Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Budgernaut

Teach me the way, Sensei (how to pick a clan)

Recommended Posts

I want to add that you don't really pick a clan because you want it to fit who you are. When you pick a clan, you chose who you will be surrounded by, who you will be loyalty-tied with. You chose your environment.

 

Few experienced RPG-player play stereotypes... because it's boring.

 

So chosing a clan is like chosing your family : then you chose your own original path inside this pattern. That path may not totally fit your clan, and that's more than ok, that's great :).

Edited by Katsutoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So chosing a clan is like chosing your family : then you chose your own original path inside this pattern. That path may not totally fit your clan, and that's more than ok, that's great :).

 

Especially given the fact that each clan's broad stereotypes are painfully limiting (as is generally the case with neat little pigeonhole categories)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AS a RPG player just before being a card player (we talk of long time ago here :D near 20 years :D), I choose clan for what they do and their philosophies far above game mechanics...

 

Game mechanics helped me choose between some tournament decks in my clan of heart but i always knew that I will play the same clan in tournament, as i will always play targaryen in any AGOT V2 tournament whatever their powerlevel.

 

Sadly depending of the exact arc, my clan had not always storywise mechanic or was very poorly balanced in term of tournament powerlevel. I have confidence in FFG to make things better or more storywise. I was very impressed by what they do in AGOT V2 as each faction and even character was immediatly close to what he did in the books...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to through some RPG knowledge in here

 

Loyalty is not one of the virtues specifically. It falls under Duty and is what the Scorpion use. It is a Modified(?) version of Duty which is usually the first reason why people hate the Scorpion. And frankly, for good reason.

 

A big thing to understand here is that Honor is a measurable and quantifiable thing. If someone is more Honorable than you, than in many ways, they are just a better person. (in society)

From highest to lowest and with a focus on the CCG the Honor tier list of Clans is

 

7 Lion

6 Crane / Phoenix

5 Dragon

4 Unicorn

3 Crab

2 Mantis

1 Scorpion

0 Spider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what would be a rating of the clans' overall Bushido's honor value.

: Lion, Crane.

: Phoenix, Unicorn.

: Dragon, Crab.

: Scorpion, Mantis.

Lion values mostly Honor, Duty and Courage.

Crane values mostly Courtesy, Honor and Benevolence.

Phoenix values mostly Benevolence and Justice.

Unicorn values mostly Sincerity, Courage and Benevolence.

Dragon values mostly Benevolence and Justice.

Crab values mostly Courage and Duty.

Scorpion values mostly Duty and Courtesy.

Mantis values mostly nothing.

Yes Phoenix and Dragon value the same things. It's what makes it so fun, they are so alike and yet so very different !

The Scorpion part of this is incorrect. Scorpions value loyalty above all else. Courtesy doesn't even make the radar. Duty, yes, but the duty to be loyal.

There is a story in one of the old Scorpion books about a group of lords from different clans arguing about which virtues are most important. The Scorpion proposes loyalty, because without it all of your vasssal's virtues work for someone else. The other lords agree that loyalty is the most important virtue, and a good test of virtuousness. She then convinces the other lords that they needed to test their yojimbo to see who had the most virtuous (loyal) vassals.

They agree that whoever passes the test will have the most loyal vassals. She calls her yojimbo into the room and asks him if he is loyal without hesitation. He says yes. Then she orders him to kill her, which he does immediately, and then kills himself. Leaving the room of shocked lords waiting to follow suit - or be disgraced knowing that they and their vassals aren't as virtuous as a dirty Scorpion.

Edited by Kiseki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing to keep in mind is that honor is an internal mechanism, not just an external barometer. A loyal Scorpion is an honorable Scorpion to the clan. A disloyal Scorpion decorates trees.

 

A Scorpion who betrays some one he was never loyal with to begin with, is dishonorable outside the clan. But not to the Scorpion clan. To a Lion, a Scorpion that retreats from a fight is a Coward, and thus dishonorable. But not to the Scorpion if he conserves his forces and secures another, more important objective. A Scorpion who lies is dishonorable outside the clan. But not to the Scorpion if his lies secure the secrets of an ally. A Scorpion who steals is dishonorable, outside the clan. But not to the the Scorpion if he disrupts an opponent's plans. Ninja are dishonorable, outside the clan. What ninja? :ph34r:

Edited by Sashmiel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Scorpion part of this is incorrect.  Scorpions value loyalty above all else.  Courtesy doesn't even make the radar.  Duty, yes, but the duty to be loyal.  

