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Posts posted by Himoto

  1. Were you replying to what I said, or just quoting me while replying to stuff I never actually said?

    The whole *point* of #2 is that if your items aren't giving permanent force (and chi) pump, then you don't HAVE permanent force pumps. Sure, you can have a few items that don't, but the "stat boost" role is a critical design role that items needed to fulfill (especially at the lower rarity). That limits design space for common items a lot. Yes, you can make a +0/+0 item, I already said that. But if you do, you don't have a way to turn Matsu Munchmaster into a province-taking threat at the pre-release tournament. 

    Your answer on #3 is completely and utterly unrelated to anything I actually SAID in #3, which is that an item that can attach to anyone (in contrast to an item/spell that's shugenja only) has a lower opportunity cost for using in your deck, and therefore is more limited in terms of power levels. 

  2. The problem in that case may have been a combination of:

    1)The need for items to *make sense*. A sword is expected to do swordy things. "Limited: Search your fate deck for a card, put it in your hand, then shuffle your fate deck" is not a swordy thing. Spells can be whatever they please. 

    2)Items, particularly cheap one, having to fullfill a specific role as a source of force (and chi, but mostly force) bonuses for sealed, draft and new players. This limits design's ability to make non-weapon items (that might make sense with more spell like abilities). You might have (say) an item called "Scroll Collection" with the Walkign the Way ability - but it wouldn't make sense as a +2F +1C item (and would probably be a rare). 

     3)The fact that spells come with a built-in restriction whereas items come with no such thing, drastically reducing the opportunity cost of using them. If you want to "throw in" Walking the Way, you need shugenja in your deck, and at least 6-9 of them. If you want "Iteming the Way" in your deck, you can just throw in three and be done with it. This drastically limits using items as engine to power decks, unless you really want every clan to be able to run that engine...or, of course, unless you want to make that item "Attach only to X". In which case it's basically a spell for another character class. 

  3. If your game is all about clans conflicting with one another - and that's what L5R is mechanically - then your storyline should reflect that. It doesn't make sense for the clans to be buddy-buddy in story while the entire game is built around the same clans beating each other up like crazy. Allying late against a common foe, yes, but conflicts between the clans being the driving force of the plot is a must. 

    Clan War and Gold did a good job of handling that mixed  with supernatural elements (the Egg of Pan Ku/False Hoturi arc and the Black Scrolls showed up by Shadowlands, the first expansion), which is L5R's sweet spot. Diamond and Celestial swung way too far into supernatural. Samurai tried to do inter-clan drama, but lost itself in trying to figure out the megagame. 

    All that said, I don't think they're doing Clan War again per se, for two reasons

    Number one,  the Scorpions. If we were starting again at Clan War, they'd be disbanded, not a clan, and infinitely better suited to being in an expansion. 
    Number two, the reference to returning to the RPG storyline wise, which can mean a lot of things (1E, 2E, 3E?), but here I suspect means 1E.

    If we're looking at a reset button, I think we're looking at a pre-scorpion coup Empire, to set the baseline for what the clans are and what they do in "traditional" Rokugan before everything goes to Jigoku in a handbasket. 

  4. I hope (and from the interview quoted, it looks like I might get my wish) they don't continue where AEG left off - I think that would be a disastrous decision, to appease a small number of fan who a)still played the game in 20F, b)cared about the story by that point, and c)actually thought Onyx wasn't an overblown fiasco. 

    1)Twenty years of stories is just too much for a new game. And, fundamentally, FFG's L5R is a new game. They need to sell it to a whole lot of new people far more than they need to bring back a handful of old veterans who were around for the start of Onyx. There's just far too many plot twists and turns that go into explaining what the Onyx plot is. 

    2)The clan votes and decisions were largely about "what will each clan sacrifice and what will they save of themselves when darkness falls". But that lose all its interest when there is no "baseline" from the clan to fall from. For a new player, starting in Onyx means the clans have always been this way ; that they haven't lost a thing. A "what you are in the dark" plotline only make sense when you know what those characters (or clans) are like in the light. It's the difference, the contrast that made Onyx interesting. Start with Onyx, and there is on contrast, no difference.

