Advanced Rulebook
Advanced Rulebook
Advanced Rules
This
is not a complete rulebook!
You should consult it after reading through the
Basic Rules (also found in your Ivory Edition
starter). Between them, the two booklets present the complete rules of the Legend of the Five
Rings (L5R) card game. If you need the complete rules presented all in one piece, download
the Tournament Rulebook from rules.l5r.com.
Maximum Hand Size
Players have a maximum hand size of eight.
After drawing all cards at the end of your turn,
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if you have more cards in hand than the maximum, you must choose and discard cards from
your hand until you no longer have too many.
Some effects may change a player’s maximum
hand size.
Provinces
Each province has a separate Province
Strength stat, based on the Stronghold’s Province Strength plus any modifiers from Sensei
and other effects.
Personalities
Chi Death Rule
If a Personality’s Chi is ever zero, destroy him
immediately.
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Clan Honor Rule
Players can lose Honor from their own cards,
from other players’ cards, or from the Rulebook (that is, when their Personality dies
dishonorably; see p. 16). After a player loses
Honor from another player’s card, or from the
Rulebook, for the rest of the game he or she
ignores Honor Requirements on Personalities
with his or her own Clan Alignment.
Dead Personalities
Personalities that are destroyed are treated
differently from Personalities that are merely
discarded (for example, from a Province). Turn
dead Personalities 90 degrees in the discard
pile, or create a separate pile for dead Personalities.
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Advanced
Card Types
In addition to the Dynasty types—Personalities and Holdings—and Fate types—Followers, Items, and Strategies—introduced in
the Basic Game, L5R has a number of other
card types.
Sensei
A Sensei is a card that you may start with in
play, representing a revered master whose
teachings have influenced you. You may only
have one Sensei in play, you start with it in
play, and the choice of Sensei is part of your
deck construction. Like your Stronghold, the
Sensei does not go into the Dynasty or Fate
deck and is neither a Dynasty nor Fate card.
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- Sensei Card
Title
Clan
Alignment
Text Box
Province
Strength
Modifier
Gold
Production
Modifier
Family
Honor
Modifier
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A Sensei will usually have one or more Clan
Alignment requirements, such as “Scorpion
Clan.” You may only start with a Sensei that
matches your Stronghold’s Clan Alignment, or
with an “All Clans Sensei”.
A Sensei modifies your Stronghold: It has modifiers for Province Strength, Gold Production
and Starting Family Honor which always modify the Stronghold’s stats. A Sensei may also
have traits and abilities that apply to you and
that work similarly to those of a Stronghold.
Event
Events represent important happenings in
Rokugan. While they are face-up in your
Provinces, and only then, you can use their
abilities. They are discarded once their abilities are used, unless the ability puts them into
play. Apart from its abilities, an Event may
have traits in its text box, and these apply
while in play.
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- Event Text Box
Text Box
Gold
Cost
- Spell Focus
Value
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Spell
Spells are attachments. They represent magic
scrolls used by a Shugenja (a person trained in
the magic of Rokugan). Spells have no Force
or Chi modifiers. They will only attach to a
Shugenja, and their abilities can only be used
(“cast”) if attached to a Shugenja. (see also
Cast, p. 25).
Ring
Ring cards represent understanding of the
mystic elements. They can be discarded from
the hand to use their ability, or put into play
when you meet the special conditions of the
text in their trait. When in play, their ability
can be used without having to discard them.
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Actions
The Basic rules introduced Limited, Open,
Battle and Dynasty actions. The full game has
two more types of action: Engage and Interrupt.
Engage actions are taken in a special action
round during a battle, before either player has
the chance to take Battle actions. See p. 54.
Interrupts are announced during another
action—either yours or another player’s—at
the point after costs are paid and before the
action’s effects start to resolve. The other
action is suspended while you carry out the
Interrupt action; then the original action
resumes. Interrupts refer to the original action
as “the action” (for example, “The action cannot move Personalities.”) If an Interrupt modifies an action’s effects, this only applies to the
action being interrupted, not to subsequent
actions that turn.
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Color, Flavor, & Reminder Text
Because Legend of the Five Rings tells a
story, abilities on some cards may have a
sentence of descriptive phrasing such as
“The snow blocks travel.” Such phrasing is
for color only. Phrasing that is relevant to the
rules will refer to a term that can be found
on other cards, or is defined in these rules.
Text in (parentheses and italics) is a short,
informal reminder of what the card does
according to the rules.
Descriptive text in italics without parentheses is flavor text, and also has no bearing on the rules.
You may play as many Interrupts as you wish
to a single action, but you may not play an
Interrupt during another Interrupt action.
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How Long Do Things Last?
Some effects are instantaneous, and
marked by physical changes to the game
components, such as bowing cards,
changing their location, adding tokens,
and changes to Family Honor. These
changes do not wear off by themselves.
Other effects involve changes that are
ongoing. That is, they last until a certain
point in the game, and are not physically
marked by the game components.
Some examples of ongoing effects include
stats such as “Give a target attacking Personality +2F,” or giving a card the trait,
“This Personality will not bow.”
All ongoing effects last until the end
of the current turn, unless they give a
different duration.
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As with Battle actions, Engage and Interrupt
actions taken during a battle are subject to the
Rules of Presence and Location, as described in
the Basic Rulebook (see Basic Rulebook p. 57).
Recruit & Equip
Some actions tell you to “Recruit” or “Equip”
a card. When this happens, pay the cost of the
card entering play (indicated by the action’s
own * Gold cost), and apply all the effects of
the Recruit or Equip player action.
Traits
Text in a card’s text box can be keywords, an
ability (starting with boldface words such as
“Open:” or “Ninja Battle:”) or flavor text
(italicized text that is only descriptive and not
used in the game). Game-relevant text that is
not part of any of these is a trait.
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Some traits are triggered by other things happening, for example, “After this card enters
play, lose 3 Honor”. A trait is not like an
action, though:
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A trait is not optional; you must apply
the effects whenever the trigger is met.
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A trait can be triggered when its card
is bowed.
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A trait’s effects are not restricted to once
per turn.
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A trait without a trigger on a card, such
as “Your Samurai each have +1F,” has
a continuous effect that is “always on”
while the card is in play.
The Imperial Favor
The Imperial Favor is a resource that gives
great political advantage to those who
call upon it. It is represented by an object
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that starts the game uncontrolled. When it
becomes controlled, its controller places it in
his home, in front of him, visible to all players.
Ivory Edition Starter Decks include a card that
you can use to represent the Imperial Favor. If
you control the Favor, you may discard it, and
then it becomes uncontrolled. Discarding the
Favor is required for certain actions, including
(but not limited to) the following two Favor
player abilities:
Favor Political Limited: Discard the Imperial Favor and a card to draw a card.
Favor Political Battle: Discard the Imperial Favor to move home a target attacking
enemy Personality.
Lobbying
This player ability lets you take the Imperial
Favor, vying to win the favor of the Empress
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by reminding her of your family’s high deeds
and standing.
Lobby
Political Limited: If you have higher Family Honor than each other player, bow your
target unbowed Personality with 1 or more
Personal Honor to take the Imperial Favor.
Dishonored
Personalities
Some things can dishonor a Personality, disgracing him or her in the eyes of Rokugan.
Turn the Personality card 180 degrees upside
down to show this dishonorable state.
A dishonorable Personality has a maximum of
zero Personal Honor.
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After a Personality is destroyed while dishonorable, the player who last controlled him loses
Honor equal to the Personality’s printed Personal Honor. (This loss does not come “from
a card,” but from the Rulebook.) A destroyed
dishonorable Personality remains dishonorably dead even in
the discard pile.
Dishonorable
Personalities
remain dishonorable until an effect
“rehonors” them
(restores them to
honorable status).
Turn the card
right side up again
to represent the
rehonoring. - Dishonored -
Sometimes
an
honor gain will
rehonor a Person-
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ality. Specifically, you substitute rehonoring
for Honor gain:
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Before a player gains Honor from an
action or trait that targeted or came
from one or more of his or her dishonorable Personalities.
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Before a player gains Honor for attaching a card to their dishonorable Personality.
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Before a player with any dishonorable
Personalities in his or her army gains
Honor from destroying enemy cards in
battle resolution. In a tied battle, all
dishonorable Personalities in an army
are rehonored before being destroyed,
and their army’s leader gains no
Honor.
In these cases, the honor gain will not happen,
and instead the Personality or Personalities
will be restored to honorable status.
