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  1. Pretty much. AEG got really, really dumb with how they handled stuff recently. You dont open up the choice to "pick anyone in your clan to do some random thing nobody really cares about" and expect people to not pick nonsensical stuff. You go "Here's a group of 11 ronin. Top clan down, pick one of them to join you" at nationals / worlds, while having a plan on what do do with each character given the option, and why, specifically, there are 11. Or at the kotei level, have the winner pick a clan for completing objective X (not the one they played, just the one they want to see get recognition) and the most points does X (and possibly, lower finishers do other things). You dont go "Pick someone in the clan thats mechanically functioningthe best to do something random to someone you pick from some other clan you dont like for your choice of things to happen to them", do that 70+ times, and then go "well, we didnt think THAT one through, did we". The thinking out how things work part comes before you do it, not the other way 'round. The worst part for someone who plays the CCG and likes the story was Winter Court, where important things were determined by people playing their 3rd or 4th choice of clan (watching 3/4 of your delegation drop out a week in because PbPost is the worst format to do anything and them not actually caring about the clan they got assigned was really fun...), a GM who looked at private forums and handed out information to friends / people in the clan he liked so they would have advantages (theres a reason killing Renyu or corrupting his dog is a thing people wanted, and by Reggie's own admission, thats where it started) and general "look at my character, Doji Cat, she goes meow".
  2. It takes a few months to figure all that out, in a "we know the direction we want to head" sense. Knowing what you dont like is easy, knowing how to address it in a way that will work is a bit different.
  3. I assume we hear the initial design ideas at GenCon, then a lot of changing that for a couple months, and a definitive "this is what we're doing" by December.
  4. A lot of L5R's biggest issues come down to the game not being capable of supporting comeback mechanics when designed around turn 5 wins, and we spent many, many years watching a card pool designed around ending in 5-6 turns scream "THIS DOESNT WORK RIGHT" at the top of its lungs. Unlike a lot of games, L5R gets tactically, strategically and thematically better the longer the game goes.
  5. Lots and lots. And more lots. And then some more lots. If my job requires either knowing the spells or having scrolls for the spells, then I should be expected to at all times to do that. I expect an Archer to have arrows (and a melee weapon or three). I expect a melee type to have a weapon that can hit more than 3-4 things before its a broken, badly designed club (and a second weapon, and a ranged weapon). Why wouldnt I expect the guy who can use scrolls to cast spells to have scrolls to cast spells? Hell, my l5r courtier carries multiple weapons (and regularly bisent-ects bandits, because being a courtier in most L5r settings is the equivalent of playing a Wizard in a Pathfinder game where you wont get to level 5 for the next 8 months) and this is someone that, unlike a shugenja, be nowhere near physical combat as often as possible. I do also find spells per day/session to be one of the worst spell systems possible and results in horrifically designed magic systems.
  6. Based on how they handled Got 2.0 and Netrunner, I dont really see that being the case. Some things will change, but I dont see end of the world, everything is different changes, based on the names internally that wanted L5R.
  7. Suikihime top 8'd every kotei it was played in the entirety of Ivory and 20f, sadly for it, it was only played seriously by a couple people. Both the Crane Honor build in IvE and Phoenix Dishonor in 20f were incredibly solid, albeit with a pair of incredibly bad matchups. Until CE/ EE, most strongholds had to fit multiple aspects of a clan, while Sensei emphasized a specific theme shared by multiple clans (or in some cases, something the box didnt necessarily support well, or something that was a big theme of the clan) If you have a generic box, having a generic sensei for one clan is just a "why isnt this a box" question. Amika sensei above, for instance, just turns your sensei into "new scorpion box thats also on the table with current scorpion box". Sensei as a whole have been incredibly bad because some of the design teams had the idea that for a sensei to be balanced, its drawback had to be bigger than its benefit. Its why the best sensei stand out in an obvious way; they never had a downside, or had a downside nowhere near approaching their upside. We started getting things that keyed off keywords heavily because... Reese wanted to move away from Theme Specific Strongholds to Generic Strongholds and Theme specific Sensei. It was more or less a complete failure, with most every single-clan sensei being ta coaster, but the idea could have worked if drawbacks were less about "your economy is terrible now, have fun" or "you cant first-buy 75% of your personality base, good luck" and more emphasized deck construction elements that played into theme more. Historical examples would be something like Shirasu Sensei Magistrates out of Utaku Palaces. Its something that really wanted to be a legitimate thing. It just had to more or less concede to any dishonor match in addition to whatever else it already had a bad matchup with. In return, in arc constructed, you got... more or less nothing. It was amazing in Pre-Ivory big deck though. 1 gold for 3/4 force scorpion/mantis guys is hilarious. Take, as an example, how to address Off-themes. The Buttressed Walls of Some Crab Fortress 8/4/3 Tireless Reaction: Once per turn, negate the bowing or movement away from the current battlefield of your opposed Crab personality. Tono Sensei Crab 0/0/-1 Limited, (bow): If you control a Crab Courtier, target a personality controlled by an opponent. If he is Dishonored, you may straighten a holding. Dishonor him. You now have a sensei that works as the "dishonor" sensei without needing a dishonor box, your courtiers are designed around low or dash honor req's anyway, so the HR isnt an issue for things you'd use in the theme, AND it can be used as a sensei in a military deck that has a handful of courtiers for their abilities (the thing you generally have to do for a while in new card games) as holding straighten or as a way to slow honor a little, but may require designing around not using a full complement of higher honor requirement guys. It also reinforces thematic ideas, as Yasuki are the eco warfare Courtiers. Tono also isnt going to do work for you if you arent employing the Yasuki, and are just whoring in the best Unaligned or out-of-clan courtiers.
