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17th Knight

The Big Question - Which Clans Make The Cut?

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Trust me, I'm pretty familiar with the various aspects of each of the individual families of each Clan. ;)

 

However, for the sake of streamlining the game for an LCG, as well as making the basic setting easier to explain to people who aren't familiar with L5R, it's more feasible to 'streamline' the Clans if you intend to keep them all around. Don't forget the card pool for an LCG is vastly smaller than it was for L5R as a CCG, there is way less room for showing off Clan diversity than there was under the old model.

I have been thinking about this myself, trying to figure out/predict how it is going to be packaged at the start. There are obviously many ways to do it, but the more I think about it, the more I thinking printing support for 9 clans in the first starter box just wouldn't really be feasible. I am preparing myself for 3 "starter" boxes, even though I would obviously have reservations about that too.

 

The thing with the card pool size is true, but there is also another element that the LCG has over the CCG model, and that is the CCG was forced t print a lot of redundant cards for draft, and to support 9 clans in every expansion. The lcg model could just release clan packs ontop of their core set. While the pool will be smaller, I do think the themes and card allocation will be much more efficient.

Edited by Moto Subodei

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 I am preparing myself for 3 "starter" boxes, even though I would obviously have reservations about that too.

 

I can almost guarantee you FFG won't print multiple starter products. They're far more likely to trim clans for the initial release, but they could probably fit 9 if they really wanted to. AGoT 2.0 had 8, and stripping out the plot cards makes room for a 9th. Every game is different, of course, but it's not so impossible.

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I just hope FFG doesn't make AEG's mistake of presenting every single friggin' Phoenix worth mentioning as a shugenja.The nightmarish fixation on spellcasters (something everybody else has too) to the exclusion of all else did a LOT to cripple the faction's role in the setting.

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Focus on Isawa is so annoying that one day, I will play a Shiba character who will start a secret conspiracy against Isawa using gunpowder and Ninja tactics to fight stupidity of the Council, to the point of having their meeting chambers always ready to go kaboom :P

Then again, I rarely get hooked on the main draws of any given Clan - in Unicorn, thing I like the most are Death Priests and their religion; I don't care about horses and cavalry. Dragon? Monks are terribly boring and dual wielders are tolerable, it's Kitsuki that are actually interesting. Crane? Dirty side of the Daidoji (I would love duelists, because I love dueling, but something about Kakita is repulsive for me) is the best. Phoenix? Shiba are cool, Isawa are boring. Lion? Ok, Akodo Tacticans and Matsu are very fun and classy, though I would love to see some Lion Shadows (I really loved that fiction about Lion Magistrate from...last year?). Scorpions put me to sleep, and I'm not talking about being poisoned here. Spider? Shourido and ubermenschizm are fun, Taint is boring. Mantis...I...don't...care about. Crab are generally uninteresting... 

 

So I'm probably not the target audience :P.

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Integrating every clan should not be too bad.

 

40k Conquest core set has 7 factions, an 8th has a stand alone expansion next week, and a 9th is on the way eventually. Of course that game has an ally theme to help with the limited card pool. If L5r does not do this, they will have to launch with even less clans.

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Cost reduction as a source of synergy is not nearly as powerful as "You can only play these actions with personalities with the right keyword". 

 

As I said, it was a fairly trivial example. There are certainly more significant ones. House restricted attachments, events, interactions, etc. You also sacrifice the ability to play a banner (card that begins in play attached to your house) that reduces the cost of loyal cards by playing the alliance banner that allows you to go out of house for cards. Speaking of which, you also can't play loyal cards from the allied house.

 

My assumption is that FFG will try to balance pure clan decks with alliance decks such that neither one will trump the other. This has huge benefits in opening up a card pool that will begin small compared to a CCG and remain that way for some time.

 

 

My hope is that we start with pure clan decks being what they build for, and later packs and big boxes add more options, including combo decks. But focus on making the clans work first. They're the heart and soul of L5R, and they're the decks that most need balancing and working on to start. 

 

(Also, while some trait-based decks might work well in the setting, I'm not so sure about others...I don't see a "Scout from everywhere" deck being very good. On the other hand "Alliance" decks that rely on combining the scouts of two different clans I could see. That's if they don't get rid of scout altogether). 

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While the idea of alliances is interesting, even workable, there's a 'slight' speedbump that would need to be addressed. And that is, in L5R/Rokugan, alliances aren't static - as the story evolves, today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. Unless there's a cycling of cards/editions, to represent the evolution of such agreements, I can't see how it would be represented in a LCG.

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While the idea of alliances is interesting, even workable, there's a 'slight' speedbump that would need to be addressed. And that is, in L5R/Rokugan, alliances aren't static - as the story evolves, today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. Unless there's a cycling of cards/editions, to represent the evolution of such agreements, I can't see how it would be represented in a LCG.

It could easily be the Banner system that AGoT 2.0 uses, where you use your Agenda slot to declare another faction as an ally and get to use their non-Loyal cards.

