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  1. It's good to see that a few individuals have decided to attempt to distract from what I thought had been an intelligent conversation on a couple of issues. Perhaps by reporting them, we'll get this thread actually looked at and moved up the chain of command.
  2. Unfortunately, FFG opened up this pandora's box when they decided to allow "negative crap" to be assigned to their "simple card game". They let Banzai become a bad word, despite centuries of use that prove otherwise. But if Banzai is bad because it was used by imperialist Japan in WWII, then they can't ignore the fact that Honor and Glory meets the same criteria, since it was used by Nazis in the same war. I do not work for FFG. I was not involved in the decision-making process. I have as much genuine knowledge about this matter as you do. For reference, my statement was: "1. "Utz-Banzai!" was dropped because ONE voice on the internet assigned a negative connotation to it and FFG decided to take it as sufficient evidence that the word "Banzai" was a bad thing." Now, let's take a look at what we DO KNOW. In August of this year, "Utz-Banzai!" was used as part of their game launch ceremonies at GenCon. It was also a tribute to a person who is no longer with us. Now, in memorium or not, I highly doubt FFG would have allowed "Utz-Banzai!" to be any part of their launch if they had any concerns or reservations about negative real-world associations. To me, this signaled that not only were they ok with Banzai, but that they planned to continue the tradition moving forward. This was further confirmed by FFG, as you will see in a moment. In September, the SU&SD review comes out. The review itself is positive, as are most of the comments at first. Then one individual tied the "Utz-Banzai!" chant to something negative and the comments section spiraled from there. In October, FFG released a statement that they were putting an end to the Banzai chant and replacing it. This further proves that up until this point, they planned to continue the Banzai chant. The reason they gave for the change was that Banzai had "real-world historical context of similar phrases" that "connected a number of negative associations to this chant". They took a word that is used to express joy and celebration and defined it as something bad. And since we know, based on available evidence, that they were ok with it up until this point, we can infer that those ties to negative connotations came from external sources. So, looking back at my statement, I stand by it. If I am misrepresenting anything, it could be that it was only one voice that expressed concern. For all I know, it could have been more than one. But the reason they gave for the change was that some people view Banzai as bad, so they decided to view Banzai as bad. And now we are here. Based on FFG's own reasoning, the new chant does not pass their test. Multiple people have pointed this out. So where do we go from here? Can we feel confident that FFG is looking into this matter and planning on making the appropriate changes? Is this forum a loud enough space for them to hear this concern? Or do people need to start posting about this topic on public review sites and blogs to see any reaction from FFG?
  3. I added the underlines because I wanted to address these three things. I don't want to overreact to the "previous external perceptions of casual racism", so I would like to ask if you can elaborate on this so that I understand where you are coming from. In terms of "gross cheesecake art", I think I can safely leave this one alone, as everyone's individual taste in art is unique and subjective. Every game has it's "questionable" art, so I don't see this as a negative. I'm pretty sure there are people out there who find the new art in the current lcg "questionable" for whatever reason. It's not a fault of the artist or the game, just a person's individual taste. As to "historical ignorance", I would argue that the new guard is failing so far. This is what I don't understand: 1. "Utz-Banzai!" was dropped because ONE voice on the internet assigned a negative connotation to it and FFG decided to take it as sufficient evidence that the word "Banzai" was a bad thing. 2. MULTIPLE voices on the internet have assigned a negative connotation to the new chant, based on it's own similarity to Nazi war and propaganda chants from WWII. And that is chants in plural, as in more than one. 3. Anything pro-Nazi is bad. Anything associated with pro-Nazi is also bad. Given all these, why are those who are concerned with not offending Asian cultures who suffered under Japan NOT calling for a change or end of the new chant? The new chant seems to be getting a "pass". Why is that? And why does it seem that FFG is ignoring this? Do they not read their own message boards? Do they really not see Nazi values being just as bad or worst than imperialistic ones? You would think that in today's climate, they would act quickly to move away from any such connections. They were quick to address the concerns of one individual over Banzai. Why are they ignoring the concerns from multiple people over their new Nazi chant?
