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BayushiCroy

The Table is Yours - PODCAST

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As a 1-4th ed L5R RPG player, looking to dip his toe into LCG with this game whose first purchased L5R product was Way of the Minor Clans, I am looking forward to seeing Sparrow and Falcon back.  I have enjoyed playing characters from both clans and they got screwed hard by the story which both annoyed me to no end.

Love the show. :)

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1 hour ago, DarkHorse said:

As a 1-4th ed L5R RPG player, looking to dip his toe into LCG with this game whose first purchased L5R product was Way of the Minor Clans, I am looking forward to seeing Sparrow and Falcon back.  I have enjoyed playing characters from both clans and they got screwed hard by the story which both annoyed me to no end.

Love the show. :)

Thank you so much. I check back on this thread more often than I should because I love interacting with the folks who listen.

Tell me about the Sparrow and Falcon. I really don't know much about Falcon at all.

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The Falcon Clan

The Falcon clan was established in 834 (so about 3-400 years ago) after the Emperor recognised a peasant for saving the life of an Imperial advisor from a genuine bone fide ninja attack (or was it!?!). 

They live around the haunted forest of Shinomen Mori and specialise in learning about and hunting the evil spirits and ghosts that live in the Shinomen forest.

In 1st ed, they did not have a family name (a rare thing for clan samurai) but did have a unique table of vision based abilities that allowed them to do things like see with perfect vision to seeing without using their eyes (Daredevil style).  I did like that they were investigators and ghostbusters, hunting out evil but that it wasn't Shadowlands taint cut and dry outside forces evil but rather ghosts and spirits, the mysterious forces that would exist even without the Shadowlands.  That and they had a dueling system involving fruit.  Basically when a duel was called for instead of attacking the other person directly, they would get blindfolded and play fruit ninja (if you know that phone app game) meaning that the deck was so heavily stacked against a non-Falcon who had not trained their whole life to see without using their eyes.  The idea was that the Falcon samurai were so rare, they could not afford unnecessary violence or deaths.

They have a strong alliance with the Centipede as the Centipede are people of the Sun/light and a fierce rivalry with the Hare leading to a fun story beat called "The Three Week Visit" where the Hare annexed Falcon farm land while the Falcon let them have it.  A few weeks later, the Hare asked the Falcon for help in defending against bandit raids and weird happenings. The Falcon sent forces to help and the Hare subsequently retreated home, never to tell anyone why they left.  The Falcon just say the Hare came for a three week visit.

Since Falcon hunt spirits, they have a special affinity for crystal (crystal to spirits is like jade to an oni) and they have a special relationship with the Crab especially the Kuni who respect their specialist knowledge of the harmful supernatural that the Kuni do not know about.

The Falcon were also the first real mention of the Lying Darkness I came across.  The Imperial advisor was rescued from was thought to be a ninja attack however it was found to be "just" a peasant possessed and aided by strange magic.  The Kuni found no evidence of taint or maho and had no idea what it was.  The founder (the son of the peasant that saved the advisor's life, his father having been poisoned to death by the ninja) meditated for 73 days straight to work out what had happened.  When he finally rose, all he said was "there are not enough names".  Since then the Falcon peer into the shadows, looking for what is trying to hide.  Usually they find ghosts, spirits or tainted things but sometimes they find something...much scarier.

So yeah the Falcon have this Ghostbusters/BPRD vibe, being cool eye patch grizzled hunter guys who stood alone, protecting the Empire against a different kind of evil than Taint/Maho/SL...until they got absorbed by the Crab and forgotten about during that big ole Shadowlands alliance mess.

And for something to appeal to your Scorpion sensibilities ;) " Nothing hides from the sight of a Falcon. For while the Scorpion know the secrets of the Empire. the Falcon know what moves unseen within its borders."

 

Edited by DarkHorse

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6 minutes ago, DarkHorse said:

If you thought that summary was rambling and long winded, if I was to post "why I love the Sparrow clan" would be twice as long and even more rambling - like any good Sparrow would.

No worries. This gets mentioned in our cast that recorded today. I loved it.

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On 5/7/2017 at 6:17 PM, BayushiCroy said:

Episode 9 - Togashi See; Togashi Do

 

We discuss what we hated about the old game, rules leaks, Dragon Spoilers, and more.

 

Get your questions in for our next episode. Or even join us in Discord for our next recording. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on timing of recordings.

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On 6/29/2017 at 0:30 AM, DarkHorse said:

If you thought that summary was rambling and long winded, if I was to post "why I love the Sparrow clan" would be twice as long and even more rambling - like any good Sparrow would.

Please do! Unless you already have and I can't find it. I love hearing about minor clans. I was only in the game for the first couple editions, and know basically nothing about Hare, Sparrow, Centipede, Ox (I think there was an Ox?), so this write-up is amazingly helpful as a Spark Notes version without going down Wikia rabbit holes.

