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PsiNorm

My Thoughts on Shadowlands in L5R Card Game

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If we see any "counterspells",or interrupts, in the LCG, I'd expect they would be similar to the ones we already saw in the ccg and to be somewhat narrow. For example, Absolution. I guess I could see some sort of general counterspell but that feels like something only the Emperor or a kami could do. 

 

 

There's a very similar card in AGoT. I don't expect to see a general Counterspell a la Magic. Cthulhu *might* have such a thing, but it's an older game now, and I think FFG stays away from such things in general.

 

I agree with Teveshszat that FFG is generally pretty good about their approach to control.

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An interesting thing to consider also, is that any AGoT deck that finds the coin can play The Hand's Judgment. There's no telegraphing of this; it's a wildcard that you are liable to face anytime you play an event into a board where an opponent has gold equal to your event's cost. But in Magic, unless you count Planar Chaos stuff like Mana Tithe, counterspells are strictly blue's domain. If you don't see blue mana open, you don't need to worry about them.

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An interesting thing to consider also, is that any AGoT deck that finds the coin can play The Hand's Judgment. There's no telegraphing of this; it's a wildcard that you are liable to face anytime you play an event into a board where an opponent has gold equal to your event's cost. But in Magic, unless you count Planar Chaos stuff like Mana Tithe, counterspells are strictly blue's domain. If you don't see blue mana open, you don't need to worry about them.

 

Yep! It also introduces amusing head games where you can save the gold solely to make your opponent wonder if it's in your hand and perhaps play around it, even when it's not. Heck, you might not even have another use for the gold, but they don't know that. ;)

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Play mechanics  aside, I liked the Horde much better than Spider Clan. It was truly outside the Rokugani Social Order, no Imperial Favor, no honor gain/loss, only 1 way to win. Spider feels like a solution to difficulties in game design more than a story feel. OFC now that Spider has been around for more than half of L5R's history it's hard to go back... Much like it's hard to say Mantis is not a great clan.

 

Favorite Shadowlands antagonist: Iuchiban. He had to be taken out by Rokugan's dark hero Hida Kisada.

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well this will be a fun thread. because as we've seen with the last four or five of these lately, nothing makes for fun, friendly, conversation than discussion about how one part of the fanbase thinks the shadowlands/taint/spider/horde/whatever is dumb and even though its been in the game basically forever l5r isn't really ABOUT that man. 

 

...

 

edit: to be clear, i'm not dropping a dime on the guy who started this thread, i get what you're saying. i'm just anticipating the inevitable and predictable shitshow that this topic will devolve into. 

 

The original poster said nothing about the Spider. He was talking about the introduction of Shadowlands as a playable faction, which happened in Anvil of Despair, a decade before the Spider were a gleam in Todd's eye. Maybe if you don't want every thread to devolve into a conversation about how bad the Spider were for the setting, you shouldn't come into threads and preemptively complain about how you think people are going to complain about the Spider?

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well this will be a fun thread. because as we've seen with the last four or five of these lately, nothing makes for fun, friendly, conversation than discussion about how one part of the fanbase thinks the shadowlands/taint/spider/horde/whatever is dumb and even though its been in the game basically forever l5r isn't really ABOUT that man. 

 

...

 

edit: to be clear, i'm not dropping a dime on the guy who started this thread, i get what you're saying. i'm just anticipating the inevitable and predictable shitshow that this topic will devolve into. 

 

The original poster said nothing about the Spider. He was talking about the introduction of Shadowlands as a playable faction, which happened in Anvil of Despair, a decade before the Spider were a gleam in Todd's eye. Maybe if you don't want every thread to devolve into a conversation about how bad the Spider were for the setting, you shouldn't come into threads and preemptively complain about how you think people are going to complain about the Spider?

 

i'll buy dinner at the the next gencon for anyone who can find me a thread about the shadowlands that doesn't end up, regardless of whether or not i show up to lament its inevitability, involve a modicum of bitching about the spider. furthermore no discussion about the shadowlands never mentions the spider, and no thread about either ever avoids attracting the inevitable hoard of buzzards. EVERY thread here, since the sale, and if you read this thread it proved no exception, that so much as whispers the world "spider" or "shadowlands" end up turning into "why the spider/shadowlands" shouldn't be in the game anymore. which is a pretty exhausting exercise for a fan of said faction. so you'll forgive me if i'm less than polite when i sum up my response as follows: bite me. i'll post what i goddamn well like, especially in these essentially repetitive, futile "how i would fix/get rid of/etc the shadowlands" threads

Edited by cielago

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Actually if you speak about the Shadowlands as playable faction you speak about the Spider clan. The reason for it is that the current faction representing the Shadowlands part of the game is the Spider because they turned away from the empire back to their roots and once again accepted the taint and use it to achieve their goals. So atm the Spider is the playable Sahdowlands faction.