 Exactly. The whole Shiro Chugo parajimbos theme in EE was about loyalty :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A big thing to understand here is that Honor is a measurable and quantifiable thing. If someone is more Honorable than you, than in many ways, they are just a better person. (in society)

From highest to lowest and with a focus on the CCG the Honor tier list of Clans is

 

7 Lion

6 Crane / Phoenix

5 Dragon

4 Unicorn

3 Crab

2 Mantis

1 Scorpion

0 Spider

 

You are wrong. Honor is not a measurable thing at all. The mechanics both of the RPG and the CCG needed it to be quantified to be of some use. So they tried their best.

 

The Dragon clan being as a whole more honorable than the Unicorn clan is very very debatable. Especially because the Dragon clan does not take the Bushido tenets to be their personal life guide !

 

There are many reasons why truly trying to quantify Honor is not right, and means you did not grasp what Honor really is.

 

You, yourself, know that what you wrote is false. I'm quoting you "If someone is more Honorable than you, than in many ways, they are just a better person. (in society)" Why did you feel the need to add in society ? Because in fact you point out the problem : what is Honorable ? Is is what you do or who you are, that makes you honorable ? Is it what people see you doing or all your deeds ? Honour is a social concept not a scientific or psychologic concept... hence why it cannot be defined and quantified easily. This is also the reason why samurai face real dilemnas and why this is so exciting and interesting ;) !

Edited by Katsutoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a story in one of the old Scorpion books about a group of lords from different clans arguing about which virtues are most important.  The Scorpion proposes loyalty, because without it all of your vasssal's virtues work for someone else.  The other lords agree that loyalty is the most important virtue, and a good test of virtuousness.  She then convinces the other lords that they needed to test their yojimbo to see who had the most virtuous (loyal) vassals.  

 

They agree that whoever passes the test will have the most loyal vassals.  She calls her yojimbo into the room and asks him if he is loyal without hesitation.  He says yes.  Then she orders him to kill himself, which he does immediately.  She turns to the room of shocked lords and waits for them to follow suit - or be disgraced knowing that their vassals aren't as virtuous as a dirty Scorpion.   

 

 

I recall the story slightly differently... as I remember it, the Scorpion asked her yojimbo to kill her, not himself- which he did, because not following orders would have been disloyal, then immediately killed himself, because he failed to protect his charge. The point being that any samurai worth their salt will gutcut without hesitation if appropriate/ordered to do so - the Lion do it all the time - but it takes a particularly loyal vassal to kill their lord. But I'm not an expert on Scorpion fluff, by any means, so your version may well be correct. Either way, there's no question that the Scorpion place great value on Loyalty above all else.

 

As for Sashmiel's point- yes, and no. It's certainly true that both internal judgements and external judgements matter (even Akodo-Kami wrote that the only true judge of one's honour is oneself), and that different Clans, Families, and groups, all have different perceptions of what comprises honourable conduct. At the same time, certain behaviours are universally considered honourable, and others dishonourable. The Scorpion ninja may well believe that his conduct is necessary, or even 'virtuous', since it serves the interests of his lords and the Empire, but his behaviour is absolutely contrary to Bushido, and therefore categorically dishonourable. There are, of course, grey areas, paradoxes, and contradictions, places where a variety of mutually conflicting positions can all be legitimately considered honourable - the Kakita/Matsu feud is a good example of this, in which both sides largely accepted that the other's position was honourable, simply irreconcilably opposed - but to suggest that a Scorpion ninja can be considered honourable is incorrect. Necessary, virtuous, heroic, quite possibly - though certainly not by anyone outside the Scorpion - but honourable, no.

 

More to the point, the Scorpion generally scorn honour as perceived by others. Their two dearest texts, Lies and Little Truths, are both essentially rebuttals of Akodo-Kami's Leadership, and those Scorpion unfortunate enough to have honourable tendencies are labelled Junshin, which is an insult among the Scorpion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The Scorpion part of this is incorrect.  Scorpions value loyalty above all else.  Courtesy doesn't even make the radar.  Duty, yes, but the duty to be loyal.  

 

 

Loyalty is not a Bushido virtue. What you're talking about is that Bushido virtues does not totally mean the same for all people / clans. Loyalty falls inside the Duty virtue for the Scorpion.

I added Courtesy not because I felt it was needed, but because I felt it helped grab the flavour of the Scorpion clan and because if it was not needed it was not false neither.

