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  1. They were known as Yoritomo's alliance back then. I'd say my favorite YA personalities were Yoritomo and Kanbe. Yoritomo's Card art and attitude, and Kanbe's mercenary ability made them perfect examples of what YA was about.
  2. As someone who entered the CCG fairly early, and became only an intermittent player after Time of the Void, most of my choices will be from that era. It has been stated that most of the story was flat unmemorable at TotV, and it was defended that it depended upon when you entered. So I will pick one ultra memorable character from each faction, just to give a taste of what the game looked like to me. It will be based purely upon CCG art, sayings, imperial herald stories, l5r website stories, rulebook stories, and promo cards. Crab: Hida Sukune and Yasuki Taka- The First Shadow Warrior to my knowledge, it was later found out that he dwelled in his older siblings' shadows, and was a disappointment to The Great Bear. While I admittedly loved Kisada, Sukune's spiritual strength, enough to re-emerge from the afterlife as a spirit, seemed to say to me that he was the strongest of the four. This was later equalized with Yakamo becoming a half naga sun god thing, Kisada a Fortune and returning multiple times... but you get the jist. As for Taka, who can't love a wily trader. The Stories about him just made him waaaay better. Crane: Daidoji Uji and Kakita Toshimoko - Toshimoko's smirk while he held his sword was all I needed. I fell in love with the Grey Crane. The next card in the pile was Shred-- I mean Uji. Looking at him, I already knew he was different. I just didn't how different he would eventually be. Dragon: Mirumoto Daini and Togashi Mitsu - Daini's card promised much from him in the future, and it eventually delivered. Mitsu was a fire breathing bad ass. Lion: Kage and Tsuko - No explaination needed really. Kage was The Master, and Tsuko was just... hardcore. Her sayings were so tingly, and told a person what it really meant to be a samurai, as well as a person: "There is no greater loyalty but to the emperor. There is no honor but to die in his name", "Heroes Live Forever, Legends never die." It's sad that they turned her drive into something fueled by being an angry woman, and not into something more... substantial. Phoenix: Tadaka and Tsukune - Tadaka's card art was just awesome. The fact that Peaceful looking Tsukune made someone scared on the battlefield clenched it. Scorpion: Aramoro and Kachiko - Aramoro was Kachiko's bodyguard, and in my mind, they were lovers, at the least. The fact that he was a ninja and strong enough to bring a province to it's knees production wise was just a bonus. Kachiko? She was the Black Widow of Rokugan. She was sexy too. Unicorn: Kamoko and Baiken - While Karasu's art awesome, I loved the combo of Kamoko and Baiken. They created a powerhouse combo that was hard to deal with unless you had direct kill actions. The fact that Kamoko would later become pivotal to the story was a bonus. The fact that the Unicorn really wouldn't be figured out until Way of the Unicorn hit shelves was sad. Unaligned: Toturi and Toku - I only knew about Akodo Toturi because the friend that introduced me to L5R had the imperial edition card, and he didn't show me until after I got my unaligned Toturi out of an Emerald Edition pack. We were both a bit confused at how that could happen, and I told him Toturi had to be important to get that card change. It was confirmed with the BoBP boxed set hitting the shelves. As for Toku? He was 0/1 and had hardcore sayings attached to him in flavor text. I knew he was going somewhere. Naga: Mara and Ashlim - I will admit that a Naga cavalry personality, plus the good art made me drawn to her. Ashlim could remove the shadowlands taint, which brings us to... Shadowlands: Junzo and Tsume - While they are two of a dozen humanoid shadowlands personalities, something inside of me was drawn to them whenever I constructed a shadowlands deck. I wouldn't use them, goblins and ogres. I seldom touched the Oni as they seemed generic to me. When their backstories were revealed, I was glad with my choices. My favorite personality of all time, all inclusive, has to be Yokuni. Before the revisionist history came in, he was the man. He showed up in so much lore and was so old wise dragon, even though we didn't know that until Way of the Dragon. He was knowledge, and he was power. The flavor they gave him later, only added to that. He was pivotal without being in the limelight or in your face.
