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Mirumoto Jin

RPG speculations - part 3

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1. Would you like to see a listing of typical NPCs encountered on a daily basis (i.e. typical heimingeisha, merchants)?

 

 

Would be cool, especially if they were included in the Corebook. I like the Unexpected Allies and the NPCs in the Great Clans and Imperial Histories, but in the Corebook I missed NPCs.

 

 

2. Would you like to see stats for each person in a position of power, in the current timeline as well as in times past to a certain extent?

Hm, at least for the Family-Daimyou and the Clan-Champions. But I have the wikia if I really need the stats.

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A competent GM doesn't say "Nope, you can't kill him". A competent GM doesn't *need* to say that.

 

A competent GM just make sure there are Seppun guardsmen and Hidden Guard Shugenja, and traps and wards that the player *doesn't know about* protecting the emperor. Ones that precisely exploit the weakness in the player's build, because *the Imperial guard probably knows what weaknesses the emperor has*. And they're taking extra-special care of countering those who'd seek to exploit them.

 

 

Thatg only leads to an arms race of theory where the player and the GM go against each other and try to kill the plans of the opponent which is really not how a RPG seassion should work.  What you want to do is talking before you start the Group and ask what all are wanting from this group and what they think they want to achieve and than set a story arround this. If the group can agree that the emperor shoudl be killed than they can stat him but stating him by default removes the allmighty feeling from him cause you exactly know what he can and what he can´t.

For example the Chuthulu moster where far better without concrete pictures of them cause the horror was the unkown and the Shadowrun Dragons where only fearful cause you did not know how much Lovwyr can know causse his int is not stated.

 

Statinng important characters limit their powers and the ways you cna use them as plot tools if you like and it also puts you in danger of people killing them oiff.

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And not stating the guy is just the nuclear option in the arms race.

 

The Emperor is not a god and only a slightly supernatural being. He has no business being all-knowing or all-powerful, and every business having his power limited. 

 

You'd have to have either a really awful player group, or a shoddy GM to need an emperor with unlimited power. 

Edited by Himoto

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And not stating the guy is just the nuclear option in the arms race.

 

The Emperor is not a god and only a slightly supernatural being. He has no business being all-knowing or all-powerful, and every business having his power limited. 

 

You'd have to have either a really awful player group, or a shoddy GM to need an emperor with unlimited power. 

 

You know what the empepror means in the asian culture? He is the son of the heavens. He is the avatar of the god on earh. Ofcourse he is allmighty and is knowing about all what is happening in his country cause that is what gives him power.

So yes he should be the strongest and best mortal in Rokugan and therefore normal shoudl win each and eveytime he is challanged. Which is not working when you stat him by default cause than he actually can loose,

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You know what the empepror means in the asian culture? He is the son of the heavens. He is the avatar of the god on earh. Ofcourse he is allmighty and is knowing about all what is happening in his country cause that is what gives him power.

So yes he should be the strongest and best mortal in Rokugan and therefore normal shoudl win each and eveytime he is challanged. Which is not working when you stat him by default cause than he actually can loose,

 

 

He represent the son of the Heavens, yes, but does it mean he's a god? Nope, in fact, if you check the timeline, there's some really pathetic Emperor. In those case, they are far from being the strongest, in fact they were pretty weak.

 

Even if it's not L5R and Rokugan, you should check the Romance of Three Kingdoms. Cao Cao manipulates a really weak Emperor as an advisor that you wonder why the Emperor isn't just killed.

 

I agree with you that Emperor shouldn't have stats, but for different reasons and because I would prefer to see more efforts elsewhere. Stating NPCs is an heavy tasks. Would I prefer to have a tons of Clan Champions/Emperors' stats or having really good mechanics? I would prefer to see their effort on the mechanics to improve them or fill some holes like discussed in the Shugenja's posts.

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And not stating the guy is just the nuclear option in the arms race.

 

The Emperor is not a god and only a slightly supernatural being. He has no business being all-knowing or all-powerful, and every business having his power limited. 

 

You'd have to have either a really awful player group, or a shoddy GM to need an emperor with unlimited power. 

 

You know what the empepror means in the asian culture? He is the son of the heavens. He is the avatar of the god on earh. Ofcourse he is allmighty and is knowing about all what is happening in his country cause that is what gives him power.