    Frankly, to me, continuing Onyx where AEG left off seems like all downsides. 

  5. More time skips would have been good.


    Spirit Wars was a Time Skip unto itself dealing with the aftermath of Hidden Emperor ; that was fine. But after that...way too much happening way too quickly. Move the Bloodspeaker uprising to the end of Naseru's reign ; then the search for enlightenment in the reign of his heir, and the khan's coup two more generations down the line. 

  6. It's hard to build strong, well-characterized, fascinating characters when you have a hundred hands on the steering wheel all insisting on story time for their favorite, and all insisting on their interpretation of their favorite. 


    Which is what happened as more and more story control slipped from story to players. Clan War, the players only influenced a handful of story point, and even then only really got to influence the story between a handful of preselected results.


    I mean, can you imagine "Top of clan get to chose their faction'S thunder" at GenCon 1997? We'd have ended up with the story of...okay, probably *still* Kachiko and Kamoko because they were the only personalities of their respective clans at the time trying to take down Fu Fu along with Togashi Mitsu, Kakita Shijin, Matsu Gohei, Yakamo-the-Oni and Isawa Tsuke. 


    It might not have been quite as memorable a story. 

  7. Four Winds for me as well. Most of the flaws people associate with Four Winds really have more to do with how the 4W characters turned out in Diamond and Lotus. It was the last arc before the Time of Stupid Prizes completely swamped storytelling and kept the writers from telling their stories because they were too busy accomodating asinine story prizes, design's latest brain fart (Orochi/Harriers Everywhere/etc), and ridiculous brand mandates from On High. 


    Four Winds was the last arc to produce large numbers of truly memorable, iconic characters for each faction - because it was the last arc able to focus on a few characters before everyone started clamoring both via forum and via (much worse) story tournament wins that let you pick which character would be affected for representation for all the family Daimyo and elemental masters and champions and imperial champions and clan schools and advanced paths and what have you. 


    Clan War produced iconic characters too, of course, but you get the distinct feeling that most of that was throwing mud at the wall and seeing what stuck. A lot of VERY silly thing from the Clan War era got forgotten afterward (much for the better) to focus on the good stuff in it. 


    This is NOT a dig on later writers. They managed to build compelling stories out of ham-fisted brand decisions and player intervention. The Khan's march was well written (anyone remember Nancy's Tea Party of Blood and Death?), and the final battle was suitably spectacular - but between increasingly bone-headed mandates from Brand (including, but not limited to, delaying the ending of the Destroyer War, the fall of the Toturi dynasty, and...oh, pretty much everything Brand ever did) and a playerbase that was stuck halfway between the "No, our clan needs to be the good guys!" mentality and "Let's go for wacky funny result, it's gonna be hilarious!" mentalities, they just didn't have the maneuvering room to pull together compelling story arcs. 

  8. That sounds like a plan that would take all the downsides of the old province system, and magnify them a hundredfold by applying the same chokepoint effect to any card that stay in play, rather than just personalities and holdings. 


    In that version of the game, anyone who is at even a one province disadvantage is going to be massively disadvantaged in the game. The more so for each additional province they lose. 

  9. To me, L5R has always been a game of three beats - you get a fun environment that gets unbalanced, then a degenerate environment, then as backlash to that a slow, boring one. Then the devs start pushing things a bit more, getting a fun environment again, which as they push more and more turns unbalanced, leading to a degenerate environment, leading to a backlash...


    Imperial - Fun/Unbalanced

    Jade - Degenerate

    Gold - Boring except the base set

    Diamond - Fun/Unbalanced

    Lotus - Degenerate

    Samurai - Boring, including the base set. First time I got knocked out of the game by sheer boredom.

