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    stratford, Connecticut, United States

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  1. phillos

    Dreams of Shadow

    I like that this story featuring a shadow brand user and an Ishika. We get a story in the new continuity exploring Nothing and the Void side by side. I also had assumed that Ujina saw Ninube because he was staring into Nothing and Ninbube was consumed by Nothing. The Darkness must want Ujina and showed him Ninube to tempt him to get consumed by the Darkness. This I'm sure is setting him up to be an agent of the Darkness going forward, which means an awful lot for anyone who liked the old Lying Darkness story line. Not sure if this story is feeding into the Satsume conspiracy or not. From my reading it seemed Sadako's goals were pretty vague, which makes sense. They would just tell her what to do and not why she's doing it.
  2. phillos

    On the Kolat

    I love Yasuki Taka so anything that makes him a more prominent character is great in my book. I kinda feel like if he was in the Kolat right now (in the current continuity) he would have brought it up in his internal dialogue in his previous story. Feels like if ever he needed to explore his Kolat contacts it would be at that point. I don't mind the return of an Illuminati-like organization in Rokugan. I do get concerned because you usually want your actors to have agency in their stories. Reestablishing an effective illuminati in the background can (if written poorly) rob them of that agency (much like too much talk of prophecy or destiny could bog down a good fantasy story). I don't mind the idea that the Kolat can be both a high minded philosophical mission for it's members and a tool for greedy and power hungry individuals. I think that disunity can help make the organization seem less effective and therefore less problematic story wise.
  3. phillos

    On the Kolat

    In O5R I believe it was a matter of execution and not concept. I think the Kolat can be done very well and can add an interesting wrinkle into the story. As Gunichi points out it would greatly help if FFG were more focused in their portrayal of the Kolat this time around. The idea that a subset of humanity still resents being subjugated by the kami I think is not all that unreasonable. That people looked down on like merchants and people from lower social standing (or even people with more philosophical motivations) would band together to create a counter balance to the established authority is in my opinion a great place to explore in the setting. I do think it would be better if the Kolat was more analogous to the real world Yakuza and they focused them that way. I feel like that was the original intent, and then they became all these other things.
  4. phillos

    How's your local LCG scene?

    I'm positive the main problem is poor point of entries options into pretty much all the LCGs. They need to figure out a way to remove that barrier of entry. It only gets worse as time goes on which is unfortunate since arguably the games get better as the card pools mature. Also players need tools to help recruit new players when a game group suffers from normal hobby game attrition. Ultimately I hope they figure out a better way to launch an LCG because I think the core sets are fairly problematic in this regards. FFG front loads the expense on the players rather than make that initial purchase as attractive as possible. That just seems wrong for the long term health of a hobby game. I'm hoping since they are doing the AGOT starter decks that they are making moves to fix that. It's much easier to get a casually interested person in the store to try a game if you can point them to a single 15-20 USD purchase rather than tell them they need to buy multiple core sets and maybe some expansions to make a reasonable deck and start playing with the group. Maybe in the future we can move to a faction specific starter pack or something similar. I know they've bene hesitant to do that for a variety of good reasons, but it feels like they gotta do something to address the issue. Draft format was presented as a potential fix, but the draft formats for LCGs never really took off since vets were just drafting stuff already in their collection for the most part (expect for a few cards from future packs). With no real secondary market for those cards I think it was seen as generally a bad investment. That's too bad because Netrunner was a great game to play in the draft format.
  5. phillos

    Outsiders - Phoenix Fiction

    I'm fairly certain at this point the Elemental Imbalance issue is incorrectly being attributed to a bunch of unrelated stuff, which is why it's so confusing for the Isawa to figure out.
  6. phillos

    SPOILER ZONE - Phoenix Novella Discussion

    There was a real scare of white washing in the art early on when this game was first announced. I suspect the people approving the art are being super sensitive to that concern so the initial design might have been rejected for that reason. It seems L5R is less under the social microscope now then when it was first released, but they probably are still doing their best to address those sorts of concerns. Of course, I don't really know. It's possible they just didn't like that face for some other reason. I like the updated art way better.
  7. phillos

    Outsiders - Phoenix Fiction

    He is certainly bringing me around to liking the Phoenix, which his not a clan I usually favored.
  8. phillos

    Outsiders - Phoenix Fiction

    I wonder how often this has been happening and the Isawa just didn't know how to interpret it. I like that the Kaito got a promotion to full great clan family. Also I like that the Kaito have a clear and separate purpose in the Phoenix. That Kosori completely lost her voice is sad, but it's also interesting that we now have a prominent protagonist that can only communicate through sign language in a culture that does not look directly at the people being address in an effort to be polite (as Kosori points out). Seems the Unicorn and Phoenix are destine to not be friends any time soon unfortunately.
  9. phillos

    Let the arguing begin!

