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Himoto

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Everything posted by Himoto

  1. One existing, and sometime not quite under the same name, was all there was for most anything in Imperial Edition. Battle Maidens? One. Crane "duelists" (Iaijutsu Master)? One (and unique). Phoenix fire shugenja? One (and unique). Crab Berserkers? One. Non-champion Lion tacticians? None, that had to wait until Shadowlands. Dragon Tatooed Men? One (and unique). And most of these had to wait years for more.
  2. That identification of the Daidoji was down to certain people wanting to make Crane military a viable option. My opinion on that...the less said, the better. The Daidoji are specialist in delaying actions and generally making life a pain for superior forces, weakening them and giving time for Crane political clout to come into play. They're Rokugan's "guerilla tactics" (so to speak) experts, but they're not super-soldiers. (There was also Lion Warcats in the CCG, printed at the same time as the Moto Wardogs, that kept the Beastmaster tradition alive until they became a "theme" (STILL hate that stupid notion).) I'd say that to me, Lion = Tactician is a concept that really emerged with Kitsu Motso. So that would put the start of the theme around Shadowlands :-p (Which, granted, amount to "always a thing").,
  3. I REALLY would not like to see honor rolled up in a political victory. A political victory to handle politics (both dishonor and the political aspects design has been trying to foist on honor since forever) is fine. Personally, I'd actually be in favor of courtly politics as an alternate method of "taking provinces" (whatever the FFG equivalent is). Court is, after all, a battlefield. But honor should remain its own, distinct thing. Doesn't have to be a victory condition (though I think it should), doesn'T have to be a -20-40 meter, but it needs to be an active, powerful force in the setting. More powerful than steel and whatnot. The conflation of politics with honor/dishonor was a design mistake by AEG.
  4. False. Matsu Imura, Imperial Edition, Lion Clan Beastmaster who bowed to train animals, giving himself 1F followers. I mean, he wasn't a very good card (okay, he was a real bad one), but he was there. Beastmasters are just as much Original Lion/Matsu flavor as the Gohei-style brash samurai or Tacticianing (the only lion Tactician in Imperial was the Champion), and actually predate Deathseekers by several years. Likewise predating Unicorn war dogs by several years.
  5. Breeder was a thematic fail. It in no way reflected what ancestor worship is supposed to be in Rokugan. Ancestors stepping in to fight the battle of the living is not it. Really the most thematic (and, IMO, fun) implementation of Lion ancestor worship was probably the mid-Lotus one, with cards like the original Hall of Ancestors (started the game with a dead personality, you could copy the ability of dead personalities onto living ones), and personalities like Kit Kat (Kitsu Katsuko, shugenja who made your dead personalities honorable dead, and gave your living personality bonuses at the same time. It wasn,t a wholly developped theme (so much the better), but it did bring the Lion ancestor worship in place as a powerful tool in the Lion arsenal.
  6. True. Brand has done good stuff, but a lot of what story and design catch the flak for is stuff they didn't have so much control on.
  7. These aren't things that should be supported. They are things that should be doing the supporting. By which I mean, a Beastmaster personality shouldn't be a personality with a keyword you build your deck around. It should be a personality with a Beastmaster-like ability (eg, "Add a 1F Cat follower token to a personality", like the original Matsu Benika, whether or not they have "Beastmaster" on the card), that can be slotted in support of your Lion decks. The card should exist to support broader Lion archetype that draw upon a variety of personalities from the Lion clan, If I never hear about "themes" (the way AEG used that term) again, it will be too soon.