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Battles
Engage Segment
Engage actions represent especially wellprepared or rapid maneuvers in battle. The
Engage Segment is an action round of Engage
actions, starting with the Defender, that
comes before Battle actions are taken in the
Combat Segment. Once both players have
passed consecutively on Engage actions, the
Engage Segment ends and the Combat Segment begins.
Attacking
Multiple Provinces
In the Basic Game, the Attacker only chooses
one Province to attack, creating a battle-
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field there. In the Advanced Game, after the
Attacker declares an attack, a battlefield is
created at each of the Defender’s Provinces.
When the Attacker and Defender assign,
they may assign any of their legal units to
any of these battlefields. A battle is then
fought at each of these battlefields, with the
Attacker choosing one by one which battle
to fight, until all the battlefields have been
fought at. Often, these battles will be at
empty battlefields, and “fighting” them is a
mere formality.
In each battle, go through the Engage, Combat and Resolution segments in order. The
steps after a battle also happen before the
next battle begins, including units returning
home.
If any units find themselves at a battlefield
whose battle has ended, they return home
after the last battle ends, bowing if they were
attacking.
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“No Second Battle”
There is one additional rule restricting effects
during a battle. A Personality who has already
been in an attacking army during a battle resolution in the current Attack Phase will not move
to a battlefield again during that Attack Phase.
Advanced
Victory Conditions
In addition to the military and honor victories
supported in the Basic Game, there are two
other ways to win a game of L5R.
Dishonor Victory
If a player’s Family Honor is –20 or below at
the end of his or her turn, he or she loses.
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Enlightenment Victory
You win immediately if you control five Rings
with five different element keywords (Air, Earth,
Fire, Water and Void). You have seen the emptiness behind the so-called “victory” in war and
court, and become an enlightened master.
Deck Building
You can expand and change your starter deck
by trading for or buying other cards. Follow
these rules to build a legal play deck in Ivory
Edition 40/40 format:
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The Dynasty and Fate decks must each
have at least 40 cards. Your Stronghold
and Sensei do not count toward this
minimum, and copies of those cards
may not be included in the Fate or
Dynasty decks.
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All cards in the play deck (including
the Stronghold and Sensei) must be
Ivory Edition legal, having the Ivory
Edition symbol
in the lower left
hand corner of their most recent printing (MRP). Older printings of the cards
may be used (see also “Soul of …”, p.
41), but in all L5R formats, cards are
considered to have the stats and text
of their MRP. If you use older cards,
you’re responsible for knowing these
differences and communicating them
to your opponent.
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You can have no more than three copies of any card, by title, in your decks.
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You can have no more than one copy
of each Unique card, by title, in your
decks.
Note that Experienced cards (p. 31) are an
exception to the last two rules.
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Game Terms & Keywords
In alphabetical order, this section lists rules
associated with specific game terms and keywords that are not mentioned in the basic
rules. After this, we present a number of fine
points in the rules.
Absent: An ability with the Absent keyword
may be used during battle even if you control
no units at the current battlefield.
Active Player: The player whose turn it is.
Additional actions: Additional actions
granted by effects are taken after the current
action resolves. In effect, they allow you to take
another action in the present action round without your opponent getting an action. If the type
of additional action is not specified, it is the type
appropriate to the current action round—Limited in your Action Phase, Open in any player’s
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Action Phase, Engage in the Engage Segment
and Battle in the Combat Segment.
Ally: A term used in the multiplayer rules (see
Online Rules, p. 50).
Armor: A keyword found on some Items. A
Personality cannot have more than one Armor
attached.
Cannot: These words mean that an effect is
prevented (see p. 38).
Cast: When you take an action from a Spell
attached to a Personality (usually a Shugenja)
the Personality with the Spell attached in
question “casts” the Spell and is the “caster.”
Cavalry: The Cavalry keyword is relevant to
the following ability which all players have:
“Absent Engage: Target your unbowed Personality in a Cavalry unit at any location.
Move him to the current battlefield.” A “Cavalry unit” is one in which the Personality and
all Followers, if any, have the Cavalry keyword
(see Units, p. 46).
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Challenge: See Duel, Basic Rulebook, p.69.
Clan Alignment: A keyword ending in “Clan”
that refers to one of the nine major Clans: Crab,
Crane, Dragon, Lion, Mantis, Phoenix, Scorpion, Spider, and Unicorn. Other keywords
ending in “Clan” (for example, Bat Clan) are
not Clan Alignments. Players, Personalities,
Strongholds and Sensei can have Clan Alignments. A card also has a Clan Alignment if that
clan’s symbol appears in the title bar.
Combining: A way to use similar actions from
cards in the same unit to create a larger strength
effect. Fear effects, Ranged Attacks, and Melee
Attacks can each be combined, but only with
other effects of the same kind (that is, Ranged
and Melee Attacks cannot combine with each
other, etc.) To explain this rule we’ll use the term
“attack effect” and “kind of effect” to refer to the
particular effect you are combining, whether
Fear, Ranged or Melee. After you have paid the
costs of an initial action that creates an attack
effect from a card in a unit, as an Interrupt to
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that action, you may pay the costs of an action
from another card in the same unit that is appropriate to the phase and that creates another
attack effect of the same kind, using that ability.
Then resolve that action’s effects, but instead of
creating a separate attack effect, each of those
actions’ relevant attack effects adds its own
strength (with any modifications in effect) to the
strength of the original attack effect. The original
attack effect may only target a card that it, as well
as each of the combining actions, could target.
All other characteristics of the attack effect come
from the original. You may combine more than
one attack effect with the same initial action.
Conqueror: Cards in a Conqueror Personality’s unit do not bow returning home after a
battle.
Contribute: A Personality or Follower contributes Force when its Force is added into
its army’s total Force. This is part of a battle’s
resolution, but can also happen when an
army’s total Force is calculated for other rea-
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sons. Bowed Personalities and Followers do
not contribute Force.
Control: You gain control of a card when
you bring it into play; only cards in play are
“controlled.” You will normally keep control
of the card while it remains in play. However,
an attachment is always controlled by its Personality’s controller. Some effects may change
control of a card between players. Immediately
after a player successfully takes control of
another player’s card:
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If the card is at a battlefield, it goes to
the new controller’s side of the battlefield, attaching to one of his Personalities if necessary;
Otherwise, it enters the new player’s
home.
Neither of these changes in location is movement.
Copy: Some effects may copy a keyword, trait,
or stat from one card to another. If a stat is cop-
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ied, set the copying card’s stat to the current
value of the copied card’s stat (see Set, p. 40).
A card cannot copy its own text or stats.
Created Cards: Some effects may create
cards in addition to the cards included in
decks. You may use pieces of paper, face–
down spare cards, or other objects to keep
track of these. If an effect that creates a
card gives no value for a stat the card type
normally has, that stat’s base value is zero.
Exception: Created Personalities have a “–“
Honor Requirement. Created attachments
attach to a Personality as part of their creation effect. Other cards you create enter play
in your home, and cards created during a
battle join your current army, attaching to a
Personality if necessary. When a created card
leaves play, it ceases to exist.
Dead, Destroy: See Personalities, p. 4.
Destined: After your card with the Destined
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Discard: To put a card in its Dynasty or Fate
discard pile. “Discard a card” by itself means
“discard a Fate card from your hand.” If an
effect requires you to “discard” the Imperial
Favor, this means that you give up control of
the Favor and it becomes uncontrolled.
Discarded: The state of a card that is in a discard pile and is not dead.
Discipline: A special trait on Strategies,
appearing with a Gold cost icon. You may play
a card with the Discipline trait from your discard pile for one of its actions, paying the Gold
cost in the icon as an additional cost of the
action (or adding the Gold cost to the action’s
if it already has a Gold cost). After the action
ends, remove the card from the game. Keep
in mind that abilities can be used only once
per turn, meaning that Discipline abilities normally can’t be used from the discard pile on
the same turn you used them from your hand.
Do Not, Does Not: These phrases in a card effect
means that another effect is prevented (p. 38).
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Draw: To put the top card of your Fate deck
into your hand.
Duel: See Basic Rulebook, p. 69.
Element Keyword: One of the five keywords
representing the mystic elements of Rokugan:
Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void.
Enemy: Referring to the player on the opposing side to you during a battle (the “enemy
leader”), and to cards in units he or she controls. Cards not in units, such as Holdings,
Terrains, or Regions, are not “enemy cards.”
Exchange: When an effect exchanges two
stats, note their current values. Then, simultaneously set each stat to the noted value of the
other one (see Set, p. 40).
Expendable: After a card with the Expendable keyword is destroyed, the player who
controlled it last draws a card.
