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Kiseki

What Hooked You?

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So there's been a lot of discussion about what L5R can be or should be, where it could go or should go, and things that people want to see changed or that FFG "better not change".  I want to avoid all that in this thread.

 

What I want to ask is:  What was it that made you fall in love with L5R to begin with?  What was the thing (or things) that got you playing or kept you playing?  What did you use to get people interested in the game?

 

 

For me it was a few things:  

Some of the original personalities were very compelling to me, which was a draw day one: for instance Bayushi Kachiko and Togashi Yokuni.  Hida O-Ushi.  A lot of that was Matt Wilson's art, but the stories people told me about the characters helped too.  

 

After that it was Way of the Scorpion that kept me hooked.  It's one of my favorite RPG books of all time, and it's what really got me deeper into the setting.  My best friend was in the Army infantry and I copied all the standalone stories out for him by hand so that they'd just look like long letters to the drill sergeants during basic training. I was happy to be able to give him a little entertainment and fantasy during a tough time, and it meant a lot to him even though he didn't know anything about L5R or Rokugan.   

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Bluntly put: Samurai and ninja in a world filled with magic and monsters. If you aren't hooked already, then I don't know what will.

Well atleast that's how it worked for me. Add to that all the clans, each different with their own style, mon, colors and history.

The art, the setting, It's all great.

 

More to the point, what got mr playing? The sheer awesome production values from war of honor and the emperor edition boxed set. (And the fact my LGS finaly stocked the bloody game!)

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I was playing Doomtown, and the news came out that AEG got the rights from WotC. Another interactive story game with strong factioning? Sign me up.

 

Mechanics were cool, especially dueling, and I gravitated toward dueling factions, and factions that could take advantage of free gold. Also honorable factions -- Lion and Crane primarily.

 

Needless to say, re: strong factioning and interactive story, my tastes have changed. Just see my posts in other threads for evidence of that. :)

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I bought Way of the Dragon on a whim and have been hooked on the RPG and lore ever since, picked up the CCG around the start of Gold Edition and played it until somewhere in the middle of Lotus.

 

The Way of the Clan series are truly what got me into the game and I loved learning about each clan for the first time book by book.  

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I would say the inherent drama is what got me most, but it is pretty much an amalgam of many different things that worked so well together in L5R. And I think this blending of various things while still addressing things that are core of the human nature what makes L5R great (it is basically the same approach Star Wars has, only that Star Wars as film franchise reaches more people).

 

Good drama builds on characters! L5R had flawed heroes, everybody had issues and things he or she struggled with, it made them sympathic, since everybody in the real world has their inner demons, so the charcater have all been relatable. And with the coninuing story, the characters all became alive, since one could watch them grow or fail and stumble into tragidy. Sure, the decision the characters made had epic consiquences, but that is just another layer of drama, high stakes and intense results. It is what samurai drama does, it is what shakepeare did, it what the anime shows and films do that strike an accord with people, and it is what Star Wars did. And L5R did it especially well, since it feels like too often drama doesn't get gender representation right, not so L5R, ever clan had great female characters, and thus it felt well rounded.

 

I guess that is also mainly my issue with the story team these days, that it rarely got get the same kind of interesting characters anymore, and the few times to achieved to greate such characters, they dropped the ball on building good drama around them. But luckily I have the L5R RPG, I don't need a story team, but can do the drama I want just on my own!

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I have always been more interested in Heian-era Japan, as far as historical sources go; but the Sengoku era makes a compelling second runner.

 

While it may not be a perfect fit between the two, for things L5R the Crane come close -- how could I resist once I heard they were a faction in the game?  And with duelists as an added bonus, no less.

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So there's been a lot of discussion about what L5R can be or should be, where it could go or should go, and things that people want to see changed or that FFG "better not change".  I want to avoid all that in this thread.

 

What I want to ask is:  What was it that made you fall in love with L5R to begin with?  What was the thing (or things) that got you playing or kept you playing?  What did you use to get people interested in the game?

 

 

For me it was a few things:  

Some of the original personalities were very compelling to me, which was a draw day one: for instance Bayushi Kachiko and Togashi Yokuni.  Hida O-Ushi.  A lot of that was Matt Wilson's art, but the stories people told me about the characters helped too.  

