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jcharpjr71

Shadowlands Speculation

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I was just wondering what form the Shadowlands will be taking in this incarnation of the game?  I remember them as almost three different phases:

1 - Horde Era - The original heavily tainted monsters, Dark Moto, undead and oni

2 - Daigotsu Era - The above, plus the early lost samurai (post Battle of Oblivions Gate)

3 - Spider Clan Era, the above plus non tainted and lightly tainted samurai.

 

Personally, I am hoping for the Classic Era - Moto Tsume lead hordes. :D

 

What do you think? . . .

 

 

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I am hoping Daigotsu and the idea of a Spider Clan go away like a bad dream. The idea of a corrupted major clan made no sense. There is nothing wrong with the Shadowlands Horde being the EVIL corrupted part of Rokugan that the Empire must fight and unite against in times of crisis. Otherwise I think the internal strife between the clans is plenty to keep us entertained. 

For the story I am expecting something new leading up to a 2nd Day of Thunder. Whether that is another Coup or not I don't care. I am looking forward to the ride. I couldn't imagine though throwing out the 2nd Day of Thunder without throwing out Fu Leng and the large threat of the Shadowlands Horde. Which is possible but would be very weird. Fu Leng's Return, the Black Scrolls, and the battle against him just seems to deep into the story of what created L5R. Everything else is negotiable to me.

Edit: From Announcing a Living Card Game of Conflict and Honor

"Amid this infighting, the largest and most dangerous Shadowlands army ever recorded marches on the great Carpenter Wall in the south." -- Sounds like Yogo Junzo's Army

"The Council of Elemental Masters cannot explain the disquiet affecting the elemental kami, and so they turn to forgotten or forbidden lore for answers." -- And the Black Scrolls

Edited by Kakita Katai

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as quoted above, i think its fair obvious that the first iteration of the shadowlands we'll get will be the horde, crash dat wall style. 

where it gets interesting is what happens after the scrolls are opened. presumably, no matter how different the plot gets, some variation of "fu leng gets out into the world, and things get weird" is planned. i could absolutely be wrong, but i think that its not crazy to think that if they're going to save any of the plot points from the old story, thats gonna be one of them. that being the case, what the shadowlands does next is where things get interesting. 

in the old story, while Fu Leng was chillin' in meido he sent dreams to Daigotsu while he was maxin' and relaxin' in Jigoku, which more or less put my boy Dags on the path he would later take. so far, we've no indication that any of the emperor's wives is missing, so theres no reason to think Dags is even a thing yet, much less one that will be receiving dreams from a not yet defeated Fu Leng. My point, which i took kind of a long way to get to, is that there was a LOT of pretty narrow ledges, so to speak, that the plot had to climb up for the story to get from the Horde to the Lost, to say nothing of the much later Spider. the odds that we go down that path again are, i think, functionally zero. 

all that said. i think the odds are pretty good that we get a corrupted faction of some kind. theres no real way, from what we know of the game, to play the horde. they just don't work with the honor dial. but i think you oculd probably find a way to make bloodspeakers or something fit. so thats my guess. if not as a whole faction, then as a way to corrupt existing ones. and maybe someday they offer a different play format to add shadowlands in some format. 

but right now, without seeing anything, i think there are just too many forks ahead of us to predict what form the horde will evolve along. Ostrander has said she wants to focus on the clans, and their conflict, for the time being, so the ultimate form the shadowlands takes will probably not be revealed for quite some time. 

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My hope would be for some form of infiltration style enemy within the empire, as well as the horde crashing against the walls.  However, I also hope for none of the idea of the Spider Clan, since it legitimizes the Empire's greatest enemy within the empire.  

I do hope we get some tainted characters that we can play with, and that they can impact the story in some way, by making a win or loss due to the corruption.

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If we get Shadowlands, I want it to be focused on humans and not integrated into the structure of the empire.

The Lost and Bloodspeaker should display the corruption of humans, who utilize the power of Oni, Ogre and Goblins for their gain but ultimately cannot not control them.

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My hope is for Shadowlands-traited cards available to all the clans, as temptation toward corruption.

We'd get a large influx of these cards in a Shadowlands deluxe box. It would also present the Shadowlandands Horde as a playable faction, but *only* for multiplayer, in a Horde vs an alliance of 2 or more Clan players.

Maybe it would also allow them in Melee style multiplayer, where the Clans have no one to blame but themselves if they don't ally against the Horde.

Putting them on even footing with the Clans in 1v1 games just undermines their threat, IMO.

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I would design a Stronghold that you Win the game at 0 Honor and Lose the game at 25.  

Have the starting Honor at 18 or 20 and Shadowlands characters would include paying honor to the opponent as cost to come into play.

 

Would probably have to invert the bonuses from Honored and Dishonored (but keep the honor gain/loss the same).

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3 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

"Draw 5."

"Draw 5."

"Draw 5."

To fight the Shadowlands, you have to go all out. (Draw 5)

 

5 minutes ago, BD Flory said:

I really hope FFG learns from AEG's mistake, and doesn't present a faction that so radically subverts a fundamental game structure.

 

This idea is a heck of alot more balanced than "You don't lose by Dishonor."  And it uses all of the Victory Conditions of the LCG.