  8. Name: Stephen Ryan. Moto Ess-Ry on most of the forums. Where are you from, tell us about your playgroup?: San Antonio Texas. I also played in the Fullerton / Anaheim area in summers through Gold. San Antonio's playgroup has been huge at times, and for a while, had 3 groups of people playing at the same store on different days, with no overlap or knowledge of the others until we started getting big tournaments. We were hitting 24-32 people for store tournaments in Jade and cracked 150 at our kotei a few times. How did you hear about or get involved in L5R?: I knew a couple playtesters for AEG, and a bunch of competitive magic players were playing it on the side. Once my Magic team moved to other parts of the state, I switched to L5R almost exclusively Did you/Do you consider yourself a clan loyalist?: All my storyline prizes and honor wins go to Unicorn. I wont play them if theyre not at or around top tier though. I think I played Unicorn at one kotei in EE. What did you like about or what drew you to your clan of choice?: The Way of the Unicorn 1st edition. Notably Yokatsu's letter to Satsume. I knew right then that my clan of choice was Unicorn. Though whoever it was that issued me my DCI card at the AEG offices when I took a tour of it said that was a dumb idea and officially signed me up as Ronin. No joke, I still have that card. What was your first L5R tournament experience?: Sword Tournament in JadEx, I collected a lot of useless prize things in Jade. I had 20 something t-shirt redemption certificates that all expired before I could send them in, I have 2 or 3 Unicorn tshirts floating around, since some of them were filled in by the TO as to what clan you played and therefore what shirt you could get. Such a great quote on that shirt though. Favorite story or quote from the fiction? Why?: Yokatsu's letter. Or Unicorn Leadership vs Death Priests. Or Shono dueling with arrows. Or Good Little Wife. L5R has a lot of incredibly written Vignettes. The strength of the lore is when it sticks to the 1-sheets that leaves a bit/lot to the imagination. Favorite character? Why?: I assume I probably have one somewhere. Best memory or experience you had playing L5R or because of L5R: Its probably the people. I remember the people a lot more than I do the story. Not 'Best', but I wrote a eulogy for a very good friend and we then got him carded through a charity honor event. Favorite deck that you built or played and why. JadEx Purple Province Crushers. It lost 1 tournament game total from the release of SCC2 to Gold edition. Favorite Arc and why. Jade. I was a lot better at the game back then than I seem to be now. Though I also cared more back then too. Favorite Tournament experiences: Beating Holy Home Village Monk Enlightenment in force at a battle by having 3 superior tactics and 3 Kamokos charge in hand at a battle he had to win (He was my loss, in the finals, at the tournament the week before). Top 8'ing every kotei in Ivory was a very close 2nd. 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?: L5R was a very strange game in the time before most people had regular internet access. I used Medium Cavalry because nobody knew Moto Chargers or Moto Fanatics even existed, and nobody owned one. Also, if you didnt have a Herald subscription, I have no idea how you would know anything about the story at all.
