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  1. Could be as simple as getting rid of some of the elements of the history of Merenae and Thrane. If the names had been kept people would probably assume "It's the same until stated otherwise", but by making the country a different country that assumption largely goes away. Given some of the backstory elements for Merenae and Thrane that were invented to make sure they didn't get in the way of the precious Yodotai...
  2. I don't know. I really don't. You would essentially have to find something *new* (and appealing) for L5R to be, a new niche for it to move into, that would let it stand out again, while at the same time not completely rejecting the core of what makes the (dwindling) fanbase like the game. All of that in an economic environment that simply does not favor card games. Hard.
  3. Prediction: changing the game mechanics or distribution system won't achieve much, because L5R's fundamental problem is that the strengths that made it a (reasonable) seller in the 90s continuing in the 00s just aren't there anymore:, and it never broke out of its niche enough to become the kind of nostalgia juggernaut that get working remakes. A game that was steeped in the katana-are-better, ninja-and-samurai Japanese exoticism of the 90s will necessarily struggle three decades later in a world where Japanese culture and entertainment are a click of the mouse away and where "katana are better" has long since been debunked (and where exoticism itself gets called into question a lot). And without that, L5R just becomes about a fantasy realm where noble houses feud and intrigue over a throne, while ignoring the threat of an evil horde on the other side of an immense wall. Which doesn't so much scream "selling point" as "Game of Thrones" (Yes, L5R is actually the older of the two, but the people you're trying to sell this to now don't know or care about that one-year difference). L5R, bluntly put, is the hybrid of a fad that has long since faded and a niche that is currently the private property of a media juggernaut franchise. There's not much room to sell between these two. The other main selling point of old5R - the central place of the story - doesn't help much either because a)stories having a significant place in games is now fairly normal; b)FFG isn't actually using it as a selling point, and c)even if they did, the glacial pace of the story, while it may grant longevity to the story, also makes it hard to buy into the story.
  4. The world will never be how it ought to be. First because humans are fundamentally flawed, imperfect beings who will always make mistakes and get things wrong, and second because perfection os like the horizon: the more you advance, the further you see, and the further your horizon - or your conception of what ought to be - moves with you, A wise leader learns that while we should strive for what ought to be, we must work with what is to get there. In an ideal world, Kachiko would be punished for her crimes. In a less ideal world, the impact of doing so may do more harm than good in terms of striving for what ought to be. Specifically, it weaken the legitimate regent, and strenghten the murderer of the Hantei. Which is the net effect of Kachiko' actions in the first place (in terms of the bigger picture), so focusing on punishing Kachiko would only make the impact of her crimes worse. That sounds like a short sighted view more interested in punishment than progress.
  5. Accidental double post, please remove.
  6. That was the part I was trying to highlight without actually saying it out loud, yes.
  7. Even assuming that the above fiction is Kachiko manipulating Hotaru, and that's only one plausible interpretation (remember Kachiko's scenes in the second part of the trilogy about having no one to trust her and realizing she's the one who lost their trust through her actions - a realization Littlefinger never had because Littlefinger was one of the most egregious villain Sue in recent writing), as of right now Hotaru has managed to become one of a handful of people in Rokugan who actually know what's going on, while positioning her army in Toshi Ranbo for the winter. As to what "makes things right" means that could simply mean Hotaru siding with Shoju to back the Imperial Edict - hardly a horrible position to take! Besides which, what are her alternatives at that current point in time? Disbelieving Kachiko may be wiser from a personality standpoint, but on the other hand, the slight problem with that is that Kachiko, from what the fiction shows us, told the *truth*, which I for one would rather Hotaru actually believed. And denouncing her is a no-go - Kachiko has the higher position here, so if they get into she-said-she-said, Kachiko wins. And her hierarchical superior is already aware of most of her blunders, so trying to present the fact to him is...also a no-go. Kuwanan, meanwhile, is being manipulated by Yoshi who is being manipulated by Hametsu into acting on the basis of prejudices rather than fact into attacking imperial forces in defiance of imperial edict. Since then all he's done is fight as a soldier in a battle Daidoji Uji actually commanded with the vague idea that this would redeem him, which isn't exactly a great show of priority. . Right now, Hotaru might be down a bad road, or might not be, and Kuwanan has already started down one, from which he may or may not back down. But somehow, Kuwanan here is the one who has it more together. Sure. And don't tell me about Hotaru being driven by her feelings - sure she is influenced by them, but *so is Kuwanan*. He's every inch as much influenced by his feelings (hatred of the Scorpion, and certain specific Scorpion in particular) as Hotaru (love of Kachiko) is.
  8. No, it's what happens when a senior Crane diplomat calls the Scorpion imperial chancellor a fishmonger in full court. At Winter Court.