The inversion of Honor is to show that the Horde wins by being terrible and loses when playing fair/nice.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, the old Shadowlands didn't work well within the structure of the game. If the Shadowlands is to be a playable faction, it needs to work. You can easily have all three of the flavors of corrupted personalities (monsters, Lost, and corrupted officials). Honor only needs to represent the clan's ability to unite against you. Later on when the Day of Thunder is over, Honor for the Shadowlands can simply be used to represent the Lost's view of bushido and a corrupted view of all of the virtues aside from the complete withdraw of jin.

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24 minutes ago, Coyote Walks said:

To fight the Shadowlands, you have to go all out. (Draw 5)

That wasn't really my point. It's that, in every draw step and every duel, a Shadowlands player would have no incentive to do anything except bid 5.

Which was one of the underlying problems of AEG's Shadowlands design. It removes a disincentive toward a certain behavior. Arguably, the problem would be worse here, because it doesn't just ignore honor loss, it actively profits from it. Even worse, it externalizes those effects by creating a heads I win/tails you lose dynamic in honor bids.

 

Edited by BD Flory

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8 minutes ago, Coyote Walks said:

To fight the Shadowlands, you have to go all out. (Draw 5)

 

 

This idea is a heck of alot more balanced than "You don't lose by Dishonor."  And it uses all of the Victory Conditions of the LCG.

The inversion of Honor is to show that the Horde wins by being terrible and loses when playing fair/nice.

I think BD's point was that letting a faction get closer to victory just by drawing more cards would be very overpowered. They would need to come up with an equally drastic handicap to prevent the Shadowlands from dominating. And that would be really hard to balance properly. Not to mention, the Shadowlands of this era was usually portrayed as being all about brute force, rather than trickery, so it wouldn't really fit their theme, IMHO.

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If there were to be a clan for the lost, I could see something like "You cannot gain or lose honor during the regroup phase." Their could also force you to lose a  honor as they come into play, this would make balancing your honor tricky, but eliminates the always bid 5 issue and focuses the clan on a military approach

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It's really more of a 'Lose the game at 0 and win by corruption at -25', by it allows Clan tricks like Scorpion to still work.  Use of Imagination is needed for this little idea.

And the draw-five-each-turn aspect can be handled by a higher average Conflict cost and the fact that this Stronghold would be pushing the Rokugani player to draw just as many cards or gaining lots of honor.

 

Maybe a better question would be, why would it be a good thing to exclude Spider and Shadowlands Players from fully participating in the new LCG?

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51 minutes ago, Coyote Walks said:

It's really more of a 'Lose the game at 0 and win by corruption at -25', by it allows Clan tricks like Scorpion to still work.  Use of Imagination is needed for this little idea.

And the draw-five-each-turn aspect can be handled by a higher average Conflict cost and the fact that this Stronghold would be pushing the Rokugani player to draw just as many cards or gaining lots of honor.

 

Maybe a better question would be, why would it be a good thing to exclude Spider and Shadowlands Players from fully participating in the new LCG?

 

Well if the only way to include them is to have them subvert or ignore some of the core mechanics of the game as well as the win/loss conditions and/or add too much complexity just to keep them balanced, then it probably is a better idea to leave them out.

It is never a good idea in  card games to have strategies/decks that basically play a different game than the rest of the field cause then you will need to print the relevant hate cards or bad things will happen. Take a look at Dredge and Storm in Magic.

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I've said in other threads there is no need to have shadow lands subvert anything.  A shadowlands at 25 honor means shadowlands wins because your opponent looks more dishonorable than oni at that point.   A shadowlands at 0 honor means shadowlands loses because they are so dishonorable that the clans see you as a threat and join together to eliminate you. 

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1 hour ago, Coyote Walks said:

Maybe a better question would be, why would it be a good thing to exclude Spider and Shadowlands Players from fully participating in the new LCG?

I think I was pretty clear about my reasoning and my preferences above. Shadowlands just doesn't make sense as an equal-footing faction in the version of the game and setting that appeal to me.

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Why would the Shadowlands have to be an innately multi-clan level threat? The Crab have held them off alone just fine.

Here's a potential mechanic: When you would lose honor, discard cards from your hand equal to the loss instead. If you don't have enough cards in hand, lose the game.

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4 minutes ago, Ryric said:

Here's a potential mechanic: When you would lose honor, discard cards from your hand equal to the loss instead. If you don't have enough cards in hand, lose the game.

I kind of like this. I might instead just say that instead of losing when their hand is empty (which makes Ring of Earth and Spies at Court overly strong against this potential faction), they lose if they run out of conflict deck. Or possibly feed their opponent honor every turn for something.

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8 minutes ago, Ryric said:

Why would the Shadowlands have to be an innately multi-clan level threat? The Crab have held them off alone just fine.

Here's a potential mechanic: When you would lose honor, discard cards from your hand equal to the loss instead. If you don't have enough cards in hand, lose the game.

My understanding, and I could be wrong, is that the Crab have held them off with help from the other clans, and at this point in the story line, the Horde is currently massing for a giant attack.  Crab are the primary line of defense, but other clans send support since what they do is essential.

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2 minutes ago, Mirith said:

My understanding, and I could be wrong, is that the Crab have held them off with help from the other clans, and at this point in the story line, the Horde is currently massing for a giant attack.  Crab are the primary line of defense, but other clans send support since what they do is essential.

The number of times the Crab have recieved aid has been fairly small, and only at times of great significance.  Given what the product page says this is probably one of those times.

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