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TheHobgoblyn

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  1. I guess it is a good thing the company isn't doing an official online version of the game, because an ability like that Dragon Stronghold's would be quite a pain to try to program into such a thing. One would either have to create a dropbox dialogue with every card in the set and update that with each additional set or, otherwise, a database with every card and have the player have to type the card name into a search function box. It is kind of an odd ability in that it very much relies on knowing what the opponent has in their deck. Unless you have other abilities that allow you to see the opponent's hand, I suppose.
  2. Right, but it is a bit difficult to do that when one character has been presented rather negatively, with a single story giving even sympathetic elements, and then the players are shown that he killed his father. And the other one has been presented almost entirely positively, with only hints that there might be something more sinister to him, and readers have even gotten to see inside his head to indicate that he is against some of the more superstitious and brutal aspects of the culture in favor of a more enlightened approach. And the character who is siding with the later is a character who has been demonstrated to be practically flawless, even demonstrating the exact opposite of the negative traits typically associated with his clan. Granted-- this is the L5R fanbase that has a 20-year track record of specifically choosing the darkest or most ridiculous decisions that the story team offers, as if to just constantly troll them to see how they will handle it. But the characters in the story have nothing to go on but Toturi's word while the players have gotten to see a lot of events that had no witnesses. I suppose because this whole in-world conflict revolves around "ambiguous" events that aren't remotely ambiguous to the players that it really deflates any sort of attempt to divide the player base into competing teams over this as one would expect to make the situation compelling. At this point, anyone whose favorite clan is one that doesn't believe Toturi is going to be made to feel like they are in the "idiot" clan because their clan is in denial of something that the entire playerbase already knows is indisputable absolutely true. Anyone who has ever run an RPG where players are meta-gaming and tried to explain to them that their character doesn't know something (or has been the person who is told their character is ignorant of something that they in fact know and could resolve everything very easily if they simply act on their knowledge) would understand this frustration. No one wants to be on the side that is definitively wrong before the conflict has even been declared.
  3. Since things are going down relatively cleanly regardless-- one really has to wonder why Togashi sent the Dragon army to the capital in the first place. It really ought not to matter very much who is sitting in the big chair-- so long as they sign off on the minister's and general's decisions, don't make too many unreasonable demands and generally just sit and act like a nice little symbol and let the bureaucracy go about the business of actually running the empire. So far the single character in a story who has generally acted in a way that could potentially undermine the smooth functioning of the empire is Kakita Yoshi who blocked official transfer of supplies to the Kaiu wall out of personal grudge. Anyway, this is kind of a weird scenario. The "bad" brother is planned to be crowned and players are intended to aim to disrupt that and put the "good" brother on the throne-- but there is no actual in-world justification for doing so. I suppose Toturi could rebel and run around the empire crying out that the empire signed an edict just days before he died saying he wanted his other son to be crowned. I am not sure how many people would be reasonably inclined to believe and side with him over the word of the crown prince. Also-- isn't it odd that there is no restriction against running both Sotorii and Daisetsu in the same deck? I am still not certain a functional Imperial deck can be made, but now one can make a deck with nothing but pure Imperial Family stuff in the Dynasty side.
  4. The Yasuki are basically the "carp" family and the old L5R had a semi-official "Frog" family of merchants, I don't think they have been confirmed as existing yet. I could kind of get no samurai family picking up any fish except for the Carp/Koi/Goldfish-- because basically any other type of fish would be considered food. Fish names are actually used in Japan when nearly no other animals are, but by people whose ancestors were fishermen. Same with squid and octopus. As such, if peasants in Rokugan got family names I could totally see a bunch of fish based families spring up based on what kind of fish the particular fishermen connected to that family or group specialized in catching. Now, if we were to expand the cultural influence of Rokugan and expand out so there are more island off the coast than just the Mantis ones, I think it would be possible to maybe have a Whale Clan to the northeast of the Phoenix lands and maybe given them some allusions to Hokkaido and/or the Ainu. An volcanic forested island that is famous for its snowy winters and the waters surrounding it are inhabited by whales. And maybe there could be an island southeast of the Mantis Isles with some mix of Kyushu and Polynesian influences that is known for being warm to hot all year round, whose surrounding waters are inhabited with the most colorful of aquatic life and the appex predator is the shark. There could be a Shark Clan that rules there that would come across as so very uncultured, irresponsible, lazy and superstitious to the mainlanders, but who are basically just used to living in what is a paradise to those who live on the mainland.
