Upfront information, this is not a review but merely an unboxing and overview of the product. I believe the street price for this is $79.99 US, but I managed to get it from 401 Games in Toronto for $68.
So what do you get for what is still an expensive piece of RPG material. Well first off lets start with the box as a package. All 3+ kgs of it (yes, 6.6 lbs of box set). For reference that's over 200g more than the Ptolus book for those that have it. This is certainly the heaviest RPG box set I've ever purchased, and is heavier than many of the modern style board games. It measures 23.5 x 8 x 30 cm and can be seen below.
So, onto the contents. The box contains, in order top to bottom of how it arrived. Unless otherwise noted, the items are regular full paper sized.
- A cloth drawstring dice bag with the new L5R logo on it
- The City: A 98 page plus covers book guide to the city
- The Campaign: 106 page plus covers campaign set in and around the city and the colonies
- The People: 106 page plus covers guide to NPCs and organizations.
- The Journal of Yogo Tanaka: a 16 page digest sized journal, I'm assuming it's a handout for the campaign
- An unlabeled 20 page digest sized pillow book. Not sure if this is just flavour or a handout again.
- A GM screen: A hardboard 2 full panel and 2 3/4 panel GM screen. It is the same GM screen that was released previously from a content and art perspective, but this one is sturdy and stiff unlike the previously released light card one. Very welcome
- A large 8 page sized unfolded poster map of the city
- 6 Premium Character Logs: 8 page plus covers full size high quality character sheets similar in concept to the Travelogs they released for the second edition. I hope these are released for general sale in packs as well as I'd hate for these to be the only copies there are.
- A pad of character sheets: Full colour 2 sided character sheets. 50 by my count. An odd addition in these days of household printers, PDF downloads and easy photocopying, but welcome nonetheless
- Dice: 10 jade coloured D10 with the Imperial chrysanthemum logo replacing the 10 (see above for photo with dice bag)
- Stance Cards: 30 stance cards for the various combat stances, 6 of each representing each of the 5 elements (Full attack, attack, defense, full defense and center)
- School Technique Cards: 140 cards representing the techniques from the various schools in the game, one for each rank technique. I don't know if this represents all of them, but it is at least the core rulebooks including the minor clans and Spider Clan.
All the books are full colour and match the style we've seen in the other 4th edition products to date, there's been no skimping on quality here to bring costs down on the box.
So all in all you get a lot for your money. Once taxes are include this cost me just slightly more than the main rulebook so it was cheap for the content. From a first glance, this is a fabulous box and seems well worth having. Now to get around to reading it.
(Note: next time I think I'll use a white tablecloth rather than those patterned place mats, they're so distracting.)