discovering some new games.

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    Just ordered my second lot of games from this website. Really good customer service.

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    Will definitley be ordering from here again. Its the only website I could find the Rick and Morty playmat I was looking for. I was looking to order a Playmat protector tube also but I didn't and amazingly the playmat already came with one! Super fast delivery time too!!

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    Have been happy with Zatu Games and their selection. Have been able to get some games that I could not locate in the US.

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    Fast despatch and delivery. Ordered multiple times all without any issues.

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    I was very impressed with your delivery service. Also the parcel arrived in good condition. I enjoyed playing Shaperise with my grandchildren, so bought one as a birthday gift for another grandchild. Thank you

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    Reliable and the cheapest I can find in Scotland.

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    Received my order of Hogwarts Battle, Monster Expansion and Defence Against the Dark Arts very fast, I think the next working day, during Covid19 lockdown. And their prices are extremely competitive!

    Easy to navigate and seems to be pretty complete!

    Easy to navigate and seems to be pretty complete!

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