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Everything posted by sakieh

  1. One thing I had done as a reason was: The PC's are all seconded for the honor and glory and face of their Clans to a ranking Seppun. This Seppun is sort of the head of advanced teams for security of high ranking Imperials, the Emperor's Chosen, and Emperor/Empress themselves. They basicly arrive first, and deal with anything that could be...problematic. Whether this be someone unwitting unleashed a dangerous Kansen in the area, or someone is doing bad things to courtiers from other clans, or even something potentially politically embarrassing is going on. The Pc's job is to have everything smoothly handled and completely safe for the visiting Important Person. It is also a great way to introduce players to all areas of Rokugani society without having them have to be Emerald Magistrates, and it gives them a superior that have to report to who is important, and they all share, and their actions reflect directly upon! To make it even more fun, you have that Seppun kind of looked at askance by other Seppun, because he doesn't just use Seppun for his Advanced Teams(and he will out right state: "While a Seppun will always be neutral, we are sheltered too much. We look for threats we know..These samurai, who's actions, successes, and failures reflect on their Clans, think different, and will see threats we would not. And, of course, if they are competing for the favour of the Seppun by trying to find and resolve the threats the soonest, to make their Clan look the better one, so much the better..." Seppun Hideyoshi is a ripe bastard, really..)
  2. What if: He doesn't get possessed by Fu-Leng? In fact, what if him and Daisetsu being remove from the Imperial City when they were STOPS Fu-Leng from possessing either? Even though Daisetsu is clearly questioning Bushido, he is presenting to many a compassionate image. He would, actually, be more likely to succumb to the Kolat ideals rather than the dark siren's song of Fu-Leng right now. And, Sotorii? He could, perhaps, learn the proper humility being on the run for a time. Remember that he was not going to the Monastery to retire, because he was supposed to return to be an advisor for his brother. He was going there to learn humility and to calm the rage that simmers in his heart, th same rage that killed his father. I think this is going to end up being interesting, no matter what happens...but what if, instad of the Hantei being posessed by Fu-leng, it ends up being whoever he ends up trusting the most as an advisor?
  3. Unless, of course, the Lion chose to never explain those customs to the Ide, because "They have been back in Rokugan 200 years. They should already know this. If they don't? Well, they should have done the effort before beginning the negotiation. We will tell these Gaijin pretending to be Samurai nothing that will not give *US* an advantage. This is as much war as a battlefield..and the LION are the SOLE masters of ALL forms of war in Rokugan!"
  4. Specificaly: The Beginner Game: Ends with the PCs being selected to be Emerald Magistrates, Palace of the Emerald Champion: is their "training" and test to make sure that they are indeed capable, both investigatively AND politically. Dark Tides, is their first case, and is alluded to at the end of Palace of the Emerald Champion. Mask of the Oni is a continuiation of this same Magistrate Campaign. Wedding at Kyotei Castle and Winter's Embrace are a separate, Court campaign, that, of course, can be tweaked to fit into the Magistrate Campaign, or be held as a separate campaign all on its own.
  5. See, the funny thing is: the first part, until this year, was in October, and was generally horror themed. One year, there was a Water Kansen, damage done by it could not be healed by Water Kami(It perverted the Water Humour until that damage was healed naturally, so Water Kami trying to heal actually inflicted more damage). Then there was the rip between Gaki-do and Ningen-Do that they had to find and seal. Of course, both of these instances, they had to do that...and still keep it quiet, so the host would not lose face, and had to have everything solved before the Empress' delegation arrived. Of course, there remained inering effects of both being dealt with (like in the first, it took most of the winter court to finally track down the maho-tsukai, and the last one..they never found the hidden place where someone was stockpiling Bloodspeaker style zombies and they attacked during the Demon Chase...they also never actually caught the person who set up that attack....)
