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Twenty Festival Starter Deck Clarifications

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 21:53

Samurai of Rokugan!

It was brought to our attention that the Twenty Festivals Starter Deck PDFs are in need of 2 clarifications.

1. The Spider Stronghold Side B listed with the contents is from an out dated version of the card. The correct version is the one provided below. This is both the version that is listed in the Oracle of the Void and is physically located in the Twenty Festivals starter decks. For purposes of printing a proxy of this card for use at Kotei over the next two weeks, please make sure to use this version.


2. The Mantis & Unicorn Starters contain the card Advanced Warning. The presence of this card does not change the Banned Status of this card for constructed play. The card remains Banned in all Strict, Arc, and Extended formats. This includes both the Ivory and Twenty Festivals versions of these formats. The card is legal for use in Limited Formats. This includes both Sealed Deck and Booster Drafts.


Thank you, Good luck at any events you attend and Don’t forget to preorder your Twenty Festivals today! Time is running out, only 4 days until the Stronghold Store release.

Categories: Company News

Tsujiken Sensei

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 17:50

Hello Kotei attendees! I hope everyone is getting ready for their local Kotei and for the release of Twenty Festivals. While Twenty Festivals is not yet released, we do need to make one adjustment to the tournament format in the form of Tsujiken Sensei.

While Tsujiken has been out for some time and has been fine in the tournament format, with Twenty Festivals Crab receive a Shugenja based deck which can receive the gold bonus from Tsujiken Sensei without also being affected by the gold penalty, since the Shugenja deck tends to play very few, if any, Samurai.

We have been testing the Tsujiken Sensei Shugenja deck in Playtest for a couple months now and have found that erratum will be required once the deck is legal for tournament play. Simply put, the gold acceleration given to this military deck brought the deck to an unacceptable level.

As such, effective when Twenty Festivals becomes tournament legal, Tsujiken Sensei’s second trait will read:

Your non-Courtier Personalities enter play for 1 more Gold.

Nothing else about the card, nor any other aspect of the environment is receiving an adjustment at this time.

We look forward to finishing up the current Ivory environment and moving forward into the beginning of our twentieth anniversary with the release of Twenty Festivals! Check with your FLGS to pre-order now!

Categories: Company News

2015 Sheriff Event Applications Are Here

Sat, 03/14/2015 - 17:03

Details on the upcoming 2015 Sheriff Events, the next level in the Doomtown Badge Series, are up on the website.

Go here to read all about these special regional events and what your store needs to do in order to host one of these unique events.

Categories: Company News

New Legend of the Five Rings Brand Lead

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 20:58

Samurai of Rokugan!

Allow me to present a letter from the new L5R Brand Lead, Dave Laderoute.

Players and fans of Legend of the Five Rings….as the new Brand Lead for the L5R product line, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you about who I am, about Legend of the Five Rings now, and where we want—in close cooperation with you—to take the game in the future. I’m going to do so in a series of articles like this one, which I’ll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks.


Let’s start off by letting you know who I am. I started playing the L5R collectible card game (CCG) in 1997. I started with Crane, but soon found my L5R heart belonged to the bad guys—first, the Shadowlands Horde, but later, and more enthusiastically, the Dark Path of Shadow (if you’re not familiar with that faction, it was essentially the Lying Darkness, the then-incarnation of the Nothing in the story).  When the evil ninja of the Dark Path of Shadow ceased to be a playable faction at the end of the game’s Jade Edition, I split my interest in villainy between the Shadowlands, to satisfy my desire to play “big E” Evil, and the Scorpion, to be able to play a more “acceptable” form of villainy. Since then, I’ve played almost every clan at one time or another. I’ve also been a Tournament Organizer for our local Kotei event over the past several years…I guess the bottom line here is that I know the CCG pretty well!


Likewise, I’ve had a lot to do with the role playing game (RPG). I’ve written for a bunch of the books for the 4th Edition of the RPG, including Enemies Of The Empire, The Great Clans, Imperial Histories, The Book of Air, The Book of Fire, The Book of the Void, the Second City Boxed Set,  Sword and Fan, Strongholds of the Empire and the upcoming Atlas of Rokugan. I’ve participated in every Winter Court event—the first two as a player, the third as a Game Master and the fourth as the Head Game Master.  I also run a weekly RPG campaign in a game store owned by my wife and me–which means I’m also a game retailer, so I know the business side of gaming pretty well, too, right to the point where I take your money for the game you want.


