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  1. Boy, this sure went off the rails.
  2. Ok, lets get to it then. Yes, I have run duels between all these participants Kakita Duelist Hiruma Skirmisher (with a durable katana) Matsu Berserker Togashi Yamabushi (Togashi monk with a daisho) Shinjo Dervish Most of these matches were pretty ridiculous... and when I mean ridiculous, I mean silly. Kakita v Hiruma: This was a series of the Hiruma striking as earth with the kakita centering. The Hiruma just kept swinging and swinging regardless of the Kakita, hoping to get a few hits in before baiting out the finishing blow. Once the Kakita let go with the finishing blow, the hiruma just parried with the durable katana, activated his School technique (the Hiruma was wearing travelling clothes with an extra +2 resistance from striking as earth), then the regular finishing blow reduction dropped it to 0, which cause his armor to just drop in durability. After that the kakita couldn't really go back to an Iai stance because her sword was drawn. Instead the two swung at each other with striking as air/striking as earth until the Kakita's sword was damaged, then destroyed by hitting the Hiruma's traveling clothes. With no katana, the Kakita was finally struck down. This was really silly. The 1st edition Hida duelist was an abomination, as they could defeat any other school once they reached rank 2 (which allowed them to make a roll to completely ignore one hit... like an iaijutsu strike), and this fight was a spiritual successor to that. Kakita v Matsu: The Matsu played the manipulate strife game well, drawing the duel out way, way too long. After what seemed like forever, the Kakita actually gave up the finishing blow, since she had no good way to reduce her strife. Since the Kakita was in Iai-stance, she could not parry the finishing blow and was taken out. Kakita vs Togashi: This was the most boring of all. Two samurai staring at each other for days as they try to mess with each other's strife. The Togashi took water stance a few times to draw both of his swords in a niten stance. When the rising strike came, the Togashi parried with the Wakizashi, then swung down hard with the katana in Fire stance. It was almost enough to get though wounds/fatugue, but since losing them doesn't mean anything, the Kakita started striking as air and won out. Kakita vs Shinjo: Speaking of striking as air. The Dervish stayed true to his name and just came out swinging as air. no matter what the dervish kept in air stance and striking as air. The kakita missed the Rising blade against his air stance+striking as air (tn5 is not easy to hit). But the Shinjo did hit on the return since the Kakita was not striking as air. Then they started swinging, the Kakita got lucky once, but so did the shinjo, dropping the Kakita. Hiruma vs Matsu: The Matsu went first and used striking as water to defeat the Hiruma and his striking as earth This was like a skirmish without the fun bits. Hiruma vs Togashi: The Togashi broke his Katana on the Hiruma. Hiruma vs Shinjo: The Shinjo broke his katana on the clothing of the Hiruma. Matsu vs Togashi: The Togashi won out because he got the first hit in. No one missed, it was just a slugfest. Matsu vs Shinjo: the Shinjo went first and the Matsu could not hit him thereafter. The Matsu player did NOT have fun on this one. Togashi vs Shinjo: this was a game of a spinning shinjo and an unmoving togashi. The Togashi played the strife game by centering and declaring air, while the dervish attacked. but when the finishing blow came, it was just whiffed, and the shinjo would get a strike in. Then it started again from the top. it took three iterations of this for the Togashi to finally drop. Takeaways: None of these were really any fun. Even the one that had the feeling of the old RPG (Kakita vs. Matsu) wasn't very fun. Once the Kakita's Strife was above the Matsu's it was only a matter of time (a LOT of time). Once the Kakita wasn't threatening everyone with the instakill Rising bade finishing move, duels just became skirmishes with less options. Breaking katanas are not fun. Katanas breaking on traveling clothes is even less fun. Auto parrying your finishing blow is not fun. The devil is really in the details here. There are multiple issues here, and how techniques have been approached as individual discrete actions makes it difficult to approach those issues systemically. Time it took to run the duels: too long. Every duel went on too long except for Matsu vs Togashi and the Hiruma duels that were not against the Kakita. In my ideal L5R campaign duels would be used relatively often as a tool of political intrigue and legal assassination. The only thing that is confusing is that I always feel like I am missing something when it comes to duels in this edition. Mostly because I'm confused at why things seem to work the way they do. I have gone over duels with a fine toothed comb, since it is the part of L5R I love the most, but I still feel this way. Like, I may have made some mistakes here, but I'm not sure where they are.
