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Manchu

Following Disney's Example

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@MaxKillJoy

 

That's quite a handwave there. Either every-little-detail is crucial and must be preserved exactly as-is ... or it's not and it can just be boxed up where newcomers won't have to look at it or care. Claiming that you want to do the latter as a means of accomplishing the former is at least paradoxical but I think "schizophrenic" suits the nature of the impulse better.

 

And this Damocles sword of "alienating the player base" folks keep trying to hang over FFG's head ... there really is no simpler way to put it: while it'd be nice if everyone could be happy in the wake of this kind of change, the existing base isn't very important as customers or even as ambassadors to other customers. And least important of all is the niche within a niche within a niche, etc., who would ragequit over a continuity overhaul.

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Ultimately, "It's all still canon but it's now the distant pass and not relevant anymore,  might get a throw-away reference here and there" and "It's all legends that may or may not be true and we might pull them back in canon or not" are effectively the same thing, except that one makes it easier to tell your own stories about pre-existing characters, and the other keep the fanbase happier.

 

So that's what it boils down to. If FFG want to tell us new tales of Hoturi and Kachiko, then the "It's all legendary, might be made canon again or not" is the way to go (and this is what made the choice obvious for Disney - they wanted to get the old characters back, especially Chewie).

 

If they DON'T want to tell us new tales about the classic characters, if they're going to be using their own characters anyway...there's no big advantage either way, so might as well pick the one that antagonizes the existing fans (few as they are) the least. 

Edited by Himoto

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I think the best move is for FFG not to comment, make the game, and let people draw the conclusions they will.

 

If they find they need to break canon to make a better game, do it. If they don't, don't. It's really not that important to announce their intention to do so or not. Anyone who cares will figure it out, anyone who doesn't won't know the difference if the core set and story really is a good jumping on point.

 

Making an announcement is lose/lose. They either lose the die hard continuity people, or they lose the people hoping for a fresh start where they can jump in and not feel left out and 20 years behind. If they don't commit either way, then at least they might get people to actually try the game before they flip their stuff over continuity, one way or the other.

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For once, you and I agree on something. By all mean, if FFG find they have a specific reason that make them *need* to break canon to achieve what they want to do...then have them do it. Otherwise, though, if they don't have any particular *need* to break canon...then don't.

 

Breaking canon is...not a last resort exactly, but a specific tool that you use if you need to use it. Otherwise, it's best left in its box. 

 

Either way, they're not going to tell us what's going on until much closer to the moment, or even once the new game actually rolls out. 

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Kept it alive or kept it on life support?

 

All existing fans of this IP need to face the fact that we're not going to cut it for FFG. (And honestly the writing is on the wall for CCG players.) Like any business, FFG needs new customers -- and beyond being a source of revenue for FFG, the IP itself needs new fans. What I'm hoping for is, L5R will not merely survive but thrive under FFG's stewardship. I believe the potential is there. For all its riches, L5R currently has accessibility issues both mechanically and in terms of its setting and storyline.

 

Yeah, this is key for me. Something needs to change if this game is going to succeed and survive.

 

I have a lot of thoughts on what could change, but it doesn't need to be any of those things, it could be an entirely different set of things FFG comes up with.

 

But trying to make L5R keep going as is, even taking the philosophies that ran the CCG and trying to squeeze them into an LCG box, just isn't going to work.

 

Accessibility is *huge,* and that means taking a hard look at all the shibboleths, all the things that make L5R players nod and go, "That's what makes us L5R players, and what makes L5R unique," and realize that everything that makes them feel like part of a specific, separate culture from other games, makes other gamers feel the same way -- separate and inclined to stay that way. And L5R can't survive without those other gamers.

 

 

Despite my longtime interest, I would consider myself an outsider to the L5R community at large. I didn't care for 3rd and didn't even try out 4th ed of the RPG, and the card game was not played around here so I never got invested in it. I completely agree with keeping the things that make it uniquely distinct and special.

 

Also, +1 for using the term shibboleth.

 

 

My point wasn't really to keep the things that make it unique for their own sake. It was that each thing that does so and creates a strong bond within the L5R community that's exclusive to L5R can be exactly that: Exclusive. Thus the use of the term shibboleth. It's a tribal code word meant to exclude, and in modern usage tends to refer to practices that are outmoded.