  3. In the case of the battle maidens specifically, I feel that can be easily explained away by the fact that the Unicorn hold fast to their gaijin traditions, some of which may not be as genderless as those familiar to Rokugan's people. In the case of the battle maidens specifically, I feel that can be easily explained away by the fact that the Unicorn hold fast to their gaijin traditions, some of which may not be as genderless as those familiar to Rokugan's people. It is not written anywhere that this is a gaijin tradition, and this would not be a problem if: 1) Shinjo family would be largely isolated from the rest of the empire 2) The cultural clash would be described in detail, because it is important in a game that place much emphasis on social interactions However, as I reported in another topic, Utaku family is not the only exception in Rokugan but again, the problem is that it's poorly described. So, a way very easy to deal with this problem would be eliminating the sexism at all* OR explain in the detail the cultural clash within the variuos families. *this could be done making the sole female school open also to the males OR creating schools of sole males, not necessarily in the same clans, but in any case, choosing this way the matriarchy, as the patriarchy, should be given away to me. I have not problem with the sexism against males or females in a fictional game, but it must be described WHY still exist in families that are part of societies that give equal opportunities to all and what cultural clash this causes. P.S.: sorry for my bad english. As it stands, the whole topic of gender neutrality is something that has been attempted to be written into a game that was based on a time and place where it never existed. Yes, Rokugan is not Japan, except for when it totally is. The fact of the matter is, I agree with Sebastian about either go no sexism at all, or allow it to be completely sexist. The reality is, gender neutrality means any gender can go anywhere. This is not the case for Rokugan as it wasn't for Feudal Japan (for the most part) The *perception* of gender neutrality can occur, and be easily explained: The Clan Wars did a number on the samurai population. So much so that the great clans recognized that paying attention to what sex/gender a samurai was born with was more detrimental to their cause than good. To put it more succinctly, during the Clan Wars, the male born samurai population declined drastically. The clans need to fill their armies, and eventually, they decided any sex will do. This remained the situation for so long due to the repetitive conflicts and events that occurred (everything from the war of fire and shadow, to the war of the spirits, and beyond). Following this, there is the fact that shortly after Kali-ma, there was the expansion to the colonies, which further thinned the available ranks of men and women within the empire, and what you are left with is a relatively sparse population. This is not the place for identity politics. it is one reason i play the game: to escape real world BS. Either tear it all down, or shut up about it.
  4. Notice that they come out about even on a single lore skill.... of which there are a dozen you are expected to purchase for the same cost. The person with a skill level of 5 being able to, on average, maybe win by a point or two hardly makes them the ultra specialized expert they claim to be.... And then consider what happens when these two try to compete on literally any of the other dozen lore skills? You have to dump a crazy ton of experience and max out a skill in order to just barely be slightly better at that one particular skill than the person who bought the attribute... and the person who bought that one point of attribute is so vastly superior at literally every other skill attached to that attribute as a result that the person who purchased the skill clearly just wasted their XP. Now, maybe this could be solved if the skill list was majorly reduced to something far more reasonable and manageable, but... as things stand, the fact that you barely come ahead 2-3 points on a single skill by investing one's entire self in the skill and having taken the applicable emphasis before the situation even arises compared to the person who just simply bought the attribute point? Surely you cannot think that seems like a reasonable trade-off. simple fix to show specialization: Never allow the kept number of dice to exceed skill rank. Problem solved
  5. Ultimately, this is becoming antagonistic. No, L5R is not a generic Samurai game, nor should it be. However, proprietary specialization shouldn't exist either. In all of this back and forth, again, something has been ignored. There are millions, if not billions of samurai in Rokugan. The way the school system is structured, most likely, would be something along the line of a "school" having multiple dojo, with one of these being designated as the main school. The further away from cities, towns and military installations one gets, the more likely one is to encounter a generalized school, or even a specialized school that doesn't belong in the stereotype of the clan's land that it is found in. Take for instance, a ronin. An honorable ronin. He started out as a Disciple of Sun Tao. In Crane territory. Crane have a disliking of ronin, unless said ronin are saving their asses. Even then, it's a crapshoot. So, after dueling alot of Crane, he eventually learns to mimic part of their style. But, he doesn't like where he is, so he moves. He moves Dragon lands, because he enjoys relative peace. He makes a friend, and they practice. He takes