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I ran a weekly RPG game for around 6 months set around Hare samurai establishing contacts and connections after their clan was reformed so I have a bit to say about them too. ;)

I have not written out a Sparrow summary however it only takes a little bit of encouragement to set me going so let me gather my thoughts...

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6 minutes ago, DarkHorse said:

I ran a weekly RPG game for around 6 months set around Hare samurai establishing contacts and connections after their clan was reformed so I have a bit to say about them too. ;)

I have not written out a Sparrow summary however it only takes a little bit of encouragement to set me going so let me gather my thoughts...

By all means, do both!

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The Sparrow Clan

The Sparrow clan was founded in the year 400 as a result of bad luck or good luck, the jury will forever be out on that.  While observing negotiations between the Crane Champion and Crab emissaries negotiating a potential end to the first Rokugani Civil War, the Crane-Crab War that devastated both clans, a retainer’s son, Doji Suzume, made an off-hand remark that would change the course of history.  Bored and frustrated with the protracted negotiation about shipping lanes and attempting to lighten the mood, he said “maybe the world would be a better place if samurai just gave their wealth to the peasants and allowed them to rule?” Most there thought this was just the remark of an idiot that should be silent but a select few found profound wisdom in this statement. Truthfully, the Crane Champion thought the adult son was speaking on his father’s behalf to undermine the Champion at this sensitive time and was enraged.  The story made its way to Hantei VI who seized on the opportunity to create a buffer between the conflicting clans and instructed Doji Onegano to take anyone who wanted to follow his son’s profound words and to make a new clan in the annexed mountainous border region between the two Great Clans that would become known as the Suzume Hills.  Onegano quietly retired to a monetary and let his son deal with the mess the young man had made. 

The Suzume Hills are most notable for a few reasons – it is extremely poor farm land with a temperamental climate that is bordered by the lush, fertile area known as Golden Sun Plain, a sacrosanct site declared by the Emperor not to be touched by human hands for all time and that the Sparrow still maintain many core Crane traditions.

The poor farmland and climate are vital to understanding the mentality of the Sparrow.  For everyone to eat each season, *everyone* must contribute to working the land.  Unlike the rest of the Empire, this means that Sparrow samurai can be found in the fields working the land alongside peasants.  The climate means that very little is permanent in the Hills, paper rots and houses can be blown away.  As such Sparrow embrace the idea of impermanence as part of their identity and philosophy.  The most beautiful paintings can be created for the canvas to rot away weeks later, the most touching poems in perfect calligraphy can be written but for the paper to fall apart days later -  the Sparrow however do not see this as a loss or a waste.  In that moment, it was beautiful and that is what truly matters.  This is also what leads to the Sparrow reputation as storytellers.  Paper may blow away and books may rot, words are but the wind but can stay mark a person for their entire life.  Samurai outside the clan tend to have the opinion that Sparrow are waffling storytellers that go on and on (Grandpa Simpson style) but I, dear reader, choose to think that they are fully aware of this reputation and are careful in how they cultivate it when dealing with outsiders.  How a listener responds speaks volumes to the tale teller, the Sparrow learning far more from the encounter than the listening samurai eagerly awaiting when this country hick would just shut up but etiquette dictates that they wait for this rambling fool to finish.

10 years after their founding, the Clan was officially tasked by the Imperial Chancellor to guard the Golden Sun Plain. In truth, this was a taunting insult to the clan as the Plain had already been decreed by the Emperor to be sacrosanct but the Suzume chose to take it as a sacred duty that they have honourably followed ever since.  Some of the most fertile land in the Empire is on their doorstep while they toil each day in some of the worst north of the Shadowlands but their honour will never falter, their Watch will never fail.  Theirs is a life of daily hardship which could so easily be relieved but they made a promise and a Sparrow’s word is stronger than Kaiu steel.

Though every Sparrow samurai knows from a young age how to farm, read the weather, sew garments and similar peasant skills, they will never forget their proud Crane roots. The Sparrow clan, some would argue (me included) bear the true soul of the Crane clan.

They train in iajitsu dueling comparable to any skilled Doji though they would never dare use it on each other, seeking mastery of the blade as a tool to master the spirit.  They learn poetry, painting, etiquette, calligraphy and philosophy in the spirit of the Kakita tempered by their daily life of honest toil.  Their peaceful hearts, happy spirits and attention to the land would not be out of place within the Asahina while their determination and dedication to hard work would sit well alongside the Daidoji.  While most outsiders look down at them as the ultimate goshi (country samurai) with dirt under their fingernails, modest spirits, quick smiles and open minds the Sparrow samurai think all of these are positives that make their clan special.  The Sparrow see that they carry Lady Doji’s spirit not with silk kimonos, elaborate castles, chests of gold or political intrigue but with their dedication to each other and the lifelong quest to hone their craft as complete samurai.