Experienced: Some Personality cards have
the Experienced keyword, which is sometimes
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followed by a number representing the Personality’s experience level. A Personality with
“Experienced” and no number has experience
level of one. A Personality without Experienced has experience level zero. Any number
of single Personalities with the same title but
different experience levels may be included
in a deck. During the Dynasty Phase, you
may bring an Experienced Personality into
play normally, or you may overlay him onto
one of your Personalities of the same type in
play with the same title, but lower experience
level, as a Dynasty action. When you overlay,
you do not need to meet Honor Requirements
or pay costs, but you do need to meet other
requirements and restrictions, including Loyal
(p. 36). An overlaying card replaces its less
experienced version without entering play,
and the less experienced card is removed from
the game without leaving play. On overlaying,
the new card keeps all states, ongoing effects,
attachments, and tokens of the old card, and
is considered to be the same card.
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Fail: When a cost or effect is activated but the
game text but does not happen, it fails. This
can be because of prevention (p. 38), or lack of
suitable object (for example, “Bow an unbowed
Shugenja” when no Shugenja are in the game).
Fear: An effect that follows similar rules to
Ranged and Melee Attacks (p. 36 and 39). A
Fear effect has a numerical strength (example:
Fear 4). “Fear X” is shorthand for the effect
“Bow a target enemy Follower or Personality
without Followers with X or lower Force.” Fear
effects from cards in the same unit can be combined with each other. See Combining, p. 26.
Focus, Focus Effect: Terms used in dueling.
See Basic Rulebook, p. 71.
Fortification: When brought into play, Holdings with the Fortification keyword are attached
to the Province they entered play from, or to
any of your Provinces if they were not brought
in from a Province. Keep the Holding card
under any card in the Province, in the same
way an attachment is kept under its Person-
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ality. Fortifications enter play paying costs as
normal, but enter play unbowed (straightened).
They are discarded if the Province is destroyed.
During a battle, abilities on Fortifications can
only be used if the Fortification is attached to
the current battlefield’s Province.
Home: The location in front of a player’s
provinces where cards normally enter play, as
opposed to battlefields.
Home (keyword): An ability with the Home
keyword may be used during battle even if the
card it is on is at home.
Honorable: A Personality who is not dishonorable. “Honorably dead” refers to such a Personality who is dead. See p. 16.
Invest: This is a trait that starts with “Invest”
and a Gold cost (for example, “Invest 2 :”).
After a card with Invest is played, you may pay
the additional cost in the Invest trait, once, to
get an additional effect (for example, “Gain 1
Honor” or “Give this card a +1F token.”)
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Infantry: This term refers to a Personality or
Follower who does not have the Cavalry keyword. It is not itself a keyword.
Kensai: A Kensai Personality can attach two
Weapons if neither of them is Two-Handed. See
Weapon (p. 44).
Kharmic: A keyword that can appear on
Dynasty or Fate cards, and allows you to pay
2 Gold to cycle them from your hand or Province. Specifically, all players have the following ability relevant to Kharmic cards:
Kharmic Repeatable Limited, 2 : Discard
a Kharmic card from your hand to draw a
card, or discard a Kharmic card from your
Province to refill the Province face-up.”
Leader: The Attacker or Defender in a battle.
You are the friendly leader; the other player is
the Enemy Leader. This term is more relevant
to the multiplayer rules (see Online Rules,
p. 50).
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Location: An area holding cards in play. Each
battlefield and each player’s home is a separate location.
Look: To inspect a face–down card without
showing it to anyone else or changing its position (for example, in a deck).
Loyal: A Personality with the Loyal keyword
cannot join a player who does not share a Clan
alignment with the Personality, either by entering play or by taking control.
May Not: See Prevention, p. 38
Melee Attack: These follow the same rules as
Ranged Attacks (p. 39), representing destruction
from close-range combat. Melee Attacks may be
combined with other Melee Attacks.
Move: An effect that moves a Personality
changes his position from one location to
another. Effects that move a Personality to
a battlefield always move it into his controller’s side there. Assigning to battlefields, and
returning home from them, is not moving.
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Multiplayer: A keyword telling you that a
card is most useful (or only useful) in a multiplayer game. See Online Rules, p. 50.
Naval: All players have the following ability
relevant to Naval cards:
Engage: If you are the Attacker, you have
the first opportunity to take a Battle action,
which must come from a card in a Naval
Personality’s unit. Passing that action does
not count toward ending the action round.
Negate: A term that indicates a prevention
effect (p. 38). “Negate an action” means to
prevent all the action’s effects and targeting,
from the time the negation is applied.
Opposed: A card, side, or army is opposed at
a battlefield if there are one or more units in
the enemy army.
Opposing: “Opposing” refers to cards at the
same battlefield, on different sides.
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Overlay: See Experienced, p. 31
Own: You own all cards that were originally
in your play deck and that you brought into
play from outside the game, including cards
you created. Cards you own can never go into
another player’s decks or discard piles; they
always go to yours instead.
Permanent: A permanent effect refers to an
effect whose duration lasts until the end of the
game. Permanent effects can still be negated,
ended, and changed by other effects.
Prevention: A prevention effect is one that
uses language such as “negate,” “cannot,”
“does not,” or “will not”. While a prevention
effect lasts, it makes another effect or type of
effect fail to happen whenever it would occur.
When an ongoing type of effect is prevented
(for example, “Negate all Force bonuses on
him”), this only suppresses existing effects
for as long as the prevention lasts; it does not
prevent new ones from applying. When an
instant type of effect is prevented (for example,
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“Negate his destruction”) this prevents new
effects of that type for as long as the negation
effect lasts.
Ranged Attack: A Ranged Attack represents a
military effect that destroys at a distance, such as
archers’ arrows or a magical fiery bolt. “Ranged
X Attack”, where X stands for a number, is shorthand for the text “Destroy a target enemy Follower or Personality without Followers with X
or lower Force.” A Ranged Attack action is one
with a Ranged Attack effect. If a Ranged Attack
effect ends up being compared against a different stat than Force, compare that stat against the
Ranged Attack’s strength instead to determine
whether the target is destroyed.
Rehonor: See p. 16.
Repeatable: An ability with the Repeatable
keyword may be used any number of times
per turn.
Reserve: The following player abilities are relevant to the Reserve keyword:
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Absent Repeatable Battle, * : If he would
be opposed, Recruit your target Reserve
Personality (into the current battlefield).
Repeatable Battle,
* : If it would be
opposed, Equip a Reserve attachment to your
target Personality (at the current battlefield).
Reveal: To turn a face–down card face–up.
Search: To look through a deck or other area
for a card of a specified kind. After you search
a deck, you must reshuffle it after you take any
card(s) you searched for.
Seppuku: An act of ritual suicide. If an effect
directs a Personality to commit seppuku,
apply the following effects: “Rehonor the Personality, then destroy him; these effects will
not be negated.”
Set: When a stat is set to a particular value,
give it a bonus or penalty such that it reaches
the new value.
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Show: To display the face of a face–down card
to all other players, then return it to its face–
down state.
Shugenja: A person trained in the magic of
Rokugan. Only Shugenja Personalities can
Equip and cast Spells.
“Soul of …”: This is a keyword that includes
another Personality’s title, showing that the
current character is a descendant or disciple
of the older character in the present generation. “Soul of” Personalities are equivalent to
the older card for deck construction purposes.
In a game, you may use a copy of the older
card from a previous edition as a proxy for
the “Soul of” version, but you must inform
the other player of any differences in stats or
wording between the two when it appears in
the game.
Switch: When an effect switches the locations
of two units, each one simultaneously moves
to the location of the other. If one movement is
negated, the other one is also negated.
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Tactician: All Tactician Personalities have
the following ability, known as “Tactical
Advantage”.
Tactical Advantage
Battle: Discard a card to give this Personality a Force bonus equal to the Focus Value
of the discarded card.
This ability cannot be removed or copied from
the Tactician Personality.
Terrain: A Strategy with the Terrain keyword
represents the ground on which a battle is
fought. Most Terrains have a Battle ability that
puts them into play at the current battlefield.
After a battle ends, discard any Terrain at its
battlefield.
Tireless: An ability with the Tireless keyword
may be used even if the card it is on is bowed.
Token: A marker in the game. You may use
beads, pieces of paper, or other distinct objects
-42-
as tokens. Tokens may have a keyword (such
as Corruption). They may also give a stat bonus
or penalty (such as –1C) to whatever they are
on. This bonus or penalty is considered to come
from the last effect that placed the token on the
card or area. Tokens are not cards. They are
removed from the game if the card they are on
leaves play.
Transfer: To re-attach a card or token from
one card or province to another. You do not
need to pay the costs of a transferred card
again, but you do need to meet any restrictions
on attaching.