  9. Monoclan incentivizing comes from inherent mechanics. We have to look at eras with sensei for this to see the impact though. Everything Rats. Take something designed around a 3 privince, 3 gold production box and import it elsewhere and its really strong, because you get to ignore the mechanical disadvantages they were designed around. Otaku Palaces Shirasu Sensei magistrates. In pre-ivory: "All your magistrates cost 3 less gold". Big deck Unicorn Uniques + Scorpion/Mantis magistrates was a really good deck, because half your deck could be 1-2 gold cost 3-4 force guys, and the other half, power uniques. Current Arc Crane/Scorpion Battle Action Geisha. All your guys have good battle actions, solid gold to force ratio and high enough chi in an arc where all that matters is your force efficiency, battle abilities, and enough chi to not auto-lose to battle "i have 5 duels, sorry standingfasticorn". You shouldnt have to incentivize one way or another. With good design, youre going to end up with people designing around Clan, or around theme. Do you want more dishonor in your crab/Scorpion? I hear scorpion/crab have a guy that does that. Do you want 1 more guy with X keyword? I hear thats a thing in places. With bad design, youre going to have stuff like "Everyone splashes Hotako", "Everyone splashes Shiho", "Phoenix spells using 3 Mantis shugs, because theyre just better than phoenix shugs" "Phoenix shugs using naga, because theyre just better than phoenix shugs" "Everyone using Jackson Howard, because whoops, that may have been a mistake". It should be a slightly harder choice to use other clan guys with keyword sets than it should to be in-clan guys without them, but it should be a viable choice.
  10. The Way of the Unicorn RPG book. And then The Way of the Dragon. The depth and complexity of L5R's mechanics compared to other games at the time. I was playing Magic competitively, but once L5R started doing sponsored sword tournaments and regional events,I sold my Magic stuff off and that was it.
  11. Its the distributors trying to move excess stock, apparently. Our stores here use 4 different ones and have all been told different things, from "not a problem to add it to your shipment" to "1 box of EP per 1 box of other L5R product ordered". .
  12. I am of the opinion that the best way for them to go is either move to an alternate timeline where everyone we know is dead, or move to the future where everyone we know is dead, and go from there. It wouldnt be a great idea to try and do something like Clan War or Four Winds as is again, because if they dont do it better, its only a loss, and if they do it differently, its going to be strange when you talk about the lore of the world and have to explain it twice Its like the Star Trek reboot. Its shiny, its new, it lensflares... its just not close to as good as the originals and shouldnt have tried to tell the same stories a different way.
  13. Apparently not 'Free' in the 'Free' sense of the word. As in, you have to buy lots of other l5r product at not-at-all-discounted prices to get EP from a couple of them, which means I guess some distributors really want to be stuck with unsellable EP in a month and a week.
  14. Pretty much every card that should have just been a reprint of an old card that already filled the exact same role and wasnt legal in the current arc. Each clan has multiple families, which gives you 4 or 5 different ninja right there That doesnt really mesh with how the family / gempukku system in l5r works though, unless we're going to say that the establishing world of the setting doesnt really matter, at which point, calling it l5r is kinda meaningless, and they could have gone with Generic Samurai World. . People don't know what personality they're talking about" and "Personalities get confused about uniqueness" have never, not in twenty years of L5R history, been any sort of even vaguely significant issue. Its also been explained in multiple rulebook sources forever, Personalities are representative of armies led by someone of similar ability. Its significantly more interesting to play with people who have names than assign "Generic Derpoff Yourclan Samurai" to battle, even for someone who is literally nothing but derpoff yourclan samurai,. There infinitely more memorable as well. I certainly played decks with Kamoko and Goshi and Shirasu in the wayback machine, not "Otaku Battle Maiden_01", "Shinjo Commander_02" and "Shinjo Magistrate_01". Im just waiting to play a deck with Horiuchi Shugenga, Horiuchi Bloodpeaker, Horiuchi Meishodo Shugenja, Moto Shugenja, Moto Water Shugenja, Moto Death Priest, Iuchi Death Priest, Iuchi Water Shugenja because thats going to be SO much easier to remember than something like Shoan, Lixue, Shahai, Ming Gwok, Karasu, ect. Only not. At all. Ever. Yup. ​
  15. Doomtown started with a much smaller card pool. You can do 9 factions with 10 guys, 6-12 ronin, encourage initial cross-clan splashing for secondary themes, and have enough slots for holdings, events, attachments and strategies, and do that in 175 cards. If you go the route of a heap of 2 of's and 1 of's in the base set, and just expect people to buy 3 (which is roughly the cost of a booster box currently), its incredibly doable. A few of us have this mapped out using Magic Set Editor, in fact. Reese got carried away with triple redundant actions (Things like 'X theme has 6 different strategies that give force penalties in the first 3 sets' or 'I need to print 5 different cards to stop blitz, but then need to print cards to stop the cards that prevent blitz, but then need to print cards to stop the theme thats enabled because all those cards work together in a different way' [when the answer is FAR MORE SIMPLE]., or Each keyword getting multiple kill cards without attachments, ect) and didnt have to design for consolidated sets.
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