To date, you’ve probably known me as the Editor of the Imperial Herald and/or the Head Game Master for Winter Court 4. To the role of Brand LeadI bring some pretty extensive management and leadership experience from both the private and public sectors, and from a 31-year career in the army reserve. It’s my hope that, by laying out my background like this, you have some confidence that I’ll be able to do justice to the Brand Management job.


Okay, so that’s all very well and fine…but now we need to talk about the game itself.  That’s going to be the main focus of the next few articles I’m going to share with you. Suffice, for now, to say that I’m a gamer, I play the L5R CCG and RPG, and I want what you want–cool games, set in the amazing world of Rokugan, that are fun, engaging and exciting. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to lay out the vision we have, which is to hand much more control over the story to you, the players, so that L5R really is THE interactive storytelling game. At the same time, we intend to make the best game products we possibly can, so no matter how much you love the story, you’ll have an enjoyable experience when you sit down and start shuffling those cards or cracking open those books. We have a plan coming together to enable this, and I’m going to be sharing that with you starting early next week as well, and every few days thereafter, until the whole picture is clear to you.


Now, I have no doubt that you probably have lots of questions, and also more than a few doubts. That’s fine. I hardly expect that a single letter from me is going to win over your absolute trust. That’s fine, too. It’s MY job to get you folks to trust me, and I know I’ve got my work cut out for me. But I look forward to taking on the challenge…so keep watching this space! In the meantime, why not head down to your Friendly Local Game Store and submit a pre-order for Twenty Festivals, the new L5R CCG base set releasing to Stronghold Stores on March 27 (the same day it becomes tournament-legal) and to general release on April 13?!


Dave Laderoute Brand Lead Legend of the Five Rings Alderac Entertainment Group
Categories: Company News

2015 Spring Kotei Deck List Forum and Writable Deck List PDF

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 01:39

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan!

The 2015 Spring Kotei Deck List Forum has been created, and the direct link to it is HERE.

The goal is to have all 1st, and 2nd, placing Deck Lists housed in this forum for the entirety of the 2015 Spring Kotei Season.

Also there is now a writable Deck List PDF that can be used by Tournament Organizers and Players alike, and that direct link is HERE.

Note: Currently some 2nd place decklists are outstanding, but as soon I receive them they will be updated in that forum.

Categories: Company News

Faith and Fear Preview: Maria Kingsford

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 13:00

This preview is for the first Pine Box Expansion, Faith and Fear, arriving in stores April 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

A Lioness in the Den
By Jeff Bailey

The Right Reverend Gregory Simon had just arrived in Gomorra, following his quarry. He had doggedly chased every whisper, zigzagging from Kansas to California in pursuit. The Reverend knew how things worked in roughshod towns like Gomorra, so he entered the cheapest saloon, seeking an idle man of means. He found a gambler named Barton, who said someone approached him yesterday looking for the coast road. Barton had offered a route and recommended an abandoned building outside town as a quiet shelter before the journey. The Reverend asked about a horse, as he’d arrived by stagecoach. Barton owned a suitable steed. The price was steep, but the need was dire.

He quickly rode through town, past the remnants of the North End, and out into open country. Soon, he found Barton’s recommended hideaway. It was an abandoned chapel; his hunt was finally over. The omen of a Godly house warmed his heart, but the nearby sand-scarred sign chilled it.


Reverend Simon snorted. “You hide in the lion’s den? Darkness cannot conceal darkness.”

He entered the chapel, brandishing both gun and cross into the dusty murk. So when he turned to a sound behind him, his hands couldn’t block the pistol butt as it smashed his throat. He staggered to the floor, coughing blood and phlegm.

maria_kingsford_cardMaria Kingsford stood over the man who had hunted her across eight territories, calmly berating him. “You are now as I was then. There is no help. There is no mercy.”

Her pistol started glowing with a bluish aura, but inside the barrel was a fire blacker than black. Reverend Simon tried to pray, but another bloody cough wracked him.

“You murdered an innocent girl, Reverend. She made a mistake. A horrible one that cost lives. But you brought not justice or mercy, only fear and hate. My sin was accidental. But you chose to scourge me, expel my parents, and burn my homestead.” The bright blue barrel radiated wintry cold, but the ebony light oozing within stole the Reverend’s eyes. He finally coughed one word.

