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SirEuain

Story Changes

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Okay, I'm in a bit of a hurry this morning, so I'll admit I've not looked into this as much as I should. Sorry about that.

That said, what are the divergent plots so far?

I saw that Hoturi is now Hotaru, a woman, which means she's no longer Dairu's father. Dairu's death at Hoturi's hands is what pushed Kachiko to unleash the False Hoturi, who led a major part of the Shadowlands forces in Rokugan before Yogo Junzo openly led the Horde. The False Hoturi, in turn, devastated Crane troops to the point that the Crane essentially bought out the Mantis to be their mercenary army. Yoritomo used this to help fund his alliance of minor clans, which he leveraged into Mantis ascension to Great Clan status.

The Phoenix appear to be flirting with maho use before the Black Scrolls open, which is a departure. In prior canon, using the Black Scrolls was considered a necessary evil, with the maho use that followed due to the Phoenix being that desperate to stop Fu Leng.

The army south of the wall is already a rumored factor, and appears distinct from any of the clans. By this point in the prior canon, even the Crab thought this was only a rumor, with only Kisada, Yakamo, and Yori knowing better (and only Yori intending to join with that army). 

The Dragon are dealing with a new sect of Shinseiism, which is presumably either completely divergent from prior canon, or based on the Togashi/Hitomi/Hoshi feud, or else Fudoism. Not enough info, really.

The Unicorn champion is now a woman, and Utaku (no O) Kamoko is already on her hate quest against the Lion.

Did I miss anything?

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Oh, and I have to add how happy it makes me to see the Utaku family just have that name from the start. The whole "Otaku" thing made me cringe, and I can't help but assume people at AEG felt the same way, which is why you had that weird "we'll never live up to Kamoko, so let's change our family name" in-story retcon.

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1 minute ago, Grandmikus said:

Well the Otaku bloodline was obsessed about horses and cavalary, so that surename was spot on.

 

In the Japanese sense of the word, sure, where you can be a train otaku or whatever. But its connotations in English-language usage were really distracting.

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Just now, Doji Satevis said:

Why default to tradition here when we have an entire new version of Rokugan to play with?

This.

I have to contrast it with Vampire: The Requiem, where some stuff was very new, but other changes were so tiny as to be arbitrary and pointless. Why did White Wolf change the Malkavians to the Malkovians? Swapping out a vowel accomplished nothing there. But I was okay with changing the Brujah to the Bruja, because that's a real Spanish word, and you might as well spell it correctly. To me, the Otaku/Utaku change is on par with the Brujah/Bruja one; it gets you away from a nomenclature that had problems (in this case, a distracting real-world meaning that didn't mesh with how the characters would actually name a family).

Overall, I like the balance we're seeing here. It's still recognizably Rokugan prior to the Scorpion Clan Coup -- they didn't just reinvent the setting wholesale, with all-new characters or different clans or anything like that -- but with enough changes that it's clear the story will not necessarily go down the same path as before. I think it was cielago in another thread who pointed out that it might be the Crab Clan Coup, or the Lion Clan Coup, or whatever, and we might wind up with a Crane or Scorpion Dynasty when the dust settles. It'll make the L5R wiki even more of a mess than it already is, but I'm keen on the chance for things to go in new directions.

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5 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

If they're just changing some name tags and doing the Coup through the Clan Wars again, consider my interest in the story as about nil.

 

There are already visible changes that go beyond simply changing name tags.

What degree of alteration would you hope to see, to keep your interest?

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I'll refrain myself from any sort of comments until we have a better idea about what kind of story FFG will be telling and how the players will be able to influence it, something we still do not know much 

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7 minutes ago, Tetsuhiko said:

I'll refrain myself from any sort of comments until we have a better idea about what kind of story FFG will be telling and how the players will be able to influence it, something we still do not know much 

 

I imagine someone will ask that during the AMA tomorrow.

And by "someone," I mean "at least seventeen people."

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28 minutes ago, Kinzen said:

 

There are already visible changes that go beyond simply changing name tags.

What degree of alteration would you hope to see, to keep your interest?

No Coup.  (No, "having it be the Lion/Unicorn/Flying Purple Hippo who do it" isn't enough of a change)

If we MUST revisit the Clan War era (again. For some reason.) it needs a very different structure. Because we've been there, done that, and the crap it baked into the setting led to some of the biggest enduring problems. I don't mean simply changing dance partners, either.

Do something new.

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I like that the Dragon are dealing with a failing birthrate as one of their conflicts. Not sure if that was in V1. I look forward to seeing how it works out, along with the other conflicts from the other clans. 

