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Otomo Sukishi

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  1. *nods* agreed, though I think going forward, a way that is closer to industry standards, and a ... I guess I'd call it a "happy middle ground" is probably best, one fitting with FFG's mode of operation. What that is... well, we've got the better of 2 years, as do they. I think that's time to figure things out.
  2. Jesus, that's what I got on my very first project for them 15 years ago, and I pushed into a better rate pretty aggressively after that. It sucks they're paying even less today. :/ I will... confirm that, yes, this is what I was paid. I will also confirm that I originally thought that I was volunteering my time when I wrote for Masters of the Courts, way back when in 3rd Ed as my first project, so receiving the check in the first place was kind of a nice surprise. Alright, so brass tacks here: AEG thrived in part off of the raw loyalty of its fanbase, who were at times willing to donate time and talents in side-projects and spare time for their hobby, on a level that most RPG fandoms have never been willing to reach. It permitted the company to enable a great many things in terms of storyline that have never been possible in games of comparable sizes, or even in much larger, fully staffed franchises in some cases. But that loyalty was a real thing and continues to exist to this day to some extent, so there are a few things that are undoubtedly true: 1) those of us who signed on as either 2 cent/word freelancers, or as unpaid volunteer staff with the Story Team generally did so knowing that this would be the case and accepting this. We were willing to do so, and I hold no ill will with Zinzer and co over my paychecks. It was a side hobby, writing I would do in my off hours. I have a regular job, and my livelihood did not depend on m writing in this case. We were loyal to the franchise and frequently we've remained loyal. A lot of us were chomping at the bit for the chance to participate. Paychecks were icing on the cake, and really that never changed in all the years I wrote for them. So, let's uh... be civil about that, shall we? John wasn't twisting any of our arms. We were decently ok with those smaller checks. 2) 2 cents/word is low as far as the average goes these days. I believe the going rate's somewhere around 4-5 cents in the gaming industry for entry level positions, with Paizo topping the charts around 7 cents for an introductory pay. This means that, whatever writing is being done at FFG will probably be handled differently than AEG did. This may mean fewer writers, and may mean different standards and expectations, so be prepared for that. Whether this puts a bit of a damper on how much fiction we get, hard to say. 3) I think it's important that the brand both consider the importance of semi-regular fiction writing to the fan-base, but at the same time also be fiscally responsible in setting up whatever it does. So, I'm hoping that FFG will 'do the right thing' on this one, so to speak. What that is? Well, I'm not the business type.
  3. I am ... of a mixed mind on the subject of the Story Team. On the one hand, one of the hallmarks of the game was the presence of regularly written short story form fiction that depicted events related to the activities of the players. It gave a deeply interactive feel to the L5R franchise that is not present in most other games. As a result of this, there is a certain unique, rabid fanaticism among long-time fans of the series, one that is reminiscent of old sports team rivalries. Having the Story Team gives players very close access to the build of the story, which helps maintain the brand's value to them as players. Very few were the players who I knew that played solely for the skill of the game. They existed, but they were uncommon in my experience. So, on the one hand it's hard to imagine the game without some form of Story Team. On the other, my negative concern has nothing to do with baggage and ... at the same time everything to do with it. I did freelance writing for the game, so I used to get paid for my work. Write for a product that gets sold, and you're generally going to get paid. I strongly suspect that, with the exception of permanent staffers on the payroll of AEG that most of the Story Team's members were probably volunteer as AEG didn't see direct monetary gain for its fictions. I don't think the fans quite realize that semi-professional writing at the pace of the Story Team is not just a labor of love, but it's actually somewhat shocking. Given normal expectations in the industry, if they are indeed volunteers who take time out of their lives to write for the brand, all of the discussion of 'baggage' and the occasional negativity can make the type of work that they've done in good faith for a brand that they love extremely thankless, and they should be applauded for having taken that much of their time for it. I think some iteration of the Story Team will probably re-surface, whether by FFG or fans, but if it was indeed a volunteer group as I suspect (We don't generally talk about our paychecks), I would sincerely hope that the players of the game in its reboot not take for granted the idea that there are people with semi to fully professional skill taking time that could be spent writing novels for their own work and devoting it to fiction for a game that they too love. It doesn't negate the possibility of criticism, since we all want to improve as writers, but it's just some food for thought.
  4. I will admit that I have been somewhat mollified on the departure from AEG in the last month or so, so I'm more inclined to wish Zinser and AEG my best on their new product planning. I do hope that his assessment is accurate and FFG is a good, new opportunity for the game.
  5. Thanks. I thought it came out beautifully and that the others did very well in the sections they worked on. If one had to have a last project to write for, that was a decent one to finish up on. 4th Ed was a pleasure to write for, and I was glad to get the chance. Not sure about any WC shout outs, though I'll admit I was uninvolved in the last two of those, so who knows? Pretty sure I didn't include any specifically in the Scorpion and Ryoko Owari sections, but it's been a few months.
