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crane story is up

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If you try to hit me and I step aside to avoid the blow, I'm not deceiving you.

If you try to hit me and I raise my shield to protect me, I'm not deceiving you.

If I pretend to aim for your neck and stab you in the belly however, I fooled you and you fell for it.

I've never ever read any accusations against dodging (first example) or parrying (second example). I've read plenty about feinting (third example), however.

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Except you are a samurai and you don't have a shield, and you *attack and defend in the same motion*. You are not a walking tank knight who will get pummeled, captured alive and treated like a winning lotto coupon. You are a person who wants to murderkill your opponent who also wants to murderkill you and you both are going to do lightning fast strikes that will kill if they connect, and taking chance to try and *react* instead of *predict* is begging to be killed.

 

I don't stand waiting for you to start swinging your sword, then raise my shield, and then hit your shield, while we both become progressively more and more tired until one of us gets knocked down, because our armor is so good that we won't die from swordblows anyway. We are both wearing armor with pretty dangerous lethal spots to aim for, and using swords that will kill you good if they hit these lethal spots but can be utterly ruined if they hit armor or another sword. 

So I look at you, at your stance, and figure out "he is going to attack from the right, so I'm going to make an attack from the left, which is designed to make a movement that will make me safe from the attack from the right". You do the same thing looking at me. 

Then one of us moves, which forces the other one to also launch a movement, and we have very small margin to react and correct our errors. What's even worse, if I manage to hit you, there is still a chance that I will *get hit too* if my movement didn't incorporate proper defense. "Double KO" was a common result, actually. 

Deceiving your opponent ("making them think I'm going to attack differently that I'm going to") is the heart of combat, along with reading your opponent. Attack is defence defence is attack. That's why random mentions in the L5R lore and RPG books that feinting is somehow disgusting were...off. 

It's basically a very lethal scissors-paper-rock, with the caveat that loser dies and if we both pick the same thing we both die.

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"Fighting the desire to smile, to rush at Kachiko and embrace her, Hotaru simply bowed." Kachiko touching a flower whose meaning is secret love? Hatoru wanting to kiss her or be with her now?  Geeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz :rolleyes:

Maybe FFG should change Hotaru to Asami and be done with it?

Anyways, It's a passable sort of fiction. My biggest problem might be the lack of explanation of certain characters. I know why Shizue needs a cane, but maybe someone new to the story or setting could have used a bit of explanation or something. Also, some sort of explanation why Hotaru is so enamored with Kachiko*.

What do I like about it? Yoritomo is good to hear, as well as Yoshi, Shizue, and Kuwanan.

*Note to writers: Do not **** up Kachiko or Shoju. What we had in the ccg and its fiction was near perfect.

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Let me tell you about samurai spirit.  It has nothing to do with honor, but, survival and the total domination of your opponent.

- General Fujita "The Fist of Legend"

Feint, dodge, throw sand........I don't give a flying flop as long as I'm alive and you're not.  I can always pay the storyteller some extra koku to put a positive spin on my victory. Its not like you can argue when you're dead.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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2 minutes ago, WHW said:

Except you are a samurai and you don't have a shield, and you *attack and defend in the same motion*. You are not a walking tank knight who will get pummeled, captured alive and treated like a winning lotto coupon. You are a person who wants to murderkill your opponent who also wants to murderkill you and you both are going to do lightning fast strikes that will kill if they connect, and taking chance to try and *react* instead of *predict* is begging to be killed.

 

I don't stand waiting for you to start swinging your sword, then raise my shield, and then hit your shield, while we both become progressively more and more tired until one of us gets knocked down, because our armor is so good that we won't die from swordblows anyway. We are both wearing armor with pretty dangerous lethal spots to aim for, and using swords that will kill you good if they hit these lethal spots but can be utterly ruined if they hit armor or another sword. 

So I look at you, at your stance, and figure out "he is going to attack from the right, so I'm going to make an attack from the left, which is designed to make a movement that will make me safe from the attack from the right". You do the same thing looking at me. 

Then one of us moves, which forces the other one to also launch a movement, and we have very small margin to react and correct our errors. What's even worse, if I manage to hit you, there is still a chance that I will *get hit too* if my movement didn't incorporate proper defense. "Double KO" was a common result, actually. 

