Legend of the Five Rings™ dci™ Floor Rules Code of Bushido 1999–2000 Tournament Season

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Legend of the Five Rings DCI Floor Rules

Code of Bushido

1999–2000 Tournament Season

Effective October 1, 1999


Samurai! The key to victory in any duel is thorough practice and an understanding of the environment in which the challenge is to take place. These rules—combined with the DCI Universal Tournament Rules—will help you navigate sanctioned tournament play properly, so you are fair and respectful to the other samurai you face in battle. What makes L5R contests special are the opponents you’ll face—for they hold to the Code of Bushido: Courage, Courtesy, Honor, Excellence, Duty, Loyalty, and Compassion. Remember, these tournament rules only come into play if an opposing samurai or judge feels you have violated the Code—and these rules. Samurai who violate sections of the Floor Rules will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the DCI Penalty Guidelines.
Note: Key words and phrases are defined in appendix B of the Universal Tournament Rules—Definition of Terms.
“In whatever field of endeavor, knowledge of how to avoid losing out to others, how to help oneself, and how to enhance one’s honor, is part of military science.”

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings

Book of Earth

300. General Tournament Rules

300.1 Expectations of Samurai
To prepare for any contest in L5R, samurai must be knowledgeable of the most recent rules for the Legend of the Five Rings game and follow the interpretations and judgements of the organizer or head judge without question—or be subject to penalty.
301. Tournament Sanctioning and Rating Types

A variety of formats are available for samurai to participate in play, and organizers are encouraged to use their creativity when planning their tournaments. While creativity often helps identify new and exciting ways to play, any format featured at an FRPG/DCI event must be fair to all participants. The formats listed below are only suggestions; they are not required. In general, using these formats helps samurai know what to expect when they attend those events. See the Book of Water, Section 320—Tournament Formats, for more information on suggested formats.
Suggested Formats:

• Open

• Jade

• Jade Extended

• Sealed Deck

Samurai rankings are calculated based on the Clan affiliations of their decks. In addition to samurai being ranked by Clan, they each receive an overall ranking that includes points from all Clans with which their tournament decks have been affiliated. For more information, see the Universal Tournament Rules, Appendix B—Point-Accumulation Rankings.

302. Required Materials—Displaying the Mon

This optional rule is in addition to the necessary tournament materials listed in section 3.0 of the Universal Tournament Rules.
The tournament organizer may ask samurai to wear or display a particular Clan shirt or other Clan-specific material as part of the contest. Organizers must announce the use of this requirement before the tournament begins, and the organizers must make the required Clan-specific items available to all participants as a part of the entry fee.
303. Before Play Begins

When entering a duel, samurai first reveal their allegiance by showing their Strongholds to their opponents. Samurai then shuffle their decks and present them to their opponents for further shuffling or cutting. Once both samurai have received their decks back from their opponents, they set up their Provinces and draw their hands.

304. Who Plays First

The samurai with the highest Family Honor begins play. In the case of a tie, both opponents cut their Fate decks and the player revealing the highest Focus value goes first. In the case of another tie, repeat until one samurai wins.

305. Deck Construction

Each samurai’s deck must contain a minimum of forty Dynasty cards and forty Fate cards (also known as a 40/40 deck). If organizers choose to establish different minimums for their events, they must select only from the following options:

  • 30/30: A minimum of thirty Dynasty cards and thirty Fate cards.

  • 50/50: A minimum of fifty Dynasty cards and fifty Fate cards.

Organizers selecting either 30/30 or 50/50 must announce the use of the different minimums before the tournament begins, and in all event advertising. If organizers do not specify minimums in this manner, deck-size requirements must follow the standard 40/40 model.

Other than these size requirements, samurai must follow the deck-construction rules listed in the latest Legend of the Five Rings game rulebook.
306. Event Cards

An Event card only resolves the first time it arises in a game. If another copy of the same Event comes up in another samurai’s deck, it is discarded without taking effect.

“The art of war consists of: 1) learning what is right and true 2) practice 3) understanding the harm and benefit in everything 4) seeing everything accurately 5) becoming aware of what is not obvious 6) being careful in small matters 7) not doing anything useless.”

