Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sndwurks

Keeping the Story Team

Recommended Posts

 

 

The ongoing story is as much a hindrance as it is an asset.  When I have to explain to new players why the Sun and Moon have been switched out twice or why the Spider exist, I can feel their interest wane.

 

That is why I usually don't explain these things.

There are 9 clans.

Everybody get's a cliff-notes version what the clans stand for.

 

Further history lesson will be ignored since it does not add anything to the experience, Except being as boring as a history lesson...  

If someone wants to catch up more power to him, but I will bring not up anything by myself.

 

I guess the point I am trying to make is that the story is important for the player playing now. 

But nobody is interested in story prices from the rain of blood period.

 

So having a setting which does not specify where it stands in comparison to past or future events is not problematic,

as long as you provide story within the setting you describe.

 

There is an emperor is calls himself Hantai (I will not specify the number) and there are 7 great clans and a lot of minor clans

This might be before the 2nd day of thunder or after Onyx.

 

 

This advice is sound and it is something I already do, and it helps that the roleplaying games I run avoid the canon storyline and issues I brought up like the plague.  One of the best parts of 4th Edition RPG is its timeline neutrality and divorce from the story.

 

Still for those who are new to the game and want to delve into the story... well its a mess to say the least.  Unfortunately the largest events, and hardest to gloss over, in the story have often been the most problematic.

 

My suggestion is to read everything in L5R as being written by an unrealiable narrator, not as if written by an omnipotent one. Thus one doesn't need the story team to explain the contradicton, since the history in the setting is also just fiction, and everyone in the setting just tells the version that suits his or her purposes best, no absolute facts on what ever happened, not even when the weekly fiction gives you the impression you are reading what is happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Timeline neutrality works for the RPG, because it is a toolkit in which you tell your own story set in whatever era you want. You can have a personal-level story where the big movers and shakers in Rokugan aren't that relevant and where youa re in time doesn't truly matter.

 

If the LCG is going to have any ongoing story, it can't be timeline neutral, because you're working at a larger scale and what the Overall Situation of the Empire is is going to be important. And to maintain timeline neutrality, you'd have to have a setting where people are absolutely coo-coo for tradition never talking about how events in the past might be relevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Timeline neutrality works for the RPG, because it is a toolkit in which you tell your own story set in whatever era you want. You can have a personal-level story where the big movers and shakers in Rokugan aren't that relevant and where youa re in time doesn't truly matter.

 

If the LCG is going to have any ongoing story, it can't be timeline neutral, because you're working at a larger scale and what the Overall Situation of the Empire is is going to be important. And to maintain timeline neutrality, you'd have to have a setting where people are absolutely coo-coo for tradition never talking about how events in the past might be relevant.

 

I think it's more interesting to think of timeline neutrality in the context of the LCG as, "We're not settled in a specific time, so we can do a new story from the history of the empire each strike box/focus pack cycle combo." "History," here, also meaning future periods as yet unexplored by the game.

 

This also allows for revisiting AEG story arcs, but it wouldn't be necessary.

 

AEG's even done this, sort of, with Heroes of Rokugan, so it's not like it would be strange new territory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The key is that an L5R universe needs to be treated something vaguely like a comic book universe.  There are key factions (mutants, avengers, sentinels) with key heroes whose stories we care about, some of which have died, some of which are still alive and acting on the story.  There are key pieces or events of their story that are interesting and worth remembering (Dark Phoenix, mutant massacre).  However, there's events that were just so messed up that once the event is passed you try really hard to forget them.  There are heroes that never got well defined and got eliminated. Those things wash out of canon.  You can easily explain the universe and the characters related to a new story without going into those details or worrying about spelling out the whole history, and maybe they throw in a hint or reference to excite the oldtimers.  If the new player wants to check out 'the back issues', they can, but in general a loose plot summary will serve to get everyone ready for the newest storyline. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Timeline neutrality works for the RPG, because it is a toolkit in which you tell your own story set in whatever era you want. You can have a personal-level story where the big movers and shakers in Rokugan aren't that relevant and where youa re in time doesn't truly matter.

 

If the LCG is going to have any ongoing story, it can't be timeline neutral, because you're working at a larger scale and what the Overall Situation of the Empire is is going to be important. And to maintain timeline neutrality, you'd have to have a setting where people are absolutely coo-coo for tradition never talking about how events in the past might be relevant.

I never said the LCG should adopt the RPG's timeline neutrality. The differences in the two media are pretty apparent.

 

My only hope is that the game will distance itself in some form from the story where AEG left off, which IMO had been bad for a number of years.

Edited by Igarashi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go full DragonBall Z and make an arc about Celestial Tournament in Yomi, where Ancestors are bored.

Can we go instead into a different direction, I am not so much into shonen animes. How about some magical girls stuff?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We already are in Magical Girls Stuff. Every Bloodspeaker and Spider is a Madoka-style Magical Girl. They even get Tainted! 

 

Well, hey, what's this I hear about a new company buying the game? Changes you say?

 

Madness!