Also the Spider are an integral part of the Shadowlands topic since one of them actually rules the Realm which is resposible for the taint and the development of the Shadowlands.  Therefore if you start a topic about anything related to taint and Shadowlands the possibility is high that the Spider will become part of this discussion at some point.

And since the threads will go for the Spider all the haters will show up and try to find a new reason to try to get the Spider out of the game.

Therefore I support cielago here snce I can see where this goes as well and Iam equally tired of try to argue with people who clearly are not accepting any argument which is not saying cut the Spider.

I actually thought we left them in the old AEG forum but it seem they found out far to soon for my likeling about this one.

Edited by Teveshszat

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i'll buy dinner at the the next gencon for anyone who can find me a thread about the shadowlands that doesn't end up, regardless of whether or not i show up to lament its inevitability, involve a modicum of bitching about the spider. furthermore no discussion about the shadowlands never mentions the spider, and no thread about either ever avoids attracting the inevitable hoard of buzzards. EVERY thread here, since the sale, and if you read this thread it proved no exception, that so much as whispers the world "spider" or "shadowlands" end up turning into "why the spider/shadowlands" shouldn't be in the game anymore. which is a pretty exhausting exercise for a fan of said faction. so you'll forgive me if i'm less than polite when i sum up my response as follows: bite me. i'll post what i goddamn well like, especially in these essentially repetitive, futile "how i would fix/get rid of/etc the shadowlands" threads

 

 

Well, do you see the problem here? If you are excluding your own responsability in devolving these topics into shitstorms and saying that you will "post what you goddamn well like"... Including derrailing this topic, which was being a very good and polite conversation about the Shadownlands... And I will not even start on all the topics that had nothing to do with Shadowlands and/or Spider that you entered with the ideia that "Hey! What about we make everything here ABOUT the Spider?!?!?!"

 

Yeah, I'm sorry, but you deserve every shitstorm you get.

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Fun fact, the removal of shadowlands as a faction played a major role in the downfall of the game in my area.  We had too many people who got into the game for blood magic and oni.  

 

 

The unfortunate and troublesome problem here is how it interacts with the overall setting, the card game (past or future), the RPG, fiction releases, and any other products that might come about.  For the card game, do you: 

 

1) make the Shadowlands playable, fit them into the lore, and deprive them of certain "social" victory methods?

 

2) make the Shadowlands into "the Spider" as a playable faction, give them the "social" methods, and deny them certain lore elements (blood magic, oni, etc) that make no sense for a full Rokogani faction? 

 

3) make "the Spider" into a playable faction, and full members of Rokugani society so they can have the "social" methods, still give them all those unique lore elements that some/many of their players like, and then try to retcon major elements of the setting so that this isn't a complete eyebrow-raising "All of the what?" situation for the fiction, RPG, overall settting, etc. 

 

4) give up and split off the detailed settings of the card game and the RPG.

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Well, Shadowlands with social elements is not really problematic from my point.

There were quite a few Bog Hag Infiltrator, which could be the political arm of the Shadowlands. So it works from a story perspective.

 

And what could you do from a game play perspective?

1. How about you say whenever you buy a personality you add the PH to your family honor. No proclaiming just an automatic part of the recruiting process. (Of course you would need to adjust the honor victory, etc.)

2. Oni and the whole dishonorable bunch simply have negative personal honor. (PH ranges from -5 to 5)

3. You give the Shadowlands stronghold the trait that you subtract the PH of your personalities from your family honor instead of adding them.

 

Just a quick thought about the whole topic but I think it is quite simple.

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1) Shadowlands is a playable faction and doesn't participate normally, if at all, in political/honor-based game elements. This really only ever caused one issue in old L5R, which was the faction's old-school immunity to being dishonored out, which became something of an issue once they started making Scorpion dishonor decks a major theme of that Clan (as opposed to the original mechanic of the Scorpion Clan, which was that they themselves could not be dishonored out). Dishonor decks then often either had to auto-lose to Shadowlands or make significant deckbuilding adjustments. But that's a specific mechanical thing that we don't have any reason to believe will reappear in the L5R LCG. There's really no downside here.

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5. Make Shadowlands/Corrupt, Jade/Purity and other ideological differences meta-factions that can be applied to all the clans and have their own mechanical advantages and disadvantages.

This, even if the Spider Clan is a faction. There is enough pure members of the Spider to make an untainted version of the clan and the shadowlands ability would simple have greater synergy in a similar way that the Crab will have a greater synergy with Jade.

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5. Make Shadowlands/Corrupt, Jade/Purity and other ideological differences meta-factions that can be applied to all the clans and have their own mechanical advantages and disadvantages.

