Miya Takumi reacted to Crawd in [RPG] Re-imagining the L5R RPG - What is necessary?
So you're saying, let's say for example, two people (Bob and Joe) wants to play an Hida Bushi.
After a while, Bob wants to be a powerhouse while Joe wants a playstyle where he'll work with duel to death. So Bob decides to pick the berserker part of the tree while Joe the duelist part. Later on, Bob wants his berserker to command Ashigaru and lead battles and be feared though intimidation, while Joe wants his character to be a dirty player with tanto once in a while, both pick their parts of the tree. Is that it?
Why I'm using this? Because I feel like this already exists in L5R, not as a core, except for the berserker part. It's through Alternate Path. So basically, Bob starts Hida Bushi, take the Hida Berserker at rank 2 and at rank 4 the Yasuki Taskmaster. While Joe, starts Hida Bushi, pick the Hida Defender at rank 2 and the Crab Knife-Fighter at rank 4. There, 2 Hida Bushi that plays differently but are similarly enough.
Maybe the first supplement may be about Alternate Paths of the corebooks, which will gives this kind of "talent tree" and feeling of not having "clones" when two people are playing the same school. However, I don't think there's a need for a new system since there's already one in it.
To me, Alternate Path and Different School are more than enough to me for the latest problems that are being said.
There's a need for someone to play another school, buy different school. The Storyteller wants a clanless storyline, allows different school advantage for free. There's some people who wants the same school but doesn't want to be clones, introduce them to alternate path or kata. I've seen a different playstyle in my Crab Clan War campaign where 2 of my players where Hida Bushi, one went Hida Berserker while the other was more on the defensive side. The only different, which was seen in the character build was, the selection of the alternate path. Yet, both characters felt different.
Miya Takumi reacted to Daigotsu Masanori in [RPG] Re-imagining the L5R RPG - What is necessary?
Do all the clans need an "X" (Replace X, with the appropiate specialized School) School/Path? No, that is why you have the Different School Advantage. If you want play a diffrent archetype from your clan take it and have fun. And if you do not want to go that route, put your courtiers to work and get one for the support of your group.Just my two zeni.
Miya Takumi reacted to Crawd in [RPG] Re-imagining the L5R RPG - What is necessary?
Would you mind to explain me how this would be better? That would be, in my opinion, going backward because I feel like it would desynchronize the setting with the system. Let's stop talking about the card game as if it's the problem of every world's catastrophes because most of the core schools are from the very basis of the game.
Since the very begining, the Kakita were designed to be duelist, it's nothing new, so it's fairly natural for the Kakita to have a specialized school into dueling. That's the base. Since the very begining, the Isawa were very talented as Shugenja, it's fairly natural for the Isawa to have their very own specialized school as Shugenja. I could go on with for every family and that has nothing to do with the Card Game, this is the core setting.
I cannot see how the Kakita would feel like a Kakita if they don't have their Kakita Duelist school as a core selection. I'm very confused about this because that's what gives the flavor. If I wanted to play a Bland Fighter, I would simply play D&D. I really enjoy L5R for the variation of the school and most of my games are played with the corebook only.
Let's see how bland it could be. There's 3 generic core school: Bushi, Courtier, Shugenja. A group of 6 players picks the following: 3 Bushi, 1 Courtier and 2 Shugenja. The courtier is very happy because he's unique. Both Shugenja may be happy, depending on their selected spells, that's if the system allows spell selection otherwise it's 2 very similar Shugenja that may varies with their character points. Then there's the 3 Bushi with the same basic kit... That's very bland to me. Where's the difference? Their Clan and families? But their kit is the same and some are probably not very fitting for the school.
I really don't see the plus-value on having only "Generic School" instead of the way it is from the very first edition. I'm not against the idea of generic school, in fact I'm very in favor of these, but in addition to the actual way.
Miya Takumi got a reaction from Daigotsu Masanori in [RPG] Winter Court 5
Although I think both. I am rooting for the Empire loyal led by Shibatsu. And will love if this group will take the route of the leper colony, discussed in PsiNorm's topic.
Although, I do not think I will able to participate but the premise of my Campaing will be affected by the outcome of these events.
Keep up the good work guys.
Miya Takumi reacted to PsiNorm in How I Would Implement the Spiders
This is my second post dealing with the Shadowlands in the new L5R. I enjoyed the discussion in that thread, and found most of the replies interesting input. In light of that, I have decided to give a little thought as to how I think the Spider should have been implemented in the game.
First off, while I do think that having a Shadowlands "clan" in the game is bad both thematically and mechanically, I do see that a Spider-type clan is important and can fit both of those. This is not a "get rid of the Spider" thread.
One of the best things about L5R is that the villains are not just Fu-Leng and the Shadowlands Baddies, but villains appear out of the clans themselves. A lot of the drama in the story comes from players within the clan attempting to corrupt it, with other players attempting to purify it. More drama comes from the struggles the clans have to face, and whether they face it with honour or disgrace. The Shadowlands can be used as a big threat in the story every now and then, but it really serves the story better as part of the setting.
