Sunday, August 17
Between an amazing amount of attendees, events, and spotty internet, we’re back! And we’ve got the all the text from the seminar. Enjoy!
Good evening! Welcome again to the L5R Samurai Championships at GenCon! We’re pleased you chose to join us tonight and we have a lot of exciting news to share with you about the future of L5R.
As many of you know, we have taken on the large task of broadening the L5R product lines to include a Graphic Novel, the Art of War board game, and other projects which even now we are not prepared to announce publicly. This has been a learning process for us, reaching out to new markets, and at AEG it is our policy to do everything we can to hit our deadlines but not at the cost of quality. We would prefer to be great rather than punctual.
We would like to start by giving you an update on some of these projects. First, the Art of War.
As many of you are aware, the Art of War is the first L5R board game. And it is a monster. It includes A huge board, over one hundred pieces, play screens and more. Having never taken on a project of this magnitude, we were unaware of the production hurdles we would face. More than once these hurdles presented us with the decision to hit the deadline or make a better product. We chose to make a better product. The game has grown in development, as we used the extra time to improve the game. The extra time also opened up new opportunities. We feel very fortunate to add the skills of our extremely talented Spanish partner, Edge Entertainment, which as you can see from the box design is a group of incredibly talented graphic designers. Seeing their work has only reinforced our belief that we have made the correct decision. As you know, the Art of War is not the only exciting product we have in development.
We know you are anxiously awaiting the tale of Kisada’s death, but the L5R Graphic Novel is much more. This event and its aftermath in the novel are intricately tied to the events coming in the next L5R story arc. As the plotline of the graphic novel reveals secrets you will need in order to guide your Clan through the next story arc, we have chosen to tell the story in the best way possible. This has caused us to move the release to March 2009. We have waited 13 years for a product like this, and we feel it prudent to wait until it is as good as it can possibly be. Believe me, our desire to see the book is as great as yours. We know this decision will cause grief to our Crab friends, but as the owner of the company, John Zinser, is one of the most loyal of Crab, you can be assured even he wanted nothing but the best for the Great Bear.
This year GenCon sees two major additions to the L5R RPG, the L5R 3rd Edition Revised book and the Legend of the Burning Sands. These two books expand the world of the Emerald Empire in ways never before seen. 2009 will see books that continue to enrich the setting, but more importantly we will provide role-playing gamers with a number of unique opportunities to have unprecedented impact on the current storyline of L5R. Following Master of Magic in the fall of 2008, 2009 will begin the much anticipated and often requested sourcebook featuring the Imperials, Minor Clans, and Ronin.
With each story arc AEG strives to bring new and innovative ways of encountering and impacting the story to you, our players. Never has that been more evident to us than with by the response you have given to the Race for the Throne.
During the last year and a half you have achieved amazing things for your Clan, and your actions have been beyond our wildest expectations. As always, we are thrilled by the passionate response of the L5R community to a new challenge. The things you have accomplished over the last year and a half are too numerous to mention. You have done more for your Clan than ever before. You have come together and competed harder, traveled farther, collected more koku, been more creative, and helped the less fortunate, all in the name of your Clan.
The Race is not yet over, and there is still clear contention for the Race prizes. Some you know that I did promise a major announcement at GenCon regarding the Race. Well, here it is: At the samurai championships finals event in November, there will be a major prize on the line. The winner of the event in Los Angeles will have the choice between one of two effects. The winner may choose that his Clan will gain governorship over the lands of the Clan who faces the wrath of the Emperor. Or, the winner may choose that his Clan can avoid the Wrath of the Emperor. Should he choose this option, the wrath will fall on the Clan next in line.
Long have you wondered what the Wrath of the Emperor truly meant. Now is the time to pull back that curtain. When the new Emperor takes the throne, he will look upon the efforts of the Clans, through the lens of his parent Clan. He will choose the Clan that he feels has most failed the Empire. That Clan will have its Great Clan status revoked.
But that is far from the end of the story for that Clan. In fact, an exciting and exclusive trial awaits the loyal players of that Clan during the course of the next arc.
The next story arc takes place during the 15th anniversary of L5R, and you know we cannot let that go by without major celebration. And here is a look at a few of the things we will be celebrating.
Watch the Seminar Film – 46Mb – Mpeg
The next two years will be a celebration of everything L5R. But if you think gifts and various celebrations will mean an easy time for the new Empire, you are wrong. Be prepared to face 15 challenges for your new Emperor, deal with a foe like none you have ever faced, and make decisions that matter to your Clan and the Empire.