  6. Yeah, I won't lie. My suggestion isn't ideal Okuma. This board and the clan boards aren't 'perfect' alternatives, but AEG's closed down those alternatives for now, so it's what we've got. I wish you luck either way.
  7. Hey, Okuma, you considered using Kyuden Mantis for this in the meantime? I haven't been back in a few years, but I'm assuming some of the clan boards should still be active. KM was always fairly strong and active, as the boards went, so it's a potential congregating point for this kind of fan material. Not to pick on you particularly, Otomo Sukishi, but I think it's safe to say this is exactly what a lot of us are most concerned about at this point--not sky-is-falling concerns about FFG doing stuff with the game that we don't like, three years in the future, but the fact that at this moment there's no longer an obvious central point to ask questions and pool resources about the game we have right now. It's nice that all the clan forums are still ticking along, but the number of separate questions that keep appearing--here, on the L5R Facebook group, etc--asking where the RPG forums have gone and/or wanting to know where to ask RPG questions now are surely enough to show the importance of having that central place. Okuma surely can post his stuff on Kyuden Mantis, or the Spider Clan board, or what-have-you, but will new players (yes, they still exist!) or older players who aren't already super into L5R's online community know to look there? Their first instinct will be to check with either AEG (no forums now, and if they reopen they may only be a locked archive) or FFG (where, depending on your perspective, RPG stuff is either getting lost among, or annoyingly cluttering up, the LGC talk that is actually supposed to be the subject of this subforum). Without that, not only does it become a little less easy and fun for those of us already into the game to "just enjoy Fourth Edition for a year," it's also much more likely that potential new players who come looking for a few tips will perceive L5R 4E as abandonware and give up in favor of something else--I don't know about you, but I'd rather not lose those folks just because it may be a few years before we can expect to hear about any new edition. Regarding questions that you have for Fantasy Flight Games, this forum serves 'well enough' until we are at a closer point in time to the release date in two years. Anything more is premature until there is an actual defined product for FFG to address. Requesting board space prior to a reasonable time before product is released is premature. I would add that this board is generally intended for FFG's product line. While, in principle, you could continue to discuss AEG product lines within the span of this board, it is worth remembering that the AEG product line will officially be closed as an RPG with its last publications. This means that 'new players' are being brought into a currently back-dated product line. In these situations, it is beholden upon the former company to decide whether or not it wishes to continue to support the product line in the future during any interim period. Alderac Entertainment has made it pretty clear that it will be doing minimal, if any support while FFG is building. Asking for FFG to support the product line of a competitor's title that they have only now purchased isn't necessarily logical business sense, and one would never expect for this to be done, because it generally is not done in the industry. Period. L5R is not somehow unique in this regard, so I would never expect FFG to address having an AEG product line's RPG forum up on its page two years prior to publication of any works it has intended for 2017. A board would be expected to address mechanical questions, curiosities, etc of their future RPG when it is timely for them to do so, as it would be a forum centered around their title and production. Honestly, the one who has dropped the ball here is my former employer on this one, and I would not pin any of this on FFG. AEG has intentionally closed out its board and closed down any direct connection with a product line of 20 years. Yes, part of this is almost certainly related to negotiations and FFG wanting to be sure that its intellectual property as purchased is protected, but a very large part of this is that AEG simply chose to close down the boards. Now, I will agree with you that this is not ideal. Maintaining momentum through the clan boards was always dicey, even at the high point of clan board activities during the "Race for the Throne." Some clans were simply less active and others were more active. Centralizing this as fans in preparation for FFG's announcements, with the understanding of moving over to the FFG boards when the RPG board is posted might be a sensible alternative, as AEG has closed down any forum-based online support for its 4th edition product. And yes, I do have opinions on that. The inability to address questions of its own product lines most recently published does not exactly enamor me to some of the ways things were handled on AEG's end. However, even as distant as I was to the product in the last few years, Sean and Rob retain my utmost respect, so I'm going to keep my opinions at that and look to the future in a positive sense.
  8. Hey, Okuma, you considered using Kyuden Mantis for this in the meantime? I haven't been back in a few years, but I'm assuming some of the clan boards should still be active. KM was always fairly strong and active, as the boards went, so it's a potential congregating point for this kind of fan material.
