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Just now, JJ48 said:

Oh, of course.  I'm forgetting the "wound" that in no way impaired her ability to fight nor even warranted having it checked before the caravan began moving again.  Silly me.

:D Hey, you said no exertion. Silly me for pointing out that wound, which certainly implies she's less than the perfect fighter you're arguing for.

Come on, you're just digging in now.

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I rather enjoyed the story. It puts a spin on the original story, and while I'm not certain as to the reasoning behind making Hotari a female and still enamored with Kachiko, it doesn't bother me. I'm more a fan in the Hotaru character, as I seem to prefer the Crane Champion as a female, maybe just a mental connection to the Kami or something, but it always feels right to me. 

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55 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

In fact, we have a pretty good idea of his skill level.  He has a Military Skill of 3, but no Military-related abilities.  Which is good enough, although equalled by 3 bandits, so they probably have a Military Skill of 1 each.

I'll now guess that Hotaru has about 5.

No military related abilities other than revealing another dynasty card. That's how Hotaru really entered the scene. ;)

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2 minutes ago, RandomJC said:

:D Hey, you said no exertion. Silly me for pointing out that wound, which certainly implies she's less than the perfect fighter you're arguing for.

Come on, you're just digging in now.

There's a major difference between "exertion" and "wound", though I still don't really see how we can call it any more than a scratch.  I suppose next time I reach into a blackberry bush and my arm comes too close to its thorns, I should make sure to bow to such a worthy opponent.

5 minutes ago, KerenRhys said:

Lol, that's false and you know it. At this point, you're just being stubborn. Moreover, you're adding stuff to the story that were not here just to support your point. Nowhere it's said that all the guards were swarmed. On the contrary, it's said that the other guards were driving the ambushers back, so either they weren't as swarmed as Nerishma or Nerishma is the lowest skilled guard of the caravan. Your choice, both go against your arguments.

...or else they were close enough together to coordinate after the initial surprise was gone.  And even if Nerishma were the lowest-skill guard, how would that go against my arguments?  My point was that people were claiming that someone with training shouldn't be expected to need any effort against such foes, and Nerishma had training.  Whether he's the lowest skill of the bunch or not, he's still a bushi, and at least good enough that he's going with the caravan.

As for whether the others were swarmed or not, that's less "adding to the story" and more "logical conclusion drawn from what's in the story".  Nerishma has three guys attacking him, and there appear to be plenty more around.  Why wouldn't they swarm the others?  That's not even advanced tactics or anything; it's just common sense.

 

Maybe I am being stubborn, and I'm certainly being unfair, but I am legitimately concerned here.  It's not simply that I found the story rather underwhelming, it's more the response to the story.  There have been a few people who actually discussed its flaws and its strengths, but it seems far more people (both here and on the L5R Facebook page) just scream, "THIS IS AWESOME!!"  If FFG has pretty much gotten exactly the response they could reasonably hope for, then maybe this story isn't an the result of authors being a bit rusty after so long, but is actually indicative of the way FFG wants their stories written.  If so, I'll probably just have to skip the fictions.  I'd still buy the game, regardless, but it saddens me to think there's a chance I may not be able to enjoy the stories.

Though I suppose there's nothing for it but to wait until the next fiction and hope it appeals to my tastes a bit better.  If not, well, there's always the vast majority of the CCG's fiction which I still haven't read.

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1 hour ago, JJ48 said:

And yet three of them were able to make a decent showing against Nerishma.  I understand they wanted to show her as being better trained and whatnot, but having her at least expend some effort would have made her seem far more real and less a caricature.

Yes, that is correct.:) But these fictions have much plot/drama into them, much like the action in many movies or tv shows. I do not know which kind of limitations the authors of these fictions have, so I am not going to speculate about how it impacts their writting.

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1 hour ago, mlund said:

It's literally the Lion's entire back-plot for the First Edition L5R RPG and anything and everything set prior to the fall of the Hantei Dynasty.

Exactly.  Confined to the backstory.  In RPG source-book entries that are a few paragraphs long and don't really name names.  It basically didn't happen at all when the story was actually progressing.  It's hard to call that the "archetype character conflict for Lion samurai" when virtually no Lion characters went through that conflict.