This, even if the Spider Clan is a faction. There is enough pure members of the Spider to make an untainted version of the clan and the shadowlands ability would simple have greater synergy in a similar way that the Crab will have a greater synergy with Jade.

 

 

Just go back to the days of Shadowlands cards being powerful but having a big drawback to them as well. Have other cards like that new Ikikashi Sensei and you'll be set. Better yet, have multiple sensei that are different aspects of corruption.

Edited by Kubernes

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My thoughts on the Shadowlands.

 

A strong Shadowlands Horde that is immune to honor loss wasn’t a bad thing.

 

The argument that, it wasn’t fair to a dishonor player, is garbage.

 

Truth be told, this was a way to manage deck from over specialization. Scorpion dishonor should have to run meta, just in case of the shadowlands matchup.

 

What happened instead was players refused to adapt to these situations (Wah, why should I have to change my deck because of somebody else’s deck). instead of making more balanced decks, and players would complain to AEG, about how unfair it was to them. Eventually whoever was in charge, would cave in and change a rule. Lions honor gain to quick (Make clan honor gain once per turn), Unicorn Calvary isn’t fair (Make it a unit or two only), Crane bully duels (Make a focus pool), Shadowlands doesn’t lose honor (Get rid of Shadowlands faction), Scorpion Dishonor bones lion (Ignore hr from other players loses "blood money rule was kind of cool"), and so on. Boo frickin hoo.

 

When I could play Boss, your Military, your honor, your dishonor, your raids, your dueling, your enlightenment, your calvary, you were nothing before me. After the spider came, I had nothing left.

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Fairness =\= Balance.

 

To have a decktype that, even before a single card is played, auto-wins against another decktype, is an issue of balance. 

 

You argument on "it was a way to manage overspecialization" doesn't hold water either, as it was only a single decktype that was affected.

 

I'm sorry that you miss the BOSS decks, but one thing is missing a decktype... another is to say there was nothing wrong with a faction autowinning a certain match type. Please don't muddle the waters.

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Fairness =\= Balance.

 

To have a decktype that, even before a single card is played, auto-wins against another decktype, is an issue of balance. 

 

You argument on "it was a way to manage overspecialization" doesn't hold water either, as it was only a single decktype that was affected.

 

I'm sorry that you miss the BOSS decks, but one thing is missing a decktype... another is to say there was nothing wrong with a faction autowinning a certain match type. Please don't muddle the waters.

 

I heartily agree. While some match-ups could potentially be harder than others, a battle so unfair ruins the experience of all least one of the participant, if not both.

 

EDIT: And while meta is not a bad thing in itself, the obligation to run any sort of meta in any deck in order to have a fighting chance is bad design.

Edited by Tetsuhiko

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MaxKilljoy goes down this line of questioning, but for me, as a Shadowlands/Spider fan, I want to see the entire faction's previous and current composition utterly destroyed and rebuilt in the new version of L5R.  This process begins by asking a fundamental question:  what role should the SL/SP have in the new storyline, the new setting, and the new games?  The emphasis is critical to this question, because I honestly feel that the Shadowlands never really fit into the game outside of its inception.  Even the Spider are riddled with massive problems due to an inability to situate them effectively within the story, which ultimately led to much of the pushback within the community.

 

The villain factions, as a whole, need to be gutted and rebuilt, revised and recombined with an eye on consistency and cohesion within the larger context of the games.  Given that a reboot and/or jump are fairly plausible roads that FFG will take, then it is the perfect opportunity to ask how the villains, if there are even any villains outside of the Clans, fit into a modern perspective on the game and its world.

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MaxKilljoy goes down this line of questioning, but for me, as a Shadowlands/Spider fan, I want to see the entire faction's previous and current composition utterly destroyed and rebuilt in the new version of L5R.  This process begins by asking a fundamental question:  what role should the SL/SP have in the new storyline, the new setting, and the new games?  The emphasis is critical to this question, because I honestly feel that the Shadowlands never really fit into the game outside of its inception.  Even the Spider are riddled with massive problems due to an inability to situate them effectively within the story, which ultimately led to much of the pushback within the community.

 

The villain factions, as a whole, need to be gutted and rebuilt, revised and recombined with an eye on consistency and cohesion within the larger context of the games.  Given that a reboot and/or jump are fairly plausible roads that FFG will take, then it is the perfect opportunity to ask how the villains, if there are even any villains outside of the Clans, fit into a modern perspective on the game and its world.

