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Posts posted by Kinzen

  1. 5 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

    The complaint of borgification also ignores that the fact that prior to swearing fealty to the Mantis both the Wasp and Centipede were small clans. 


    But as with several of your other points, that doesn't matter to how players perceive the change, and whether they resent the Mantis for it. There was a cool flavor available that was not Mantis; then that flavor got dropped, and in its place was another member of Yoritomo's merry pirate crew.

  2. A goodly chunk of the Mantis hate stems from how they Borged other Minor Clans and more or less wiped out what made them interesting. I can't recall the exact phrasing, but I recall somebody going off on an amazing tear once about how the Centipede went from "pious sun priestesses" to "pirate henchwenches." Mantis flavor isn't inherently bad, but when it starts assimilating everything around it . . .

  3. 17 minutes ago, Mangod said:

    I'm expecting some kind of "A Girl Worth Fighting For"-moment once our intrepid Prince reaches PLS HQ. Like, everyone's talking about peace and the kharmic wheel and Shinsei's teachings and what-not, and then they crest a hill and there's a peasant army getting ready to march against Mountain's Anvil.

    "So, yes, this is the slightly less peaceful part of the Great Way of Peace."


    I will say nothing regarding people's expectations one way or another. 🙂 Only letting y'all know that this hasn't slipped our minds; it's just running in the background until it reaches enough of a turning point that it claims a story slot.

  4. On 10/2/2020 at 1:45 PM, Kaito Kikaze said:

    That honestly feels like a dropped story thread right now, from the earlier fictions it really seemed like PLS was getting ready to make their move when they found out the entire army had left, but now it seems like nothing happened and they're getting ready to hunker down for the winter. 

    Unless that's going to be a big reveal once they get back to camp, Mitsu and company find out what these dangerous heretics have been up to all this time...

    I am limited in what I can say, but I can assure you that it isn't a dropped thread. I don't know *when* you'll find out what they've been up to -- that's up to the Story Team -- but Tyler and I had a conversation prior to me writing this story about where Ichiro and Satto have been and what they've been doing, that they're on their way back from when Mitsu runs into them.

  5. 1 hour ago, Diogo Salazar said:

    I would argue that a card game that takes 90-120 to finish and wouldn’t support anything besides 1-1 was the main problem of the game to have a chance in gathering more engagement than the previous fans.

    But I think you're talking about two different kinds of engagement. One is about accessibility and drawing new fans; the other is about evoking emotional attachment and a particular type of excitement from the people who know and play the game.

  6. Yes, part of the reason AEG was able to put out stories more rapidly is that they didn't pay the writers. (They "paid" in cards . . . and, I am told, frowned on the writers attempting to sell the cards.) I also have the distinct impression they had a less thorough process for planning and editing the stories. So basically, they were able to progress the narrative more rapidly in large part because they didn't invest in its quality the way FFG has; they exploited their writers and flung things out there, trusting in quantity to make up for other lacks.

    I can't speak specifically to the issue of the story being progressed via the cards because I don't have a window into the process there, but it wouldn't surprise me if trying to more fully mesh the two would introduce a lot of logistical problems. As we've seen, various factors can introduce delays on one front or another; when that happens, you risk weird things happening where the setup for an event appears after the event itself. And as someone who was always on the RPG side of things rather than the card game, I can see being irritated if it turns out the story I'm reading has odd gaps because a key detail was put on a card instead of into a story.

    Having said that, I do see the loss of excitement around card reveals, and why that might reduce engagement. I just don't know if it's actually possible for FFG to replicate what AEG was doing in that regard, without introducing a lot of problems given their process.

  7. I said on the Discord that I would actually find Old5R Kisada's alliance and march on Otosan Uchi way more plausible if it had been Toshigoku he sided with -- basically, rather than throwing his lot in with the exact thing his clan had been fighting for a thousand years, more the logic of "I will turn to something that can make my soldiers unstoppable." And since in New5R, Toshigoku has been infiltrated by Jigoku . . .

  8. On 9/14/2020 at 6:23 PM, Diogo Salazar said:

    Most people want/believe there will be a Second Day of Thunder. Me? Not so much, I would love to have a big Oni threat like the Maw, if that's the case, but I really don't want a SDoT happening. Because that will mean FFG will have to dial up the supernatural threat of the season to keep the setting "interesting" (or boring, IMHO). I really like the emphasis they are giving to the people and their relationship instead of supernatural events. I mean, I get supernatural events happening on the Crab border, because that's pretty much their thing. But I really don't want the amount of Empire/World shattering events that happened in the old timeline in a matter of, what, 90 years?