 

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be a tad weird, to have Shosuro, Bayushi Kachiko and Bayushi Nitoshi all showing up on the table at the same time :D Feels like a game taking place at Oblivion's Gate :P

I'm of an opposite mind there, actually. All these people are bound to the Celestial Wheel (i.e. the Scorpion player's deck). It could not in fact be Shosuro on the table at all, but her soul, incarnate in a body extant with her 12th century counterparts. (That is, until any of them reach Yomi and are removed from play altogether. :P)

Edited by MarthWMaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It would be a tad weird, to have Shosuro, Bayushi Kachiko and Bayushi Nitoshi all showing up on the table at the same time :D Feels like a game taking place at Oblivion's Gate :P

I'm of an opposite mind there, actually. All these people are bound to the Celestial Wheel (i.e. the Scorpion player's deck). It could not in fact be Shosuro on the table at all, but her soul, incarnate in a body extant with her 12th century counterparts. (That is, until any of them reach Yomi and are removed from play altogether. :P)

 

 

It's not as if "Soul of" is not already a thing. This would just strip away the veneer of a new name and new art, and not waste card slots reprinting staple characters.

 

I like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it's not like anything new for L5R either. Kakita was running around during the Bloodspeaker arc and the Age of Enlightenment, and between Coils and Siege: Clan War, there are some Clan War personalities hat have more recent versions than currently alive personalities. 

 

Plus of course the fact that we never banned personalities because they got killed in the story.

Edited by Himoto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that was touched on briefly, and that I think is very important to keep in mind -- how the needs of a CCG/LCG, an RPG, and a work of fiction can all diverge radically. 

 

Also, different participants are going to come into these discussions with very different priorities depending on what matters most to them or how they were introduced to the setting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Go full DragonBall Z and make an arc about Celestial Tournament in Yomi, where Ancestors are bored.

Can we go instead into a different direction, I am not so much into shonen animes. How about some magical girls stuff?

 

 

Every time people said 4e was "complete" or that they couldn't think of any more books to publish for it, I always thought "That isn't true. They haven't printed enough Imperial Histories books because they haven't printed a mahou shoujo version of the setting yet."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

The ongoing story is as much a hindrance as it is an asset.  When I have to explain to new players why the Sun and Moon have been switched out twice or why the Spider exist, I can feel their interest wane.

 

That is why I usually don't explain these things.

There are 9 clans.

Everybody get's a cliff-notes version what the clans stand for.

 

Further history lesson will be ignored since it does not add anything to the experience, Except being as boring as a history lesson...  

If someone wants to catch up more power to him, but I will bring not up anything by myself.

 

I guess the point I am trying to make is that the story is important for the player playing now. 

But nobody is interested in story prices from the rain of blood period.

 

So having a setting which does not specify where it stands in comparison to past or future events is not problematic,

as long as you provide story within the setting you describe.

 

There is an emperor is calls himself Hantai (I will not specify the number) and there are 7 great clans and a lot of minor clans

This might be before the 2nd day of thunder or after Onyx.

 

 

This advice is sound and it is something I already do, and it helps that the roleplaying games I run avoid the canon storyline and issues I brought up like the plague.  One of the best parts of 4th Edition RPG is its timeline neutrality and divorce from the story.

 

Still for those who are new to the game and want to delve into the story... well its a mess to say the least.  Unfortunately the largest events, and hardest to gloss over, in the story have often been the most problematic.

 

My suggestion is to read everything in L5R as being written by an unrealiable narrator, not as if written by an omnipotent one. Thus one doesn't need the story team to explain the contradicton, since the history in the setting is also just fiction, and everyone in the setting just tells the version that suits his or her purposes best, no absolute facts on what ever happened, not even when the weekly fiction gives you the impression you are reading what is happening.

 

 

A) I have been running L5R campaigns almost continuously since First Edition.  Over the years, I've introduced something in the neighborhood of 140 people to the game--8 to 14 players to a table for a year-long campaign with each group.  Over the years, I have had a group of folks who settled into my core group.  .

 

B) Because I usually run connected to a college play group, I find I have a large number of new folks each time whose entire experience with gaming is D&D (or now Pathfinder).  So . . . since I want them to play L5R as L5R, not D&D, I have always given a summary of the setting and general history as well as specific histories of clans to folks when introducing a new person to the setting and the characters they play.  Sometimes that summary is very detailed; sometimes not so much--depends on how close to canon I'm running at any given time, but most of the time it is pretty detailed because more often than not, I run in the CANON.  I find the history gives players a "feel" for the setting that's missing without it.

 

Actually, It's part of the reason my play group has not particularly cared for 4E--which we find rather bland in its neutrality.

 

C) The idea of "unreliable narrator" is not new--it was introduced with the game and especially underscored with the "Way of" books.  It's why I always recommend the "Way of" books to people who want to understand their clan and the setting, and why I tell those detailed histories so that folks know their individual clans do NOT look at the world the same way beyond a certain point, and truthfully, it's part of what makes the setting feel "real" and mythic at the same time.  People in real life may have a common society, but they experience it through their own perceptions.  

