part of an ongoing series of articles highlighting the player side of the FFG Legend of the Five Rings Fifth edition beta. For a GM perspective check out Meatyogre’s articles.
With the beta campaign done it was decided that we should rebuild our characters using the updated rules. The DM (meatyOgre) and myself met and did the rebuild about three weeks ago. I am pleased with the updates to the experience and leveling system.
The leveling system was based around school ranks, and because experience spent outside of school ranks added nothing this meant that you did not have much choice outside of what was offered in each rank of the school. Another issue was that the cost of upping a ring was so much more than any other skill, it would take up the majority of experience in the early tiers, making what you could choose even more inflexible. By removing rings from the school tiers and allowing for half experience spent outside of school options to count toward the total, builds are more flexible and more varied. In my first build I min-maxed how my experience was allocated mostly because otherwise I would be left with a decent amount of “wasted” experience where I would go over the cap of a school rank and get nothing in return.
With the update to my character I now took several skills and ranks outside of what was offered in my school. It allowed me to add skills that fit my character’s personality and story while at the same time not losing much character progression. Rebuilding after playing through the beta campaign was a big help because now that I had a better understanding of the system and I could apply what I learned to my character. I diversified my characters skills quite a bit, I put points into courtesy to represent his open mind toward others, I gave him a few Shujis such as Ancestry Unearthed as part of his interest in history, and Weight of Duty to represent the ideal of empathy he learned from his time with the Unicorn. This was a big change from how he was before where he could shoot arrows really well but couldn’t do much else. Now he is more useful in social combat, and more importantly is built more like how I envision him as a person.
The team for the L5R beta have been doing a great job with the updates. The experience update is my favorite so far because what seems like a minor change has such a big impact upon how you can build a character and really opens up more options. I look forward to seeing the finished book!