“Child –”

The blast deafened her as it took off the Reverend’s head in an inverted lightning bolt, dark coruscations and blue sparks lancing through dusklight. He limply fell back. Maria turned away, speaking to her memory of the wolf she had slain.

“You killed that child, Reverend. I am a woman … a woman tired of fear … a woman who knows that the right and the law are not always the same. More of your flock seek me. Some may find me. But I have a new family. They see past the dark curse to the strong heart that wields it.”

Maria noticed angry red lines racing through the splinters on the floor, and she retreated. The building eagerly dissolved into a raging bonfire in less than a minute. She used the flames at her back to illuminate the withered trees nearby, seeking Barton’s horse. He’d want it back.

Categories: Company News

Renewal : 2014 Kotei – Poll 3 Results

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:55

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan!

Below you will find the results of the 3rd round of voting for how each Clan chose to spend their Glory Points.

Crab Clan – Have 17 Glory Points left, and no available vote on Glory Points.

Crane Clan – Have 43 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Dragon Clan - Have 47 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Lion Clan – Have 74 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Mantis Clan - Have voted that the spirit of Tsuruchi Nobumoto will become a Guardian Spirit at the Shrine of the Three Dynasties! The Mantis Clan has 9 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Phoenix Clan - Have 49 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Scorpion Clan – Have voted that the spirit of Bayushi Yojiro will become the Minor Fortune of the Bushido Virtue of Honesty (Gi) at the Shrine of the Three Dynasties! The Scorpion Clan has 3 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Spider Clan - Have 57 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

Unicorn Clan – Have 72 Glory Points left, and no available vote Glory Points.

The Lion Clan will be voting on Okura no Oni and her role at the Shrine of the Three Dynasties, so if you are a Lion player go to your Imperial Assembly account and vote now! Voting ends 3/17/2015.

Note: All further votes will be on the status of the Spirits, and the remaining Clans!


Categories: Company News

2015 Spring Kotei Season – Week 2 & 3 Results

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:06

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan!

The second, and third, weekend of the 2015 Spring Kotei Season results are in, and they are as follows:

Week 2:

Chris “Jeff” Medico took first place with the Mantis Clan in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA on 2/28/2015. He chose to have Kyuden Ashinagabachi – The Castle of the Wasp saved as a Mantis Clan Icon!

James Balthis took first place with the Mantis Clan in Tacoma, Washington, USA on 2/28/2015. He chose to have the Dark Sword of Bitter Lies (Technique – School) to be saved as an Icon for the Mantis Clan, in an antagonistic manner towards the Scorpion Clan!

Mike George took first place with the Crane Clan in Quezon City, Phillipines on 2/28/2015. He chose to have the Daidoji Iron Warrior (Technique – School) saved as a Crane Clan Icon!

A piece of The Dark Prophecy was revealed over the course of the weekend, and it can be seen here:

“For each man a gift, for each gift a purpose. Not to conquer but to endure. Not to redeem but to survive. Only the strongest trees withstand the fire.”

Week 3:

Jon Palmer took first place with the Mantis Clan in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA on 3/7/2015. He chose to have Kyuden Kitsune saved as a Mantis Clan Icon!

A piece of The Dark Prophecy was revealed over the course of the weekend, and it can be seen here:

Jigoku claims all. Spring blossoms burn. A new darkness ascends. Light becomes slivers, becomes splinters, pinpricks of hope in the curtain of night. Shadows battle for dominance, the lost reclaim their birthright. The Empire will shatter

Much remains yet to be revealed, and much remains to be saved…

Will you save your most prized Icons, or will you allow the evil on the horizon to wash over all that your Clan holds dear? Will you help your fellow Samurai, or use this as an opportunity to gain advantage over them?

Your choice. Your story.

Categories: Company News

Reconstruction – New Fiction at the Imperial Herald

Sun, 03/08/2015 - 19:56

Samurai of Rokugan!

The Story Team has released a new fiction to the Imperial Herald.

The fiction can be found here…

Please enjoy!!

Categories: Company News

Kotei Season Rules Refresher – Learn to Play L5R

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 00:41

Samurai of Rokugan!

