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PsiNorm

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  1. There should definitely be story effects from tournament play and Winter Courts. This is what makes L5R special. I think that the story team needs to understand what they are doing, and what choices or effects should be available, but these are what drive players to keep playing their chosen clan even when that clan is not the hot new net-deck. In order to do this right, the story team needs to know the setting and story, and realize when a choice would knock L5R off the rails, and stop it before that happens. Whatever problems came up in the past were not the fault of the players, but those in charge who allowed effects that did not make sense in the L5R setting. Fighting for your clan rather than personal glory is what makes L5R great (and what makes those that play net-decks for personal glory great villains). If there are no story rewards, then the only reason to play is personal glory. People may have a favourite clan, but playing a weak clan in a tournament with no story rewards would be a waste of time.
  2. Regarding monks and the new idea for the Spider, I think they would have a big role to play. A section of the clan would use strict meditation to cleanse the land and other sufferers, and to stave off their own corruption (or attempt to control it for their own use).
  3. This is my second post dealing with the Shadowlands in the new L5R. I enjoyed the discussion in that thread, and found most of the replies interesting input. In light of that, I have decided to give a little thought as to how I think the Spider should have been implemented in the game. First off, while I do think that having a Shadowlands "clan" in the game is bad both thematically and mechanically, I do see that a Spider-type clan is important and can fit both of those. This is not a "get rid of the Spider" thread. One of the best things about L5R is that the villains are not just Fu-Leng and the Shadowlands Baddies, but villains appear out of the clans themselves. A lot of the drama in the story comes from players within the clan attempting to corrupt it, with other players attempting to purify it. More drama comes from the struggles the clans have to face, and whether they face it with honour or disgrace. The Shadowlands can be used as a big threat in the story every now and then, but it really serves the story better as part of the setting. The Shadowlands is the larger evil that threatens Rokugan. It is the prefect symbol of pure evil - it is relentless in it's assault. If Rokugan was passive against it, it would eventually destroy all - it's the constant actions of the citizens that keep it to the outskirts. That is the backdrop upon which all other stories are projected. Using the above, I always thought that the Spider would have been better implemented as a clan of corrupted humans. Those who become corrupted are cast out and find a home among their own kind. Their struggles would be great, and their stories just as great. 1. They are corrupted or choose to live among those who are. They are looked down upon and feared by many of the populace. What struggles do those people face every day? 2. They live where no one else would. Perhaps they live in a tainted area of Rokugan, or a rugged production-less section, or maybe just outside the Wall in shacks they lean up against the stone. Think of Indian Reservations as a guide. If that land was suddenly of value, would these people be relocated? 3. They require Jade, but have no local source for it. They are dependent on the rest of Rokugan for the Jade they need. How do they feel about that? How does Rokugan feel about some of their Jade going to these corrupt? 4. The clan has the framework to allow for stories of great honour, and great evil. Does a member rise above his conditions and achieve greatness, or does he fight against the injustices against his people? Does he do these things with honour, or with evil? I realize that the Spider is there for players that like playing the bad guy, but every clan can have it's "bad guy", and these guys provide a simpler place for those players (like the Spider of old) while still attracting those who enjoy the story of honour coming from the darkest places. Anyways, there are a lot of other story options found in a clan like this, and the best part is that it allows for both stories equally (good and evil). Plus it saves the Shadowlands from being watered down, and allows it to be the huge threat it really is when needed for the story. I hope I was able to describe the vision in my head in a way that worked, and I look forward to hearing your input.
  4. "Don't misidentify bathwater as being a vital part of the baby." If we want to play the "run the analogy into the ground" game... identifying the baby usually isn't the problem. Why does no one mention the wash basin?
  5. I'll try to keep this short, because I'm interested in hearing other peoples thoughts on this too. The reason I love this game (though I haven't played in years, I'm sure people are tired of me talking about it all the time), is the setting and more importantly the story. For this reason, I loved the Shadowlands mechanic in the early game. It was a source of power, but with the potential of ruin (and I loved how jade was used to combat it). Players would either attempt to corrupt their clan or keep it pure, and that always interested me (tournament results corrupting a clan always sent ripples - or ruptures - through the players for a long time after). They were able to make the Shadowlands cards powerful, and were able to create powerful cards to combat the Shadowlands, adding to the tug of war with the taint. There were real potential consequences to using the power of the taint in your deck, plus there was the honour cost of using the cards that made playing too many cards could destroy you in game as well. When they made the Shadowlands a playable faction, everything changed for the worse. The cards had to be toned down since suddenly every powerful card was playable in a deck without the honour cost limitations. Eventually, the power anti-Shadowlands cards had to be toned down so one faction didn't autolose to an Iris Festival (Destroy all Shadowlands cards <-- such a fun card to exist when playing with the taint in your deck - not when it's your whole deck). The appeal of including Shadowlands card into your deck was reduced, maybe to the point where it was only done to corrupt a clan rather than make it more powerful. The second issue with making the Shadowlands a playable faction, is that by playing those cards, you're basically giving another faction a win. Phoenix won a tourney using Shadowlands cards and became corrupt? Yea, Shadowlands! I don't need to go into this much; it's pretty simple, and this has gotten long already. I liked it when the Shadowlands was a horror, a powerful corrupting force that threatened to rot the empire and it's beauty. When it became just another army of dudes no stronger than any other dude, it lost it's most interesting story element; the allure and consequences of evil, and mankind's fight to overcome it or try to control it). I'm not going to talk about the Spider clan, I stopped playing a few years after they showed up, and they always felt "off" in regards to the story. I understand they had to do it to help correct the issues created by making the Shadowlands playable, I just wonder why they felt the need to remove the teeth from the Shadowlands in the first place? I hope with FFG, we see a return the the horror of the Shadowlands. What do you think? Have we moved past the late 90's early 2000's when everyone wanted to play the bad guys? Do you think L5R will even be as interested in telling good stories with this transition?
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