Unaligned: Refers to a Personality, player, or
Stronghold without a Clan alignment. It is not
itself a keyword.
Unique: A player cannot bring into play or take
control of a Unique card if he or she already controls a Unique card with the same title (but see
Experienced, p. 31). If a player takes control of
a unit with a copy of a Unique attachment he
or she already controls, discard the new attach-
-43-
ment. The Unique keyword also restricts deck
construction. See Deck Building, p. 22.
Weapon: A Personality can have only one
Weapon attached. Exception: See Kensai, p. 35.
Will Not: This phrase in a card effect means
that another effect is prevented (p. 38).
Special Circumstances
The following rules are for situations that may
sometimes arise in advanced play.
Keywords
Keywords on abilities also apply to their
cards—so, for example, a Strategy with a Political ability is a Political Strategy. Keywords on
cards do not apply to their abilities—an ability
on a Ninja card is not a Ninja ability unless it
says so. For example, “Ninja Battle:”
-44-
In Play & Out of Play
Cards must be in play—that is, in your home
or at a battlefield—to be legal targets, unless
the targeting says or implies otherwise. To use
its abilities, a card must either be in play, be
an Event played from your Province, or be a
Strategy or Ring played from your hand. Abilities that break this rule will say that they can
be used from a different area (for example, “If
this Follower is in your hand…”)
If a card is both out of play and face-down
(including returning to the hand), it “forgets”
ongoing effects on it, and other changes such
as whether its abilities have been used.
Bonuses, Penalties & Stats
Bonuses are effects from cards or player abilities that say they increase a stat. The added
Force and Chi from the relevant modifier stats
on Items are modifiers, not bonuses, but if
-45-
an Item says “This Personality has +2F while
opposed,” that counts as a bonus.
All stats, except for Family Honor and Honor
Requirement, have a minimum value of zero.
If you need to know a stat’s value at any time,
apply all current bonuses and penalties first,
then apply any minimum or maximum value.
Example: If a card with 2 Force gets a
-3F penalty, apply the penalty, then the
basic minimum of zero. This means that
the card’s Force is zero for all purposes, not
-1. If it then gets a +2F bonus, apply the
bonus, the penalty, and the minimum, so
that it now has 1 Force.
Units
References to a unit’s keyword—for example, “A
Cavalry unit”—mean a unit where the Personality and each Follower in it (if any) all have that
keyword. For example, a unit with a Cavalry Per-
-46-
sonality and a non- Cavalry Follower would not
be a Cavalry unit, because of the Follower. Effects that do something to a unit—for example, bow or destroy—have their effect on each
card in that unit. If a Personality leaves play, all his or her
attached cards leave play in the same way.
Simultaneous Things
As a general rule, if two or more things appear
to happen simultaneously, the player whose
turn it is decides in what order they happen.
More detailed rules covering this issue are
found in the Online Rules (see p. 50).
An exception is Interrupt actions, because
they are taken at their player’s choice. If
more than one Interrupt can be triggered at
the same time, use a special action round.
The active player has the first opportunity to
play an Interrupt to that action or pass, fol-
-47-
lowed by the other player, and then the active
player has another opportunity. The action
round continues until both players pass consecutively.
Empty Decks
If either the Dynasty or Fate deck runs out of
cards, nothing special happens, except that
there are no more cards left in the deck. Provinces that cannot be refilled still exist. Use
markers to represent them.
Separate Effects
Each of an action’s or trait’s effects is separate,
and will happen even if the other effects fail to
happen. For example, if an action says “Battle:
Straighten your target Personality and move
him home,” if he is already unbowed you can
still take the action; the straightening fails, but
he still goes home.
-48-
Exceptions
Some cards describe an effect happening “to”
do something else (for example, “Discard a
card to gain 1 Honor.”) If the first effect fails
(for example, discarding a card with no cards
in hand), the second thing (gaining Honor)
does not happen. Likewise, if a card says to do something “after”
or “as” something else happens (for example,
“As he moves, bow him”; “After he is dishonored, gain 1 Honor”) , the second thing doesn’t
happen if the first thing fails to happen.
In the second example here, if an already dishonorable Personality is dishonored, the 1
Honor gain does not happen, because he does
not go from the honorable to dishonorable
state.
Targeting can cause the remaining effects in an
action to fail if it is not met, but targeting is not
itself an effect (see Actions, p. 10)
-49-
Online Rules
Visit http://rules.l5r.com for errata and comprehensive rules, plus variant rules for 3 or
more players, draft, sealed deck and more.
Rules questions can be asked and officially
answered at the L5R CCG Rules Questions
forum (http://www.alderac. com/forum/).
The Tournament Rulebook is a resource for
tournament judges and players, a printable
document available online. They cover rare
situations and questions such as:
cc
When can I play a card even though it
will have no effect (Good Faith Rule)?
cc
Does a created card have a “printed” Force?
cc
Does destruction for having zero Chi
come from a card or the Rulebook? What
about destruction from a Ranged Attack?
The most detailed rules resource is the Comprehensive Rules, also available online.
-50-
Complete Turn
Sequence
1. Action Phase. Straighten your bowed
cards and reveal cards in Provinces. Then
take an action round: your Limited and Open
actions, your opponent’s Open actions.
2. (Optional) Attack Phase. You may declare
an attack. Assign your unbowed Personalities to attack your opponent’s Provinces. Your
opponent assigns unbowed Personalities to
defend.
At each Province (Attacker decides order):
cc
Defender, then Attacker, take a round
of Engage actions.
cc
Combat Segment: Defender, then
Attacker, take a round of Battle actions.
cc
Resolution: Side with most total Force
wins, not counting bowed Personali-
-51-
ties and Followers. Destroy all cards on
the losing side, or all cards if tied; each
player gets 2 Honor for each enemy
card destroyed this way. Destroy the
Province if the Attacker’s total Force
was greater than the Defender’s total
Force plus Province Strength.
cc
Attacking units return home, then bow.
3. Dynasty Phase. Bring Personalities and Holdings into play. Discard face-up Dynasty cards.
Draw cards up to your hand size limit (eight).
Action Phase Abilities
Cycle
Limited: If it is your first turn, choose one
or more face-up cards in your Provinces. Put
them on the bottom of your deck in any order.
(Refill the empty Provinces face-down.) Then,
turn all cards in your Provinces face-up.
-52-
Equip
Repeatable Open, * : Attach an attachment
card, with Gold Cost equal to the amount you
paid, from your hand to your target Personality.
Lobby
Political Limited: If you have higher Family Honor than each other player, bow your
target unbowed Personality with 1 or more
Personal Honor to take the Imperial Favor.
Imperial Favor
Favor Political Limited: Discard the Imperial Favor and a card to draw a card.
Kharmic
Kharmic Repeatable Limited, 2 : Discard
a Kharmic card from your hand to draw
-53-
a card, or discard a Kharmic card from your
Province to refill the Province face-up.
Attack Phase Abilities
Engage Segment
Cavalry
Absent Engage: Target your unbowed Personality in a Cavalry unit at any location.
Move him to the current battlefield.
Naval
Engage: If you are the Attacker, you
have the first opportunity to take a Battle
action, which must come from a card in
a Naval Personality’s unit. Passing that
action does not count toward ending the
action round.
-54-
Combat Segment
Imperial Favor
Favor Political Battle: Discard the Imperial Favor To move home a target attacking
enemy Personality.
Reserve
Absent Repeatable Battle, * : If he would
be opposed, Recruit your target Reserve
Personality (into the current battlefield).
Repeatable Battle, * : If it would be
opposed, Equip a Reserve attachment to your
target Personality (at the current battlefield).
Tactical Advantage
Battle: Discard a card to give this Personality a Force bonus equal to the Focus Value of
the discarded card. (This is an ability granted
by the rules to each Tactician Personality)
-55-
Dynasty Phase Abilities
Recruit
Repeatable Dynasty, * : Bring into play a
face-up Personality or Holding from your Province with Gold Cost equal to the amount you
paid, paying 2 more Gold if the Personality has
a Clan Alignment but does not have your Clan
Alignment. (Holdings enter play bowed.)
Once during your own turn, after you
announce a Recruit action or an action with
Recruit as an effect, you may choose to Proclaim the Personality being Recruited. If he
has your Clan Alignment, gain Honor equal
to his Personal Honor after he enters play
Discard
Repeatable Dynasty: Discard a face-up card
from one of your Provinces. (Refill it face-down.)
-56-
Advanced Rules
THIS
IS NOT A COMPLETE RULEBOOK!