We are now in the week three of the Kotei Season and the Imperial Heir wants these Twenty Festivals to be the best in the history of the Empire.

To enact his wishes, the Imperial Archives created these videos to remind all, what it means to be Samurai of Rokugan!

For those who are just starting their journey…


For those who seek a greater understanding…


Take these teaching through out the Empire and enjoy the Twenty Festivals!





Categories: Company News

Meeting the Keepers – L5R Podcast

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 23:22

Samurai of Rokugan,


Dark omens loom on the horizon. Dangerous days lie ahead, leaving many steadfast samurai with troubling questions. What is happening in the Empire? What shall the future bring? What lessons can be learned from the past? In troubled times, men and women of great wisdom and honor have always emerged to guide us through peril.

And when no such men can be found, we shall emerge to bring you to the Meeting of the Keepers. Because we are not the Keepers Rokugan deserves, but the Keepers it needs.

Meeting the Keepers is not only a great card for all kinds of enlightenment shenanigans, but also the name of our new live L5R talk show broadcast through the interwebs and shadowy parts beyond. Join us on March 8th at 9:00 PM CET (12:00 AM PST) when the keepers meet for the first time to discuss everything L5R.

Meetings will be held on

Every meeting will see three guests: one from America, one from Europe and one high-ranking AEG employee. Moderation will be humbly provided by  Andre “Monty Pillepalle” Rinn (Mantis clan!!!) and Niklas “Kakita Soteshi” Rinn (whatever works clan!!!), the charming red-headed twins from Germany.

Our first episode will feature:

Dan Dineen: L5R Major Events Manager, and Mantis Clan loyalist.

Faber van Kraanen: An L5R World Champion and Usergroup member.

Donovan ‘Sparks’  Burger: Spider clan loyalist, member of the Sixth Ring, online tournament organizer and inventor of the modern format.

Our topics will feature discussion of the current Kotei season and formats, the future of online L5R, the 20 Festivals card pool and much, much more.

Every show will end with a Q&A session using the gaijin technology known as the twitch chat  and our facebook site (link to this URL:

So be present when the keepers meet,

Utz, Banzai!


The Meeting the Keepers and German Kotei organization team.

Categories: Company News

Faith and Fear Preview: Swinford Finds Trouble

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 14:00

This preview is for the first Pine Box Expansion, Faith and Fear, arriving in stores April 2015! Ask your local game store about it today!

By David “the Preacher” Wilson

Philip Swinford gripped the saddle tightly as his mount jumped over a small wash. The deputy was no horseman, not like those Morgan cowboys, but he managed to stay in the saddle and continued following the fugitive’s tracks.

* * *

The debate had ended in mass confusion. Both candidates were dead as the screaming crowd stampeded from the bloodshed. Philip escaped the terrified crowd and headed for the office. Swinford hadn’t even stopped to discover if either of the candidates had survived. It was time to enforce the law and he was a man on a mission. In the meantime there was no time to stop. He was chasing a fellow on a wounded horse and intended to capture him in the next few minutes.

Philip nearly collided with a man coming out of the sheriff’s office. He narrowed his eyes, scrutinizing the man in the round framed glasses. “Mr. Slavin,” he said in recognition. “What’re you doin’ here?”

Richard glanced toward the town square. “Just making sure the sheriff was aware of this carnage.”

“I’m chasin’ one of the killers right now.”

Slavin pointed eastward. “The one with the injured horse? I think he went towards Soddum!”

Philip dashed inside to grab a rifle and a box of extra cartridges. Rushing out the door, he unhitched one of the Sheriff’s horses out front, shoved the rifle into a scabbard, mounted, and rode off.

* * *

As he rode, Philip was amazed at how plain the tracks were. He lost the trail where it crossed a small stream but quickly picked it up again. The trail led toward several grey boulders leaning against each other, forming a sort of tunnel. He had to dismount and lead the horse through but the tracks remained clear.

swinford_finds_trouble_cardHe came out of the shade of the tunnel, blinded by the bright sunlight when he heard the ominous click of a revolver being cocked. He started to spin towards the sound but froze as he heard the same sound repeated around him. He had ridden right into a trap.

Philip turned in time to see a huge bearded man spit a huge gob of tobacco juice in his direction, splattering on his boots. He pointed his big .44 at the deputy. “Where’s your boss, boy?”

