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Kasuga Natsumi

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About Kasuga Natsumi

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  • Birthday 09/22/1983

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  1. From what I've seen, there's little to nothing that goes on constantly. There are a few pbp games each year, run by a handful of different GMs. The one going on currently can be found here: http://www.thewall1121.fallenash.com/index.php A lot of the games are run on Fallenash, but some pop up on other sites as well. With this game having gone on awhile, IDK if you'll want to get in on it. In the very least, it may allow you to find some contacts in the pbp community that can help you locate future games.
  2. How much experience with/knowledge of previous pbp games, official Winter Court games or otherwise, do the members of the GM staff possess? Have you guys been players there? Staff members? Chatted up the more experienced pbp folks? This may've been asked or answered elsewhere as I've been a bit out of the loop lately- Do you guys have an idea of when player applications are going out?
  3. Given that many characters have been label paragons of Bushido over the course of the game's history, could the issue be less Bushido and more your interpretation of it? The people that developed the code (the L5R Code of Bushido is somewhat different from the real world version)/otherwise crafted the setting have stated certain characters are good examples of honorable, Bushido-following samurai. You say there aren't any. Perhaps the issue is you've gone in looking for something that never existed. You're welcome to have your own take on Bushido. But it looks to me like your interpretation of it is different from the interpretation we've been offered in the books. As for Leadership, it does contain those quotes. It also contains sections on when/how you should use deception during war... despite the fact that being deceptive is dishonorable. Leadership isn't an essay on following Bushido. It's an essay on when/how to conduct successful, civilized warfare. Also, while Akodo One-Eye did write some about the morals in/around war, he also deliberately left half the text blank to be filled in when "new truths are revealed". He understood that he couldn't account for every dilemma, whether moral or tactical, that samurai would face. There's a reason that, after those quotes in the core book, there are paragraphs further detailing how samurai adhere to these virtues/how the virtues can conflict with one another. You can't have an entire code in a handful of sentences and then live by it perfectly. The world is too complicated for that. The descriptions go on to talk about nuance and to establish that there are different ways to follow Bushido. Some clans place greater emphasis on one tenant, some another. The Lion emphasizing courage and the Phoenix emphasizing compassion are both being honorable, even if their actions are sometimes, not just different, but contradictory. Bushido is a set of goals that samurai strive for. It's impossible to embody all of them, perfectly, all the time. As you've suggested, someone attempting to do that would be awful. If not awful, they'd be forced to do nothing at all because the first time they encountered a moral dilemma they'd be left spending eternity parsing out the honorable path... an act that in and of itself is dishonorable since samurai should simply know the right path and take decisive action.
  4. Because someone that's in the right can never be perceived by others as being in the wrong? O_o Being found in the wrong and actually being wrong are two very different things. Whichever side the PCs don't support is in position to take a damaging loss of face, despite the fact that they followed Bushido. And thus, the PCs are put into a position where they must side against one of the two parties, despite both being honorable. Problems of morality don't always have an easy answer, even for the most honorable of samurai. It's not a math problem- it's a complex ethical code. A code that actually acknowledges that its tenants can and will come into conflict with one another.
  5. That's the sort of shame I'm talking about- societal shame. And you're right- a proper samurai won't let it get to them. They will know they did right no matter what others say/think. As for samurai drama, you're right here too. We both are. Take a look at the old 1e Code of Bushido adventures. The entire point of these was to put honorable samurai in a position where they face an ethical dilemma. In the first instance, there are two groups, both of which have followed (and expected others to follow) the Code of Bushido. Technically, siding with either would be right. But, it'd also result in the other side being found in the wrong. And a decision must be made. What do the samurai do?
  6. I think sndwurks and Tetsuhiko hit the nail on the head. Bushido is an ideal. It's something to strive for but that, in reality, can't always be achieved. Not everyone can be a paragon, all of the time. Heck, even a paragon can't be a paragon of every virtue. But as samurai, you're expected to make an effort. Samurai do follow Bushido. However, they do so within the confines of being people. People make mistakes. They have moments of weakness. They end up in nuanced situations where sometimes, they simply cannot live up to the ideal. Many great samurai dramas have been about making a choice when either path would be an honorable (or, in some way, a dishonorable) one. Take a look at the tenant of Duty. A samurai must be prepared to accept dishonor and shame in the name of Duty. In other words, its built right into the Code that sometimes, you'll have to do things that aren't the embodiment of all Bushido's aspects. But a samurai weighs actions and expectations against their own honor and decides which actions are the right ones. Most honor/moral codes in real world history have been the same way. They tell you how, ideally, you should live your life. And if you can embody even a fraction of it, great. You'll often be remembered as someone who was incredibly virtuous. If you do something that goes against following the code, you should get back to following it ASAP. And when reality puts you into a position where there's no good/right choice, you must weigh the tenants of the code against one another and take the action that you deem right.