So yes he should be the strongest and best mortal in Rokugan and therefore normal shoudl win each and eveytime he is challanged. Which is not working when you stat him by default cause than he actually can loose,

 

 

With few notable exceptions, this does not seem to be any more true of emperors of Rokugan than it ever was of emperors in our world. 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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"The gods reprensetative on earth" is what a lot of culture said their emperor was.

 

That amazingly never really stopped the Emperor from being manipulated ; from becoming a puppet to a military leader ; from being killed or anything else of the sort. Both Rokugani and Real history are littered with examples of both.

 

Plus, here's an expression from asian societies that relates to what you just said: losing the mandate of heaven. The Emperor-Heaven link was neither perfect nor permanent. It could be lost. 

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"The gods reprensetative on earth" is what a lot of culture said their emperor was.

 

That amazingly never really stopped the Emperor from being manipulated ; from becoming a puppet to a military leader ; from being killed or anything else of the sort. Both Rokugani and Real history are littered with examples of both.

 

Plus, here's an expression from asian societies that relates to what you just said: losing the mandate of heaven. The Emperor-Heaven link was neither perfect nor permanent. It could be lost. 

 

Ok. First lets leave reality out cause an RPG is a complete ficational world where reality does nmothing but disturbance in.

Losing the mandate from heaven is a chinese saying. Yes the empeor could lose the mandate but only if the gods said he is no longer worthy of it. And most of the time these where the case when some nature phenomeon uccured. Like one time when a lightning striked into the forbidden city burning down half of the palace or when a huge flood occured drowing all the food they needed etc.

The emperor in all asian cultures onyl could be replaced by the will of the gods and not by mortals. In the reality this was allways onyl the explanation for a change be it though a coup or other meanings but for the public it was the gods who did this.

 

So since I don´t go fro the realism appraoch in any RPG I look what I can use and find the Gods.  We  actually have gods and don´t need to use them as explanation for nature or coups and stuff. They are actuall exsistng persons and the empepror actually received their might so the emperor should only be beatable by gods or their represetatives on earth whcih have given him the power of a god and not by a random band of 5 people. Therefore it is better to not stat him .

Edited by Teveshszat

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Chinese Emperor was often replaced by mortals, because when situation in the country was bad, it was perceived as Emperor losing mandate of heavens which gave the people legal (!) and divinely-justified (!) right to overthrow him and install new dynasty. In fact it happened so often that there is a handy graph for it.

 

Mandate-of-Heaven.jpg

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You know what the empepror means in the asian culture? He is the son of the heavens. He is the avatar of the god on earh. Ofcourse he is allmighty and is knowing about all what is happening in his country cause that is what gives him power.

So yes he should be the strongest and best mortal in Rokugan and therefore normal shoudl win each and eveytime he is challanged. Which is not working when you stat him by default cause than he actually can loose,

Ok. First lets leave reality out cause an RPG is a complete ficational world where reality does nmothing but disturbance in.

If you're going to make a claim as to "what the emperor is in Asian culture", you don't get to then also turn around and say "don't bring reality into this discussion about Rokugan". 

 

Either we're using the Asian cultures as a basis for the game, and thus we're not leaving the real world out -- or -- we're leaving reality out, and thus we do not get to refer to what something supposedly was in Asian cultures. 

 

Mandate of Heaven

Son of Heaven

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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If you're going to make a claim as to "what the emperor is in Asian culture", you don't get to then also turn around and say "don't bring reality into this discussion about Rokugan".

 

This is not a probnlem cause what I actually did is I took the parts which never where real. Like the emperor is the son of the heavens (caus this was only ancient believe which was used to ensure that the emperor stays the ruler) and

ported this into Rokugan. I actually striped it from all reality like for example that it only was a coverup for the claim of power adn that the mandate of heaven was just ajuristification why he should stay in power etc.

And since  neither the mandate of Heaven nor the Son of heaven are actual reality cause science and history has proven this wrong Iam not suing reality here but only things with where preceived to be real but actually are not.

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So you're telling us that something that was never real in "reality", and never true in Rokugan, should be the basis for the game...why?

 

"The emperor is the conduit of heaven" is, (excluding Hantei I and Iweko I), a belief that's exactly as real as similar beliefs in the real world.

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So you're telling us that something that was never real in "reality", and never true in Rokugan, should be the basis for the game...why?