Philip swallowed hard. “I heard he was chasin’ Sloane!” He pointed his rifle at the ground.

Sanford Taylor guffawed, “Sloane’s way too slick for that lawman.” He then got quiet for a moment before continuing. “The real question is what to do with you.” With at least four guns pointed in his direction, the deputy did not resist as the bearded outlaw disarmed him.

“I’d like to carve him up a bit’,” threatened a man wielding a knife so large it could have been a sword, “but we better wait for Sloane.”

Philip heard the crunch of gravel just behind him before he was struck fiercely by the butt of the outlaw’s Colt. Darkness overwhelmed him as he heard someone growl, “I hate law dogs!”

Categories: Company News

Twenty Festivals Rule Changes

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:50

We have updated the rules for L5R with the release of Twenty Festivals.  Listed below are the updates to the rules that will take effect on  March 27th, 2015.

You can view the entire rulebook [HERE]

Twenty Festivals: Major Rules Changes:

1. Gold production from Holdings is now indicated by a Gold Production stat icon on the upper right of the Holding, making Gold-producing traits unnecessary, unless they modify this production. When paying Gold, a player may bow any of their Holdings, one by one, to produce the amount of Gold indicated by the Holding’s Gold Production stat. Holdings without this stat are non-Gold-Producing Holdings and may not have the stat increased.

2. The wording “when it pays for a single X only” refers to an option a player has when producing Gold from a source. If this option is taken, the Gold produced from that source can only be used to Equip or Recruit a card with the characteristic X, and if that Gold is in excess of the cost paid, it is not added to the Gold pool.

Example 1: You bow Colonial Temple to pay for a Follower costing 3G. The Temple has 2GP, and +2GP when it pays for a single attachment only. The 1G left over is not added to the Gold pool and cannot pay for anything else.

Example 2: You bow Colonial Temple, then Forgotten Legacy (3GP), to pay for a Follower costing 5G. The Temple’s 4GP is fully used to pay for the attachment. The 2G left over comes from Forgotten Legacy and so is added to the Gold pool.

3. In the action sequence, required targeting is now chosen after costs are paid but before Interrupts are taken, meaning that players of Interrupts know what an action will target beforehand. Interrupts that say things like “If the action targets a Samurai” refer to this pre-choice of targets. Effects that trigger from targeting, such as “before” or “after” targeting, still trigger when the targeting actually happens in the action’s resolution. Optional targeting (“may target”) is still chosen and carried out in the action’s resolution entirely.

4. Relevant to #3, the Recruit and Equip player abilities/procedures now require targeting the card to bring into play: face-up in your Province if Recruiting, in your hand if Equipping. The target’s Gold cost (with modifications) must equal the Gold you paid for the Recruit or Equip action.

5. The Legacy keyword refers to a new player ability: Dynasty, (*): Remove a card in your hand from the game to search your deck and Provinces for a Legacy Holding and Recruit it. If you fail to find one, you lose the game.

6. Fortifications now by default enter play bowed like any other Holdings.

7. Shugenja is no longer a boldface keyword, by the list maintained in the Comprehensive Rules, even for earlier printed cards that have Shugenja in boldface.

Categories: Company News

2015 Spring Kotei Season – Week 1 Results

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:03

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan!

The first weekend of the 2015 Spring Kotei Season results are in, and they are as follows:

Jason Marlis took first place with the Dragon Clan in Montclair, California, USA on 2/21/2015. He chose to have the Niten Style of dueling saved as a Dragon Clan Icon!

Jeff Williams took first place with the Mantis Clan in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on 2/21/2015. He chose the Great Carpenter Wall to be saved as an Icon for the Mantis Clan, as a means to help the cousins of the Mantis, the Crab Clan!

Their decklists, and those of the 2nd place finishers, can be found HERE.

A piece of The Dark Prophecy was revealed over the course of the weekend, and it can be seen here:

“The typhoon rises, and cannot be contained; Imbalance upsets the natural order, and chaos will claim its prize; Revenge begets revenge, and the webs of betrayal ensnare those who thought themselves beyond it; The debt will be repaid in blood.”

Much remains yet to be revealed, and much remains to be saved…

Will you save your most prized Icons, or will you allow the evil on the horizon to wash over all that your Clan holds dear? Will you help your fellow Samurai, or use this as an opportunity to gain advantage over them?

