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3 minutes ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

Keep in mind, nothing got "hormonal" until they were left alone in a private residence, and the most that actually happened was some hand holding.
People acting like Hotaru got all giggly and started hopping in excitement or something. :rolleyes:

Agreed. Hoturu was nothing but discreet - people are reading thoughts and emotions as actions. Shizue clearly didn't pick up on a thing.

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5 hours ago, Kakita Renju said:

She wants to hide her identity, by using a Naginata.
If she would have use a "perfect strike with no thought" with the ancestral crane sword every crane in the caravan would have notice a master in the Kakita technique cutting the  "ex Mirumoto" Ronin . I would not have been sneaky at all.

I don't think she was trying to hide her identity by using a naginata. Take a second look at the art they use to show what she looks like (page 6 of the story). She is not in disguise and is using a naginata. It seems that is her preferred weapon.

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A narrative commentary about how SCANDALOUS! the hand holding was and a small introduction to "touching is a relative no no" would be welcome addition to this fiction in order to create a context for new readers, imho. But again, I feel that the dialogue (both in as a scene, and actual contets of the "dialog boxes") was the weakest part of this fiction, both as far as providing context  and as making their movements and surroundings "rokugani" goes. Where is the tea :P?! 

Two talking heads, basically. 

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The thing with the Lion is that they are perhaps the clan most convinced that there is only one way a samurai should act.  So some of the most interesting Lion characters are the ones who are put in a position where they realize that the way of life they've always believed in is.... "wrong" is not the right word, but it's hard to think of a more appropriate one.  Matsu Tsuko is the shining example.  Rokugan gets saved in part due to Tsuko realizing that there was no good course for a "true" Lion to follow, but a "false" Lion like Toturi would have no such hangups.

56 minutes ago, Fumi said:

This is actually why I became sympathetic to the furballs. "Big army stomps small army" isn't a satisfying narrative. "Small army wins big upset" is. This meant, in a weird way, the Lion were the underdogs in every conflict they entered.

Akodo Dairuko ended up being a pretty successful character BECAUSE she actually did come off as an underdog thanks to the decade of Lions mostly getting jobbed out.  She had an easy replacement waiting in the wings, so a lot of people almost expected Dairuko to die any time she waded into a dangerous situation.  She even appeared to be killed at one point, only to have it end up as a ruse that she planned for to trap an enemy.  Great way to subvert expectations.  She actually got to spend almost her entire run kicking ***, both in court and on the battlefield.

Edited by williamobrien

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I don't know. I appreciated the flower arraignment meaning "hidden love" (or something) before the scorpion came in. Seems like the Crane sister knows more than what is led on. Everyone is focusing on formalities and appearance - even between siblings - until they are alone. I think it was a good start.

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Sets the tone that there are two faces - one that is present to others and another that is presented to the public. Ceremony (or trying to avoid it) , perfection (this is the way it is done with something as "simple" as a garden.), and face...

Edited by Shu2jack

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Just now, Kakita Renju said:

from page 1: He (Nerishma) caught up in time to find the hooded(hoturu) guard facing a lean man wielding the swords of a samurai, Nerishma rushed to join the cloaked figure(hoturu)
pretty sure cloaked and hooded means she want to hide her true identity 

Yes, in the story, at that moment she was trying to hide her identity. She did so with a cloak.

I still think she favors a naginata over a katana as her weapon of choice. Like I said, look at her art on page 6 of the story. She is not in a cloak but a kimono and is using a naginata. In that art she is doing nothing to disguise who she is.

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4 minutes ago, Kakita Renju said:

from page 1: He (Nerishma) caught up in time to find the hooded(hoturu) guard facing a lean man wielding the swords of a samurai, Nerishma rushed to join the cloaked figure(hoturu)
pretty sure cloaked and hooded means she want to hide her true identity 

That she was trying to hide her identity was obvious from the story. The naginata, however, wasn't part of her disguise is TechnoGolem's point.

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"Trying to hide her identity" doesn't equal "using naginata to hide her identity". Her "iconic design" seems to be a naginata wielder.  

 

As for Lion "understanding that the Lion way is wrong" - that's a cool setup for a one-shot story (like original Clan Wars with the caveat that they end and there is nothing afters / major changes like Legend of Aang --> Legend of Korra), but it's extremely *** for the "shtick" of your clan to be "you are a bunch of WRONG meatheads who are WRONG". I don't want my cool fantasy archetype to be "person who is WRONG and UNFLEXIBLE". 

 

As for ceremony - one of things that felt off for me was lack of the ceremony and etiquette in the post-battle scenes. Maybe I'm just too used to court scenes at our RPG games, but it felt...bare boned, and also kind of dull - characters appeared to mostly just stay in place (? why weren't they sitting and drinking tea or doing something else?) like characters in a cRPG delivering dialogue.

I also think that lack of ceremony was a wasted opportunity for the Kachiko thing; making Kachiko tease Hotaru with a purposely drawn out formal tea drinking "torturing her" a little would make both Hotaru look better (because while being horny inside, she would endure like a proper Crane), show off Kachikos playful side, show off the inside/outside conflict, and emphasize how much small act of touching hands means.

 

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8 hours ago, Builder2 said:

My only real problem with this - and it's nitpicky, I'll grant - was the issue of the Daidoji warrior viewing Hotaru as his lord, rather than his lady. In a setting with far more gender parity than the cultures that inspire it, I don't buy that we need to defer to the masculine pronoun as a form of respect.

It happens in other cases too. In the Vampire RPG line for instance, the nocturnal ruler of a city is called "prince" no matter his/her gender.

