Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Star Trek Adventures Again!

I've now had a chance to play Star Trek Adventures, and I am pleased to report that my fears (what few they were) were (mostly) groundless.

The game isn't perfect, don't get me wrong, but it flowed reasonably well and it felt like Star Trek.  That second one is the more important qualifier for me.

Here's where I nitpick the game, though:

  1. The game mentions Communication Officers, but it's not clear which Attribute or Discipline is used for communicating (or languages).  The "Learn a new language" that's in the career events table uses Command, which makes sense, but Communications Officers are Ops Officers. Ops is Security and Engineering, neither of which is a perfect fit for Communications. Especially if they use Command. As to Attribute, I'm likely to go with Insight for learning from scratch and Reason for remembering a language you used to speak.
  2. The adventure that is included in the book starts with a roll that has no consequences for failure. If it were a Difficulty 0 roll, that'd make sense, but it's Difficulty 2. I patched this by deciding that a successful roll would put the party closer to their objective (giving them more time in the timed parts of the adventure and cutting out one or more of the combat bits, as appropriate). I understand that it's (realistically) probably there so that players have a shot at picking up some Momentum early, but that's not explained.
  3. I raised the question on the forums of "Why Bajorans?" - the game doesn't support Bajoran characters very well. There aren't any good Upbringing options for them, and Bajor isn't a part of the Federation. The answer I got ("We know a lot about Bajorans and they're an interesting and popular part of the setting") made sense, but what didn't make sense is why there aren't Lifepath options tailored to them.
  4. A few things are trickier than they appear in character generation. For example, each Species in the game has one or more Talents that are only available to members of that Species. Several of my players took all of those Talents, not realizing that they're optional (except for Betazoids). And then they tried to take additional Talents at each step in the lifepath that grants them. In reality, being a member of one of these species just adds that Talent to the list you can choose from. Also, there's one part of Finishing Touches that caught most of us. There's a paragraph at the end of the section on Attributes that tells players to spend two more points on Attributes. There's a similar paragraph for Disciplines.
Again, though, it was fun. We had a good group of enthusiastic players. I didn't give some players enough of a chance to shine, and I also should have had them introduce their characters before we started, but that's on me. The next session will be better.

And the adventure, despite a few oddities, felt like Star Trek. And did a decent job of hand-holding people through the system's basics.

After the game finished for the night, I dug out my Mutant Chronicles book to compare, and ... it's like a completely different system. STA has six Attributes, MC has eight. MC has a fairly deep skill list, and each skill has multiple abilities that are connected to it. STA adds Values to the game, which help define the character as more than what's on the sheet. MC tracks encumbrance and carrying capacity and ... it's like comparing a bulldozer to a steamroller. Sure, they're both things you use when building a road, but they do different things and can't be realistically compared to one another in any meaningful way.

Then I dug out my copy of the new 2d20 Conan game, and it was different from either of the other two. Closer to Mutant Chronicles, yes, but still different (and not cross-compatible).

The lack of cross-compatibility is a little bit annoying, to be honest. I was hoping to use MC monsters or Conan spells to represent various species and powers and abilities in STA. I still can, it'll just take some work.

All in all, this is definitely a line I will be supporting (with the exception of the books that Skarka has worked on), and I'm very much looking forward to playing more.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back To The Table Again

I am of the opinion that that you should not let games in your collection stagnate.  Go back and dig out some of those games that haven't seen the table in a while and see if they've held up.

Last weekend, I had a chance to do exactly that. I dug out Pix. And I'm glad I did.

Pix was part of a rush of "drawing games for people who can't draw" that hit a few years back. It was a good time, honestly, because I can't draw.  Pix also hit when 8-bit nostalgia was peaking.

Pix is a bit overproduced. Players are each given a magnetic board, twenty black magnets, one red magnet, and a small red carat/arrow magnet. The magnetic boards are color-coded, because two players will be interpreting each word.  And everybody "draws" simultaneously.


So in a six-player game, there are three words that need guessing.

You "draw" by placing the magnets (called "pixels") onto the grid on your magnetic board.  Once someone finishes their drawing, they call, "PIXEL!" and flip a timer.  Everyone else has until time runs out to finish their drawing.