  7. Using a point system with any basis in honor and/or glory to determine some sort of court "winner" is just a bad idea in general. Some of the greatest victories have been achieved behind the scenes, with no one gaining any glory. Some of them have happened without major changes in honor. Heck, sometimes the smartest thing for a character/a faction to do is take a shot in the nose, lose some glory and/or honor, and use said loss(es) as part of a method to achieve other important goals. For instance (and I'm not using character names here purely because there was a lot of great RP involved, I don't recall all the names, and I don't want to leave anyone out), in a previous non-canon WC forum game, the Dragon and Lion were in conflict. There was also a bureaucrat, who's status made him nigh-untouchable, organizing the assassination of an important Imperial. The Dragon made a move on the Lion, the Imperials got involved, a duel was organized, and the bureaucrat overplayed his hand. This allowed the Dragon to realize that the bureaucrat planned to use fallout from the Dragon beating the Lion (the likely outcome of an iaijutsu duel) in order to advance his cause of taking out his target. Since the Dragon wanted said target to survive even more than they wanted this win over the Lion, they backpedaled (resulting in a loss of face) and didn't put forward their best duelist (losing the duel). However, doing so ultimately played a role in both preventing the aforementioned assassination and exposing the corrupt bureaucrat. It even helped to bring the conflict between the Dragon and Lion to an end rather amicably. Honor and glory need to be broken down into points for gameplay's sake, but we all know that it's an oversimplification of these concepts. Oversimplifying even further and using said points as a means of picking winners/losers in highly-nuanced battles of political intrigue was never a good idea.
  8. I wouldn't go so far as to say monks follow Bushido. Some of them, sure. You're more warrior-monks may very well do so. But with most monks, their take on several of the virtues, especially compassion, is very, very different from how Bushido describes compassion. It's why its the monks, or those rarer samurai that lean towards pacifism, that are out there giving food to starving peasants and teaching them about the Tao. It's why monks are given leeway to contradict samurai without having to worry about duels. Bushido interprets each of its moral tenants in a very specific way, different from a more general understanding of said virtues. Bushido is the way of the warrior. Part of the joy of retirement and becoming a monk is not being constantly bound by its rigorous tenants. Sure, it's still a good idea to be courteous, compassionate, etc... but that's different from following Bushido. That said, I'd agree with the rest of what Karyudo had to say above.
  9. The "peaceful" forum game vs. the PvP forum game (Winter Court or otherwise) is a debate resulting in a balance that's really tough to pull off. Mainly because, while we may talk about liking one or the other, a lot of folks don't really know what they want. Or, in many cases, what they want changes with the situation. When a game's more aggressively PvP, the folks that end up on the losing end of it tend to get upset and call for a more player-friendly setting. When a game's more peaceful, whether it's actual peace or just perceived that way, it's often the same folks calling for a more aggressively PvP game. In the end, I think it falls to the players to decide how much or how little PvP (or whatever you want to call it) there's going to be in a game, during that game. Want things to be less peaceful? Take the initiative and bring a conflict to the forefront. Want things less aggressive? Hold your next meeting over tea, or in a public locale where being outwardly antagonistic is more frowned upon.
  10. That's kinda how it was in Rokugani history. Shugenja were still samurai, but since they were the clergy, they weren't allowed to serve as warriors on the battlefield. Healing only. The Phoenix Clan sought for shugenja to be able to do more than that. They were opposed by the Lion. Fighting ensued, on the battlefield and in the courts. In the end, it was decided that shugenja would be allowed to fight on the battlefield in addition to their more priestly duties. That SAID, I would certainly like to see more focus put on the priestly duties of shugenja. More often than not they've been treated like D&D evokers, throwing fireballs. Shugenja are holy men, and should be treated as such.
  11. Something along these lines. I also agree with those folks who've said that these wins shouldn't be allowed to create silly, disruptive lunacy (see the Pufferfish example in the previous post ). The RPG folks should be given the opportunity to influence things as well. Some of us simply can't afford to be competitive CCG players, but are heavily invested in the storyline nonetheless. While the LCG format may help with that some, there are still going to be folks that are solely invested RPG players. At times, the relationship between CCG players and RPG players under AEG was downright antagonistic. Many RPG folks felt neglected and that the CCG storyline wins allowed for lunacy that negatively impacted the setting/story they enjoyed. Allowing multiple ways for folks to impact the storyline would keep that sort of attitude, and the problems it caused, from popping up again.