P.S. The new writes up for the Clans are pretty nice also. For folks convenience. 

Quote

The Crab Clan

To the south of Rokugan lie the blighted Shadowlands, a dark realm under the sway of Fu Leng and the corrupted armies from the realm of Jigoku. The only safeguard between the Shadowlands and Rokugan is the mighty Kaiu Wall and its constructers and defenders, the Crab Clan.

To those who look upon the Crab kindly, their strength is impressive and their determination honorable. But to those who do not—those who benefit from the protection of the Wall without knowing the sacrifices it requires—the Crab are impolite brutes, too pigheaded to comprehend the intricacies of court decorum. Regardless of how others might view them, the Crab cannot mire themselves in bickering and intrigue. They present their back to the court only so they may more fully face the true enemy in the Shadowlands beyond.

Quote

The Crane Clan

To the rest of the Empire, the Crane are a study in contrasts. They are both respected and hated for their achievements, both admired and envied for their elegance and grace. They are the makers of beauty and beauty itself, devotees of peace and civility who nonetheless wield lethal blades. From the Crane’s impeccable garments, which set the standards for style in the Empire, to the sprawling beauty and wonder of their Fantastic Gardens, to their seemingly limitless talent for artistic accomplishments and political dominance in Rokugan’s courts, the Crane don’t simply define what it means to be a civilized Empire—they are the very civilized essence of Rokugan.

The Crane are known throughout the Emerald Empire as a political powerhouse, with wise and honorable courtiers guiding the clan and protecting themselves from external threats.

Quote

The Dragon Clan

In contrast to the conformity that permeates the land of Rokugan, the Dragon Clan chases individual enlightenment. Secluded in the northern mountains, the Dragon rarely focus on the internal politics of Rokugan, instead turning their eyes to the future and the mysterious visions of their founder, the Kami Togashi. Indeed, few can truly say they understand the Dragon. Some insist their beloved paradoxes and puzzles are no more than a game, triviality masquerading as depth. To this accusation, the Dragon quote a common saying of their monks:

“What is wisdom?” one asked.

“What is not wisdom?” the other answered.

The Dragon are a mysterious and individualistic clan. 

Quote

The Lion Clan

Sitting opposed to the Crane’s political skills is the pure military might of the Lion Clan. Every samurai who lives in Rokugan measures courage, honor, and duty against the standard set by the Lion Clan. With the largest standing army in Rokugan, the Lion have earned their place as the Right Hand of the emperor. Above all, the Lion Clan lives, breathes, and dies for the Emperor and Rokugan. Should the interests of the Emperor and the welfare of the Empire diverge, toward what deadly paths or dishonorable fates would the Lion march?

The Lion are a proud, aggressive, and violent clan that leverages its strong military skill to win conflicts. 

Quote

The Phoenix Clan

The Phoenix is a symbol of contradictions: explosive power and great restraint, vast intelligence and deep humility, immolating self-sacrifice and glorious rebirth. These entwined virtues illuminate the path of Rokugan’s most mystical Great Clan, the keepers of the Tao of Shinsei and caretakers of the Empire’s soul.  

The Phoenix are the masters of magic in Rokugan, but they are also staunch pacifists with little interest in warfare. 

Quote

The Scorpion Clan

With six terrible words, the Kami Bayushi set his followers in the newly founded Scorpion Clan on a dark and dangerous path. Enemies loomed beyond Rokugan’s borders, but they also lurked within them. Bayushi swore to protect the Empire by any means necessary. Where the Code of Bushidō tied the Emperor’s Left and Right Hands—the courtiers of the Crane and the mighty legions of the Lion—the Emperor’s Underhand could still reach. To combat the liars, the thieves, and the traitors within the Great Clans, Bayushi’s followers would have to lie, steal, and cheat in turn. The weapons of the Scorpion became blackmail and poison and sabotage. The Scorpion dirtied their hands so that others’ could remain pure.

Yet in spite of—and perhaps because of—the clan’s fearsome reputation, there is none more loyal than a Scorpion. In a clan of deceivers and manipulators, trust is a hard-earned treasure to be cherished and guarded. Such fierce loyalty is a small consolation, at least, given the dangerous but vital role the Scorpion have played in the Empire from the moment their Kami spoke his fateful words: “I will be your villain, Hantei.”

