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Yoritomo Kazuto

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  1. It was bound that the scorpion would be blamed for the Emperor's death. I feel bad for them a bit, but Kachiko is kinda the cause of this terrible cover-up.
  2. My wife and I actually both enjoy the new Skirmish format quite a bit, it's faster, less stopping points, easier to teach and learn, and it feels like the clans are more balanced against each other a bit (haven't played them all yet). The stronghold format was far to obtuse for my wife, she today doing it slow, boring, tedious, and having to many rules to remember. Whereas stronghold she actually enjoys and is willing to play, both because of its ease to remember and the speed of play. Having played O5R (Mantis Clan for life), and played at the first worlds for N5R, I'm much happier with the skirmish format. The only change I would want would be the inclusion of skirmish style strongholds, something that gives some minor bonus or effect that is in line with the clan your playing as. I'm also hopeful that this easier to hear format will be easier to teach out here in Japan, I've had practically no luck getting the stronghold format any footing here.
  3. I'm trying to find a Star Wars RPG active Discord, I'm hoping to eventually find an RPG group to run with and get into the game. I only played it once for a few sessions and I loved it. I still don't know the system super well and I would love to experience it more and get to know it better. Any help with finding a discord group would be greatly appreciated.
  4. I'm so for the Mantis Clan becoming a great clan, but I fully support the idea of the families all coming from the Mantis clan as it currently is. I would want the current pirate themes, and their unique form of shugenja to be further explored. There is a lot that could be done with the Mantis clan without the need of adding in other minor clans. In truth the only minor clan I would even think about supporting merging into the Mantis would be there Wasp clan.
  5. I know there are not a lot of Mantis Clan Cards yet available, but we do have four that we know of, and three that can be fielded within the same deck build. So while it is not a lot to go off of they do have a recurring theme, which is Fate growth for a price. Honestly it could be a fun design space to play with, but with the current game what cards best enhance that theme, or build alongside it. I'm inclined to look to either the Dragon Clan with their fate manipulation (which keeps me to just two Mantis at the moment), Phoenix Clan (three and shugenja friendly), or perhaps Crane (again three, but instead more bushi). I'm not sure which would work best, but I feel that Crab would be the best splash for any of them, or perhaps scorpion as a splash. So I suppose I'm asking for thoughts, deck concepts, and how you would play the Mantis Clan as they are currently.
  6. I really only played the old L5R near the end so allot of the lore that we are treading is only vaguely familiar, with allot of stuff that is new to me. I mostly only focused on learning about the rise of the Mantis Clan in the old L5R and what was happening when Ivory Edition started. Seeing how the entire Empire was doing things, and seeing the clans anew is something that this new L5R has been able to give me. This story in particular resonates with me, and reminds me in a few ways what I loved about the L5R story. Making those hard decisions, do you go with something new and potentially dangerous or do you follow tradition. As a Mantis Clan Samurai who whole-heartely loved Shourido I am all for looking into those dark depths, but never surrendering to them. It reminds me of Tetsuo, a member of the Spider Clan who followed Shourido but despised the Shadowlands. You can learn from darkness, but to surrender yourself to it is to leave yourself blind, just as those who only look to the light are to also left blind.
  7. I just am super happy that the Mantis are returning in some format in the LCG.
  8. So my wife and I have started for fun slowly beginning the process of translating the card game into Japanese (starting with names). This would also apply to the RPG to an extent as I'm sure some people are interested in potential Kanji for the names. One of the names did have to be changed slightly so far, specifically the Doji (どじ) name as the name (and thus the Kanji) means clumsy. Our big change to it was lengthening the O sound so now in romajii it would be written as Douji (どうじ) . If anyone is willing to help with this fan project I greatly appreciate it as well. I have yet to start work on the Minor clans, but I do plan to eventually get to those as well.You will also find attached a picture of the names so far and how we have started to translate them.
  9. So my wife and I have started for fun slowly beginning the process of translating the card game into Japanese (starting with names). Does anyone have access to an L5R card template I could use for seeing how the translated text fits. Still trying to decide weather to just do Hiragana for the names, or do Kanji with smaller hiragana above it. One of the names did have to be changed slightly so far, specifically the Doji (どじ) name as the name (and thus the Kanji) means clumsy. Our big change to it was lengthening the O sound so now in romajii it would be written as Douji (どうじ) . If anyone is willing to help with this fan project I greatly appreciate it as well. You will also find attached a picture of the names so far and how we have started to translate them.