  4. Very much this. As I admitted, I would love to see the return of Utz-Banzai!. However, the main point I wanted to get across is that by their own "standards", the new chant is also unacceptable to FFG and should be changed/removed. There was one public objection to Utz-Banzai! and FFG responded in a week. Giving them a pass for the holiday, it's been 5 days now. I am not the only one in this thread who has expressed concern for the new chant. We'll see where we go from here on this matter. Sadly, at this point, the best possible solution would probably be to remove any and all "official" chanting by FFG and leave it to the community to continue any traditions they want to. It is pretty disheartening to know we will never get another official Utz-Banzai at GenCon again. It's ironic that FFG wanted to start a new tradition with the players, but in doing away with Utz-Banzai!, they instead brought division to the community of players.
  5. And this is why many people are calling for a living rules reference. I see what you are saying, but at the same time, I don't think it's possible to just say the developer is wrong in his interpretation. I mean, he IS the developer, so if anyone is going to know the rules backwards and forwards you would think it would be him. It's a shame we can't tag or alert Nate to this topic to get some clarification on this. I could see where Cascade was right to stick to the rulebook on the mulligan ruling. But I don't forgive them as easily for refusing to adhere to the rules reference on the Ring of the Void ruling or for getting the other rulings wrong. FFG and Cascade need to get these rulings squared away. Having a living rules reference would go a long way to helping.
  6. The judges should have definitely been better prepped. I hope FFG and Cascade take steps in the near future to ensure that this does occur. Also, just to clarify, as I stated in my original post, I did not receive any bad rulings myself. The rulings were given to different players from my group as well as other players that we know. For those keeping score at home, the new chant is now similar to THREE different Nazi chants. I hope the mods are keeping an eye on this thread and are relaying this info up the chain of command. We are talking about a card game here, and I for one like to keep my hobbies and politics separate. But after Charlottesvile, I'd imagine many companies would want to stay away from such an association. I'm sure FFG would prefer to not become the next Papa John's.
  7. Unfortunately, this was not the way it was ruled. The judges went by printed, which is what Base means in MtG. Since the Grand Kotei judges were selected because of their experience judging Magic events, we can see why they ruled it the way they did. My friend who received the Akodo Toturi ruling was told by the judge that he WAS the head judge. The players involved in the Void Ring ruling were told that the head judge was too busy and they basically had to play on.
  8. I had a great time at PAX, once I was done dealing with the Grand Kotei portion. I do hope FFG and Cascade learn from this and improve, but for the moment, I have plans to avoid anything Cascade is involved in that is not MtG. I did not say the new chant was Nazi-inspired. I am only pointing out that it is similar to Nazi chants used during WWII and it needs to be looked at. Also, this concern was initially raised by European players. Hearing Utz-Banzai! was definitely a highlight. The new chant did not have full participation from the crowd, so it sounded weak and insignificant. Utz-Banzai! started off low and caught people off guard, but by the third one, you could tell there was solidarity among the players. The volume of it was unmistakable. It was a good reassurance that, official or unofficial, Utz-Banzai! will carry on. The game is still young and errors will be made. That is understandable. But having a Grand Kotei being judged by people who have never played the game is not. I hope FFG and Cascade put steps forward to ensure this doesn't happen again. The thing with the mulligan ruling is that, when it comes from the lead designer, it's pretty hard to argue that it's anything but official. This is why we need a living rules document. A clarification of this magnitude should not be contained within an email. If it's the designer's wishes that this is how the game should be played, they need to have a platform where they can get this info out to as many players as possible as quickly as possible to ensure that everyone is playing the game as intended. My stance was not that Banzai was negative towards Japanese. My position is that declaring that Banzai is negative enough that it needs to be removed from a Japanese inspired game is negative and insulting to Japanese. Banzai is used to express joy and celebration today in Japan, as it has been used for centuries. For a US-based company to declare Banzai to be something negative is pretty insensitive and insulting. By FFG's standards, it only needs to be "similar". And apparently the new chant is similar enough that multiple European players raised a concern over it in the L5R FB group. The group reaches over 5.4k players worldwide, so I think it should be a big enough concern that FFG should really look into the matter. I am not a historian, but I can say that in over 10 years of being involved in the game, I have never heard of anyone associate Utz-Banzai! with anything negative. And the initial concern regarding the new chant was raised by European players, mostly British and German. If you are not a member of the FB group, I would invite you to join. Perhaps between your training and their concerns, we can discuss this further.