    Celestial - Fun/Unbalanced

    Emperor - Degenerate

    Ivory - Boring

    20F - Didn't last long enough to make up my mind


    The fun-that-gets-unbalanced environment have always been my favorites - Imperial, Diamond and Celestial. Then the degenerate ones which at least were swingy  And, finally, the boring ones. Which felt like watching paint dry, both during gameplay, and watching new expansions come in without a single interesting card in the whole mix.


    Of the fun/unbalanced ones, I probably prefered Imperial, but all of them were great, except late Diamond when Design got bored and started throwing us nonsense boxes like Shiro Kit, Orochi and Ninja Flip

  10. I loved Hoturi, and Toshimoko, and Kurohito, and Domotai. I loved Yasuyo, and Hochiu (before he flipped out to insanity), And of course, there'S Nizomi because Fire Shugenja + Crane = Good, and Kakita Himoto because hey, I got my character into canon. 


    But favorites? 

    It's a close tie between Shiba Tsukune and Kakita Yoshi. The haunting art of the original Tsukune, but Yoshi's the guy who got me to switch from Phoenix to Crane. 



    If you are looking for something that really reaches out and engages the community, both new players and experienced one,  the should go with something that actually engages the community of players and has a chance to engage people who are not allready interested in the games. Things such as LARPS at conventions, such as the one done at origins. Off Course they do need to make sure people know about these events.


    Dare I suggest that it's *good* to have events outside conventions, and using alternate methods of communication (besides "you have to be there in person"), for members of the fanbase who for one reason or another can't attend them? I'm not going to make Origins or GenCon ; they're thousand of miles away. What makes you think the community is more likely to be engaged at a con 90% of the community will be lucky to attend once in a lifetime?


    There are different types of fans, and different ways to reach out and engage each of them. For some of them, that proved to be Winter Court. For others it wasn't. The same can be said for any method you can imagine.


    Unless you've got serious evidence AEG did Winter courts at the expanse of ideas that would have brought new people in, why even make the claims? It's not like WC prevented the organization of LARPs, since WC happened (surprise!) in the *Winter*, when the major conventions were half a year away anyway. 



    If you're, say, a river fisherman (or a rural samurai whose domain is full of river fishermen), you venerate Ebisu in a general sort of way without expecting his particular attention, you make more specific and frequent offerings to the Minor Fortunes of rivers and fishermen, and you think about and are courteous to the water kami in your stretch of the river every hour of your working day, because from hour to hour it's largely thanks to them if you have a really good haul (or a really bad one).


    Or if a sudden freak wave send your ship to the bottom with you still in it. 

    Yeah. Elemental kami are at the heart of everything in Rokugani daily life. Earth kami will make the mine shaft you work in collapse on you (or not). Fire kami will determine whether you can get your fire hot enough to melt metal. Air kami will control the breeze - and the tornadoes  Making your land more fertile and give off better crop is the province of the Earth kami. Water kami will determine if you get too much, too little or just enough rain for your crop to grow without being burnt or drowned. Water kami will make the river swell and carry the bridge away (or not). Air kami will make a hot day bearable (or not) with a cool breeze. Etc, etc, etc. The kami are the fundamental basis of daily life in Rokugan. 

  13. So nice to see how much respect you have for the people who busted their rear end off in those.


    EVEN if you were right, you're completely ignoring the merit of the people who actually played in the game because of flaws they had no control over ; AND you're throwing the baby off with the bathwater over what quite frankly appears to be personal sour grapes. 


    It's disgusting. 

  14. You touch on "why are they thrust in the role of priest?" in your paragraph right there.


    They're thrust in that role because 


    A)There is a limited number of people who can speak to the kami

    B)Speaking to the Kami is essential for a wide number of rituals.

    C)Being on good terms with the kami is critical in Rokugani daily life. Angry kami can really mess your day.


    At that point, shugenja get thrust in the priestly role because only they can truly fulfill it, and of all roles they might possibly have to fulfill, it's the most critical one. 


    Hence why tradition demand priesthood out of Shugenja.