Deceiving your opponent ("making them think I'm going to attack differently that I'm going to") is the heart of combat, along with reading your opponent. Attack is defence defence is attack. That's why random mentions in the L5R lore and RPG books that feinting is somehow disgusting were...off. 

It's basically a very lethal scissors-paper-rock, with the caveat that loser dies and if we both pick the same thing we both die.

We 're reading it different. In your mind, you describe a single maneuver. In my mind, you describe more than one. If you do not separate the maneuvers, I can see why you 're surprised to see feint treated as dishonorable.

 

Mind you, Samurai armor (the heavy type) was much more protective than you present it to be, whereas European combat wasn't the turn-based slugfest you describe.

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7 minutes ago, Kubernes said:

"Fighting the desire to smile, to rush at Kachiko and embrace her, Hotaru simply bowed." Kachiko touching a flower whose meaning is secret love? Hatoru wanting to kiss her or be with her now?  Geeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz :rolleyes:

Maybe FFG should change Hotaru to Asami and be done with it?

Anyways, It's a passable sort of fiction. My biggest problem might be the lack of explanation of certain characters. I know why Shizue needs a cane, but maybe someone new to the story or setting could have used a bit of explanation or something. Also, some sort of explanation why Hotaru is so enamored with Kachiko*.

What do I like about it? Yoritomo is good to hear, as well as Yoshi, Shizue, and Kuwanan.

*Note to writers: Do not **** up Kachiko or Shoju. What we had in the ccg and its fiction was near perfect.

Speaking as someone who doesn't know why Shizue needed a cane, it didn't bother me. It really doesn't matter to the story that she has one.

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1 hour ago, WHW said:

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. 

I'm holding onto hope that this was not addressed because it doesn't exist in the reimagined setting. The whole concept of a society that abhors physical contact of any kind has always irritated the snot out of me. YMMV

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1 minute ago, Builder2 said:

I'm holding onto hope that this was not addressed because it doesn't exist in the reimagined setting. The whole concept of a society that abhors physical contact of any kind has always irritated the snot out of me. YMMV

Whats wrong with that?

I didn't mind that too much, other than the O5Rs choice to pretend that Samurai have only "courtly" lives never contrasted with "casual time" outside of courts, but the touching thing was good IMHO.

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14 minutes ago, Kubernes said:

Also, some sort of explanation why Hotaru is so enamored with Kachiko.

This was explained. Kachiko is the most beautiful woman in the Empire. And when it's a Crane making that assessment of a Scorpion, you know that it is both 1) accurate and 2) untainted by bias.

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1 minute ago, WHW said:

Whats wrong with that?

I didn't mind that too much, other than the O5Rs choice to pretend that Samurai have only "courtly" lives never contrasted with "casual time" outside of courts, but the touching thing was good IMHO.

Perhaps that is what bothered me the most about it, but I still find I disagree that it adds any real value to the setting. But this time I'll emphasize it: Your Mileage May Vary. I don't like the no-touching thing, but it in no way upsets me that other fans do.  ;)

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Just now, Builder2 said:

This was explained. Kachiko is the most beautiful woman in the Empire. And when it's a Crane making that assessment of a Scorpion, you know that it is both 1) accurate and 2) untainted by bias.

The story hints that previous interactions. I would have preferred even a throw away line rather than way too basic "most beautiful woman in the Empire". Heck, the line in the announcement article about her being impossibly beautiful might have been better.

Maybe we'll actually get a bit more when they give us the Scorpion fiction. Something around the time when Hotaru's mother died and Kachiko put out some 'bait' to lure our Crane Champion in.

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6 minutes ago, Builder2 said:

I'm holding onto hope that this was not addressed because it doesn't exist in the reimagined setting. The whole concept of a society that abhors physical contact of any kind has always irritated the snot out of me. YMMV

Low-touch cultures are a thing. Sometimes fiction takes it to an absurd extreme, but the notion that physical contact is a much more charged affair in Rokugan than in, say, the modern U.S. is both plausible and well-suited to the source.

Having just seen your new reply about "adds real value to the setting" -- I find it adds quite a lot of value, in terms of setting up a framework where intimacy of the romantic, familial, or friendly variety is displayed in a more restrained fashion, and therefore produces different kinds of stories about same.