what he has learned from watching and fighting the Crane, and uses it with what he already knows from Sun Tao, and picks up some of the Dragon's technique. He eventually combines the stuff he learned from the two, using it and practicing it until he can actually implement it with no thought or wasted effort. It becomes a technique. He continues this, picking up something from a Shiba Yojimbo and a Scorpion Yojimbo and combining the two, and so on. He eventually winds up retiring in Unicorn Lands, where, again, there is relative peace. He marries into the Shinjo Family to an ugly daughter who has no political standing whatsoever, and takes the name. His small dowry is used to establish a dojo. Thus, a new dojo for Shinjo samurai out in the ass end of nowhere, that can't get into a THE Shinjo Bushi school is created. Their focus is as yojimbo serving to Unicorns. They might get a bit of a boost from the Shinjo Magistrates, so that they can actually be of wider use to the clan, but all in all, they are a dueling school. This, is a generic dueling academy. There are probably hundreds of them, if not thousands, across the face of Rokugan. The same goes for archery, and every other role that a bushi could possibly do under the sun. They are not THE Signature schools, or even the secondary family schools. However, noone is going to argue that their samurai need to be trained in something, and so long as the school covers the very basics of being a samurai, then they will most likely be able to operate. Its like the difference between going to A prestigious, world renowned Ivy League College, a very established well known state college, and a community college. In the end, the basics and prerequisites are the same. It's when you dig into the actual classes and specializations that things start getting different. This goes along with the ability to afford to attend said school. As a matter of course, having generic schools is not bad. Even if it covers every basic character archetype. The fact of the matter is, when push comes to shove, nothing will stand against the Crane when it comes to dueling except for maybe the Mirumoto. But I can guarantee that a Generic Duelist would be able to put down a School focused on general soldiery in a duel, with no questions asked. As it should be. Essentially put, being realistic, no one clan or family should monopolize any archetype. It should be available to everyone, even if it isn't as good as the most bad ass school in that field.
  6. Roll and Keep is unique in the fact that the attack and damage is not as static as other games, and more static than others. It is actually on par with most systems that have had the power to remain around for 20+ years. D&D = Pick Maneuver (which is tied to stance), Roll to Hit, Roll Damage. WoD = Pick Maneuver, Roll to Hit, Roll Damage. L5R = Kata, Stance, Maneuver, Hit, Damage. The difference here is that the maneuvers in the other two systems are relatively easy to remember and implement. With the addition of a Kata's effects + Stance, you get additional baggage. Add to the fact that Maneuvers in and of themselves are dictated in required raises, which can then be modified by school techniques, and you get this overly intricate mess of Raises Cancelling or stacking before you even roll. Then there is Free Raise mitigation by opponents by way of school techniques, and it just gets to be too much. Simplicity, in some respects is the way to go. Kata and Stance dancing are horribly implemented when combined with the bonuses from school techniques. If everything were redone to flat bonuses and penalties, it's a guarantee that the system would immediately get less complicated. Take stances back to the Basic 3 (Defense, Attack, Full Attack) and it would get even more simple. Also, it would be a foundation to balance the schools and other mechanics. I don't know in what way exactly, but simplification is a good thing.
  7. That would require "the community" to present a unified voice for what they want Rokugan and the game system to be. These threads make it clear that's not going to happen. Very much this. It has been my experience that this is largely tied to how and when someone got into the game. I got into 4th and so that is the setting that has been sold to me and I have had arguments/discussions about how the setting that 4th sells isn't the ACTUAL setting of the game because out of print books from previous editions that i can't get a hold of should somehow be required reading. It also depends on what you want. I want a game where Shugenja are not mechanically superior to every other character option, mostly because the venues I play in are all PVP friendly and **** it I like bushi, and don't want to feel like a chump for choosing to play one. With this being the 5th edition, it could be completely thematic, with this edition geared toward Void. Yes, that means that it would be the All and Nothing Edition I love legend of the five rings as a product. However, simply releasing a product to release a product is not something that should be done. Thus, Fifth edition should be the edition to complete all editions. As such, this should be the comprehensive transitional complete edition. I have given this alot of thought, and this would be a good way to say goodbye to the old ways, and possibly taking everything back to basics so that a solid foundation can be established. From that solid foundation, you have a better footing to expand upon.
  8. Kickstarter can be shown as a measuring stick of interest. As such, if a Kickstarter were put together for the RPG, I would definitely hop on board.