  9. The Harriers should never have been more than a footnote, or occasional reference - which is the proper role for a small top secret unit. Instead what we got was suddenly every Daidoji had to be a freaking harrier, and every story about them, because some fans and the design team (especislly the later) fell in love way too hard with the concept. And then completely misapplied it in the game by making Harriers left and right with 3 and even 4 personal honor (which totally screams Ninja, sure). Down to and including Doji Hayaku, who was certainly not a Harrier (since every Harrier write up ever has them coming into existence long after his time). The truth is, the so-called "Harrier" deck in the game (which was basically defensive honor/military switch) had nothing at all to do with the in-story Harriers. The other problem with the Harriers was the gunpowder thing. They weren't merely sacrificing their honor (poisoning wells, etc), they were comitting high treason for the sake of expediency. And the Crane as a whole were covering up high treason. That wasn't just "what you are in the dark", that was the equivalent of the Crane having an entire unit dedicated to using old school Maho in warfare under pretense of defending a clan (and covering it up). For a clan that's noted for relying on imperial connections for survival and power, this is an outright nonsensical course of action. If the Harriers are to come back, they should be only a tiny fraction of the Daidoji printed (and should absolutely not be a deck archetype), and they should stick to the guerilla warfare side, without the gunpowder aspect. Dishonorable fighting to save the clan can work. High treason to save the clan was a bad story idea from the get-go. There are better ways to tell this story. Uji himself was notably not a Harrier (his Lotus card, from the "every Daidoji is a Harrier" era, needs not apply). He knew about them, but he was not one, and unlike the Harriers, there were limits he did not cross (most notably, his rpg write-up, while it mentions a fascination with black powder, does not mention his actually using it in war).
  10. If they made duels that risky, no one would ever use them, short of a much bigger, game-swinging effect than any currently existing version. And hen they' build their own character to make sure they can't lose he duel regardless of who you pick (because the investment is worth it), and we'd still have the same complaints. An action card in a card game is inherently meant to be an unfair card - something that gives a significant advantage to the player playing it over the one not playing it. If it doesn't give you that kind of significant advantage (or often won't dipue to being a "risky card", why play it? Deck space is a limited ressource. Actions are a limited ressource - for every one you take, the opponent get one too. If you waste yours on a risky move that doesn't pay off (or worse, end up hurting you), your opponents basically get two actions in a row (three if your risky action end up hurting you). So "risky" actions, especially actions that gave your opponent too much control over the results, end up being coaster. As they should.
  11. That...is completely wrong. New stronghold for existing clans were first introduced in Time of the Void in 1997 (Phoenix and Crab). Lion and Scorpions got theirs in Scorpion Clan Coup, and Crane, Dragon and Unicorn in Hidden Emperor. By the end of the Jade arc, every clan had multiple arc-legal strongholds, except the one off vilain factions of Ninja and Spirits. From Gold onward, every clan had two strongholds in every base set except Emperor (4) and Ivory (which went back to 1). Prior to Emperor, every clan also gained additional stronghold as the arc progressed, so that they usually finished the arc with four legal strongholds, and always at least three. Emperor's innovation was printing all four strongholds at once, rather than waiting for expansions for the next two.
  12. I haven't. We also haven't seen any new articles about L5R at all in nearly two weeks, and the only articles we've seen in the past month have been a trio of articles about organized play in various forms. Maybe it's just a "normal" quiet spell following the mad rush of the Imperial Cycle.
  13. Thi is an artistic map, I don't think we should infer too much from the size at which it is drawn. There is a stream of some sort running down both sides of the mountain this is about the extent of what we can say, and it has enough significance (not necessarily size!) to include on the map. This significance may be historical, cultural, milotary, etc. Names and size of water bodies don't always correlate, either.
  14. No need to such fancy explanation. Phenomenons like this happen in the real world. Usually it takes the form of a stream flowing down one bed, then (natural) changes in the landscape due to silting and erosion partially closing down an old river bed, or opening a new, easier one, causing some of the water to flow that way instead. Eventually - on a scale of several centuries - this may lead to the old stream closing up altogether andd the new one taking over, but for the several centuries in-between, the river will split in two separate streams. We're not talking about something that occurs only with small streams either : the Mississippi and Orinoco have both been undergoing that very process for the past several centuries with the Atchafalaya and Casiquiare, respectively ; in the case of the Mississippi the process is currently being held at bay by various man-made structure. (Natural disasters can also cause the formation of such alternate courses, and the Yellow River in China has spectacularly shifted course dozens of time in recorded history alone due to flooding ; we're talking about the mouth of the river shifting by hundreds of kilometers), from as far south as Jiangsu and as far north as Tianjin) If you really want a Phoenix intervention, just go with the idea of a natural branching-off (like the above) that the Phoenix are using magic to artificially maintain (ie, similar to the Atchafalaya, but with magic instead of technology). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parting_of_the_Waters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_Creek Hopefully I didn't just shatter your belief in the real world. But yes, a stream naturally flowing down both sides of a mountain and ending up in two very distinct spot is a phenomenon that has been observed in the real world. While unusual, it should not shatter suspension of disbelief. (I disagree the river has to be absurdly productive. The large lake on the southern side is fed by multiple streams, so it needs not draw all its water from the one source; the river to the north is of course getting most of its flow from the rest of its course). I think the first explantion is closer to the truth - I suspect the lake sits in the middle of a marshy depression in the Shinomen, where rainwater from a vast surrounding region tends to accumulate through no precise channel. It then flows out through a constrained channel in the form of the whitegold river.
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