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While the idea of alliances is interesting, even workable, there's a 'slight' speedbump that would need to be addressed. And that is, in L5R/Rokugan, alliances aren't static - as the story evolves, today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. Unless there's a cycling of cards/editions, to represent the evolution of such agreements, I can't see how it would be represented in a LCG.

It could easily be the Banner system that AGoT 2.0 uses, where you use your Agenda slot to declare another faction as an ally and get to use their non-Loyal cards.

 

Can you do so multiple times per game, or just once? I never played AGoT, so...  :lol:

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While the idea of alliances is interesting, even workable, there's a 'slight' speedbump that would need to be addressed. And that is, in L5R/Rokugan, alliances aren't static - as the story evolves, today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. Unless there's a cycling of cards/editions, to represent the evolution of such agreements, I can't see how it would be represented in a LCG.

 

This is where I would point out that you are likely going to see a sharp disconnect between the rules of the game and an interactive storyline.  Alliances will be critical to the LCG for quite some time, for as the card pools will be reduced, factions will have to be open to alliance rules to create a competitive environment.  As the card pool grows, these rules might become relaxed or removed, but for the first couple years, I can see alliances being the staple.  

 

In terms of the connection between the LCG alliances and story alliances, I view them as separate and distinct.  Alliances in the card game will likely have little to no impact on the storyline since they are born out of necessity rather than a conscious decision.  Again, until we know how much interactivity FFG plans for the storyline, I wouldn't worry too much about how it should reflect alliance choices.

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While the idea of alliances is interesting, even workable, there's a 'slight' speedbump that would need to be addressed. And that is, in L5R/Rokugan, alliances aren't static - as the story evolves, today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. Unless there's a cycling of cards/editions, to represent the evolution of such agreements, I can't see how it would be represented in a LCG.

 

This is where I would point out that you are likely going to see a sharp disconnect between the rules of the game and an interactive storyline.  Alliances will be critical to the LCG for quite some time, for as the card pools will be reduced, factions will have to be open to alliance rules to create a competitive environment.  As the card pool grows, these rules might become relaxed or removed, but for the first couple years, I can see alliances being the staple.  

 

In terms of the connection between the LCG alliances and story alliances, I view them as separate and distinct.  Alliances in the card game will likely have little to no impact on the storyline since they are born out of necessity rather than a conscious decision.  Again, until we know how much interactivity FFG plans for the storyline, I wouldn't worry too much about how it should reflect alliance choices.

 

 

The ability to create alliances will be in the Core set, so it is not going to be removed. Once more cards come out (especially once the deluxes start coming out), it probably won't be as necessary, but still an option. 

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It affects what you can put in your deck. Normally, you can't include cards of other factions. With the Banner agendas, you can include non-Loyal cards of the specified faction. 

Hmmm

 

 

So...

 

You have a special card, that you put in play much as you put the Strongholds or Sensei or even the Winds of the past, that defined your Alliance for that game. Or even better, with each set/expansion we get 2-3 of such cards, to represent the current alliances in the ongoing storyline.

 

I could see this working and would definitely get behind it.

 

 

PINCER ALLIANCE FOREVER!

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My hope is that we start with pure clan decks being what they build for, and later packs and big boxes add more options, including combo decks. But focus on making the clans work first. They're the heart and soul of L5R, and they're the decks that most need balancing and working on to start. 

 

 

This is the opposite of what's practical. Alliances are most useful for the game when the card pool is small. Once you're a couple years in, then it's easier to ignore them and focus on straight clan decks and mechanics.

 

But as I said, I hope both are viable out of the box.

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You have a special card, that you put in play much as you put the Strongholds or Sensei or even the Winds of the past, that defined your Alliance for that game. Or even better, with each set/expansion we get 2-3 of such cards, to represent the current alliances in the ongoing storyline.

 

We will probably get all of them in the core box if they go this route. And just for clarity, the banners in AGoT aren't, "You're Lannister, you can ally with Stark," they're just, "You can ally with Stark." You play the same alliance card to get Stark no matter who your "home" house is. So there only ever needs to be once alliance card per faction. You can use it to reflect current story in your games if you wish. :)

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You have a special card, that you put in play much as you put the Strongholds or Sensei or even the Winds of the past, that defined your Alliance for that game. Or even better, with each set/expansion we get 2-3 of such cards, to represent the current alliances in the ongoing storyline.

 

We will probably get all of them in the core box if they go this route. And just for clarity, the banners in AGoT aren't, "You're Lannister, you can ally with Stark," they're just, "You can ally with Stark." You play the same alliance card to get Stark no matter who your "home" house is. So there only ever needs to be once alliance card per faction. You can use it to reflect current story in your games if you wish. :)

 

Well, that would work too.

 

The only advantage of having alliance cards being released with each set (other than reflecting the current story, as you said) would be to allow for some manner of 'special ability' to be included. Like, imagine a Scorpion-Crane alliance - their Alliance card could give them something like "You Honor Losses are reduced by 1 point, and your Honor Gains are increased by one point. You don't lose honor from Ninja Cards" :)

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Here is my Big Question: Do we need a Dragon Clan and a Phoenix Clan as separate entities? I would say they stepped on each other's toes, but they were too much of non-entities to even do any toe-stepping. Both of them had really weak identities, and for most thematic elements that fit in one, you could argue it fit just as well int he other -- the ones who summoned the Elemental Dragons weren't even the Dragon Clan! 