  9. I've read quite a few suggestions in this thread, and some I can embrace. Others, I can't. The ones I can embrace involve the underlying design of the game. Maneuvers and Weapons should most likely be gone over thoroughly, so as to be rebalanced and actually made useful based upon circumstance. I haven't really used Kata all that much to see whether they are broken or not. It is my belief that kata actually serve very little purpose other than to add a bit more flavor, and be an XP sink for a slight mechanical bonus return. In this sense, I believe that Kata, should be made generic, rather than school specific to compliment the Maneuver and Weapon rebalance. On the topic Ranking up and Skill Spam? I myself look at how true life martial arts progresses, and I think that the insight curve is too easy. Generally starting techniques are easier to conceptually easier to grasp and apply in their timing and situation compared to the techniques that are applied further up the ranking chain. Further more, while a plethora of skills might add to your ability to grasp the concept of throwing an opponent (i.e. physics), a knowledge of physics in and of itself won't convince your sensei to give you the next rank within your dojo unless you can actually apply it to maneuvers. In this, it is my belief that school skills themselves should lend to insight in their full total, non-school skills half (rounded down), and no contribution from kata/spells/kiho due to the fact that those three things in and of themselves are tools that already augment your abilities. This, of course, leads into the question of school design, which I believe every pertinent skill for a school should be listed, and then you get to pick a base number of them as starting school skills. The math behind school design basicly resembles (as it stands now) thus: all rings at 2, all school skills at 3: 121 all rings at 3, all school skills at 4: 178 all rings at 4, all school skills at 5: 235 all rings at 5, all school skills at 5: 285 Written thusly, it is easy to see how the school ranks are designed as they are. Rank 2 has a few rings at 3, maybe a few skills at 4. Rank 4 is some rings at 4, some skills at 5. The way this progression works, it makes quite a bit of sense, and is fairly natural compared to quite a few other RPGs i've played. I feel it also ties you more closely to your character than any other RPG, as you don't have the whole thing of dealing with huge xp pools that allow no progression until you hit that levels cap, but is roughly figured more by number of encounters rather than overall interaction.
  10. When I played, I played them all. My favorite to play was Toturi's Army, Scorpion, and Naga. My Toturi's army deck was built so that it could by any means. It could Honor Run, Military, or 5 Rings. My Scorpion deck was an Honor Run Deck, that dishonored my opponents. My Naga deck was sort of Overwhelming Military.
  11. The beginning of the word forum is generally associated with a means of all sides of an issue being publicly introduced, so that eventually a decision can be made.
  12. Ok. So I read the story backward apparently. I am also lost as to how Kokujin doesn't know about the Spider Clan.
  13. The Scorpion already have an arsenal of dirty tricks at their disposal. Considering the fact that even their courtiers are technically trained with the mindset to be assassins, add this to the then prevalent Lying Darkness that traced its way through the Scorpion in the form of kage yaiken and shosuro infiltrators, the yogo and soshi shugenja, as well as the bayushi bushi school. Mix in liberally the fact that they had a bevy of magical artifacts at their disposal, the fact that the more a bloodsword killed (Ambition), the more powerful it got... yeah. You have a baseline for the Final Guard being purely scorpion trained. Bayushi Shoju in and of himself would at this point be weilding a katana that autohit for massive amounts of damage. He'd have an honor guard of the most elite Bayushi Bushi, at least one of whom would be a personal champion. Add to this the fact that Aramoro, though he loved Kachiko, also loved his Brother, so he would somehow be able to give Shoju forewarning. You then have the Wards that would be scribed along the corridors, traps laid and everything else. Shoju's betrayal was a pivotal point in the universe's history. Thus, there might even be powers unknown working to aid him in his endeavor, to make sure the inevitable occurred. As such, the players might be operating at a penalty, and everyone in the throne room might be acting at a bonus. Those are just a few suggestions. Just remember that Scorpion Bushi Feint.