  10. This is probably one of my favorite stories so far. I just want to say well done to the story team for continuing to push for better content with each story update.
  11. The big thing I'm hoping to see isn't the separation of the faiths, or the creation of new faiths., instead what I'm hoping to get out of it is more of family specialization based upon their own views and interpretations. The concept of Yamabushi style Shugenja for the Dragon being one example, and Onmyouji style Shugenja for the Imperial Family. You see this already with the Kuni in the Crab, and the Death Priests of the Unicorn. I'd love to see this space explored further, with looking into historical aspects of Japan, and other East Asian faiths/cultures. I'm also really wanting to see the Shugenja really start to fill the religious/spiritual role more, especially when compared to the old L5R near the end. The timeline reset, and the opportunity for positive changes is something I hope we do not ignore.
  12. Here is a rahter long topic about L5R and how it would be possible to integrate additional historical Japanese aspects into the LCG, RPG, and Story. Several of the things included are; Yamabushi, Onmyouji, and Shinto Shrines (called Jinja in Japanese). I will provide further details in regards to each of those, as well as links to various sites that you may find useful. In addition I will discuss the Mantis Clan, and aspects about them and the historical connotations from Japan that may fit well for them. I have been studying Japanese culture and religion for a couple years now, and I am blessed to have had to opportunity to visit Japan with regular visits thanks to my in-laws being Japanese. Yamabushi follow a religion called Shugen-do which is a syncretic faith of Shinto, Buddhism, and Toaism (this is similar in many ways to the design of the L5R combined faith of Shintao). It is a mountain faith that focuses on using asceticism to gain magical powers against evil spirits. This would be a fitting way for Shugenja in L5R to fit neatly within the Dragon Clan, mixing the Ascetic ways of the Togashi Monks with the Shugenja techniques and traditions often utilized by the other clans. In addition with the focus being on the defeat of evil spirits they would be useful against potential shadowland corruptive forces ,or for calming down angry Kami that inhabit the mountains and/or storms. In fact the religion of Shugen-do is likely the inspiration of Shugenja in L5R to an extent, as most Shugenja utilize some of the concepts to a limited degree. Albeit the Shugenja more likely fill the role of Kannushi in Shinto, more on that later. Links: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2017/10/13/travel/yamabushi-japans-ancient-tradition-mountain-ascetics-opens-public/#.WfuXLGhSzb0 https://www.britannica.com/topic/Shugen-do#ref101681 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shugend%C5%8D http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/shugendou.html http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=830 Onmyouji would be a huge boon to the Imperial Families as their own unique take on the role of the Shugenja and how to best serve the Emperor. The Five Elements that L5R utilizes are the same that the Onmyouji use in their magic (again likely a major inspiration for aspects of the Shugenja). Fortune-telling and the reading of auspicious signs for the Emperor would be a key aspect of them, in essence they would know potential aspects of the future (in game turns, perhaps adjusting dials after the fact). They would also be able to fight and put to rest angry dead, something that the Maho-Tsukai (Blood Magic users in L5R) would have reason to fear. Finally Onmyouji were known for the creation of Shikigami, basically creating a body for a Kami to serve you in various dangerous matters, be it spying, guarding, etc. This could be done in game through the creation of tokens for fate cost or something similar. Having the Onmyouji be directly connected to the Imperial Families would also add some much needed depth to the usually antagonistic Imperial Families in a more positive (potentially) light. Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onmy%C5%8Dd%C5%8D http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=828 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikigami Shinto Shrines and thus Shrines in L5R are integral to the community for a variety of reasons. Primarily in that they are one of the few things that brings together peasants and Samurai. Matsuri and various festivals are typically held by Shinto Shrines to instill community values and ideals to all people involved. They celebrate many things, be it the departed, a good harvest, graduations (Gempekku for L5R), reaching adulthood, and Holidays related to various Kami. Shinto Shrines also act as a sort of nature preserve within communities, with the nature being seen as sacred nature. In addition communities often built up around shrines, and the shrines often have a good amount of natural space around them, really creating the separation of mundane from sacred. The Torii gate is integral to the Shrine, and is not just an aesthetic choice, a Torii gate represents the entrance into sacred space, or entrance to the approach to the shrine. When you see pictures of Torii Gates within cities what you are seeing in the loss of Shrine land to the city, with the approach still remaining, not a random Torii being placed without reason. In the time period of L5R, when cities are much smaller, you would only see Torii where Shrine lands start. Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto_shrine http://www.jinjahoncho.or.jp/en/faq/ http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=248 http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/ Kannushi are the priests of Kami, and the keepers of Shrines. Within L5R that role is filled by the Shugenja, and very rarely do we see them doing this duty, often leaving Shrines abandoned or alone. A shrine without a priest, especially one with a sacred object to the Kami would likely lead to an angry Kami. With L5R I would love to see the more priestly aspects of the Shugenja explored, overseeing the rituals for Matsuri, doing rituals for good crop yields and bountiful harvests, really having them integrated into the spiitual core of the setting insteado being wizards and sorcerers. Shugenja should feel like they are serving the Kami (and specific Kami), when they go to war they are doing the will of the Kami, but it should be rare for them to go to war. More often they should be giving blessing to the warriors, and speaking on behalf of the Kami in court. This could make them a dangerous political powerhouse (as the Phoenix are looking to be). Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kannushi http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/shinto-priesthood.html http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=1285 Ok now onto the Mantis Clan and my thoughts on them, their culture, and what makes them interesting. A lot of what I will be discussing is generalized from the old L5R with some personal thoughts. The Mantis clan in the old L5R originates from the heir of the Crab clan (Child of the Champion, and a Matsu) who was passed over for his sibling who was a bastard born of peasant stock. His mother left with him and their followers to the island of Silk and Spice. The founder of the clan utilized a Kusari-Gama as their primary weapon instead of a Katana. Looking at this we can quickly see how the Mantis clan would care little for the Katana, first due to their founder, second due to their terrain, and third due to their life upon the sea. The Mantis Clan in the old L5R near the end had an interesting theme of dual wielding peasant weapons, and a long history of using the Kama. The Kama is a cheap weapon, typically used by peasants for farming, so losing it is no big deal. It is also useful on a ship in that if can be used similar to a pick to stab into the wood to keep from going overboard. Finally it is useful in that it makes the wielder appear to look like a Praying Mantis. It is a beautiful weapon for theme, and story. The Fighting style for it would also be based around Eskrima, the Philippine Martial Art (which works for the Islands of Silk and Spice). This would give them a unique way of fighting that separates them from the other families. Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kama_(weapon) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnis http://blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/escrima/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-filipino-martial-arts/ Gunpowder and Guns are probably a touchy topic for many L5R players, but I think it is an important thing to broach. Historically the Japanese were using Firearms since the 16th Century (which is around the time Samurai were a major thing). Firearms were introduced by the Portuguese and were quickly replicated by the Japanese. Samurai would lead armies of Ashigaru who would wield the Flintlock rifles of the days. An example of a major Samurai Daimyo who used it to great affect is Oda Nobunaga who nearly unified Japan before one of his own men assassinated him in a Temple (there are reports Nobunaga burnt the temple down and committed Sepuku so his traitorous retainer wouldn't have the pleasure of killing him). Gunpowder could still be fairly controlled by the samurai, without the use of cannons and expensive, but it could easily have its place in the new L5R, really setting the world apart from the previous incarnation. Links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearms_of_Japan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oda_Nobunaga https://www.samurai-archives.com/nobunaga.html I think that is a majority of what I wanted to discuss at the moment, and I think you for taking the time to read it. I would love your feedback, questions, and thoughts regarding these questions. I look forward to seeing where L5R goes from here, and I hope that I have been in some form useful.
  13. Honestly it looks like range bands are more complicated and confusing then fun. It would be much simpler to just use a grid system (Pathfinder/D&D), or Zones as another person suggested. Relative range bands, and how they are implemented currently just makes for a headache for the players and for the GM who needs to run the game and keep track of all the ranges. More is less in a situation like this, these rules need to be either replaced of heavily altered (I support replaced at this point).
  14. Personally I am a fan of using miniatures and maps when I play RPG's. Pathfinder and D&D seem to have the ability to have understandable ranges, tactical movement, and the ability to have a narrative story (with the proper GM). When I played the Star Wars RPG (Fantasy Flight Version) we used miniatures and a map, it was a lot of fun and I hope that I won't have to put in the extra effort and make using maps and miniatures an option, I'd rather it be built into the game.
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