The Scorpions are one of the 2 main social clans, and they do feel that Courtesy is necessary (for their needs and deeds).

Edited by Katsutoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a story in one of the old Scorpion books about a group of lords from different clans arguing about which virtues are most important.  The Scorpion proposes loyalty, because without it all of your vasssal's virtues work for someone else.  The other lords agree that loyalty is the most important virtue, and a good test of virtuousness.  She then convinces the other lords that they needed to test their yojimbo to see who had the most virtuous (loyal) vassals.  

 

They agree that whoever passes the test will have the most loyal vassals.  She calls her yojimbo into the room and asks him if he is loyal without hesitation.  He says yes.  Then she orders him to kill himself, which he does immediately.  She turns to the room of shocked lords and waits for them to follow suit - or be disgraced knowing that their vassals aren't as virtuous as a dirty Scorpion.

 

I recall the story slightly differently... as I remember it, the Scorpion asked her yojimbo to kill her, not himself- which he did, because not following orders would have been disloyal, then immediately killed himself, because he failed to protect his charge. The point being that any samurai worth their salt will gutcut without hesitation if appropriate/ordered to do so - the Lion do it all the time - but it takes a particularly loyal vassal to kill their lord. But I'm not an expert on Scorpion fluff, by any means, so your version may well be correct. Either way, there's no question that the Scorpion place great value on Loyalty above all else.

 

As for Sashmiel's point- yes, and no. It's certainly true that both internal judgements and external judgements matter (even Akodo-Kami wrote that the only true judge of one's honour is oneself), and that different Clans, Families, and groups, all have different perceptions of what comprises honourable conduct. At the same time, certain behaviours are universally considered honourable, and others dishonourable. The Scorpion ninja may well believe that his conduct is necessary, or even 'virtuous', since it serves the interests of his lords and the Empire, but his behaviour is absolutely contrary to Bushido, and therefore categorically dishonourable. There are, of course, grey areas, paradoxes, and contradictions, places where a variety of mutually conflicting positions can all be legitimately considered honourable - the Kakita/Matsu feud is a good example of this, in which both sides largely accepted that the other's position was honourable, simply irreconcilably opposed - but to suggest that a Scorpion ninja can be considered honourable is incorrect. Necessary, virtuous, heroic, quite possibly - though certainly not by anyone outside the Scorpion - but honourable, no.

 

More to the point, the Scorpion generally scorn honour as perceived by others. Their two dearest texts, Lies and Little Truths, are both essentially rebuttals of Akodo-Kami's Leadership, and those Scorpion unfortunate enough to have honourable tendencies are labelled Junshin, which is an insult among the Scorpion.

You're right! It's been ten years, so my brain is mush. I'll fix my op.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Honor primarily reflect how an individual samurai ratees his personal ability to adhere to the tenets of Bushido and fulfill the duties assigned to him by his lord. While Honor is primarily internal, there is an external component to it as well, as a samurai's Honor greatly impacts how he carries himself and thus how others perceive him."

 

L5R 4th Ed page 90

 

Pretty easy to show how someone with "more honor" is objectively treated better in society. I said it because that is how the world works. 

If you disagree, in the future, do it in a way that doesn't make you so mean spirited and dismissive totally.

 

Unless we say something like "Well, AEG doesn't have a say on how the world works anymore" and in that case, why do we use any reference material at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If only we could get a reprint of all the Way of books. None of the supplements regarding the Scorpion have been so poignant as the first one. Not only on what it means to be Scorpion, but how everyday samurai are supposed to treat the Scorpion. The Scorpion can be your best-est of friends and do things you yourself cannot. Even get your dishonourable ass out of trouble. Just don't piss them off or get in their way.

 

It also gave them a personal substitute for the Honour system, giving them a loyalty list. Your "honor" went up or down depending on how you went against your list. If you put the Emperor above the Clan, and you were told by your Daimyo to kill the Emperor, you'd have a real quandary. But a Scorpion that put the clan above all had an easier time of lopping off the head of the Emperor.

Edited by Sashmiel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Scorpion part of this is incorrect.  Scorpions value loyalty above all else.  Courtesy doesn't even make the radar.  Duty, yes, but the duty to be loyal.

 

Loyalty is not a Bushido virtue. What you're talking about is that Bushido virtues does not totally mean the same for all people / clans. Loyalty falls inside the Duty virtue for the Scorpion.

I added Courtesy not because I felt it was needed, but because I felt it helped grab the flavour of the Scorpion clan and because if it was not needed it was not false neither.

