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cielago

Integrating the Spider

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inspired by DJARVISNECKBEARDIII's comment here

 

 

Which is why having the primary antagonist as a playable faction works for SW but didnt for spider. In the 8 vs 1 scenario, either the antagonist is heavily featured a which is unfair to 8/9 of the player base, or they receive equal time and cease to be a credible threat. It's a lose lose scenario. 

 

We can take as a given that the arrangement he's referring to, at time of sale, of the spider vs the other clans is problematic. This not even taking into account the upcoming Onyx storyline. Even if you don't consider the worshipping of Fu Leng/Daigotsu (and for a moment lets put that aside, since i think that generally speaking thats about the only non-negotiable point) i'd like to consider how the spider clan would evolve in a way that would result in an arrangement that avoided the practical issues that have arisen from the current situation. 

 

As i see it those problems are: 

1. storytime: as the villains, the spider consequently get more story than the other clans

2. prize options: often the spider get unique prize choices (i personally don't see the issue here but it gets brought up a lot)

3a. staticness: no one can win. the spider can't really win without pissing off a dramatic majority of fans, but neither can they win without pissing off a small but notably vocal group of fans. plus, as the naga and ratling fans demonstrated, i don't think any faction particularly relishes the idea of their faction being smote.

3b. as long as the spider are the face of jigoku, either they're the villains, or there has to be some weird other villain. aka kali-ma or the yodotai. the former brings us back to point 3, the latter dilutes the nature of the game. 

 

 

so what can be done?

option 1: make the spider not the villains. let them retain their worship of Daigotsu, as their founder, but find a way to bind them to the throne and Rokugan. (i have no idea how to do this but i'm moderately confident that it can be done. maybe timejump, and have the emperor be a descendent of Kanpeki, but also of Iweko?). this kind of solves problem 1, but not really. people will still view villain story time as "their" storytime. it does however resolve 2 and 3.

option 2: stop letting the spider eat their cake. fully vilify them. either they stop being a faction, or they run the risks that come with being a faction, which is to say that option 3 stops being a thing. resolves 3 immediately. does nothing for 1. has the potential to solve 2. 

option 3. have the spider fail, and piss off jigoku. they lose its favor. the taint goes back to being its old way. the spider still worship Daigotsu, but hes kind of an old testament, wrathful god who is not remotely inclined to do them any favors. solves 1, 2, and 3. 

 

i'm sure there are other ideas. 

 

edit:

it should be noted that as a spider player, i hate almost all of these, but that doesn't mean i don't see the need. i think there must be a way to do it that doesn't alienate the spider fanbase completely, while also placating the rest of the fanbase somewhat, and thats what i'm looking for. "get rid of them" is not an option thats valid. 

Edited by cielago

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Since I'm being quoted, I'll attempt to clarify. Since the dawn of the game(and the empire. Pre empire if you include races of old vs. rakshasa) the underlying structure of the setting has been the empire vs jigoku. They are the "bad guys". From the bureaucracy down, just about everyone has a family,order,or technique, specifically to fight jigoku. Since half of the duration of the game Daigotsu was the dark lord and leader of the shadowlands, and prior to that he was its high priest. He effectively has become almost synonymous with jigoku. He IS the face of evil. Any lip service to him is a direct contradiction to everything everyone in the empire has been brought up to believe in since the beginning of time. I know that the Spider players want all they've invested in him(and by extension his son) to be worth something. It's simply that in order to do so would require the biggest face turn in history by Daigotsu, a complete defection from him, or a compete suspension of disbelief.

Could kanpeki forge "A" clan in the empire, despite his family's terrible history? Yes. But not in the manner in which he and the rest of the Spider have been currently presented. But to remain or be associated with the "we're here to eat yo' babies" faction...