Then you start with the player who flipped the timer. They and their color-matched opponent (who drew the same word) compare pixel counts. Each black pixel is one pixel, the red pixel is four pixels. The arrow is worth two pixels (and doesn't have to be on the grid).  Lowest total goes first - they flip their board (and the timer) while the other players try to guess the word.

If they succeed, the artist and the person who guessed correctly each get a point.  If they don't, the other player with the same word flips their art (and the timer) and people get to keep guessing.  If someone guesses it on the second piece of art, then both artists (and the correct guesser) gets a point.  If they still can't figure it out, the card has a one-word hint that can be given. At this point, only a correct guesser will score points.

You then proceed to the next word, and the next, and the next.  And then you'll deal out a new card to each set of players to draw.

The game plays for three rounds. Most points at the end of three rounds wins the game.

It's a unique experience. I don't have any games that are similar (Lego Creationary is the closest I can think of). And it's just ... fun.

The game isn't flawless, however. The word list has a few words that are crazy.  Like "Chalet." I'd never guess that word. Not in a million years. I'm sure it's more commonly used in Europe than it is in the US, but ... wow.

It's also worth noting for Americans that the game is European (Swiss), so the clue for the word "Goalkeeper" is "Football," for example. Whereas we'd call it "Soccer." There are a few other similar "gotcha" words hidden here-and-there throughout. This isn't a problem, it's just something that players should be aware of. When we played last weekend, I didn't read the clue as "Football," I read, "Soccer" to the other players.

Word list aside, however, it's worth tracking this one down. It's a fun game and it plays fairly quickly - and it supports up to nine (!) players.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Feet To The Fire

I try to use this blog to write about things I love. Highlight the good in our little community of gamers. Show off awesome games and say great things about good people.  But I can't do that this week.

A couple of weeks ago, we passed the sixth anniversary of the funding Far West on Kickstarter.

For those of you who aren't aware, Far West has become the poster child for poorly-run Kickstarter projects. Six years, no game. And the author/designer/publisher has given more than a few release dates, all of which have (obviously) been broken.

So I tweeted about it on the anniversary, which led to this conversation:

I took this screencap from Tenkar's Tavern. I couldn't grab it on my own, because Skarka blocked me on Twitter. Which is fine - that's his right. His Twitter, he decides what appears in his feed and what notifications he receives. If I cared enough to check, I could open Incognito Mode or Private Browsing or whatever and read his tweets that way.  But - honestly - the only thing I care about from Skarka right now is Far West. And, even that, I don't care about that much.

Here's the thing, though: Far West isn't my most-delayed or latest Kickstarter project.  That honor goes to Powerchords. But I'm not holding Phil Brucato's feet to the fire the same way I am Skarka for a few key reasons:

  1. Brucato has never failed to treat his backers with respect. I'm sure he's had bad days, and I've a hunch he's bitched about us from time-to-time in private or to friends. And that's fine. But it's never spilled over into his comments or updates.
  2. If you ping Brucato by e-mail, he responds with an update (by e-mail). Yes, he needs to update the Kickstarter, but the fact that he is willing to fill us in is significant.
  3. If I were to ask Brucato for a refund, I would get it. I asked Skarka for a refund, and was turned down. I ended up going to my local attorney general, and managed to get a partial refund. 

Far West isn't the only project that has been delayed by its creator's illness, either. Lee Garvin, author of Tales from the Floating Vagabond spent some time in a coma. But he's kept his backers more-or-less updated and has kept his spirits up. And he's treated his backers with respect.

What baffles me is how many people in the gaming industry are being apologists for Skarka. Sean Patrick Fannon, for example, responded to my anniversary tweet with this:

So I guess I won't be buying Savage RIFTS after all. In fact, I'm a lot less likely to buy any Savage Worlds product because of this kind of attitude. See, I believe in getting what I've paid for. It's a quirk, I guess.

Skarka will argue until the cows come home that we "backed a process, not a product." And he'll highlight that Kickstarter T&C have changed. And they have. They're less restrictive than they were. They used to required the project creator to complete their project and ship the promised goods. Now they only require that the project creator do their best and issue refunds if they can't complete the project.