  5. I completely agree with this. Ideally all playable factions should be shades of grey, and maybe some black for the total edge-lords (of which I certainly was at some point). You can't really have violent conflict if the sides are going to be totally above-board and without flaw. But, that being said, there probably was something amiss with having only a singular faction have its entire identity be that it was the edge-lord black faction then trying to redeem it so that it was sensible that other factions would accept it but also generally keeping all the other factions without any true villains or flaws (outside of being related to the single bad-guy faction). Ideally, every faction should have a "I like them because they are this, this and this... but they do this and I can see it is kind of messed up even if I get how they feel it is necessary or is generally in their nature, but I want to fight for them anyway because they are my guys and I don't want them to lose and die." And ideally, the game should be working off of conflicts that cannot just be resolved with a word and a wave of the hand. And the Imperial power is an impediment to that. But, I also don't want them to be killed off and waved dismissively out-of-hand like in the original story, because I really feel the concept of "We used to rule this land and did it for 1000 years of peace, now everything is at war and we are using what influence we have to try to get by" as well as the individual concepts of Hantei, Seppun, Otomo, Miya and Kasuga as a faction are interesting enough that I feel like they would make a better Clan than what we saw pieced together out of the Mantis, which generally saw the Centipede and Wasp merged in so tightly that there wasn't a good division between them, or what one could do with a "Spider Clan" which just incorporates every bad guy faction and necessitates either redeeming those evil groups or creating whole new groups of of thin air as to have a redeemed dark clan can really provide in the long term. I am not saying that there can and should never be a fully realized Mantis or a Spider (although I feel the later should never be a fully realized and accepted clan except in a Rokugan where there is no central power and every clan is effectively a semi-sovereign nation), but the 8th clan should really be the out-of-power Hantei Clan that still aims to emulate Hantei and not the Fu Leng Clan that tries to emulate Fu Leng.
  6. The whole "let's resolve the whole Fu Leng thing favorably" and the fact that they realized that the writers realized they really couldn't commit to that and have all their magical baddies become either good or even just neutral and having to go back on that and needing each storyline to be more epicly destructive to Rokugan than the last... it really destroyed the whole setting. So I can't really see the writers, especially given how things are set up now for far less god-tier magical resolving of everything, diving into the whole "Let's cleanse Fu Leng and make him a good guy!" Also, it kind of cheapens Jigoku's whole power, the fact that he is even called "Fu Leng" and no one remembers his actual original name because it has been erased by all minds across all realms of existence is something to be feared. Jigoku can not only corrupt one, it can not only mimic people, but it can literally erase the identity of a god from the minds of even other gods. If there is any allusion to a Spider Clan, at this point I can't imagine it being anything beyond Daisetsu being killed or mortally injured and Shahai escaping with him or his body into the Shadowlands. And maybe some indication that the Goju, Chuda, Dark Moto, Noriaki and the Order of Spider are out there and ready to be united under the banner of the avatar of Fu Leng. I would much rather see the Imperials lose their status, become the "Owl Clan" with an unclear indication of whether the other clans even regard them as a proper Great Clan or a Minor Clan, but basically leave them with the former capital and surrounding provinces as each clan pulls their forces back to their own lands and each clan becomes its own independent nation with any former imperial edicts only being respected as far as they are useful to peace between the clans, but otherwise nothing left to stop clans from going full-out open war against one another besides the concern that the other clans will see they have devoted all of their forces against another clan and use that opportunity to attack them from a different front. The game mechanic of "Imperial Favor" would go from being "Favor of the Emperor" to "Favor of the people of the Empire". Thus being honest, forthright and brave in one's actions and kind to the common people would gain one honor and favor. An honor victory would indicate that the people favor you to such a degree that peasant rebellions, even the enemy's own ashigaru turning on them, on your behalf cripple the enemy's ability to continue to war against you leading to a victory while a dishonor defeat would mean the opposite occurs. The throne losing all power to force a status quo within the realm would mean that the actual in-story Rokugan would be able to far better reflect what we are told the mechanics of the card game and the board game Battle of Rokugan represent. It would also create a situation where the minor clans might very well be keen to create an Alliance for protection, leading to the opportunities for Yoritomo to rise to power. And, as noted above, readers would know in the back of their minds that the Shadowlands forces are out there in the darkness and the more the clans tear at each other, the greater threat those forces will be when they finally do choose to act-- something the characters in the story likely will remain unaware of. But if and when the whole "Rokugani Civil War" status becomes burdensome, the Shadowlands Forces can be introduced into the setting as a proper threat that requires the clans to unite. After that point perhaps some sort of orderly determination of the new Imperial Line can take place.
