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17th Knight

The Big Question - Which Clans Make The Cut?

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On the question of core clans and flow of cards to support each faction per expansion, the comparison to the CCG came up when discussing if there'd be room to support each.  Its worth remembering that the CCG had a fairly fixed 150 card format as determined by the business model.

 

But that doesn't mean every card in that 150 was essential to driving the game forward or was considered great support for each faction. There was a lot of filler.

 

There's no reason to think we can't have the base factions receive good new cards every set even with a reduced total card count each expansion

This is an astute point. A good portion of the cards (predomanintly commons and uncommons) in various sets were filler and/or draft cards put into the set to meet quotas. Consider the shear number of cards that never made it into competetive decks because they did a slightly worse job than a previously released card.

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Thus it is with L5R. It's about what it means to be a Scorpion, not just the individuals in the Clan (though we got it bad in the Cult of Personality thing). When new people pick it up, they could give two wits about Shoju and Kachiko (who are now ancient legends) but they care about the Clan of Secrets who stabs people in the back and pretends some one else did it. Not for personal gain, but because the Empire really needs them to do it.

 

I think that's great! And in a well-designed game, that will be supported by mechanics. I mean, maybe not the whys, although flavor text could cover it, but the sneakiness of it. I don't think we need fiction for that level of engagement. Honestly, this is just another version of what I said in the thread asking about how to pick a clan: Try the game, find a playstyle you like. That's your clan.

 

Games can and should engage with narrative differently than fiction does. Games have their own tools and their own language. I don't think L5R, when well-handled, needs any help. Though I recognize that people enjoy fiction in that setting.

 

As I've said in other threads, if FFG wants to put out tie-in fiction and that's something people want, I hope it happens. But I hope that it's in the context of hiring professional writers, not relying on a bunch of fans (no matter how official) cranking out web fiction for free. And note that the act of hiring one of those fans would make them a professional writer, so I'm not discounting actually drawing on AEG's story team, either.

 

But the game is the game is the game. I'm accumulating family honor, I'm marching my armies to war, etc. It operates on the macro level, not on the micro level where fiction must, by its nature, operate. The story of the game is the struggle for dominance on a national scale (not sure if "national" is the right term, but you get the idea).

 

In that context, I just don't see anyone other than the great clans making much sense. And I played the hell out of the nezumi box that came with Heroes of Rokugan (if I'm remembering the name of the set correctly), and later in Diamond.

 

I see what you're saying, and I don't necessarily disagree, but please try to understand that L5R is an entirely different sort of beast than FFG usually caters to, and that has us L5R grognards nervous. The story of L5R's setting is a huge part of what made the game a success, and the style of fiction is different than the other games FFG tends to run with.

 

For example, if FFG, when designing a Star Wars game, decided that there just wasn't enough room for the Jedi "faction," would that work out?

If the Game of Thrones game neglected to include the Starks, how would that blow over?

 

Now not every faction is built equally, of course. But the game, the setting, of L5R is about how the Clans interact with the world of Rokugan.

The Naga are a big part of "the world" of Rokugan, and should absolutely be included in it's narrative, but they don't need to be a faction to do so.

The Crab/Crane/Dragon/Lion/Mantis/Phoenix/Scorpion/Spider/Unicorn Clan, however, are the focus of the game. FFG have every right to build the game how they want, but axing any of the clans would be the same as axing a Great House from ASoIAF. It would do more to damage the reputation of the game than it would to help, IMO.

 

I think FFG is totally aware of this though. I'm not really concerned about the state of Rokugan in 2017. But it's understandable why people are.

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Now not every faction is built equally, of course. But the game, the setting, of L5R is about how the Clans interact with the world of Rokugan.

The Naga are a big part of "the world" of Rokugan, and should absolutely be included in it's narrative, but they don't need to be a faction to do so.

The Crab/Crane/Dragon/Lion/Mantis/Phoenix/Scorpion/Spider/Unicorn Clan, however, are the focus of the game. FFG have every right to build the game how they want, but axing any of the clans would be the same as axing a Great House from ASoIAF. It would do more to damage the reputation of the game than it would to help, IMO.

 

 

I said right in the message you quoted that the great clans made total sense. I think people can quibble about Spider and to a lesser extent Mantis (I'd prefer to have the Horde back, myself), but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the great clans back as the factions.

 

I think factions like Naga and Monks and what have you are likely to be rolled into other factions, as happened with the consolidation at gold (monks to dragon, ninja to scorpion, etc.). I'm not sure what they would do with naga other than unaligned, but I don't know a whole lot about them, honestly.