  14. I am weighing in late, and I don't care. The entire premise of the Spider has been an intriguing one. They have come close to being to the card game, what the Kolat were to the RPG. They are an "evil" force that are used when needed, and are completely malleable in their motivations as far as why they even interact with the Empire. At least, that's my knowledge of them in broad strokes. As for what can be done with them? Consider the following, if you will: Historically speaking, there has always been a Champion of Jigoku, the personification of Jigoku's will to have more control over Ningen-do than Tengoku. Tengoku or Ningen-do itself has always won this battle to stave off Jigoku. This is point 1. Point 2, is another thing of history. There have been several clans and factions that have divided themselves along philosophical lines. This is what is known as Schism, and it has actually occurred in the game during TotV (Schism Phoenix, Schism Crab mechanically, and storyline wise, the Lion also had a Schism until Toturi reunited them). Technically, the Yasuki Family underwent a schism following the first Crab-Crane war, according to First Edition lore, or at least, it could have been interpreted as such. These two points taken together can be the path for the future of the Spider within the Card Game. The Spider undergo a Schism, wherein those who are tainted or not, but desire to serve the empire as a whole decide to split from those who desire to see the empire under the foot of Daigotsu or his Heir (Admittedly, I haven't kept up with Spider Clan Shenanigans). This brings to the forefront the underlying Mechanics of the Card Game, as well as the RPG. You have Honor, Dishonor, Bushido, Shourido, and Taint. Honor and Dishonor go hand in hand with the premise of Bushido and Shourido. However, Taint is a wholly separate thing. Whether it is Shadow Taint or Shadowlands Taint, both have physical manifestations, and each serves as a physically corruptive or destructive force that serves no end save to corrupt or destroy. Some people might find that phrase reiterative, and to some extent it is. However, it also highlights the fact that Bushido and Shourido are philosophies that influence physical action. Neither philosophy is completely seated in Honor or Dishonor. It is told that Lion cavalry overrun peasantry without a second thought if they are in the way. Where is the compassion in that? And even if one is selfish in one's motivations toward perfection or strength, if one is using the philosophy of Shourido while serving one's Lord, is one still not serving one's lord to the best of their abilities, and maybe even doing better than someone who uses Shourido? The concept of Honor and Dishonor is an outdated premise within the confines of the Card Game. One would think that with the creation of Glory, Infamy and Status by the RPG would have seen a renaming of that mechanic. Afterall, it wasn't honor that saw Toturi named and coronated as the Emperor. It was the Glory that came from his Honorable actions. At least, they were honorable in the eyes of the populace. However, he did just lead a coup against the man who had him and his family struck from the Lion Clan, even if said person was possessed by a Dark God. See how things can so easily be twisted? Dealing with the mechanics of Honor, Dishonor, Shourido, or Bushido are not so easily defined. Taint is. Taint doesn't care about honor or dishonor. Generally speaking, sources of taint are self sufficient and don't rely on anyone or anything for their core existence. They are not held to the same standards. Even Glory means little to the sources of Taint, and truth be told, they would rather not be known. They are, however, chaotic, and once they pervade too far, there is this nasty habit of everything aligning against them. Their chaos works against them as well. It makes them unable to cohesively unify for long, even given an outside threat that could potentially destroy them. An example would be a war between oni lords. If one of the Oni Lords can do something to get another Oni Lord destroyed, he will do so if it means his own power is elevated. The Oni Lord that is targeted is left to fend for himself as an army decimates him. As such, taint in and of itself can only lose through Disharmony, which is Evil Feeding Upon Itself. Now, to the root of this post, as long as it has taken to get here. Rather than having Honor as a guiding mechanic, Glory can be the replacement. Honor and Dishonor,in the eyes of the public, define whether one's actions are Glorious or Infamous. As such, Honor and Dishonor can run on a scale (-10 to 10, 0 being the balancing point). Each turn that you are positive in honor, you gain that much glory, with the cap being 100 (so at full honor, it would take you 10 turns to win through a glory victory). However, each turn you are below 0, you lose that much Glory, to a minimum of -50. At -50, you lose support, which is symbolized by your province strength and gold production of your stronghold and all holdings being halved. Paying the full cost for a clan aligned personality adds to your Glory, rather than your Honor. Only certain deeds can add to your Honor. However, personalities would still have an honor requirement, if they have one at all. How Bushido and Shourido add to this? As the lord of a samurai who practices Bushido, that samurai will automatically have all of his glorious deeds attributed to you. Shourido personalities are a different thing. Their actions say that while they are working within the context of the Feudal System, their actions are for their own glory. As such, while they may be more powerful, they give little or no Glory to their Lord. Unless, their Lord too follows Shourido. Taint shouldn't be touched by this at all. As they operate outside of the system. The forces of taint, as described above, thrive in Ambiguity and Chaos. When noone is paying them attention, they can accrue power, and they become a threat. Thus, They should have a meter as well, based upon that threat. It would be measured much like the Honor scale and Glory as defined above. As a Horde Player destroys a province, all Horde players would gain threat. The larger the monsters they spit out, the more threat they generate globally. This Threat would give bonuses to anyone deciding to attack them. Looking back at this overly large post, I realize that I completely derailed myself by latching onto this (what I think) is an awesome mechanical idea. It might be a bit more bookkeeping, but it has the potential for some great things I think. Anyway, yeah. Spider Schism.
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