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L5R Shadowlands

Fecha de la publicación: 23/08/2022

Check our stock of Shadowlands HERE.

The first L5R expansion was published by FRPG in May, 1996. It further developed 2 factions (Scorpion Clan and Naga), and added new cards to the core set factions (Crab, Crane, Dragon, Lion, Phoenix, and Unicorn Clans). Includes 153 unique cards. Two of them were updates to cards that had already appeared in Imperial Edition: “The Terrible Standard of Fu Leng”, which added a new ability, reflecting a macabre plot twist to the story, and “Bayushi Hisa”, which was technically not the same. same card as “Hisa”. Additionally, it was the first time the Experienced keyword came into play, with various characters being given mechanically different versions, representing their evolution in response to the advancement of the plot. According to John Wick, this mechanics was inspired by Over the Edge, one of the earliest CCGs, by Atlas Games.

For the more detail-minded collectors, several of these cards have two variants, or in one case, three. In general, each card appeared twice on the deck of the corresponding rarity, giving rise to the possibility that, for example, the texts were layout differently between the two versions. To this we must add that some of these cards were also printed on the «family» sheet that was used to compose playable decks. In several cases, a version of the card was corrected, adjusting some attribute (such as GC, or PH), but this change was not reflected in all occurences. All this gave rise to multiple variants adding 16 cards as variants.

Finally, the aforementioned family sheet also included fixed reprints of Imperial Edition cards to make the decks playable. These cards are of some interest because, in some cases, they have updated flavor text referencing «current» events. In total, 73 additional cards, plus 1 that also had its own variant, with two versions of the aforementioned flavor text.

Originally, this collection was going to be called Netherworld, but when Daedalus Entertainment announced an expansion of the same name for their own CCG, Shadowfist, FRPG had to change plans. These changes had a tremendous knock-on effect on the history of the world of Rokugan as we know it now. The Netherworld was going to be literally another world, but the Shadowlands became a geographical location to the southwest, bordering on the lands of the Crab Clan. This necessitated the creation of the Wall, and a redefinition of the concept of the Clan. Anyone exploring early sets looking for a reference to the Wall and the Crab Clan’s role as protector of the Empire against the threat of the Shadowlands will be hard pressed to find it. Originally, the Crab Clan was simply the dishonorable military clan, in contrast to the honorable Lon Clan; much like the Scorpion Clan was the «dark» version of the Crane clan. It would not be until the publication of the book Way of the Crab, for the first edition of the Roll & Keep system role-playing game, that the new role of the Crab Clan as rugged but dutiful defenders of the  Empire of Rokugan against the implacable and ancient threat of the Shadowlands.

This set was sold in displays of 6 decks (three from each playable faction) of 60 cards and a rule book, or 36 boosters of 15 cards. The Stronghold that represented each faction didn’t really exist as a card, but rather was printed on the back of the decks, which most players kept and used as is, while others simply cut it out for more convenience. .

New card type: Black Scrolls?

Not really. Despite having a different color scheme that makes them stand out a lot, Black Scrolls are mechanically Spells.

How to identify a Shadowlands card?

The edge of the card has a green rust pattern.

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