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DGLaderoute

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  1. DGLaderoute

    Imperial Gifts - Kotei Prize Fiction

    Clearly, Hantei XXXVIII has serious misgivings about Sotorii, so much so that he's chosen to pass him over for succession. Just as clearly, he has no such qualms about Daisetsu. I realize that some of the folks posting on here have their own take on Daisetsu, which may or may not be partly or wholly correct, but the Emperor has his own. So, inside the setting, the Emperor's change in succession is a cause for concern, sure, but by no means is it necessarily going to be some sort of disaster. In fact, if it could help prevent another Steel Chrysanthemum, it's probably for the best. Again, this is inside the setting and from the Emperor's POV. Outside the setting, here, on this forum, people's musings about the two princes are just that--their musings. We can only wait and see how this all turns out. As for previous Crown Princes...well, who knows? The Empire's history could be replete with horrible heirs to the Throne, but the Rokugani are notorious for white-washing their history to make everything seem fine. So there may be no way of telling, unless some of the characters decide to embark on some exhaustive search. And, again, going outside the setting, back to our world i.e. where we write the stories...well, I don't think anyone has crafted the history of every Imperial succession in a canon way. Nor is anyone likely to...there's more than enough story to manage for the "modern" setting, much less going back and filling in eleven centuries of stuff.
  2. DGLaderoute

    Imperial Gifts - Kotei Prize Fiction

    Which only makes it worse.
  3. DGLaderoute

    Imperial Gifts - Kotei Prize Fiction

    Fun fact...there is no Rokugani translation for the phrase above.
  4. DGLaderoute

    Imperial Gifts - Kotei Prize Fiction

    No, the "Children of the Empire" web fiction hasn't yet been published.
  5. DGLaderoute

    Quote from the RPG

    Hmmm...digging a little more deeply into this (as in, I actually checked the wiki and didn't just go from memory), I note that there's actually an Otomo Regent in there, who (to me) wouldn't count as a Hantei (though I obviously did blithely count him as one in the past and the numbering just stuck in my mind.) This means, since the numbering started with Hantei X, then working backwards from that (and ignoring the Otomo guy), the Kami Hantei would HAVE to be Hantei I...which means that the statement in the book, "thirty nine generations of Hantei", WOULD seem to suggest it's the current Hantei's successor. So...huh.
  6. DGLaderoute

    Quote from the RPG

    Hantei (the Kami) was just Hantei. Hantei I was Hantei Genji, his successor...and so on. So there was the Kami, and then 38 Emperors since, for a total of 39 generations of Emperor. So the RPG is set in 1123, during the reign of Hantei XXXVIII.
  7. DGLaderoute

    Teppo?

    Well, yes, I must admit, there were some changes to the border of southern Rokugan. Not sure I'd call it the result of "development" though.
  8. DGLaderoute

    Teppo?