 

When you're trying to expand your audience, that's a hindrance. I don't think FFG should overturn everything that makes L5R unique, or constitutes its community, but they need to have a care to make that community as inclusive as possible for new players generally, as well as their own customer base. It's a tough balance to strike.

Edited by BD Flory

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Honestly, given that even the game's die-hards for the past 20 years have had the option to ignore the story entirely if they feel like it (with a couple of exceptions), I would argue that the big accessibility hurdle is one FFG is already tackling- namely, the mechanics of the card game. L5R could be an absolute nightmare to teach. Getting people hooked on the story (if one is so inclined) is largely a matter of throwing out an awesome iconic story and letting them do their own homework from there.

 

The "daunting" lore is really only an issue if it is used to inform basic mechanical game design, and I'd like to think FFG is a sharper outfit than that.

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@MaxKillJoy

 

That's quite a handwave there. Either every-little-detail is crucial and must be preserved exactly as-is ... or it's not and it can just be boxed up where newcomers won't have to look at it or care. Claiming that you want to do the latter as a means of accomplishing the former is at least paradoxical but I think "schizophrenic" suits the nature of the impulse better.

 

See bolded part -- are you saying that's what I'm saying, or are you making that assertion?  

 

If the former, you're really trying to put words in my mouth, that's not what I'm saying at all.

 

If the latter, you're attempting to establish a starkly all-or-nothing false dichotomy. 

 

 

Either way, there's no point in trying to have a discussion while that sort of thing is going on.

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Honestly, given that even the game's die-hards for the past 20 years have had the option to ignore the story entirely if they feel like it (with a couple of exceptions), I would argue that the big accessibility hurdle is one FFG is already tackling- namely, the mechanics of the card game. L5R could be an absolute nightmare to teach. Getting people hooked on the story (if one is so inclined) is largely a matter of throwing out an awesome iconic story and letting them do their own homework from there.

 

The "daunting" lore is really only an issue if it is used to inform basic mechanical game design, and I'd like to think FFG is a sharper outfit than that.

 

 

I think people also tend to forget that "the lore" isn't just a factor to consider in the new card game, or a potential board game.

 

It also matters for the RPG,

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The thing is... newcomers never needed to care about the lore or history of the Rokugan setting. There are several tournament-winning players who do not care one whit about the history of the game, but still enjoy playing in it. Beyond that, however, it is not the game play that has kept Legend of the Five Rings alive this long, which I will point out vastly outstrips nearly every other CCG that came out in the mid-1990's. It is the continuity and interactive story that has.

 

And it is neither paradoxical nor schizophrenic to believe that while the history of the game setting is important and best preserved, moving the story forward to an accessible point is possible. Within L5R's own history, we have the Spirit Wars and the Age of Exploration. There are many other examples in other settings as well.

 

Not every detail is important, but that does not mean the same thing as saying the last 20 years of storytelling is without value. The best, most successful plan for FFG is to find the compromise they feel will present the best possible game that they can design, which is accessible to play, addicting with its Factionalism, and part of an amazing community of players.

 

I just highly disagree with the idea that the Clan War is the best jumping on point for that, when you can respect the history of the game but move it forward out of its shadow. If I had to choose between rebooting back to the Clan War and the Disney / Marvel Cinematic Universe version of L5R? I will take the latter.

 

Give me the Disney L5R, where the Lion are a matriarchal warrior clan lead by Matsu Tsuko, the Unicorn are horse-riding barbarians lead by Moto Chagatai, the Phoenix are powerful wizards lead by Shiba Tsukune, the Crane are noble diplomats lead by Doji Hoturi, the Crab are brutal warriors lead by the Great Bear,  the Mantis are ambitious pirates lead by Yoritomo, the Dragon are mysterious samurai lead by Togashi Satsu, the Spider are Tainted conquerors lead by Daigotsu, and the Scorpion are treacherous schemers lead by Bayushi Shoju.