 

 

Starting with Kinzen's idea from the old forums, maybe the Spider should be made the clan of "second chances and lost causes".  Split them down the middle, send the hell-worshiping taint-embracing part back to being "the Shadowlands horde", and make the other half that embraces loyalty to Rokugan into the place where people end up when they have no where to go, where exiles and fleeing peasants and disgraced monks and people who want to be forgotten rather than dead and whoever else ends up.  While the Scopion are viewed as something between "loyal opposition", "honorable villains", and "traitors but we can't prove it" depending on who you ask, the Spider are viewed as less than that even, but through tremendous effort they make themselves useful and grudgingly accepted. 

 

Any thoughts?  Hopefully Kinzen will drop by to expand on her original suggestion.  ;)

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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being honest, more people liked shadowlands as a playable faction pre-spider than like the dishonor victory condition at all.  Dishonor has caused more problems in the game than shadowlands ever did.  The only problem with old shadowlands was that it was immune to a victory condition that was already difficult to balance, prone to stalemating vs honor and viewed by many as unpleasant to play against.  The real question should be "what role should the dishonor victory condition play in the new game.

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being honest, more people liked shadowlands as a playable faction pre-spider than like the dishonor victory condition at all.  Dishonor has caused more problems in the game than shadowlands ever did.  The only problem with old shadowlands was that it was immune to a victory condition that was already difficult to balance, prone to stalemating vs honor and viewed by many as unpleasant to play against.  The real question should be "what role should the dishonor victory condition play in the new game.

seriously. i don't know anyone who has left the game because of a bad experience playing against spider, but i know a LOT of people who left because of people playing dishonor. okay, caveat, i know a fair number who refused to play breeder for a while, but that was breeder. they came back after, and that was a fluke. dishonor, under the best of circumstance, is inherently disempowering to the other players. under the worst of circumstances, which is roughly 75% of the life of the game by my estimate, its non-interactive in a way that punishes the other player for trying to play the game. and the really rub of it is that thats how the dishonor players want the condition to work. that knuckle down, control heavy, you don't get to move, non-interactive style is how the "best" dishonor decks work. 

 

now i'm not saying dishonor has no place in the game. thematically, its as much a part of the setting as anything else. but i think a) (to bring it back around to the topic) that dishonoring a faction that ignores traditional conceptions of honor is total nonsense and b) that dishonor should be primarily reactive or highly interactive, giving the opponent real choices. not "dishonor and lose honor or stop playing"

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Speaking as someone who really, really enjoyed playing Shadowlands, and was left thinking the Spider Clan were a bit too milquetoast (for my tastes, no disrespect meant for people who do enjoy them), I really hope they make it into the game, whether in the form of a straight up Shadowlands Horde stronghold or a sensei that tweaks existing strongholds in that direction.

 

As much as I wholeheartedly enjoy denial strategies, I do agree that the Shadowlands' blanket immunity to dishonor is a problem. There are various ways around that, and I hope that FF can find a way to make that work while keeping the Shadowlands Horde flavor intact. Dishonor is a traditional part of the game, and I hope that they allow for control-style decks to have a viable place in the format. Some of the protectionism that AEG had with respect to not allowing viable removal in certain formats really grated on me; personalities should be able to be assassinated, dishonored, stolen, redirected, and so on. There's a line to walk between doing that and too much non-interactivity, but OTOH I used to run into plenty of Unicorn and Lion military decks that abhorred interactivity as well. 

 

Fundamentally, it's a fantasy game, and while the Clan structure is interesting (I dabbled with Scorpion and of course Spider, though if I had to pick a clan these days I'd probably go Crab), I really do appreciate the nonhuman factions (Shadowlands, Nezumi, and to lesser extent Naga). A lot of them I recall as quite interesting characters in their own right. 

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Let's keep this in mind when thinking about the Shadowlands:

 

"Legend of the Five Rings is an upcoming Living Card Game® that invites players to journey to the mythical land of Rokugan. Although the LCG version of Legend of the Five Rings will have significant mechanical differences from previous versions, it is fully our intention to maintain the spirit and emotional impact that’s so inherent to this setting. Throughout the development of the LCG, our developers will ensure that the game maintains its connection to Rokugan and the Colonies, as well as the game’s pervasive themes of honor, nobility, magic, intrigue, duty, and warfare. Look for the Legend of the Five Rings LCG at Gen Con Indy 2017!"

 

I bolded the themes portion of the details (taken from the description of the base game on FFG's site) because I feel that the Shadowlands needs to be able to take part in those themes to be successful. That means having some tie in with honor, nobility, magic, intrigue, and duty besides just warfare. How it achieves these can different wildly (bog hags or Susumu couriters dealing with "honor", the sort of nobility with the dark bushi, Goju with intrigue, and so on). 

 

If the Shadowlands Hordes or other monster factions cannot tie in well with the basic mechanics of the game, then it shouldn't be really be there. This goes with factions like the Naga or Ratlings as well.

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