In terms of card game, I had mentioned the story disparity because while the setting is about empire vs jigoku the game is about clan vs clan. The setting and the story are not equivocal. Trying to reflect things would and do work well in the siege type formats, but L5R's tournament and standard card game structure are designed around a 1 vs 1 system. if FFG can come up with some type of infiltrator mechanic or some way to adequately represent the Spider/SLH in terms of a playable faction, if be mightily impressed. I just don't see the current status quo working.

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I actually could say a Rokugan alliance of convenience with the Spider. That would look the way that the Spider somehow if through exile or though defeat ( with ot without Onyx) get driven away into the Colonies. They take complete control of them and get their Empire there. Now Rokugan still oppsoes them and their worship and there will be confiicts at the borders and tries to take over Rokugan but they mostly can be stopped but Rokugan has no intrets in taking the Colonies back cause it gives them a good defesne against western agressors cause they first have to solve the Spider empire before threatning Rokugan. 

Also I think the taint could go back to normal and the Spider would readyly take anyone which becomes tainted to control and contain them in their part of the world and spare Rokugan the problem of tainted people running arround. Than you could have the Spider remain, the Horde as major villain and npc faction and you still coudl have darker Spider themes like Maho, Undead and Darkvirtues cause they can do what they want inside of the Colonies. 

 

Just a side note daigotsu is the onyl reason the empire still exsists without him the empire would be dead by now. That is what people tend to forget yes he is the face of evil but he is also the Man who saved Rokugan despite he had the chance to allready take it.

Edited by Teveshszat

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An alliance of convenience was tried. The entire precursor(and spiders current clan status) to Onyx was based on a treaty that created an alliance of convenience, which was shown to be completely false. There's still 0 reason to trust the spider, and just ceding the colonies and their resources would just be setting yourself up for a war on two fronts. Pretty sure anybody with a lick of Akodo schooling would highly recommend against it. Could the spider forcibly seize a portion of the colonies? Absolutely. Would they still be a great clan after all their betrayals? Not a chance. If they become an entirely separate entity from jigoku and become a minor sub treat they could easily be accepted. But they currently and most likely will continue to have blood, philosophical, and resource ties to the big bad.

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We trying to find compromises here. The Spider will not cease to be evil and the Rokugani will not cease to oppose them. Bu your post was not helpfull at all in finding a middle way so that both sides could live with the outcome without pissing people off to much. What you sugest is exactrly pissing off the Spider players and fans. What I sugest is a minimal loss for Rokugan but a good agrement if people want to play a evil faction. Cause to stay playable they have to become a external threat and crease to be  great Clan. 

Also the alliance was never one cause Iweko never intended to keep her part of the deal as you can read in the fiction therefore the Spider was betrayed when they the first time in history did something good for the empire. If someone can´t be trusted than it is the Iweko Dynasty.

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If the spider won't cease to be evil, why would the empire continue to afford them the status of great clan? That's the issue. You want the Daigotsu party train. The reason why it's a non starter for a part of the anti spider is that having your cake and eating it too pisses of just about everyone else. You can still be A faction, just not one That gets an imperial charter, and not one that receives an imbalanced amount of story love.

And for the record, never holding up your end of the bargain(what Daigotsu did) is WAAAAY bigger of a betrayal than revoking kanpeki's championship ever could be.

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I don't want to rogue moderate, but for the sake of meaningful discourse lets avoid the topic of who was the biggest jerk. its not productive. 

 

the point we're making is that saying "no, spider don't get to be spider" is not productive. the spider aren't going away. realistically, they're going to be a faction, at least in the short term, and likely in the longer term too. so i'm asking for ways to try and find ways for them to fit. if your answer is "no, go away" then thats not really a productive answer to the question. 

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The biggest thing the Spider need, and have needed since day one is a role within the Empire that no one else can or wants to do, but that doesn't step on other roles.  They tried to do it with the conqueror title, but that always felt flat to me.  I think having them as a group who betrayed Jikogu, but then used fire to fight fire might have been interesting.  If we only move forward, but don't move back and retcon...  I'm not sure.  The Daigotsu-Iweko pact always struck me as goofy, and fundamentally changed the rules of the universe (ie making Shadowlands taint something no samurai would be unwillingly subjected to).  

