Where are you from, tell us about your playgroup?:
I'm from Southern California, and, when i first started playing in Diamond Edition, I played with a group at the game store I frequented. After an absence from the game, I took it up again in Celestial Edition with a bunch of veteran players at a different store.
How did you hear about or get involved in L5R?
I first got involved by playing the D20 version of the RPG. After doing more research into the world of Rokugan, I got into the card game in the hopes that I would be able to affect the world in some way. Eventually, I also began playing the original system for the RPG.
Did you/Do you consider yourself a clan loyalist?
At first, I was a Dragon Clan loyalist, but the more I found out about the game, the more I branched out. I primarily play Dragon Clan, but I also occasionally build Scorpion and Crane decks.
What did you like about or what drew you to your clan of choice?
At first it was the Mirumoto family and their penchant for using two swords in combat (I really like the idea of using two swords in combat), but, the more I learned about them, the more I came to realize that they were the philosophers of the Empire, a subject I majored in in college.
What was your first L5R tournament experience?
My first tournament experience was at the 2004 SoCal GenCon. While I did not get past the qualifiers, I still had a lot of fun playing.
What is your favorite story or quote from the fiction? Why?
If the enemy strikes first, kill him. If you strike first, kill him. If you both strike at once, kill him.
This quote is from the treatise on Kenjutsu, Niten, written by Mirumoto Hojatsu, adoptive son of Mirumoto. To the Mirumoto family, victory is a mindset, not a goal; if you know you're going to win, then you will. It's hard for me to put into words why this quote is my favorite; describing such an abstract feeling is a daunting task to begin with, so, suffice to say that it resonates with me very strongly.
As for actual stories, I like the booklet that came with the Dawn of the Empire set. Reading about the founding of the Empire was pretty cool, especially since you get to hear about some of the most famous heroes of the Empire.
Favorite character? Why?
I like Mirumoto since he's the founder of his family and a veritable badass, but if I were to be really honest, I like Mirumoto Kenzo more. He started his life as a samurai at a huge disadvantage and became one of the Dragon Clan's most tragic heroes. The son of a disgraced and banished samurai, Kenzo went on to distinguish himself on numerous occasions. He led the Nemuranai Hunters, helped defend Gisei Toshi from Iuchiban's army, and fought valiantly in the War of Dark Fire and the Destroyer War. However, along the way, he acquired the Bloodsword, Ambition, and the Shamesword, Fury, believed to contain the soul of his dead father. A lesser man would have succumbed to the power of one of those evil swords, but he was able to resist them both for years. his ultimate fate wasn't reveled, but I would like to think that he died a bitter but honorable man.
Best memory or experience you had playing L5R or because of L5R.
The best experience I had playing the game was at SoCal GenCon '05. I had two wins during the qualifiers, one being an Honor Victory, the other being my only Enlightenment victory ever. While I went 2 - 7, I still felt accomplished with my 2 wins.
The best experiences I had because of the game were all the friends I've met. I'm still friends with many of the people I met through the game, and they are, by far, some of the most awesome people I've met.
Favorite deck that you built or played and why.
i have two decks that can rightly be called my favorites. Back in the latter half of Diamond Edition, I built this weird, janky dueling deck that could win by military, honor and enlightenment. it centered around Togashi Satsu and Hoshi Chuichi, putting an Ancient Sword on both of them, then buffing them repeatedly. It was fun and funny when i got it to work.
My other favorite deck is my Kensai deck from Celestial Edition and Emperor Edition. I called it the "Kensai Nope" deck because of the sheer amount of negation I had in it, not to mention the sheer amount of destruction in it as well. It was hard to deal with once it got going.
Favorite Arc and why.
I like the Celestial Arc. It was a very tumultuous time in the Empire, a time where all clans had to cooperate in order to survive the onslaught of Kali-Ma's Destroyer army. I wasn't playing the game during some of the more existential threats, so that is what I choose.
Favorite Tournament experiences.
Anything else you would like to tell players about L5R at that time, or any stories to bring back some fond memories for old school players or inspire new ones?
I don't have fond memories that I share with many people in this community, mainly because I didn't know very many people at the time I experienced them. Mostly, I remember having a good time at each and every event I went to, and, most recently, the people I met at each one. In the end, it is the people that I enjoyed most of all; it is the people that made L5R what it was, and what it will hopefully continue to be as we look towards the future of this game.