The Scorpions are one of the 2 main social clans, and they do feel that Courtesy is necessary (for their needs and deeds).

Duty and Loyalty are rolled into Chugo, but most Scorpions would interpret it as Loyalty.

I disagree completely about courtesy though. Scorpions don't value courtesy at all. They give a facade of courtesy, just as they do with all the other virtues, but only when it can be used to manipulate others who hold that virtue in higher esteem. A Scorpion would be openly nasty if it gother the desired result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The Scorpion part of this is incorrect.  Scorpions value loyalty above all else.  Courtesy doesn't even make the radar.  Duty, yes, but the duty to be loyal.

 

Loyalty is not a Bushido virtue. What you're talking about is that Bushido virtues does not totally mean the same for all people / clans. Loyalty falls inside the Duty virtue for the Scorpion.

I added Courtesy not because I felt it was needed, but because I felt it helped grab the flavour of the Scorpion clan and because if it was not needed it was not false neither.

The Scorpions are one of the 2 main social clans, and they do feel that Courtesy is necessary (for their needs and deeds).

Duty and Loyalty are rolled into Chugo, but most Scorpions would interpret it as Loyalty.

I disagree completely about courtesy though. Scorpions don't value courtesy at all. They give a facade of courtesy, just as they do with all the other virtues, but only when it can be used to manipulate others who hold that virtue in higher esteem. A Scorpion would be openly nasty if it gother the desired result.

 

Yes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty easy to show how someone with "more honor" is objectively treated better in society. I said it because that is how the world works. 

If you disagree, in the future, do it in a way that doesn't make you so mean spirited and dismissive totally.

 

Do we live in the same reality ? When you encounter someone, you can't know how honorable he is, you can only see how honorable he wants you to see him, depending on his social skills, his intent etc.

 

How would you rate a ninja that kills people during the night without anyone knowing about it, but behave like a paragon of Honor during the day ? Internal, external, blablabla ? 0 PH ? 5 PH ?

 

All I said is : "A big thing to understand here is that Honor is a measurable and quantifiable thing" This is wrong. It is, for the purpose of games, quantified. Most of the time, there is a consensus of how honorable someone is, or at least the answers are all close. But it's not that straight-forward at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Pretty easy to show how someone with "more honor" is objectively treated better in society. I said it because that is how the world works. 

If you disagree, in the future, do it in a way that doesn't make you so mean spirited and dismissive totally.

 

Do we live in the same reality ? When you encounter someone, you can't know how honorable he is, you can only see how honorable he wants you to see him, depending on his social skills, his intent etc.

 

How would you rate a ninja that kills people during the night without anyone knowing about it, but behave like a paragon of Honor during the day ? Internal, external, blablabla ? 0 PH ? 5 PH ?

 

All I said is : "A big thing to understand here is that Honor is a measurable and quantifiable thing" This is wrong. It is, for the purpose of games, quantified. Most of the time, there is a consensus of how honorable someone is, or at least the answers are all close. But it's not that straight-forward at all.

 

 

The setting is a game. This sounds like a lot like someone who tries to use moral relativism in Dungeons and Dragons when the alignment system is an Objective Truth. (less so know but that was a design choice for the GAME)

 

In the "real" setting, trying to figure out honor would be really hard. But at some point we should probably acknowledge that we are playing a game. And in that game, Honor is used as a measuring stick. And people argue all the time about the validity of that measuring stick. There is your samurai drama. It doesn't mean that there isn't a measuring stick.

 

 

Edit: Typos

Edited by BayushiCroy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I chose Naga in 1998-99 cause I liked snakes, and the Hidden Emperor starter with the Shahadet was all that was left to play with. I loved them until they went away in 2000.

 

At that point, I had to choose a human clan and went to the story for help. I chose Phoenix for a variety of reasons in the story, and the Samurai in their ccg, were mostly terrible. My arrogance let me believe I could turn their Samurai into an awesome force, and I played them as military Samurai for 14 years. (mind you Phoenix is the Shugenja clan, i.e. casting spells and not wearing any pants). Took a small hiatus in 2014, and when I came back in 2015 I chose and now play Crab(though I always dabbled with them here and there).

 

When I pick something, I try to associate with as many cool things as I can. Two pop-culture series led me to the Crab. Their Hiruma family reminded me of the scouts in Attack on Titan, and the Defenders on the Wall thing is very reminiscent of the Wall dudes in Game of Thrones.

 

Beat Evil. No BS. Punch Dudes. Wear pants.