 

I honestly can't think of a story direction that they can take that will make Spider players happy, but that will make them feel more like a clan and less like a diet horde.

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Whether spider(or any faction)remain or not is yet to be seen. But my suggestion to make it work was, lose Daigotsu, or lose clan status. You're still a faction. You still retain the exact same amount of mechanical playability. You just don't warp the entirety of the setting to facilitate your existence anymore.

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I don't want to rogue moderate, but for the sake of meaningful discourse lets avoid the topic of who was the biggest jerk. its not productive. 

 

the point we're making is that saying "no, spider don't get to be spider" is not productive. the spider aren't going away. realistically, they're going to be a faction, at least in the short term, and likely in the longer term too. so i'm asking for ways to try and find ways for them to fit. if your answer is "no, go away" then thats not really a productive answer to the question. 

 

That's a large assumption to make.  The only two things that support that are Spider Mon avatars and a quote about the Colonies, both of which don't need to be read into this early.  I doubt FFG knows what story direction they are heading in right now and so we can't assume to know.

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Fine. Then for the sake of this thought experiment, lets assume that the spider, or some faction that the spider community represent, aren't going anywhere. i personally do not believe that FFG is going to throw away any of the current clans, but whatever. for the purposes of this thread, we're trying to find a way to make the spider/shadowlands work in the game, that doesn't include "go away spider". 

 

Whether spider(or any faction)remain or not is yet to be seen. But my suggestion to make it work was, lose Daigotsu, or lose clan status. You're still a faction. You still retain the exact same amount of mechanical playability. You just don't warp the entirety of the setting to facilitate your existence anymore.

 

Okay, this is valid. personally i have absolutely no objection to losing great clan status. when they were doing solicits for the IH2 thing, i wrote up an idea i called the Twin Empires, where Kanpeki sets up his Dark Mirror of Rokugan after a failed coup. The only problem with this solution is it does nothing to resolve the complaints about the spider/shadowlands getting inordinate storytime or prizes. about all it does is resolve the incongruousness of the spider being a great clan. which is a win, for sure, but it doesn't make it easier for those who resent the spider for their perceived extra time in the spotlight. 

Edited by cielago

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Thinking about my earlier statement that the Spider need something that they can do that others can't, here are some ideas.  There's some role toe stepping, but less than other ways.  I'm just brainstorming here, but a few things that the Spider is uniquely qualified to do:

 

Reclaim deep areas of the Shadowlands.  The Crab send parties into the Shadowlands, but at great risk.  The Spider could make a role out of being a sort of "leper colony" that was doing necessary work in a place where no one else could live.  Maybe in order to claim and gather some currently unknown resource that Rokugan discovers it needs.

 

Fight oni/goblins/undead at the source.  The Crab guard the wall, and do range out into the Shadowlands.  If they worked together, they could take the fight to the Shadowlands.

 

Occupy or cleanse places that are too dangerous for non-tainted samurai.  Eg, plague lands that take root.

 

Have the means to fight or ward off another threat (similar to what they tried with Destroyers), but one that results in a stalemate.  A stalemate that is broken if the Spider lets the dam break. An enemy of my enemy situation.

 

 

Obviously some of these are similar to things they they talked about or tried.  Some of them can be mixed, some can't.  Some are horrible ideas, I'm just trying to create some dialogue while we sit around for 2 years.  

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Separate Kanpeki from his father, war in the shadowlands style? Prior to Onyx, K pecs seemed to be the kind of guy who liked getting his hands dirty and not having other people fight his battles for him. Take the seized colonial territory I mentioned earlier, and use that as an avenue for the Spider to search for gaijin magics that could rival the taint itself. Unicorn had a smattering but have mostly gone lords of death and battle maiden style(outside the rpg). There is a multitude of stuff from the ivory kingdoms/burning sand lore that never really made its way into rokugan proper in full force. Some type of jackal/ashalan hybrid magic or some jazz. Some people may not like having Kali-Ma/Ruhmal lite type flavor but it IS a distinction between jigoku(the BIG) bad.

