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Shinjo Yosama

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  1. (This is actually kind of weird, it all came to me in a dream. I should not eat four slices of pepperoni pizza before going to bed, it does strange things to my mind.) Kanpeki strolled into the room, and all fell silent. Their petty bickering could wait until another time. Actions tend to determine who is greater than words anyway. Atsushi was not the only one who felt this way, many came to become a part of this Clan of Spiders due to the greatness of their leader, who now held the attention of everyone in the great hall. "Kendo, did you find the fragment in the northern provinces?" Kanpeki asked. "Aye my Lord, here it is." Kendo unwrapped a cloth to reveal a shard of a broken mirror. "We will soon have the one from the Qalot. They asked a steep price, but we were able to deliver, ..." Kanpeki only stared at the man who spoke out of turn, and he fell silent. "News about the one guarded by the Brotherhood?" "The monastery fell to our forces. The monks there slaughtered to the man, save one who escaped by running on the wind. The fragment could not be found. Perhaps he knew the importance of it, and secured it away along with himself?" "There is no where he will be able to hide, relax it will be ours." Kanpeki returned. "Another fragment awaits us in Otosan Uchi." "Forgive my intrusion, my lord. What good is an ancient broken mirror?" "Doji's mirror she gave to Shinjo. Father has shown me a way to mend the mirror, use it to 'communicate' with the wounded Champion, Moto Naleesh. I will recruit her to our side, corrupt her heart, and we will gain her undying allegiance, and that of her entire mongrel horde. They will be our puppets to command. There are more uses for this artifact as well, but that will come in time." ***** Two figures come together in a small forest glade, not far from the Ki-Rin Pass. "You have done well to bring this to me. Do not worry, I can keep it safe." Utaku Zo-Sia answered the unspoken question from the monk. "After all they will not be looking for this." The mirror fragment shifted into an exquisite glass dagger right before his eyes. Now he wondered if what he did was the right decision. The creature before him was definitely not human, but she had been the regent. The Empress had trusted her, so he would as well. He bowed and excused himself. She watched him go, "We will meet again, this war is long from over, and you my friend have a great destiny to fulfill before this is all done."
  2. My fealty belongs to the Unicorn Clan in a very strict sense. I do not see myself as honorable enough to play Crane, Lion, or Phoenix. I am too open, and friendly to be a Dragon, not underhanded enough to be Scorpion. I have tried my hand at Crab, but my friends just said I was Unicorn in dark blue armor. They told me to go back to Unicorn. I also in the early days built my Unicorn decks to win by Enlightenment, Honor, and Military conditions. Then as the game progressed over the years, and the Shinjo were no longer leading the Clan, I shifted my play style a little to do Military/Honor switch decks utilizing primarily the Shinjo, and Utaku families. I liked the Min-Hee Sensei for the few games I got to play. It was fun pulling off movement shenanigans to use the printed battle abilities, then through movement unbow, and re-enter the fray.
  3. Thankfully Ryoko Owari never held any appeal for me. I prefer wide open plains, or the sound of a babbling brook. There are way too many narrow passages, and closed in spaces in a place like Ryoko Owari. Nor do I care anything for opium. Once, by my own clan, I was called "The Purple Lion". Now for the opium, we brought back medicine that uses opium as an ingredient. I think other clans utilized the plant in less honorable methods; although there are skeletons in every family closet as well.
  4. In regards to contact with gaijin also keep in mind the Ki-Rin/Unicorn Clan spent almost eight hundred years outside the Empire establishing contact, trading posts, settlements, and caravan routes to the foreign lands within, and beyond the Burning Sands. The Unicorn have a coastal settlement to the far west that does trade with Thrane, Merenae, and others of the western euro-style peoples. Our biggest diplomatic hurdle came when we returned and our own people refused to believe our claims. We have been treated as outsiders since our return nearly three hundred years ago. However we never really stopped trading with the gaijin. The main commodities we brought back from the west are the horses, crystal blades, and arrows, fur/leather armors, saddles and tack, horse barding, and the list goes on. We even purchased gaijin powder weapons, but left them in our western settlements outside the empire.
  5. Thanks Kempy, That version of multiplayer does look interesting, unfortunately I was in the middle of moving then job searching during Celestial. I did get a chance to play Siege though, and found it fun to play from both sides. I even constructed some old Clan War Era decks as alternative decks to play instead of the ones included with Siege:Clan War. I tried to keep them as close to the products decks as I could including Thunders, Togashi Yokuni, The Hooded Ronin and all. Using the old cards actually made it harder in some respects, because no one is immune to the corruption tokens. Then again made it easier in some regards because of the amount of anti-shadowlands from that era of Legend of the Five Rings. I created this post after reading, "What is needed?" by Coyote Walks. His post spurred the walk down memory lane. I did not want to detract from his post though, so made this one and it is open for anyone to share memories or stories they remember about playing this game we love.