If you're saying that it *should* be the archetype conflict under the new status quo, then I don't really agree.   It's harder to make work when you are telling an ongoing story about seven factions rather than filling in the history about one.  "We had you beat, but the boss told us to back off" makes the other clan look like schmucks.  Sure, the Crane or Scorpion can play politics to get out of it and claim victory.  That's not really a road you want to keep going down.  You *can* go in interesting directions if the Lion don't follow orders when they're told to back off.   That's either making the Lion the bad guys or giving them a moral dilemma to disobey an evil or manipulated Emperor.

Fiction works best when the protagonists overcome adversity.  If the Lion are a stronger military than everyone else, they *are* the adversity.  The Crane using the courts to prevent the Lion from wiping them out generally doesn't make the Lion look like the good guys.  So I go back to my original point of Lion-focused stories needing moral dilemma, internal dilemma, or an outside enemy.  Against other clans, they generally function best as antagonists.

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Seconded. 

THIS IS AWESOME

Since we are making speculations..

19 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

 

...or else they were close enough together to coordinate after the initial surprise was gone.  And even if Nerishma were the lowest-skill guard, how would that go against my arguments?  My point was that people were claiming that someone with training shouldn't be expected to need any effort against such foes, and Nerishma had training.  Whether he's the lowest skill of the bunch or not, he's still a bushi, and at least good enough that he's going with the caravan.

As for whether the others were swarmed or not, that's less "adding to the story" and more "logical conclusion drawn from what's in the story".  Nerishma has three guys attacking him, and there appear to be plenty more around.  Why wouldn't they swarm the others?  That's not even advanced tactics or anything; it's just common sense.

Nerishima was scouting in the undergrowth because he has seen/heard something. He was shot at with an arrow, springing the ambush prematurely. The bandits was hiding in the undergrowth, and Nerishima being closer would then be attacked/swarmed first by how many men was near him hiding. He was fending off 3 guys at melee range and was minding where the hell that archer is making him effectively against 4 guys. If that wasn't impressive enough for you then I don't know what else is.

Hotaru just seemed to fight effortless because he backstabbed those swarming Nerishima and she might as well backstabbed everyone she killed prior to the ronin. Against the ronin, she did put up and effort to let him wound him, take all the ronin's attack so she could study his pattern and counters and after all that, she had to feint first. If that wasn't effort enough for you then again, i don't what else

 

^_^

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8 minutes ago, Bayushi Bajie said:

Seconded. 

THIS IS AWESOME

Since we are making speculations..

Nerishima was scouting in the undergrowth because he has seen/heard something. He was shot at with an arrow, springing the ambush prematurely. The bandits was hiding in the undergrowth, and Nerishima being closer would then be attacked/swarmed first by how many men was near him hiding. He was fending off 3 guys at melee range and was minding where the hell that archer is making him effectively against 4 guys. If that wasn't impressive enough for you then I don't know what else is.

Hotaru just seemed to fight effortless because he backstabbed those swarming Nerishima and she might as well backstabbed everyone she killed prior to the ronin. Against the ronin, she did put up and effort to let him wound him, take all the ronin's attack so she could study his pattern and counters and after all that, she had to feint first. If that wasn't effort enough for you then again, i don't what else

 

^_^

Ok, you've convinced me.  Nerishma is FAR more skilled than that back-stabbing Hotaru.  XD

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2 hours ago, williamobrien said:

Exactly.  Confined to the backstory.  In RPG source-book entries that are a few paragraphs long and don't really name names.

Well, that part's just not true. The RPG had pages and pages, sometimes paperback novels, of pre-coup story and named lots of names.

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It basically didn't happen at all when the story was actually progressing.  It's hard to call that the "archetype character conflict for Lion samurai" when virtually no Lion characters went through that conflict.

Untrue on both counts, I'm afraid. It was at the heart of Tsuko, Toturi, Tsanuri, and Ujiaki's conflicts for the very least. Just look at where Tsuko, Arasou, and Toturi's story comes from and why they are in the places they during original stories leading up to and through the Day of Thunder. The internal "damned if you do, damned if you don't" dilemma of bushido vs. feudal duty of the Lion's identity and role is exactly what culminates in Tsuko's seppuku - the event that marks the apex of the Clan War, IMO.