 

I get that people are nervous, but well, that's not going to stop me from speculating and so forth. And in some areas, I really do think the game needs an overhaul. I promise I'm not trolling.

 

I also think, though, that as you said yourself, it's a different style of fiction than FFG rolls with, and generally speaking, the mountain doesn't come to Mohammed. In this case, I think FFG's the mountain, and L5R's a lot more likely to change than FFG is.

 

I hope they make as many people happy as they can, though, while still putting out a product that makes sense for them, and on a personal level, that I want. There's a reason I've tried L5R several times and stopped each time, so I'd rather they didn't make AEG's mistakes.

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Competent fighters they are, but fighters whose job is to buy time and turn back attacks. Not to invade, pillage and burn. 

 

Crane who take to the battlefield to defend is one thing. Crane who have to go in and destroy provinces (or whatever the equivalent ends up being) to win aren't the Crane. 

 

Doji Kuwanan and Daidoji Uji?

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Kind of off topic but I would love to play the Arryns just so I could try and win with Lysa, because I can't imagine a more trolling loss for an opponent. 

 

But regarding L5R, I think FFG will do right by it and include all the factions at some point.  Might take an expansion or two to get there though.

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I expect all 9 Clans in name will still be there, though yes the Mantis and Spider are the big buts. At most for changes I would expect the Mantis Clan to become the Mantis Alliance to function as a sort of loose confederacy to give the Minor Clans more of a vote in the empire with the Mantis being the spokespeople for them as a whole rather than a full blown Clan, and the Spider to be a sort of 'Lost Clan' consisting of Lost forming loose Clanesque type fascimilies of civilization out in the Empire as they corrupt and pervert the philosophies of Bushido that only Jigoku can.

 

There is absolutely no way the Original 7 are getting removed though.

Edited by TheReptile11

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I expect all 9 Clans in name will still be there, though yes the Mantis and Spider are the big buts. At most for changes I would expect the Mantis Clan to become the Mantis Alliance to function as a sort of loose confederacy to give the Minor Clans more of a vote in the empire with the Mantis being the spokespeople for them as a whole rather than a full blown Clan, and the Spider to be a sort of 'Lost Clan' consisting of Lost forming loose Clanesque type fascimilies of civilization out in the Empire as they corrupt and pervert the philosophies of Bushido that only Jigoku can.

 

There is absolutely no way the Original 7 are getting removed though.

 

Didn't the Scorpion get exiled once? ;)

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Well the Scorpions got exiled with their introduction... 

So being exiled actually puts you on the map.

 

Same with the Spider..

At the end of Samurai: Iweko was like destroy them all!

at the end of Celestial: ok they are Major Clan now, so play nice now...

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I expect all 9 Clans in name will still be there, though yes the Mantis and Spider are the big buts. At most for changes I would expect the Mantis Clan to become the Mantis Alliance to function as a sort of loose confederacy to give the Minor Clans more of a vote in the empire with the Mantis being the spokespeople for them as a whole rather than a full blown Clan, and the Spider to be a sort of 'Lost Clan' consisting of Lost forming loose Clanesque type fascimilies of civilization out in the Empire as they corrupt and pervert the philosophies of Bushido that only Jigoku can.

 

There is absolutely no way the Original 7 are getting removed though.

 

Didn't the Scorpion get exiled once? ;)

 

 

Twice, depending on how you count.  We weren't playable at launch, and then we were technically playable but almost completely exiled for most of Jade.  Pearl Edition had two printed Scorpion personalities even though we had a stronghold that was sold as a starter box.  We finally came back in a huge wave with Honor Bound and the Towers of the Yogo.  

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I expect all 9 Clans in name will still be there, though yes the Mantis and Spider are the big buts. At most for changes I would expect the Mantis Clan to become the Mantis Alliance to function as a sort of loose confederacy to give the Minor Clans more of a vote in the empire with the Mantis being the spokespeople for them as a whole rather than a full blown Clan, and the Spider to be a sort of 'Lost Clan' consisting of Lost forming loose Clanesque type fascimilies of civilization out in the Empire as they corrupt and pervert the philosophies of Bushido that only Jigoku can.

 

There is absolutely no way the Original 7 are getting removed though.

 

Didn't the Scorpion get exiled once? ;)

 

They were removed once, and also weren't one of the original six.

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Spider should get a redesign into anti-hero protagonist faction, exploring different themes of anti heroism from Scorpion (kind of like how Lion and Crane explore different meanings of Honor). This is a perfect opportunity, because you are not hold hostage anymore by playerbase demanding certain elements to be left intact and can literally remake it into something making actual sense. If they don't like it, they won't come, but Spider has potential to cater into Dark And Tormented Anti-Hero Crowd so much that properly written Spider Clan would probably attract enough more new customers than it would repulse the old guard.