 

After that it was Way of the Scorpion that kept me hooked.  It's one of my favorite RPG books of all time, and it's what really got me deeper into the setting.  My best friend was in the Army infantry and I copied all the standalone stories out for him by hand so that they'd just look like long letters to the drill sergeants during basic training. I was happy to be able to give him a little entertainment and fantasy during a tough time, and it meant a lot to him even though he didn't know anything about L5R or Rokugan.   

 

 

Very much this. I liked Hida Kisada the most, especially the way of the Crab write up for him and his family. Fast forward almost 20 years and now I cant stomach the guy, go figure. The Crab Clan really jumped the shark quickly, didn't they? They were my favorite clan out of the gate, but I still cant stomach Kisada and his actions in the Clan war. I don't know how much of that was a result of tournament results but...bleqh.

 

The way of the Scorpion and Dragon books were the best out of the bunch.

 

And none of the NPCs to follow in later editions top the initial ones we had when the setting launched. But it's hard to top some of the stereotypes "Grey Crane" Maimed Scorpion." "Hottest chick ever Scorpion." "Dragon that's an actual dragon." "Biggest Crab ever in a suit of armor."

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Tsuruchi was first, wee archers (loved archery)

 

Aramasu and Ryosei, (named most of my online characters after them, both of them are awesome)

 

mostly what hooked me was flavor text...

 

"Come with me my friend, do you want to live forever."

"And I am twenty one"

"Hate makes you strong"

and a lot more...

 

Till today those small italics make you curious of what stories they tell or refuse to tell.

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So there's been a lot of discussion about what L5R can be or should be, where it could go or should go, and things that people want to see changed or that FFG "better not change".  I want to avoid all that in this thread.

 

What I want to ask is:  What was it that made you fall in love with L5R to begin with?  What was the thing (or things) that got you playing or kept you playing?  What did you use to get people interested in the game?

 

 

For me it was a few things:  

Some of the original personalities were very compelling to me, which was a draw day one: for instance Bayushi Kachiko and Togashi Yokuni.  Hida O-Ushi.  A lot of that was Matt Wilson's art, but the stories people told me about the characters helped too.  

 

After that it was Way of the Scorpion that kept me hooked.  It's one of my favorite RPG books of all time, and it's what really got me deeper into the setting.  My best friend was in the Army infantry and I copied all the standalone stories out for him by hand so that they'd just look like long letters to the drill sergeants during basic training. I was happy to be able to give him a little entertainment and fantasy during a tough time, and it meant a lot to him even though he didn't know anything about L5R or Rokugan.   

 

That was a lot of the same stuff that drew me to the series. This ccg, in a growing field, felt completely different than everything else too. That sentiment continues today and hopefully when it becomes a LCG.

 

I'd add that I have always loved William O'Connor's art in the game. Some times his pieces can be meh but he's generally one of the best.

 

Plus  :ph34r:

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That was a lot of the same stuff that drew me to the series. This ccg, in a growing field, felt completely different than everything else too. That sentiment continues today and hopefully when it becomes a LCG.

 

I'd add that I have always loved William O'Connor's art in the game. Some times his pieces can be meh but he's generally one of the best.

 

Plus  :ph34r:

 

 

I have two pieces of original card art hanging on my wall.  One is Michael Phillippi, the other is William O'Connor.  Good stuff.

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It was 1995, and I was playing Magic over at a friend's house. He asked me if I had heard of Legend of the Five Rings. My friend was also running a samurai themed Rolemaster campaign at the time. He began explaining it to me, and I was definitely intrigued. We drove up to the game shop, and I read the side of six different clan starters before this one caught my eye:

 

The Provincial Estate of the Unicorn

 

They left the Empire a thousand years ago, and have returned with horses  of the West. Bringing with them strategies of foreign lands. The Unicorn Clan stands alone without allies, and while their naivete may make them vulnerable to wily rivals and silver tongues their mighty steeds and unorthodox tactics have proven to be worth a thousand footmen on the battlefield.

 

 

My friend and I played a few games, and next thing I know I am selling my entire Magic collection to buy more Legend of the Five Rings. My friend started with Crab, then switched to Naga, and eventually Mantis. I remained a Loyal Unicorn though to the point the gaming group forced me to choose another clan to try out, so I made a Crab deck. After playing my Crab deck they commented, "You are just playing another copy of your Unicorn deck with Crab personalities, go back to the Unicorn deck."