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Separate Kanpeki from his father, war in the shadowlands style? Prior to Onyx, K pecs seemed to be the kind of guy who liked getting his hands dirty and not having other people fight his battles for him. Take the seized colonial territory I mentioned earlier, and use that as an avenue for the Spider to search for gaijin magics that could rival the taint itself. Unicorn had a smattering but have mostly gone lords of death and battle maiden style(outside the rpg). There is a multitude of stuff from the ivory kingdoms/burning sand lore that never really made its way into rokugan proper in full force. Some type of jackal/ashalan hybrid magic or some jazz. Some people may not like having Kali-Ma/Ruhmal lite type flavor but it IS a distinction between jigoku(the BIG) bad.

 

Somewhere, Katsu is running around with the secret of how to make khadi. they can do all the same maho-y tricks but can't be tainted. seems like that would be a potent weapon against jigoku. 

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In my head, there is no reason at all, from a ST stand point, for the continual existance of the Spider Clan after the last couple of fiction(and only because I have to gripe with He Who Should Get Everything **** of creating a pantheon for Jigoku and then making himself the God Of Jigoku...go figure). In fact, I expect a full frontal attack on them and finally, my top cause of gripe for the story will be eliminated. I haven't been silent about my opinion, I know that the Spider players are an awesome bunch. Great Clan status is BS, it was a terrible done ST lane in a god awful lane of fictions/plot of the destroyers.

 

Go back to the SH, the vote showed that given the choice the majority of Spider players prefer to BE the Shadowland Horde that a great clan. 

 

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perhaps i should have called this thread "integrating the guys that the people who hang out on shinden fu leng will want to play", cause i think thats really what we're talking about. if thats spider, then spider. if its the horde, then its the horde. there were no lack of compelling characters back then. 

 

that said, Daigotsu is going to be a sticking point, because he's a fundamental part of whatever the "Spider" (for lack of a better catchall term) faction is or becomes going forward. if keeping him central to the "clan" means going NonClan, then i think a majority of the players would do that. i'm just guessing, but based on the Embrace the Darkness vote, i think thats a safe guess. 

Edited by cielago

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The Khadi are great, but creating multiple immortal blood wizards is an incredibly slippery slope before you hit full on Mary Sue territory.

 

well, i mean, its a fictional game. theres no reason they can't say Katsu comes out of the woodwork with a new, demikhadi ritual expressly for the purpose of extracting people from the taint, but that also blah blah blah, etc. i'm just riffing off your idea of gaijin magic. Katsu is an established, legacy character who is expressly anti-shadowlands, but has a history with Daigotsu and the Lost, as well as said Gaijin magics. Plus he's awesome. i'd love to see him come back. 

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Oh I dig Katsu. He was horribly underutilized. My point of contention, is that there are three primary concerns for a person in L5R. Their honor. Their life. And their soul. Khadi being virtually immortal and immune to taint make 2 of the three concerns disappear right off the bat. And short of being forced into it, your honor probably isn't a concern if you're enacting the khadi ritual. That's what made iuchivan and Yajinden so memorable. They could be as psychopathic or downright zany as they wanted because the laws of reality, literally didn't apply to them anymore. In small doses it's great, but you put an army of khadi on the table and its game over. I was personally thinking along the lines of something like using temporary ashalan mind control tattoos to create sleeper agents in rokugan to frame the crab for murdering the spider's enemies. Two birds and such.

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First off, discussing how the Spider will be integrated from a storyline and mechanics perspective are now vastly different questions, so I will address each one separately.