  7. I think I ran through the quiz before and I can't really say that it was the greatest. I mean-- yeah, which color scheme and which animal avatar the clans have could be all that is needed to appeal to one. If the team is your favorite color or they have your favorite animal icon, I think a lot of people would adapt to everything else. But beyond that it is difficult to get really into what makes a clan without being too reductive. Like I feel people are too quick to describe the Crab as "Big, burly, rough and without much care for social graces or artistic or intellectual pursuits" and while that may be true of the Hida and more or less true of the Hiruma, it really doesn't seem to be all that fitting for the Kaiu, Kuni or Yasuki-- which means that the number of families that do not conform to the stereotype outnumber those that do. And it means that one is only pointing those who would favor the Hida/Hiruma stereotype to the Crab-- which means the other families don't get much represented, and those who favor the Hida/Hiruma stereotype could fit in with the Matsu or Moto which means they don't get much represented either because players don't get pushed in their direction. Similarly, the whole "gaijin" thing gets automatically pushed towards the Unicorn. But the Shinjo and Utaku generally don't really embody that image entirely. Furthermore, the Unicorn are associated with a particular kind of non-Japanese-- the Mongolians. And the fact that the Dragon's Nepalese aspects, the Phoenix's Korean aspects, the Mantis's Chinese and Thai aspects, the Imperials Han Chinese aspects and such aren't considered "gaijin" aspects per se within the setting so much as the Unicorn's Mongolian aspects are is merely an accident of the setting rather than truly saying that the only thing not pure Japanese in the setting are the Unicorn. In fact, hammering the whole "gaijin" aspect too much without noting that one is particularly talking about Mongolians isn't really going to mean anything to a new player. Anyway, I am certain that a quiz that could help people decide what clan to play could be incredibly useful, I just feel that it wasn't ideally constructed. Rather than one where it is simply a question and 7 ways the most "stereotypical" member of that clan (which usually is only based on 1 family) might answer the question and then tallying which a player chose the most of-- a far better sort of quiz might be one where you have a question and maybe 4 answers that might be typical of a number of families across various clans or would be a "typical" answer of a couple clans and by choosing those answers one would gain points towards the most relevant families. Then in the end instead of a single answer, you could see which family and thus Clan is most similar to your answers and then how similar or different you would be from the most typical member of other families in Rokugan.
  8. To be honest, this game's design is probably far more complicated than it should be and the way the company has decided to errata and restrict cards is maybe not the absolute best way possible (granted, I have seen worse). It really isn't terribly surprising that new players are getting tripped up like this and breaking so many rules accidentally. In fact, and given how difficult it can be to find opponents since our playerbase is so small and the fact that the restricted list is being updated constantly, I guess "new" would more or less extend over the majority of the playerbase. Not much we can really do about is besides just be as lenient as possible with one another. Which isn't always the easiest thing given the fundamentally competitive nature of the game. But, in the very least, we should all try to avoid becoming like the MtG players where the primary strategy for winning is to either cheat or constantly call the judge on the opponent for every pedantic thing you can imagine with the hopes the judge will accept one of those as an excuse to disqualify someone.
