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Everything posted by NomadChronicler

  1. Moto Ming-gwok was one of the best Dragon characters in Ivory for his straighten-a-Ring ability. Or, conversely, one of the best Anti-Dragon, for the same ability that straightens can also bow.
  2. Moto Ming-Gwok for me. I came into the CCG in Ivory edition and saw his EXP artwork, which I personally think is some of the best artwok in the game hands-down. His appearences in the story were great, especially his letters back and forth with his pal, Moshi Tomiko. I always wanted more to be done with his character, the hook of avoiding the madness of P'an Ku via being slightly off to begin with (courtesy of the blessing of the Obsidian Dragon) was super interesting! Unfortunately, it was not to be... Heck, I even got a copy of him, but in the few months that he was legal at the start of Ivory, I played a grand total of 2-3 games. I never got to play the card. All the same... CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE 'GWOK IS COOKIN'?!?!?!
  3. Something I thought of to support my argument for pricing being based off of Glory. http://imperialassembly.com/oracle/#cardid=11615,#hashid=ada054c2373ab6822d2866b2344fe74b,#cardcount=14 The flavor text of Suzune the Coy is a perfect example of an unskilled yet famous Geisha.
  4. The geisha techniques are mostly mixed in as Ronin schools, so you end up with a strange mix of Spy/Seducer/Assassin focused mechanics. They are scattered about the books as a result, unfortunately. As for price, something to consider: With how Geisha function, perhaps it might be better to tie the price of their company to Glory rather than Insight. Insight would certaintly mean that a more skilled Geisha would be, on average, higher Glory, but a less skilled yet famous one might carry a higher cost.
  5. Are we talking lager or stout ? Are we in Guinness territory here ? See you in the sands ! As I said, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of said beer. But purely hypothetically, I have in the past been quoted as liking my beer "dark as sin and twice as thick."
  6. As the writer behind the fiction releases, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of beer-holding observation in the writing process.
  7. You would have to discuss that with the Lion player base and their path choice. IIRC, the Akodo Restoration was not intended to move against the Emperor or the Throne (that would be kinda awkward anyways, considering who the Emperor is), just to purge the "deviants" like the Shourido followers. But now as it stands, the Lion Clan itself starts to become one of those deviants (what they plan is very Shourido-y). An additional note: While that would indeed be the description of the Akodo Restoration, the Lion vote was tied 30% Akodo Restoration, 30% A Light in the Darkness. Initial Path Choice 3 - Another Way - A Light in the Darkness: You will stand with the Emperor, but if he falls and Kanpeki sits on the throne, then the Empire will need a new leader to carry on the fight for what is right and true. The Clans that will not kneel before a Spider Emperor will need a true Emperor to lead them, and you are prepared to do your duty and give them one. If you choose this path, directly engaging the powerful forces of Jigoku and their allies--who could include other clans that have chosen to side with the Spider--you will be defying an Emperor and could be seen as usurpers. However, your strength and devotion to what’s right and pure will be the beacon around which true Rokugani will rally, and from which a new, stronger Empire will be born. So... Little of Column A, Little of Column B.