The complication is that the Lion Clan itself are overt villains / antagonists during most of the Clan War arc - not protagonists. When John Wick is writing you see very little of Lion protagonists outside of the RPG until Tsuko's depiction evolves from increasingly sympathetic villain to tragic hero. The Lion Clan itself is broken and off-message during most of the Clan War arch because of the coup. The same thing goes for the Scorpion Clan (just vengeful criminals) and the Crab Clan (importing the Shadowlands rather than fighting them) during the Clan War. Specifically with the Lion Clan, the Akodo Family that lead the Lion had been destroyed and the conflicts and contrast between the Lion under Matsu Tsuko and what would become Toturi's Army - and later Tsanuri and Ujiaki - underpin the overall contradictions of the Traditional Lion (pre-coup). There wasn't even a Lion-aligned Thunder printed because the "soul of the Lion" was in the Toturi's Army faction.

After the original story John was telling ends, things get wacky. Like I said, writers constantly wind up recycling the theme of a "legendary" existential threat to the Empire, widespread large-scale wars to control the throne, etc. That was never a sustainable model, IMO, making everything a new "exception" to the "rules" we never got to see on-camera because of the constantly-sustained theme of "exceptional" crisis. The LCG has wisely scoped back the premise of why players are having Clan conflicts and invoke mono no aware - which is very much in line with the impermanence the Traditional (pre-coup) Lion-Crane-Scorpion dynamic of the Inner Empire was designed to sustain.

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If you're saying that it *should* be the archetype conflict under the new status quo, then I don't really agree.   It's harder to make work when you are telling an ongoing story about seven factions rather than filling in the history about one.  "We had you beat, but the boss told us to back off" makes the other clan look like schmucks.  Sure, the Crane or Scorpion can play politics to get out of it and claim victory.

Except that is basically the status quo of the Lion. What they are capable of as a faction isn't really in dispute. On an open field they will murder your armies unless they are divided or you bring multiple Clans into the field allied against them. They are the best at that one thing, and in their opinion (focused almost entirely on Bushido) the other clans _do_ look like shmucks. There's just so much more going on in Rokugan than one Clan declaring total war on another Clan that the Lion engaging all their forces in a single-front conflict against another Clan simply isn't permitted to happen. They will often wind up being out-numbered or undermined in some way that forces them to do more with less or get less when they do more. Sometimes the Lion's reward is just getting to die in a glorious battle against overwhelming odds. Other times they make impermanent material gains that are bought back by glory or lost by tragedy.

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Fiction works best when the protagonists overcome adversity.

Counter-point: Fiction works best when the protagonists are _people_ rather than _armies_.

The real struggles of the Lion written with protagonists were focused on the decisions of the individuals regarding their duty to a superior their duty to their family and their duty to the code of Bushdio - not whether or not their armies could win the field. When your Storyteller isn't spending all their time revolving slews of story prizes around armies taking land there's a lot more to focus on - which is why the original RPG was great for story-telling and driving the character of the Clans without the Empire being a state of bedlam.

Edited by mlund

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Well, that part's just not true. The RPG had pages and pages, sometimes paperback novels, of pre-coup story and named lots of names.

I think you are remembering more content than there actually was.  The 1st edition RPG books are actually pretty sparse due to the large typeset, lots of art, and the need to cover mechanics.  Wednesday's PDF would take up a pretty hefty chunk out of one of those books.  Way of the Lion certainly doesn't seem to have any detailed examples of Imperial/Political Chain-Yanking.  The lengthy story pieces are either character studies about how being a Lion is awesome but difficult, history about the foundation of the clan, and military conflicts that the Lion lost (because the Lion remember defeats to learn from them).  I'm not going to dig through all of the other books, but the examples that I remember 20 years later are mostly stuff based around Toshi Ranbo and Shiro Yojin getting passed back-and-forth between the Lion and Crane.  I guess the Hantei Yugozohime story could fit.  If you have another citation from one of the Clan books or source books, let me know.  Maybe you're talking about stuff from the campaign books?  I don't have those.

The paperback novels started with the clan coup, so I'm curious as to what you mean here.