  8. Though possibly we should start a new thread for that, given this one is more about Legacy once the FFG game hits.
  9. My impression is that Brand was typically more involved in story/prizes than that. I think you could see a lot of that this year where Dave was very big on trying to get everyone to fight with each other, and so you had the GenCon clan dinner choices of coming up with someone to have a grudge against, and the Kotei prizes that didn't just let you protect yourself from the coming storm, but also let you jack other Clans' icons. And before that I would lay money that the ST did not want P'an Ku showing up and messing with the political succession conflict story, in no small part just so he could then be defeated as the GenCon prize. Handing out a stack of Egg duplicates also has Brand's fingers all over it - jazzy sounding prize, dilutes the setting, no way the ST could actually incorporate into the ongoing story in any serious way. And the second mega-game ended up as a mess in part because the brand manager who set it up then left. Let me emphasize that this is mostly just what I think. Nobody in AEG is pointing fingers at anyone else. It's just an opinion I've built up over years of interacting with those involved. True. Then I'll reformulate to "A lot of the ideas are brand, and implementation is the story team left to figure out how to make Brand's vision work".
  10. And probably has similar influence over the story. My understanding is that the general ideas ; the grand vision would be brand, while story or design get to figure out how to implement these in practice. I would figure that things like "Let's put enlightenment up for grab", "Let's bring Iuchiban back", "Let's have some mega-invasion of the empire" and so forth would be brand, not story decisions. Story then got to figure out how to work tournament winner decisions and stories in the way that works...least horribly with the setting.
  11. That's pretty much sure to be what happens, yes.
  12. For the record ; for those interested in playing with their old cards ; and for those worried about what L5R to play for the next two years. Yamakori and I are trying ot bring the Legacy Council out of retirement for one last ride, with an eye toward creating a new (definitive) Legacy ruleset for twenty years worth of L5R cards. Probably with an eye toward picking the best rules for the past 20 years of cards, rather than the most recent ones (though that's still up for discussion, and the most recent rules may in some cases be the best). It still won't be compatible with whatever FFG ends up giving us (or rather, we certainly don't expect it to be), but we'd like to make the old cards as playable as they can be. You're all welcome to join us in the discussion, at the usual Jade hand location. For the Empire!
  13. I wouldn't mind both being available. Like, you can play your Crane or Scorpion or Pheonix or whatever. I play my Ninja deck, that draws on expert Ninjas from all the clans assembling in a conspiracy to assassinate your daimyo or whatever. One is not exclusive to the other. (I mean, unless you want to guarantee that's clan vs. clan, and force *every* player to play a clan deck, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.) Although I agree, at least in a couple of arcs I played, that it become *more* about the keywords than the clans, and that wasn't good. I'm fine with that kind of deck ; my problem is more with the whole "theme" mentality of the last few arcs where you weren't playing the clan ; you were playing a subset of the clan with a specific keyword. A "Clan all star" deck that ISN'T focused on this or that keyword should be as good as one that is. This means avoiding at all costs over-reliance on actions that require Scout-mana or Ninja-mana. Having a few is fine ; but you need a lot of actions, including good actions, that require broad trait/keywords or none at all. And synergy between the different keywords a clan might have.
  14. Exactly. The setting is much stronger than the convoluted story that followed. The setting really isn't that strong. It's got some cool elements, but a well-crafted, deep setting this isn't. It'S a bunch of random Asian cliché thrown together with some superficiail attempts to tie it all. It was the early stories (up to and including Gold), that really breathed life into the settings and made it work (not that those stories were particularly exceptional, but they took the elements that worked of the setting and made them come together while skidding across those elements that didn't work). And even as it suffered from that "giant mess", it still managed to develop iconic personalities who became emblem of their clans. That there was (a lot of) bad in those years doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of good, too. If there was nothing good throughout the era, then the game would have died a lot earlier. The benefit to FFG is pretty simple: -It appeals to the old fans. That's a plus: more returning buyers. -It doesn't harm the new fans: at worst they won't know who these are (same as with new personalities), and at best, the old fans will regal them with stories of their favorites (thus putting the new fans in contact with the setting's rich tradition). -It advertise that this is a setting with a history, not some new thing they just came up with. -It makes it easier for them to build the fiction and flavor text early on ; they don't really have to worry about it until the monthly packs start coming out (and then in smaller doses).