  8. I will offer this for thought: I was myself one of the (more-or-less) peaceful people of WC 4. I enjoyed the heck out of it. It is easy to forget sometimes when talking about Rokugan as a whole that the Clans may have agendas as a whole, but the people carrying them out are just that: people. Yes, people who seek glory through the death/humiliation of their foes, people who are part of a society that demands their servile obedience, people who can answer slights with the 3-foot razor they have strapped to their hips at all times. But they are also people who can watch their children rally a bunch of heimen kids to ride down a street on a cart to save another child from bullies. They are people who can make mistakes, losing everything in one brief moment, then spend the rest of the season clawing their way back to dignity with the help of those close to them. They are people who can share a drink with lifelong friends, laughing to conceal the sadness of knowing that, come the spring, they may have to kill one another for the Clan's honor. That is what the RPG, in many ways, is about. The card game is good enough for showing the face of violence and conflict in Rokugan, but short of a few well-written flavor texts, the story of the Samurai of Rokugan is told through fictions, RPG sessions, and yes, Winter Court. By all means, have your character want things that will cause conflict. Have them cause that conflict. But do not dismiss the peaceful moments out of hand. Rokugan is a strange land of many rules, but the people living in it are still (for the most part) human. Winter Court is a strange case wherein many of said humans are forced to interact with other humans they would never even consider speaking to in another Court, simply because they are eating in the same tea house, and to give insult by leaving abruptly might damage their Clan's position. When they are forced to interact with this human, anything could happen. It could come to steel. They could find common ground they never expected. They could become friends. They could strike up a courtly romance. They could poison one another and frame the Scorpion. They could come across a way of thinking that they never would have considered before. They could simply make idle conversation about the quality of the tea. The actual Court aspect of Winter Court takes up a significant part of the day, but for the rest of said day, the delegates are merely humans in a variety of technicolor kimonos, freezing their collective asses off while snowed in with a bunch of other color-coded humans. What goes on in the time between Court sessions is as much a part of the Winter Court experience as people shouting ideology and rhetoric on the dias until the poor Chancellor has an aneurysm. Also, GM talk now. Please do not start up combat about the WC 4 scoring system. That is a can of worms that has been picked at long enough. This topic is about WC 5. Carry on.
  9. Don't really have time to read through all 30 pages of this at the moment, but has the idea of base skill ranks come up? For example, you are a samurai of Rokugan, regardless of your dojo you have a minimum of Lore (Heraldry) 1. Just enough to identify a well-known Mon. Or Calligraphy 1 so that you don't leave your school unable to write. Obviously this would be in addition to School ranks, but not unique to any school. It might also require divorcing the game from the Insight system, or have characters start with a bit more. Neither of which I would lose any sleep over.
  10. I find myself disliking R&K more the more often I have to use it. It is mechanically screwy enough that my RPG group has been running L5R out of the FATE system. The main issues that we have with it are these: The Raise system is broken, especially with not knowing TN's in most situations save via inference. In addition, Raises are mostly built around Combat, in which some options are great, and others mostly pointless save for cheesing the system. The R&K system being bound to skills/traits makes insight intolerable. You have to raise Insight to get to play with your school's toys, but that means pumping rings, which breaks Skills pretty quickly. Narrative representations such as the Star Wars RPG are a better option imo.
  11. Duty is violated as you betray your lord by obeying him. It is like a meta-betrayal, so to speak. Similarly to how guns don't kill people, the tenants don't cause samurai drama - the people do. It is literally in the opening paragraph of Leadership that if you don't follow Bushido properly, then you are going to have a screwed up life. I would agree with you... in any "reasonable" setting. However, Rokugan is not reasonable. You are ignoring Duty if you refuse your Lord, because your Lord is correct by virtue of him being your Lord. The Lord is a Lord by literal Divine Mandate, and as a more enlightened soul, they know better than you. There are exceptions of course, but the exceptions come from your Lord's Lord disagreeing with them. It's screwy like that. So, in Rokugan, yeah, the Tenants of Bushido cause drama. And, due to nemuranai being a thing, I expect that guns can indeed kill people as well.
  12. Uhm... But a person born as a farmer can join a clan - even have his very own minor clan as we could see with the Monkey Clan, The same goes for the gaijin (there are at least two clans - the Mantis and the Unicorn - who make a sport out of recruiting gaijin). If I am reading his intent correctly, it is exactly that sort of inconsistency he is protesting.
  13. Well, it would appear I was mistaken. I mostly spoke from reading Arthur Knapp's account a few years back. In any case, I do not believe that the samurai had any specific "Duty" to the common folk. Recall that this is a society in which, should a samurai slay a heimin, he owed his apology not to the family of the person he killed, but to the daimyo for costing him a worker. The caste system in Japan was severe in the Feudal period, and Bushido was a code for the elite of said caste system, rather than being a universal aspect of the culture.