Your choice. Your story.

Categories: Company News

Renewal : 2014 Kotei – Poll 2 Results

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:48

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan!

Below you will find the results of the 2nd round of voting for how each Clan chose to spend their Glory Points.

Crab Clan – 100 GPs: A hero of the Clan defeats a rival in a duel, and has 117 Glory Points left.

Crane Clan – 100 GPs: A hero of the Clan defeats a rival in a duel, and has 143 Glory Points left.

Dragon Clan - 100 GPs: A hero of the Clan defeats a rival in a duel, and have 47 Glory Points left.

Lion Clan – 100 GPs: A hero of the Clan defeats a rival in a duel, and have 74 Glory Points left.

Mantis Clan - 100 GPs: A hero of the Clan defeats a rival in a duel, and have 9 Glory Points left.

Phoenix Clan - Have 49 Glory Points left, and no available vote.

Scorpion Clan – Have 3 Glory Points left, and no available vote.

Spider Clan - Have 57 Glory Points left, and no available vote.

Unicorn Clan – Have voted that the spirit of Moto Chagatai will become the Minor Fortune of the Bushido Virtue of Courage (Yu) at the Shrine of the Three Dynasties!


Note - The only options available to vote for are the Spirits at this point, the Crab and Crane only have the option of: “100 GPs: A hero of the Clan defeats a rival in a duel”. Thus that additional selection has been recorded for them, in addition to their above choices.

The next vote will be the Scorpion Clan determining the destiny of the spirit of Bayushi Yojiro at the Shrine of Three Dynasties, the voting will continue until 3/6 via the Imperial Assembly!


Categories: Company News

Design Diary – Surprise and Opportunity

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:00

By Konstantinos Thoukydidis

One of the features of Doomtown: Reloaded is the significant strength of action cards to change the outcome of a shootout. With the release of three new Saddlebags and the upcoming Pine Box, Faith and Fear, bringing more great shootout actions, we thought it might be a good time to explain why we first looked at the role and effectiveness of shootout cards.

In previous designer diaries, we’ve discussed how the change in deed costs, the increased focus of in-town deeds, and the new casualty rules actually promote confrontations (small and large) as a primary form of conflict resolution in Doomtown: Reloaded. With more shootouts in the spotlight, it makes sense to have enough cards in the game that can serve as surprises and state-changers. This not only can turn the game to your advantage, but allows you to effectively bluff your capacity to follow through with your aggression, adding another layer to your tactics.

pistol_whip_cardInitially, a lot of actions were returning iconic cards, lifted directly from the Classic game. Pistol Whip was the benchmark for a key shootout action in early testing. But we quickly ran into a familiar problem; Pistol Whip was simply superior to almost all other shootout actions you could put in your deck. But was that the problem, or was it something else? Not only can it nullify your opponent’s largest shooter, but it can also serve as an offensive, defensive, control, or softening up card. In short, it had such a universal utility that even though it had a hefty cost of booting a dude in a shootout and losing bullets, there were few games where it wouldn’t be useful. This makes it a really powerful shootout action.

However, this didn’t necessarily mean that Pistol Whip was too good. So, we decided to test another idea. If shootouts are a more critical part of the game, and shootout actions occupy a valuable slot in the deck, then let’s try bringing everything else up to the same level. After all, putting shootout actions in your deck is all about the “opportunity cost,” so the payoff needs to be good to make up for it.

What is opportunity cost? Simply put, the opportunity cost of any action card is the cost you’re paying for putting it in your deck over any other action card or card type. Compared to an easier-to-play card, the more restricted the window is for an action to be played, the more this opportunity cost increases. More plainly, this restriction means that a card has the possibility to further clog your play hand and stall your overall strategy if your opponent does not follow your gameplan.

Free and unrestricted action cards that are Noon plays tend to have the smallest opportunity costs since you can get rid of them immediately to make more space in your play hand. Reserves is a classic example; for a simple Noon play, you gain 1 ghost rock. You can always play it, and it is always useful.