 

"The emperor is the conduit of heaven" is, (excluding Hantei I and Iweko I), a belief that's exactly as real as similar beliefs in the real world.

 

No Iam telling you that somthing that never was real in reality is not real and therefore can be used in a fictional setting.

Also nothing can be real in Rokugan cause Rokugan itself is not real but a fiction which  has not one true version but many different ones, cause the view how Rokugan behaves changes from player to player within the given mechancial boarders of the RPG).

So while the mechanics stay for hwo you attack etc all other things can be totaly different depending on the group of players which plays in it.

Therefore the emperor totaly can be what I described or not. The question is what version do you want encourage.

And encouraging the thought that he actually is not allmightand statting him would lead to the probelm that by playing after the book each party if they play llong enough at some point can kill the emperor

whcich actually woul make him not powerful but a joke at some point and thats not something I want to happen.

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If you want to make the emperor that, then you're playing with a version of the emperor that is outside Rokugan's canon. 

 

That's your right, of course (and is ALWAYS the right of any gamemaster), but in that case, why do you care what the emperor's canon stats are? You're already changing the canon anyway. 

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That's your right, of course (and is ALWAYS the right of any gamemaster), but in that case, why do you care what the emperor's canon stats are? You're already changing the canon anyway.

 

Cause I want to avoid the issued which appread when things like Cthullu where stated the first time. If it ahs stats you can kill it. So if you want something by deault not killable don´t give it stats to avoid problems in playing groups. Not very difficult.

Yes I see that you could assume that there are reason x,y,z why the stats should not lead people to kill the emperor or that there are other things but actually this is a bad way to do it. If you assume a certain behavior or build your rules on assumptions

this will go stray for sure so if you want to be safe. If you don´t want something to kill this person in a regular game than don´t stat it.

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Ultimately, the question is:

 

In the canon version of Rokugan, is the emperor killable? And the answer to that is: yes, very much so. That being the answer, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving the emperor's stats - and nothing wrong with the emperor getting killed if that's the way your game happens. 

 

If someone wants to make a version of Rokugan where the emperor has all the power of heaven and is effectively unkillable, that's their own business, but they're changing canons, at which point the canon stats shouldn't matter anyway, because the canon emperor does NOT have all the power of heaven at his command.

 

Again, I don't think the Emperor stat should be in the core rulebook ; that's a waste of space and time. On the other hand, if there was to be a setting book at some point detailing major figures of Rokugan, the emperor should definitely be one of them. 

Edited by Himoto

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That's your right, of course (and is ALWAYS the right of any gamemaster), but in that case, why do you care what the emperor's canon stats are? You're already changing the canon anyway.

 

Cause I want to avoid the issued which appread when things like Cthullu where stated the first time. If it ahs stats you can kill it. So if you want something by deault not killable don´t give it stats to avoid problems in playing groups. Not very difficult.

Yes I see that you could assume that there are reason x,y,z why the stats should not lead people to kill the emperor or that there are other things but actually this is a bad way to do it. If you assume a certain behavior or build your rules on assumptions

this will go stray for sure so if you want to be safe. If you don´t want something to kill this person in a regular game than don´t stat it.

 

 

I can easily make a statted character that no character can kill. In fact, I can easily make a statted Emperor of Rokugan, that no character - regardless of rank and skill/ring scores - can kill.

 

The notion that stats = killable is rather silly.

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That's your right, of course (and is ALWAYS the right of any gamemaster), but in that case, why do you care what the emperor's canon stats are? You're already changing the canon anyway.

 

Cause I want to avoid the issued which appread when things like Cthullu where stated the first time. If it ahs stats you can kill it. So if you want something by deault not killable don´t give it stats to avoid problems in playing groups. Not very difficult.

Yes I see that you could assume that there are reason x,y,z why the stats should not lead people to kill the emperor or that there are other things but actually this is a bad way to do it. If you assume a certain behavior or build your rules on assumptions

this will go stray for sure so if you want to be safe. If you don´t want something to kill this person in a regular game than don´t stat it.

 

 

I can easily make a statted character that no character can kill. In fact, I can easily make a statted Emperor of Rokugan, that no character - regardless of rank and skill/ring scores - can kill.

 

The notion that stats = killable is rather silly.

 

INtresting mind game please do this and I will try to kill him afterwards.