The Shadowlands is the larger evil that threatens Rokugan. It is the prefect symbol of pure evil - it is relentless in it's assault. If Rokugan was passive against it, it would eventually destroy all - it's the constant actions of the citizens that keep it to the outskirts. That is the backdrop upon which all other stories are projected.
Using the above, I always thought that the Spider would have been better implemented as a clan of corrupted humans. Those who become corrupted are cast out and find a home among their own kind. Their struggles would be great, and their stories just as great.
1. They are corrupted or choose to live among those who are. They are looked down upon and feared by many of the populace. What struggles do those people face every day?
2. They live where no one else would. Perhaps they live in a tainted area of Rokugan, or a rugged production-less section, or maybe just outside the Wall in shacks they lean up against the stone. Think of Indian Reservations as a guide. If that land was suddenly of value, would these people be relocated?
3. They require Jade, but have no local source for it. They are dependent on the rest of Rokugan for the Jade they need. How do they feel about that? How does Rokugan feel about some of their Jade going to these corrupt?
4. The clan has the framework to allow for stories of great honour, and great evil. Does a member rise above his conditions and achieve greatness, or does he fight against the injustices against his people? Does he do these things with honour, or with evil? I realize that the Spider is there for players that like playing the bad guy, but every clan can have it's "bad guy", and these guys provide a simpler place for those players (like the Spider of old) while still attracting those who enjoy the story of honour coming from the darkest places.
Anyways, there are a lot of other story options found in a clan like this, and the best part is that it allows for both stories equally (good and evil). Plus it saves the Shadowlands from being watered down, and allows it to be the huge threat it really is when needed for the story.
I hope I was able to describe the vision in my head in a way that worked, and I look forward to hearing your input.
Miya Takumi reacted to Kinzen in How I Would Implement the Spiders
This sounds like of like the "leper colony" clan -- which I think is potentially interesting!
Personally, I wouldn't treat them as a "clan" as such, since that term implies a social role in Rokugan that I don't think Team Taint would have. Instead I'd treat them as a faction a la the Brotherhood or the Naga: they have their own internal organization, but aren't integrated into the normal fabric of samurai society. Rokugan accepts their existence because the Empire likes having a place to dump everybody who gets Tainted, mostly out of sight and out of mind, and there are stories about members of this group who rose above their ill fortune to do wondrous things -- but there are also stories about members of this group who embraced their corruption and became unholy monsters. So the Phoenix and Unicorn kind of patronizingly try to help those unfortunates, the Lion leave them to sink or swim on their own merits,the Scorpion keep one eye on them at all times, the Crane wish they could forget such a group exists, and the Crab form an alliance with those among them who want to go down swinging. (In other words, the Damned and the Deathseekers stop being groups within the Crab and the Lion, and start being traditions in the Brotherhood of Taint formed largely of ex-Crab and ex-Lion samurai.) Sometimes one of their less-Tainted number shows up at court, but only with a samurai watchdog to make sure they don't infect anybody else.
It could make for great stories!
EDITED TO ADD: sndwurks, I'm assuming the question here is for the setting/RPG rather than the card game as such, which I realize may be an incorrect assumption. But it gets a lot more flexible if you don't have to think about it from the perspective of decks and victory conditions. It sounds like what PsiNorm is proposing is a broader version of the Deathseekers and the Damned/sitting in a monastery drinking Jade Petal Tea for the rest of your life, rather than anything with a specific connection to Daigotsu and the IC/OOC history there. Basically: jettisoning the canonical version and rethinking the whole concept of "Tainted faction" from the ground up.
Miya Takumi reacted to GranSolo in How I Would Implement the Spiders
I think that the Spider's role cannot be discussed outside of its context of the bigger underlying theme of a game set in a medieval Sino-Japanesque setting inspired by the movies of Akira Kurosawa. I think it would be much better if the Spider felt as if they fit the setting, and not be bolted on with their own incompatible code of ethics. I like that the original poster makes the struggle of the Spider the same struggle all clans face, one of what it means to retain a personal code of honor in the face of poverty and vulnerability to senseless violence (themes that evoke Seven Samurai) or political corruption and the cycle of violence and endless suffering (e.g. Throne of Blood etc.)
I am insisting that the Spider fit a unifying theme of the setting since I felt that AEG botched this more or less. The Spider (and to a lesser degree, the Mantis) were for players who weren't that into Kurosawa, more or less. In my eyes, they represent the protest vote against the setting. That constantly caused problems, problems that AEG was never able to tackle.
What I like about the OP is it reintegrates the Spider's struggle into the setting as part of a story of honor and morality, making full use of this great opportunity to rethink how they fit into the greater whole. I think the original poster's idea is an excellent idea, and it allows of to steer clear of the bolt-on characteristics (Shourido?) that the Spider acquired while they were looking to find a place for them that fit.
To me, the genesis of the idea of the Spider is (paradoxically) in the Crab Clan. The Crab were the original Faustian clan, but they were also the clan that had the Damned. To me, these two ideas are what the Spider should be all about - willingly allowing corruption to enter your own ranks for the greater good, but also being ostracized because of it.
