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Ryoshun Higoka

All Aboard the Nostalgia Train - Who's Your Guy?

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I loved a lot of the art and cards over the years, but I'm a word person.  

 

KYD Tadaka's "You run, I die." (comma splice not withstanding) always resonates with me.

 

As for art?  Kachiko's art from letting in the Thunders (which they wisely centered on Time of the Void) is one of the single most impressive pieces of art in the game for evoking a pivotal moment and making people who don't know the game want to know . . . more . . . about the game.  I know, because I've taught more than 140 people how to play the RPG, and I always use that art as a selling point to convince them to play.  I have never known it not to work.

 

Interestingly, most of my favorite characters had rather crappy art on their cards.

Remembering characters like Kachiko really shows how flat the storyline became. She really was such a powerful personality.

 

I think that depends of time when someone entered a game. Everything before Samurai was a myth for me so that's why Chagatai and Khan's March are more closer and vibrant for me than Seven Thunders, Clan Wars etc because i joined game then just before Lotus end.

 

 

Chagatai was a really good story arc too. I was more referring to Ivory edition. There were loads of Iconic characters around after Spirit wars too.

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Personal favourite of mine was Bayushi Yojiro. The paradigm of an honest scorpion (Junshin) and how it's both an asset and a burden is very itneresting to me. I used to always play him in my GE scorpion decks even though he was pretty much useless at the time. Always thought he was one of the personalities who was completely let down by card design.

 

 

I agree with both--don't forget Yojiro is really first established by his relationship/interaction with Kachiko in Way of the Scorpion, and he's one of the few that, as time went by, didn't seem to falter with his characterization.  His conflict between honesty and loyalty was always there.

 

As for the card vs story conflict, though I would never actually claim him as my favorite, I do have a soft spot for Yoritomo Buntaro--and not even for his story. He had an absolutely crappy card and very little time in actual story, but his card and story were so quirky and bad that he developed an entire "cult" following that insisted on recommending him for absolutely everything. (Because, of course, he'd give it back.)  I don't think that's something anyone could have planned or predicted when the original card came out.

Edited by Azamiko

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It's hard to build strong, well-characterized, fascinating characters when you have a hundred hands on the steering wheel all insisting on story time for their favorite, and all insisting on their interpretation of their favorite. 

 

Which is what happened as more and more story control slipped from story to players. Clan War, the players only influenced a handful of story point, and even then only really got to influence the story between a handful of preselected results.

 

I mean, can you imagine "Top of clan get to chose their faction'S thunder" at GenCon 1997? We'd have ended up with the story of...okay, probably *still* Kachiko and Kamoko because they were the only personalities of their respective clans at the time trying to take down Fu Fu along with Togashi Mitsu, Kakita Shijin, Matsu Gohei, Yakamo-the-Oni and Isawa Tsuke. 

 

It might not have been quite as memorable a story. 

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Bonus points to Yojiro's mechanics flowing from his character when he finally became Champion. He would be a good Scorpion daimyo, even if it killed him.

 

I'd have to say the most satisfying character overall is Chagatai. While I didn't really care much for the Lords of Death opening to his story, once the Four Winds arc ramped up he was right there for the entirety of it, being a hero to the Unicorn and a villain to his enemies. His personality remained consistent, his methods were more daring than pretty much anyone anticipated in story, and he got me interested in the Race to the Throne. The worst I could say about him is he probably killed one too many Lion daimyo, continuing the long, sad drought of solid Lion victories for no real reason.

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List of guys I really like in no particular order based off fiction and rpg.

 

Kakita Noritoshi, Doji Kurohito, Yasuki Hachi, Bayushi Muhito, Bayushi Shoju, Asahina Sekewa, Matsu Nimuro, Bayushi Paneki.

 

Huh, looks like I am a little biased with Crane and Scorpion lol.

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Toturi Tsudao easy first on the list :D

Otaku Kamoko

Doji Yasuyo

 

I was loving the Shinjo Min Hee / Moto Naleesh arc and his direction in onyx...

 

Special prize for Doji Domotai : not my vision of the perfect crane but yet an impressive daimyo and stories...

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I could just say Daigotsu, Kanpeki, Goju Yurishi and Goju Kumoru and be done with it but my favorite Spider will always be Daigotsu Arakan.

 

Arakan Exp was the first Spider character I actually looked up the lore for. His flavor text of "Rise. My son wishes to meet you." caught my attention immediately. His story was a somber, sad tale but one I fell in love with.