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As I don't want to break copyright too much - go check the second column of page 170 in "Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire". You have your instructions there, for the easiest way to achieve such a goal.

 

First I havce to say this is an old edtion and does not applly anymore since it was replkaced by other book namely the 4th edtion. So yeah nothing which is from a edtion before should effect the current world of the 4th edition.

But non the less I have read the paragraph and have to say that it just says something I want to prevent which is Gm abitarity. Yes you can do what is writtne there but this is just bad as Gm cause you refuse to be consequent with the actions you and your players

resolved.

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I'm starting to think being a GM for you would be a horrible experience, from all your statement on all the things you don't want a GM to do...

 

Being a GM *does* mean having to guide your players a bit, which does include working outside the rules. There's no way around it. If your players just wander around doing whatever they want, they'll get bored - unexpected obstacles and plot twists is the soul of keeping the game interesting. And that means, sometime, deciding that something they want to do just won't work. Or that a last-minute plot twist is going to prevent them from succeeding too early.  

 

Plus, you have to be really careful about letting players take over the plot, because often it will be one or two players doing it, while the others are just forced along for the ride, getting bored while these one or two players hijack the entire campaign into their own story. 

Edited by Himoto

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I'm starting to think being a GM for you would be a horrible experience, from all your statement on all the things you don't want a GM to do...

 

Being a GM *does* mean having to guide your players a bit, which does include working outside the rules. There's no way around it. If your players just wander around doing whatever they want, they'll get bored - unexpected obstacles and plot twists is the soul of keeping the game interesting. And that means, sometime, deciding that something they want to do just won't work. Or that a last-minute plot twist is going to prevent them from succeeding too early.  

 

Plus, you have to be really careful about letting players take over the plot, because often it will be one or two players doing it, while the others are just forced along for the ride, getting bored while these one or two players hijack the entire campaign into their own story. 

 

You can create plot twists and a intresting story and play without bending the rules. As far as I know this worked pretty well for the most part of my play groups Iam part of. Andd if it does not work we actually discuss houserules before the game and establish them.

Going during the game and say... yeah this does not work is not a good Idea to do.

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As I don't want to break copyright too much - go check the second column of page 170 in "Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire". You have your instructions there, for the easiest way to achieve such a goal.

 

First I havce to say this is an old edtion and does not applly anymore since it was replkaced by other book namely the 4th edtion. So yeah nothing which is from a edtion before should effect the current world of the 4th edition.

But non the less I have read the paragraph and have to say that it just says something I want to prevent which is Gm abitarity. Yes you can do what is writtne there but this is just bad as Gm cause you refuse to be consequent with the actions you and your players

resolved.

 

 

Given that it is a section of GM advice, there is no expiration date. It can be used on any RPG, of any edition, in any language. Everyone is free to use it, at any time - as they are free not to. It all depends on personal preference.

 

As for GM arbitrarity... well, I'm sorry to break it to you, but the Gamemaster, as the narrator of the story the players are playing, has to be arbitrary. His is the responsibility of keeping the story, the chronicle even, developing along the general lines he planned. This is different from railroading (which it seems you're confusing it with), where the GM forces a very specific path to be followed, and removes even the illusion of choice from the hands of the players. If the GM is not willing (or not capable) to take this responsibility, to guide the players through the story he's narrating, then he is not a very good GM - and as I said before, he should ask someone else to take over the job of GMing.

 

As for consequences of actions, please.... that argument is hilarious, especially in the context we were talking of "killing a powerful and iconic NPC". The consequence of such an action, in the world of L5R, would be the entire guard/army/samurai that followed said powerful/iconic NPC falling on top of the 4-6 Player Characters. By sheer force of numbers, the characters would die. Chronicle over, no more fun to be had.

 

Finally, an average GM is able to do all, all that guiding the players and directing the story, without being blatantly obvious. A good GM does so with barely a hint of guiding. An awesome GM is able to manipulate the players' emotions into following the general path he thought for the story. Resorting only to random chance of dice, using them as an excuse not to have a hand in the story, is the sign of a bad GM. Judging from your posts, especially the last one ( with lines such as "Going during the game and say... yeah this does not work is not a good Idea to do."), leads me to believe that you met plenty of bad GMs (as only a bad GM would be so blunt), but few (if any) awesome ones, and that's a pity.

Edited by Bayushi Karyudo

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