  15. Or, crazy idea, how about we mostly focus personalities on actual printed abilities that are actually on the card, instead of personalities providing you scout-mana or nina-mana or berserker-mana to play this or that red card? I know, I know, crazy talk. But I absolutely despise the whole "You have to play this card because it enables you to play this card" approach to game design we saw in late gold. My personality base should be made of cards with stats and abilities that fit well in my deck, not cards that have the right magical words to allow me to play the right red cards. All-scouts and all-duelists and all-ninja decks as in the last decade of L5R are one of the thing that most turned me away from that game. I want to play Crane or Scorpion or Phoenix, not Scout or Duelist or Ninja.
  16. I still say opening with a timeline-agnostic set that establishes the clan's identity is the best of both worlds. You quickly paint the picture of what the clans are and what their history is, and how the empire came to be what it is, then you move on immediately to new plots at whatever points in time you want to start. Going back over the same stories would be a horrible choice. Discarding the past altogether would be just as bad. Honor the past. Look to the future.
  17. ASSUMING (a big assumption, and probably unsafe, but the only real basis for discussion of keywords we have right now) relatively similar concept of battles in the new games, I would actually retain some version of the Naval and Cavalry mechanics - but I would expand or redefine what the ability stands for. The First Strike ability (formerly naval) is something I would use across the board to represent reconaissance and stealth. Instead of being "the Mantis keyword" it would be something shared by the Tsuruchi/Kitsune, Daidoji, Ikoma, Hiruma, Shosuro, Goju/Ninube, etc. They'd tend toward lower force personalities with useful battle actions and the ability to "stealth" those actions in. Then I'd scrap the "Scout" trait. Likewise, the mobility ability (formerly cavalry) is something I would use to represent all sorts of mobility, including both actual movement speed, the effective use of strategic and tactical reserves, efficient deployment, naval transportation, etc. As such, the keyword would be found across the Akodo, Moto/Utaku/Shinjo, Yoritomo/Moshi, Isawa, maybe Kaiu families. Then I'd scrap "Tactician" as a distinct keyword.
  18. I would hope to see far less traits AND keywords. Keywords, to avoid mechanical bloat, and traits, because I think the whole crippling overspecialization of designs L5R suffered from in its later days did more harm than good. There was a lot of pigeon-holing personalities into specific "themes" (because they could play the actions that went with that theme), I would love to see Scouts, Commanders, Duelists, Kensai, Berserkers, Magistrates and a few other of that ilk just go the way of the dodo (or at least are restricted to one-three support cards, not enough to build a whole deck of JUST that keyword). L5R was better before them, and will be better without them. A handful of broad categories (like the veterans Courtier/Samurai*/Shugenja/Monk/Ninja) is fine, but after that it was just over the top. *Though that should really be changed to Bushi given how it was used in the old game.
  19. Poor use of the 20 years worth of storyline they just paid for. Because, ultimately, that's the heart of the Rokugan setting. Not the RPG splat book, not the general idea of a world split into clans. The twenty years of story that fleshed out those clans and gave them their iconic characters and moments. L5R has had time jumps before, most recently between Celestial and Emperor. AEG were already planning for one to happen some time during Onyx. Time jumps for an established game are one things. A whole new game in the same setting by a wholly different company is another thing entirely. And I didn't suggest making the whole game timeline-agnostic ; only the base set. Start with the personalities and icons that best depict each clan, regardless of where they come from in the storyline. Then build it up with dynasty pack or whatever you call them that are actually relevant to the current storyline and expand on what is happening now.If and when new clans get added, likewise start them up with a pack introducing the most iconic and representative elements of the clan, regardless of timeline, then follow it up with more story-relevant material.
  20. Poor use of the 20 years worth of storyline they just paid for. Because, ultimately, that's the heart of the Rokugan setting. Not the RPG splat book, not the general idea of a world split into clans. The twenty years of story that fleshed out those clans and gave them their iconic characters and moments.