 

Give me the Disney L5R where Hida Kisada and Daigotsu join forces to overthrow Emperor Shoju, while Hoturi and Yoritomo battle an enraged Tsuko and Chagatai.

 

Why go back to the Clan War when we can have a better Clan War, with all the iconic characters from all the 20 years of L5R's history?

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@Himoto:

 

Keeping the existing timeline and fast-forwarding is nothing like the Disney approach. Disney may or may not draw from the Legends material going forward. If FFG kept the existing L5R background, it would be bound by it. Therefore these two approaches are in fact opposites.

 

@BD Flory:

 

It would only be possible for FFG not to comment if they either picked up the timeline where AEG left off or fast-forwarded. Anything else is constructively a comment to the effect of "we are rebooting this."

 

@MaxKillJoy:

 

Putting words in your mouth?

 

I said X is schizophrenic. You said X is not schizophrenic. Either you did or did not understand X. Either way, X is a point I made, rather than you -- so this cannot be an issue of putting words in your mouth. It certainly could be a case of you putting words into my mouth, however.

 

False dichotomy?

 

It's only false if the two premises are (a) not the only options and (b) not mutually exclusive. For the purposes of this part of the discussion, keep or don't keep/existing background is crucial or not are clearly the only two options.  And the options are contradictory: the background cannot be, at the same time, so important that it must be exactly preserved and also so inconsequential that it can be effectively disregarded.

Edited by Manchu

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Why go back to the Clan War when we can have a better Clan War, with all the iconic characters from all the 20 years of L5R's history?

 

This is actually exactly what I am advocating. As I already clarified, I am not saying FFG should "go back" to any point in the existing timeline and then exactly follow that timeline. That would not make the setting any more accessible. I'm saying, FFG should assemble from the essential ingredients, whatever FFG determines them to be, a new although familiar storyline. I agree that this is the Disney way of doing things, a la the Marvel movies.

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@Manchu

 

Then I owe you an apology, for I assumed you were saying something you weren't. Personally, I still favor the Preserved Continuity L5R, but I would be okay with a Marvel Cinematic Universe L5R, so long as it was still interactive to a degree.

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Keeping the existing timeline and fast-forwarding is nothing like the Disney approach. Disney may or may not draw from the Legends material going forward. If FFG kept the existing L5R background, it would be bound by it. Therefore these two approaches are in fact opposites.

 

 

That is, simply, myopic.

 

A long enough fast forward gives you the possibility to make just about any change imaginable in the meantime about the setting. A hundred years jump allow for Great Clans to rise and fall or have identity crisis. It allows for celestial events that redefine the empire. About the only thing you can't change is the specific history of specific character and that's not important because your time jump killed them all anyway. 

 

They're effectively the same, because one lets you take nearly anything you want to change and say it was just a legend, and the other lets you take nearly anything you want to change and say it's changed during the fast forward.

 

That you like one and dislike the others in some specific context doesn't mean they're not functionally very similar to a writer. 

Edited by Himoto

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Sorry -- what is difficult about this?

 

preserve the timeline as-is -OR- don't preserve the timeline as-is

 

Fast-forwarding doesn't render these mutually exclusive options suddenly consistent with one another. The issue comes down to whether the existing timeline becomes a "Legends"-like repository of information, which FFG can potentially weave into its own fresh continuity, or whether FFG adopts the existing timeline.

Edited by Manchu

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I will add a third option, namely the Star Trek option. Ffg could add a supernatural event which rewrites part of the history or moves time backward.

Lore-wise, something similar to a country-wide unmaking made by a being or event of celestial proportion. (The thing known as Tommorrow by the Nezumi would be a good exemple)

You then have a number of people survive this and restart the timeline at a prior point, the clan wars for example. These survivors, using their knowledge of future évents change the timeline and you go from there. You do not invalidate the AEG timeline, which still exist somewhere in the Spirit Realms, and you have free reign to do as you wish from that point on.

I'm not sure if that's a better option. I only wanted to offer a third alternative.

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@MaxKillJoy:

 

Putting words in your mouth?

 

I said X is schizophrenic. You said X is not schizophrenic. Either you did or did not understand X. Either way, X is a point I made, rather than you -- so this cannot be an issue of putting words in your mouth. It certainly could be a case of you putting words into my mouth, however.