Their guidelines that were live during the project included this paragraph:
All projects must offer rewards. Kickstarter is not a general fundraising site, it’s a form of commerce and patronage. If you’re not viewing rewards as core to your project, Kickstarter may not be for you. Please note that raffles, discounts, coupons, financial returns, and investment offers are prohibited.
That's right: According to Kickstarter themselves, this is a form of commerce and patronage. Commerce and patronage. Commerce, of course, is "the exchange of currency, goods, and/or services for other currency, goods, and/or services." Other definitions suggest that it's "the activity of buying and selling." At present, Skarka's backers have given him currency and have received scorn, excuses, and arguments. And, of late, silence.
At the time, their FAQ also included this:

Who is responsible for making sure project creators deliver what they promise?
Every creator is responsible for fulfilling the promises of their project. Because projects are primarily funded by the friends, fans, and communities around its creator, there are powerful social forces that keep creators accountable. Creators are also encouraged to post regular updates about the progress of their project post-funding — communication goes a long way.

"Powerful social forces" would suggest that Kickstarter believes that a project creator's peers would hold them accountable. But they're not.

Last week, I wrote about Star Trek Adventures and how excited I am for the game in general (and the one I'm running in specific).  I almost didn't buy in at all, because Modiphius has hired Skarka to work on the line.  As it is, I won't be buying any of the products that Skarka worked on, because I vote with my wallet. Skarka will not be receiving a nickel from me (even indirectly) until Far West is released. This makes him unique on my personal boycott list for a couple of reasons:

  1. He's the only individual on the list. Ever. I won't buy Palladium Books product, but I won't single out any PB employees or freelancers and refuse to buy their work from other publishers. Update: my good friend James reminded me of a couple of individuals who are on the list that is forgotten about, so disregard this point.
  2. It's the only item on my list with a set end condition. Most of the companies on the list are there until they "change their anti-fan behavior," which is vague and subjective. "Until Far West is released" is oddly specific.

Modiphius has stated publicly that they'll make it known which products he worked on, so I don't have to worry about buying a book and then finding out later that he'd worked on it, which is a relief.

Had he treated his backers with respect or even given me a full refund when I requested it, I wouldn't be carrying this grudge now. I was a $75 backer. now I'm a $10 backer - but it's past the point of money for me. Now it's principle.

I backed Far West because I was a fan of Skarka's work. Hong Kong Action Theatre! had some very interesting ideas about the intersection of character and role. UnderWorld was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. It was urban fantasy before urban fantasy was as explosively popular as it is now. But after this fiasco, I will never buy Adamant Entertainment product again. Or the product of any future publishing companies that Skarka creates when Adamant eventually fails.

I'm only one person. I only have one wallet. And there's not a large crowd reading this - I have no illusions. I'm a small blog in a small corner of the internet. Honestly, my personal boycott is not likely to be noticed by Modiphius or Evil Hat or Cubicle 7. Well, noticed in their bottom line - it was (partially because of) my posting on Twitter that got Modiphius to disclose which products Skarka worked on.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Star Trek Adventures

It hasn't come up much, here, but I am a huge fan of Star Trek.  When I was younger, I was very much the stereotypical Trekkie. I was rarely found without at least one Star Trek novel in my backpack, I could ID a dozen or so classes of starship (both Federation and hostile), and I could rattle off numbers and statistics and trivia like nobody's business.  I was obsessed.

So it's appropriate that the first RPG book I ever owned was for FASA's old Star Trek: The Roleplaying Game. The book was the Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual, and I owned it long before I owned a copy of the game. I didn't even know it was a game book (and neither did my parents, or I would never have acquired it ...).

One of my first gaming experiences was with FASA's game. I won't say it was a good game, but it wasn't bad. We were handed pregens by the GM, and we went from there into a more-or-less typical D&D-style hack-and-slash adventure with phasers instead of crossbows and Klingons instead of orcs and so on.  It was oddly dissatisfying even at the time, because this isn't what Star Trek was about.

A few years later, I acquired a copy of the game, and I even ran a few brief campaigns. I tended to base the campaign premises off of some of the novels (which still, I think, was not a bad idea - depending on the novel). One of my favorite games was set on the USS Excalibur (before the M-5 insident as seen in "The Ultimate Computer"), and I based it on the novel The Abode of Life (which I need to re-read to see if it's held up as well as I remember).

