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.

Rating

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

You Might Like

Might Not Like

Zatu Score

75%

Buy Now

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Excellent
08000075444
Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
Zatu Games is rated 4.91 based on 9421
Reviews

Great transaction very easy and quick delivery

Great transaction very easy and quick delivery

Shipping is prompt and prices are good. Pretty much all you can ask for!

Shipping is prompt and prices are good. Pretty much all you can ask for!

Great prices, quick delivery (which was done via Royal Mail and they kept me updated via texts for tracking purposes). Customer service were very quick with email reply and where kind enough to split an order I had due to delays to a pre-order. My "Go-to" store for board games.

Great prices, quick delivery (which was done via Royal Mail and they kept me updated via texts for tracking purposes). Customer service were very quick with email reply and where kind enough to split an order I had due to delays to a pre-order. My "Go-to" store for board games.

Excellent service and goods exactly as described

Excellent service and goods exactly as described

Great service, fast delivery and good communication thanks

Great service, fast delivery and good communication thanks

Excellent service .

Excellent service .

Speedy service, excellent website with an extensive range of games. Easy to see if something is in stock or not. Great prices too!

Speedy service, excellent website with an extensive range of games. Easy to see if something is in stock or not. Great prices too!

Very prompt delivery.

Very prompt delivery.

Fast delivery really happy

Fast delivery really happy

I appreciate that the packaging was minimal. Seemed to just be cardboard, no unnecessary plastic. The delivery options are a bit misleading. I actually thought the order would arrive in 48h which is unrealistic of course. Maybe an indication of when the order will arrive when order will help to make a better choice.

I appreciate that the packaging was minimal. Seemed to just be cardboard, no unnecessary plastic. The delivery options are a bit misleading. I actually thought the order would arrive in 48h which is unrealistic of course. Maybe an indication of when the order will arrive when order will help to make a better choice.

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