Edited by Azamiko

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dare I say it but I would have liked to see it all die with a gunpowder age, railroads, trade agreements with foreign powers, disconnection from the kami and fortunes due to the emperor being replaced by government reform, followed by topknots being clipped and samurai resistors being mowed down by cannon fire.

 

You will all hate me now, but when Hida Kisada comes back to fight Iuchiban again you'll choose the musket balls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dare I say it but I would have liked to see it all die with a gunpowder age, railroads, trade agreements with foreign powers, disconnection from the kami and fortunes due to the emperor being replaced by government reform, followed by topknots being clipped and samurai resistors being mowed down by cannon fire.

 

You will all hate me now, but when Hida Kisada comes back to fight Iuchiban again you'll choose the musket balls.

 

You are certainly welcome to mix your steampunk with L5R, but I will take my time and energy elsewhere should that be the default setting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dare I say it but I would have liked to see it all die with a gunpowder age, railroads, trade agreements with foreign powers, disconnection from the kami and fortunes due to the emperor being replaced by government reform, followed by topknots being clipped and samurai resistors being mowed down by cannon fire.

 

You will all hate me now, but when Hida Kisada comes back to fight Iuchiban again you'll choose the musket balls.

 

You are certainly welcome to mix your steampunk with L5R, but I will take my time and energy elsewhere should that be the default setting.

 

Steampunk? You mean cliché movies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

C) The idea of "unreliable narrator" is not new--it was introduced with the game and especially underscored with the "Way of" books.  It's why I always recommend the "Way of" books to people who want to understand their clan and the setting, and why I tell those detailed histories so that folks know their individual clans do NOT look at the world the same way beyond a certain point, and truthfully, it's part of what makes the setting feel "real" and mythic at the same time.  People in real life may have a common society, but they experience it through their own perceptions.  

 

 

You sound fun to game with.  I'm getting an itch to play L5R RPG again.  I haven't since I was in the army.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Dare I say it but I would have liked to see it all die with a gunpowder age, railroads, trade agreements with foreign powers, disconnection from the kami and fortunes due to the emperor being replaced by government reform, followed by topknots being clipped and samurai resistors being mowed down by cannon fire.

 

You will all hate me now, but when Hida Kisada comes back to fight Iuchiban again you'll choose the musket balls.

 

You are certainly welcome to mix your steampunk with L5R, but I will take my time and energy elsewhere should that be the default setting.

 

Steampunk? You mean cliché movies?

 

cliche movie? You mean setting where the kolat win?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Go full DragonBall Z and make an arc about Celestial Tournament in Yomi, where Ancestors are bored.

Can we go instead into a different direction, I am not so much into shonen animes. How about some magical girls stuff?

 

 

Every time people said 4e was "complete" or that they couldn't think of any more books to publish for it, I always thought "That isn't true. They haven't printed enough Imperial Histories books because they haven't printed a mahou shoujo version of the setting yet."

 

 

I think we'd come up with several books they really could and should publish on a thread at "ye olde forums". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

C) The idea of "unreliable narrator" is not new--it was introduced with the game and especially underscored with the "Way of" books.  It's why I always recommend the "Way of" books to people who want to understand their clan and the setting, and why I tell those detailed histories so that folks know their individual clans do NOT look at the world the same way beyond a certain point, and truthfully, it's part of what makes the setting feel "real" and mythic at the same time.  People in real life may have a common society, but they experience it through their own perceptions.  

 

 

You sound fun to game with.  I'm getting an itch to play L5R RPG again.  I haven't since I was in the army.

 

 

Thank you--I like to think my games are fun.  I sort of believe in the "full immersion" style of roleplaying, whether it's L5R, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, etc...  Most of the fun for me is the "role" part of the deal.  Embracing settings--flaws and all--makes the game less about the mechanics of rolling dice and more about the interaction of the people at the table (or via the Hangout as the case may be).

 

When you are dealing primarily with people who don't know what they are doing, it's easier to help them through it if the mechanics don't stand in the way.  

 

And, actually, I've found it works in reverse as well.  I play with a 'grown-up' group on Saturdays via Hangouts because we're literally scattered across the country in four time zones. Collectively we have something like 150 years of gaming experience at the 'table.'  They are some of the biggest number crunching munchkins you would ever like to meet (or hate to meet depending . . .), but because we can all do the number crunching, we find the game is more fun when we focus on the setting and roles.

 

I'm on hiatus from running for the "grown-ups" via Hangouts on Saturday right now (finally getting to actually be a player while someone else runs for a bit), but ever since the announcement, I've found myself giving some serious thoughts to teaching the kids at my Tabletop Club L5R.  Almost all of them are brand new to playing RPGs that aren't part of a computer game, and we started with something fairly simple==d20 Modern (with a near-future setting) because the whole "roll a d20 and add something" is a basic concept most of them can grasp quickly.  I think by mid-term they should finish the arc they are working on, and I might give it a try to teach them L5R.  

 

After all, it's not like RPGs ever really go away.  Just because there's not a new book doesn't mean the game has to stop. 

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...