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About neilcell

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  1. Indeed. The clash of cultures (Stranger in a Strange Land) is often a great opportunity for drama and roleplaying. Challenging what a character(and to a lesser extent player) believes, values, and respects is motivation for drama and contrasts nicely against the Mary Sue cardboard cut-out characters. I think the Unicorn Novella did a very good job of that and giving players the tools to replicate similar culture clashes can lead to nearly endless potential for storytelling.
  2. Indeed. While the Rempent is basically Pharaonic Egypt and hasn't changed, the "Jewel of the Desert" HAS changed from pre-Islamic Babylon to Islamic Bagdad and that IS significant. What I am wondering is whether "Dai-Chin" will be making an appearance. Originally the Yodatai were a quasi-mix of Alexander the Great's armies and Roman Legions. Since the culture of the Burning Sands has changed from pre-Islamic to Islamic, that changes the equation with regards to whether it is the Greeks or the Romans who come to call from the West. And that just covers the land routes from the West. You also have sea powers who could again come to call on Rokugan centuries after the Battle of the White Stag. Whether Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, or even an equivalent of American, I suspect that a Commodore Perry sailing into the Bay of the Golden Sun and forcing the issue could cause quite an uproar.
  3. I agree. If they bring the sourcebook and it is an FFG product, then that should make the DM's job easier. Put some of the burden on the players so the DM is not the one exclusively invested in the game.
  4. Until the Athenians defeated the Immortals at Marathon and the Spartans did the same at Thermopylae, both using the phalanx, terrain, and tactics to do so. This of course shattered the idea that the immortals were unbeatable with Alexander the Great Later conquering Persia and Bactria before moving into India through Punjab. Me thinks that the Lion Infantry, directed by the Akodo would have figured this out. Certainly the Ikoma should be aware of the nature of strengths and weakness interplay between Artillery(archers), Infantry, and Cavalry. Even without dedicated mounted Cavalry, you can still have mounted Infantry that serve as quick-strike forces in the same manner if not as effective. Mounted Matsu (a bizarre thought indeed) could be said mobile infantry. The trick of course, is to get under their guns.
  5. Reminds me of the Katyusha Rocket Launchers, aka "Stalin's Organs".
  6. I suspect elder Yasuki do dye their hair.....black. The reasons for doing so likely vary from person to person, if you get my drift.
  7. If one were to focus on game balance but still introduce firearms and gunpowder weapons, you hit it on the head with "primitive". The use of one should be not that much more accurate than the use of archery or crossbow. ****, I would argue that the role of a crossbow is very similar to a firearm yet while the Crab regularly use them, not many of the other clans do so. And if one was to set off a powder keg, then they should be making either alchemy(for regular mixing and detonation) or engineering (for building demolitions) checks with difficulties similar to what a Shugenja has to make. Going from that standpoint, since the Agasha focus on alchemy, use of gunpowder or a fire kami invocation by a member of that family should at least appear indistinguishable to the uninitiated.
  8. Nice, thank you as that saves me the trouble of duplicating work. Pass along my thanks to the person who put that together.
  9. Right now "Gajin pepper" is outlawed in Rokugan, though that does not stop the Scorpion, Tortoise, Mantis, and Daidoji family of the Crane from using it or the Unicorn from carrying it over the Burning Sands. That being said, I do hope that we get to see some mechanics for it. Likely will not drop until the Scorpion Clan source book though.
  10. Ah, my mistake. I remembered three exams being significant, but I guess I conflated his performance with Fangbo's. Sorry about that. Thank you for correcting me. A piece that I have speculated but never confirmed; did General Tso serve under Dowager Empress Cixi? Her court was quite the drama show. My understanding is that she trusted nobody with power and kept most of them at each other's throats so as to keep them from even considering uniting against her. Coupled that with the dates both of them lived(Cixi 1835-1908, Regency 1861-1908; Tso 1812-1885, Tenure 1861 as provincial governor to 1884 as Viceroy) and a story that the General asked to be removed from a powerful political office because he felt he was either unqualified or he felt he was unable to execute the duties expected of him and I get the impression he was about the ONLY person Cixi trusted because he has zero ambition and hence she did not view him as a threat. It just seems to me that the two of them should be taken into context together as I have never seen a book or online article with both of them.