 

Other than that, boo for Hotaru. She used a feint technique. Funny how the Bayushi are infamous and reviled for their feints, yet the "honorable" Crane daimyo resorted to a dirty trick in order to subdue her opponent. She was an utter disappointment.

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Feints being described in supplements as bad and dishonorable was always ridiculously dumb, because misdirection and tricking your opponent into misjudging which angle you are going to attack from are at heart of the swordsmanship that rokugan is trying to emulate. Remember, "samurai" fighting is based on predicting your opponents movements, moving yourself outside away from the line of their attack, while finding a way to get one yourself, remembering that you need to aim at the weak points of the armor. 

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Tell it to the foolish Rokugani, not me.

 

Other than that, the matter of feint has always been controversial even irl. European knights of the more "honorable" type refrained from using it. The same goes in European myths: the Arthurian knights considered it preposterous to use such "underhanded" tactics.

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4 minutes ago, WHW said:

 

As for Lion "understanding that the Lion way is wrong" - that's a cool setup for a one-shot story (like original Clan Wars with the caveat that they end and there is nothing afters / major changes like Legend of Aang --> Legend of Korra), but it's extremely *** for the "shtick" of your clan to be "you are a bunch of WRONG meatheads who are WRONG". I don't want my cool fantasy archetype to be "person who is WRONG and UNFLEXIBLE". 

 

Well, if the Lion are always right and always win, that sucks for everyone else and makes the characters uninteresting.  As protagonists, the Lion only really work if they are faced with a moral dilemma (like Tsuko), an internal dilemma (like the corrupted Matsu Turi and Matsu Satomi) or a situation where the other clans are unwilling or unable to withstand a threat (like the Yodatai).   Pitted against other clans, the Lion usually work best as antagonists (and note that "antagonists" does not necessarily mean "bad guys").  They also make a good tool to punish characters who have it coming, like Chagatai.  But you can only draw from that well so many times.

The rebooted setup has Toturi and Tsuko, the best source for internal strife the Lion ever had.  The Scorpion at the height of their powers are the best potential foe the Lion could ask for.  I think we're in a pretty good place for interesting Lion stories, at least for the first few years.  The problem of course is that it may all end up seeming too familiar.

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Western military in general stared with their mouths wide open after learning of Chinese and Japanese tactics, crying that they are dishonorable as ****, calling Art of War cowardly and underhanded (Japanese samurai loved Art of War and were combat pragmatists overall). The heart of the flashy combat arts that L5R tries to capture *is* feinting, because both sides rely on avoiding enemy blade to survive (either by dodging, making attacks that don't aim to kill the enemy but "cut their angle of attack" off, or using their swords to redirect the flow of enemy blade aside) - so your goal was to trick your opponent into thinking that you are going to attack differently that you are going to, while also predicting HOW they are going to move in order to attack effectively. You aren't a walking tank knight who isn't really afraid of being killed in battle and can facetank like a champ; you are a fantasy samurai who probably rarely wears armor and whose only way to survive is to dodge attacks *before they are made*, because they are too lightning fast to be reacted to. 

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Dodge and Parry are different maneuvers than feint. The deceiving factor is prominent in the latter.

 

Other than that, feinting is perfectly fine in my book.

Edited by Serazu

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11 minutes ago, williamobrien said:

Well, if the Lion are always right and always win, that sucks for everyone else and makes the characters uninteresting.  As protagonists, the Lion only really work if they are faced with a moral dilemma (like Tsuko), an internal dilemma (like the corrupted Matsu Turi and Matsu Satomi) or a situation where the other clans are unwilling or unable to withstand a threat (like the Yodatai).   Pitted against other clans, the Lion usually work best as antagonists (and note that "antagonists" does not necessarily mean "bad guys").  They also make a good tool to punish characters who have it coming, like Chagatai.  But you can only draw from that well so many times.

The rebooted setup has Toturi and Tsuko, the best source for internal strife the Lion ever had.  The Scorpion at the height of their powers are the best potential foe the Lion could ask for.  I think we're in a pretty good place for interesting Lion stories, at least for the first few years.  The problem of course is that it may all end up seeming too familiar.

Which is why "we are the bestest army and we never lose" and "we are the honorest and we never dishonorable" shouldn't be a part of their core identity, because only way to create interesting stories about those is to introduce "EXCEPT, IN THIS SPECIFIC INSTANCE!", which then turns into "every instance worth writing about is like this", which...well. 

I think @Shiba Gunichi can empathize, because it's kinda like "Phoenix are pure and wise Shugenja who respect Celestial Order and know better and are never wrong", with the "EXCEPT WHEN THEY DONT AND GO FULL BLOOD MAGIC" being the "only thing worth writing about". 

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3 minutes ago, Serazu said:

Dodge and Parry are different maneuvers than feint. The deceiving factor is prominent in the latter.

 

Other than that, feinting is perfectly fine in my book.

They really aren't, because they all happen kinda at the same time. You don't "dodge that sword blow, then when your opponent is recovering from his swing you decide to take his head off", you "look at your opponent, GUESS that he is going to attack you from the right, so you make an attack from the left WHICH IS DESIGNED to be also a dodge for the attacks coming from the right". 

If you make a mistake and your opponent guesses correctly, you die.

If you guess correctly and your opponent guess correctly, none or both of you die.

If none of you guess correctly, both of you die or none of you die. 

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How does the "I want to read the next move of my opponent, while making him believe that my next move is going to be something other than I'm doing" not include deceiving your opponent? 

It's kind of like how bushido virtue of Sincerity isn't equal to "saying truth" and how lying can and often is honorable.

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