  6. I have had my players under a Seppun before, as part of his "Advance Team" for preparing a Winter Court for the arrival of the Empress. This Seppun picked non-Seppun because he felt that his own family had a tendency to fixate on threats they knew to look for, and had a tendency towards short-sightedness, and lack of creativity. Of course, once the court starts, they keep acting in the service of this Seppun, but ALSO get to work towards their own agendas. (Basicly, the Seppun uses his position to give them invitations to the Winter Court.) But, they do have tasks they are expected to do for their Clans. These may or may not be at odds. My first Winter Court, I actually gave each of the PC's their objectives from their Daimyo each week in sealed envelopes. (The Scorpion one, BTW, was always encoded in a different way. ) Magistrate Games are also common, where the PCs are working under one of the different global magistrates. Normally, rather than making starting PCs start off as Magistrates themselves, they are yoriki and aides of an Emerald Magistrate, and, eventually, they grow into being full fledged magistrates on their own. But, they always get options to push an agenda for their Clan or family. Then, if it is wartime, there is always the Imperial Legions. Though that tends to be a very Bushi focused game, it can be interesting. But, the big things are: you want to give them a common goal, and give them opportunities to do things for their Clan. Because, even an Emerald Magistrate is looking out for his or her Clan. (Usually, they d not send a Crane Magistrate into Crane or Lion lands, for example, due to a potential for bias...but, totally send the Crane Emerald Magistrate into Unicorn or Dragon Lands!) And, of course, if you REALLY want to have fun, there is always the City of Tales, the City of Green Walls, the City of Lies, Ryoko Owari Toshi.
  7. Ah, yes, the Scorpion Conundrum. I like to think that the Scorpion's open mission is: to gather the secrets of the other Clans. Basicly, they exist, officially, to make the other Clans not rest, not be complacent, lest a Scorpion find their secrets and use them against them. The great example to me is the story in the old Way o the Scorpion, where a Shosuro playwright wrote an alternate version of a Lion story that made the Lion look bad...and so the Lion Champion killed the playwright and the entire troupe of actors who had performed the play, tried to destroy all copies of the play(I am sure one survives in the Ikoma Libraries, though, if not in the hands of a Scorpion), and banned the play from being performed again. To me, that is the Face of the Scorpion to the rest of the Empire. As for how people see the Shosuro? Well..they *ARE* actors. The Shosuro Infiltrator school is a well kept secret. You see some Shosuro with a daisho? They went to the Bayushi Deathdealer School. Or the Bayushi Courtier School, but took training to use the katana(so it is a statement they can defend themselves). Or, you know, they are still actors, but, because of the risk of bandits, some of the Shosuro need to know how to defend themselves...(and, again, it becomes a political statement beyond the wakizashi saying "I am samurai.") At least, that is how I always treated it.
  8. Well, that is a good general build, though, and this might be a case of O5R thinking, is not Air the preferred approach for many Social contests? And Fire for many creative/crafting endeavors? So, would the character not be sort of deficient in those areas?
  9. 1) In L5R, there is no such thing as a build that completely screws you over....you are ALWAYS going to be screwed over somewhere! You built a highly mobile character, so you are going to be weak in skirmishes that restrict that mobility, or in duels. One fun thing to remember, though: you still get to attack with Water Stance/approach. If you can describe what you are doing, the GM should allow it. 2) You went thematic. That is very appropriate for L5R, especially for a newer player. In fact, generally speaking, I recommend it. There is plenty of time to play a war-like Phoenix Shugenja, a poetic Crab, or an honest Scorpion, but starting thematic is where you learn the roots of things, in my opinion. 3) You are just starting. Remember that you are generally considered to be a little past your gempukku, so are generally, probably 15 or 16 years old, unless the GM made some other ruling. So, you are still young, optimistic, and with plenty of room to grow. You basicly know how to do one thing well starting off. In your case, that is fight in a highly mobile style. You will learn more once you start getting practical experience(i.e., start the game and start spending the XP you gain). Look at it like that, and you will do just fine. Remember: you are NOT generally seasoned Samurai with years of experience to your Lord under your belt...you are, essentially, by our modern standards, just a kid with very adult responsibilities.
  10. "Let's challenge this guy to a duel.." is one of your player's first thought when they mess up and the local Magistrate shows up. A dead body in a barrel is NOT the worst thing the players find in that alley... Porcelain masks lead the players to debate burning a district of the city they are in down "to be safe."
  11. In theory, I like the idea. One such thing that would have to be remembered is anything done by the fans in a Foundry like setting would be non-canon, and FFG could make it moot at whim. That said, a place for adventures, alternate campaign eras, or, you know, even re-telling the O5R story lines? I could definitely see something like that. Even call it something representing that it is varied content? Sure, players could tell their stories for the current Rokugan, or they could do the Thousand Years of Darkness, or they could tell various periods in history, or alternate futures..that would be a cool idea.