You should consult it after reading through the
Basic Rules (also found in your Ivory Edition
starter). Between them, the two booklets present the complete rules of the Legend of the Five
Rings (L5R) card game. If you need the complete rules presented all in one piece, download
the Tournament Rulebook from rules.l5r.com.
Maximum Hand Size
Players have a maximum hand size of eight.
After drawing all cards at the end of your turn,
-2-
if you have more cards in hand than the maximum, you must choose and discard cards from
your hand until you no longer have too many.
Some effects may change a player’s maximum
hand size.
Provinces
Each province has a separate Province
Strength stat, based on the Stronghold’s Province Strength plus any modifiers from Sensei
and other effects.
Personalities
Chi Death Rule
If a Personality’s Chi is ever zero, destroy him
immediately.
-3-
Clan Honor Rule
Players can lose Honor from their own cards,
from other players’ cards, or from the Rulebook (that is, when their Personality dies
dishonorably; see p. 16). After a player loses
Honor from another player’s card, or from the
Rulebook, for the rest of the game he or she
ignores Honor Requirements on Personalities
with his or her own Clan Alignment.
Dead Personalities
Personalities that are destroyed are treated
differently from Personalities that are merely
discarded (for example, from a Province). Turn
dead Personalities 90 degrees in the discard
pile, or create a separate pile for dead Personalities.
-4-
Advanced
Card Types
In addition to the Dynasty types—Personalities and Holdings—and Fate types—Followers, Items, and Strategies—introduced in
the Basic Game, L5R has a number of other
card types.
Sensei
A Sensei is a card that you may start with in
play, representing a revered master whose
teachings have influenced you. You may only
have one Sensei in play, you start with it in
play, and the choice of Sensei is part of your
deck construction. Like your Stronghold, the
Sensei does not go into the Dynasty or Fate
deck and is neither a Dynasty nor Fate card.
-5-
- Sensei CARD
TITLE
CLAN
ALIGNMENT
TEXT BOX
PROVINCE
STRENGTH
MODIFIER
GOLD
PRODUCTION
MODIFIER
FAMILY
HONOR
MODIFIER
-6-
A Sensei will usually have one or more Clan
Alignment requirements, such as “Scorpion
Clan.” You may only start with a Sensei that
matches your Stronghold’s Clan Alignment, or
with an “All Clans Sensei”.
A Sensei modifies your Stronghold: It has modifiers for Province Strength, Gold Production
and Starting Family Honor which always modify the Stronghold’s stats. A Sensei may also
have traits and abilities that apply to you and
that work similarly to those of a Stronghold.
Event
Events represent important happenings in
Rokugan. While they are face-up in your
Provinces, and only then, you can use their
abilities. They are discarded once their abilities are used, unless the ability puts them into
play. Apart from its abilities, an Event may
have traits in its text box, and these apply
while in play.
-7-
- Event TEXT BOX
TEXT BOX
GOLD
COST
- Spell FOCUS
VALUE
-8-
t-
Spell
Spells are attachments. They represent magic
scrolls used by a Shugenja (a person trained in
the magic of Rokugan). Spells have no Force
or Chi modifiers. They will only attach to a
Shugenja, and their abilities can only be used
(“cast”) if attached to a Shugenja. (see also
Cast, p. 25).
Ring
Ring cards represent understanding of the
mystic elements. They can be discarded from
the hand to use their ability, or put into play
when you meet the special conditions of the
text in their trait. When in play, their ability
can be used without having to discard them.
-9-
Actions
The Basic rules introduced Limited, Open,
Battle and Dynasty actions. The full game has
two more types of action: Engage and Interrupt.
Engage actions are taken in a special action
round during a battle, before either player has
the chance to take Battle actions. See p. 54.
Interrupts are announced during another
action—either yours or another player’s—at
the point after costs are paid and before the
action’s effects start to resolve. The other
action is suspended while you carry out the
Interrupt action; then the original action
resumes. Interrupts refer to the original action
as “the action” (for example, “The action cannot move Personalities.”) If an Interrupt modifies an action’s effects, this only applies to the
action being interrupted, not to subsequent
actions that turn.
-10-
Color, Flavor, & Reminder Text
Because Legend of the Five Rings tells a
story, abilities on some cards may have a
sentence of descriptive phrasing such as
“The snow blocks travel.” Such phrasing is
for color only. Phrasing that is relevant to the
rules will refer to a term that can be found
on other cards, or is defined in these rules.
Text in (parentheses and italics) is a short,
informal reminder of what the card does
according to the rules.
Descriptive text in italics without parentheses is flavor text, and also has no bearing on the rules.
You may play as many Interrupts as you wish
to a single action, but you may not play an
Interrupt during another Interrupt action.
-11-
How Long Do Things Last?
Some effects are instantaneous, and
marked by physical changes to the game
components, such as bowing cards,
changing their location, adding tokens,
and changes to Family Honor. These
changes do not wear off by themselves.
Other effects involve changes that are
ongoing. That is, they last until a certain
point in the game, and are not physically
marked by the game components.
Some examples of ongoing effects include
stats such as “Give a target attacking Personality +2F,” or giving a card the trait,
“This Personality will not bow.”
All ongoing effects last until the end
of the current turn, unless they give a
different duration.
-12-
As with Battle actions, Engage and Interrupt
actions taken during a battle are subject to the
Rules of Presence and Location, as described in
the Basic Rulebook (see Basic Rulebook p. 57).
Recruit & Equip
Some actions tell you to “Recruit” or “Equip”
a card. When this happens, pay the cost of the
card entering play (indicated by the action’s
own * Gold cost), and apply all the effects of
the Recruit or Equip player action.
Traits
Text in a card’s text box can be keywords, an
ability (starting with boldface words such as
“Open:” or “Ninja Battle:”) or flavor text
(italicized text that is only descriptive and not
used in the game). Game-relevant text that is
not part of any of these is a trait.
-13-
Some traits are triggered by other things happening, for example, “After this card enters
play, lose 3 Honor”. A trait is not like an
action, though:
c
A trait is not optional; you must apply
the effects whenever the trigger is met.
c
A trait can be triggered when its card
is bowed.
c
A trait’s effects are not restricted to once
per turn.
c
A trait without a trigger on a card, such
as “Your Samurai each have +1F,” has
a continuous effect that is “always on”
while the card is in play.
The Imperial Favor
The Imperial Favor is a resource that gives
great political advantage to those who
call upon it. It is represented by an object
-14-
that starts the game uncontrolled. When it
becomes controlled, its controller places it in
his home, in front of him, visible to all players.
Ivory Edition Starter Decks include a card that
you can use to represent the Imperial Favor. If
you control the Favor, you may discard it, and
then it becomes uncontrolled. Discarding the
Favor is required for certain actions, including
(but not limited to) the following two Favor
player abilities:
Favor Political Limited: Discard the Imperial Favor and a card to draw a card.
Favor Political Battle: Discard the Imperial Favor to move home a target attacking
enemy Personality.
Lobbying
This player ability lets you take the Imperial
Favor, vying to win the favor of the Empress
-15-
by reminding her of your family’s high deeds
and standing.
Lobby
Political Limited: If you have higher Family Honor than each other player, bow your
target unbowed Personality with 1 or more
Personal Honor to take the Imperial Favor.
Dishonored
Personalities
Some things can dishonor a Personality, disgracing him or her in the eyes of Rokugan.
Turn the Personality card 180 degrees upside
down to show this dishonorable state.
A dishonorable Personality has a maximum of
zero Personal Honor.
-16-
After a Personality is destroyed while dishonorable, the player who last controlled him loses
Honor equal to the Personality’s printed Personal Honor. (This loss does not come “from
a card,” but from the Rulebook.) A destroyed
dishonorable Personality remains dishonorably dead even in
the discard pile.
Dishonorable
Personalities
remain dishonorable until an effect
“rehonors” them
(restores them to
honorable status).
Turn the card
right side up again
to represent the
rehonoring. - Dishonored -
Sometimes
an
honor gain will
rehonor a Person-
-17-
ality. Specifically, you substitute rehonoring
for Honor gain:
c
Before a player gains Honor from an
action or trait that targeted or came
from one or more of his or her dishonorable Personalities.
c
Before a player gains Honor for attaching a card to their dishonorable Personality.
c
Before a player with any dishonorable
Personalities in his or her army gains
Honor from destroying enemy cards in
battle resolution. In a tied battle, all
dishonorable Personalities in an army
are rehonored before being destroyed,
and their army’s leader gains no
Honor.
In these cases, the honor gain will not happen,
and instead the Personality or Personalities
will be restored to honorable status.
