FFG Announces Legend of the Five Rings LCG!

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Fantasy Flight Games have announced at least part of what they’re doing with the L5R License. Come grab a first look at an upcoming LCG…

Back when Fantasy Flight Games bought the Legend of the Five Rings license, we all knew something big was coming. FFG has been trucking right along, riding the momentum of all that sweet X-Wing and Armada success. And now with Runewars coming out it looks like they’re pushing to expand in a big way. So it’s no surprise then that they’re previewing their first big Gen Con announcement: a Legend of the Five Rings Living Card Game. Much like Netrunner or Arkham Horror or any of their other LCGs, the L5R game will have its own storyline that develops over the course of the game and in little fiction inserts as the game expands.

I’m hoping that this is just the first of many L5R-centric announcements we see as Gen Con draws nigh. For my part, the fact that they have the Atlas of Rokugan up on DriveThruRPG has me hopeful that we’ll see some kind of RPG eventually.

I mean it’s fitting that L5R would get its own LCG owing to its CCG days, but I want to see what FFG can do with the license. I think it’d be a great opportunity for them to flex their RPG development muscles and either experiment with a new system–or to maybe put the Star Wars RPG through a heck of a wringer. Which, given that Star Wars is an homage to Samurai movies makes a kind of poetic sense, if you think about it.

At any rate, the new game looks like they’re taking the lessons they’ve learned from their other card games and honing in. There’s a lot of similarity to the Song of Ice and Fire card game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing–take a look and see for yourself:

via Fantasy Flight Games



The game is all about taking the reins of one of the seven great clans of Rokugan. You’ll have a setup of province cards, a stronghold, a dynasty deck, and a conflict deck. You’ll have to manage resources like Fate, which is pulled from a total pool and allocated to characters (though fate is ephemeral and removed from characters in play until there is none left and they are gone). Players also bid honor to determine how many cards they’ll draw each turn, which is an interesting mechanic, especially since the difference between them is paid to the low bidder.

Conflict is as fast and furious in the LCG as it was in the CCG. Players can “break” their provinces to seize control of the elemental rings of Rokugan to try and gain various effects during combat. Then players play out their hand of conflict cards and attack and defend as per usual in one of these games (if you’ve played on LCG you have at least an inkling of how these mechanics will go down).

But the big appeal in these games (at least for me) isn’t just crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women, it’s the story that unfolds as you play. And it looks like FFG is setting the stage for some pretty epic showdowns, which you should absolutely go and check out. You can find the story so far (which includes a reboot back to before all the shenanigans with the Mantis Clans, we’re talking, pre-Second Day of Thunder lore here).

Legend of the Five Rings: Core Set$39.95 (Pre-Order)

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is a player-influenced LCG® that sees two players take on the role of one of the seven Great Clans of Rokugan, vying for military and political control of the land while maintaining Rokugan society’s strict code of honor.

Each player commands their forces with two separate decks: A Dynasty Deck fills their provinces with characters and holdings and a Conflict Deck consisting of tactics, maneuvers, followers and attachments that can be used to turn the tide in a struggle for supremacy. During a game, players will engage in conflicts, both political and military based, with the goal of breaking their opponent’s stronghold and winning the game. But the rules of society are absolute, and even in the fire of battle and heat of Rokugan’s courts, clans must remember the tenets of Bushidō, lest they lose everything in their single-minded pursuit of glory.

The Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Core Set comes with everything a player needs to explore the seven great clans of Rokugan, the Crab Clan, Crane Clan, Dragon Clan, Lion Clan, Phoenix Clan, Scorpion Clan, and Unicorn Clan. It also includes a variety of tokens, cards, and rule sheets that make the Core Set the definitive starting point for the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

Honor and Glory await… will you seize them?

  • Txabi Etxebarrieta

    Bayushi Shoju huh? Isn’t that pushing the story back quite a ways, before the assassination of the Emperor and the Second Day of Thunder? Which I guess explains why the Mantis Clan isn’t an offering here, but I’m curious to see what exactly they intend to do with the story.

    • Wampasaurus

      If you recall though it was quite a few editions before either Mantis or Toturi’s Army showed up in the story-line. Anvil of Despair for Toturi’s Army and Crimson and Jade for Yoritomo’s Alliance (aka Mantis Clan).

      • Txabi Etxebarrieta

        Aye. I kind of expected them to go back some ways since, from what I’ve been given to understand, the Destroyer War was pretty unpopular. But going back to the time of my favorite clan’s arguably best Champion is pretty surprising. It brings into question exactly what they intend to do with the Mantis and Spider clans.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Or for that matter pre 2003 leaves Ratlings also in question

  • Wampasaurus

    I really enjoyed this game in its original incarnation. I see it looks similar to the original, but I wonder how interchangeable the old cards will be with this new one? I have cards all the way back to Imperial Edition so it will be a tough sell to get me to buy a new version with all the cards and clans I’ve already collected. That said this is one of the best games I have played for games with more than 2 players in it at a time. Great for 4 (or more!) friends to play. My favorite ways to win? Dishonor a clan out of the game with dirty Scorpion tricks and opening the 12th Black Scroll with my Phoenix Clan deck…

    • Woodwyrm

      Agree that the original is fantastic with more than 2 players. Disappointing to see that this is just a 2 player game. There are so many 2 player games already it would be nice to have more for a bigger group.

      • Txabi Etxebarrieta

        Yeah, it kills me that this is two player at the moment. I didn’t get to play very much of the CCG, but the few times I did it was only rivaled by VTES for multiplayer fun.

  • TheWanderingJewels

    Well the timeline has been altered significantly. I’ll see where this goes

  • Krizzab

    mantis clan best clan.

    • backoos

      LOL yeah they are so awesome they are resetting the timeline to before mantis was a great clan, now we can fix the mistakes that led to letting that second tire lesser clan coming to power.

  • rhoadesd20

    I’ve always loved the Rokugan setting, and used to play the card game (in it’s original format) and RPG quite a bit. Unfortunately I didn’t get into miniatures until after the L5R miniature game was discontinued, but oh boy, if they ever bring that back…. My life for the Crane.

    • I still have the original Clan War in the box, never played it, never put the miniatures together even. I bought two of the characters (woman with a big hammer and a Lion lady with naginata) and I started painting those and realized Samurai armor is really boring to paint and gave up. I still think about pulling it out and then I think maybe I should just sell it, I have a lot more exciting things to paint in my back-log right now.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    We’re going all the way back to Hantei XXXVIII!?

    Jeez, I remember reading the Clan Wars books back in 2000. It is crazy that we are going all the way back to that time period.

  • Shawn

    Does Fantasy Flight Games have any products that are their own, or is everything just a take on someone else’s IP?

  • Ulf

    If they make a Descent/Imperial Assault style game out of this setting … ALL my money!