  12. I find the format FFG is using to work better in some regards than the one one AEG used for 4th Edition. I mean, at least all the mechanics are in one place in each of the books. By making them each have a Great Clan, a Minor Clan, and then stuff about a specific aspect, that works great at making each book more generally useful. And, with politics, the "fluff" is the most important stuff. Everything useable by the players is usable by the GM, but knowing how courts work is essential for running the courts. I found the details in Courts of Stone on the Winter Court to be far more useful than the details in Sowrd and Fan, for example. As for it being "unwieldy" for players looking through the books for options...there are currently not that many books: Core book, Emerald Empire, Shadowlands, and Courts of Stone. If that is unwieldy, I would hate how you see a) earlier edition of L5R, and b) pretty much any RPG that has been around for a number of years and has a complete game line as opposed to one just starting off.
  13. There are a small number of Asahina born with white hair and blue eyes, though.
  14. My character in HoR is an Asahina who is a Kakita Duelist. Black Sheep, Idealist. A very fun character to play. In the big battle at GenCon 2018, before fighitng the Crab, she would give them the opportunity to surrender. In fact, at some point in EVERY fight, she gives the opposition a chance to surrender, because, while a Bushi's job is to kill, one should avoid needless killing. Of course, she has to be ordered to wear armour in situations where it would be appropriate(A Samurai should not be afraid of death...to wear armour is a sign of being afraid of injury), and, while courteous, she never lies(because a Samurai is Honest). She even does not wear the family mon, but, instead, the Kakita Dueling Academy Mon...because she does not wish to disrespect her family with the blood she sheds in the name of the Crane and the Empire. She is a fun, and tricky character to play, and I wish I could play her more often. But, she is also MUCH easier to build in the FFG system.
  15. L5R is kind of tricky to spell everything out in. You are dealing with a setting where there are a myriad ways to solve most issues. You can get into a duel, use Politics, o, if a Lion or Crab, just beat someone up. all approaches are relatively equally valid. That the modules do not spell everything out is more because they really can't. So, they spell out the expected ways, and trust the GM can figure things out. Also, I will say, open ended is god because players can, and will, derail your plans. One of the best examples was the Age of Rebellion Starter box module..I will not say what my players did, but they ended up, with a couple of actions early on, rendering the second half not only unnecessary, but pretty near impossible to happen.
  16. Going by Classic L5R: Firearms were brought by two groups of Gaijin traders. When stuff happened, and the Battle of the White Stag happened, a stray shot passed through all the spiritual wards and killed the Empress. Because of that, fire arms were seen as going against the Mandate of Heaven, because those same spiritual wards protected the Empress from all manner of Rokugani heavy weapons like catapults, massed bows, etc. The Kami could neither stop, nor deflect the fatal shot. This Empress' successor, as a result, banned firearms and Gaijin Pepper. Of course, years later, the Phoenix reverse engineered gaijin Pepper into a more spiritual form that did not offend the Kami, and started using it for their hanabi(fireworks). However, in Imperial Histories, there is an alternate Rokugan based on one of the Heroes of Rokugan Campaigns, Heroes of the Iron Throne, which had gunpowder weapons, and ways that they were developed to work within classic Rokugani society. Of course, this was an Alternate History setting, and had a number of subtle differences(including, IIRC, railways!)
  17. I do not think that we would see Toturi sent with the Legions. Instead, I would, in this situation, if I were Shojo reinstate the position of Shogun. Seeking advice from Toturi, I would expect Matsu Tsuko to be an ideal choice. It would stabilize the lion situation, show that the new Emperor and the Regent respect the capabilities of the Lion as leaders in war, and, oh, yeah, perhaps, maybe do a bit of potential match making with Sotorii and Tsuko, removing thorns from multiple sides. (Do you think Tsuko would allow Sotorii to propose a stupid plan and not speak her mind? Of course not! Since she would take the blame for any loss, it would be her Honor on the line! And, she is a Matsu. Not the most known family for such things as "social niceties." They often make a Hida on the Wall look down right tactful!)
  18. In my 4E game, a shopping list finding its way into the hands of a Tamori is why the Kasuga are now a family of the Phoenix...