 

Arakan was a lion tainted in the destroyer war. Instead of killing himself to restore his honor as the lion were known and expected to do he feared death and desired to live and so left the clan, and his pregnant wife, behind and joined the Spider clan in the colonies.

 

Over the years Arakan wrote letter after letter to his dear wife, telling her about his journeys, his struggles, his achievements and his hopes and even dreams. He ended his letters with a hope that she would write back, someday.

 

So I always imagined this worn down, hard working warrior. Facing the monstrous creatures of the jungles, the persecution of the other clans, fighting the endless hordes of cultists and surrounded by madmen and monsters. However each night he would return home and think of his dearest wife, of the life he lost and maybe... just maybe, if he kills enough cultists, if he rises high enough in the Spider, if he does great enough achievements... he might one day get back that which he lost, he might return to the life he mourned for.

 

Arakan was a man that never accepted the taint, he never sought its power but through it lost everything. At that moment, when death was the only expectation given to him he wanted more, and the Spider offered it to him. He grew powerful, tempered, and controlled among the spider, even though the taint was corrupting his very soul he strived to be better and better, climb higher and higher in hopes of someday winning back the women he loved, who meant the world to him, anything to mend the void.

 

It all leads to the fiction Severed Bonds from http://www.kazenoshiro.com/2012/09/30/scenes-from-the-empire-28/

 

In it Arakan finally gets a letter in return, but not from his wife...

 

His son, Zansho, writes to him, telling him that his wife, in shame of Arakan's joining of the Spider, abandoned the Lion Clan and became a ronin all those decades ago. She and Zansho suffered deeply from his actions. Zansho describes his utter hatred of his father and his anger at learning that his mother, recently deceased, had been keeping the letters she received from him. He states he has dedicated his life for one goal, to journey to the colonies, find Arakan and end him once and for all.

 

The next time we see Arakan's story again, he is watching ships arrive in the colonies and notices a single lone Ronin disembark. He greets the Ronin, realizes who he is, and then the story stops there.

 

That freaking got to me back when I started and its how I best see the Spider as characters.

 

So not only was his story a tear jerker, but his card and Zansho's were amazing.

 

I always like the little flavor in even his experienced form's ability. Zansho can never join a spider clan player, but never the less, Arakan's ability states "Equip a non-Unique Follower in your discard pile to Arakan or Zansho". Even on the field of battle, even when facing his own son, trying to take his very life, his love for his family is there and he can offer aid in the only way he knows how.

 

The story has no resolution, we will never know what became of Arakan and Zansho... Its just left to our imagination.

 

That simple development made perhaps the saddest story in emperor edition and created one of the most interesting Spider characters seen in years.

 

 

Each day I think of you and each day I mourn the loss of what we once shared. It can never be again. I resolved myself to that stark reality a very long time ago, but I cannot help but think that perhaps if I achieve sufficient greatness, then… well, that is a matter for playwrights and poets I suppose.                                                                                                                                    ~ Daigotsu Arakan

 

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Late to the party, but if there's an iconic character in l5r.. but loved, is Bayushi Kwanchai. 

 

How can you say no to Kwanchai... KWAAANNNCHAAAAIIIIII

 

One of the best moments of the Race fictions was Kwanchai holding Kaukatsu.

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Big Daddy Y was who caught my attention from the get go. So much so that his primary artist Jason Behnke was one of the first people I looked to interview for my site(Interview here). The man was a mountain and took what he wanted. Respect? he took it. Great Clan Status? he took it. Your province? yea he took that too

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Otomo Suikihime. I got into the L5R RPG in late 09 with 3rd R and then followed with 4th. A guy from my FLGS told me that AEG writes weekly/monthly stories for L5R and the whole deal with the CCG and the interactive story. So I checked out one of these fictions and she was the character that drew me into the story. Later, when her artwork was revealed.....  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o

 

And the rest is history. 

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I started in late Samurai/Early Celestial and play Unicorn, so Moto Chen. I should say Chagatai, but he had already been banned by the time I got into tournaments, so it was Chen.

 

Later Chen v2.0 came out as Moto Jihn-Sahn. Basically the same guy as Chen xp3, but he did not ignore Politicals, got bigger the more people had died, and had the best keyword ever, "Favored of the Lords of Death."

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As someone who entered the CCG fairly early, and became only an intermittent player after Time of the Void, most of my choices will be from that era. It has been stated that most of the story was flat unmemorable at TotV, and it was defended that it depended upon when you entered. So I will pick one ultra memorable character from each faction, just to give a taste of what the game looked like to me. It will be based purely upon CCG art, sayings, imperial herald stories, l5r website stories, rulebook stories, and promo cards.