Beginning with the 2009 Kotei, you will face your first challenge. How your Clan faces these challenges will determine your fate during Celestial Edition.
AEG, as a thank you to our players, will be doing something unprecedented in the history of gaming in a celebration leading up to our 15th Anniversary.
Beginning in November of 2008 as the new Emperor is named, the players of Legend of the Five Rings will receive a special gift, The Imperial Gift.
The Imperial Gift is not a single promo card or even a small group of promo cards. It is an entire expansion divided into three parts and distributed as a play set that will be given to players over the course of Celestial Edition.
The Imperial Gift part one will be made available for players at the Samurai Championships Global storyline event being held in stores on November 8-9. It will also be the introduction to Celestial Edition and debut the amazing new design of the L5R cards.
Lost in our excitement of the announcement of the new look of L5R is the initial design credit on the new fames to Justin Walsh. Justin built the first designs for the new card frames and set the groundwork for the new look of L5R. His work inspired us to take on the massive project of a re-design and the ultimate final product is a collaboration of efforts placed into the cards by both Justin and Edge Entertainment.
Here are some sample, in-development images.
NOTE: These are still development versions. There are a few tweaks we were playing with, such as swapping the gold cost and HR on a personality, but in the finals those will be back in their normal positions. The follower will also have its Focus Value as normal. These do NOT constitute a spoiler of CE cards. The card backs are NOT changing.
The Imperial Gift part two will be given to players in May/June of 2009 and the Imperial Gift part 3 will mark the beginning of our 15th year celebration.
All three parts of the Imperial Gift total 150 new cards, our gift to players of L5R because we could not think of a better way to express to our players that we appreciate you and it is your support and guidance has made L5R the most engaging gaming product ever.
From all of us at AEG, thank you.
Thursday, August 14
Wow, what a turnout! We had 185 players in the first qualifier, and an additional 56 other players in the Legacy Event. This is one of our largest GenCon attendances in a long time and we are stoked. Thank you to everyone who made the trip.
LBS and 3rd Ed Revised were both moving very fast today. Tomb took off later in the day after some people finally stopped for demos. Event Kits and shirts are nearly gone at this point as well, we had to stop selling around 11 am to allow for some for people who come in tomorrow.
The costumes are already amazing, and the fight for T-shirt dominance is going strong.
Salman Barakat’s amazing Hida Kisada armor, made of real metal.
Didn’t get this player’s name, but another great kimono.
The Lion took a page from the Mantis playbook and had the most T-shirts today.
So tonight its off to dinner then Karaoke. See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 13
Greetings L5R Fans!
Todd here. Just thought I’d start a simple AEG GenCon Diary to let you in on a little of the behind-the-scenes here at the show. Several of us have been here since as early as Saturday, working on L5R plans for the next several years. This is the same page also that you’ll see the text of the Seminar after Saturday.
Today was Wednesday, and we just got the booth all set up. Wish I had some pictures but like a bonehead I didn’t bring the camera to the convention center and never had time to run back. Things went pretty smooth. Our hardworking volunteers really helped out. You’ll see an all-new banner over the booth, as well as a new LBS banner right in the center.
The LBS book is beautiful, this is the first time I’ve actually held it or 3rd Ed Revised. They are literally hot off the presses. Tomb is here (and you can see the first games we played here), as well as Straw. The “Just the Card” packs for the Clan of the Month sets are also on hand, so you can grab those up.
Arne and the gang from Phoenix Interactive got here today, and their Warlord cards are finally out of customs. Hopefully they’ll get here by Friday morning. A little late but better than nothing. They are right next door to us in the CCG hall and sharing the event HQ booth. We were already visited by Angry_Crab from the Crab Clan forums, who somehow managed to work his way into the event hall sans an exhibitor badge…
Possibly the most disturbing event of the day came at dinner. Bryan Reese, Mark W, Z, Shawn, Dave Lepore and I were beat and just rolled into a Waffle House. I saw cheese grits on the menu and thought “My, I would certainly enjoy some good cheese grits right about now.” When the waitress finally threw the bowl in my general area of the table, this is what I saw.
It’s a bowl of grits with a slice of cheese on it.
It was not touched.
So that’s pretty much it for Wednesday. The fans will be here Thursday and we’re looking forward to seeing all of you then!
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