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Everything posted by Himoto

  1. On the contrary, there is need to look at how thick it is. The more there is, the more you are demanding from the Kami when you ask them to break through the wall, and thus (possibly) the more reluctant they may be to accomplish the task.
  2. Mirumoto Hitomi, not so much. Probably because the way she was handled (got her XP version in the very first expansion, and, y'know, being a seven thunder), there's a case to be made having her start non-unique didn't really make sense. All the more so given the whole history of the rivalry with Yakamo who DID get a unique right off the bat. Other cases are not so clear-cut. Would Mitsu, Tsukune and the rest managed to become such iconic figures without the extra-humble beginnings as rank and file personalities? Personally I do feel it would have taken something away from them if they hadn't started as the common everyday guys. (Granted, the awesome Rob Alexander art really helped Tsukune). To say nothing of the ultimate rank and file personality, Toku. Who wouldn't be half the legend he became if he had started as a unique personality. The whole point of that guy was that he started as the lowliest of lowly personality cards, and rose to become one of the most iconic figure of the game's story. If he had had a "Unique" tag to mark him as important from the start, his impact would have been diminished by a lot. (That said, THIS isn't a deal breaker to me. It may play a role in deciding on whether or not I follow the new L5R, but by itself it won't decide anything).
  3. "Not using the cards to tell a story" would be pretty much the biggest imaginable deal-breaker for me. It was the one thing L5R did that got me to stick with it as long as I did, and it's the reason I'm constantly keeping an eye on Doomtown Reloaded despite lacking (so far) the playgroup to get into it. (DTR being, incidentally, clear-cut evidence that it's entirely possible to do a storytelling card game in the LCG format) The cards ooze (or, in the case of L5R, oozed with mechanical flavor that told stories, and told us about the characters and who they were, even if the abilities weren't necessarily that useful. Take away the storytelling with cardboard aspect, and L5R is left just the samurai fantasy niche card game. Which is fine and good for people who are really into samurai fantasy ; but I'm more at the mild interest level - there are niches I'm way more interested in, so if it comes to that, the new L5R just won't cut it for me. It's "the storytelling card game" I signed up for, not "The samurai fantasy card game". Not to say FFG has to do it. Of course they don't. And it may well be the better path for them not to. I won't hate them if they do it or anything of the sort. I'm just not going to bother speculating about what they could do down that particular rabbit hole, because I won't follow them there.
  4. To me, I think a not insignificant part of the question hinge on whether the notion of "Experienced" personalities version (or something similar) survives the transition. The ability to show a figure going from average joe ; so average that he's literally not unique and you can have multiple of him running around ; to a special, noteworthy hero who get his power uniques was something I really loved. If experienced personalities remain, then I'd definitely want to still see non-unique with names, to create that link from the rank and file personality to the awesome unique. It was great thematic, visual shorthand for the way the story went. On the other hand, if you're losing experienced personalities anyway (which I hope is not the case, but if it happens, it happens), then that aspect is lost, and while I'd still prefer a focus on named personalities (whether they're unique only or unique and non-unique both), it'd be less important.
  5. There are plenty of options for fire that don't involve burning stuff. You can take the more western slant, and approach fire as heat and light. That's a LOT of room for sheananigans right there. Or you could go with an eastern slant where fire is a bit more metaphorical, dealing with energy, will to leave, inner fire, metabolism and body heat. Also lots of room to expand on what fire is without making most of it involve "BURN STUFF!".
  6. Because why bother changing the mortals yourselves, when it's much more fun to watch them change themselves in their clumsy, foolish, mortal ways? That's a perfectly alien explanation for kami not being particularly keen on setting fire to the living.
  7. More or less that, yes. Was originally thinking something like "Set organic matter on fire. This is normally used to set fire to trees to provide light or to dead bodies for ritual cremation. However, the kami can, at the cost of X raise, be convinced to set living sentient flesh on fire. This is likely to anger the kami, and they are unlikely to do so again until you've executed some form of penance." Or words to that effect.