I loved character generation in the game. The guided lifepath was a great way to handle it, and it allowed for a great deal of diversity in characters (and skill levels). I read somewhere that Gene Roddenberry also really liked the lifepath process, and made it a condition of the license for future Star Trek roleplaying games.

Fast forward a decade or so, and Last Unicorn released Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game. Mechanically, it was very different from the old FASA game. Its production values were very different. Instead of three little blue books, it was one glossy hardcover book that was quite a bit thicker than the three blue books combined. And it still had a lifepath for character generation. They also published a Deep Space Nine game, and a classic 'Trek version.

I never actually got to play LUG's version of the game. The friend who was going to run a campaign dropped off the face of the earth before the campaign started. And then the license expired and someone else picked up the ball and ran with it.

Decipher, who I knew from the TNG collectible card game, had snagged the license after LUG was bought by WotC and lost it. Decipher's Trek was similar to LUG's in presentation, but it was two hardcovers (at first), one for players and one for the GM. It still had a lifepath, but the system was almost d20, only with multiple d6s instead of a single d20. I bought it. I read it. I ... wasn't interested in playing it. It just ... didn't feel right.

Last year, Modiphius announced that they had acquired the license. They did a huge open playtest (that I did not participate in), and early reviews were ... pretty good.  So I did a bit of research, and I discovered that they'd be using their house system - the 2d20 system.

I grabbed Mutant Chronicles (another universe that I have a deep fondness for), and started to learn the system. And I was ... nervous. The 2d20 system has a lot of moving pieces, with multiple player currencies in play.  I didn't understand how this system was getting such rave reviews for Star Trek.

I backed Conan on Kickstarter, and it's that same system. And Conan was ... okay. Not amazing, not game-breaking. Still a bit clunky with all those currencies to keep track of. My fear for Star Trek grew. But I resolved to pre-order anyhow.

When the pre-order went lived, we bought in that first day. GM Screen + limited-edition core book.  A short time later, we had the PDF (because Modiphius is really good at getting the PDF out there). And I read the PDF. Devoured the PDF.

It's still recognizably the 2d20 system, but it's both streamlined and altered. Where Mutant Chronicles has a sizable skill list, Star Trek Adventures has six skills, and they related to the various departments found on a starship - Command, Conn, Medical, Science, Security, and Engineering. Want your character's stats to be more detailed than that? Use a Focus to narrow it down.

This change streamlines the system quite a bit, and, at the same time, results in the sort of hypercompetent characters you tend to see in Star Trek.

Star Trek Adventures also added character values. They're almost like Aspects in Fate - they define your character, and you can pull a couple of mechanical tricks with them, too. This increases the feel of Star Trek. It means that the game is about your characters' beliefs and goals and - yes - values, just like the TV series and movies have been.

The more I drilled into the PDF, the more excited I got. Your ship is treated like another character, with its own separate character generation process. You're not limited to the eight PC species included in the core book, and they give a few guidelines for creating your own species. It's simple enough to homebrew ship classes that you find elsewhere.

There are still a few currencies for players to keep track of - they can spend Momentum or add Threat to the GM's pool or spend Determination on a roll, and some of these things go to party pools and some go to the GM's pool and some are just ... spent. It's not a completely intuitive system (like I'd prefer), but it's solid and seems functional without a huge number of "Gotcha" bits.

My good friend Wade went to GenCon this year, and he texted me on Thursday morning. Modiphius' first sale of the day was a copy of the core book. For me. "But Eric," I can hear you saying, "Didn't you already buy the limited edition book?"  Yes. I did. But I am a player who likes having multiple copies of the core rules at the table. That way, the GM has one to reference, and so do the players. If there's a rules question in the game, there are two sets looking for it. With PDFs, I can hand both physical copies to my players and search the PDF, resulting in three sets of eyes looking to answer questions.

The only real bad thing about Star Trek Adventures is that it's sucked me back into Star Trek fandom. And not a little bit, either. I am all the way back in. I went out to the garage and I dug out Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, and my Star Trek Technical Manual and my Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual and half a dozen other "in universe" books with varying levels of canon compliance. I filled my Kindle with novels and novellas. And I started playing Star Trek Online (which - for the record - could do with a decent help guide for the PS4 version).

