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Suzume Tomonori

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Everything posted by Suzume Tomonori

  1. But more on topic, while I think it’s true that having different attachment template types was more flavorful, from a rules perspective the FFG version is more streamlined and easier to remember, as attachments now have any requirements or exceptions written on the card. Grasp of Earth can only attach to shugenja, which is how old spells worked, but it works within the same rules of other attachments. Old L5R also had attachments like ancestors, which were like followers but not and had slightly different rules. I like FFGs approach where I can confirm those unique rules or differences just by looking at the card, but your mileage may vary.
  2. Unless they changed it in a later edition, personal honor (a stat sort of like glory now) didn’t limit the number of followers, but followers had a personal honor requirement sometimes, so some followers wouldn’t attach to characters with low personal honor. I believe the personal honor requirement was removed near the end of the game’s life, though.
  3. Attempting to reduce a term to a one-word translation results in a loss of important context, nuance, and meaning.
  4. I know the core rulebook hasn't shipped quite yet, but with the beginner set already out, I was wondering if anyone could say what has changed system-wise, if anything, from the Beta to the final release. Looking online and in this thread it seems like the basic system is the same, but I was wondering if there were parts that were fine-tuned to run smoother or in a more balanced way since the last beta update. My biggest concerns with the beta were mostly rulebook organization and look-up related, but I figure those issues will be solved with a proper product release (and I'm terrible at finding things in digital formats quickly; I still much prefer paper books.) I also felt like sometimes we were missing something that made the system come together smoothly, though I couldn't tell if it was an actual rules problem or something that would get smoothed out as we played more and got familiar with the system and how it was supposed to work. We got a few rules wrong the first few sessions, and then some of the rules changed slightly so we kept getting confused. And by we I mean me, because my players could never be bothered to actually read the rules (but this is often true.) Of course, the real question I have for the Core release is whether or not there are rules for playing Sparrow Clan...
  5. I'm referring to the Japanese term, not the English translations. But like I said, its usage in L5R is not really wrong, just somewhat limited (I may be mistaken, but I was to the understanding that it specifically refers to corrupt blood magic in L5R.) However, think it is a stretch to use the Japanese term shugenja to mean priest. The point I'm making is that in Japanese it is a mountain ascetic, which means someone who has removed themselves from society in order to engage in their religious practice. L5R shugenja (for the most part) are quite the opposite; they remain firmly involved in society and most of them enjoy prestige within their clan as a result of their abilities. I also would not consider a mountain ascetic to be synonymous with a priest, as the latter implies an involvement with the lay people or a congregation while the former implies a withdrawal from society.
  6. You are correct in that the Japanese shugenja is a mountain ascetic, which is kind of my point; it is something quite different from the L5R shugenja (and would not connotate magic powers.) Maho-tsukai more or less works, save that in Rokugan it clearly means a magician using a sort of dark, forbidden, evil magic, whereas in contemporary Japanese it’s a very neutral term for a wizard; both the Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter are maho-tsukai.
  7. At the same time, it appears that they may have someone on staff (or someone on staff knows a person who's helping them out) that at least has some knowledge of Japanese; assigning ateji at all would require at least some knowledge. There are also certain terminology changes in the new version of the RPG that imply at least a bit of Japanese knowledge (for example, they changed the lowest caste name to "burakumin," though that is problematic in different ways.) The more I think about it, the ateji approach to the family names in the RPG lends a sort of Hokkaido feel to them. A lot of place names in Hokkaido are just kanji assigned phonetically to the old Ainu names for the places, so while they are in theory readable, they don't sound or feel the same as central Japanese surnames do. It would be kind of cool in a way if this was an intentional move on FFG's part to make the setting more "Rokugani" and less "Japanese," but I'm not sure it's intentional. Ultimately, I think it's more that FFG neither has the resources or inclination to make the names and terminology "authentically" Japanese. Some of the basic setting terminology ("shugenja" and "maho-tsukai" come to mind) is so well established in the setting that changing them would result in opposition from fans, and the same holds true for the names. It would be interesting to know how the original creators of L5R 20 years ago came up with some of the family names. Where did they get Akodo from? Was Mirumoto supposed to be Miyamoto? If FFG had that information (and I doubt they did) they could have tried to redo a lot of the names, but again, I think a large part of the fan base would be opposed to changing the names of setting iconic characters such as Akodo Toturi unless they just went ahead and changed the character completely. Incidentally, author Marie Brennan (who does some L5R work) made an interesting blog post about the use of Japanese in L5R: https://www.swantower.com/essays/craft/pleaser-dont-doed-thising/