  14. Would I be totally crazy in suggesting that you are overlooking duty to the common people you are sworn to protect as being part of this overall picture? My understanding of things is that those in power who failed to serve the nation or were unnecessarily abusive or cruel to commoners tended to be seen negatively regardless of their relation to those higher in the order. While those who saw to it that the people whose lives were in their care saw their lives better as a result were held in higher esteem. It would mean that one has a duty not only to those who are above them, but a duty to those who are below them as well. Granted, in the case of those who are below them, it is more of a net result-- so if one can save the majority by sacrificing a minority, it would be ideal. And well... a samurai who slaughtered a entire village to amuse his lord.... or a samurai who turned on his lord to protect an entire village even if the effort was futile.... I really have to wonder which would be held in higher esteem. Which would really be considered more honorable? I kind of feel like they would be roughly equal enough for it to be debatable. Ok, take this next part with a large grain of salt. I am a Westerner myself, and more of a mythology buff than a history buff. I *believe* that there was no explicit Duty for Samurai to the common folk. It fell in an odd place between the 3rd degree of Friends/Family and the 1st by how they were described by Imperial/Shogunate law. Chivalry, from which Bushido was created, has such distinctions, sure, but I dunno.
  15. You will laugh, but neither of the listed things are in line with the tenants Bushido. Blind acceptance violates pretty much every tenet (maybe except sincerity); refusal violates courtesy and sincerity, and kanshi is 'blind acceptance' tier minus courage (though this is debatable). The right answer lies elsewhere. Oh, I would hardly laugh. Duty is the only tenant that the choices don't violate. That, in essence, is what the Samurai Drama/tragedy is about, because of the tenants, Duty conflicts with the others most often. Looking for the Logic Trap solution is a way out, but not always the "right" way. Duty falls in a weird place specifically because of the historical context, while most of the rest of Bushido was made up by Westerners writing about Japan from the lens of European Chivalry. As I stated, I imagine that most actions a Samurai takes will be, to their minds, the "Correct and Honorable" action for the scenario. Taking action in such a situation is a matter of searching for a justification that you (and hopefully your peers/lords) will accept. Save for a few disparate elements of Rokugan, no person looks at their options and choses the one the believe is wrong.
  16. I think I'll weigh in on this, since I've been reading the disagreement going on over Duty specifically. In Japanese (not Rokugani) history, Duty was owed in a 3-fold manner. Duty to your Family/Friends being least important, Duty to your Lord being the middle, and Duty to the Emperor/Shogun being highest. Hence, in the classic 47 Ronin story, the Ronin do their Duty to their Daimyo in avenging him, then commit seppuku because their Duty to Imperial Law demands it for breaking the decree against violence. If we translate that to L5R, then first of all, we are possibly getting way too minute in detail by disassembling individual Virtues. But, on the offhand chance that anyone is interested in working such the proposed scenario from a few pages back might go in the following way: Daimyo says go murder peasants to deny them to the enemy. Samurai has a choice to make, depending on whether s/he holds Bushido or their Daimyo in higher esteem (while the obvious answer is Bushido for Rokugan, consider how a loyal vassal might consider their lord to be wiser in its ways than they, and infer that any order that they give will be in keeping with the most Honorable path according to Bushido. Trust can be a terrible thing.). Either way, the choice they make, be it blind acceptance, refusal, or protest kanshi, will be the "honorable" choice, as it is the thing they hold to be most in keeping with the tenants of Bushido. Society might say differently, of course, but it is easy enough to say that the Samurai caste (certain poorly thought out schools aside) are conditioned to take what they perceive as the most honorable option at all times. Even the Scorpion are working under this assumption, because their core tenant of Loyalty refers not only to the Clan, but the Empire as a whole. Even Assassination can be an honorable act, so long as it is done for the good of the Empire, or so the Scorpion mindset works. So, I suppose a modification that I might offer to the original thought of your Honor being based on your 3 lowest virtues would be that it be calculated off your 2 lowest + the Virtue held dearest by your Clan. Clan is one of the defining aspects of any Great Clan character after all. This is obviously not a perfect solution, as the Mantis and Spider kinda get blindsided here (Maybe run off of Shourido "virtues"?) and it doesn't do much for Non-Great Clanners, but then again, the grand majority of Non-Great Clan Samurai really don't have to worry about Honor, because the society that it is based around is entirely ambivalent to their existence. Being a non-samurai in Rokugan just sucks (Less so in Unicorn lands, but it still sucks pretty hard. Simple life of back-breaking labor vs. Simple life of back breaking labor plus possibly getting murdered for little to no reason by your lords.)
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