As the situational difficulty to play a card increases, so does its opportunity cost. The opportunity cost of various types of cards, from lowest to highest, is usually as follows: cheap Noon actions, cheap dudes and deeds, cheap goods, more expensive deeds, shootout actions, and finally expensive dudes. Why are shootout actions at the higher end of the scale? It’s because getting into a position to use them requires you to create a table position that allows them to be played. You need to put your dudes in harm’s way in a shootout, where you then have a chance to play them, and even then, they need to make enough of an impact to justify all of their costs.

What happens if your opponent avoids all shootouts for two turns? Even if your actions cost you nothing, they clog your hand so that you cannot improve your situation. You are being penalized for having those cards in your deck, as opposed to some cheap dudes or goods. Similar considerations apply to cheatin’ resolution actions just as well.

So this leads us to two possible solutions for action cards: either their opportunity cost needs to be recouped via their effect, or it needs to be lowered.

The first case is the easiest; one merely improves the power of an action card until it actually feels worth holding on to, even for use in a shootout two turns later. The latter option can be achieved either by loosening the restrictions, or by widening the situations where a card will be useful, thus making it possible and worthy to play out of your hand earlier.

Looking at how easy it is to justify adding a Pistol Whip to literally any kind of deck, we speculated that it’s pretty much on the sweet spot of its cost/reward calculation. This makes it an excellent baseline around which to design other action cards’ power levels and variety of uses.

There is a second factor at work as well as opportunity cost. We want players to make choices about how to win their fights against what values they want. If shootouts are important to Doomtown: Reloaded, then there needs to be more ways to win them than just having a good draw structure. It’s not that draw structure isn’t or shouldn’t be important, it is. But there should be more to the resolution of shootouts than that, and having really effective shootout (and resolution) cards, means that you can win shootouts (and lose them!) by playing cards, not solely on the strength of your draw structure.

sun_in_yer_eyes_cardSo let’s take Sun in Yer Eyes. The classic version merely reduced a dude’s bullets by 2. That looks like a decent effect on paper, but in practice there are just too many situations where it would not make enough difference. What if your opponent has two 2-stud dudes in their posse (not at all hard to do), or a 1-stud and a 2-draw? There are a lot more scenarios like these where a Sun in Yer Eyes really does not improve your situation, thus punishing you for choosing it over another card.

So we needed to widen its use and/or boost its power level. We achieved that by making it also turn the targeted dude into a draw, which immediately covered both scenarios mentioned above. It is easily more powerful than simply removing 2 bullets, but it also increased the number of situations it will combat, turning a 5-stud into a 3-draw, or even hitting an opponent’s only 0-stud, so that they have to make their hand with only 5 cards. With this change, we immediately saw a jump in usage for the card, even making it a staple for aggressive decks instead of the value-filler it was before.

unprepared_cardLet’s take another action that we were testing, Unprepared, based on a classic card, Caught With Yer Pants Down. It gave a dude -1 bullet and prevented them from using their goods for one shootout round. It was OK if you had to fight a gadget-heavy deck and you could win the shootout in one round, but otherwise, it was too limited. Its transition into the new card, Unprepared, saw it boot all attached cards outright and prevent their use for the rest of the shootout. This immediately widened the scope of use to include anti-goods AND anti-spell. In fact, now that nearly all spells require booting to use, the new card acts as a deterrent to decks that pile spell after spell on one single dude, turning them into what is affectionately called “the railroad dude.” With Unprepared in circulation, this is now a weakness to be exploited rather than a strength. It’s a risk you have to be prepared to take and avoid in spell or gadget decks. And even if you survive the current shootout, your dudes and all their cards are pretty much out of commission for the rest of the turn.

But this still was not enough. Against non-spell, non-goods decks, Unprepared might as well be a dead card since -1 bullet is not strong enough to warrant inclusion. The opportunity cost was still too high. So we widened the scope once more. Now Unprepared boots the dude and prevents them from using any shootout abilities as well. Not only does this serve to counter dudes like Xiong “Wendy” Cheng, who can be brutal in an opposing starting posse, but it can preemptively protect against a suspected Point Blank or Pistol Whip.

Say your opponent sends their influence-heavy weakling to your important deed. You send a shooter to protect it. Unexpectedly, the weakling calls you out. You just know a Pistol Whip is incoming, so you Unprepared the opposing dude first, making them easy pickings. Even simply booting an opposing dude in the town square to prevent further movement can be useful. Unprepared has arguably just surpassed its opportunity cost.