  6. Legend of the Five Rings (LCG): My hopes are that ... 1. The game is fun 2. It is easy enough to learn to play, and teach so that it can grow. 3. It continues to have story that follows along with the game. 4. The Clans exists in some form to allow for rivalries, and alliances. 5. Multiplayer options would be nice. I am definately going to give the game a shot. I really do hope it will be fun, and dynamic. I am looking forward to the release of the LCG.
  7. I remember when I first started playing Legend of the Five Rings at Grandslam Comics in Fort Worth, Texas. Four to twelve of us would sit down around a table, and play a massive multiplayer free for all. We would laugh, and poke fun at rival clans represented around the table. No one person ever consistantly won the game. In truth we never knew who would win. The interactive politics between players could be as deciding factor as your deck build. You could go too far with your joking "smack talk" and have the entire table turn on you. I once was too quiet, and all the other players turned on me. The game was engaging, and fun. Control, swarm, honor, military, even enlightenment decks were all viable, and no one type of deck was superior to another. There was no dominate deck build that could hold off three or more players if they chose that you were the threat to their fun. Most games were friendly, and played for fun. No one cared who won, we just had fun. The whole attitude was more about how you played than it was about winning. Those are some of my fondest memories if Legend of the Five Rings, when I played it just for fun. Once I got away from that and started playing tournaments. The game became a one on one competition, and lost a lot of its fun factor. That is when it seemed more importance was placed on winning, and no one cared about how you played, they only cared if you won. I for one would like to see that wild zaniness of multiplayer shenanigans return to the game. Along with the comraderie of every player is important, not just the winner.
  8. If I remember correctly they did try and convince us as Unicorn to chose option 2, Alliance. There was a strong push to do so, and to chose Spider. However there was even a stronger push against that option, mainly for its drawbacks. LOOSE your identity as a clan, become the clan of your alliance. There was also no clause in there that said the clan you chose to ally with will be grateful. It was noted that other clans will see you as playing favorites, and will confront you in various methods for choosing Alliance. It also gave the allied clan the option to turn against us on their whim, and blame us should anything go wrong. That was why option 1 for us was more popular, but we were even divided on that between protecting the peasants, and arming them and conscripting them into defending themselves. Overall though our options were not nearly as bad as other clans were given.
  9. I have no problem with Calligraphy covering writing, ciphering, and literacy. I see Calligraphy as one of the pillars of Rokugani education. Expanding Calligraphing into three skills like that would just penalize players trying to build more well rounded characters, and may even discourage them from doing so. I would however have a problem with perform:dance, acrobatics, and defense being merged together. Whereas the latter three share some likenesses, they are also different. I may allow you to use one of those to substitute for another at half value, but not entirely as the same skill.
  10. I for one would be glad to see this. I am growing weary of random filler encounters that drain a parties entire pool of resources, and boss mobs that require each party member to hunker down in a bunker firing off rocket silos in order to pull off a victory. ( This is of-course an exaggeration. )
  11. Well to be more honest, it was not a matter of "This isn't going to work, we have to change it." More often it was, "There is no mention, no rules covering this, let's improvise." I understand your point though, and I was not clear enough with what I said. Thanks for correcting me.
  12. Yeah, I read through my first edition books, and the only thing I found about meishodo was a short conversation between Iuchi, and Shinjo on the topic. During the conversation he demonstrates the technique. Shinjo basically tells him this method is meant for mortals, not for her. She does not forbid his using it though. Iuchi never accomplished much with meishodo, it was his son, and one of his students that really made many improvements with meishodo, and bent it in a way to make it more compatable with Rokugani style spellcasting. They also were the ones who implemented the talismans. However there was mention of those who possessed djinn blood not requiring a talisman, and being able to cast spells with more flexibility. That was one of the reasons differant gamemasters allowed different ways of implementing meishodo in the past. Keep in mind we also first began playing when the only book released was the core rule book for first edition. Back in the 80's and 90's there was a whole lot more tendency to house rule. I rarely encounter house ruling any more, all things etched in stone rigid. Makes it feel to me at least that much of the creativity, and uniqueness of gamemaster and player style is now diminished. I will admit though I miss the people I gamed with back then more than I miss the actual game systems. Back in 2005, and 2006 was the last time I actually ran a few games of Legend of the Five Rings RPG. I only had my first edition books, and imagination. We had fun though. Yes when I say a few years back that could mean as many as twenty years. The memories are that fond, even if they are not that fresh. My fondest memories are still those of playing first edition AD&D. A game I will still run even today, it is still that much fun.