  9. Schmoozie, I think you are putting WAY too much stock into everything being 100% exactly like the old story without any meaningful alterations and you haven't even accounted for the most basic things that are already quite different. Kachiko seems to be considerably older than Sotorii, even if she is ridiculously young to hold the station she is holding, and she isn't some sexpot whose title is "seductress" and whose every artwork shows her clothes falling off. Moreover, they have really underlined Sotorii's general youth and immaturity. By not being THE sex symbol of the whole setting, the entire impact of Sotorii demanding her is completely lost. The dynamic wouldn't make the least bit of sense now. Just because there was an Empress Kachiko in the old version in no way guarantees or even demands that the new version be exactly the same. Toturi becoming "the Black Lion"? I really don't know that is remotely necessary. He is currently the legitimate Emerald Champion. And his personality seems to better reflect what we can glean as the character of Hantei Kami rather than Akodo Kami. It isn't difficult to imagine him being a rallying point for the Imperials should the succession go wrong-- whether that be because the Scorpions took over or because a prince went off the rails, killed the former Emperor and tried to claim the throne. And given that their members are scattered across the empire, I would expect any independent Imperial Family force to be heavily reliant on ronin and mercenary forces if the other clans aren't just going to lend them their forces. So that angle is already well set up without it being exactly necessary for things to be exactly as they were before. And certainly things that were ultimately detrimental to the game and had to be sloppily undone later, such as exiling the entire Scorpion Clan, that isn't likely to happen. While undoubtedly certain things in the setting are moving in a similar direction as the old story, I really suspect that the writers will intentionally avoid doing anything that is nearly as identical to the previous version as the things you suggested there. If just on the basic principle of the thing, that it would be silly to have a whole new story if we are all just going to tour through every one of the same ill-considered plot beats that happened the first time around.
  10. You do realize that the fiction, like nearly all fictions so far, are being told not from an omnipresent, omniscient narrator who is the ultimate objective word on the actions, but instead told through the flawed and unreliable narrators of individual characters who have a narrow perspective on the situation and their own internal biases. And regardless of how Daisetsu acted in that particular moment, the whole dispute was caused by Daisetsu caring very little about the general values or customs of his culture, or even being able to show people proper decorum or respect. He wildly misreads situations, makes unfounded assumptions about the motives of those around him and does perhaps the worst possible things to fuel the fires of people's worst behaviors. And this isn't the first story in which that has been shown. That being said-- Toturi is still Lion Clan champion and he "owns" this whole "let's make Daisetsu the next Emperor" decree more than anyone but the Emperor himself does. As such, I don't think it is very likely that he is going to go against it, and if the Clan Champion doesn't go against it-- then his clan certainly isn't likely to go against it.... Or, at least, that would be the obvious thought process if it weren't for the fact that we just got a new Toturi card printed that was a neutral personality instead of a Lion Clan personality. Given that his clan wasn't showing the most confidence in his actions prior to his appointment of Emerald Champion, whomever he passes his post onto might actually want to take some big stand in opposition to him in order to demonstrate their own independence from him. But outside of that, I don't think it is likely that the Lion are going to side against the Emperor's decree. And even though the cycle is being called the "Inheritance Cycle", there is currently no in-game story reason that would make it compelling for any clan to decide to try to act against the Imperial Decree and try to force Sotorii on the throne in opposition to the still living Emperor's wishes. It has already been indicated that the Emperor's decision here might be unusual, but it is far from unprecedented. Given that it comes across that everyone who has met Sotorii has disliked him and virtually everyone who has met Daisetsu has a positive opinion of him, this doesn't seem primed for any sort of civil war at all. Before there can be any reason for that to happen, we would need to have a compelling reason to want Sotorii to succeed and to believe Daisetsu is a danger-- ideally one that could be disputed and isn't 100% solid. But at least one that people could have reason to side with like was done with the 4 Winds story in the previous L5R incarnation. What they have here is a set up for a good story, but a terrible set up for the story that the marketing team seems to wish to push as the story they intend to tell. The good story this is a set up for is one in which we have the status of an exiled prince everyone dislikes who grows, learns and changes and a supposed prodigy who gets thrust into a situation he can't handle and with everyone's hopes riding on him, starts making terrible mistakes and really has to struggle to find his footing with these responsibilities he had always assumed he would never have.
