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17th Knight

The Big Question - Which Clans Make The Cut?

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I sincerely hope that they all do. I know that's kind of nuts in an LCG format, but L5R without Lion, Crane, Scorpion, Crab, Dragon, Unicorn, etc. just wouldn't feel right. We know, because of Warhammer, that it's entirely possible to include 9 "clans" in an LCG. In fact, most of their games seem to have upwards of 7+ factions. But what if they can't? And what if they only release with 6 clans in the start? 

                 

So, let's say that they can only include 6 clans at the start of the game. Who makes the cut? Who would you cut out? Could we consolidate multiple clans into one single clan? What if they can't include all 9 in the course of the game's lifetime and one or two don't make it at all?

 

 

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Spider came later, right? That's one I think would get cut. As a complete outsider who has only read a tiny bit here and there, the factions I hear about the most and assume are standard are

Lion

Crane

Scorpion

Crab

Second tier would be

Mantis

Dragon

Phoenix

Unicorn

Last is Spider

Did I get them all or am I missing one? I think the first four would be included in the core.

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Well, if cutting down to 6 clans, I could see Scorpion and Spider grouped together to make a "bad guys" team, Mantis and Unicorn for an "outsiders" team, Pheonix and Dragon could combine into a "mystical" team maybe? that would bring us down to 6. But I really hope that no one gets cut.

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If they cut to six, I could see:

 

Crane (Masters of Court)

Lion (Classic Western idea of Samurai)

Scorpion (Ninjas!)

Phoenix (Wizards!)

Dragon (Tattoos, dual wielding, monks, what's not to love?)

Mantis/Unicorn/Crab (One of these, not sure who, but some outsider type faction that doesn't necessarily care about honorable combat, an anti-Lion)

 

However, I think with the 40K LCG and AGoT2.0, more factions can work if you plan for it from the start and don't just tack them on.

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I know theres a lot of hate for the spider, but heres the thing: spider has the most active fanbase of all the clans, and if they hadn't spend the last 5 years being mechanically crippled by terrible design they likely would have been the most popular. so relegating them to the bottom of the list doesn't make a lot of sense if you're trying to bring over as many of the legacy fans as possible. this all presupposes that they're not using the onyx plot, where the spider having taken over the empire and are ruling it. 

Edited by cielago

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I don't see any reason they couldn't have all 9+ factions in the game from the start, as long as they plan for it. I'm more curious how faction mixing will work out: like Netrunner, Star Wars, A Game of Thrones, or completely different thing?

 

Personally I think how Game of Thrones does it now might mix best with L5R setting, with the loyal vs non loyal and declaring who you are allying with, but who knows what they'll figure out to work.

 

(also, who do I have to bribe to get Ratlings back? :P )

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Been playing for a while. 

 

The story at AEG's side is going to finish the release of Evil Portents. They had been hinting at Onyx Edition where the Spider take over Rokugan. Though that will never be realized on AEG's side. It also may actually never happen but from what I understand is that FFG is picking it up in its current state and *seems* to be continuing the story.

 

As far as Clans go, it would be easiest to cut the Spider and Mantis. The other have ALL been there since the start except the Scorpion but that requires some history. The Mantis came later and in the story will be destroyed by the Spider. It would also be easy to eliminate the Spider as a playable faction and just have them be the ruling class as they plummet the world into darkness.

 

The rest of Clans, if they aren't represented, then it isn't L5R. Hell even getting rid of the Mantis is going to have a HUGE change on the setting. All the Clans are INCREDIBLY complex and reducing them to a couple words does each of them a disservice. At the same time, that is how people usually end up picking one. 

 

Each Clan (except Mantis and Spider) has over 1000 years of history with each other. That means each clan has 1000 years of war, peace, trading, differences, and similarities in ideas and actions all relating to each other and how each other view each others perception of each other. It is very, very complex.

 

tl;dr: cutting Mantis and Spider, I think would be easiest. However cutting any would dramatically change the setting and story.

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I know theres a lot of hate for the spider, but heres the thing: spider has the most active fanbase of all the clans, and if they hadn't spend the last 5 years being mechanically crippled by terrible design they likely would have been the most popular. so relegating them to the bottom of the list doesn't make a lot of sense if you're trying to bring over as many of the legacy fans as possible. this all presupposes that they're not using the onyx plot, where the spider having taken over the empire and are ruling it. 