-18-
Battles
Engage Segment
Engage actions represent especially wellprepared or rapid maneuvers in battle. The
Engage Segment is an action round of Engage
actions, starting with the Defender, that
comes before Battle actions are taken in the
Combat Segment. Once both players have
passed consecutively on Engage actions, the
Engage Segment ends and the Combat Segment begins.
Attacking
Multiple Provinces
In the Basic Game, the Attacker only chooses
one Province to attack, creating a battle-
-19-
field there. In the Advanced Game, after the
Attacker declares an attack, a battlefield is
created at each of the Defender’s Provinces.
When the Attacker and Defender assign,
they may assign any of their legal units to
any of these battlefields. A battle is then
fought at each of these battlefields, with the
Attacker choosing one by one which battle
to fight, until all the battlefields have been
fought at. Often, these battles will be at
empty battlefields, and “fighting” them is a
mere formality.
In each battle, go through the Engage, Combat and Resolution segments in order. The
steps after a battle also happen before the
next battle begins, including units returning
home.
If any units find themselves at a battlefield
whose battle has ended, they return home
after the last battle ends, bowing if they were
attacking.
-20-
“No Second Battle”
There is one additional rule restricting effects
during a battle. A Personality who has already
been in an attacking army during a battle resolution in the current Attack Phase will not move
to a battlefield again during that Attack Phase.
Advanced
Victory Conditions
In addition to the military and honor victories
supported in the Basic Game, there are two
other ways to win a game of L5R.
Dishonor Victory
If a player’s Family Honor is –20 or below at
the end of his or her turn, he or she loses.
-21-
Enlightenment Victory
You win immediately if you control five Rings
with five different element keywords (Air, Earth,
Fire, Water and Void). You have seen the emptiness behind the so-called “victory” in war and
court, and become an enlightened master.
Deck Building
You can expand and change your starter deck
by trading for or buying other cards. Follow
these rules to build a legal play deck in Ivory
Edition 40/40 format:
c
The Dynasty and Fate decks must each
have at least 40 cards. Your Stronghold
and Sensei do not count toward this
minimum, and copies of those cards
may not be included in the Fate or
Dynasty decks.
-22-
c
All cards in the play deck (including
the Stronghold and Sensei) must be
Ivory Edition legal, having the Ivory
Edition symbol
in the lower left
hand corner of their most recent printing (MRP). Older printings of the cards
may be used (see also “Soul of …”, p.
41), but in all L5R formats, cards are
considered to have the stats and text
of their MRP. If you use older cards,
you’re responsible for knowing these
differences and communicating them
to your opponent.
c
You can have no more than three copies of any card, by title, in your decks.
c
You can have no more than one copy
of each Unique card, by title, in your
decks.
Note that Experienced cards (p. 31) are an
exception to the last two rules.
-23-
Game Terms & Keywords
In alphabetical order, this section lists rules
associated with specific game terms and keywords that are not mentioned in the basic
rules. After this, we present a number of fine
points in the rules.
Absent: An ability with the Absent keyword
may be used during battle even if you control
no units at the current battlefield.
Active Player: The player whose turn it is.
Additional actions: Additional actions
granted by effects are taken after the current
action resolves. In effect, they allow you to take
another action in the present action round without your opponent getting an action. If the type
of additional action is not specified, it is the type
appropriate to the current action round—Limited in your Action Phase, Open in any player’s
-24-
Action Phase, Engage in the Engage Segment
and Battle in the Combat Segment.
Ally: A term used in the multiplayer rules (see
Online Rules, p. 50).
Armor: A keyword found on some Items. A
Personality cannot have more than one Armor
attached.
Cannot: These words mean that an effect is
prevented (see p. 38).
Cast: When you take an action from a Spell
attached to a Personality (usually a Shugenja)
the Personality with the Spell attached in
question “casts” the Spell and is the “caster.”
Cavalry: The Cavalry keyword is relevant to
the following ability which all players have:
“Absent Engage: Target your unbowed Personality in a Cavalry unit at any location.
Move him to the current battlefield.” A “Cavalry unit” is one in which the Personality and
all Followers, if any, have the Cavalry keyword
(see Units, p. 46).
-25-
Challenge: See Duel, Basic Rulebook, p.69.
Clan Alignment: A keyword ending in “Clan”
that refers to one of the nine major Clans: Crab,
Crane, Dragon, Lion, Mantis, Phoenix, Scorpion, Spider, and Unicorn. Other keywords
ending in “Clan” (for example, Bat Clan) are
not Clan Alignments. Players, Personalities,
Strongholds and Sensei can have Clan Alignments. A card also has a Clan Alignment if that
clan’s symbol appears in the title bar.
Combining: A way to use similar actions from
cards in the same unit to create a larger strength
effect. Fear effects, Ranged Attacks, and Melee
Attacks can each be combined, but only with
other effects of the same kind (that is, Ranged
and Melee Attacks cannot combine with each
other, etc.) To explain this rule we’ll use the term
“attack effect” and “kind of effect” to refer to the
particular effect you are combining, whether
Fear, Ranged or Melee. After you have paid the
costs of an initial action that creates an attack
effect from a card in a unit, as an Interrupt to
-26-
that action, you may pay the costs of an action
from another card in the same unit that is appropriate to the phase and that creates another
attack effect of the same kind, using that ability.
Then resolve that action’s effects, but instead of
creating a separate attack effect, each of those
actions’ relevant attack effects adds its own
strength (with any modifications in effect) to the
strength of the original attack effect. The original
attack effect may only target a card that it, as well
as each of the combining actions, could target.
All other characteristics of the attack effect come
from the original. You may combine more than
one attack effect with the same initial action.
Conqueror: Cards in a Conqueror Personality’s unit do not bow returning home after a
battle.
Contribute: A Personality or Follower contributes Force when its Force is added into
its army’s total Force. This is part of a battle’s
resolution, but can also happen when an
army’s total Force is calculated for other rea-
-27-
sons. Bowed Personalities and Followers do
not contribute Force.
Control: You gain control of a card when
you bring it into play; only cards in play are
“controlled.” You will normally keep control
of the card while it remains in play. However,
an attachment is always controlled by its Personality’s controller. Some effects may change
control of a card between players. Immediately
after a player successfully takes control of
another player’s card:
c
c
If the card is at a battlefield, it goes to
the new controller’s side of the battlefield, attaching to one of his Personalities if necessary;
Otherwise, it enters the new player’s
home.
Neither of these changes in location is movement.
Copy: Some effects may copy a keyword, trait,
or stat from one card to another. If a stat is cop-
-28-
ied, set the copying card’s stat to the current
value of the copied card’s stat (see Set, p. 40).
A card cannot copy its own text or stats.
Created Cards: Some effects may create
cards in addition to the cards included in
decks. You may use pieces of paper, face–
down spare cards, or other objects to keep
track of these. If an effect that creates a
card gives no value for a stat the card type
normally has, that stat’s base value is zero.
Exception: Created Personalities have a “–“
Honor Requirement. Created attachments
attach to a Personality as part of their creation effect. Other cards you create enter play
in your home, and cards created during a
battle join your current army, attaching to a
Personality if necessary. When a created card
leaves play, it ceases to exist.
Dead, Destroy: See Personalities, p. 4.
Destined: After your card with the Destined
keyword enters play, draw a Fate card. -29-
Discard: To put a card in its Dynasty or Fate
discard pile. “Discard a card” by itself means
“discard a Fate card from your hand.” If an
effect requires you to “discard” the Imperial
Favor, this means that you give up control of
the Favor and it becomes uncontrolled.
Discarded: The state of a card that is in a discard pile and is not dead.
Discipline: A special trait on Strategies,
appearing with a Gold cost icon. You may play
a card with the Discipline trait from your discard pile for one of its actions, paying the Gold
cost in the icon as an additional cost of the
action (or adding the Gold cost to the action’s
if it already has a Gold cost). After the action
ends, remove the card from the game. Keep
in mind that abilities can be used only once
per turn, meaning that Discipline abilities normally can’t be used from the discard pile on
the same turn you used them from your hand.
Do Not, Does Not: These phrases in a card effect
means that another effect is prevented (p. 38).
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Draw: To put the top card of your Fate deck
into your hand.
Duel: See Basic Rulebook, p. 69.
Element Keyword: One of the five keywords
representing the mystic elements of Rokugan:
Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void.
Enemy: Referring to the player on the opposing side to you during a battle (the “enemy
leader”), and to cards in units he or she controls. Cards not in units, such as Holdings,
Terrains, or Regions, are not “enemy cards.”
Exchange: When an effect exchanges two
stats, note their current values. Then, simultaneously set each stat to the noted value of the
other one (see Set, p. 40).