  15. The bulk of what became canon at WC I for sure had everything to do with the skill and actions of amazing players - Dace was downright fantastic as Kaukatsu, and Kakita Yasuyo nearly single-handedly saved the Crane as Doji Jorihime after the fiasco brought about by the actions and choices of another player.. Neither of them did it by being in "cliques". 


    Pretending there was no merit, no skill, is a fat stinking load of manure, and an insult to the people who worked hard to affect the plotline at those events. 

  16. Winter Court was both great fun, and one of the way of impacting the story that resulted in the least stupidity.


    There were issues with each Winter court, but they seem to get overplayed to a grotesque level by CCG players and others who had no interest in Winter Court. Seems like Sour Grape over CCG losing some of its storyline influence to me,. 

  17. I said that about Jigoku.


    Not the Shadowlands. Not the Taint. I love the Shadowlands, and the taint has a place in the story (though radioactive taint got grossly exaggerated at times). They're great, and I want them kept.


    I just don't want them to be *Jigoku* on earth, and *Jigoku's taint*. I want them to be what happens when Jigoku (if we can find a good definition for it that isn't "Evil") AND Toshigoku AND Gaki-Do on Earth, and possibly other spirit realms as well. I also want them to be - and this is the real important part - the REAL evil place. Evil is not born from the spirit realms, but from the spirit realm's influence on the world. Even Jigoku, Toshigoku and Gaki-Do taken individually should be much less twisted, much less hateful of all things that live, than the Shadowlands - because the Shadowlands is what happens when you combine the worse of all those other realms. 


    As is, Toshigoku and Gaki-Do's roles as the realms of senseless violence and unnatural hungers get completely overshadowed by Jigoku, because Jigoku *also* does senseless violence and unnatural hunger as part of it being "evil", and since Jigoku does more beside these two, it's the prefered default setting.¸Otheres get harmed too, but to a lesser degree - these two are the big victims of Jigoku's status as the "Realm of Evil". For these two to flourish, Jigoku as the Realm of Evil must go. That can be done by either tweaking its nature so it has a more specific role than "Evil" ("Realm of Decay" might be a good starting point for an improved Jigoku), and it MUST involve moving parts of the taint (the "increased physical strength" and "increased combat abilities" part along with the "poor restraint on anger" ones to Toshigoku,s influence ; the "heightened senses" and "unnatural cravings" ones to Gaki-Do's influence, with Jigo retaining the "harder to kill" and "physical deformity"aspects). 

  18. Jigoku is ONE spirit realm that seems to hog up the overwhelming majority of any face-time any spirit realm get in canon material (and, by extension, in most campaigns. Yeah, GMs don't HAVE to do it that way, but guess what happens when by and large that's what they hear is happening in the Canon, and when the background material is setup to support that Jigoku vs the World canon)


    That's the problem. Not your nonsensical attempt to parody it. 


    Jigoku's role must be cut back down on so the other spirit realms have more room to shine. 

  19. I don't want to see the Shadowlands removed ; I want to see Jigoku brought "back down to earth" and have multiple spirit realms that matter, not defaulting to Jigoku everytime we want a supernatural threat. 


    In my ideal world, the Shadowlands and the taint would be the bleeding over of multiple spirit realms that each have their own "darkness" ; the Shadowlands itself would be the "place of evil", where the combination of Toshigoku, Jigoku and Gaki-Do (and possibily some of the others) create monsters. In this vision, Jigoku would be reduced from the "realm of evil" to something like the realm of corruption and decay. 


    The denizens of the Shadowlands would still be enemies of the Empire, and the Crab would still fight them. Just they wouldn't be enemies of the Empire because Jigoku Sez So. 

  20. EDIT: Ah, yes.


    But I think the debate is more centered on the notion of the Abrahamic Hell ; this idea of a realm of evil that is the source of all Bad Spiritual Stuff (which, in the game, is what Jigoku is painted as). And that's something L5R could do without, in my opinion. Jigoku needs to go (or, rather, to be reduced a great deal in importance). 

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