Code of the Samurai

Developer Tyler Parrott on the Newest Legend of the Five Rings LCG® FAQ


Hello! The recent release of the Children of the Empire Premium Expansion has started to filter into the community and is bound to make a continuing impact on Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, including the ongoing Elemental Championships and other Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Organized Play.

As such, we decided it was time for a new Rules Reference (pdf, 4.6 MB) to address some of the more unintuitive card interactions currently existing within the rules. This recent update has introduced only a few changes, but as they affect the way the game is played, I want to draw attention to them and explain why the changes were made.

Copying Characters

When the entry for copying characters was added to the Rules Reference in the previous update, it did not clearly address what happens when a character with a printed dash skill value becomes a copy of a character with a different skill value. According to the rules as written, it seemed like the character could not have its printed dash skill value altered—however, the copy interaction wasn’t entirely clear, and intuitively one would expect the original character to take on all of the characteristics of the character it is becoming.

Therefore, entries were added to the sections on Copy (of a character) and Dash to clarify that when a character becomes a copy of another character, it will lose any printed dashes it has and take on the new character’s printed skill values.

In addition, it is clarified that if a player's unique character has become a copy of another character, the player still cannot play, put into play, or take control of a copy of a character that shares the character's printed title.

Dueling Interpretations

With the introduction of Children of the Empire, three new cards are now able to trigger complex duels—Kakita Toshimoko, Mirumoto Hitomi, and Defend Your Honor—and the dueling rules have been updated to clarify exactly how those cards work.

Most importantly, a player’s honor bid during a duel is no longer considered to be a modifier, so that it no longer matters which character gains the skill bonus during a duel if two characters are dueling together—such as against Hitomi—and so that honor bids do not stack when cards like Defend Your Honor may trigger duels within duels.

Instead, a character’s skill (or glory) value is calculated independently of the honor bid. The bid is only added to the character’s statistic to calculate the total on each side of the duel and determine the duel’s winner and loser during step D.7.

In addition, an entry is added to the FAQ Appendix to explain what happens if Toshimoko loses his duel but causes players’ honor bids to change, and thus change the skill values of participating characters, such as that of Sincere Challenger (Children of the Empire, 27).

Finally, minor errata is applied to Stay Your Hand to make it clear that it will cancel any duel, including the duels that came out before Children of the Empire and use the word “challenge” in their templating.

The Reversal of Let Go Versus Watch Commander

It was brought to my attention that an entry in the rules for Event Cards was not entirely congruous with the ruling that allowed Watch Commander’s reaction to trigger before resolving the effects of Let Go. Rather than edit the Event Cards section of the rules to match this one specific ruling, I felt it better to reverse the ruling (found in the FAQ Appendix)—especially since one of the main pieces of feedback I’ve heard from players regarding the rules is that this is one of the least intuitive rules in Legend of the Five Rings.

Therefore, the Rules Reference entry for Initiating Abilities has been adjusted, and the FAQ entry for Let Go and Watch Commander has been rewritten. A card is considered to have been played only after it enters play (if a character or attachment) or after its effects have fully resolved (if an event). Additionally, an ability is considered to have been triggered only after its effects finish resolving.

This should make the differences between Reactions and Interrupts more pronounced, as well as leading to more intuitive card text interpretations in the future.

The Balance of Power

As we move deeper into our Clan Pack releases, and as the third cycle of Dynasty Packs draws nearer, I will continue to monitor the state of the game and make adjustments where necessary to improve the game’s accessibility and to maintain the balance of power between the clans.

Be sure to check back in a few months when the next Rules Reference update is released—and if no update is needed, we’ll be sure to let you know!

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