  3. I'm glad you commented, because I double checked myself and found that I spelled Pamirdin incorrectly. The correct spelling should make it easier to search. Also, if you like that sort of thing check out xian bing, which is north eastern Chinese dish that is kind of like soup filled hockey pucks of amazing.
  4. The phenotypic differences between the clans (or what color Lady Doji's hair was) is not really important. What IS important is that each of the Kami were very different larger than life figures. Each one of them had their own cult of personality around them. Warriors gravitated towards Akodo... not ALL warriors gravitated there, but many of the people who had "warrior" as their identity went to him. Large, strong, stubborn people felt a kinship with Hida, while religious people gravitated towards Shiba. We all know the stories of the founding of the clans, and the choosing of Hantei as the first Emporer. But what is important to remember is that these followers of the different kami created very different cultures based around that kami's cult of personality. This means that each culture is VASTLY different than the other. Lion culture is exceedingly different than Scorpion Culture. It isn't just that Scorpions choose Duty over everything, and Lion chose honor over everything... the difference in their culture is down to their very core... how they greet each other, how then enter a room, what clothes they wear, how they think. There is a fundamental cultural difference between all the clans. Lady Doji wanted beautiful artists and dissemblers. With those artists came a man whose art was death. Kakita was not a soldier, like Matsu, nor a philosopher, like Mirumoto. That is why Kakita ended up with Lady Doji, Matsu with Akodo, and Mirumoto with Togashi. It would be difficult for the cultures of the clans to be more different and still be able to see each other as non-gaijin. We must remember that Rokugan is not a federation, nor a unitary state. It is an Empire, a multinational state with political dominion of populations who are culturally distinct from the imperial culture (which to be fair is heavily influenced by crane culture). It is SUPER important to recognize the differences between the clans. Crab culture and Crane culture are NOT the same, just as Phoenix culture and Unicorn culture are intrinsically dissimilar. These differences should be shown in ways that are impactful to the players. Cultural differences and culture clash is one of the things that create drama for courtiers, and different fighting styles and techniques are important to bushi. Being as an honor duel is very likely going to be the last thing a bushi ever does, the icons of that character's clan should be present in such an important scene. But even beyond duels, if all but a few higher-level techniques are open to everyone, players will intrinsically gravitate to the ones that are the most kill-y, and will result in bushi feeling very similar.
  5. I'm gonna tackle this one point at a time. 1. If you don't want to look at China for cultural diversity because of its size, we can look at Japan. Now I can absolutely go over how the prefectures and rural areas of japan have their own unique cultures, and how in feudal japan those areas were much more culturally diverse than in the days of highways, shipping and bullet trains. However these real-world examples pale to Rokugan and the fact that the people in it are descendant of actual gods, all of who had their own way of doing things and literally and intentionally created their own unique culture. The kami all taught their childeren to venerate the Hantei, and crane influence helps shape how court works and the interplay between clans, but the culture of each clan varies greatly. 2. I have read these books. I have been playing L5R for 20 years, I know the lore. My takeaway has always been that the clans are vastly different cultures. I have played in many, many games where all characters are one clan, doing things for said clan. Scorpion games are CRAZY different than Lion games, which are both CRAZY different to Crane games... mostly because of their different cultures. These in-game experiences are one of the reasons I LOVE the differences between the clans. I went to a Japanese culinary school and I have sketched out the different regional cuisines of the different clans, that is how much i have gone into the different cultures of Rokugan. From delicate Ikasomen (translucent squid sliced thinly so as to resemble somen noodles) of the Phoenix coast, to the bright purple murisaki imo of the Mantis islands. The differences are FAR more than idiosyncratic. The Lion's love of battle is not a peculiar affectation that overlays common Rokugani culture, it is who and what a lion is. Likewise ancestor worship and the connection to the dead is not simply an eccentricity, it is a driving force pushing the Lion to do more, to continue their works or avenge their endings. 