 

If we made it so they were the same clan from the outset, would they have enough to make one strong, distinct identity?

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While the idea of alliances is interesting, even workable, there's a 'slight' speedbump that would need to be addressed. And that is, in L5R/Rokugan, alliances aren't static - as the story evolves, today's allies become tomorrow's enemies. Unless there's a cycling of cards/editions, to represent the evolution of such agreements, I can't see how it would be represented in a LCG.

 

This is where I would point out that you are likely going to see a sharp disconnect between the rules of the game and an interactive storyline.  Alliances will be critical to the LCG for quite some time, for as the card pools will be reduced, factions will have to be open to alliance rules to create a competitive environment.  As the card pool grows, these rules might become relaxed or removed, but for the first couple years, I can see alliances being the staple.  

 

In terms of the connection between the LCG alliances and story alliances, I view them as separate and distinct.  Alliances in the card game will likely have little to no impact on the storyline since they are born out of necessity rather than a conscious decision.  Again, until we know how much interactivity FFG plans for the storyline, I wouldn't worry too much about how it should reflect alliance choices.

Also, we've been seeing a major disconnect between the story and the game for quite some time, given that the story has been reluctant to restrict the plot developments to conflicts between Clans as opposed to uniting the Empire against some outside threat, yet the rules of the game (barring variants like Siege) require each match to represent an internal struggle.

Edited by MarthWMaster

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If we made it so they were the same clan from the outset, would they have enough to make one strong, distinct identity?

 

I've actually argued that they should have merged after the Clan Wars- the Phoenix were decimated and the Dragon's ostensible purpose had been fulfilled.

 

However...just being "the mystical guys" from the start is no good. It's part of why the Phoenix have sorta floundered about the story... "You're the mystical guys, but everybody else does basically what you do, only not as well, except when they do."

 

At this point, the Phoenix respect for life coupled with a fairly rigid sense of traditionalism makes them a far cry from the Dragon Clan.

 

 

I suppose you could have Shiba kneel to Togashi in a reboot, but the whole impact of that choice was that he knelt to a mortal, not another Kami. You would be gutting some of the identity that's actually there if you went that route.

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I like that Dragons assimilating the Phoenix or the other way around.

 

Togashi 

Mirumoto

Shiba

Isawa

Kitsuki

 

Would make for an interesting clan imo

 

But once again, two Kami's worth of Families in one place? When a big thing about the Dragon is following Togashi's inscrutable dictates and a big thing about the Phoenix is the Shiba following the Isawa's lead with humility?

 

Take away the Shiba's founder being a deity who kneel to a mortal and they really lose... most of what makes them cool.

Take away the Togashi being the chosen followers of a cryptic long-game playing hombre, and the same thing happens.

 

And that's without getting into the ways in which the Henshin and Ise Zumi differ, or the fact that your proposed family lineup leaves no "real" courtiers, despite the Phoenix supposedly being like, a half-step behind the Crane and Scorpion in that arena (yes, yes, their recent history barely reflects that, hush). ;)

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I like that Dragons assimilating the Phoenix or the other way around.

 

Togashi 

Mirumoto

Shiba

Isawa

Kitsuki

 

Would make for an interesting clan imo

 

What do you do with the other families?

 

Agasha

Asako

Tamori

 

Especially given the history of the Agasha and Tamori. 

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Here is my Big Question: Do we need a Dragon Clan and a Phoenix Clan as separate entities? I would say they stepped on each other's toes, but they were too much of non-entities to even do any toe-stepping. Both of them had really weak identities, and for most thematic elements that fit in one, you could argue it fit just as well int he other -- the ones who summoned the Elemental Dragons weren't even the Dragon Clan! 

 

If we made it so they were the same clan from the outset, would they have enough to make one strong, distinct identity?

I would disagree with the premise that these Clans don't have strong identities. I would agree that they have a history of not being used terribly effectively in the story for a number of years now, especially the Dragon. But I don't think that's about a lack of identity. The Phoenix, in particular, don't have any sort of identity crisis, at least in my mind. The Dragon did have something there, since the Clan was originally kind of a giant plot device for Togashi, and you can't have them retreat back into the mountains for years (much less decades or centuries) at a time, but I don't really think that's a problem at this point. Again, I think the issue is not one of a clear identity, it's an issue of deploying those Clans in the story in a way that is both true to the Clan and satisfying for the loyalists of that Clan.

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Asako and Kitsuki are weird courtier families. Both of them.

The Kitsuki method is something that is very prominent to many people so I decided to go for Kitsuki.

 

Agasha and Tamori are not really interesting families imo.

The Tamori are the shugenja family of the Dragon.and the Agasha well they have their elemental mixing stuff.

I think you could roll them both up into the Isawa or make them vassal families if you want to preserve the name.

 

The Asako have the monk order and the loremaster which makes them interesting.

When I think about it I can see them joining the Togashi order.

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