  8. I enjoy this thread everytime it shows up. The company that publishes the LCG in China (Emperor Penguin games) appears to have gone through and turned all the names into Japanese kanji then used those for the card titles. The database is here: http://l5rcard.emperorpenguingames.com/ I don’t read or speak Chinese, but I have enough Japanese knowledge to pick out the unique named characters from the “title” non-uniques. I thought this was the “official” list of kanji for the families until the RPG beginner set came out. The family names in the RPG are largely different than the ones Emperor Penguin Games came up with, and to be honest, I kind of like the Emperor Penguin Games names better on the whole. They feel more “Japanese,” like either someone really good at Japanese (maybe even a native speaker) came up with them. Take Togashi: EPG: 富樫 (existing Japanese surname) FFG’s RPG: 竜蛾仕 (doesn’t show up in Jim Breen’s name dictionary, feels like ateji) Or Shinjo: EPG: 新条 (one of the numerous existing Japanese surnames for Shinjō, simplifying 條 to 条) FFG’s RPG: 心助 (could not find as a word or surname on Jim Breen’s; likely to be read as given name “Shinsuke”) And Hida: EPG: 樋田 (existing Japanese surname) FFG’s RPG: 避打 (again, feels like ateji) For a lot of names like Akodo there is no actual Japanese equivalent, so ateji (phonetically assigning kanji to individual sounds) is the only choice. It’s possible FFG wanted to make the names consistent in this way; i.e. they may have decided if you have to ateji some of them, might as well ateji all of them. But then the given names like Hida Sugi’s “杉” and Isawa Aki’s “秋” are normal non-ateji readings, which gives a bit of inconsistency.
  9. I think I should start a thread called “Are Unicorn Good Now?” and see if the discussion focuses on an app for L5R.
  10. I guess it would depend on what the app does. Implementing the app for X-wing removed point costs from the physical cards, meaning you must use the app to make legal teams to play what you thought was a purely physical board game. If an L5R app was something similar, where, say, influence costs were removed from the physical cards and the values were shifted over time so that the app would be required to splash cards in my deck, then I’d say no thank you.
  11. I would add that (at least for Gold / Diamond / Lotus when I played) the cards in the sets for the second half of each arc were “dual-bugged” to be legal in the next arc as well. This meant that the set with the shortest length of legality would be the last, single-bugged, expansion of the first half of the arc, and those cards would be legal for about a year or year and a half (and more importantly, at least through the next Kotei season and worlds,) though they would br eligible for reprint in the next base set. But cards from sets in the second half of the arc would remain legal until the end of the next arc, so usually two or three years.
  12. I think it would be cool if there was a product supporting a solo version of the game (as I have no local scene and I’m lucky if I can arrange a game a month with a friend) but I’m not holding my breath for such a product. L5R is a one-on-one competive game at the core of the rule set, and I don’t know how much demand for a solo version would exist. But thinking about it is making me consider trying to make a house rules solo variant. Hmm ...
  13. I’ve never played Net Runner so forgice my ignorance, but is the Terminal Directive expansion still played competitively against another player? Does it have an option for solo / co-operative play or does it just add a campaign aspect to the normal game experience?
  14. Does Toshi Ranbo have no element, or am I just failing to recognize the symbol? Is it a “non-element” symbol?
  15. Has there been any in-world explanation / reference to what the roles are / do? If not (and it may just be that I missed it) there is no “role-playing” going on here. It just seems like mean-spirited denial. I know there have been Shadowlands players in the past who have been winning games that went to time and then the other player would refuse to concede the game, even though they were clearly losing, because the non-Shadowlands player refused to capitulate to the Shadowlands etc. etc. That’s not role-playing; it’s just bad sportsmanship. I don’t know, I kind of feel like I’d rather they just do silly story prizes for everything. Sure, the lore might get stupid, but at least people would’t get denied to play the cards and decks they wanted to.
  16. Good to see that they are opening up roles a bit, but to me it just seems like this is damage control; they committed to role locks early on without knowing how it would play out (a noble experiment, at least) and now they are seeing negative reaction from parts of the player base, so they are trying to change things to please more people. As I kind of suspected, they still aren't completely removing the role locks that they have so heavily pushed as a cornerstone of the tournament system; they are too invested in them. I still think freeing the roles is the best solution, but I think FFG deserves credit for admitting issues with the system and making an effort to improve it.