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Just now, Kinzen said:

Having just seen your new reply about "adds real value to the setting" -- I find it adds quite a lot of value, in terms of setting up a framework where intimacy of the romantic, familial, or friendly variety is displayed in a more restrained fashion, and therefore produces different kinds of stories about same.

That's fair. I may have come to L5R at too late a time to really get any storytelling that would benefit from that. I guess I'll keep an open mind, especially since I'm not especially confident in my initial assessment being correct.

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1 minute ago, Builder2 said:

That's fair. I may have come to L5R at too late a time to really get any storytelling that would benefit from that. I guess I'll keep an open mind, especially since I'm not especially confident in my initial assessment being correct.

I'll add that for me, it hits some of the same buttons as writing about a society (like this one) where addressing someone by their given name is a mark of great intimacy: it means you can get a lot of emotional punch out of showing that intimacy, without having to set off giant narrative fireworks to signal THESE PEOPLE ARE REALLY CLOSE. Marking something as normally off-limits increases its impact; I'm more swept away by the first kiss in a Victorian novel than by characters falling into bed together in a modern novel.

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That's pretty much why I think that the scene would have much more impact if Kachiko spent 15 minutes politely serving tea in the formal protocol mode, forcing Hotaru go to through the polite motions while also showing us the difference between "Hotaru inside" and "Hotaru outside", and THEN Kachiko breaking the scene by going in for a touch (which would also estabilish her as a, well, rules-breaker person), and Hotaru accepting that as a sign for change in the mood.

Would also estabilish Kachiko as the person in control. 

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25 minutes ago, WHW said:

That's pretty much why I think that the scene would have much more impact if Kachiko spent 15 minutes politely serving tea in the formal protocol mode, forcing Hotaru go to through the polite motions while also showing us the difference between "Hotaru inside" and "Hotaru outside", and THEN Kachiko breaking the scene by going in for a touch (which would also estabilish her as a, well, rules-breaker person), and Hotaru accepting that as a sign for change in the mood.

Would also estabilish Kachiko as the person in control. 

To be fair, if the story did everything people have said they wish it had done, it would have been twice as long. :-)

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2 hours ago, Samurai Fox said:

I don't know about that.  I remember Hoturi's relationship more balanced and Crane-like.  Dripping with smugness, for sure, but also very skillfully keeping his 'On' while showing his lust in the way only a Crane could.
Read their story from Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun sometime if you can.  The interactions between the two were a far cry from 'hormonal teens' and much more in line with Rokugani romance:  subtle, careful, and full of innuendo.  Not to mention, is was a delicious example both of Rokugani courtship and the fluid dangers of the Imperial Court.

I own Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun so I have read it. The difference here to me is the fact that they are both females.  Where Hoturi's relationship is more of an affair as Kachiko is engaged so they are more clandestine about the relationship. 

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22 pages vs 11 pages is twice as long, but it's not that much of a jump, especially if it's a part of your marketing campaign, no :P? 

 

EDIT
+ it's the first fiction of the whole franchise, if I'm writing an introductory chapter to my bi weekly fiction series, I'm probably going to make sure first chapter is attention grabing and it will *probably* be slightly longer than the "typical" chapter - mostly because first chapter needs to achieve a lot of things.

This doesn't feel like a good first chapter to me. 

Edited by WHW

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1 minute ago, WHW said:

22 pages vs 11 pages is twice as long, but it's not that much of a jump, especially if it's a part of your marketing campaign, no :P? 

Twice as much story generally costs twice as much money . . .

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I think a longer fiction to start with, using a slow build up might have been counterproductive and turned some people off. I think 11 pages with some action and some pictures is about right.   Not so much for new players to look at and think 'wall of text - I'm out' but enough to get you interested and provide a brief introduction to the setting. Just my opinion though. 

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I am tempted to start a thread to see who all are the old timers who have followed L5R story for a while and who is reading this with fresh eyes.  And what they both thought of this article respectively.

For me, I just had a brief stint playing around Celestial, and I was doing all I could to catch up on the story but only really had time to keep up on the current happenings and some more in depth reading on my crab clan.

But for me I really enjoyed this read.  There were some parts more interesting than others, but overall I just enjoyed getting thrust into the L5R.  I suppose if I had a deeper attachment to how things went down first time around I would possibly be more critical or constantly comparing between past and present story.  Kind of glad I don't have that "baggage" as I feel it makes it easier for me to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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