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Untrue on both counts, I'm afraid. It was at the heart of Tsuko, Toturi, Tsanuri, and Ujiaki's conflicts for the very least. Just look at where Tsuko, Arasou, and Toturi's story comes from and why they are in the places they during original stories leading up to and through the Day of Thunder. The internal "damned if you do, damned if you don't" dilemma of bushido vs. feudal duty of the Lion's identity and role is exactly what culminates in Tsuko's seppuku - the event that marks the apex of the Clan War, IMO.

If you read my original post about this, you would know that I used Tsuko as an example of a Lion character made interesting by a moral dilemma (and Toturi is of course intertwined with her).  Her story *was* about "the expectation to pursue personal virtue and familial glory pitted against their duty to obey orders", minus the part about familial glory.  My phrasing was that it was about realizing the Lion worldview was not the right view for that place and time.  When Tsuko's chain got yanked, it had nothing to do with keeping the Lion in line, and everything to do with Kachiko trying to kill the Emperor via the Crab.

There were 18 years of story after the Clan War, and not really any more of your archetype character conflict.  But if you want to make the case that the best Lion story was the Tsuko/Toturi story, then I agree.  Again, I used it as my primary example.  I also said that the Lion work best as antagonists, and you're even saying that the Lion started as antagonists in the best Lion story.  

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Except that is basically the status quo of the Lion. What they are capable of as a faction isn't really in dispute. On an open field they will murder your armies unless they are divided or you bring multiple Clans into the field allied against them. They are the best at that one thing, and in their opinion (focused almost entirely on Bushido) the other clans _do_ look like shmucks. There's just so much more going on in Rokugan than one Clan declaring total war on another Clan that the Lion engaging all their forces in a single-front conflict against another Clan simply isn't permitted to happen. They will often wind up being out-numbered or undermined in some way that forces them to do more with less or get less when they do more. Sometimes the Lion's reward is just getting to die in a glorious battle against overwhelming odds. Other times they make impermanent material gains that are bought back by glory or lost by tragedy.

This isn't really how storytelling in the card game worked or can work.  Having the Lion fight enough separate wars to limit their military advantage would make the story too much about the Lion.  Yeah, the other clans are schmucks from the Lion POV.  They aren't supposed to be from the *reader's* POV.  There will be seven clans, not one and six.  

I really think you are arguing from an idealized position and not a practical one.  I don't think you can tell RPG backstory type fiction during an ongoing story with seven clans to focus on.

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Counter-point: Fiction works best when the protagonists are _people_ rather than _armies_.

Yes, I know that fiction is better focusing on individual characters.  But the characters are *in* armies.  When your Lion Clan character has a better army than the other clan's character, they still aren't overcoming adversity.

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The real struggles of the Lion written with protagonists were focused on the decisions of the individuals regarding their duty to a superior their duty to their family and their duty to the code of Bushdio

Besides Tsuko, who fits this description?  The actual stories about Lion as protagonists were about an oni with the soul of a Lion betraying her demonic nature, a Champion's brother tricking a Dark Oracle to reclaim a Kami's bones, a son trying to avenge his father and bring a traitor to justice, and a young woman who has to ally with her brother's killer against the deadliest military in the world.  Maybe the Dairuko example fits?  I don't really think so, but I guess you could argue it.  She didn't exactly struggle with the decision.

Honestly, we should probably not bog down this Crane thread with any more Lion stuff.  You and I have bogged down enough forums over the years.  If you want to continue this in PM, fine by me.

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On 5/17/2017 at 11:08 PM, JJ48 said:

Is that really a good enough reason, though?  Physical beauty is hardly a reason in itself to be that obsessed with someone, especially when one knows (as Hotaru clearly does) that Kachiko is a manipulative seductress.  Maybe we'll find out that Kachiko's brother has somehow been drugging Hotaru's tea?

If the Crane seek perfection than Kachiko's beauty may be enough... partly, this is why I dislike Crane. 

I enjoyed the story, if only for one reason... it makes me think of all the possibile outcomes. 

Is Hotaru going to end up like Ned Stark? Is Satsume like John Arryn? 

 

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8 hours ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

I want a Dynasty/Samurai Warriors L5R Edition video game now. 