  19. Monks are complicated, but Shegenja can have some interesting viewpoints: First, Shugenja are still Samurai. Even a courtier has the duty to fight and, if necessary, die for their lord. This means that, even pacifistic Clans and families(Phoenix and Asahina) have some capability in combat, if even for just self defense. Second, while they might have weapon skills, the most appropriate skills for self defense for a shugenja would include unarmed combat. Especially as some Shugenja Schools get access to kiho. Third, a Shugenja engaging in a fist fight could be argued as representing Compassion and Courtesy, because they are not calling on the Kami for powerful offensive prayers in another Lords territory, and also by not calling on the Kami for a trivial, earthly situation. This is how I would evaluate this sort of situation, anyway.
  20. Ok, that last bit? That really is new to me. Though I generally go with the Hagakure and Book of Five Rings, myself. Though, an intersting bit that I think does not get much play in the current rule set: the different FAMILIES have different emphases on Bushido, as well. I mean, in the Crane, sure, the Doji put an emphasis on Courtesy. But, the Asahina have an emphasis on Compassion, the Daidoji put an emphasis on Duty, and, let's face it, the Kakita are as much about Courage and Honor as just about anything else. So, while the Crane as a whole put an emphasis on Courtesy, I would expect an Doji Courtier trained Asahina to be more Compassionate than a Doji with the same training.
  21. Of course, for a Lion, sparing that peasant *IS* being "merciful." But that is because the Lion are rather (in)famous for their lack of Compassion.
  22. At the same time, there are differences. Remember that it USED to be a special School ability that Yasuki, Yoritomo, and Kasuga Courtiers could use the Commerce Skill without losing Glory. A Samurai usually had a servant who would carry and hand out the coinage for them, not the Samurai themself. That said, I believe, in general, it depends on the Lord. Clans I would imagine requiring LESS of an accounting of exactly where the money went would tend towards the Crane, Tortoise, and Dragon. The ones I would expect to be the STRICTEST on book-keeping would be Scorpion(black mail material), the Crab(resource poor, so need to know where everything is going), and the Mantis(Merchants and pirates, both renowned RL for...depth of book-keeping). Other Clans, I figure would most just want a couple major expenses, then hand wave if you say "And a bunch of things too minor to remember." Like: Ikoma Swindler tells Akodo Trusting Lord that of the 12 Koku he was given, he spend 5 on batch of specific tea as a gift for the Phoenix Courtier, 3 on rooming near the Phoenix Embassy in Otosan Iuchi, and then 5 on "Those small, but necessary, purchases needed to curry favour with the forthright and honest Phoenix" when he was really using on Geisha and time in the Tea House...
  23. I think this is something people really need to remember. But, I also think they have a reason to go a little slower: Heroes of Rokugan is doing their current campaign using the 4th Edition. I totally expect when Heroes of the Ivory Throne ends, and they change to the new edition, there will be a pick up. Nothing stimulates interest in a game like an organized play group. See: Pathfinder Society, Adventurers' League, CGL Demo Agents, the old GW Rogue Traders and Privateer Press Gangs. I also think they are keeping a release pace that is designed for sustainability. They seem to normally announce products when they are sent to the printers(given the time from book announce to book on shelf) with exceptions like corebooks that are getting betas. If they gave us fans everything we wanted right now, there would be trouble with fans having to budget for the books, their writers having issues with burn out, and flooding the market. I can say that, right now, when my FLGS gets a new L5R book, it sells within the week. However, a bunch of the Star Wars books have been sitting on the shelves for months, because of how fast they were coming out for a while.
  24. I would also say that with Emerald Empire, Shadowlands, and Courts of Stone, they have released the three "key" supplements, the ones that HAD to get out: Main Culture for people new to the setting, the big antagonists book, and the book on how things work in Court. Also, the Crab and the Crane are kind of the "simplest" Clans to explain the culture of. The approach they are using of A Great Clan, a Minor Clan, Themed Content relating to the other two, and a bit of adventure content, means these likely take more resources to do. I favoured 4th Editions focused but stately release schedule of 2 books a year(one in summer, one in winter), because it gave me time to get the book ordered, and budgeted for.
  25. It has a bit to do with the Taint of Jigoku, which leaves obvious marks on the body over time. For a Samurai who has some disfigurement from birth(see: The Crane Champion's sister, the Storyteller), it can be overcome if it is not too severe an issue, but massive deformities? He is destined for the arms of Jigoku! Kill him now to save his spirit!
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