You can keep Kanpeki faction in the setting, but making clear "protagonist Spiders go this way, and antagonist Spiders go down this corridor" statement would help a ton. 

Edited by WHW

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Spider should get a redesign into anti-hero protagonist faction, exploring different themes of anti heroism from Scorpion (kind of like how Lion and Crane explore different meanings of Honor). This is a perfect opportunity, because you are not hold hostage anymore by playerbase demanding certain elements to be left intact and can literally remake it into something making actual sense. If they don't like it, they won't come, but Spider has potential to cater into Dark And Tormented Anti-Hero Crowd so much that properly written Spider Clan would probably attract enough more new customers than it would repulse the old guard.

You can keep Kanpeki faction in the setting, but making clear "protagonist Spiders go this way, and antagonist Spiders go down this corridor" statement would help a ton. 

 

 

During one of the Spider discussions on "those other forums", some of us said, "Spider Clan, you can have your tea and kabuki in the courts of Rokugan, or you can have Jigoku.  You can't have both.  Decide."

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Which isn't a question Spider playerbase should be asked in the first place (and to be fair, when Kali Ma got smited, they have chosen path of redemption, didn't they?). FFG should simply state "Here is our take on Spider Clan. Have fun with it!" 

Because of game's nature, stuff like Spider's clan schizophrenic existence looked ilke a toxic relationship where one person cannot bear themselves to stand up to their other half, while all of theirs friends are yelling at them to get a grip. 

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We'll leave the tea and kabuki to the Crane and like the Scorpion, Crab and Mantis actually get things done. ;)

 

I kinda see the Spider as being the evil team mate on Rokugan's team. (Like Vegetea in DBZ, Ok not great example, I know)

They are more about eroding bushido and slowly corrupting the other clans. I'd like to see more members of the other clans fall and join the Spider.

 

One day the Spider will rule-

 

        All under Jigoku

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Spider should get a redesign into anti-hero protagonist faction, exploring different themes of anti heroism from Scorpion (kind of like how Lion and Crane explore different meanings of Honor). This is a perfect opportunity, because you are not hold hostage anymore by playerbase demanding certain elements to be left intact and can literally remake it into something making actual sense. If they don't like it, they won't come, but Spider has potential to cater into Dark And Tormented Anti-Hero Crowd so much that properly written Spider Clan would probably attract enough more new customers than it would repulse the old guard.

You can keep Kanpeki faction in the setting, but making clear "protagonist Spiders go this way, and antagonist Spiders go down this corridor" statement would help a ton. 

 

The big problem since day one is that none of the clans have any in-story incentive to work with or support the Spider, and every in-story incentive to oppose them.  The faction was very much created as a home for players who like to play the Bad Guy faction (which I admit I'm usually drawn to), but without all the boilerplate rule exemptions that Shadowlands Horde had to have accommodate it.  It was a mechanical consideration that they tried to force sideways into the story, and one which dragged a lot of the playerbase loyal to SLH kicking and screaming along with it.

 

I like a lot of the Spider characters individually.  They have cool art and neat themes.  The problem is that they are comprised solely of characters who in every other arc have been enemies of the Empire.  Tainted samurai?  Check.  Lying Darkness ninja?  Check.  Undead? Oni? Goblins? Maho-tsukai?  Check, check, check, and check.  They've tried to explain away a lot of these, but those are all keywords that have been printed on Spider personalities.  Most of those have been reflected as Big Bad Villains in previous arcs.  

 

It would be a lot more believable if the Spider Clan had come into existence after a small but powerful faction of corrupted samurai betrayed Fu Leng and come to the Empire as refugees.  There are probably a half dozen other story justifications that could have been used so that they'd be reluctantly accepted, but that isn't really what happened.        

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Spider should get a redesign into anti-hero protagonist faction, exploring different themes of anti heroism from Scorpion (kind of like how Lion and Crane explore different meanings of Honor). This is a perfect opportunity, because you are not hold hostage anymore by playerbase demanding certain elements to be left intact and can literally remake it into something making actual sense. If they don't like it, they won't come, but Spider has potential to cater into Dark And Tormented Anti-Hero Crowd so much that properly written Spider Clan would probably attract enough more new customers than it would repulse the old guard.

You can keep Kanpeki faction in the setting, but making clear "protagonist Spiders go this way, and antagonist Spiders go down this corridor" statement would help a ton. 