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings

Book of Fire

310. Structure of the Duel

When samurai duel in rounds of a contest, a number of fundamental rules govern the structure, tempo, and stages of the duel. In a duel, these stages are called the Challenge, Focus, and Strike.

311. Play Structure—Challenge

The recommended length of a round is forty minutes, with each match consisting of one game. Tournament organizers may change this time limit or number of games per match at their discretion, but they must announce the round time limit and number of games before the tournament begins.

    1. Tardiness

Samurai are expected to be in their seats when the judge announces the beginning of the round. Samurai arriving in their seats after this announcement are penalized by having their top ten Dynasty cards and top ten Fate cards removed from play. For each ten minutes of additional time, an additional ten Dynasty and ten Fate cards are removed from play. Samurai who fail to arrive in their seats by the end of the first round are ejected from the tournament.

  1. Tempo of Play—Focus

Samurai must take their turns in a timely manner. Whereas taking a reasonable amount of time to think through game strategy is acceptable, purposely failing to complete a turn in a reasonable amount of time is not. For this reason it is only required of a judge to announce the end of a round, and never how much time remains.

  1. Ending Lengthy Matches—Strike

If the end of a round is called for time, play continues until the end of the turn of the samurai who did not go first in the duel. (A samurai in mid-turn is one that has begun his or her Events Phase.) Use the following victory conditions to determine who wins:
+1/–1 per point of Honor currently held

+10 per Province destroyed when the samurai was the Attacker

+8 for each Elemental Ring in play

-15 for being eliminated (applicable only in multiplayer events)

Because you can win quickly by taking the lead, it is one of the most important things in strategy. There are several things involved in taking the lead. You must make the best of the situation, see through the enemy's spirit so that you grasp his strategy and defeat him.”

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings

Book of Water

320. Constructed Tournament Formats

Samurai must construct their decks prior to the tournament, and compete using only the cards included in their decks. These decks must comply with section 305 of the Book of Earth—Deck Construction.

Suggested Legend of the Five Rings Constructed formats include the following:

• Open

• Jade Extended

• Strict Jade

321. New Releases

New Legend of the Five Rings card sets are allowed in Constructed formats thirty days after their official street date.

322. Promo Cards

Promo cards are allowed in sanctioned tournaments when the next released set is allowed in play. A promo card’s legality in each format follows the same card-type restrictions placed on the set with which the promo entered tournament play.

Tournament organizers may choose to ban promo cards from a Constructed event. They must give samurai ample notice, however, regarding which promo cards are banned, so participants can fix their decks if necessary before the event begins.

323. Open Format

Any card from any release can be included in a samurai’s deck, once it qualifies under section 321 of the Book of Water—New Releases.

324. Jade-Extended Format

Samurai may include Holdings, Regions, Followers, Ancestors, Items, Actions, and Kihos from any Legend of the Five Rings release.

Strongholds, Personalities, Events, and Spells, however, are limited to cards printed in or after the Jade Edition™ card set. Personalities and cards released in prior episodes are allowed only if they—or a more experienced version—are reprinted in the Jade Edition or subsequent releases.

  1. Strict-Jade Format

Samurai must construct their decks using only cards released in or after the Jade Edition set. Cards released in prior episodes are allowed only if they—or their more experienced versions—are reprinted in or after the Jade Edition.

  1. Sealed-Deck Format

Samurai compete using only decks and boosters they receive from the tournament organizer for that contest. Before the contest begins, samurai must be given time to construct their decks from the cards provided. A typical Sealed-Deck contest includes one deck and two booster packs for each samurai.
Any card a samurai receives from the event organizer at a Sealed-Deck tournament may be used in play at that event, regardless of the card’s Clan affiliation.
340. Storyline Events

The results of storyline contests have direct impact on the Legend of the Five Rings story. Because such a contest is supposed to reflect the storyline, some special rules not found in other events are invoked for storyline play. These rules will be available through tournament organizers and the DCI before the date of the tournament.

  1. Bribery and Collusion at Storyline Events

Bribery and collusion are legal for storyline contests only if done as part of the story effect. Bribery and collusion must be made known to the head judge immediately by the samurai involved, and the judge must okay the bribery or collusion. The head judge should note any such bribery or collusion in his or her contest report.