Expendable: After a card with the Expendable keyword is destroyed, the player who
controlled it last draws a card.
Experienced: Some Personality cards have
the Experienced keyword, which is sometimes
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followed by a number representing the Personality’s experience level. A Personality with
“Experienced” and no number has experience
level of one. A Personality without Experienced has experience level zero. Any number
of single Personalities with the same title but
different experience levels may be included
in a deck. During the Dynasty Phase, you
may bring an Experienced Personality into
play normally, or you may overlay him onto
one of your Personalities of the same type in
play with the same title, but lower experience
level, as a Dynasty action. When you overlay,
you do not need to meet Honor Requirements
or pay costs, but you do need to meet other
requirements and restrictions, including Loyal
(p. 36). An overlaying card replaces its less
experienced version without entering play,
and the less experienced card is removed from
the game without leaving play. On overlaying,
the new card keeps all states, ongoing effects,
attachments, and tokens of the old card, and
is considered to be the same card.
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Fail: When a cost or effect is activated but the
game text but does not happen, it fails. This
can be because of prevention (p. 38), or lack of
suitable object (for example, “Bow an unbowed
Shugenja” when no Shugenja are in the game).
Fear: An effect that follows similar rules to
Ranged and Melee Attacks (p. 36 and 39). A
Fear effect has a numerical strength (example:
Fear 4). “Fear X” is shorthand for the effect
“Bow a target enemy Follower or Personality
without Followers with X or lower Force.” Fear
effects from cards in the same unit can be combined with each other. See Combining, p. 26.
Focus, Focus Effect: Terms used in dueling.
See Basic Rulebook, p. 71.
Fortification: When brought into play, Holdings with the Fortification keyword are attached
to the Province they entered play from, or to
any of your Provinces if they were not brought
in from a Province. Keep the Holding card
under any card in the Province, in the same
way an attachment is kept under its Person-
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ality. Fortifications enter play paying costs as
normal, but enter play unbowed (straightened).
They are discarded if the Province is destroyed.
During a battle, abilities on Fortifications can
only be used if the Fortification is attached to
the current battlefield’s Province.
Home: The location in front of a player’s
provinces where cards normally enter play, as
opposed to battlefields.
Home (keyword): An ability with the Home
keyword may be used during battle even if the
card it is on is at home.
Honorable: A Personality who is not dishonorable. “Honorably dead” refers to such a Personality who is dead. See p. 16.
Invest: This is a trait that starts with “Invest”
and a Gold cost (for example, “Invest 2 :”).
After a card with Invest is played, you may pay
the additional cost in the Invest trait, once, to
get an additional effect (for example, “Gain 1
Honor” or “Give this card a +1F token.”)
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Infantry: This term refers to a Personality or
Follower who does not have the Cavalry keyword. It is not itself a keyword.
Kensai: A Kensai Personality can attach two
Weapons if neither of them is Two-Handed. See
Weapon (p. 44).
Kharmic: A keyword that can appear on
Dynasty or Fate cards, and allows you to pay
2 Gold to cycle them from your hand or Province. Specifically, all players have the following ability relevant to Kharmic cards:
Kharmic Repeatable Limited, 2 : Discard
a Kharmic card from your hand to draw a
card, or discard a Kharmic card from your
Province to refill the Province face-up.”
Leader: The Attacker or Defender in a battle.
You are the friendly leader; the other player is
the Enemy Leader. This term is more relevant
to the multiplayer rules (see Online Rules,
p. 50).
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Location: An area holding cards in play. Each
battlefield and each player’s home is a separate location.
Look: To inspect a face–down card without
showing it to anyone else or changing its position (for example, in a deck).
Loyal: A Personality with the Loyal keyword
cannot join a player who does not share a Clan
alignment with the Personality, either by entering play or by taking control.
May Not: See Prevention, p. 38
Melee Attack: These follow the same rules as
Ranged Attacks (p. 39), representing destruction
from close-range combat. Melee Attacks may be
combined with other Melee Attacks.
Move: An effect that moves a Personality
changes his position from one location to
another. Effects that move a Personality to
a battlefield always move it into his controller’s side there. Assigning to battlefields, and
returning home from them, is not moving.
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Multiplayer: A keyword telling you that a
card is most useful (or only useful) in a multiplayer game. See Online Rules, p. 50.
Naval: All players have the following ability
relevant to Naval cards:
Engage: If you are the Attacker, you have
the first opportunity to take a Battle action,
which must come from a card in a Naval
Personality’s unit. Passing that action does
not count toward ending the action round.
Negate: A term that indicates a prevention
effect (p. 38). “Negate an action” means to
prevent all the action’s effects and targeting,
from the time the negation is applied.
Opposed: A card, side, or army is opposed at
a battlefield if there are one or more units in
the enemy army.
Opposing: “Opposing” refers to cards at the
same battlefield, on different sides.
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Overlay: See Experienced, p. 31
Own: You own all cards that were originally
in your play deck and that you brought into
play from outside the game, including cards
you created. Cards you own can never go into
another player’s decks or discard piles; they
always go to yours instead.
Permanent: A permanent effect refers to an
effect whose duration lasts until the end of the
game. Permanent effects can still be negated,
ended, and changed by other effects.
Prevention: A prevention effect is one that
uses language such as “negate,” “cannot,”
“does not,” or “will not”. While a prevention
effect lasts, it makes another effect or type of
effect fail to happen whenever it would occur.
When an ongoing type of effect is prevented
(for example, “Negate all Force bonuses on
him”), this only suppresses existing effects
for as long as the prevention lasts; it does not
prevent new ones from applying. When an
instant type of effect is prevented (for example,
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“Negate his destruction”) this prevents new
effects of that type for as long as the negation
effect lasts.
Ranged Attack: A Ranged Attack represents a
military effect that destroys at a distance, such as
archers’ arrows or a magical fiery bolt. “Ranged
X Attack”, where X stands for a number, is shorthand for the text “Destroy a target enemy Follower or Personality without Followers with X
or lower Force.” A Ranged Attack action is one
with a Ranged Attack effect. If a Ranged Attack
effect ends up being compared against a different stat than Force, compare that stat against the
Ranged Attack’s strength instead to determine
whether the target is destroyed.
Rehonor: See p. 16.
Repeatable: An ability with the Repeatable
keyword may be used any number of times
per turn.
Reserve: The following player abilities are relevant to the Reserve keyword:
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Absent Repeatable Battle, * : If he would
be opposed, Recruit your target Reserve
Personality (into the current battlefield).
Repeatable Battle,
* : If it would be
opposed, Equip a Reserve attachment to your
target Personality (at the current battlefield).
Reveal: To turn a face–down card face–up.
Search: To look through a deck or other area
for a card of a specified kind. After you search
a deck, you must reshuffle it after you take any
card(s) you searched for.
Seppuku: An act of ritual suicide. If an effect
directs a Personality to commit seppuku,
apply the following effects: “Rehonor the Personality, then destroy him; these effects will
not be negated.”
Set: When a stat is set to a particular value,
give it a bonus or penalty such that it reaches
the new value.
-40-
Show: To display the face of a face–down card
to all other players, then return it to its face–
down state.
Shugenja: A person trained in the magic of
Rokugan. Only Shugenja Personalities can
Equip and cast Spells.
“Soul of …”: This is a keyword that includes
another Personality’s title, showing that the
current character is a descendant or disciple
of the older character in the present generation. “Soul of” Personalities are equivalent to
the older card for deck construction purposes.
In a game, you may use a copy of the older
card from a previous edition as a proxy for
the “Soul of” version, but you must inform
the other player of any differences in stats or
wording between the two when it appears in
the game.
Switch: When an effect switches the locations
of two units, each one simultaneously moves
to the location of the other. If one movement is
negated, the other one is also negated.
-41-
Tactician: All Tactician Personalities have
the following ability, known as “Tactical
Advantage”.
Tactical Advantage
Battle: Discard a card to give this Personality a Force bonus equal to the Focus Value
of the discarded card.
This ability cannot be removed or copied from
the Tactician Personality.
Terrain: A Strategy with the Terrain keyword
represents the ground on which a battle is
fought. Most Terrains have a Battle ability that
puts them into play at the current battlefield.
After a battle ends, discard any Terrain at its
battlefield.
Tireless: An ability with the Tireless keyword
may be used even if the card it is on is bowed.
Token: A marker in the game. You may use
beads, pieces of paper, or other distinct objects
-42-
as tokens. Tokens may have a keyword (such
as Corruption). They may also give a stat bonus
or penalty (such as –1C) to whatever they are
on. This bonus or penalty is considered to come
from the last effect that placed the token on the
card or area. Tokens are not cards. They are
removed from the game if the card they are on
leaves play.