3. I love iaijutsu. LOVE IT. I always have and any time I get to play a kakita duelist I just on it. I love the trope beautiful artistic warrior using an art form to defeat massive brutes. However, the mechanics of the previous systems have always left me wanting. Either I am in a skirmish, where most of my techniques do nothing, or I am in a duel where my opponent is just trying to do what I do, but way worse. The Kakita-Mirumoto rivalry was never supported by these mechanics. Either we are in a skirmish between the two of us, where my dueling techniques and their kill billions of mooks techniques are functionally useless, and we turn into two marginal bushi swinging at each other; or we are in an iaijutsu duel where their techniques are completely useless, and they cannot even use the style of their progenitor (and so are easily cut down). There is literally no rivalry possible between styles here. Having duels in which the crane can use iaijutsu but the opponent is not forced to feels much more right. You can just take the word iaijutsu out of the argument in favor of iaijutsu duels and they still work. Duelists are still the lawyers of Rokugan, that the Kakita are still the best lawyers. Wars can still be halted by duels. 4. All of the metaplot of the previous editions is gone, so I don't see any reason to place weight on what Yakamo did or did not do in previous editions. I have always disliked the feeling of the metaplot, a world in which my character has no impact. That is a personal preference, you can take it or leave it as you like. The lore of the clans and rokugan is fantastic, but post Scorpion clan coup has always felt like I am an npc in someone else's game. 5. I hope you can see now that my desire to have honor duels be used is based on in game experience and mechanics as well and in-depth knowledge of the different clans. The very soul of Rokugan is not dependent on the combat style of honor duels. Honor duels are a thing, they must be a thing in Rokugan. Kakita bushi MUST be stupid good at those duels, lest the entire clan perish. Kakita must use iaijutsu, it is their signature style. These are the important things to the lore. Allowing the lion to draw their sword during a duel does not change any of these vital things. Allowing a Dragon to face a challenge to their honor with both swords out as Mirumoto himself faced Kakita does not break the world. This is not mere iconoclasm, it is a position based on years of playing the game and reading the lore.
  6. You have put into sharp relief why I think this feels generic. If all samurai are from a single homogenous country, all doing iaijutsu duels, using the same techniques in those duels... well that feels just very generic to me, even if they wear different colored clothing. You may PREFER generic. And if you do... well I really can't change your mind on that. As to an overarching Rokugani culture... well we already have that without iaijutsu... because we still have honor duels as a thing. We still have bushido as a thing, as well as Fortunism and the Tao of Shinsei as a thing. There are many cultural ties that bind everyone together... requiring everyone to use the crane's signature style seems extraneous. I dislike real world examples to try and show how things should work in Rokugan, because you are dealing with a world that has magic being performed by the descendants of literal gods, but this one works, I think. I don't know how familiar you are with the cuisine of China, but it is VASTLY different as you travel through different parts. In the center you have Shaanxi cuisine (or Xi'an named after the central city) With their broad and thick Biangbiang noodles, Paomo, a lamb soup with torn bits of bread soaked into the broth, and crunchy roujimao stuffed with chopped tender pork, chilis, cilantro, and spices. Then to the West, you have the mostly halal cuisine of the Xinjian province, with skewers of lamb kawaplar resplendent in cumin, Uyghur mutton pilaf called polu, and Pamirden, which is a pie similar to Naan stuffed with meat and vegetables. In the east you have Jiangsu and Shanghai, with soup-filled xiaolongbao and the cured ham flavored Kou San Si soup. To homogenize all of them into the umbrella of "Chinese food" and consider them all to eat the same thing causes one to lose all the wonderful and varied cultural differences they have. They have many more differences than just a few different dishes that high levels chefs might make. The basic fundamentals are different and there is different thought process to the dish. I bring up the need to showcase cultural differences because Rokugan is a feudal state. The clans have declared allegiance to the Hantei, but the military power lies within them, not the Emperor. And these warring clans are very different in culture... which is one of