If you focus on these elements, they evoke themes that fit the setting. What should be avoided, though, is allowing clans to do their own cool thing that has nothing to do with the overall theme. The clans should speak a common language - they should care about the same things. The setting will be more cohesive and much more enjoyable because of it.
Miya Takumi reacted to Kubernes in How I Would Implement the Spiders
Looking at the direction of the clan in AEG's Obsidian notes, the part about servants of hell doesn't really work that well in reality. The idea of hell on earth is simply over blown by fear or ignorance. It more along the lines of a forced change and possible time of some upheaval in Rokugan, similar to that of the death of the emperor by Shoju. This also doesn't take into account many different parts of the clan. In particular, a number of spider monks.
Again, just read the Spider Obsidian notes. They pretty much discount everything that's been argued against the clan.
Miya Takumi reacted to sndwurks in How I Would Implement the Spiders
The Spider Clan was a movement that originated in the CCG as a means to balance the Dishonor victory condition. Prior to the existence of the Spider Clan, Dishonor was not a viable deck theme on a tournament level due to the existence of an entire faction which auto-wins against it. So, during the end of the Lotus arc, specifically the Truest Test expansion set, they released a Spider Clan Stronghold which let you play Spider Clan personalities without losing honor.
During the Samurai Edition arc, the Race for the Throne, the Shadowlands faction was replaced by the Spider Clan in the CCG. In the setting, the Spider Clan was Daigotsu's attempt to place his heir on the Throne of Rokuan through (reasonably) legitimate means. As the descendant of Hantei, after all, the line of Daigotsu could claim lineage from Tengoku. The Spider Clan during those days were infiltrators, monks, and tainted samurai working their master's will in secret. Originally, the Spider Clan was supposed to disband as a faction if it failed to claim the Throne. Instead, it lingered into Celestial Edition, where the faction's players were supposed to decide "Stay as a Clan" or "Return to the Horde". It was initially fairly pro-Horde, until it was revealed that it was not going to be Daigotsu's / Fu Leng's Horde, but Kali-Ma's Horde. So, the pro-Spider Clan, pro-Daigotsu playerbase rallied, and turned it back to "Stay as a Clan". In Rokugan, the Spider Clan were recognized during the deaths of Kali-Ma, Fu Leng, and Daigotsu through the Goddesses story, with some very... heated reactions from the fans. Some loved it. Some REALLY hated it.
Emperor Edition saw the Age of Exploration, which would prove to be the golden age of the Spider Clan. It was, literally, when the Spider could have their cake and eat it too. They got to be all scary evil Tainted madmen in the story, while still participating nominally in the storyline. Things were not quite the same in the player base as the setting, however, and there was still a sense of resentment from several player groups. Ivory Edition, and the selection of the Heir, actually saw the Spider Clan finally start acting like samurai in many places. Evil, Shourido emphasized samurai, but samurai none the less. There were even strong factions in the player base of the Clan (and the setting; see Winter Court IV) who out and out rejected Jigoku. This severely disenfranchised the former Shadowlands Horde players, who grew in many cases to no longer see the Spider Clan as THEIR faction.
And then we have Kanpeki's rebellion, the first Story Path Vote, and the sale of L5R. And honestly? Now that I have had some time and distance to put things into perspective? The Spider Clan have gone from one identity crisis to another for all eight years it has existed.
What's the take away from this?
If you want to implement a Clan of Tainted Samurai? The Spider Clan circa 4th Edition Core Rules is a good example of what that would look like. They are, however, firmly belonging in the Alternative Rokugan Rules section of the Book of Water, along with monks, minor clans, and Imperials. They made an awesome CCG faction, with a beautiful legacy of being the Designated Bad Guy. Seriously, some of the best friends I have in the L5R community comes from my time playing a Spider Clan deck, as a Spider Clan player. Emre, Mark, Sparks, Tom... the entire Winter Court IV delegation... there are some seriously awesome people in the Spider Clan community. But their use in the RPG? That was a SERIOUS challenge to overcome.
Understand HOW you want to use the Spider Clan before you do, and understand the baggage you are taking with it. EVERYONE has an opinion about the Spider Clan, and not even those of us who were part of it really understand everything that happened or what it meant.
Miya Takumi reacted to BitRunr in [RPG] Re-imagining the L5R RPG - What is necessary?
I quite liked where it was(n't) heading with Susumu Shibatsu. Then again, I've wanted a setting where it's possible to play an untainted, honourable, obsidian magistrate on the side of the empire ... roughly since I received my 4th edition core book. At least, without bending over backwards to justify it.
Kata, Kiho (martial, at least), and Maneuvers, I think, could be expanded upon and worked into a single system without harming their concepts.
I may have brought this up elsewhere, but I don't believe long lists of relatively useless weapons do L5R any favours. They're not the focus of the game, but they have been held onto as some kind of variety that fourth edition didn't actually want. Take that a step further, and abstract it to the features of (say a dozen) weapon archetypes.
Controversial, perhaps, but I'd like to see each clan given a bit more leeway in presenting itself, so players are aware that their chosen faction has more honourable / dishonourable / corrupt / divinely pure characters and sub-factions than can be easily stamped out. Done well, I'd imagine this could curb certain "Well, my clan wouldn't do that." tendencies.