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Posts posted by Himoto



    Let's be clear, since it seems to be lost on some of the mechanics-first crowd:

    It's not "the mechanics-first crowd". at least in this thread. I suspect even the bulk of the mechanic-first crowd, by and large, want a good degree of story and story interaction kept, though not necessarily the present one.


    The "No story beside flavor and art, mechanics forever" attitude is pretty much a single poster. 

  2. I REALLY wouldn't want honor to be conflated with a "political victory". That's not what honor originally was meant to be, and while some design teams (by mistake, in my opinion) conflated the two, at its heart, honor is about your standing and reputation in Rokugani society - how many people look up to you, how closely you follow (or people believe you follow) the tenets of bushido and filial piety, how respectful of tradition and culture you are, etc.


    The essence of the honor victory is becoming an unassailable paragon with so many friends and allies that no one could possibly come against you (in the initial game, it was actually becoming emperor by popular acclamation). The essence of the dishonor defeat is becoming a villain that all the whole empire turn against (ie, the Shadowlands, but without being nearly as strong as they are). And, flavor-wise, that's excellent. 


    Politics can be used to manipulate that (eg, make yourself or others appear more or less honorable than they really are), but honor as a distinct thing should not be reduced to politics. 


    That's not to say there couldn't or shouldn't be a political victory condition (I like the idea of political warfare being an alternate way of conquering/taking provinces). Just it would be a mistake to turn honor into influence or politics. 

  3. The original Netrunner, which had one expansion and then a sort of second.


    (And it appears they don't own that setting either - Wizard still has the setting, they just have the license for the card game)


    So L5R would appear to be the first LCG setting for which FFG actually own the entire brand and setting, making comparison with their other settings moot.

  4. An honor meter that has to be earned and which can be lost is the most distinctive part of the game for me. Take that away, and you're left with L5R in name only. May be a victory condition or not, though I would prefer it to be. It should also be something that can be gained outside battle through diverse means (yes, sanctified temples and fantastic gardens), though they would need to be carefully balanced. 


    But I feel losing honor should be largely the result of your own choices and actions (eg, corrupt cards, etc) - not something other players try to foist on you as a deliberate way to win. 


    Political control and manipulation (both Crane and Scorpion politics) should be represented in a different way that has very little to do with the honor mechanism ; possibly as an alternate way of fighting over provinces. The Scorpion would use dishonor (of personalities) to control who can or cannot fight against their political offensives, and to weaken opposing armies . Less focus on Shame/Breach and other honor bleed, more Test of Honor/Remorseful Seppuku/Bow a dishonored personality effects. 

  5. There is a HUGE and wide field of possibility between the "every tournament has a story prize" and there are no story prizes.  I feel confident a balance could be reached.


    Indeed. Knocking down the story prize bloat that had been keeping the  ST from getting story arcs and plots going would be a huge plus.


    But the notion of dropping the story beyond some flavor is incredibly bad.


    The comparison with FFG's other games doesn't hold much water either.


    First because most of their biggest game settings (except possibly Netrunner, not sure) are not theirs in the first place. Martin (and HBO), Disney, the Tolkien Estate and Game Workshop all might have some slight amount of objections to FFG creating stories for those games. At the opposite end of the setting, the Cthulhu mythos is basically an open-source setting at this point and so FFG's work would get lost in the shuffle of everyone else producing Mythos stories.

    Second, because, with the exception of LOTR, most of those settings already have their own ongoing storylines being handled by other people. Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones got a TV series and novel series both ongoing. Star Wars is spamming us with a-movie-a-year release schedule starting December. Game Workshop last I heard is publishing Warhammer stories. And the mythos, as already noted, is open source so constantly getting tons of new stories.


    Doesn't leave much of a point of comparison. Netrunner was a short-lived game that never had much story and certainly never relied on it in any way. L5R is a twenty-years behemoth whose entire reputation is built on its story and story interaction. Comparing how FFG treated the two is not a wise plan. 

  6. They're taking two years off. I hope they take the time to consider killing off some sacred cows, including whether a storyline outside of what's communicated in flavor text and art is even necessary, and whether it need be interactive.


    FFG has a huge player base, and they'll bring many of their own fans to the table. I'm sure they'll be happy to have many old fans continue with the game, too, but I don't think continuity in the fan base is a huge priority, or they wouldn't be taking two years off.


    I think the larger market to be tapped is returning players who've left the game over the course of its 20 year history, who may not care so much about current or recent storylines, or who's writing them. If they're unpaid volunteers, they can write fan fiction just as easily.


    I'm really hoping for a fresh start, more in line with FFG's priorities. Part of that is putting the game first.


    Once you ditch everything that made L5R, L5R (the mechanisms, which are being redesigned into a new game ; the story, the interaction...), why even bother with the charade of calling the game L5R?


    L5R has got to mean more than Generic Pseudo-Asian Fantasy Setting 101.  If only because, you know, it isn'T even a particularly good asian fantasy setting. 


    I seriously hope FFG doesn't follow the path you're proposing. 

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