the reasons they can't get along. THere are Lion who see the Crane as SO different that they want to kill them all. Now, most GMs won't showcase the different foods that different provinces of Rokugan might have to show cultural differences... most games are going to be based on fighting. If it would be a shame that for all court games that you have all samurai doing the same thing, with the same techniques, just in different colored kimonos. This is why it is important to showcase how each clan is different in ways they will likely interact with each other... which includes honor duels. I feel that the only reason to keep all honor duels as iaijutsu duels is that earlier editions did. The mechanics for the new duels are very similar to the opening duel of Kyūzō in "The Seven Samurai", where they study each other, changing stance several times each until one screams and charges allowing Kyūzō to dispatch him with a masterful rising cut from low stance. So if you like everyone using iaijutsu because that is how it is done in previous editions... well, that just seems more like a dislike of change more than anything else. If so, I doubt I will change you mind, but I hope you will consider that a non-homogenous Rokugan is an exciting vibrant place, where a homogenous Rokugan is a much more placid.
  7. I'm not a fan of honor duels being re-framed as iaijutsu-only duels, and duels between different weapons and styles being relegated to ronin and what not. I have gone over this to death in the balance and lore forums both, but it is much more interesting and exciting to me to have each clan use their iconic styles and weapon in an honor duel instead of everyone doing iaijutsu. I agree with the mechanics-good, name-bad crowd, for unmasking. Also agree with the lack of need for a "forced unmasking". When it comes to mechanics changes I like that water and earth opportunities have their strife reduction lowered. I am still not liking how the most important rings for strife manipulation are Water and Fire, and duels are based mostly around strife manipulation, but the rings of the school that produces the "best duelists in the empire" are air and earth. Earth has a very small effect of strife reduction, and air has none. The new opportunity for air in a duel that lets the player choose the disadvantage given is nice, but you have to be the one with the finishing blow for that to happen. Air stance's tn increase being based on rank is ok. Water stance's change seems fine. Iaijutsu cut: Rising blade is a good technique. I like the precedence this is setting, for styles to get multiple techniques that all fit a theme. Like Mirumoto having "Niten:" techniques, or Bayushi having left handed "Hidari:"techniques. I think Iaijutsu cut is a bit limiting and redundant, as is horizontal blade. Iaijutsu: horizontal cut would allow for an easier naming convention, not just for Iaijutsu, but for other styles that will be written 3 years from now. Nodachi seems odd. The deadliness of a 2-handed Nodachi is less than the deadliness of a 2-handed wakizashi??!? The damage and deadliness of all weapons in this game feels low. I am used to a high risk/high reward L5R, where hitting is difficult, but when you do, it usually dies. It seems intrinsic to this game that you expect to get hit much more often, but be able to shrug off many hits as well. I am not really a big fan of this, but if it is a core mechanic to haw most of this system is designed, there isn't much use complaining about it. Also armor is too high, especially clothing. Clothing giving damage reduction really feels silly. While I am on it, what is the deal with a two handed wakizashi and two handed dagger, but a chokutō is (rightly) only one handed? I don't know if that is a mechanics oversight or an error, but that should get fixed somewhere. Wounds as fatigue: doesn't feel right to me. I swing my Nodachi at you and hit! You are now... tired? The damage vs deadliness combo seems odd, because if damage only causes fatigue, what good is it really? Perhaps you can allow players to SPEND fatigue to mitigate damage instead of a fatigue threshold. Probably not as much as the number of wounds/fatigue you have now, probably more like half. A pool of like 4-6 fatigue that you can use to spend one for one to stop damage would do the same thing as "fatigue as wounds" with out the players feeling like their weapons don't do anything other than tire people out. Spending fatigue could be described as getting out of the way of a strike, or even stepping into it so that it rebounds off a particularly solid armor bit. Armor would still reduce damage before spending fatigue as normal. If damage after reduction>0, then the Damage after reduction+deadliness = critical strike value. Critical strikes can still be gotten for 2 opportunities with the strike action, and are useful for getting past armor and fatigue pools.