And I've decided to run a campaign again. But, looking at advancement in Star Trek Adventures, I think it'll work really well for a new-to-me structure of game. What I'm doing right now is assembling a player pool. A large one. More players than any GM ever wants around their table.  When I have an episode idea, I'll figure out when I have time to run it, and I'll send a message to my players. That message will read something like this:
Season 1, Episode 1: "Pilot, Pilot, Who's Got The Pilot?"
The Tethys' new helmsman has disappeared in transit to the ship. It's up to an away team in a runabout to follow his path and figure out what happened to him. 
This episode is for four to six players, and will be played on Date at Time.
 Then I wait.  The first six players who let me know they're available at that date and time will be the featured characters for that episode. If I don't get at least four players for that time, I go back to my calendar, figure out a different date and time, and try again.

Most of the advancement in this game is small. "Lower one number to raise another." That means that if Player A makes it to 15 sessions and Player B only makes it to two or three sessions, there won't be an overwhelming experience advantage for Player A. And it feels "in universe" accurate to have different characters featured periodically.

It also means that grown-up players with busy lives who can't make a regularly-scheduled game very often should have no problem still fitting around my table occasionally.

So thanks, Modiphius. I look forward to exploring the galaxy with you.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Good Game Stores

About a year ago, I wrote three posts about the FLGS and where they fit into gaming for many folks (especially, of course, me).

I left a couple of things out of the second article in the series, and I want to rectify that now.

Before I do this, though, I want to emphasize that I'm talking about good Local Game Stores. You'll find that, as with any industry, there are bad game stores that don't deserve your money. Even if it's the only game store in town.

Again: I'm blessed, because I live in the Greater Seattle Area, where we have a ton of good game stores. And I've been doubly-blessed because two of the best ones have been the two closest ones for a long time - first the late, lamented Phoenix and now Fantasium.

A good game store does special orders for you.  I can't call Amazon and say, "Hey, I don't see this game on your site, can you track it down for me?" If it's not on their site, I can't order it. But when I go to Fantasium, I can ask them, "I don't see on the shelf - is that something you can get?"

The same applies to pre-orders. I can call Fantasium and tell them, " is releasing in a few months. Can you get one in for me?" And they will.  I can't do that with most online retailers. Of course, a game-focused online retailer (like Funagain) will often put things up for pre-order as soon as pricing is announced.

In fact, Fantasium's special order system is the best FLGS special order process I've ever experienced in a game store. I suspect that this is because Fantasium was a comic book shop first, and then grew into being both a comic book shop and a game store.

The most important thing that a good game store does, though, is that is good game store becomes family.  I'll admit that I'm not as close with Paula and Rachel and Brian and Sarah and the rest of the Fantasium crew as I was to Brian at Phoenix. But I'm getting there. Slowly.

They smile when they see me, and they notice when I'm not there for Beer & Board Games. Which is good. I was in the other day picking up some sleeves, and Paula mentioned that they'd been missing me on Saturdays (I've been roleplaying on Saturdays). It was a fantastic feeling to know that I'd been specifically missed.

And it doesn't feel like a generic retail smile. It doesn't feel like they miss my money. It feels like they miss me. I've spent time chatting with Brian about Guild Ball (which you really should play if you haven't).

Gaming is one of my personal stability anchors. When I have a rough day, I don't go to a bar. I go to a game store because the people there understand me and can communicate with me in ways that no-one else can.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gamethyme's Game of the Year

Those of you who keep track will remember that this week is GenCon.  Even though I'm not going this year, I'm still using this date to award my Game of the Year award.

This game is given to the best new-to-me game since the previous GenCon. It's an arbitrary cut-off, and it's never going to be exactly a year, but it works for me.

This year has been a good year for gaming. Terraforming Mars, Krazy Karts, Captain Sonar, Potato Man, Grand Prix, Subdivision, and Patchwork were all among the new-to-me this year. And they are all fantastic games that are well worth your time.

But, for me, the most fun I've had this year was a game called Adrenaline.

The game had a lot of early buzz, and I was interested as soon as I learned that it was by Czech Games. I don't think I've ever been disappointed by one of their games.

When I learned that it was an attempt to capture that First-Person Shooter (FPS) feel, I got even more interested.  I think I've discussed this before, but I really like FPS games, even though I am really terrible at them. Really terrible. There's a reason most of the videos on my YouTube channel are titled, "Watch Me Die At ."