 

Crab: Hida Sukune and Yasuki Taka- The First Shadow Warrior to my knowledge, it was later found out that he dwelled in his older siblings' shadows, and was a disappointment to The Great Bear. While I admittedly loved Kisada, Sukune's spiritual strength, enough to re-emerge from the afterlife as a spirit, seemed to say to me that he was the strongest of the four. This was later equalized with Yakamo becoming a half naga sun god thing, Kisada a Fortune and returning multiple times... but you get the jist. As for Taka, who can't love a wily trader. The Stories about him just made him waaaay better.

 

Crane: Daidoji Uji and Kakita Toshimoko - Toshimoko's smirk while he held his sword was all I needed. I fell in love with the Grey Crane. The next card in the pile was Shred-- I mean Uji. Looking at him, I already knew he was different. I just didn't how different he would eventually be.

 

Dragon: Mirumoto Daini and Togashi Mitsu - Daini's card promised much from him in the future, and it eventually delivered. Mitsu was a fire breathing bad ass.

 

Lion: Kage and Tsuko - No explaination needed really. Kage was The Master, and Tsuko was just... hardcore. Her sayings were so tingly, and told a person what it really meant to be a samurai, as well as a person: "There is no greater loyalty but to the emperor. There is no honor but to die in his name", "Heroes Live Forever, Legends never die." It's sad that they turned her drive into something fueled by being an angry woman, and not into something more... substantial.

 

Phoenix: Tadaka and Tsukune - Tadaka's card art was just awesome. The fact that Peaceful looking Tsukune made someone scared on the battlefield clenched it.

 

Scorpion: Aramoro and Kachiko - Aramoro was Kachiko's bodyguard, and in my mind, they were lovers, at the least. The fact that he was a ninja and strong enough to bring a province to it's knees production wise was just a bonus. Kachiko? She was the Black Widow of Rokugan. She was sexy too.

 

Unicorn: Kamoko and Baiken - While Karasu's art awesome, I loved the combo of Kamoko and Baiken. They created a powerhouse combo that was hard to deal with unless you had direct kill actions. The fact that Kamoko would later become pivotal to the story was a bonus. The fact that the Unicorn really wouldn't be figured out until Way of the Unicorn hit shelves was sad.

 

Unaligned: Toturi and Toku - I only knew about Akodo Toturi because the friend that introduced me to L5R had the imperial edition card, and he didn't show me until after I got my unaligned Toturi out of an Emerald Edition pack. We were both a bit confused at how that could happen, and I told him Toturi had to be important to get that card change. It was confirmed with the BoBP boxed set hitting the shelves. As for Toku? He was 0/1 and had hardcore sayings attached to him in flavor text. I knew he was going somewhere.

 

Naga: Mara and Ashlim - I will admit that a Naga cavalry personality, plus the good art made me drawn to her. Ashlim could remove the shadowlands taint, which brings us to...

 

Shadowlands: Junzo and Tsume - While they are two of a dozen humanoid shadowlands personalities, something inside of me was drawn to them whenever I constructed a shadowlands deck. I wouldn't use them, goblins and ogres. I seldom touched the Oni as they seemed generic to me. When their backstories were revealed, I was glad with my choices.

 

My favorite personality of all time, all inclusive, has to be Yokuni. Before the revisionist history came in, he was the man. He showed up in so much lore and was so old wise dragon, even though we didn't know that until Way of the Dragon. He was knowledge, and he was power. The flavor they gave him later, only added to that. He was pivotal without being in the limelight or in your face.

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As someone who entered the CCG fairly early, and became only an intermittent player after Time of the Void, most of my choices will be from that era. It has been stated that most of the story was flat unmemorable at TotV, and it was defended that it depended upon when you entered. So I will pick one ultra memorable character from each faction, just to give a taste of what the game looked like to me. It will be based purely upon CCG art, sayings, imperial herald stories, l5r website stories, rulebook stories, and promo cards.

 

Crab: Hida Sukune and Yasuki Taka- The First Shadow Warrior to my knowledge, it was later found out that he dwelled in his older siblings' shadows, and was a disappointment to The Great Bear. While I admittedly loved Kisada, Sukune's spiritual strength, enough to re-emerge from the afterlife as a spirit, seemed to say to me that he was the strongest of the four. This was later equalized with Yakamo becoming a half naga sun god thing, Kisada a Fortune and returning multiple times... but you get the jist. As for Taka, who can't love a wily trader. The Stories about him just made him waaaay better.

