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DGLaderoute

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  1. Yeah, the Shinomen Mori was largely a blank page, except for some bits and pieces of lore here and there. It let me dig deep into writing about what really is a vast, primal, spirit-haunted wilderness, complete with Tainted bits and everything.
  2. That was a huge part of what made Sukune so interesting, and so much fun to write. He's slight, weak, has a heart arrhythmia, is asthmatic--not exactly the sorts of things that scream HIDA, or even CRAB, are they? It immediately makes him a complex and conflicted character, which is a great starting point for the main character of a story.
  3. I spent a lot of time with Sukune, writing this. I think he's become my favorite L5R character (at least, for the time being, anyway!)
  4. Indeed, heroism and villainy are much more interesting if they are built on a human foundation of things like love and hate, fear and courage, and ambition, desire and regret.
  5. I'd suggest that when anyone does talk about the Steel Chrysanthemum openly, it's in that particular Rokugani manner of s**t-talking: Ah, yes, Hantei XVI--now there is a prominent Emperor, Doji-sama. Indeed, Yasuki-sama, his glorious person left an indelible mark on the Empire. None shall soon, or ever, forget him. All of this being said with somewhat significant glances and sidelong looks, and slight accents on particular words. Everyone knows what's being said, even though it's not being said.
  6. Yup, I know this. However, the OP was asking about villains generally, and even mentioned Iuchiban, which suggested they were open to using villains from the old setting. That being the case, Daigotsu is an obvious candidate (and again, I'm surprised no one mentioned him). In the new setting, Daigotsu does not exist. The character that BECAME Daigotsu does; that's Daisetsu, the younger prince. But we have no indication whatsoever that Daisetsu's story arc will ever head in the direction of him becoming Daigotsu.
  7. In the current setting, I tend to think of Hantei XIV's legacy as something that's the stuff of whispered legend--whispered because you're right, you generally don't talk smack about the Hantei, as it's a good way to get accused of blasphemy or something similar. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that there aren't stories floating around about him, though; after all, the Empire had to put up with him for a fair number of years, so lots of bits and pieces, anecdotes and rumors would have filtered down through families, minor scholars and similar types whose tales couldn't really be quashed, even by official histories. The trouble, of course, is that as we see (mentioned above, in fact) for actual, historical figures like Nero, Caligula, Henry VIII, Richard III, etc. the truth gets distorted, so you end up with more of a historical caricature that, in reality, is not as bad as reality in some respects, and worse than the truth in others. The bottom line is that while I think VERY few people know the truth about Hantei XVI, and most people simply don't want to talk about him, he's probably a well-known historical "boogeyman" with all sorts of lurid stories swirling around his name. The Rokugani are, after all, people, and people love their stories and tales, their rumors and gossip... Incidentally, I am absolutely stunned that Daigotsu hasn't come up in this thread yet. Love him or hate him, he WAS a major villain in the old setting. In fact, he was probably the single longest-running villain in the game, definitely outlasting Fu Leng (as an on-screen presence, anyway), Iuchiban, Kali-ma and, really, everyone except the Nothing (which has always existed, always will exist, and gets my vote for the coolest, spookiest villain who can absolutely NEVER win, because if it does, the setting just ceases to exist.)
  8. There is a Moth Clan character (who had married into the Hiruma) described in the adventure module "Mask of the Oni". There isn't a lot of detail provided about her or her birth-clan (just enough for the purposes of the module) but it's probably one of the relatively few places anything has been written down about them (so far).
  9. I don't know if this helps or not, but FFG has told me that Rokugani armies are considerably smaller than they were in the past version of the setting. A typical army would probably be a few thousand to an upper end of about 10K soldiers, a large proportion of whom would be ashigaru. Armies larger than 10K or so would be rare, while smaller forces, of even a few hundred soldiers, wouldn't be uncommon, especially in things like border skirmishes. I'm not sure if that helps regarding these musings about population, but if the armies are generally taken to be smaller, then it stands to reason that the overall population might be, too. For what it's worth, anyway!
  10. Considering that FFG just hired back Katrina Ostrander to be their Creative Director for Story and Setting, I don't think you have much to worry about. The bigger issue is likely that FFG, like everyone else, is still recovering from the Christmas season. My wife and I own a game store and there's LOTS of stuff we're still waiting to make its way through the distribution chain. No doubt Path of Waves is in there somewhere, along with a bunch of other things we're waiting to stock, or restock.
  11. More good news...it would appear that Katrina Ostrander is back with FFG. Katrina was the one running L5R (from a story and setting perspective, at least) when FFG launched it, and is simply awesome to work with. I am really excited to have her back in the company.
  12. The vast majority of the RPG stuff is written by freelancers--as in, almost all of it, especially in the supplements (I think more of the core rulebook was done in-house). And, from my experience as a Brand Lead and Project Manager with AEG, I can also attest to the fact that editing, graphics and layout can all be contracted out. At AEG, we had no in-house graphics or layout people. Basically, for L5R, there was me, and there was a lead developer for the CCG. There was also an art director, but he did all the art for all AEG games. My job on that, and subsequently on Love Letter, was to coordinate all of it, including playtesting (which was also farmed out). But all of the actual work was contracted out. It's not an unusual way to do this in the industry, not at all. So, if I had to prognosticate, I'd say that the consumers of the L5R RPG are likely going to notice little, if any difference (and I'd emphasize that IS prognostication. I am not in a position to say anything authoritative, not being inside the company; I've just worked with them a lot). That said, I feel DEEPLY for the folks who lost their jobs. I've done a lot of work on the RPG, and have got to know these people really well. I've also been laid-off myself, so I know what a wrenching experience it can be.
  13. They aren't excuses. "Excuses" implies an attempt to lessen blame. They are, rather, "explanations" at worst, because Yori doesn't believe any of the things he does are blame-worthy. They are simply the things that need to be done, and if others can't see that, well, that's because they don't have his insight or moral courage. As I've said before, he's the ultimate pragmatist. (This intellectual arrogance is what makes Kuni Yori such a cool character to portray.)
  14. He's mentioned by name in "The World, A Stage", as the Yogo daimyo.
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