  17. I am firmly in the “free the roles” camp but since I only play casually with one friend in the end it doesn’t actually affect me much. That being said: I think some of the opposition (partly sub conscious?) to the way the roles are being handled now is partly that it creates a set of cards that you COULD play if only you had the proper role, but that you can’t play in tournaments because you can’t use the role you want (and realistically most people do not have the agency or means to determine which role their clan will get.) This is in contrast to in-clan cards which you could never play out of clan anyway (outside of splash) anyway so there’s less complaints about having your card pool limited by faction (e.g. Phoenix can’t run Way of the Crane.) On a related note I think with in-clan cards outside of your role it feels like that they have been completely denied to you because you can’t use them due to a role choice that you can’t make. I remember when they first announced the role lock plan, one of the things I was disappointed about was that I was hoping the roles would have lead to more archetypes within a clan, and that potential was in effect done away with. That is to say, we might have had a situation where not only does your stronghold determine the themes and feel of your deck but we might also have had a chance for different roles to define different decks. Especially with the recent sets I think it would be interesting if for example there were different flavors of the same clan in a tournament setting where their main difference was the role that defined their deck. Of course whether such a situation would actually occur if the roles were unlocked is another question altogether. I think a lot of people have made the point that roles only matter if you’re playing competitively but the fact of the matter is when many people play at their local shops game nights or wherever generally they’re going to match their deck construction to whatever the dominant format is. So in the end competitive role limitations will also affect what sort of decks many players get to play on their casual game nights. A lot of people don’t really like taking apart and putting together decks all of the time; they’d rather just have one that they can play at a moments notice.
  18. In normal, converstional English I would understand “instead” to be implied, but this is rules English so if “instead” isn’t on the English version then whoo boy this card went from “really good” to “stupid good.”
  19. I’m just speculating, but I have always assumed the FFG policy of not having their employees look at message boards etc. is meant to do two things: One, to prevent staff from being overly influenced by a small but vocal group in a limited corner of the internet. Two, to avoid creating the expectation among players that they can talk to staff about anything they have an opinion on at their leisure, and more importantly, so that players do not feel entitled to such access to the staff. If those are indeed the goals of the policy, I would say it’s probably effective and moreover, in this age of almost instant digital communication, probably very prudent. It does leave us a bit in the dark from time to time, though.
  20. If a troll shows up to court, are you going to be the one who tells him he has to leave?
  21. Michibiku would be great in multiplayer games, except they’ve got a record of banning ring manipulating cards you’d want to use as a Phoenix in multiplayer.
  22. In O5R usually there were story prizes for winning tournaments, some of which resulted in cards, but as I recall those cards were not on the whole consistently good or bad, so the effect of winning tournaments on the card pool and thus strength of any specific clan was somewhat limited, at least when I played in Diamond and Lotus. Often the result was just a flavor card, a piece of flavor text, or something like “Costs 1 less gold for X clan players.” I remember Phoenix got Kaneka as an in-clan personality after winning the last GenCon in Gold Edition (I think I got that right?) When Kaneka came out he was a powerhouse of a military character, but Phoenix didn’t really have a military deck at the time and it appeared that he wasn’t designed with any Phoenix themes in mind, so he mainly saw play in other clans, as most dynasty characters were legal for play in any faction’s deck in O5R provided you met honor requirements (and there was no equivalent of conflict characters.) The problem in O5R is that story prizes were numerous and varied and, as they hinged on tournament results, somewhat strange and random at times (see Kaneka joining the Phoenix, above.) In this respect FFG has done a good job of clearly limiting story results to choosing between sensible pre-written scenarios.
  23. Honestly, a basic effect like "remove a card from a province" is something I would have liked to see in the core set as a neutral card. And while I'm in favor of a lot of the elemental locks we've seen in this cycle, I don't really think something as basic in function as Sabotage really belongs as a role-locked card. I do understand arguments about Let Go being undercosted, what with its ability to destroy attachments regardless of attachment cost, but since holdings are free (in terms of fate) I don't see any real need for Sabotage to have a cost (or a role-lock, for that matter.) Of course, I only play casually, so at least for me the annoying part of the roles (being limited to one for you clan, chosen by someone you've probably never met) isn't relevant.
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