Quote

The Unicorn Clan

For 800 years, the Ki-Rin Clan journeyed beyond Rokugan’s borders, in search of external threats to the Emerald Empire. In these foreign lands, the clan learned to adapt, to do whatever it took to survive. The clan eventually returned to Rokugan, rechristened as the Unicorn Clan, its members speaking foreign tongues, wielding strange weapons, and drawing upon the kami using sorcery known as meishōdō.

The Unicorn’s return was greeted as a barbarian invasion, carving a place in Rokugani society by breaking through the defenses mounted by the Crab and Lion clans. Reintegration has not been without difficulty, but there are lights in the darkness. An ancient treaty with the Crane was honored, providing the Unicorn a strong ally within the Empire. The Phoenix watch Unicorn magic with equal parts interest and concern. The Dragon perceive the wisdom of Shinjo’s children, the Scorpion see the advantage in a pliable ally, and all Rokugan marvels at the speed and might of their magnificent steeds. Perhaps they are, finally, where they belong.

The Unicorn are an aggressive, practical, and nomadic clan that has mastered the arts of mobility and warfare. 

Minus the blurb on how to play the clans for the LCG. 

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It stopped being Otaku when AEG acquired the game in gold edition, but Kamoko had kept the name because of how popular the character was. 

 

I'm really not feeling the character alterations the story.  Unless something changes over the next 4-5 months that helps give us more insight to it, it could be the one thing that is a slap in the face to the veteran community.  Introducing new characters to be the heroes and villains is one thing.  Erasing the existence or remodeling them into a different entity is another. 

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I really like the start point for Crane Clan. Clan traditionally living in a idyllic peaceful wealthyland, ravaged by the natural disaster? How will they deal with it? Will they just go on, pretending that nothing happen? Will the elites of Crane Clan maintain their high lifestyle, letting commoners starve? Or will they compromise and step down a little, to help those under them? Either way, it's a fantastic opportunity to show that beauty is a virtue, something that makes world a better place - not only during peace, but *especially* during times of hardship.

Add the fact that their clan champion is in a fantastic (from a reader's point of view :P) position of "I'm a newbie living in a shadow of my precedessor, and first thing that happens during my reign is THIS?! Why are everyone like, 'Champion-chan-sama, please, could you fix the country, prefferably before the evenings tea party, K THX BAI'?!?!". I can't wait to see her in action!

Scorpion-Lion alliance amuses me greatly.

I always loved potential that Kisada family had, and they feature heavily in our own Rokugan; never liked the canon execution. I hope this incarnation of Kisada will hit the mark for me. 

I like the refocus from HORSES HORSES DID I SAY HORSES / STEREOTYPICALLY MONGOLIAN to "their own unique syncretic mixture" of Unicorn. I also like their inherent conflict. 

Scorpion finally looks like it has a "proper" place in the Empire and a function, without looking like moustache twirling villains. I hope that Kachiko will be abandon her "MASTER SEDUCTRESS BECAUSE IM A WOMAN OK?" shtick, instead focusing on "I'M A SCORPION IMPERIAL ADVISOR, YOU FOOL!"; Never was a fan of the, eh, original Kachiko. Refocusing her might help, imho. 

Phoenix - Unicorn conflict is pretty much one of my favorite wasted plot seeds from AEG L5R. 

Dragons look...interesting. Least hyped for their stuff, mostly because it's all mysterious.

I'm pretty happy that women seem to not only be more numerous, but also not end up as either courtiers/shugenja/subjects of male needs (be it protection or love or whatever). I really hope we will get a story of a fledgling ugly duck Doji maturing into a strong Crane Champion. Excited excited.

What I'm hyped for the most is the fact that it seems that FFG went to the trouble of employing people who are good at navigating Japan and East Asia in general, both in art and writing. Whoever designed the character designs, clothes and hair and stuff, definitely spent HOURS upon HOURS staring at traditional clothes for not only Japan, but also China and other East Asia countries (for example, one of the previewed cards looks like it was heavily inspired by a korean hanbok), As for writing, just the fact that someone went out of trouble to write Bushidō instead of Bushido colors me optimistic. For the first time in a very long, long time, I feel that whoever is working at it, "gets it". I really really hope this quality of writing will remain consistent, and if so...I want an RPG of this. Holy ****, I want an rpg of this!

EDIT
Oh, and I love the unspoken implication that Crane lost the imperial favor not only because they are too busy with their own turf being damaged...but event like tsunami would probably be seen like a bad omen and sign of Heaven's displeasure, so Crane being alienated from the Imperial Court for a time would be very, hm, in spirit of the Celestial Order. I might be reaching and reading too much into it, but I enjoy the fact that there is already room for thinking thoughts like that.

Edited by WHW

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