  8. Yes, I agree that multiple paths to victory is totally awesome, and I think that there is great potential to do exactly as you describe. I think you and I are of a like mind in a lot of this. I'm gonna cross post some things that I said in our other discussion from the lore page, Rana. This is a better forum for where that discussion went went and I can expound a little more. Imagine kata that Kakita duelist might have... They could have one that drops their strife to 0 when they assess at the beginning of a duel, which would be increadibly useful in a tense political situation.. Imagine a kata that doubles their composure while in a duel (which might result in an unmasking when the duel ends). A kata where you can add the opponents strife to your critical strike roll (and by extension a finishing blow). There could be a kata that allows you to secretly choose two rings that can cause the opponent strife; or a kata that allowed you to manipulate your own, or your opponents, strife levels directly. I could see a Mirumoto bushi be able to use choose a second stance and be able to spend opportunities as if they were in either stance. I could see them having a kata that allows them to spend two opportunity to perform a critical strike immediately after a successful provoke action (simulating creating an opening with their wakizashi). I can see them having a kata that allows them to add the deadliness of the katana and wakizashi together when performing a critical strike (and by extension a finishing blow) I can see A Bayushi bushi being able to, during the staredown, in any turn after they used a provoke action, to be able to gain two initiative for every one strife bid. I can see a Bayushi being able to spend 2 opportunities when centering to force the opponent to tell the player what their stance will be in next turn's staredown. I can see them able to spend opportunities to lower their opponents tn when acting first after a staredown. I can see then having a kata that inflicts the critical hit one lower on the critical hit table as well as the one rolled. So here you have three schools that in the lore are good at dueling having three different methods of approaching a duel. A Kakita who manipulates strife waiting for a perfect single finishing blow, A Mirumoto who is going to come out swinging and trying to end the duel fast, and a bayushi who is looking to manipulate initiative and learn their opponents weakness before wounding and hamstringing them into a position where they can no linger fight back. So who would win between a Dragon and a Crane? In this scenario it is a probably going to be a question of if the Dragon can get through the Crane's defenses before the Crane can get a finishing blow... but there are other ways you could play it. In fact the Crane might suspect the dragon is going to go this way, and so pushes hard and fast the first turn. It is all about options and how you use it. What if the dragon figures the Crane will sit back, and so pushes even harder the first turn burning strife to get the initiative the first turn, and get all up in the Crane's grill. Centering only works until the beginning of the next round, so if the dragon can act first, then they can attack the crane without the ridiculous tn that they can build with centering... but building up strife brings the dragon closer to that finishing blow. It is tense and full of questions and drama. No, these kata I postulate here are in NO WAY intended to be suggestions or that they are in anyway balanced or even useable. They are just to show different ways that different schools that are known for dueling could approach the matter. High rings/skill and good rolls are always going to be important, but every clan and every school approaches it in a slightly different way. A hida with earth 5 and martial arts 5 is probably going to kick some *** in a duel, regardless of kata. Their approach will just be much more straight forward than, say, a Bayushi... and this not a bug, it's a feature. I would love it if duels end up being more like a chess game than rock, paper, scissors. Simply making Crane duelists unbeatable makes duels boring, but having them be "ideal warriors for duels to the death" is much more exciting.
  9. Just because the metaplot was affected by the game, does not mean the mechanics are canon. Also, that self same metaplot no longer exists in this edition of the RPG, so any weight it might have had is kinda nullified. I would also put forward that this thread has gone completely off the rails and is now on a topic of lore discussion not even remotely having to do with game balance. We might want to steer it back on track, lest this thread be locked.
  10. Are you talking about the miniatures game? I don't think an attempt to jam the world of Rokugan onto Warhammer rules should be a metric for anything lore related.