  11. That, which you ask I think I can do though if someone else has already done so, please preempt me before I waste time duplicating another person's work. I do have all of the physically printed materials and have recently printed out "Ronin's Path". How much detail would you want in the character table of content? Just the name, book, and page or do you want a full stat block?
  12. I think locust shell is looking for characters specifically rather than just family/clan/school list. I could do a list of characters with defined stats, but then it would be limited to just what is in the RPG books and not include the characters in the card game nor the novellas. And I do NOT have the discipline to re-read the books in their entirety to catch the characters without specified stats. Sorry if that is not very helpful. The number of named characters on the L5R wiki which includes AEG is huge.
  13. I was flattered several times when some Korean Americans asked me to tutor their children on Korean history. While most of what I learned about Korean history was during my two years there, I could spend a lifetime in that country and still not see everything. Munsusa Temple for example had probably not seen an American since the Korean War. Little hidden gems like that are all over the country that are often overlooked, even by both Americans and Koreans living there. No, I have not seen that one about the lady bounty hunters. I will have to look that one up. I only named three big historic dramas, but there are so many more. There is a very good reason why they are among the most popular shows on TV in Korea. A&E's most successful shows are often historic re-enactments such as "The Crossing" with Jeff Daniels as Washington. Since truth is often stranger than fiction, perhaps Hollywood should consider focusing on making historic dramas rather than this "Get Woke" crap that causes them to go broke. I am glad to hear that our Cadets at Annapolis are going to learn about East Asian Warfare. Hopefully you can help them to appreciate why technology, tactics, terrain, and training played a major factor in Admiral Yi using just 12-15 Panokseon ships against 300 Japanese ships and was victorious in the Battle of Myeongnyang. The Korean Movie "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" is a reasonable re-enactment of that event. Bringing this back to the original post, I can totally see a small Phoenix fleet manned by Shiba Bushi, Kaito Shrine Keepers, and Asako Monks as well as their martially inclined vassals defending the straight between Kyuden/Shiro Shiba and the Castle of the Cat(Shiro Neko) against a Mantis Fleet in what essentially is a replay of Yi-sun-Shin's naval campaign against Todo Takatora. I am comfortable with Kaito Shrine keepers and Asako monks participating as "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" had Buddhist monks welding what looks like Naginatas alongside the sailors. Quite amusing to think how many Westerners would react on seeing the Swastika displayed prominently on their backs in place of a clan mon. If you have not already, I think a quick review of two exemplars of Hwarang are worth reviewing: Kim Yushin of Gaya (grandson of Kim Soro the Iron King, the last of the Kayan Confederacy War Chiefs) and Kim Alcheon, the commander of Queen Seondeok's personal guard. Between the two of them, they conquered first Baekje, then Ko-Goreyo to unite the Peninsula. The boundary between united Baekje-Shilla and Kogoreyo was almost exactly where the current DMZ is located. Perhaps somewhere in the personal diaries of one of those two men is the answer on how to break the military stalemate in Korea today. The anecdotal stories told about both men are quite amusing. And I see elements of Kim Yushin in Akodo Toturi, both AEG before he became Emperor as well as FFG's version of him. As for Chinese history, I am quite taken by two men. General Zuo Zongtang, Marquis of Kejing (of General Tso's chicken fame in the West), and Luo Fangbo,founder of the Lanfeng Republic on Borneo in 1774. Both men are significant in that they each failed the Imperial exams three times. Considering that nobody gets a second chance to retake the test tells you something. Tso went home to be a tea farmer while Fangbo went to Borneo to be a miner. Both rose to prominence when civil strife and upheaval put them in positions of responsibility. In Tso I see echoes of America's farmer Generals who started out as mere privates, became Mustang Officers, and eventually came to lead America's military. I would hope our cadets at Annapolis learn that even their enlisted can have brilliance and that they should learn to trust their Chief Petty Officers and Sergeants. Anyhow, I have prattled off long enough.