    I wouldn't assume any of that is the inevitable consequence of the Second Day of Thunder. There are other ways to continue on with the story than an Even More Bigger More Badder More Scariest Supernatural Threat; there might be a time-skip so that the earth-shattering events don't all happen on each others' heels; I doubt they'll ditch the focus on people and relationships.

  9. 7 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

    Sumiko is out of the picture, meaning Hitomi is probably the highest-ranking Dragon in the capital. With that army. In this situation.


    Disclaimer: I have not yet been asked to write anything more about Hitomi, so I don't know whether that's not in the pipeline yet or it's been assigned to another writer, but either way, what follows is purely my speculation.

    Hitomi put her army at Sumiko's disposal, but when all is said and done, she's its commander, and her orders from her clan champion were "protect the Prince." There is no prince in Otosan Uchi; furthermore, the evidence she's got (Shojo staged a coup!) leads to the obvious conclusion that she was sent there to protect Sotorii against Shoju's machinations. Which, uh, means she's kind of signally failed, what with misplacing Sotorii and all -- so I would imagine Hitomi's response is to march straight out of the capital to look for him. Though an army is admittedly a rather blunt instrument for that task, so maybe she splits them up.

    (Alternatively, Hitomi whacks Shoju and takes control of the capital, calling out for Sotorii to come home, it's safe now. Though I don't expect she'd succeed in whacking him just yet, so it would be more a case of deposing one regent and installing another, either Yoshi or herself.)

  10. 15 minutes ago, DGLaderoute said:

    There are NEVER enough words to say all the things we would just love to say, or explain, or expand up, or whatever.


    So. Much. This.

    And it's tangential to the specific point here, but: the majority of the stories I've personally written for L5R have been capped at three thousand words. I think for two of them, I've been permitted to go up to four thousand. By now you all probably have a general sense of how much that feels like, but for context, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America define a short story as anything up to 7500 words. Now, we have the advantage of not needing to make each fiction completely self-contained -- we can get away with skipping a bunch of the exposition we'd have to do for an ordinary tale, and not delivering full closure at the end -- but even so, we're constrained to the bottom *half* of what's usually considered short story territory. So yeah, in DGL's shoes, I likewise would not have chosen to devote words to how Toturi learned about a piece of secret history and how he had reacted to it at the time, when the purpose of bringing that up was mostly to provide context for something happening in the present moment. We're not just writing short stories, we're writing fairly small ones, and it is often tough to work at that length.

  11. 59 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

    I do not disagree with that in isolation, but if we go way back to the conversation they had in The World a Stage, it takes on a different complexion.  Back then Shoju basically warned Kachiko that she was endangering the clan with her personal ambition, and she should act more carefully.  From his point of view, she has deliberately acted against the agreed way forward that the family daimyo had all agreed.  Making it a warning is his acknowledgement that she was in a difficult situation with few right answers.


    Yes -- but Kachiko's thoughts in the story with Sotorii show that she was delighted to find that her personal ambition lined up with what should be done: "It was rare that one's duty and one's aspirations overlapped so perfectly." She didn't make a decision to privilege the latter over the former (though Shoju may well think she did). Sure, she should act more carefully, which in most situations would mean taking some time to think and probably consult with her Clan Champion . . . but she was in a situation that called for swift action. I don't see anything in there where she decided "screw my clan, ima do what's good for me." And my personal feeling -- which is not necessarily that of Shoju or the Scorpion Clan in general! -- is that only that kind of decision should merit the Traitors' Grove.

  12. 1 hour ago, shineyorkboy said:

    Well, technically Kachiko didn't rebel against Imperial authority since as Imperial Advisor she's just as much an instrument of that authority as Toturi is. Plus, since at the time the Edict hadn't been announced Sotorii hadn't been disinherited and thus it could be argued that she was taking actions to protect the interests of the future Emperor.


    This is key. All the cover-up stuff? That was Kachiko working for the good of the Empire. Yes, it also benefited the Scorpion, and yes, she was glad of that -- but she wasn't saying "mwah hah hah, finally my chance has come, and screw everybody else!" I 100% think she made good decisions in that moment, because she thought she was making those decisions to protect the new Emperor, his dynasty, and his realm. Some people have framed it in terms of her trying to manipulate Sotorii, but in a scenario where he's going to be Emperor, having leverage over him so he doesn't a) kill himself, b) kill you, or c) wail his guilt for all of Rokugan to hear is a very good idea.