    I agree that seemed weird to me when I read it over, but I let it go because I thought there was something there that I was missing.
  10. phillos

    Let the arguing begin!

    I believe the only thing in Japanese that would break that rule is the "N" sounds in names like Ren, Kenshin or Shugenja. Japanese is a collection of syllables than end in a vowel sound or are entirely a vowel sound though also they can append the "N" sound. The confusion comes in because we are romanticizing a language that doesn't actually use our alphabet. Each syllable is it's own character in Japanese. So you'd break the previous names up like this Re-N, Ke-N-Shi-N, Shu-Ge-N-Ja. The nice thing is those syllables themselves are always pronounced the same exact way. We don't have that luxury in the English language unfortunately I think the important thing also to understand is Japanese do not stress these syllables like we do in English. Each syllable has the same stress as any other. That I think is what causes issue with for example the way DGL was pronouncing Kachiko. My understanding as a non-native speaker is Shugenja would be Shu (SHOE) - GeN (GEN with a G as in the word GUY) - Ja (JAH with a J as in the word JAY)
  11. phillos

    SPOILER ZONE - Phoenix Novella Discussion

    I expect them to do the 3x uniques by title just like AGOT because they also do that for LOTR LCG. There are several versions of ally Gandalf (for example) and you can include up to 3x cards titled Gandalf in your deck regardless of the combination. In LOTR is gets even hairier since you can have hero and ally versions of the same character, but only one version of that character can legally be in play (for any player and even the encounter deck) at any given time by title. Also as Tabris2k points out the RRG hints that this is coming eventually for L5R. I agree it would be cool to see an older version of Tsukune and Kosori. Maybe a younger version of Tadaka. Though at the same time there are so many great character yet to receive a card in the game.
  12. phillos

    Let the arguing begin!

    That's pretty much how I'd been pronouncing them all. From what I can see they are going with a strict Japanese pronunciation for everything where they can.
  13. phillos

    Support of the X

    The biggest thing I want from the clan packs at this point is for them to come out faster and be done with a complete cycle of them. I hate the lopsidedness it creates in the interim even if they try and catch the other clans up in the following cycles. At the current release schedule we'll finish this cycle up in what? 4 years? AGOT 2.0 still has factions that have yet to receive their deluxe expansion and I think that's a bit problematic in L5R which prizes clan loyalty as a feature of the game. I'd be much more excited about something like a Seven Thunders box or a maho themed box. A box all about dueling centered around the Topaz Championship. A shugenja themed box dealing narratively with the elemental imbalance. Something like that. To the OP's question I would prefer to see the same effect for each clan for symmetry. I like giving the option to splash more out of faction cards. It potentially widens the card pool rather than restricts it like the role locking does. Though I think Support Of The Phoenix is generally considered a weaker options for most clans considering the power of the role/element locked cards and effects.
  14. phillos

    Kurosunai Village

    I agree about the portrayal of the Yasuki magistrate. That was a great character. It was nice to see a fiction that showed: 1.) The samurai of the great clans can be more than just their stereotypical portrayals. Here we see a Yasuki shown as a sword wielding badass, and one who was too sentimental or compassionate to fulfill her duty and kill the villagers. Instead she opted to sacrifice herself to let them get away. She was very much at odds with what you would expect from a Crab and a Yasuki. That was great. 3.) We get a very good look at the division between commoner and samurai. The villagers only refer to the magistrate as Yasuki-sama. They are terrified of her even though she has a soft spot for them (considering her relationship with Katsuo). They clearly felt at any moment the katanas could come out and they all could be put to death for something as small as sneaking barley to brew shochu. I really liked this as an introductory story for the peasant's perspective in the new continuity. 3.) The Lost aren't just blood thirsty madmen. I really liked the portrayal of the "eye-collector". Can't wait to see more of that. The Lost should feel like this so I can't wait to see more from them.
  15. phillos

    The Fires Within Story Insert

    I wonder what Tatsuo and the Unicorn will do now. Considering they have a Naga as one of their cards I would assume they will continue diplomatic relations with the Naga if they can help it. I also wonder if there will be any fallout from the Crab killing the Naga at the end. Kogoe conducted herself well, but it will probably look bad that she took off with the other Crab on Shuichi's orders when the two Naga she left with turned up dead.