  9. Long, long time player, first time poster. When it came to L5R at PAX Unplugged, it was a HUGE disappointment on two major fronts. Let's dive right in. 1. FFG, Cascade, and Bad Rulings There were a lot of bad rulings made by the judges at this event. To be fully honest, none of these were done to me directly, but many of these were done to folks from my local playgroup and players that we knew. Here are some of those rulings: a. Akodo Toturi was ruled that you could use the reaction on defense and that the defender would gain the benefits, not the attacker. The ring resolved was Ring of Fire, btw. b. The mulligan rule was not used as ruled by Nate French. (Nate clarified via email, which was later shared via discord, that after a player mulligans his dynasty cards, they can look at the new cards before drawing conflict cards; this was not allowed at PAX) c. Ring of the Void's wording was ruled that whatever is on the reference card is the official wording, and not what is in the Rules Reference. d. Bayushi Manipulator and Contingency Plans got different rulings from different judges. One ruled that it affected the physical dial. Another judge ruled that it changed the bid but the exchange of honor was still based on the dial, which was not changed. e. Base force was defined as whatever was printed on the card. Someone who tried to play 2 Way of the Lion was told they had to go by printed force for the second one. Also concerning was the fact that some of the floor judges admitted to various players that they had never played L5R before judging this event. They were brought on simply because they were good Magic judges. According to the judges at the event, they work for a company called Cascade and not FFG. Furthermore, it appears that Cascade has been contracted by FFG to run and judge all of the US L5R events for the next year, including GenCon 2018. If this is true, then this is a problem. PAX was a Grand Kotei, which means it was one of FFG's major tournaments of the year. To find out that it was judged by people who had never even played the game before is not acceptable. If Cascade is going to continue to represent FFG and be responsible for making rulings at these events, then there needs to be some training. At the very least, they should pick up a deck and play a game so they begin to understand how the game actually plays out. The overall accountability falls on FFG. If they are going to rely on others to run their major events for them, then FFG needs to make sure that the company they've chosen has all the tools they need. There also needs to be a living, public source made available where rulings are kept and up to date. Judges need this as a resource to make informed decisions. And players also need to know how cards are being ruled, which affects their deck building and play decisions. Rulings affect game outcomes. It's not too much to ask that players are made aware of rulings and changes. It's also not too much to ask that judges at major events are knowledgeable and competent. I don't mean to be hard on the individual people who were judging at PAX, but if you've never even picked up an L5R deck, you are not competent to judge at a Grand Kotei. This falls on Cascade and more so on FFG to make sure this doesn't happen again. 2. The new chant is unacceptable by FFG's own standards Full disclaimer, I want "Utz-Banzai!" back. I do not agree that it is offensive. For every article online that claims that this is what kamikaze pilots yelled during their attacks, there are just as many articles that say this just isn't true. And to claim that the word Banzai is offensive is an insult to Japanese people everywhere. The triple Banzai has a very specific use in Japanese culture. To censor it by attempting to assign negative connotations to it is indeed insulting. I welcome everyone, especially FFG, to do some research on the triple Banzai. Having said that, FFG earlier this year decided to end "Utz-Banzai!" and gave the following reason: "Unfortunately, the real-world historical context of similar phrases has connected a number of negative associations to this chant, which undermines the tradition by detracting from the sense of community and positivity it seeks to establish." What does this have to do with the new chant? Well, apparently it ACTUALLY has some connections to real-world phrases with negative historical associations. More directly, it is a Nazi chant. Or at least, very similar to one. Interesting story time. I met a few gamers from England at PAX and I decided to do an experiment. In the L5R Facebook group, the similarity between the new chant and Nazi chants from WWII has been pointed out by European players, mainly British and German players. I asked them to come witness the beginning of the Grand Kotei on Saturday. I didn't give them any heads up, as I wanted to see their reactions, if any. As soon as the second verse was uttered, they both looked at me wide-eyed. Needless to say, we had an interesting conversation afterwards. FFG needs to look into this matter. Please, don't just take my word for it. Something this SIMILAR to real-world historical context with a number of negative associations needs to be addressed. If the ultimate decision is to do away with all chants, then so be it. But I think it needs to be said that out of the two chants, one is clearly not offensive and one clearly is similar enough to be. Also, I would like to add before any such suggestions are made, that I have tried to email FFG before, at least about the concern regarding their new chant. I suspect it has been ignored or at the very least overlooked. I have noticed that FFG responds more readily to public feedback, so I am attempting this route. My hope is that both of these matters are looked into before the next major tournament.
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