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Some seem annoyed at the lack of differences from the original timeline, but I don't mind, because:

A) These fictions are mainly for new players anyway.

B) It would be interesting to have only minor initial differences, and then watch them gradually escalate via butterfly effect into a very different story. It would require patience to get to the big changes, but it would be worth it, IMHO.

I do wish they'd portrayed Tsuko in a more balanced manner this time, though. In Old5R she was the only initial champion that was entirely unlikable. Even Togashi was more relatable.

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10 minutes ago, kpsmith said:

"Tsuko-san has a right to speak, especially in this time of grief and heartbreak.”

This was the best line in the fiction. Toturi insulted Tsuko hard.

No, he had no desire to insult her I think.  He was standing up for his family.  Considering that samurai should be fairly stoic in public save for times of death or birth of a loved one, Toturi was basically giving Tsuko a free pass for her bad behavior and saying she's still his sister-in-law in his eyes.  I took it as Toturi being grown up.

Edited by Samurai Fox

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What a nice fiction, and another flawed Clan Champion. 

Totally was not expecting Hotaru to show up in a another fiction so soon but hey... she can use a bow too. 

The emotional weight of Toturi reading Hotaru's letter and him trying to find a path of action while alone in the war pavilion was a sad scene, in a good way. This song popped in my head. 

 

During the first scene this song started to play in my head also, specifically when Tsuko is by Arasou body in disbelief.  Might be silly to say but I can feel Tsuko's emotions. 

 

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Just now, Radix2309 said:

Can someone explain to me what Clan Champions are? Are they the Damiyo's? Or just their head warrior and official champion for duels?

Generally, the clan champion is the Daimyo of the head family of the clan, and thus the leader of the clan.  The exception is the Phoenix, where they are ruled by the 5 elemental masters, and the champion is just the head of the Shiba family and military.

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I find amazing how people are comparing how the current version of the characters versus the old versions when the fact is.... they were barely protrayed at all back then, at least during the initial Clan War storyline. I mean, some of the original Champions got like a couple of lines in flavour text, if anything, and that was it!. It was not until after that initial storyline was over, a multitude of writers filled the huge blanks in story and motivations (mostly for the RPG). Now people have an idealized mental image of Matsu Tsuko, for instance, as a finished character, that is an amalgamation of different takes (sometimes contradictory) by several different writers over many years, and most of them after the fact. 

I, for one, am enjoying this "ultimate" version of the storyline more than I though I would, even if I'll be sorry when it goes off track.

Edited by Mon no Oni

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24 minutes ago, williamobrien said:

Generally, the clan champion is the Daimyo of the head family of the clan, and thus the leader of the clan.  The exception is the Phoenix, where they are ruled by the 5 elemental masters, and the champion is just the head of the Shiba family and military.

Eh, there's a lot of daimyo in L5R rokugan since it is a feudal system. Clan Champion is a title specifically for the ruler of the Clan, to whom all the other heads of all the other families of the Clan swear fealty. These 7 individuals give fealty to only one person - the Emperor himself. Traditionally, the Clan Champion is the family daimyo of the family founded by the Clan's founding Kami. This is true even in the case of the Phoenix Clan. The unique circumstance of the Phoenix Champion lies with the oath Shiba made to Isawa. While the Elemental Council holds sway over the affairs of the Phoenix and gives the Phoenix Champion his marching orders, the Clan Champion still has higher social status than the individual Masters and the Masters do not fall directly under the Emperor in the feudal system. Heck, the Isawa family didn't even have a family daimyo in Old5R.

One interesting scenario that was never explored was what happens is the Elemental Council and the Emperor give conflicting marching orders to the Phoenix Clan Champion. According to the law the Emperor always wins and the Phoenix Clan Champion is obligated to bring the Council into line under the Emperor - up to and including arrest and execution of the Elemental Masters ...

Edited by mlund

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25 minutes ago, mlund said:

One interesting scenario that was never explored was what happens is the Elemental Council and the Emperor give conflicting marching orders to the Phoenix Clan Champion. According to the law the Emperor always wins and the Phoenix Clan Champion is obligated to bring the Council into line under the Emperor - up to and including arrest and execution of the Elemental Masters ...

This led to an interesting situation in my game when the Emperor got royally ticked with the Phoenix one Winter Court and disbanded the Elemental Council, going all Brian Blessed on the whole council; the Isawa could still have and name Elemental Masters, but they have no authority over the rest of the Phoenix.  Technically and legally, the Phoenix Champion gives his oath to obey the council...but the Emperor disbanded them, so does the Champion still obey the individual members, or is he suddenly much more powerful and able to extract vengeance for years of abuse and humiliation at their orders?

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2 hours ago, Fumi said:

Some seem annoyed at the lack of differences from the original timeline, but I don't mind, because:

A) These fictions are mainly for new players anyway.

B) It would be interesting to have only minor initial differences, and then watch them gradually escalate via butterfly effect into a very different story. It would require patience to get to the big changes, but it would be worth it, IMHO.

I do wish they'd portrayed Tsuko in a more balanced manner this time, though. In Old5R she was the only initial champion that was entirely unlikable. Even Togashi was more relatable.

In regards to A ), I'm not too sure it does that much for new players. I mean, we already have someone asking about what Clan Champions are. Telling the readers some of these types of details would have helped. I would love to hear from the writers how exactly the older Toturi wasn't the Clan Champion when his younger brother was besides a throw away line like Toturi wasn't as martial as Asakao, the thing about the Toturi/Hotaru, and so on.

For Tsuko, she could have been improved through an introduction chapter/fiction before this one. Maybe have her act very different when she's with Asakao, give some reason for her Valkyrie-B attitude, or something.  