  11. I don't think I quite got my point across. My point was more that everyone should have theme specific dueling kata. Just schools that are in the lore supposed to be better at dueling should get more or functionally better kata, just like schools that are better in battle or in skirmishes should get more or better kata for those types of fighting. It should all balance out in the end. Schools that are better in duels will be worse in skirmishes or battles. Like I could see Kakita samurai having more duel kata, maybe a few good skirmish kata, then battle kata that focus on getting them into duels. Likewise Mirumoto Samurai might have more good dueling kata, a bunch of good skirmishing kata, but not so much battle kata, because the individuality of these samurai does not lend themselves to battle s much as other samurai. While Bayushi samurai might have a bunch of good dueling kata, but have equal Scorpion esque shenanigans for skirmishes and battle. Three schools that are supposedly good in duels, all having in theme reasons for having these kata. For example I could see a Mirumoto be able to use choose a second stance and be able to spend opportunities as if they were in either stance. I could see them having a kata that allows them to spend two opportunity to perform a critical strike immediately after a successful provoke action (simulating creating an opening with their wakizashi). I can see them having a kata that allows them to add the deadliness of the katana and wakizashi together when performing a critical strike (and by extension a finishing blow) I can see A Bayushi being able to during the staredown in any turn after they used a provoke action to be able to gain two initiative for every one strife bid. I can see a Bayushi being able to spend 2 opportunities when centering to force the opponent to tell the player what their stance will be in next turn's staredown. I can see them able to spend opportunities to lower their opponents tn when acting first after a stardown. I can see then having a kata that inflicts the critical hit one lower on the critical hit table as well as the one rolled. A Matsu might have some dueling kata too, but far more on the skirmish and battle end. That shouldn't mean that a Matsu cannot beat a Kakita in a duel, just that the Matsu has an uphill battle ahead of her. Having a Matsu that is somehow tooled out to beat dedicated duelists would be a very interesting character, and would be the source of much very interesting drama. This should not be impossible, but quite rare and dificult to pull off... but so would a crane general who marched into Crab lands and wiped the floor with them. Players should not feel pigeonholed when other players are allowed to shine. There absolutely should also be good general dueling kata open to anyone... and I think we see a good number of them in this beta. I would not take away any of these kata, but give more that are themed to those specific schools to echo how they are in the lore.
  12. If Kakita duelists are given kata that make them exceedingly dangerous in a duel/clash context, which make them very difficult opponents for anyone to beat, I think that will suffice. Other schools will have access to some school kata that are useful in that context, or general katas that are useful in duels. But if the Kakita have good Kata, I think their role as political enforcers are secure. The new system of kata filling in for techniques offers a huge opportunity for schools. It is now very easy to customize each character within the school and clan kata allowing for variations of technique within the same school or clan. I personally think it takes maybe 2-3 kata to do what a school technique used to do. So now, imagine kata that Kenshizen might have... They could have one that drops their strife to 0 when they assess at the beginning of a duel, rendering any manipulation or frustration a Scorpion Manipulator or Lion Bard might perform right beforehand. Imagine a kata that doubles their composure while in a duel (which might result in an unmasking when the duel ends. A kata where you can add the opponents strife to your roll when performing a critical strike (and by extension a finishing blow). There could be a kata that allows you to secretly choose two rings that can cause the opponent strife; or a kata that allowed you to manipulate your own, or your opponents, strife levels directly. Now, I am not suggesting these kata, nor am I trying to discuss their relative merits. Now I know this board is for lore, not balance/crunch issues. If any of these kata or good or bad is not the point. All I am trying to show is that the new system is elegant enough to allow for both Kakita duelists being masters of single combat AND all clans being able to use their styles in duels. Kata that specifically help in a duel in a BIG way but have little applicability to a skirmish or battle make sense to me for Kakita duelists. Some should have applicability to other conflicts, like the Iaijutsu: strikes we are seeing develop are useful in bith a skirmish and a duel. Furthermore, these Kata MUST be specific to that particular school. I think the feeling of generality I'm getting with samurai is partly due to most of the kata etc. that we are seeing being open to anyone. More school specific kata I think will make all the schools feel very different beyond their rank 1 and capstone techniques. Duel focused kata would allow the Kakita duelists remain masters of the duel without making everyone copy them; but I hope all school and clans get a little love in the duel arena to showcase their own unique style of battle.