 

False dichotomy?

 

It's only false if the two premises are (a) not the only options and (b) not mutually exclusive. For the purposes of this part of the discussion, keep or don't keep/existing background is crucial or not are clearly the only two options.  And the options are contradictory: the background cannot be, at the same time, so important that it must be exactly preserved and also so inconsequential that it can be effectively disregarded.

 

So it's the latter -- your post really was unclear as to whether you were saying "there are only two choices", or if you were saying that it was what I had said.  

 

 

There are an entire spectrum of options between "keep all the existing lore" and "keep none of the exsisting lore".  What is kept and to what level of detail makes for an infinite number of choices between "all" and "nothing".  Keeping part of the existing lore is neither "keep the existing lore" nor is it "don't keep the existing lore". 

 

Character X is in the setting, or not. 

 

Character X still dies in the same year or not, still dies in battle or not (and if not, how do they die), is still killed by the same person in that battle, or not...  

 

Character X still had the same spouse and children, or not. 

 

Etc. 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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The key issue there is, where do the timelines diverge?

 

With Star Trek, it wasn't even this simple. If you contrast what was previously established about Kirk's childhood with what Kirk's childhood was like in the JJ Abrams film, the timelines were already different before Eric Bana traveled back in time. That whole plot line seems built around the concept of fitting Leonard Nimoy into the movie somehow. Point is, Abrams's Star Trek continuity doesn't just diverge, it's completely separate. Abrams probably asked himself: is there actually any advantage to divergence over complete break for my purposes? His answer seemed to be, not really.

 

And I think the same question (and answer) pretty much apply to FFG tackling L5R.

 

As an aside, Abrams Trek is a good example of what can happen when the developers rebooting an IP don't really understand what is essential about that IP.

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@MaxKillJoy

 

Your "infinite spectrum" all falls under the umbrella of the Disney approach: FFG can keep or discard whatever it wants.

 

That approach is mutually exclusive to preserving the existing setting as-is.

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I will add a third option, namely the Star Trek option. Ffg could add a supernatural event which rewrites part of the history or moves time backward.

Lore-wise, something similar to a country-wide unmaking made by a being or event of celestial proportion. (The thing known as Tommorrow by the Nezumi would be a good exemple)

You then have a number of people survive this and restart the timeline at a prior point, the clan wars for example. These survivors, using their knowledge of future évents change the timeline and you go from there. You do not invalidate the AEG timeline, which still exist somewhere in the Spirit Realms, and you have free reign to do as you wish from that point on.

I'm not sure if that's a better option. I only wanted to offer a third alternative.

 

 

That actually represents just one subset of an functionally infinite number of possibilities..

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@MaxKillJoy

 

Your "infinite spectrum" all falls under the umbrella of the Disney approach: FFG can keep or discard whatever it wants.

 

That approach is mutually exclusive to preserving the existing setting as-is.

 

You're effectively saying that the only two color choices are "430 nm blue" and "not 430 nm blue". 

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Right, you either keep the setting as it is or change it.

 

Changing it only a little or completely changing it are both examples of changing it ... which is mutually exclusive to not changing it.

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Right, what changes is really important. But the tangent we are currently on in this thread is, should there be any change or no change?

 

Once we say, okay there can be change -- then we get back to the point of the thread, which is that one very effective way to handle changing an extensively developed property is the Disney method: identify what is essential and file everything else into a category that you can draw on BUT that you do not necessarily throw out.

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Right, you either keep the setting as it is or change it.

 

Changing it only a little or completely changing it are both examples of changing it ... which is mutually exclusive to not changing it.

 

 

By saying that, you're throwing "we found some mistakes in AEG's Japanese to English spelling translitteration, we're going to clean up a few of the the names of character and places" or "Moto Random was killed with a spear instead of a sword"...  in with "the Unicorn clan came back from the gaijin lands riding dinosaurs and armed with muskets". 

 

:huh:

 

Framing the question as "Should things be changed -- yes or no, choose one" puts us in the position of being unable to answer the question.  We need to know what sort of change and how much change we're talking about before that question can receive a meaningful answer. 

 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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