 

Crane: Daidoji Uji and Kakita Toshimoko - Toshimoko's smirk while he held his sword was all I needed. I fell in love with the Grey Crane. The next card in the pile was Shred-- I mean Uji. Looking at him, I already knew he was different. I just didn't how different he would eventually be.

 

Dragon: Mirumoto Daini and Togashi Mitsu - Daini's card promised much from him in the future, and it eventually delivered. Mitsu was a fire breathing bad ass.

 

Lion: Kage and Tsuko - No explaination needed really. Kage was The Master, and Tsuko was just... hardcore. Her sayings were so tingly, and told a person what it really meant to be a samurai, as well as a person: "There is no greater loyalty but to the emperor. There is no honor but to die in his name", "Heroes Live Forever, Legends never die." It's sad that they turned her drive into something fueled by being an angry woman, and not into something more... substantial.

 

Phoenix: Tadaka and Tsukune - Tadaka's card art was just awesome. The fact that Peaceful looking Tsukune made someone scared on the battlefield clenched it.

 

Scorpion: Aramoro and Kachiko - Aramoro was Kachiko's bodyguard, and in my mind, they were lovers, at the least. The fact that he was a ninja and strong enough to bring a province to it's knees production wise was just a bonus. Kachiko? She was the Black Widow of Rokugan. She was sexy too.

 

Unicorn: Kamoko and Baiken - While Karasu's art awesome, I loved the combo of Kamoko and Baiken. They created a powerhouse combo that was hard to deal with unless you had direct kill actions. The fact that Kamoko would later become pivotal to the story was a bonus. The fact that the Unicorn really wouldn't be figured out until Way of the Unicorn hit shelves was sad.

 

Unaligned: Toturi and Toku - I only knew about Akodo Toturi because the friend that introduced me to L5R had the imperial edition card, and he didn't show me until after I got my unaligned Toturi out of an Emerald Edition pack. We were both a bit confused at how that could happen, and I told him Toturi had to be important to get that card change. It was confirmed with the BoBP boxed set hitting the shelves. As for Toku? He was 0/1 and had hardcore sayings attached to him in flavor text. I knew he was going somewhere.

 

Naga: Mara and Ashlim - I will admit that a Naga cavalry personality, plus the good art made me drawn to her. Ashlim could remove the shadowlands taint, which brings us to...

 

Shadowlands: Junzo and Tsume - While they are two of a dozen humanoid shadowlands personalities, something inside of me was drawn to them whenever I constructed a shadowlands deck. I wouldn't use them, goblins and ogres. I seldom touched the Oni as they seemed generic to me. When their backstories were revealed, I was glad with my choices.

 

My favorite personality of all time, all inclusive, has to be Yokuni. Before the revisionist history came in, he was the man. He showed up in so much lore and was so old wise dragon, even though we didn't know that until Way of the Dragon. He was knowledge, and he was power. The flavor they gave him later, only added to that. He was pivotal without being in the limelight or in your face.

 

No Mantis?  ;_;

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They were known as Yoritomo's alliance back then. I'd say my favorite YA personalities were Yoritomo and Kanbe. Yoritomo's Card art and attitude, and Kanbe's mercenary ability made them perfect examples of what YA was about.

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My favorite personalities ever were Hirariko, Mamoru and the Ninja Shapeshifter. I have no idea what they were doing in the fiction, but those three were certainly my favorite personality cards of all time.

I also played Goblins a lot, so Goblin Warmonger, Goblin Wizard, Glick.

In the later editions I played, I don't know that there were many characters I felt strongly attached to. I think I played tainted Phoenix more often than anything else, so I liked Asako Misao as I could purify my evil shugenja. Earlier, in gold, I know there was a Phoenix Shugenja/Courtier I liked because I could use her to redirect my honor loses to the opponent.

I think out of fiction characters, my favorite was Chuda Mishimi-- though, to be honest, I missed the later half of what he did. I used Chuda Masaro far more often.

Otherwise I think I would have to go with Kachiko, probably one of the most well-received characters in all the history of the game. They kept her around for the perfect amount of time, removing her from the story before she would have destroyed it. I was never particularly good with Scorpion though, so I never used her in the game much.

 

Its kind of funny how fuzzy trying to remember what my favorite personalities to run were.

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