  13. I had some downtime at work today, and did a little researching on the topic of Meishodo. The current version of meishodo is certainly clearer as to what it is, and what it isn't. It is no where near as flexible, or useful as I was originally led to believe. This is what I was told about meishodo back in 1997 when I first started playing, and was trying to decide what type of character would be my first Legend of the Five Rings player character. (I ended up creating a Shinjo Horse Archer, but my gamemaster really tried to tempt me to play an Iuchi Meishodo Practitioner.) I was told meishodo was the western art of spellcasting. He was going to allow me to use I.C.E.'s Spell Law as my spell book. I would need to pick one realm, Essence, Channeling, or Mentalism. Then choose one class set of list. Thus a meishodo caster could basically emulate any western style spellcaster. Animist, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Magician, Mentalist, Mystic, Shaman, Sorcerer, Wizard, ... Anything really. I would also use Spell Laws rules for casting, and be limited to the mana pool system of Rolemaster. I have to say that was tempting in comparison to Rokugani Shugenja. I almost fell for it. That would have opened up a can of worms for us as players, because that would also allow him to throw western sorcerers at us. I am glad I chose a Shinjo Bushi, and so was the rest of the play group. Another gamemaster also called it western spellcasting. He allowed players to use the AD&D spell lists, and supplements, including item creation. He also used mana pool system for a way to restrict spellcasting while giving it some flexibility. His explanation, or fluff for doing so, was that western spellcasters could sense the ley lines, and nexus wells of the planet, and call upon either that energy, or their own energy to fuel their spells. This was the one I had adopted for the games I ran up until a few years ago. This was my view of meishodo until I researched it earlier today. A long stretch, and much more useful, and powerful than what it was intended to be. I can see that now. Now I look at how they actually implemented meishodo as name magic requiring a talisman, and sacrificing power, and flexibility for speed of casting. I am like; Wow! this is our ancient secret? It really is no big deal, and well balanced with the rest of the spellcasting in Rokugan. Whatever can be done with meishodo, can also be accomplished by other shugenja, or even outclassed in many ways. After all it would not due to have gaijin magic outshine the magic derived from the kami of Rokugan. I am grateful they did leave it balanced, even weaker in the long run. Anyways with all the topics on magic, and shugenja. spellcasting out on this board, I just thought I would share some other food for thought. Give those who like high powered games maybe some ideas, or tools to use. Have fun guys go wild if this is your sort of thing. I know we had fun with it for many years.
  14. Mongolian Khan-ness is the general perception of almost all Legend of the Five Rings players in my area. They continually harass me about my choice of Unicorn, and more specifically Shinjo Family. Always telling me the only interesting thing about Unicorn are the Moto, and their Death Priest. I suppose that my long fight to dispel that view has even tainted my own view. However I would not compare Shinjo to Usagi Tsukino, she is actually even better than that in my opinion, and my acceptance of the Moto as part of our clan comes from Moto Naleesh. I would love to see the Shinjo House restored to honour, and once again leading the clan. I would want to see it done properly though in a way that honours Shinjo our founder. The Phoenix solution of kill all the Moto and let heaven sort them out is just plain bad. There is a better way, and Shinjo started us down that path long ago. Now for what I believe about the Shinjo. We followed our Lady Kami Shinjo out beyond the borders. There we learned various new twist on skills we already employed, horsemanship, archery, swordsmanship, tactics, and how to utilize these skills in combination with one another. This is only a little of what we brought back with us. We also brought foreign people, and foreign goods, the establishment of trade routes, and diplomatic relations from foreign nations. We have seen the value in gaijins, and other cultures. Yet our Rokugan brothers, and sisters are not so welcoming of these new cultures, and wares. Yet how much of this have we seen represented within our clan, and our stories? There was some mention of such things during Clan War, and less and less as time passed post Clan War. You mentioned that the Mantis do some of the things we do, only that they are better at it. The Unicorn did those things, and do those things. They have been played down in our clan since the Second Day of Thunder when they needed reasons for the Mantis to be considered a great clan. Unicorn are still the most feared horsearchers, and cavalry in Rokugan, but we were also once known for the archery we brought back with us from our sojourn to the west. I have always disliked the Mantis for that very reason we lost part of our identity to them, so they would have their claim to fame. Yet that left us as simply the horse clan with little to no other reasons why we are a great clan, other than our compassion. Edited my earlier post to hopefully to clarify what I was attempting to say in the first place. I apologize if it offended you in any way, that was not my intention.
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