  1. Clan Affiliations at Sealed-Deck Storyline Events

Samurai in a Sealed-Deck storyline contest must list which Clan they’re playing for in addition to what affiliation the deck features. The affiliation a samurai lists for himself affects the storyline. The samurai’s deck affiliation affects his ranking points appropriately. The Clan a samurai plays and the Clan with which she affiliates herself need not be the same in Sealed-Deck storyline events.
“In as much as men's opinions differ, so there must be differing ideas on the same matter. Thus no one man's conception is valid for any school.”

Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings

Book of Air

  1. Handling Rules Disputes & Violations

  1. Calling for a Judgment

If samurai cannot agree during a duel on a point of code or rule and need an outside interpretation, they should call upon a judge to make a decision. By entering a DCI-sanctioned Legend of the Five Rings contest, the samurai agree to abide by all rulings rendered by tournament officials.

  1. A Samurai’s Responsibility

It is the individual samurai’s responsibility to promptly notify tournament officials of any condition he or she believes interferes with tournament play. By failing to immediately notify tournament officials of possible rules violations or unsporting conduct, witnesses and others waive any possible claims against tournament officials and/or the tournament organizers for not taking action. If a samurai notifies tournament officials about a possible conduct violation, the situation may be investigated at the officials’ discretion. Any necessary penalties will be issued based solely on the outcome of the officials’ investigation.
If the violation is a serious infraction (such as cheating), the DCI will further investigate the matter and may issue further penalties, including suspensions from tournament play.
With your spirit open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom and spirit. Polish your wisdom: learn public justice, distinguish between good and evil, study the Ways of different arts one by one. When you cannot be deceived by men you will have realized the wisdom of strategy.”

Book of Void

360. The Code of Bushido

The Legend of the Five Rings game is all about story, community, verve, style, and honor. L5R players are part of this community and share in creating the fervor in which they surround the story and themselves. As with any new community, you may find its customs uncomfortable at first. Read the following code and understand that the customs within are optional. Tournament organizers who wish to penalize players for unsporting conduct for not performing the customs listed below must announce before the tournament begins that these etiquette rules of Bushido will be enforced.

  1. HonorThe samurai has only one judge of his honor, and that is himself. Decisions you make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of who you truly are. You cannot hide from yourself.

Rule: At the beginning and end of a duel, samurai bow in respect to their opponent.
2. ExcellenceWhile you rest, your enemy practices.
Rule: A player who forgets a mandatory action loses 1 Honor (which cannot be prevented or redirected). A player must request permission from her opponent to replay a portion of a turn. If her opponent allows it, she loses 3 Honor (loss cannot be prevented or redirected).
3. CourageSamurai face adversity at need. You cannot live while hiding from life.
Note: What matters is not winning, but enjoying competitive play. Only a coward is afraid to lose.
4. CompassionA samurai has compassion. He helps his fellow people at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise, he goes out of his way to find one.
Note: Remember you didn’t always know how to play. Offer to teach someone.
5. CourtesySamurai have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. A samurai is courteous even to her enemies. Without this outward show of respect we are nothing more than animals. A samurai is not only respected for her strength in battle, but also for her dealings with other people. The true inner strength of a samurai becomes very apparent during times of stress.
Rule: It is customary to ask an opponent before touching his or her cards. Players who do not ask before touching an opponent’s cards lose 1 Honor each time.
6. Duty and LoyaltyFor the samurai, having done some "thing" or said some "thing,” he knows, he owns that "thing.” He is responsible for it and all the consequences that follow. A samurai is intensely loyal to those in his care. To those for whom he is responsible, he remains fiercely true.
Note: Players represent the game itself while playing in a contest. Their actions and conduct reflect upon how those nearby perceive the game.

"He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice, will win his battles.

He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely be defeated."

—Sun Tzu

Wizards of the Coast and DCI are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Legend of the Five Rings and Jade Edition are trademarks of Five Rings Publishing Group, Inc. Five Rings Publishing Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. ©1999 Wizards.

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