  8. There should be relatively few combat and courtly spells in the game. What there should be is a large number of spiritual and natural interactions spells that can be used for combat and courtly matters in the correct situation.
  9. AKA the reason for not one but TWO explicit rules in the rulebook of the RPG I'm working on. 1)Anything you read is the state of public knowledge in the setting. It could turn out to be a lie, propaganda, or a false belief. 2)Any stats given in this book represent an estimate and an average - gamemasters are free to alter them.
  10. And when *a* player take over the plot, it's not only about keeping your story intact - it's about keeping the problem player from ruining the game for everyone concerned.
  11. I'm starting to think being a GM for you would be a horrible experience, from all your statement on all the things you don't want a GM to do... Being a GM *does* mean having to guide your players a bit, which does include working outside the rules. There's no way around it. If your players just wander around doing whatever they want, they'll get bored - unexpected obstacles and plot twists is the soul of keeping the game interesting. And that means, sometime, deciding that something they want to do just won't work. Or that a last-minute plot twist is going to prevent them from succeeding too early. Plus, you have to be really careful about letting players take over the plot, because often it will be one or two players doing it, while the others are just forced along for the ride, getting bored while these one or two players hijack the entire campaign into their own story.
  12. Ultimately, the question is: In the canon version of Rokugan, is the emperor killable? And the answer to that is: yes, very much so. That being the answer, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving the emperor's stats - and nothing wrong with the emperor getting killed if that's the way your game happens. If someone wants to make a version of Rokugan where the emperor has all the power of heaven and is effectively unkillable, that's their own business, but they're changing canons, at which point the canon stats shouldn't matter anyway, because the canon emperor does NOT have all the power of heaven at his command. Again, I don't think the Emperor stat should be in the core rulebook ; that's a waste of space and time. On the other hand, if there was to be a setting book at some point detailing major figures of Rokugan, the emperor should definitely be one of them.
  13. If you want to make the emperor that, then you're playing with a version of the emperor that is outside Rokugan's canon. That's your right, of course (and is ALWAYS the right of any gamemaster), but in that case, why do you care what the emperor's canon stats are? You're already changing the canon anyway.
  14. So you're telling us that something that was never real in "reality", and never true in Rokugan, should be the basis for the game...why? "The emperor is the conduit of heaven" is, (excluding Hantei I and Iweko I), a belief that's exactly as real as similar beliefs in the real world.
  15. "The gods reprensetative on earth" is what a lot of culture said their emperor was. That amazingly never really stopped the Emperor from being manipulated ; from becoming a puppet to a military leader ; from being killed or anything else of the sort. Both Rokugani and Real history are littered with examples of both. Plus, here's an expression from asian societies that relates to what you just said: losing the mandate of heaven. The Emperor-Heaven link was neither perfect nor permanent. It could be lost.
  16. And not stating the guy is just the nuclear option in the arms race. The Emperor is not a god and only a slightly supernatural being. He has no business being all-knowing or all-powerful, and every business having his power limited. You'd have to have either a really awful player group, or a shoddy GM to need an emperor with unlimited power.
  17. Actually it is. The thing is as soon as you stat something people can maxizmize their chracter with the goal to kill it. They can look in the book analyze the weaknesses and strenght a of it and come up with ways they can kill the target. If they done this they can go an do it and the GM can do exactly nothing against it since the rules prevent him from saying actuall you can´t kill him cause when the Hit points of the emperor hit 0 he is dead. Thats why I prefer to say no stating so the problem, that the players a feeling railroaded by the Gm which refuses to give them their kill despite the book says he should be dead, is prevented. A competent GM doesn't say "Nope, you can't kill him". A competent GM doesn't *need* to say that. A competent GM just make sure there are Seppun guardsmen and Hidden Guard Shugenja, and traps and wards that the player *doesn't know about* protecting the emperor. Ones that precisely exploit the weakness in the player's build, because *the Imperial guard probably knows what weaknesses the emperor has*. And they're taking extra-special care of countering those who'd seek to exploit them. And I agree that the emperor being stated out *in the core rulebook* is not useful or a priority. Indeed, random typical NPC stats are much more useful. What I disagree with is the sentiment the emperor should never have stats, which is altogether different.