  11. It would be fun to see Sotorii lose his temper, throw a fit, be entirely ineffective and ultimately get tossed out and exiled from the Hidden City and handed some menial, routine task. Then we just don't hear about him for a while until all of the other clan novels are out. And then at the very end of the Clan Pack series, we get an Imperial Clan novel with Sotorii as the main character and all about an adventure that brings him from an ineffectual, unstable and ineffectual teen to being a respectable character, making plenty of mistakes and failing several times along the way. Also, if Togashi's prophecy from the old version still exists in this version-- stating that right about this year the Hantei line is cursed to end and that will ring in the return of Fu Leng to the land... it might be interesting to see what will happen if either of the brothers finds out about it and what they might try to do in order to avoid it. Because them causing it by taking actions to try to prevent it makes a lot more sense than the Scorpion Clan reacting to "Fu Leng will come back if all the Hantei die" by acting against everything they have ever stood for and specifically acting to wipe out the entire Hantei line.
  12. Yeah, keywords that had actual mechanical effects was something that was negative in the old version of the game and it kind of sucks to see the new game barreling down the same route. There are now maybe 4-6 keyword effects in the game now that everyone is just supposed to just "know"-- meanwhile the majority of keywords we see still have no inherent effect. That doesn't really feel like good game design to me, both the fact that any beginner to the game is going to need a little clarification sheet sitting by them that explains which keywords matter on their own without needing an additional card to trigger off of it and what those effects are. Probably one of the worst in the old game was "Naval", which was a keyword that only mattered if every single character in the army had the keyword (meaning that basically every single Mantis Clan card HAD to be printed with the keyword and probably no card outside of the Mantis Clan was ever printed with it) and if they all did well... I think the most common version was that you got the first round, but I feel like it changed a couple times. And that, in addition to that, basically all Mantis cards were ALSO printed with ranged attacks meaning there was 2 different keyword traits that appeared universally on a single clan's personality cards. I suppose the original version of that was "cavalry", but at least the cavalry trait did something on its own and even though 95% of the cards ever printed with that trait were in Unicorn, other clans would occasionally have a character with that trait because a character with that trait on its own did something. But in this version of the game, the Cavalry trait doesn't do anything and now we are getting a bunch of traits that do have an in-game effect that is not printed on the card.
  13. In addition to the above, there is also the Bushi Builder site. https://bushibuilder.com/ Like FiveRings DB, people posts decks here. But you can also use the Stats function to see which cards are included in the majority of decks.
  14. I agree with these sentiments to an extent. The primary issue with this mechanic, as others identified, is that it allows one to replace a bowed character with a more powerful unbowed character. If it weren't for that singular issue then there really wouldn't be any power creep involved with paying extra fate to give a boost and a different ability to a card in a conflict. And it is a bit weird that Lion is the first card we see this mechanic on. But, that being said, as much as clans really pride themself on the particular image upheld by their most iconic family, I have also always felt that all clans likely have all sorts of tools at their disposal. I would think that there is not a single clan that is entirely without heavy infantry, cavalry, scouts, archers, assassins/saboteurs, diplomats, scholars, magistrates, governors, architects, artisans, etc., etc. It just happens that they are more iconic and have more clout in some clans than others. But each clan is functionally a self-sufficient nation within the overall empire and if it feels silly to say that an entire self-sufficient nation and its military absolutely would not have any individuals trained in a particular skillset, then somewhere within each clan must be someone who has that skillset. Even if it is not what the clan most celebrates, you got to figure that may have just fallen into that gap because they happened to be better at it than their peers and weren't as good at whatever the clan more favors as those peers.
  15. Thank you for giving additional information. Also, thanks for engaging with the community rather than removing oneself from all input and criticism. I can be really harsh in some of my posts, especially if I have been drinking heavily before writing, but ultimately I realize I couldn't do any better. I just get frustrated when I see missed opportunity or when I realize that a literary tool is being used in such a way that takes me out of the setting when there are more appropriate times for it to be used, and I would want someone who is a professional and has studied and practiced the art to use their tools better.
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