  21. I don't think a storyline reset would be a good idea. However, opening the game with a timeline-agnostic base set that reflects the most notable personalities of the setting, regardless of when or where they lived, would be a pretty reasonable move. That would give the new game a much more solid base to go from and tell its own stories, and allow FFG to draw on the full richness of the setting they bought, rather than being stuck with most of the most notable characters of that setting being unusable in the game.
  22. Celestial and Emperor are both there, and I stand by their being less extreme than that time the Shadowlands were basically one sword strike away from controlling the empire for a thousand years ; and that one time the empire had to send whatever armies it had left deep into the Shadowlands losing half of it to taint along the way to save the world from being unmade. :-p
  23. I can't say I agree with you on the "everything has to be more extreme than the last!" being a common trend since the Spirit Wars. Or, for that matter, with it NOT being a common trend before that. War Against the Shadow was clearly an attempt to top the Clan War (a thousand years of darknesss -> Villain will unmake reality!), but Gold scaled things back down a lot (Fu Leng attempt to attack Tengoku. Ok.). Diamond started with a big bang, sure, but then quieted down and became an arc of (badly written) political intrigue while Iuchiban sat down and did nothing. Lotus was mostly political intrigue too ending in a simple coup. Samurai was probably the single calmest arc to date. Celestial gave us the Destroyer War, definitely an extreme arc (but one that pales compared to Clan War and War Against the Shadows), but that was followed by Emperor, where the "extreme threat" was people going insane and Kuni Renyu's machinations. Ivory toned it down even further to "people take side between two brothers" with very little actual fighting. In short, my list of the most extreme story arcs would be: 1. War against the Shadows (Jade-Pearl) *. Kanpeki's Empire (My guess where Onyx would fit, had it happened) 2. Clan War (Imperial-Obsidian) 3. Destroyer War (Celestial) 4. Madness of Pan Ku (Emperor) 5. The Liberation of Fu Leng (Gold) 6. The Return of Iuchiban (Diamond) 7. The Age of Enlightenment (Lotus) 8. The Race for the Throne (Samurai) 9. Iweko's Heir (Ivory)
  24. Disagreed that most of these could have been the basis of a driving plot arc. The overarching plot of a story arc should be something that concerns and affects every clan. "The Lion respond to the Unicorn's growing military might" isn't that. "The Scorpion and Crane react to the rise of the political Crab" isn't that, because one is meaningless to seven out of nine clans and the other to six. Even stretching and forming alliances, ultimately it's hard to get the entire Empire involved in a conflict between two (or three) clans. They can be elements within a bigger plot arc, but a collection of unrelated conflicts does not a plot arc make. I agree traditionalism/progressivism could have worked. The Colonial independence machine could have worked. The Otomo plotting to keep everyone against each other would have worked. Lots of things that can work, but you got to have some kind of arc that ties all those conflicts together, not just "oh yeah samurai drama conflicts happen".
  25. I think one important point has been raised - big bad introduced early. THAT has been the fault of many of the less memorable arcs - the Big Bad coming in too strong, too early, and then just bogs down into more of the same waiting for the story arc to end. Iuchiban and Kali-Ma readily come to mind. Kanpeki may well have ended up being more of the same if Onyx had gotten off the ground. The best "Big Bad" story arcs (Imperial, Gold) had the big bad maintain a lot of mystery as to their identity and goals for at least half the arc - they sowed discord and weakened the empire in preparation for their master stroke (taking over the empire as Hantei XXXIX/Releasing Fu Leng to assault Tengoku). It,s okay to have a big bad, but in a setting like L5R, you just can't have the Big Bad keep up momentum for an entire story arc like Iuchiban or Kali-Ma would have needed. Not with story tournaments getting in the way - once the Big Bad tip their hand there WILL be a rallying effect.
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