  9. Alright, I confess that a lot of the "Alarmist" tendencies I am seeing already popping up with reference to both Story concerns and RPG concerns were many of the reasons that I departed the broader community of L5R about 3 years ago. I remained loyal to the brand and active behind the scenes in freelancing (and those of you who know my name will still see it in almost all of the fourth edition writers credits for the RPG). I've never left, but something that has always been a very deep seated concern is the extremely aggressive and pro-active fear-mongering that tends to crop up over "What Could Happen." It would be lovely if we could settle down, take a chill pill collectively and just enjoy Fourth Edition for a year before we start worrying what FFG will be doing with a potential fifth edition. I was proud and pleased to have participated with the creation of 4th Edition despite the occasional flaws (We're human, we err, no RPG system is perfect.). However, I think that the current product line produced by AEG promotes a nearly complete offering for main-stream Rokugan gaming without major missing pieces as of the most recent supplementary material, so there is no immediate need for additional publications. This being said, I would suggest that everyone collectively calm down and exhibit patience towards FFG in this regard. Negotiations probably occurred during the summer, and FFG has only just 1 month ago announced that it has purchased rights to the CCG and RPG. It has clearly stated that it has plans for the RPG, but has not stated what those will be. It has also stated that the product line will be allowed to rest so that a complete product can be ready to go in 2017, Gen Con. Now, here's kind of a clue for you guys looking at the gaming industry. Entirely new product is generally not announced 2 years in advance. Supplementary materials are also usually not written years in advance. They are written with deadlines in mind based upon the current print schedule. Out of respect for non-disclosure agreements I have signed, I won't ever discuss details, but expecting a corporation with as many active intellectual properties as FFG to publish its plans for the RPG on any level of detail not one, but two years ahead of time, and responding to the fact that this wasn't detailed when the intellectual property was first purchased, is ... let's just say a touch premature. Moving from there to make wide-sweeping assumptions about what will happen because one intellectual property did not receive a drastically above expectation premature declaration is presumptuous. The Long and Short is that you will probably not hear anything until next year GenCon, and formal announcements will wait until GenCon 2017 just like for the LCG that will be bandied at that time. Discussions of the RPG will not hit even the most preparatory stages publicly until they begin beta-testing mechanics, and possibly when they put out calls for said beta testers. However, given how tight of a ship FFG works with, both in Freelance and in Beta-Testing, do not expect lots of open calls like AEG did. You may not hear much until about this time next year, if anything, and that's completely normal, and there's nothing to freak out about. Me? I relish the fact that FFG is taking their time with this. It means that, regardless of what they have, they can put their muscle behind it with the quality employees that they have and actually dig in and make a solid product. I would have been worried if they'd jumped an announcement of a new RPG line within 1 month of purchasing the intellectual property. This is much more what you should expect from professionals in the field. So, sit back, enjoy 4th Edition and relax. Start a homebrew up for the next year, build up some brand loyalty and prep yourself for the coming fun. You've got 2 years to enjoy the system that was the workmanship of AEG, just about enough time for a normal edition to reach about the end of its shelf life. No new books to buy. Just make some good use of the collection and keep your eyes peeled come around GenCon next year for hints. And... again... please guys. I love you. But relax. You all get so worked up sometimes.
  10. Ok, I know I'm going to come off as a bit pedantic and mother-hen, not to mention just a touch hypocritical considering how I used to lay into people on the rules boards, but I think that it would be in all of our best interests if we remain civil and polite to each other in our discussions of rule mechanics and RPG forum topics. I know the passions run deep, but considering the originating topic, let us remember that, should we desire an actual forum to appear at some point here, specific to the RPG, then our conduct should be appropriate to it. It's clear from the board's mechanics that this forum is run as a tight ship, much like AEG's boards were, only moreso. So, let's keep things civil when discussing the RPG, please.
  11. *stretch* It has been a while, Daramere. It really has. Nice to see you're still doing this stuff. I'll probably try to be present, come 2017 as we prep for re-starting of the brand.
  12. In my opinion, 2017 is the better call. Yes, there's a serious risk of losing momentum with the playerbase, but I think that FFG can honestly bank on a certain rabid loyalty of the fan-base, and an assumption (hopefully accurately) that the LCG product to come will be built with the care expected of a top-flight product. I believe that taking an additional year is actually a very wise choice by the brand. It means that they're taking the necessary time to really work on this and put it together properly, rather than slapping it together on a lick and a prayer and hoping people follow along. Were it 2018, I might say something about "It shouldn't take that long," but I think 2017 is a perfectly valid length of time for a project of this scale.
  13. I'd suggest patience on this one. Understandably, FFG is taking the time necessary to produce a good, clean product. We are still within the first month since the announcement of the sale. As formal announcements of the new product will not be until 2017, I believe we will not hear anything on this for a while. It is the nature of the industry. Patience is a virtue. In the meantime, I hope you guys have enjoyed the 4e product thus far. There's a lot of beautifully rendered books. Make good use of them and wait to see what little treats FFG comes up with over the next couple years. And before the few of you who remember this name ask, no. No, I'm not dead. I'm just lurking off somewhere else because I never was good with playing nice with people online. *laughs*
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