When other samurai have a reason to visit the Sparrow clan (a rare occurrence at the best of times) they are known to stop at the modest stable building, the only building they can see, looking for Kyuden Suzume.  The Sparrow have become familiar with carefully explaining that what others think is probably just a stable in fact *is* the castle.  Unbeknownst to most outsiders, there is a complex underground system sheltering the clan holding from the weather.  For a castle to obtain the title Kyuden, it must be physically able to host the Imperial Winter Court and while in practical, political terms this would never happen, the Suzume still take quiet pride that they could host the Emperor with all they have, true to their Crane spirit.

Incidentally, an interesting side effect of the poverty of the clan is that there is virtually no political or material advantage gained by marrying a Sparrow.  As such, they are the samurai in the Empire most likely to marry for love – whether to a peasant or fellow samurai, whatever Benten blesses.  As such, Sparrow families can be a mix of individual social station but bound by genuine affection among partners and children.

---

In more recent history of the clan, they formed the bushi cadre of the Three Man Alliance (with Fox and Wasp clans) but were considered too few in number and power to be included in Yoritomo’s Aliiance (that became the great Mantis clan).

The Sparrow came to most L5R fans’ notice only recently as a result of the tragic tale of the Spider infiltration but that is a tale for another day…

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On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 1:20 AM, DarkHorse said:

As a 1-4th ed L5R RPG player, looking to dip his toe into LCG with this game whose first purchased L5R product was Way of the Minor Clans, I am looking forward to seeing Sparrow and Falcon back.  I have enjoyed playing characters from both clans and they got screwed hard by the story which both annoyed me to no end.

Love the show. :)

Minor Clans seemed to be there at least partly so the writers could say "See? Clans can get ruined or even wiped out!", without actually changing the real status quo of the Great Clans.

One of the first adventures for the 1st Edition L5R RPG was trying to keep the Scorpion (but it was really the Kolat behind it, iirc) from utterly destroying the Hare.

Sparrow and Falcon, yeah, they got subsumed ("Sususumed"?), and Falcon were just screwed/

Dragonfly were almost entirely killed off, as well.
 

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1 hour ago, Togashi Gao Shan said:

Minor Clans seemed to be there at least partly so the writers could say "See? Clans can get ruined or even wiped out!", without actually changing the real status quo of the Great Clans.

[snip]

Dragonfly were almost entirely killed off, as well.
 

We're still here!

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On 5/7/2017 at 6:17 PM, BayushiCroy said:

Episode 10 - Impassive Yet Relentless Duty

 

Crab Story discussion and yearning for spoilers

New episode is up, also

We got a Patreon. Much love to our listeners. We are watching our audience consistently grow and we are humbled. More than a few people have asked for our Patreon page. And it shouldn't be hard to give us money (if inclined). This in no way changes the way we will be producing content. We will still be producing episodes and story readings completely free for the community as a whole.

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13 minutes ago, Shu2jack said:

You'll be spoiling the card after FFG shows us the Crab cards? Or will this an exclusive to your podcast?

Great question. Both. 

It is exclusive to us and recording schedule just worked out that it's after the article. It won't be in the article though. 

Also to be clear, the image will go to the chat during recording. After that it's out of our hands. No need to wait for the ep to go live likely several days later. 

Thanks for asking! 

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Well we now know why we'd stand Kisada to send him to a political conflict.  Rout is not a bad reason if the situation favors it.  Honored Hotaru enters a political debate with Kisada.  Kisada starts swinging his tetsubo.  Hotaru flees the city. 

Edited by phillos

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Great episode except for the (possible) misrepresentation of what Net Neutrality is.

The way you stated it,"We want the internet to be free and we want the internet to be available to everyone to do whatever they want with it," makes it sound like Net Neutrality is about the cost of internet for customers. Your internet bill.

But that's not the "free and available" that Net Neutrality is talking about.

Net Neutrality is about all content on the internet being treated equally by service providers regardless of the source of the content.

For example, without Net Neutrality, Comcast (or whatever service provider you want to reference) can charge Netflix (or whatever content producer you want to reference) more money to ensure high speed delivery of videos to their customers.

If Netflix doesn't pay, the service provider can decrease the speed of Netflix content being streamed or accessed by Comcast customers.

This isn't a big deal for big companies like Netflix who could probably afford to pay these costs, but it heavily impacts smaller companies and content producers who cannot afford such premiums and are therefore boxed out of the market that they should have equivalent access to.

Pro Net Neutrality people claim that they wouldn't slow the non-payers down, they would just provide a "fast lane" to the people who do pay.

Which is political speak for "we're going to do exactly what you're afraid we're going to do."

Maybe this is what you intended to say but, due to the brevity and context of the explanation, you made it sound like Net Neutrality is a push to make internet cost free to customers, such as those on the internet reading this post right now, which it is not. 

 

:)

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There is absolutely no reason why we as the consumer wouldn't want Net Neutrality.  I already pay a king's ransom for my internet, and this just allows ISPs to establish a stranglehold on all online business.  Talk about a win more strategy :)

I'm surprised this is even still a thing we have to fight.  Luckily many of the businesses this would harm are also economic powerhouses with just as much power to lobby against it.

Edited by phillos

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