 

I was hooked, but then a series of events happened, a member of our gaming group was shot, my Dad died, I had to move, the gaming group broke up, my local gameshop closed. I hated KYD with a passion. End of Legend of the Five Rings for me until a brief return in 2006, and then a second hiatus until 2014 Ivory edition.

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What hooked me was the RPG, as I really like samurai and eastern fiction in general. Nice balance of intrigue, samurai drama and personal combat (in contrast to many other RPG, where you were fighting mostly Stockpile Goblin #234) sucked me in, especially after 4th Edition revitalized my interest in Roll and Keep. I started playing cardgame to do some non-rpg stuff with my L5R friend, and because it was a game where I could play cool personalities without seeing my opponent tap two lands and "yeah, yeah, i get it, lightning bolt for 3, it dies" :P

Storyline never really hooked me, mostly because a) I didn't particularly cared about presented characters, and b) fictions never really captured this "touhou feeling" of asia i carved.

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The Clans.

 

Any fictional setting developed for gaming purposes needs to have a core factor that invites players into that world. This is especially important for L5R. Even setting aside the more fantastical elements, Rokugani culture is strange and demanding. This means it is fun to "get into character" but it also emphasizes the need for an entry point. Clans provide a great way for new players to jump right into experiencing this vibrant world.

 

I have a lot of love for a few clans: Crab, Crane, Phoenix, and Unicorn. But for whatever reason I really "bonded" with the Lion Clan when I first discovered L5R. So even to this day, I feel like I am "really" a Lion. Conversely, I felt a strong distaste toward Scorpion from the beginning. That has grown into a "love to hate" kind of feeling over the years. I think a lot of L5R fans could relate similar feelings. Clans are just super effective when it comes to connecting to the L5R brand.

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Easy.  Crab clan and Shadowlands.  The clan wars.  Got most of the RPG books and from 1st and 2nd edition.  and The 7 novels of the Clan WARS.  Fav. Hero well almost all of them .  They each had an important role in how things evolved.


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Kyuden Kitsune xp

 

I originally showed up to shoot people.  But being able to play Honor out of Mantis was amazing.  And it feels like a very spiritual side of the Mantis that the half naked boom chicks don't achieve.

 

Chrome doesn't want to show it to me for some reason. Is that the old Kyuden Kitsune or the newer one? I truly enjoyed the old simply because of the Mantis "hate" on it. That and I adored Kitsune Ryosei back in the day.

 

The newer one was fun too, as I liked the idea of honor and spirits in the Mantis besides being very shooty and having the economy focus.

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Kyuden Kitsune xp

 

I originally showed up to shoot people.  But being able to play Honor out of Mantis was amazing.  And it feels like a very spiritual side of the Mantis that the half naked boom chicks don't achieve.

 

Chrome doesn't want to show it to me for some reason. Is that the old Kyuden Kitsune or the newer one? I truly enjoyed the old simply because of the Mantis "hate" on it. That and I adored Kitsune Ryosei back in the day.

 

The newer one was fun too, as I liked the idea of honor and spirits in the Mantis besides being very shooty and having the economy focus.

 

 

All my mmo characters were named Ryosei ...

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The Austin, TX players made it easy to get into financially, which was my main concern. I couldn't afford to rare chase and they were happy to give me rares they didn't use. All I needed to do was pick a faction.

The Scorpion Clan struck me as eminently awesome and since no one really played them in Austin at the time, so much the better.

No matter what you think of the setting, or the card mechanics, if your local players are insufferable you're not likely to start. Austin was generous and affable.

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The Austin, TX players made it easy to get into financially, which was my main concern. I couldn't afford to rare chase and they were happy to give me rares they didn't use. All I needed to do was pick a faction.

The Scorpion Clan struck me as eminently awesome and since no one really played them in Austin at the time, so much the better.

No matter what you think of the setting, or the card mechanics, if your local players are insufferable you're not likely to start. Austin was generous and affable.

 

I spent some time playing in Austin.  Good bunch of folks!

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The setting, the people, the people, then the people.

 

When a game has no monetary reward for winning, and it's a little difficult to get into, what you get is a friendly player base of young adults, 25+.

 

 

Of course the inability to sell it to a younger audience eventually led to its downfall, but that is another story.

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L5R was fresh. It had a darkness to it that made the lands of Rokugan mysterious and a little scary. I like the idea of warring samurai coming together to fight the darkness. 

I really enjoyed the variety of art and how they explored asian mythology. I dislike when card games homogenize the art. 

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