    I think this comes down to what can be considered "development". For example, here's a quick excerpt from theinventors.org from part of that period: Circa 1050 - Crossbow invented in France. 1182 - Magnetic compass invented. 1202 - The Hindu-Arabic numbering system introduced to the west by Italian mathematician, Fibonacci. 1249 - Rodger Bacon invented his gunpowder formula. Circa 1268 - 1289 -Invention of eyeglasses. Circa 1280 - Mechanical clocks invented. Circa 1285 - 1290 - Windmills invented. 1295 - Modern glassmaking begins in Italy. 1328 - First sawmill. 1326 - First mention of a handgun. 1366 - Scales for weighing invented. I've omitted things not related to Europe, since the way you specified that time period was clearly Euro-centric. These are technological innovations, some of which are quite profound (the crossbow was a precursor to gunpowder's "revolution in military affairs"; the Hindu-Arabic numbering system had a major effect on mathematics; reliable mechanical clocks became the basis for accurate global navigation). A particularly striking example of social change in Europe during this period was the Magna Carta, a 1215(ish) agreement that represented a fundamental change in the relationship between a monarch and his/her subjects. The Magna Carta itself wasn't a "one and done", as it evolved, was scrapped, readopted, etc. over time, but it was a major shift in the nature of governance. Now, is this a "lot" of change? That's probably a debate that really falls outside the scope of this forum. But it IS change--at worst, incremental and slowly progressive, but it was there, and a lot of it formed the basis for much of the far more rapid development that occurred after the period you mention. By contrast, there's really nothing comparable between (say) 500 on the Isawa calendar, and the current year of 1123. A samurai from the 6th century suddenly transported to the 12th century wouldn't find much of significance has changed. The level of technology is much the same, the society is structured much as it was...the names have changed, in some cases, and there have been some changes in the Minor Clans, but that's about it. I'd argue that, as slow and incremental as change appeared to be in Europe during that time period you specified, it was still revolutionary compared to our beloved Emerald Empire! A bit of value-added...for a REALLY good analysis of the effects even small and apparently unrelated changes had through human history--including the period you specify--check out the TV series "The Day the Universe Changed", and "Connections", both by James Burke. They're older series now ("The Day the Universe Changed" is from the 80s) but they both hold up extremely well. If James Burke tried to make a similar series about Rokugan, I suspect he'd find himself pretty much stuck.
  9. DGLaderoute

    Teppo?

    Interestingly, when I wrote the Scorpion chapter for "The Great Clans", I did my best to capture this very thing--that there was a period of development, during which the clan transformed from semi-nomadic tribes to what it eventually became i.e. the Kami didn't fall on a Monday and, by Wednesday, Rokugan was an Empire full of cities surrounded by farms. However, it's not really at all clear (by design, in fact) how long this all took. But even if we're generous, and say it took 500 years, that still leaves almost 700 years since of what amounts to no meaningful change. If you look at nearly any society in our world, there was pretty significant change between the 15th and 21st centuries (yes, I know there are some isolated groups for whom this isn't really true, but they're the extreme exceptions). Again, though, I go back to the idea that this might make perfect sense, in a society with objectively true and demonstrable divine beings, afterlife and so on. By extension, this helps explain why something like gunpowder is forbidden--it threatens the stability of a society that has been declared essentially perfect as it is by divine powers, so that makes it sacrilegious to even contemplate its use outside of very narrow circumstances, which have been declared "okay" e.g. fireworks...and, possibly, blowing apart Shadowlands monstrosities threatening the Wall, because I suspect the always-pragmatic Crab wouldn't be averse to using something potentially so effective. And they ARE just Shadowlands monstrosities...
  10. DGLaderoute

    Teppo?

    That's only technological advancement in the most technical of senses, though--especially if we're considering over 1000 years of opportunity for such development. Something has kept Rokugan essentially "frozen in time"...and yes, for all practical purposes and small increments of improvement in sword-making notwithstanding, by any meaningful measure, the Empire has been "frozen" in developmental terms. I'd add I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing; just that it's a thing. And, again, if we had an opportunity to study a society in which divine and spiritual presences actually exist--and are KNOWN by the members of that society to exist--we might find that such stagnation makes perfect sense. Again, if literal gods are telling you that the world, as it is, is perfect, then only heretics and blasphemers would try to change or improve things (by, for instance, promoting the adoption of gunpowder technology). Moreover, they'd probably meet enormous resistance from the society as a whole in the process, consigning them forever to being considered madmen, fringe groups and cults. So, perhaps this "frozen in time" nature to Rokugan makes perfect sociological sense given the circumstances.
  11. DGLaderoute

    Teppo?