  12. Agreed. In fact, the existence of said history was one of the things that pulled me, and many others I've interacted with, to the game (and to other games that contain a thorough history). They can learn enough to sit down and play a few sessions easy enough. Then, unlike with some systems, there's a lot of additional stuff out there for them to devour, learning more about a detail-rich setting/history.
  13. That is not at all accurate as to how things went down with people knowing Hantei 39th was Fu Leng. The Crab discovered this fact when they attacked Otosan Uchi and found the Emperor was possessed and had killed off the Seppun Miharu/ others in the Imperial Court. Hida Kisada got stabbed through the chest by the possessed Emperor, Yakamo pulled his wounded father from the city, and the Shadowlands turned on the Crab (and anyone else present) as they tried to escape. The Lion were made aware of the fact when that went down, and both the Lion and Crab troops were being attacked as they fled the city. Kachiko had already figured it out and made Aramoro aware. Information passed from there to other Scorpion contacts (such as the ninja Tantoko who attempted to assassinate the possessed Emperor using a jade goblet that could kill tainted individuals). The Dragon were kept in the know thanks to Yokuni and the rest of the clan leadership. The Crane discovered what happened when what was left of the Lion and Crab armies fell back to Doji lands to regroup and figure out what to do about the possessed Emperor. Others found out after the Emperor canceled Winter Court. Hida Tsuru sent invitations for the clans to attend an equivalent event outside of Otosan Uchi. The leadership of the clans met there and found out the details about Fu Leng possessing Hantei XXXIX
  14. This is the way it was taught to me all the way back in 1st edition. While there's more stuff out now, back then we already had all the Way of the Clans books, 2 of the Winter Court books, Book of the Shadowlands, Bearers of Jade, several box sets, etc. There was a ton of information available for those that wanted to look into it, and some of us did. However, many other players learned what it took to play the game, the way the setting looks now, and played from there. They did just fine. As have many other players I've taught over the years that didn't feel the need to learn all the ins and outs of the setting's history.
  15. Hantei the XVI did way more than one insane, first act. Here's some of what he did, as per the L5R wiki. Mind you, these are specific instances of villainy. There's a lot there to suggest a great deal more suffering under his rule that hasn't been detailed out- -Arranged the death of his seven-year-old brother as a child. -Soon after becoming Emperor, caused "thousands to die" by ordering his closest allies and the legions to stomp out any opposition to him, much of which was imagined. -Destroyed the life of the current Emerald Champion/Crane Champion, causing him to "retire a broken man" after the Emperor took his only child as a concubine. -Had all of his gardeners and servants within the gardens executed because his wife suffered an accident in the garden. -Had a Crane provincial daimyo tortured and hanged for requesting extra time to pay taxes after several years of bad growing seasons in Crane Lands. Then proceeded to have the Golden Legion kill every person in said daimyo's province. -Was seen as enough of a threat by Togashi that the Dragon Champion recalled nearly all Dragon samurai to their own provinces. -Created his own secret police (The Steel Magistrates) to "root out treason" (when again, much of the "treason" he saw was entirely in his head). -Had many Otomo with close ties to the imperial line executed without cause, most likely including his own father. -Once she produced an heir, he had his wife confined to her chambers until death. -Ordered the destruction of all Nezumi -Refused to allow humanitarian aid for those suffering due to his madness and paranoia. The Phoenix had to send such help in secret. -Sent the husband of Doji Nariko on a suicide mission and forced her to marry him. She threw herself off of a cliff. -Ordered the torture and killing of a nobleman in open court. When Suzume Kurako, up until then one of his closest friends/advisors (and daughter of the Sparrow Champion) protested, he had her tortured, killed, and named the Fortune of Torture. -Had one of his former friends named Fortune of Dung. When his mother protested, he had her publicly whipped and confined. -Named an unknown individual the Fortune of Beetles. -Named other Reverse Fortunes who've since been lost to history. (The naming of these Reverse Fortunes is thought to have caused years of worsening harvests across the Empire... which in Rokugan is a distinct possibility) -Ceased holding open court and arranged the murders of most of his remaining siblings. -Accused his remaining advisors of treason and had them tortured and executed. -Had the Golden Legion disbanded and most of its officers killed for alleged complicity. -Had all of his secret police executed by hanging for complicity. -Discovered Phoenix humanitarian efforts and had Nikesake burned to the ground. -Sent the Seppun to kill off the Mirumoto family. When 2 Mirumoto in their home province survived, he had 100 Seppun executed by hanging them on stakes along the Imperial Road at Otosan Uchi. -Ordered his own mother's execution, having Hida Tsuneo kill her with his bare hands.
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