 

I really think FFG's easiest way to use L5R at the beginning is to just take AEG's proposed story and run with it. I am SO EXCITED for the new players in this model. I am SO SCARED for what this means to the Clans. I am Scorpion. I have been for years and can't play, or even identify, as something else. If this is handled poorly, then it won't be L5R. It will be something very similar. 

 

For convenience: the Scorpion are not "the bad guys"

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I don't see any reason they couldn't have all 9+ factions in the game from the start, as long as they plan for it. I'm more curious how faction mixing will work out: like Netrunner, Star Wars, A Game of Thrones, or completely different thing?

 

Personally I think how Game of Thrones does it now might mix best with L5R setting, with the loyal vs non loyal and declaring who you are allying with, but who knows what they'll figure out to work.

 

(also, who do I have to bribe to get Ratlings back? :P )

I see it working like AGOT 2.0 with the Loyal mechanic it now has 

 

and bring back Ratlings!!!!!

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I know people are excited. I know I am. I also know that lots of people are worried. I know I am. I have put a non-trivial amount of time, money, and effort into engaging with this setting. I love it. 

 

They could do almost anything to the game and I would probably still play as it desperately needed an overhaul in many areas. One of the only ways they could get rid of me is by eliminating or combining clans. The Clans are such an integral part of the setting that I truly and wholly believe that can't do that and keep the setting true.

Edited by BayushiCroy

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I don't think any clan has anything to be afraid of except for two: if they preserve the Onyx plotline, then Mantis will have a time of exile, but given the whole new LCG format who knows if strongholds will even be a thing, so that might not be the mechanical de-factioning it was going to be in the ccg. if they DON'T preserve the Onyx storyline, then the spider have a sort of katana of damocles hanging over our heads. The product page mentions the Colonies, which makes me hopeful, since we basically made the Colonies habitable, and you can't really have them without us, but frankly after 7 years of abuse at AEG's hands, its going to take some time before im entirely used to the idea of not being afraid of how my clan will be treated. 

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I know theres a lot of hate for the spider, but heres the thing: spider has the most active fanbase of all the clans, and if they hadn't spend the last 5 years being mechanically crippled by terrible design they likely would have been the most popular. so relegating them to the bottom of the list doesn't make a lot of sense if you're trying to bring over as many of the legacy fans as possible. this all presupposes that they're not using the onyx plot, where the spider having taken over the empire and are ruling it. 

Agreed. The Spider Clan playerbase has been incredibly tenacious and passionate in the face of adversity and it would be very smart to keep that fire burning. As a Spider Clan player myself, I would prefer no clan gets cut, and I would be happy sharing an alliance with any of the existing clans if that ended up being necessary.

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My idea was less about combining clans, but more about having multiple clan alignments on your stronghold.

 

I mean started out with 6 original factions:

Crane, Lion, Unicorn, Crab, Phoenix, Dragon

Scorpion, Yogo Junzo's Army (later Shadowlands, now Spider) followed pretty fast.

We then had a faction explosion: Naga, Toturi's Army, Yoritomo's Alliance (now Mantis), Nezumi, Brotherhood of Shinsei, Spirits, the Nothing aka Ninja and much much later Hare, Imperial and the occasionally unaligned faction like Fudo, Ronin etc.

 

They decided to cut done most stuff during Gold and settled on the 9 Clans during Samurai.... and that stayed that way pretty long.

So yeah I would agree that the 9 Clans are pretty iconic for the game, but we had and killed a lot of factions during the run time. 

 

I think having personalities with clear cut clan alignments and strongholds which allow for mixed personality pools could be an interesting concept. But perhaps they stay with the 9 Clans as is...

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i think Strongholds are actually kind of a dangerous road to go back down. personally, i think using a box that grants an ability that supports a given victory condition, then a sensei that layers loyalty on top of that, seems like an easier way to manage 9 clans. or something like that. L5R suffered a lot over the years trying to balance 9 (or more) strongholds. 

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FFG has a ton of mechanics that can mimic what L5R did with strongholds:

 

Houses in Game of Thrones - you pick a primary and a secondary.

Identities in Netrunner - You pick an ID, and you spend influence to use other factions' cards.

Warlord in 40k - you pick a warlord, he comes with 8 other cards out of the box, and you can ally with forces on a wheel of adjacency

Factions in Star Wars - You get the ability to focus for resources on a given identity and the right to pick some faction-only objective sets. (Honestly Star Wars is the closest to L5R in terms of mechanics, ignoring the pod idea).

 

Fantasy Flight's LCGs are heavily influenced by L5R, it feels like. I know they got this. ;)

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