Transfer: To re-attach a card or token from
one card or province to another. You do not
need to pay the costs of a transferred card
again, but you do need to meet any restrictions
on attaching.
Unaligned: Refers to a Personality, player, or
Stronghold without a Clan alignment. It is not
itself a keyword.
Unique: A player cannot bring into play or take
control of a Unique card if he or she already controls a Unique card with the same title (but see
Experienced, p. 31). If a player takes control of
a unit with a copy of a Unique attachment he
or she already controls, discard the new attach-
-43-
ment. The Unique keyword also restricts deck
construction. See Deck Building, p. 22.
Weapon: A Personality can have only one
Weapon attached. Exception: See Kensai, p. 35.
Will Not: This phrase in a card effect means
that another effect is prevented (p. 38).
Special Circumstances
The following rules are for situations that may
sometimes arise in advanced play.
Keywords
Keywords on abilities also apply to their
cards—so, for example, a Strategy with a Political ability is a Political Strategy. Keywords on
cards do not apply to their abilities—an ability
on a Ninja card is not a Ninja ability unless it
says so. For example, “Ninja Battle:”
-44-
In Play & Out of Play
Cards must be in play—that is, in your home
or at a battlefield—to be legal targets, unless
the targeting says or implies otherwise. To use
its abilities, a card must either be in play, be
an Event played from your Province, or be a
Strategy or Ring played from your hand. Abilities that break this rule will say that they can
be used from a different area (for example, “If
this Follower is in your hand…”)
If a card is both out of play and face-down
(including returning to the hand), it “forgets”
ongoing effects on it, and other changes such
as whether its abilities have been used.
Bonuses, Penalties & Stats
Bonuses are effects from cards or player abilities that say they increase a stat. The added
Force and Chi from the relevant modifier stats
on Items are modifiers, not bonuses, but if
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an Item says “This Personality has +2F while
opposed,” that counts as a bonus.
All stats, except for Family Honor and Honor
Requirement, have a minimum value of zero.
If you need to know a stat’s value at any time,
apply all current bonuses and penalties first,
then apply any minimum or maximum value.
Example: If a card with 2 Force gets a
-3F penalty, apply the penalty, then the
basic minimum of zero. This means that
the card’s Force is zero for all purposes, not
-1. If it then gets a +2F bonus, apply the
bonus, the penalty, and the minimum, so
that it now has 1 Force.
Units
References to a unit’s keyword—for example, “A
Cavalry unit”—mean a unit where the Personality and each Follower in it (if any) all have that
keyword. For example, a unit with a Cavalry Per-
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sonality and a non- Cavalry Follower would not
be a Cavalry unit, because of the Follower. Effects that do something to a unit—for example, bow or destroy—have their effect on each
card in that unit. If a Personality leaves play, all his or her
attached cards leave play in the same way.
Simultaneous Things
As a general rule, if two or more things appear
to happen simultaneously, the player whose
turn it is decides in what order they happen.
More detailed rules covering this issue are
found in the Online Rules (see p. 50).
An exception is Interrupt actions, because
they are taken at their player’s choice. If
more than one Interrupt can be triggered at
the same time, use a special action round.
The active player has the first opportunity to
play an Interrupt to that action or pass, fol-
-47-
lowed by the other player, and then the active
player has another opportunity. The action
round continues until both players pass consecutively.
Empty Decks
If either the Dynasty or Fate deck runs out of
cards, nothing special happens, except that
there are no more cards left in the deck. Provinces that cannot be refilled still exist. Use
markers to represent them.
Separate Effects
Each of an action’s or trait’s effects is separate,
and will happen even if the other effects fail to
happen. For example, if an action says “Battle:
Straighten your target Personality and move
him home,” if he is already unbowed you can
still take the action; the straightening fails, but
he still goes home.
-48-
Exceptions
Some cards describe an effect happening “to”
do something else (for example, “Discard a
card to gain 1 Honor.”) If the first effect fails
(for example, discarding a card with no cards
in hand), the second thing (gaining Honor)
does not happen. Likewise, if a card says to do something “after”
or “as” something else happens (for example,
“As he moves, bow him”; “After he is dishonored, gain 1 Honor”) , the second thing doesn’t
happen if the first thing fails to happen.
In the second example here, if an already dishonorable Personality is dishonored, the 1
Honor gain does not happen, because he does
not go from the honorable to dishonorable
state.
Targeting can cause the remaining effects in an
action to fail if it is not met, but targeting is not
itself an effect (see Actions, p. 10)
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Online Rules
Visit http://rules.l5r.com for errata and comprehensive rules, plus variant rules for 3 or
more players, draft, sealed deck and more.
Rules questions can be asked and officially
answered at the L5R CCG Rules Questions
forum (http://www.alderac. com/forum/).
The Tournament Rulebook is a resource for
tournament judges and players, a printable
document available online. They cover rare
situations and questions such as:
c
When can I play a card even though it
will have no effect (Good Faith Rule)?
c
Does a created card have a “printed” Force?
c
Does destruction for having zero Chi
come from a card or the Rulebook? What
about destruction from a Ranged Attack?
The most detailed rules resource is the Comprehensive Rules, also available online.
-50-
Complete Turn
Sequence
1. Action Phase. Straighten your bowed
cards and reveal cards in Provinces. Then
take an action round: your Limited and Open
actions, your opponent’s Open actions.
2. (Optional) Attack Phase. You may declare
an attack. Assign your unbowed Personalities to attack your opponent’s Provinces. Your
opponent assigns unbowed Personalities to
defend.
At each Province (Attacker decides order):
c
Defender, then Attacker, take a round
of Engage actions.
c
Combat Segment: Defender, then
Attacker, take a round of Battle actions.
c
Resolution: Side with most total Force
wins, not counting bowed Personali-
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ties and Followers. Destroy all cards on
the losing side, or all cards if tied; each
player gets 2 Honor for each enemy
card destroyed this way. Destroy the
Province if the Attacker’s total Force
was greater than the Defender’s total
Force plus Province Strength.
c
Attacking units return home, then bow.
3. Dynasty Phase. Bring Personalities and Holdings into play. Discard face-up Dynasty cards.
Draw cards up to your hand size limit (eight).
Action Phase Abilities
Cycle
Limited: If it is your first turn, choose one
or more face-up cards in your Provinces. Put
them on the bottom of your deck in any order.
(Refill the empty Provinces face-down.) Then,
turn all cards in your Provinces face-up.
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Equip
Repeatable Open, * : Attach an attachment
card, with Gold Cost equal to the amount you
paid, from your hand to your target Personality.
Lobby
Political Limited: If you have higher Family Honor than each other player, bow your
target unbowed Personality with 1 or more
Personal Honor to take the Imperial Favor.
Imperial Favor
Favor Political Limited: Discard the Imperial Favor and a card to draw a card.
Kharmic
Kharmic Repeatable Limited, 2 : Discard
a Kharmic card from your hand to draw
-53-
a card, or discard a Kharmic card from your
Province to refill the Province face-up.
Attack Phase Abilities
Engage Segment
Cavalry
Absent Engage: Target your unbowed Personality in a Cavalry unit at any location.
Move him to the current battlefield.
Naval
Engage: If you are the Attacker, you
have the first opportunity to take a Battle
action, which must come from a card in
a Naval Personality’s unit. Passing that
action does not count toward ending the
action round.
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Combat Segment
Imperial Favor
Favor Political Battle: Discard the Imperial Favor To move home a target attacking
enemy Personality.
Reserve
Absent Repeatable Battle, * : If he would
be opposed, Recruit your target Reserve
Personality (into the current battlefield).
Repeatable Battle, * : If it would be
opposed, Equip a Reserve attachment to your
target Personality (at the current battlefield).
Tactical Advantage
Battle: Discard a card to give this Personality a Force bonus equal to the Focus Value of
the discarded card. (This is an ability granted
by the rules to each Tactician Personality)
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Dynasty Phase Abilities
Recruit
Repeatable Dynasty, * : Bring into play a
face-up Personality or Holding from your Prov
Province with Gold Cost equal to the amount you
paid, paying 2 more Gold if the Personality has
a Clan Alignment but does not have your Clan
Alignment. (Holdings enter play bowed.)
Once during your own turn, after you
announce a Recruit action or an action with
Recruit as an effect, you may choose to Proclaim the Personality being Recruited. If he
has your Clan Alignment, gain Honor equal
to his Personal Honor after he enters play
Discard
Repeatable Dynasty: Discard a face-up card
from one of your Provinces. (Refill it face-down.)
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