I have wanted this for years!  The Clan War Era would be perfect for it, and FFG's timeline very well could be too once we see what happens.  Kamoko should start on horseback and have a special attack based on Hachiman while Hida Amoro needs a special rage mode that makes him do more damage with more kills scored but also makes friendly units look like enemy units.  Doji Hotaru/Hoturi, Dojo Kuwanan, Daidoji Uji, and perhaps Daidoji Nerishima for the Crane.  I could go on and on!

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1 hour ago, BCumming said:

I have wanted this for years!  The Clan War Era would be perfect for it, and FFG's timeline very well could be too once we see what happens.  Kamoko should start on horseback and have a special attack based on Hachiman while Hida Amoro needs a special rage mode that makes him do more damage with more kills scored but also makes friendly units look like enemy units.  Doji Hotaru/Hoturi, Dojo Kuwanan, Daidoji Uji, and perhaps Daidoji Nerishima for the Crane.  I could go on and on!

Someone ever try and do this in Mount and Blade?

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2 hours ago, SavageTofu said:

Is Hotaru going to end up like Ned Stark? Is Satsume like John Arryn? 

 

Only if the Emperor is an apathetic fool whose closest advisors are plotting behind his back. So yeah, pretty much.

Biggest difference so far is that Ned is a battle-hardened veteran. Hotaru has had all of the training, but not as much field testing.

Edited by Ide Yoshiya

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On 5/17/2017 at 2:55 PM, SirEuain said:

I don't know that Yoritomo had any foreshadowing in the original story before he showed up in Crimson & Jade, but the Mantis Clan were tied to ports from day one of Yoritomo's Alliance being a faction.

A fair point, though still odd that Hotaru wouldn't think of her husband's name.

Not true on both counts. Yoritomo was mentioned in the canon history a lot in the 1e RPG timeline. As for Hotaru, when facing the point where physical attraction is teasing you at the level where you are about to give in and commit adultery... especially when with someone of the same sex for the first time... it's hard to even think the spouse's name.

On 5/17/2017 at 3:04 PM, Akodo_Metuki said:

Also the Mantis do not even have minor clan status in the original story at this point in time.

Wrong. In original Canon, they formed in year 80, avenged Osano-Wo, and gained recognition in the year 429. They just had not appeared in Card Form as they were just starting to design them.

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13 minutes ago, Daigotsu Naraku said:

 

Not true on both counts. Yoritomo was mentioned in the canon history a lot in the 1e RPG timeline. 

1st Edition RPG didn't come out till after the Second Day of Thunder.  That said the first mention of the Mantis Clan was in Anvil of Despair when we got the Kamoto card which was Toturi's Army and Mantis Clan.   Yoritomo and the Alliance were mentioned in clan letters prior to that (mainly Crane and Crab about hiring them as mercenaries) but full release with several unaligned characters (Tsuruchi, Wakiza and I believe Kemmei) reprinted to include Alliance tag and new Minor Clan affiliation was only in Crimson and Jade.

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2 hours ago, Daigotsu Naraku said:

Wrong. In original Canon, they formed in year 80, avenged Osano-Wo, and gained recognition in the year 429. They just had not appeared in Card Form as they were just starting to design them.

The original canon has no bearing on the new canon until the FFG Story Team says so.

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until FFG publish a timeline going from the dawn of the empire until the 1100s, no reason to believe the old Canon has changed, this is Rokugan known history. After 1100s (actual game time) anything goes. 

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14 minutes ago, Kakita Shiro said:

The original canon has no bearing on the new canon until the FFG Story Team says so.

We've had specific mention from them that unless said otherwise the further you go back in the timeline the more likely that events are the same. 

So far our only official source for anything on the Mantis is the RPG beta which states that the Mantis leveraged an association with the Crane to gain recognition and legitimacy granting them the right to bring others into the Clan.

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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 2:39 AM, MoZi said:

So I'll accept a draw on this issue if you're willing to accept that Bill Gates wouldn't run someone through with a naginata for trying to steal some rice to feed their community.

I don't actually know Bill Gates, so I'm not sure I can agree to that.

I'm still working on getting caught up on the fiction, but I have read through all the clan fictions, and I'm pretty happy that the writing seems to have improved greatly since this one was released.

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