 

CRAB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The setting is a game. This sounds like a lot like someone who tries to use moral relativism in Dungeons and Dragons when the alignment system is an Objective Truth. (less so know but that was a design choice for the GAME)

 

In the "real" setting, trying to figure out honor would be really hard. But at some point we should probably acknowledge that we are playing a game. And in that game, Honor is used as a measuring stick. And people argue all the time about the validity of that measuring stick. There is your samurai drama. It doesn't mean that there isn't a measuring stick.

 

 

The setting is a game yes. Does that mean that games can't be a little bit realistic ? In D&D the alignment system is much easier, it's internal, it's straight-forward.

 

In L5R, it is not the same. That PH stand between 0 to 5 in the CCG or 0 to 10 in the RPG, does not mean that it is as easy to quantify it as you said, nor that it means that we would all quantify it the same way, nor that it means that Honor is written on someone's face like you say.

 

Let me put it here for the record and ask it again : "If someone is more Honorable than you, than in many ways, they are just a better person. (in society)" So where would you rank my never-caught-murderer that behaves like a paragon in society and has very high social skills, tell me ? I'm very curious about it... If honor was internal, it would be 0. If honor was social, it would be 5 (or 10 depending on the edition). Now... where does he stand ? What do you value the most ? Do you cut it in half ?

Edited by Katsutoshi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like their is a back and forth between a couple guys, but I just wanted to point out that the honor list that was typed out earlier with a numerical value, just matches the clans current starting honor on the Strongholds:

 

 

Lion: 7

Crane/Phoenix: 6

Dragon: 5

Unicorn: 4

Crab: 3

Mantis: 2

Scorpion: 1

Spider: 0

 

:P

 

Looks like a very "informational" list for fun, and not some stuff around real honor, real life, or other real life magical cardboard samurai stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's internal. I also don't see the issue.

 

"Both the subtlest and the most basic of the virtues, Honor teaches that every samurai stands in judgment over himself, at all times. Bushido is not merely enforced by social conventions or superior authority, but by each samurai's own heart and soul. A samurai without Honor cannot truly follow the other virtues of Bushido, for he is acting as others expect, not as his own sense of honor demands. Conversely, a samurai with True Honor will follow in the ways of Bushido even when society around him becomes corrupt and his superiors expect him to behave dishonorably solely because they command it."

 

L5R RPG Core 4th ed. Page 44

 

Gonna highlight the very important part: "A samurai without Honor cannot truly follow the other virtues of Bushido, for he is acting as others expect, not as his own sense of honor demands."

 

Your assassin who never gets caught is still dishonorable and knows it. Also, people who truly follow the tenets of Bushido could figure it out.

Again, fighting about the measuring stick is where samurai drama comes from. Not that we all have different measuring sticks and trying to figure out which is right. There IS ONE correct measuring stick and we are fighting about how valid it is. Honor, in L5R is objective. And people have different opinions on the objective Honor. In this Game. Where Moral relativism doesn't exist. Because Honor. Capital "H".

Edited by BayushiCroy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If only we could get a reprint of all the Way of books. None of the supplements regarding the Scorpion have been so poignant as the first one. Not only on what it means to be Scorpion, but how everyday samurai are supposed to treat the Scorpion. The Scorpion can be your best-est of friends and do things you yourself cannot. Even get your dishonourable ass out of trouble. Just don't piss them off or get in their way.

 

It also gave them a personal substitute for the Honour system, giving them a loyalty list. Your "honor" went up or down depending on how you went against your list. If you put the Emperor above the Clan, and you were told by your Daimyo to kill the Emperor, you'd have a real quandary. But a Scorpion that put the clan above all had an easier time of lopping off the head of the Emperor.

 

The Way of the Scorpion, and indeed the Way of the Clan series, are some of the best books you can find about each of the clans. The scorpion one itself was the best, with all the various parables, characters (the golden age of Scorpion personalities!), and other tidbits like 'little truths'. One of my favorite parts of the book is the example character of the Bayushi Honorable Bushi who takes the tenets of Shintao to heart.

 

Hell, most of the books even had old ccg deck lists inside them!

 

Here was what the Scorpion actually thought about bushido: "As we've said a thousand times, Scorpions don't put a lot of faith in bushido, but they do put a lot of faith in loyalty." About sums it up.

 

The entire series is worth it to find and purchase. The only problem is that the story elements are based on the story arcs in the late 90s but the overall ideas of the clans remain the same. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...