  18. Conversely, if the GM DOESN'T want the PCs to kill the Emperor in his game, the presence of official stats isn't a particulalry important roadblock. "Sure, these are the emperor's stats. And these are the stats of the five hundred Seppun elite guardsmen and hidden guard shugenja between you and him."
  19. Emperors getting killed is...kind of an important part of the setting? I mean, of the last five (six) emperors, only *one* wasn't removed from the throne by a sudden case of fatal violence. (Toturi III kamikazed with the porcelain mask at the Tomb of Shinsei being an idiot ; Toturi II (if we count her) got killed by Daigotsu, Toturi I was killed by an Onisu ; Hantei XXXIX was Fulengized and killed by Toturi and Hantei XXXVIII got a lethal overdose of Shoju). Iweko I's the first on-screen non-violent transition of power in the history of L5R. They're humans. They're mortals. They can die.
  20. In all fairness to AEG, a huge part of the problem has always been that the bulk of the playerbase was extremely terrible at actually using meta against anything that wasn't straight-up military, even when such meta was both plentiful and powerful. This often resulted in a deck tearing apart the mid-tier scene (regional tournaments, etc) but being torn apart at the true high-end event where people were willing to actually *use* the freaking meta. A secondary element of the problem is that the playerbase gets up in arm whenever control or blitz rear their ugly head, so we end up with an environment where whoever has the best mid-range deck, wins. (Early Diamond, where Crane was oh-so-broken, right up until the DT actually posted a "How to beat the Crane" article on Alderac's site, at which point Crane win ratio dropped rather notably, is a good case in point). Not to say that AEG wasn't terrible at balance - they were. The problem is, the only people worse at L5R balance than AEG were the players.
  21. It was supposed to be Shirasu no Shiryo, but instead (if I remember right) ended up being an accidental double-print of Ichido no Shiryo. As a result, Shirasu no Shiryo was printed instead as a fixed 157th card in the next expansion, Reign of Blood.
  22. I'd like to keep enlightenment's flavor as being something rare and unusual, personally. Which run counter to making it the main victory counter of the game.
  23. For a writer, the question "preserve the timeline or not" is largely an empty question. Ultimately, the only "timeline" events that matter are the ones that directly lead to or affect the story you're telling. Anything else in the timeline is fluff you mention in throw-away references to give depth to your setting. And as a result, the only time you even care about changing or not changing the timeline is when it prevents you from telling the story you want to tell. Which is usually because you want to use characters in a way that would be precluded by the old timeline. Otherwise, the timeline is just reference material. So, in short, the question you're asking is irrelevant, because changing the timeline is not a primordial setting decision - it's a tool they can use if and when they need it. The relevant question is, what kind of story does FFG want to tell?.
  24. That is, simply, myopic. A long enough fast forward gives you the possibility to make just about any change imaginable in the meantime about the setting. A hundred years jump allow for Great Clans to rise and fall or have identity crisis. It allows for celestial events that redefine the empire. About the only thing you can't change is the specific history of specific character and that's not important because your time jump killed them all anyway. They're effectively the same, because one lets you take nearly anything you want to change and say it was just a legend, and the other lets you take nearly anything you want to change and say it's changed during the fast forward. That you like one and dislike the others in some specific context doesn't mean they're not functionally very similar to a writer.
  25. For once, you and I agree on something. By all mean, if FFG find they have a specific reason that make them *need* to break canon to achieve what they want to do...then have them do it. Otherwise, though, if they don't have any particular *need* to break canon...then don't. Breaking canon is...not a last resort exactly, but a specific tool that you use if you need to use it. Otherwise, it's best left in its box. Either way, they're not going to tell us what's going on until much closer to the moment, or even once the new game actually rolls out.
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