    . . . but then, of course, she found out she'd done all of that to protect a regicide who was not going to be the new Emperor. Keeping the murder under wraps was still a good idea at that point, but the part where she failed to pivot from Old Plan to New Improved Regency Plan and instead tried to have Toturi whacked, that was not so great. In the heat of an unprecedented moment, she made a distinctly bad call. And tried to play it off with Shoju, but failed -- at which point, no, she didn't tell him about the other part, because all that would do is gain her an eternity of horrifying torment. Which might still be in her future, but at least if she stalls she might get the chance to commit suicide before he can nail her to a tree? (I've also said before that I think Shoju is wrong to threaten Kachiko with that, because I believe something like the Traitors' Grove should be reserved for those who willfully betray the Scorpion, not those who screw up. And at no point did Kachiko believe what she was doing was against the best interests of her clan -- not up until that confrontation with Shoju, at which point it was too late to take it back.)

    Anyway, it's not surprising to me that after having some time to back off and consider the situation, she recognizes her errors. It's much easier to see things when you're not in the middle of them, having to make snap decisions.

  13. 23 hours ago, Himoto said:

    And don't tell me about Hotaru being driven by her feelings - sure she is influenced by them, but *so is Kuwanan*. He's every inch as much influenced by his feelings (hatred of the Scorpion, and certain specific Scorpion in particular) as Hotaru (love of Kachiko) is. 


    I just wanted to pull this out and give it a +1 because there's a widespread tendency to say "you're letting your feelings control you!" when those feelings are soft/positive/feminine-associated ones, but to somehow classify hard/negative/masculine-associated things like anger as "not feelings," and therefore actions taken on that basis are totally rational and well-considered. Not a universal tendency, certainly, but enough of a pattern that it's good to call out the fact that Kuwanan is being emotional in his own way.

  14. 5 hours ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

    Ishikawa, from the brief conversation with Toturi and showing a history of dealing with the criminal element of Otosan Uchi stretches the ‘dutiful bodyguard’ archetype. Not in an unreasonable way, he’s just more practical than one might expect from the Imperial families outside of, say, roving Miya cartographers.

    You expect that sort of shady business to be handled by the Tortoise, then kicked up to the Seppun, keeping that one step of removal so as not to tarnish the reflected shine of the Imperial families.

    Whereas I totally buy into the idea that the Seppun get their hands dirty on the local level. If you want to be a good bodyguard, waiting for some third party to warn you about stuff in your own backyard seems like laziness.

  15. 4 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

    I have nothing for the Dragon, since, well, we haven't gotten enough about what they're actually doing to say


    Right now I'd say the Dragon's bigger problem is fear, not hubris. Apropos of not telling people about stuff: they're trying very hard to keep anybody from figuring out just how bad their population decline is and what they've done to try and prop up the samurai class, because when all is said and done, neighboring clans are less "fellow loyal subjects of the Emperor" and more "foreign nations who will totally turn on you if they smell weakness." They're trying to seek assistance from the Phoenix on figuring the problem out . . . but they're doing it with one hand sort of tied behind their backs, because they can't be fully honest.

    Their other big problem, the PLS, might stem from them not being willing enough to declare that they know what's going on. They looked at the Phoenix calling it a heresy and went "ehhhh, maybe? Needs more data." Which I'm sure will bite them on the posterior sooner or later.

  16. 5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

    OR it can be the Toturi Thinking aka "Telling this to anybody would only make the situation worse - we gotta keep this in the house until we have an idea of what's going on." 


    That's not the reasoning you cited before, though, which is what I was responding to initially -- your first suggestion was essentially "there is nothing to talk about until we have a solution, because an unsolved problem is not worth talking about." As for this suggestion, what grounds do they have for thinking that telling people about this specific problem will make it worse? I think that's valid logic in some situations, but I don't see a lot of support for it here.

  17. On 5/2/2020 at 12:21 AM, AtoMaki said:

    I'm not even getting this, either. The Phoenix does not talk about the imbalance because they admittedly(!) have no idea what's going on, so there is nothing to talk about.  


    This is not exactly good reasoning. "We know there's a problem, and we can't figure it out, but there's no point in telling anybody else about it until we've figured it out" = either "we are afraid to show weakness" or "if we haven't solved it, then clearly nobody else will be able to." Probably both at once. And the latter is, uh, textbook arrogance.

  18. 15 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

    I imagine the Prince's fate was left open until toturi's decision was resolved (If he'd "gone to the monastery" I imagine he'd have run into Sotorii), and Kuwanan's buggered off, so Hitomi appears to be the only person still looking for him. 


    I have zero recollection of the timeline for when the Toturi decision was made vs. when the story of Kuwanan's ambush went live, but remember that the workflow for the fictions runs *many* months in advance. Often six or more. So while in this instance it might be possible (like I said, I don't remember the timeline), I've more than once seen people speculating about the overall story on the assumption that the Story Team + freelancers are pulling off very rapid turnarounds, which is rarely the case.

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