    There's actually another, intriguing aspect to this--that of technological advancement. Rokugan is, by the standards of a real-world society, weirdly stagnant in its development of new and innovative technologies. Now, to be fair, we've never had the chance to see just what effect an objective certainty that there are divine beings, they live in a Celestial Heaven and other spirit realms, they can intervene in mortal affairs, there is an afterlife, etc. would have on a society. The result might actually be long-term stagnation in terms of societal development; after all, if there actually IS a Celestial Order and, by divine decree, it is declared to be perfect as it is, what incentive is there to rock that particular boat? There might be individual or small-scale attempts at change, but it's quite possible that the society as a whole is quite content to remain "as is" because, well, it's perfect "as is". Introducing gunpowder technology is, then, a degree of innovation that would fly in the face of that "perfect as-is" way of thinking. It not only stands to empower anyone to be able to deliver potentially lethal effects at a distance that makes swords and armor obsolete (generally only if employed en mass, in the case of early gunpowder weapons, but that still makes it a thing), it threatens to provoke further societal changes. On top of that, in this setting, gunpowder is generally considered a gaijin technology, so it originates from outside the Celestial Order, making it even more reprehensible. All that said, disallowing gunpowder becomes another way of reinforcing (and rationalizing) the strange "frozen in time" nature of Rokugani society--1123 years of no meaningful technological or societal advancement at all!
  12. DGLaderoute

    Teppo?

    There's a reluctance to simply introduce gunpowder and related technology into the setting in a big way. This isn't, as is often believed, because gunpowder weapons (especially early ones) were really all that great; rather, you nail it when you say, "had a big impact on warfare". The RMA (revolution in military affairs) that gunpowder provoked was the ability to train--relatively quickly and cheaply--nearly any illiterate peasant to become an effective soldier. To the extent that there were "classes of professional warriors", who developed skill at arms through dedicated training and long experience, cheap, easily-used and effective gunpowder weapons upended that. The L5R setting generally wants to maintain the former--a class of skilled, elite warriors forming the core military component of the clans--so introducing the latter in a big way would tend to undo that. Of course, in YOUR Rokugan, you can do as you please. The tension between skilled warriors who have dedicated their life to their deadly craft, and the rise of multitudinous peasant levies who could potentially gun them down en masse at a distance, could be a really interesting setting for an RPG campaign.
  13. When I write stuff for the setting, I tend to lean on a broad strokes view of the Edo period (mostly the 17th-18th century part of it) as a (pretty vague and diffuse!) background...or maybe the better word is "flavor". This covers the general social/cultural/economic/spiritual "flavor" of Rokugan. When it comes to war-fighting stuff, I switch gears and lean, instead, on the Sengoku Jidai period (late 15th and through the 16th century). But this is REALLY rough because, honestly, I've been immersed in the setting long enough to mostly draw on itself. I know what's come before, and I've come to know the readers'/players' expectations pretty well, so the real world stuff is more like, "a resource", rather than "based on". Other writers in the setting probably have their own answers to this.
  14. DGLaderoute

    Clan Choices at Winter Court 2018

    Well, as one of the people who could potentially write this story, or one of the clan story outcomes from this, I can guarantee you that nothing is preordained. To put it another way, the story I'd write would play out VERY differently depending on whether it's a Moto, Shinjo, Ide, Utaku or Iuchi character or characters I've been given as a focus that results from a player choice. And those choices definitely CAN have ongoing, knock-on effects that ripple down through the story. The meishodo choice might not have appeared to have much direct or immediate impact on the story, but the derived result of having Iuchi Shahai end up a "guest" in Otosan Uchi has had some really interesting implications (and now I slam headlong into my NDA, so this is where I stop!) So, yeah, the choices are real, will have real effects in the short term and, depending on what they are, can definitely have longer-term implications for the story. How this would impact the LCG or any other game products, if at all, is way outside my purview, though, I hasten to add.
  15. DGLaderoute

    Castle of the Cat?

    I just think it's a "colorful" use of words. I probably would have chosen "a variety of Minor Clans", or something less hyperbolic, anyway. It's not a big deal, though; the bottom line is that there are SOME Minor Clans, but they're far short of being "innumerable"!
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