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Posts posted by Himoto

  1. 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).

  2. 20 hours ago, Tomello said:

    How risky are duels where the player of the duel card gets to choose the targets?

    I don't think it is an end of the game card, just exacerbates the games poor dueling mechanics.

    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.

  3. On 5/30/2018 at 3:58 PM, Duciris said:

    The coolest thing Emperor Edition did for Old5R, was that it gave each clan 4 strongholds out of the box.  This was huge, as no clan had ever had more than 1 legal stronghold before.  Some clans (my knowledge gets fuzzy here) never even had a different stronghold.  And Emperor Edition came out 17 years after the game launched.  Each stronghold played differently, and each clan could then build decks with at least a second (not secondary, second) win condition.  Previously, clans were fairly predictable.  Each clan still moved and grew in their given two directions.  It changed the game.

    The two non-core strongholds we've seen do the exact same thing.  You can't take a deck built for one stronghold, switch that stronghold, and still have a good deck.  I like that.

    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.

  4. 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. 

  5. 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. 

  6. Quote

    New River 1: This is one of the waterways that's new to this map, and it's a bit hard to explain. Why would the Drowned Merchant River exist when there's such an easy path to the ocean the water could follow instead?

    I've decided that in my Rokugan that "river" is a recently built artificial channel, created by the Phoenix to provide easier sea access for their western provinces. And possibly to provide an outlet for extra runoff, so when there's heavy rainfall in their lands it won't flood downriver.

    Hmm, would the Phoenix be obligated to shunt that excess water to the ocean to prevent the other clans from being flooded? Even if they're on bad terms? There could be some interesting ethical questions to explore there.

    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).


    River of the Hour of the Wolf: This one is rough. Apparently an absurdly productive mountain spring creates a river that flows in two opposite directions down the mountain? That shatters my suspension of disbelief, so I'm invoking magic for this explanation


    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). 


    Lake of Cherry Blossom Snow: This lake is hard to explain. Either it spontaneously generates itself and feeds into the White Gold River, or the White Gold River feeds into the lake and the lake has nowhere to drain.

    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. 

  7. Now then. interpreting that geography,

    I'll refer to the rivers as North River (the one that rise from that big lake at the Dragon/Phoenix border ; Central River (Rise in Unicorn land, follows the north edge of the mountains) ; Small River (rise in the mountains, follow the southern edge) and South River (rise in the central mountains, reach the sea in Crab lands).

    Some observations.

    1. There's an upland region in central Lion lands. Note the drawing of a hill there, about midway  between the North river and Central river, directly in the original axis of the North River. This is a key factor in understanding the course of the North and Central river. That upland region is probably topographically connected to the southern edge of the Mountains of Twilight, along the coast. 

    2)The north river branches, likely flowing on either side of the aforementioned Lion upland ; the East Branch north river eventually passes between the Lion uplands and the Mountains of Twilight to reach the sea. and the West branch north river reaches a confluence with the Central river. While uncommon, this is not unheard of in our reality ; the Casiquiare, noted above, is the biggest example. There are a few other in the Rocky mountains on a much smaller scale (more on that when we deal with the Small river.

    3)The Central river flows from Unicorn land, to its confluence with the west branch north river, through a valley between the Lion uplands and the Spine of the World, to the lake where it receives Two-Way Creek (more on that in the next section), and eventually has a mall delta as it reaches the sea. Nothing unusual or noteworthy here. It does NOT, despite what might appear from the map, flow through the spine of the World (hopefully. If FFG changed that, they're dumb). 

    4)The Small River rises at two-way creeks. Two way creeks is similar to Two-Ocean creek and Divide Creek in the rockies : rivers that rise in mountain passes and then flow to both sides of the aforesaid pass, with one branch eventually reaching the Atlantic and the other the Pacific. This small creek, and half a dozen others (a number of which are on-map), feed into a large lake on the southern side of the mountain, from which rises a river that flows south-eastward into the sea. Nothing particularly noteworthy here once one figures out Two-Way creek. 

    5) The south river is fairly straightforward: a long river fed by a number of tribunatries, which eventually branches off on two sides of a major island at its mouth. This is not entirely unusual , although the scale might be.

    6)The Shadowlands river. That one actually doesn't make any geographic sense...and that's explicitly noted to be a characteristic of the Shadowlands. The geography is twisted, warped. In this specific case, "A Wizard did it" (or, more accurately, a Jigoku did it) *is* the canonical answer.

    Yes, that's a lot of unusual (but not unheard of) phenomenons in a small region, and some of them on a very unusual scale. Yes, the geography could be done a lot better, and how and where those mountains came together is a question best left unanswered. But it's possible, roughly, to make sense of the rivers. 

