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Everything posted by ericmackcarter

  1. It's been pretty silent on the FFG front, as far as I have seen. But surely Gen Con 2017 won't be the first we hear about the new stories of Rokugan, the mechanics of the game, the major setting changes, etc. So when do you think FFG will begin the hype?
  2. Before anyone else says it, L5R is a game about samurai, not monsters! But seriously, the Shadowlands is a very important element of the setting, along with everything that goes with it: the Taint, corruption for power, external threats, Jade, etc. However, I echo the op...Shadowlands as a playable faction disturbs the balance of the game. I have always believed the Shadowlands should be playable without being a playable faction, except perhaps as a "mini-game" (solitaire or everyone vs. the Shadowlands).
  3. If every character has a specific Ring/element association, a character in a duel might gain an advantage based on his or her Ring if the opponent is of a different Ring. Fire-->Water-->Earth---Air-->Fire Void no strength or weakness.
  4. As I said in the op, I'm not opposed to magic, even powerful magic, or even weird magic (magical tattoos are real cool AND thematic), but magic should feel more personal. Its not a part of daily life, except as to interact or appease the kami. Flip through the Way of [Clan] series in the RPG and THAT is the feel of Rokugan as I know it. Look at the art of Togashi Yokuni, Mirumoto Sukune, Mirumoto Hitomi, Mirumoto Daini, Togashi Gaijutsu, Togashi Mitsu, Hida Kisada, Hida Amoro, Hida Tampako, Hida O-Ushi, Kakita Yuri, Matsu Gohei, Matsu Tsuki, Isawa Takada, Shiba Kyo, Shiba Ujimitsu, Bayushi Dairu, Bayushi Aramoro, Bayushi Kachiko, The False Hoturi, Otaku Kamoko, Shinjo Yokatsu. That is what Rokugan looks like to me. The cover of the 1st Edition RPG. Pretty much the entire 1st Edition RPG. And I might take some heat for this: but Rokugan is better when it tries to be Japan (at least the romanticized version of fuedal Japan).
  5. This post is entirely my opinion. I hope this is obvious. I consider myself an L5R purist, which doesn't really mean anything, especially because my "perfect" L5R could be different from yours. And I'll probably get some things wrong, too. Part 1: Nostalgia I was born in 1986, and L5R was my prominent hobby during my formative years. I played L5R from the beginning, and in nearly every form. The CCG, RPG, Clan War, Disk Wars, a dice game I can't remember the name of. I remember the Day of Thunder as it happened. I will never forget opening the Crane starter deck that had Togashi Yokuni, and knowing I would always play Dragon Clan, and then being completely amazed when I found out he was an ACTUAL DRAGON, and the heartbreak of his sacrifice. And of course the smell of opening the packs. As a youth, I dreamed of living in Rokugan and wondering if I would be a Mirumoto or a Togashi. And with the RPG, I didn't have to dream. Part 2: What L5R is to me (and why I stopped) L5R is a game about samurai conflict in a warring state. The key word there is samurai. Looking back at the origin of the game, the characters felt human. My interest began to fade right around the time riding sea dragons became a thing. Magic always was a part of Rokugan, but it became so high magic that the characters felt less human and the game felt less authentic (and I use that term loosely) to the samurai genre. The right amount of magic in Rokugan is this: you barely notice when it is there, and you barely notice when it is not there. Of course, powerful displays of magic have always been embedded within the rich history of Rokugan, as they should continue to be. But I'd rather "mystical" be the appropriate term, rather than "magical". Present, but subtle. Part 3: Redesigning (Thematically) It's time to write a new story. The origin of Rokugan, the great Kami and their Clans, is a great starting point. Keep that. Everything else can go. Find a way to tell a new story with completely new characters, but make the story about samurai drama. There are so many tales that could be told. Every battle has a unique story, every Winter Court, but the most memorable stories are those that are grounded in the human element. Draw from Japanase folklore and mythology. Make it personable, and show the struggle of balancing honor and duty, duty and self. "Everything else can go" is scary, but nobody is taking any memories or accomplishments away. A timeline where the Battle of Beiden Pass doesn't exist is weird to me, but quite frankly, it is also the only reason I am here and posting this: a completely fresh look at L5R and Rokugan. For me, wiping the slate clean is the most appealing for the future. The past will always be there as players of a game, but it doesn't have to be as characters within Rokugan. Simplify. Each Great Clan was originally based on a tenent of Bushido. Scale back to the original seven. I'm sure there is still room in the design to somehow include Minor Clans, mytical creatures, and ronin. But focus on making the Great Clans great. Focus on their conflicts. Part 4: Redesigning (Mechanically) Make L5R YOUR own game. Don't make it a re-hash of AEG's game. Start with an idea, or a set of ideals (samurai, honor, politiics, war, duels, etc) and make a game to fit them. Pretend you've never played the CCG or the RPG. Test your mechanics. And test them again and again, try to break them. Make the game simple enough to balance, but complex enough that SKILL is the prominent deciding factor for who wins. Never make a play style that doesn't let the other player or players play.
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