 

In terms of their story integration, we simply do not know enough about what FFG is going to do with the storyline to make any educated guesses about how the Spiders (or Shadowlands, if they go that route) will fit into the setting.  Depending on the scope and direction of any potential reboots, the Spider might fit better or worse in the setting, and/or require minor to significant revision as a faction.  We can speculate, but strongly arguing for or against the faction's integration is quite premature given the little information we have to go on.

 

In terms of their mechanic integration, I can easily speculate that Shadowlands/Spider will be a playable faction in the card game either right out of the gate or in the first deluxe expansion.  If you look across the breadth of LCGs, outside of a situation where clans cooperate against the Spider (i.e. a LotR clone), each game utilizes widely diverse factions, and for the SL/Spider's credit, they are by far the most diverse faction in the game.  As such, it stands to reason that the faction will be a major part of the card game.  Its shape, tone, and implementation is still a mystery until we have more details from FFG.

 

To me, looking at both sides, this is an argument held over from the AEG days, and honestly, we need to move past it.  Though I am a fan of the Spider, I am willing to give FFG the benefit of the doubt in figuring out how the SL/Spider faction will fit into their vision of the new L5R LCG, storyline, and associated products.  In order to do that, both sides have to be willing to accept that aspects of the setting, clans, and story will change to fit that vision.

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At this point 90% of all the l5r threads are pure conjecture. It certainly is a holdover argument, but until there is definitive input from FFG as to how their approach to Nu5R is going to be that's all we have. We don't know what if anything will be kept and from what I hear FFG tends to not be very active on the forum, so if I the off chance they DO retain some or most of the current story intact it's interesting to know what people consider integral. While forum posts are a terribly incomplete view of the customer base, any information as to the potentials perks/pitfalls associated with l5r could be somewhat useful, or at the very least keep the game in people's mind during the hiatus.

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Also, as a Spider player, I have some rather specific ideas about how to integrate the Spider Clan, or more accurately, Kanpeki's Horde.

 

1) Make the Susumu an Imperial family. Remove the Spider Clan as a Great Clan.

2) Start the game with 8 playable factions (the 8 Great Clans).

3) Make the first Deluxe Set feature the return of the Spider Clan / Kanpeki's Horde, filled with Undead, Oni and Lost.

4) Make the Undead and Oni Unaligned, and include Shadowlands personalities for every faction.

5) Give the Kanpeki's Horde a rule that lets them run Clan-aligned Shadowlands personalities without penalty.

 

And go from there?

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The integration of the Spider rests on two major questions:  1)  what time frame will be the new normal for the game universe and 2) how will the LCG be framed?  Question 1, as I have said before, is a big factor (though not as much as Q2), because until we know if we are getting Onyx-Redux, Past Nostalgia, or New Who Narrative Jump, we can only speculate as to where the Spider/SL will land.  Personally, my vote is for the third option, because it allows FFG to start fresh, re-introduce the factions (including the Spider) in interesting ways, unburden new players from having to know the entire history, and introduce classic elements in ways that make them special.

 

Now, onto Question 2, depending on how FFG wishes to frame the LCG, Spider could be a major faction, or even not a faction at all.  If the designers decide to implement the game as Rokugan vs. Jigoku, then it will either resemble the Lord of the Rings LCG, where the Spider would not be a playable faction at all, or Siege, where the clans cooperate against the Spider.  I do not necessarily like these options, as they define L5R too narrowly, but they are options that could happen.  If the designers go with the clans warring against each other, then the question becomes how do the Spider/SL fit into that system.  They could be a distinct, playable non-human faction bent on conquering bits of the Empire, or they could be infiltrators who find their way into Clan decks and corrupt them.  They could even be used in an entirely different manner that I have not yet considered.

 

As a Spider fan, I am actually hoping that FFG takes a step back and takes a hard look at the faction moving forward.  Give it a definitive space in the LCG and RPG which meshes with their overall vision of the IP and has more internal consistency.  If they can manage this feat, I will be content.

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