The previous game I'd played that was themed around FPS gaming was Steve Jackson Games' Frag. And Frag just left me cold. It was too dice-heavy, with a ton of tokens and markers for special conditions.

So I'll admit - I was a bit nervous about Adrenaline.  Obviously, because it's my Game of the Year, these fears were unfounded.

Opening the box, I was greeted with five brightly-colored and well-sculpted characters. They're not pre-painted, but every one is sculpted in a different color.  There's no mechanical difference between the characters, but the rulebook has bios for all five of them that succeed in parodying the bios you see in games like Overwatch.

The board is multi-part and double-sided. This means that there are four different board layouts possible. While you can use any layout with any number of players, it's generally better to use larger setups with more players (the game plays from 3-5 players).  Each room is made up of 1-4 spaces, with three spawn/weapon points on the board.

In Adrenaline, you get two actions per turn, with three options to choose from:

  1. Fire a weapon
  2. Move one space (and pick up ammo or weapons)
  3. Move two spaces
There are no dice, no special conditions. There's no "on fire" or "pinned" or anything else.  Most weapons are line-of-sight. If you can see your foe, you can shoot your foe. And that line of sight is very simply defined - if you're in the same room, you can see them. If you're next to a door into their room, you can see them. A few weapons have special rules regarding range. One weapon can only be fired at foes that you can't see. One weapon can fire through walls at unseen foes.

To fire a weapon, you lay it down in front of you (face-up) and apply its effect. Most weapons have two firing modes - one is free, but the other might cost you a few extra ammo tokens.  Weapons do damage to foes (obviously). Some of them move your foes around, some of them move you around. Some weapons also mark your target. A mark is a promise of future damage. If I mark you, then the next time I shoot you, that mark turns into damage.

Once a player has taken enough damage that a kill is inflicted, the game pauses for a second for tabulation. The player who hit the foe first gets a small number of points. The player who inflicted the kill gets a certain number of points. The player who inflicted the most damage gets points, then the second-most, and so on. The game encourages you to spread your damage around so that you'll get at least a few points every time someone dies.

At the end of your turn, you can spend ammo cubes to reload any weapons you've fired. Weapons that do more damage usually require more cubes, and there are three colors of cubes. Each weapon requires a specific blend of cubes to reload.

The game ends after a certain number of kills have been made.

There are a few more nuances to it than that, but that's the broad sweep of play. There are a few variants included in the rulebook for people who don't want to play just deathmatch all the time.

It's bright, it's fast-playing, and it's just ... fun. I've enjoyed every game of this I've played.

I heartily recommend this one.

And there's an expansion releasing at Essen this year ...

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


I always do the writeups after each session of our ongoing Legend of the Five Rings game. As the GM, I accept that as part of my responsibilities.

After our most recent session, Steph said to me, "You always make the game feel so much more epic that it does at the table." And I didn't have a good answer for that.

For me, epics are about the sweeping arc of story.

Interestingly, the dictionary defines epic as being "a long narrative poem recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero."  As an adjective (which is how we're using it), it's "relating to or characteristic of an epic or epics."

I set my L5R game in the past of the main story arcs described by the card game. In fact, I found a gap where very few events are mentioned in canon. And I did this deliberately - I have a couple of players who are very familiar with the canon.  I also warned them that we might not adhere to canon. The players have the ability to change the future in a limited degree.

But here's the thing that I think everyone missed:

Their characters are historical heroes.  We're telling the past of the setting. For them, yes, it's now, but for the players (and people familiar with the setting), it's then. My players' characters are currently only Rank 1. They're small fish, and I've already got them swimming with sharks.

Right now, they're trying to foil an assassination plot. The original target of the plot was the Imperial Governor of the Clear Water City, but a couple of idiots realized they could tweak the timing slightly and assassinate the Imperial Heir, who was coming to visit.

The party is so far out of their depth.  But the players aren't fully aware of how deep they are right now, which means the characters aren't realizing it.  Which sets them up for bigger and more challenges down the road.

While the story itself isn't epic in the sense of "huge, broad, and sweeping," yet, it's going to get there. These PCs are going to have the potential to change the face of Rokugan.

Small deeds - little things - snowball over time. And these guys are doing a ton of little things.

I can't wait to see what they do to the setting in the fullness of time.