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Sigh, I was really hoping Toturi would die. It would have gone a very long way in making me see that this fiction will be different from what we've seen before. 

I really don't want to see a Coup or a Second Day of Thunder and so far I've seen nothing that makes me think we won't see them again.

 

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1 hour ago, Kubernes said:

In regards to A ), I'm not too sure it does that much for new players. I mean, we already have someone asking about what Clan Champions are. Telling the readers some of these types of details would have helped. I would love to hear from the writers how exactly the older Toturi wasn't the Clan Champion when his younger brother was besides a throw away line like Toturi wasn't as martial as Asakao, the thing about the Toturi/Hotaru, and so on.

That's true. But if they spent time explaining every term and concept, we'd all be complaining about the slow pace. Writers just can't win sometimes.

1 hour ago, Kubernes said:

For Tsuko, she could have been improved through an introduction chapter/fiction before this one. Maybe have her act very different when she's with Asakao, give some reason for her Valkyrie-B attitude, or something. 

Agreed.

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I really would like to hear the opinions of those new to L5R in regards to the fiction. Is it drawing you in? Letting you know the clans? For me it really does feel like revisiting the past. I really enjoyed this fiction but it didn't really surprise me or feel new,  just felt like a we were back in my familiar Rokugan again. 

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38 minutes ago, HirumaShigure said:

I really would like to hear the opinions of those new to L5R in regards to the fiction. Is it drawing you in? Letting you know the clans? For me it really does feel like revisiting the past. I really enjoyed this fiction but it didn't really surprise me or feel new,  just felt like a we were back in my familiar Rokugan again. 

I think the fictions are doing a pretty good job for new people. I would've preferred more background leading up to the current situations, but this is good. Between the fiction and previews they making me impatient to get the game.

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4 hours ago, TechnoGolem said:

I really don't want to see a Coup or a Second Day of Thunder and so far I've seen nothing that makes me think we won't see them again.

I totally understand the feeling of not wanting the  to re-hash things, but I'm personally actually hoping the plot's overarching events (Scorpion Clan Coup, Battle of Beiden Pass, Kisada marches on Otosan Uchi, Second Day of Thunder, etc.) remain mostly the same. I only really got into L5R after the Clan War era, but it always was my favorite era for the stories, so I would look forward to the chance of experiencing them in real time, even if there are a lot of differences in the details this time around.

But, we'll have to wait and see. The FFG team might be looking to shake things up and surprise the old player base, and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't want to be seen as just re-hashing things.

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As a lot of other posters have mentioned, I felt overall that this fiction would have been much better coming after a few other fictions that set up the characters and situations beforehand. It felt like a lot of stuff got packed into this fiction, and thus there wasn't much time to give things as much development and detail as I might have liked.

That being said, I understand why it was done this way; they are trying to introduce us to a clan, that clan's identifying traits, their prominent characters and those characters' personalities, and set up the conflicts and trials ahead, and all in eight pages. It's a lot of stuff to do in a short time, and while I would be willing to read a novel, interested but not yet committed new players (who are the ones FFG is likely aiming for) would probably want something more succinct.

On a slightly different note, am I the only one who really likes the Toturi art?

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2 hours ago, HirumaShigure said:

I really would like to hear the opinions of those new to L5R in regards to the fiction. Is it drawing you in? Letting you know the clans? For me it really does feel like revisiting the past. I really enjoyed this fiction but it didn't really surprise me or feel new,  just felt like a we were back in my familiar Rokugan again. 

As someone who has no idea of anything related to L5R story I see these fictions as not being meant for me. I do not mind not knowing each little detail of this world's culture. Yet, when they start name dropping I start losing focus and start skipping until that part is over. That is not a good thing. 

When I gave the crane story to my fiancé to read she was confused as hell as to why some things were ok and others not. Same thing happened here. Like reading chapter three in a book and not reading anything else. 

P.s. Due the forums I get a better idea of what is going on, but then what is a point of reboot if they are retreading the story again with some small changes.

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50 minutes ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

On a slightly different note, am I the only one who really likes the Toturi art?

Nope, you're not alone in this. :D

So far, I like all the Champions'art we've seen : Hotaru, Toturi, Yokuni, Shoju, Altansarnai, and Kisada. I'm still waiting for Ujimitsu, though. :)

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I think this was pretty good for a non-Crab fiction.

Toturi letting Crane saboteurs past his position to burn the Lion siege so his brother would be forced to pull back and draw out more of the Crane garrison so he could catch them in a pincer was more ruthless than I would have expected.

As easy as it is to say Arasou was an idiot for not listening to Toturi I think there are some compelling arguments to be made for not getting bogged down in a siege.

First, when faced with a fleeing enemy and a chance to take a fortification with its gates open one generally doesn't want to surrender the initiative and give the enemy a chance to regroup. Especially since, if the Crane are in as dire straits as they seem, they might not be able to afford to declare war in retaliation for taking the city.

Second, other than the Crab Rokugani armies aren't good at conducting sieges. You're basically going to have to starve out the defenders and that leaves you vulnerable to a potential Crane relief force or one of your other neighbors taking advantage of your distraction.

Finally, it's generally not a good idea to give the Crane time to work their political magic. Any attempt at negotiation would likely just be a chance for them to stall until they can get sufficient sanctions levied against you to make your position untenable.

I think the direction they're going to go with Toturi's character is that he overthinks things too much. He needs to learn to recognize when the time comes to take action and be decisive. It'll be interesting if his desire to avenge his brother overcomes his better judgement.

I like people's tendency to turn geopolitics into hormonal high school melodrama. Having L5R characters in a slice of life series would be amusing.

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