  14. I was stationed in South Korea at Osan Air Basse from 2009-2011. I got to visit several of their historic sites like Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon; Haengju Fortress (Imjin War, Kwon Yule's liberation of Seoul); three of the five Royal Palaces (Kyeoungbukgung, Chandukgung, Deoksugung); a number of their temples such as Naksan, Yongju, Waawoojong, Sudok, Songwagsa, Younggung, Gapsa, Beopjusa, Silleuksa, and Munsusa; and then festivals such as the Mud Festival in Broyeong and the Cherry Blossom in Busan(Pusan) . Using that experience, I see a lot of Korean elements within the Kaito family of the Phoenix. I suspect the Isawa themselves take many elements from the Ainu people of Japan. As posted earlier in this thread, the Koreans from a genetic standpoint are closer to the Mongolians than they are to the Japanese, intermarriage among the nobility not withstanding. They trace this connection though the Manchu People in China. Ironically, the Han Chinese are closer to the Japanese than they are to the Manchu. Look up how Hakka tombs and burial practices have many commonalities with early Yamato tombs. As for the connection between Japanese and Koreans, every noble family of Japan had at least one Korean ancestor, typically a Korean noblewoman whom the Japanese nobleman brought home as his bride. Akahito himself admitted to being a descendant of King Muryeong of Baekje through one of his daughters, with the revelation being something of a scandal among Japanese "purists". Here is some of the connections as they relate to each other. Mongolian-Manchu-Korean Han Chinese-Hakka Chinese-Yamato Japanese-Ainu Japanese One interesting aspect of Shilla Dynasty were the young men known as "Hwarang". Depending on context, that translates variously as "Flower Boy", "Flower Student", "Flower Cadet", "Flower Soldier". I prefer to translate it as "Flower Knight" due to the context of how they were sword to serve the noblewomen of the Kingdom, particularly the daughters of the King as their guardsmen, retainers, and military forces. Unlike the Samurai of Japan, the Hwarang WERE more than willing to engage in subterfuge and sabotage activities behind enemy lines using tactics similar to the Shinobi and Ninja. And of course, the Hwarang were Korea's premier cavalry. If you have not done so, I recommend watching Korean historic Dramas such as "Seondeok Yeowang"(The Great Queen Sendeok), "Dae Jang Gum"(The Great Jang-geum), or "Kim Soro-The Iron King". They will give you a relatively accurate depiction of historic Korean culture, even if the writers take certain liberties with the actual events. Those might give you some ideas for adventures of your own that incorporate Korean elements into your game. So to answer your question, I would say some of the Phoenix take after the Koreans. Though as others have pointed out, the Unicorn could also incorporate elements of Korea as well.
  15. Indeed. The best I could read into it was that either Nasu no Shiba Shizuma or Damasu no Akoda Maeda would have to die to have any lasting peace as neither could abide the other living past the next Winter Court (Settle this with honor on Page 27). And my own view is that Shizuma was the least honorable as his ego blinded him to betray both his clan and his faith in order to justify himself and his actions. Me thinks the Kami of the Damned will judge him harshly as he was with those in his charge and whom he helped butcher. Not that it is my business, but I completely agree with you encouraging a scorpion join them. Either Bayushi Kyo from the starter set or Bayushi Hibiki from the Kyotei scenario could easily drop in medias res. Both of them should be mysterious enough to entertain the other players for quite some time(**** scorpion sneak!). Very much play up Winston Chruchill's quote about Russia, but apply it to your scorpion character: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. IT IS A RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. It cannot be in accordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south eastern Europe, That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia." Russia being substituted with Scorpion clan in that quote. PS: Though Ninja/Shinobi fighting Nazis WOULD be quite entertaining. PPS: I will try to limit my commentary on your thread. It is so entertaining to read, a credit to your storytelling skills. If I was in your area, I would so offer to join as said scorpion, but alas I cannot.
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