This is the design principle you will see behind a lot of other action cards as well. Pinned Down serves to both reduce bullets and/or snipe at an important dude before they have a chance to run off after sacrificing an expendable dude. The Stakes Just Rose not only acts as a defence against Pistol Whip, but as a great boost card with a high bullet stud or draw somewhere else on the table. Cheatin’ Varmint can be used to punish cheating or to leverage your economic superiority, and so on.

With The Stakes Just Rose we also added another principle, we want cards that are worth playing not just for the penalty that they give your opponent, but for the boost they give you.

make_em_sweat_cardIn New Town, New Rules we again expanded this design principle. One example is Make ‘em Sweat, where we went for a card that has offensive and defensive utility. It provides a nice value for those people striving for a Dead Man’s Hand deck, where shootout actions were missing, it allows you to use some of those expendable draw dudes to attack another player’s stud bullets, and finally, as is often the case, you can prevent anything that has booting as part of its cost from being used by a particular dude. None of those things on their own make the card outstanding, but together they can represent great versatility in a deck.







Similarly in Election Day Slaughter, we have added Tail Between Yer Legs, which you can use as a simple bullet reduction to bypass cards such as Hiding in Shadows, but also in more defensive scenarios, where you want to see what your opponent will commit to the fight before you do. This makes it an excellent choice for town square campers of all kinds.





If this applies to shootout actions then it also applies to resolution actions, including cheatin’ resolution cards. In the upcoming Faith and Fear, This’ll Hurt in the Mornin’ should provide great versatility in decks which would like to use 8s in the draw structure, as it is one of the few cheatin’ actions that provides great results both in lowball and in shootouts. If your deck is sufficiently legal, then you’ll generally be able to use its more powerful level and attempt to ace cards in your opponent’s draw hand. A great choice might be one copy of your opponent’s Steven Wiles, which would prevent them from playing any more in the future. Or you might hit those frustrating Unprepareds to give your Mad Scientist time to breathe. Of course, your opponent can always decide to pay you to keep those cards, but even then, a free swing of four ghost rock is nothing to scoff at. But this card also works wonders during shootouts as well, by disrupting your opponent’s cheating hand. It’s not as powerful as a Bottom Dealin’ but turning a five of a kind into three of a kind is usually more than enough to win you the critical fight.










Did we succeed in tweaking all action cards to perfection? Undoubtedly not, and we didn’t expect to. But hopefully the wealth of options that they now provide make them far more likely to get used in the game, rather than sitting in your collection or clogging your hand as you wonder where your design choices went wrong.

Categories: Company News

Long Awaited Secrets Revealed

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 23:03

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan,

The secrets have been revealed! To celebrate the Divine Empress Iweko reaching a decision between her two sons, the Imperial Archives have released the secrets of the Twenty Festivals a week early. These secrets come directly from the Oracle of Void herself and can be found here: Oracle of the Void

Long have the Samurai of the Empire speculated on their contents.

The proclamation concerning the Imperial Heirs can be found here: The Ascendant Son

Go forth Samurai…. Spread these secrets to the farthest corners of the Empire and enjoy the Twenty Festivals.

Categories: Company News

Long Awaited Secrets Revealed

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 22:57

Greetings Samurai of Rokugan,

The secrets have been revealed! To celebrate the Divine Empress Iweko reaching a decision between her two sons, the Imperial Archives have released the secrets of the Twenty Festivals a week early. These secrets come directly from the Oracle of Void herself and can be found here: Oracle of the Void

Long have the samurai of the empire speculated on their contents.

The proclamation concerning the Imperial Heirs can be found here: The Ascendant Son

Go forth Samurai…. Spread these secrets to the farthest corners of the Empire and enjoy the Twenty Festivals.

Categories: Company News

The Dark Prophecy Revealed

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 17:48

The Dark Prophecy is being revealed throughout the Twenty Festivals, evil portents will be foretold of impending terror upon the Empire.  Each week the Spring Koteis will be sent the text of one of the Twenty pieces of the Dark Prophecy.

We believe in the Samurai of Rokugan to not only reveal the Prophecy but to also help the Empire overcome any threat.  You will need to be fully prepared as Rokugan faces a danger like never before and this time everything is vulnerable the darkness.

Check the link below each week to see what has been revealed by the players of the previous Koteis.

The Dark Prophecy Revealed

Categories: Company News