  13. The update and its change to honor duels to make them iaijutsu only duels again has really made me consider one of the things that has been in the back of my head, which is that samurai ted to feel a bit generic in this beta. Lets look at honor duels. Now, I admit, I am dyed-in-the-silk Crane clan; if you cut me, I bleed white and blue. So duels are an very important part of my play experience, much like how the stats of Shadowland creatures are much more important to people who play Crab clan characters more often. I must admit that I am quite disappointed by this move to iaijutsu duels from just honor duels. Beyond mechanical concerns, it is so much cooler to see the slim crane duelist in sky blue hakama and embroidered sarashi with her sword sheathed and ready to strike against the massive crab samurai, heavily armored and swinging his gigantic tetsubo over his head; then it is to see that same crab remove all of his iconic gear and stance to try and mirror the crane duelist. All of the clans have these iconic differences in how they fight, and with what. Imagine the same duelist against: The tattooed Dragon, naked from the waist up, in his Niten stance The Unicorn dervish, whirling her scimitar as if it were a steel tornado The golden haired Lion, with her razor-sharp nodachi that has spilled the blood of hundreds on the battlefield. The sly Scorpion, lazily spinning the weight of her kusari-gama in her left hand. The brave Phoenix, with his glittering naginata These are awesome scenes. They also allow each clan to bring their strengths into an honor duel. If they are all doing iaijutsu, then they all look like the crane but wearing different colors (until they are cut down by that self same crane). It feels much cooler to me for honor duels to allow for any weapon and style you want. Mechanically the other clans don't need iaijutsu, water stance allows them to ready a weapon... and that is a good thing imo. I like the idea that iaijutsu is a crane thing, just like niten is a dragon thing. Lion are not interested in iaijutsu because they are to busy winning wars, Crab are not interested because they are too busy manning the wall, etc. I like where the mechanical changes are going with respect to duels and iaijutsu... I think there is more to be done, but that is not for this forum. Having all duels be iaijutsu duel feels very much like an artifact of the old lore and system. I have often felt that all duels were iaijutsu duels because there was a card in the CCG that said so. Requireing samurai from schools other than the Kakita school study iaijutsu as well as their normal skills feels like a bit of a handy cap to them... I means sure they could if they wanted to, but why? I think that samurai in this edition tend to feel rather generic already, especially if you have a school ability that you can only use once a scene. Then you are only special in that one instance, then you go back to being generic. To be fair, we are used to the crazy powers of the schools, but it feels like a step down in uniqueness as well as power. Having more powerful, school specific kata will help... and we have no idea what the final list of kata will be, or how many will be exclusive to whatever school. I want my duelist to cut other characters down while they are using their strongest techniques, not their weakest.
  14. Is the update availible and I just missed it?
  15. Throughout the fiction we see Kakita duelists portrayed as "weak" or "effeminate" in the eyes of other bushi. It infuriates the Crab and Lion to have these slender artists routinely defeat them in duels, as they are not seen as warriors by those militaristic clans. Kakita duelists ARE strange amongst the bushi of Rokugan. I would submit that in many ways they have more in common with monk characters than other bushi. Their ways are indeed strange to most other bushi, a sharp stiletto to be used on court, not a hammer to be used on the battlefield. On the battlefield they win by clashing by individual samurai, not by cutting their way through hordes of ashigaru. Daidoji iron warriors and Asahina archers are more at home on a battlefield that the duelist. The very fact that their main bushi school is one that is mostly useful in court shows what the true strength of the Crane is, in politics. Politics and duels is how they keep the Lion and crab from wiping them out of existence, not so much their extreme prowess in the field of battle.
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