  8. On 2017-12-21 at 1:07 PM, Schmoozies said:

    I would counter that with 1) Montreal and most of Quebec are on the Canadian Shield and in geological terms are relatively young rebound development area from the last Ice Age.  2) they are also a very hilly/mountainous region so watercourses take some odd turns up there (just look at all the lakes we have).  Islands happen in most rivers and lakes as they are a natural effect of a temporary high point (normally caused by a base layer of harder rock than the natural soil around them).  The issue is that once you get cities built up there is a natural effort to protect the land that would normally be eroded and as the need to expand grows efforts are made to "reclaim" what would have been naturally lost land.  In Montreal's case there was a lot of development to expand the island using the excavated soil from the Subway lines.  We have the same thing in Toronto where most of our waterfront shouldn't exist except that we dumped lots of back fill into Lake Ontario to expand and reshape our waterfront.

    Amazing. Every single thing in that paragraph was wrong.

    1)Saint Lawrence lowlands, actually. The Canadian shield starts about fifty kilometers north of Montreal, and only reaches the Saint Lawrence river around Quebec City. Quebec City is partly on it; Montreal most definitely is not.

    2)Very flat and low-lying, actually. It's the bottom of the old Champlain sea, and except for a handful of isolated igneous intrusions from the New England hotspot that were dug out by the last ice age (the monteregian hills, including Mount Royal), most of the region is considerably less than 100m above sea level.

    3)Much of the subway excavation soil was used to expand St Helen island and create Notre Dame island, between Montreal and the south  shore, not to the actual Montreal island. The shorelines of Montreal island itself (and really most of the Hochelaga archipelago)in fact  still look largely as it does on French regime maps (and on early 1900s ones, and...)

    Unrelatedly, on stream themselves, streams that do weird things exist on our planet. Sure, there are basic rules...but when basic rules encounter complex situations (and every situation is complex), weird things happen. The Orinoco and Amazon basins , throuh the Casiquiare channel, (flows from the Orinoco to the Amazon basin (can't name the actual river because of a zealous word filter; think black river in Spanish) is probably the most famous such weirdness.

  9. 13 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

    Perhaps I should rephrase and say that never during the time players were competing for the EC did the Crane ever take it.

    Twice false. We won the first and second tournaments (Gateway 1996 and a 2000 Global Storyline Tournament) for Emerald Champion, resulting in Toshimoko and Hachi. 

  10. There's a difference between similar or identical starting situations (eg, Toturi taking the lion from his brother, right at the start), and retelling the same story once the story gets rolling. 

    Starting from a mostly familiar point is great. But now the story need to grow into its own thing, that might occasionally echo the original, but should not follow it. 

  11. I certainly hope Daisetsu does not end up becoming neo-Daigotsu in a straightforward way.

    In my opinion, if Daisetsu becomes involved with Shadowlandsy matters, it should be as a tragic hero (think Tadaka, or Sezaru's fight with madness in the old story). And if he becomes a villain, it should be as a mundane villain who actually has the potential to divide the clans rather than unite  them against him. We've already told the story where the second son of Hantei XXXVIII becomes Shadowlands champion. We need not tell it again. 

  12. Tesuhiko is correct.

    While this is clearly this universe's equivalent of the boy who, in the other universe, became Daigotsu, the circumstances that, in that universe, turned an (unborn) Imperial Prince into Daigotsu are completely absent from this universe.  There is no kidnapping, no growing up in Jigoku (for crying out loud), no bloodspeaker sheananigans. None of the forces that made Daigotsu, Daigotsu.  

    Which is to say, in all ways that matter : this isn't Daigotsu. 

  13. Are you seriously trying to argue that rules clarity and consistency is more important in a game where all that's at stake is winning the occasional tournament than in law where even the lowest stakes often rank up in the thousands of dollars and months of life lost (and upward from there into the millions and billions and years or even entire lives)?

    The law has FAR better reason to insist on "rules as written" so people can actually know what the rules are and avoid being on the aforesaid wrong side, and even it doesn't cling to literal interpretations, because, while they did try it (like FFG), they eventually realized literal ruling just

    I mean, yeah, it's a simple approach in a "It works and we don't really need more for a game" sort of way. But it should be criticized when it lead to stupid results. 

  14. 10 minutes ago, Kuni Katsuyoshi said:

    Because at that time Sotorii is only 10. 


    I see. XXXVIII, what the heck were you thinking waiting that long to take care of your primary Imperial duty?

    Give 'em the throne as soon as they get their gempukku, but let 'em wait til they're thirty to have kids is extreme playing with fire for any sort of hereditary state. Kids now, throne later is a MUCH more sensible policy. 

    EDIT: Wait. I miscounted somewhere - KS happens the same year as the coup, so XXXVIII did not keep the throne four years afterward. Then again, Sotorii would have been 16, not 10, at the time (1107 birth), so would in fact have been pretty much at his gempukku, so XXXIX could have retired had he wanted to. 

  15. 1 hour ago, Kuni Katsuyoshi said:

    "The Hantei is an unusual man, buried in tradition and the expectations of an empire. His fondest wish is to retire and leave his son some fragile peace upon which the glories of Rokugan can be rebuilt."

    Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun

    page 101

    Fair enough ; I didn't have access to Kyuden Seppun. But even then, we have him 41 (at the time), not retired, and still not retired a full four years later. So while he may have wished to do it...I'd argue he had no firm intentions or timeline in mind at the time, and clearly felt he couldn't retire yet. 

  16. Back on the whole "how long did emperor reign", there were 35 Hantei between 247 (Death of Hantei Genji) and 1103. That suggests around a little under 25 years for the average length of an Hantei's imperial reign. 

    The one Hantei for whom we have firm dates, XXXVIII, was born in 1078, took the trone in 1103 (at 25 ; hardly "just after gempukku), and was still emperor and showing no signs of retirement in 1123 at 45 when Shoju went snippy at him.

    It's noteworthy that Hantei, Hantei Genji, Hantei Bosai (IV), Hantei Fujiwa (V), Hantei Kusada (VI), Hantei Yugozohime (VII), Hantei Retsuhime (IX), Hantei XI, Hantei XII, Hantei XV, Hantei XVI, Hantei XX, Hantei XXI, Hantei XXXIII Hantei XXXVIII, Hantei XXXIX, Toturi I and Toturi III (Toturi II doesn't count) all died while still on the throne - nearly half the total emperors, and just about every emperor whose regnal years are known. While that includes a number of violent deaths, a large number of them are also noted to have died from old age. 

    In comparison, we know of Hantei XIX and Iweko I retiring. 

    So the idea that the Hantei take the throne as soon as they have their Gempukku while their predecessor retire doesn't seem to fit the facts all that well.

  17. Quote

    Or when Shahai and the man who might have been Daigotsu turn out to be a loving couple devoted to a pure empire, all the old grognards' heads will explode.

    Dammit, don't give me ideas. 

    Shahai and Daigoatee (hey, if he's alternate-universe Daigotsu he has a goatee*, that's how these things work) discovers a dark, hidden prophecy that say the Hantei emperor will become the vessel of Fu Leng. Devoted to a pure empire and determined to prevent this from happening, they turn to experimental Meishodo magic in an effort to bend or alter the prophecy (separate the Hantei true name from its destiny, perhaps?). This (of course) backfires horribly, and XXXVIII and Sotorii are both left very dead. Shahai, blamed for the Emperor's death, is of course executed. Daigoatee  becomes emperor, and quite bitter toward the people who murdered Shahai, he refuses to take a wife from the clans, and continue his study of the prophecy, the black scrolls, Fu Leng...but will the ever-increasing obsession of the Last Hantei with Fu Leng lead him to stop Fu Leng...or become Fu Leng?

    *Unless one gets gender-flipped. 

  18. The Dragons loudly proclaim themselves the best duelists, then remain on their mountaintop where they rarely ever have the chance to prove it.

    The only mountaintops Crane duelists sit atop off are made of dead Lion generals. 

    (More seriously, and out of character, I see nothing wrong with that affirmation. The Dragon are the best duelists...they're just not the *only* best duelists). 

  19. Hmmmm. AJ as a Crab (though, dependable, reliable, blunt...yup), Rarity as a Crane (perfectionist, dramatic artist...check), and Rainbow Dash as Lion (Brash, honor-before-reason, a bit braggart...yeah),

    But the other three? I don't see it. Pinkie is way too liked and popular to be a good Scorpion (remember, "the empire's villains" is their core identity).  I'm not sure where she goes. And, I mean...Twilight is a slightly obsessive scholar with powerful magic devoted to the established divine powers ; Fluttershy is a compassionate soul who's genuinely interested in the ways and lives of non-ponyfolk that most ponies would just ignore. I'd say Fluttershy is a Unicorn (probably an Ide), and Twilight is so thoroughly an Isawa (at least the first several seasons) it hurts. Not sure where that leaves Pinky, though. I suppose she has something of the "Weirdo outsider we don't always understand" mystic of the Togashi, mixed with a Crane's status as the empire's supreme organizers?

    Now Princess Luna, post-Nightmare Moon? THAT is as close as MLP will ever have to a Scorpion. Watch over people in the dark, not fully trusted, somewhat feared...that's her schtick. While Zecora is very much a Dragon. 

    (The Cutie Mark Crusaders, of course, are Yoritomo's Alliance. And Trixie has pretty strong Yoritomo tendencies too.)

    (Urgh, did I really just jump into that discussion?)

  20. 3 hours ago, Shosuro Teri said:

    Oh the problem isn't in the announcement, its in the implementation. Ultimately, I would assume the story team has the final say when story is concerned. If a Pirate Riding Dinosaur appears in the fiction, it's because the story team allowed it and therefore the ones that are responsible.

    You'd have to have paid *very* little attention to what was going on at the time to think the *Story Team* had enough of a say to prevent much of that. 

    Frankly, the story team had about the rawest deal of any part of L5R, having very little actual control (Brand had far more clout over events and prizes ; and Design had far more clout over cards, themes and flavor), but being the easy target to blame for angry people, and with virtually no ability to defend themselves (because they couldn't go out and blame other parts of AEG publiclly) or to ignore story prizes.

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