 

The big problem since day one is that none of the clans have any in-story incentive to work with or support the Spider, and every in-story incentive to oppose them.  The faction was very much created as a home for players who like to play the Bad Guy faction (which I admit I'm usually drawn to), but without all the boilerplate rule exemptions that Shadowlands Horde had to have accommodate it.  It was a mechanical consideration that they tried to force sideways into the story, and one which dragged a lot of the playerbase loyal to SLH kicking and screaming along with it.

 

I like a lot of the Spider characters individually.  They have cool art and neat themes.  The problem is that they are comprised solely of characters who in every other arc have been enemies of the Empire.  Tainted samurai?  Check.  Lying Darkness ninja?  Check.  Undead? Oni? Goblins? Maho-tsukai?  Check, check, check, and check.  They've tried to explain away a lot of these, but those are all keywords that have been printed on Spider personalities.  Most of those have been reflected as Big Bad Villains in previous arcs.  

 

It would be a lot more believable if the Spider Clan had come into existence after a small but powerful faction of corrupted samurai betrayed Fu Leng and come to the Empire as refugees.  There are probably a half dozen other story justifications that could have been used so that they'd be reluctantly accepted, but that isn't really what happened.        

 

-

Well. That *could* happen during a time skip.

The Rokugani Spider splitting off, understanding that the Empire is the path to their victory, and the Horde returning to their roots.

But yeah, there is a dire need of the Spider Clan gaining a lot more things to call their own making.

A alliance with the Kumo might be a good start, but they need to remove the damned taint from the, preferably through a untainted Spider killing the Great Sea Spider, thus ending Jigoku's alliance with the Kumo.

A new warrior family would be needed. Maybe based off someone like Daigotsu Atsushi?

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We'll leave the tea and kabuki to the Crane and like the Scorpion, Crab and Mantis actually get things done. ;)

*sips tea graciously and continues the polite discussion with Moto Naleesh about the villanious spider scum that will soon be erradicated under the hooves of Unicorn horses and tons of political faux pas arranged by Crane courtiers.*

;-)

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We'll leave the tea and kabuki to the Crane and like the Scorpion, Crab and Mantis actually get things done. ;)

 

I kinda see the Spider as being the evil team mate on Rokugan's team. (Like Vegetea in DBZ, Ok not great example, I know)

They are more about eroding bushido and slowly corrupting the other clans. I'd like to see more members of the other clans fall and join the Spider.

 

One day the Spider will rule-

 

        All under Jigoku

I wouldn't mind seeing two very distinct Spider clans showing up. One is the straight up bad guy who wants to increase their own power and that of the Emperor and the original plans of the clan. The other is that anti-hero. And the shadow dragon is in the shadows doing what it wants (providing many  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r: )

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Setting: At the imperial court, midday.

 

Yasuki Tsujiken: "So how do we get rid of them?"

Yoritomo Yusuke: "Who?"

[Yasuki gestures towards Yahmui]

Yoritomo Yusuke: "Oh yeah."

Yasuki Tsujiken: "So what you thinking?"

Yoritomo Yusuke: "We don't get in their way?"

Yasuki Tsujiken: "No no. I mean like..."

[Tsujiken gestures with his thumb across his neck]

Yoritomo Yusuke: "We tried."

Yasuki Tsujiken: "Really now?"

Yoritomo Yusuke: "One time the Phoenix and Unicorn banded forces together and physically moved the Spider's stronghold into a live Volcano."

Yasuki Tsujiken: "So how did that go?"

[Yahmui waves as we walk by, Yusuke gives a meek wave.]

Yasuki Tsujiken: "Hmm, right."

Edited by OneThatFishes

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We'll leave the tea and kabuki to the Crane and like the Scorpion, Crab and Mantis actually get things done. ;)

*sips tea graciously and continues the polite discussion with Moto Naleesh about the villanious spider scum that will soon be erradicated under the hooves of Unicorn horses and tons of political faux pas arranged by Crane courtiers.*

;-)

 

 

Perhaps my words were a bit harsh. I mearly meant it's a good thing for Rokugan that the Crab guard the wall, and the Scorpion watch over all. While the Crane think they own the Winter Court when it is in fact us, the clan of Daigotsu, who hold the Empress favour. Look how we came out so much stronger out of the Destroyer war: Elevated to great clan, Set loose to claim the colonies for the Empire. So I don't think we'll have to worry about some political faux pass. ;)

 

See? us Spider can do this veiled insult in court thing to! :D

 

But I gotta admit it' quite fun, I see now what's so fun about being Crane. (and if the insults get to bad you can always duel.)

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