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Why is your clan so awesome?

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14 minutes ago, shosuko said:

I would love to say the Scorpion are the best in the empire, but that would be a lie.  Lies are unbecoming, and divisive. 

Dude, you know I have been waiting all day to hear you brag. Take off the mask,  live a little.  And if I know anything about Bayushi it's that he is pretty supportive of lies.   ;)

Edited by Devin-the-Poet

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5 minutes ago, shosuko said:

I would love to say the Scorpion are the best in the empire, but that would be a lie.  Lies are unbecoming, and divisive.  Instead I'd say just choose any clan that isn't Crane.  Crane are a superficial clan with a flawed philosophy.  You may win with a Crane deck because they are OP, but no one will respect you for it.  They have a long standing history of winning by quick honor rush decks that have little engagement in the game, and the stigma isn't likely to fade.  There are some interesting characters in the Crane but ultimately they are flat an unimpressive.

With the reboot of the game, you are bringing in baggage from the old game.  Saying "Don't play crane because I didn't like their decks when it was a CCG" is pretty unfair to them and is setting some pretty limited blinders on.  IIRC, there were times where other clans had just as annoying decks as your mindset of the "Crane honor runner", I can at least remember a time when there was an annoying game of beat the clock with a Phoenix deck.  And your vaunted lion had numerous "blitz" decks that weren't fun to play against.  These are all NPE issues that FFG is looking to address.

Right now Crane looks very engaging and want to at least get into fights, and will generally try to dominate political fights.

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9 minutes ago, Mirith said:

With the reboot of the game, you are bringing in baggage from the old game.  Saying "Don't play crane because I didn't like their decks when it was a CCG" is pretty unfair to them and is setting some pretty limited blinders on.  IIRC, there were times where other clans had just as annoying decks as your mindset of the "Crane honor runner", I can at least remember a time when there was an annoying game of beat the clock with a Phoenix deck.  And your vaunted lion had numerous "blitz" decks that weren't fun to play against.  These are all NPE issues that FFG is looking to address.

Right now Crane looks very engaging and want to at least get into fights, and will generally try to dominate political fights.

I think you are 100% correct in everything that you just said.  But I still have this deep internal resentment of the CCG Crane carrying over to FFG Crane that I can't get rid of! :lol:

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31 minutes ago, Mirith said:

So the Phoenix do it because they are just short-sighted and make poor choices, instead of being tricked by a power tainted object?

The Phoenix do it because like any good computational system, "garbage data in, garbage data out." They actually helped the Empire by opening the Black Scrolls and revealing the prophecy of the Seven Thunders- people forget, that wasn't actually widely known in Rokugan at the time- but there's no denying that they underestimated the damage the Scrolls would do to them because hubris is very much part of their wheelhouse (especially the Isawa).

 

The Crab under Kisada followed Yori to seize power over the Empire- they may have thought seizing the throne was the right move, but they still wanted to put their guy in charge.

The Scorpion under Shoju tried to short-circuit destiny- yes, for the good of the Empire- but between Togashi being... Togashi (uselessly cryptic git) and Shoju being saddled with a Bloodsword, that didn't really pan out- and trying to take the throne instead of committing seppuku after doing what he had to do speaks volumes of Shoju's ulterior motives.

The Phoenix sought knowledge, not temporal political power. They ended up biting off way more than they could chew, but none of their missteps involved seizing control*. That's the difference.

 

 

 

* Part of why I liked Chagatai so much, actually... "No, I don't want to be Emperor, I want you to be Emperor!"

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Well because we are savvy politicians and trained duelists, we speak with the voice of honor and our actions are above question, we dress in the height of fashion and are received as honored guests, we offer perfect gifts and force our enemies to admit defeat before our majestic elegance. 

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There's a lot I love about the Scorpion, between doing what is necessary for the good of the empire despite what other's think, either in terms of honor or short-term morality, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes it's just fun to be the villain.  It can best be summed up by my favorite speech in a webcomic:

 

 

mZPtIxLJX53s5OQ61YB (2).jpg

 

Who wouldn't want to be a legend?

Edited by profparm

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5 hours ago, Suzume Urusai said:

Since it will likely be a long time before the Sparrow get their props for being the honest and humble storytellers they are. Stick with the Crab. Even their opening in the Way of the Crab is metal.

 

"Something bearing my father's face and weeping my mother's tears comes clawing up from the depths, screaming for me to join them. I feel its talons against my armor, snapping leather and metal as if they were origami. I reach for my tetsubo as I hear its hideous laugh, and I know that one blow is all it will allow before it tears the entrails from my bones.

And you sit in your palace and lecture me on courage.

The dismal stink of the Shadowlands surrounds my companions and me. A towering oni grabs a pair of bushi and shakes them like children's dolls, snapping their bones into powder. I hear their pleas for help and ignore them, knowing that I am condeming them to a fate worse than death. My daimyo is depending upon me to escape this horror, or else hundreds more will die as my companions have.

And you lie in your garden and tell me about duty.

The wall stretches a thousand leagues long, filled with samurai preparing for siege. A sea of goblins stands before me, howling unnameable curses into the air. As they begin to cross the river, I hear that the Crane have launched another foray against our brothers to the north. Yet I can do nothing but stay where I am and ensure that no goblin escapes to terrorize the same Cranes who steal our land.

And you stand in your silk robes and explain to me what honor is.

You are children playing games to fill your empty lives. You are infants squealing over your toys, pretending that nothing else holds meaning in this world. You are old women hunched around the fire, telling yourselves that the shadows beyond cannot hurt you.
I am the Crab. I have witnessed horrors that you could scarcely imagine and watched the death of enough samurai to fill a hundred battlefields. I have seen what lies beyond the soft confines of this make-believe kingdom, and I am charged with ensuring that your dream does not dissolve into nightmare. I am the sole and only protector of your pathetic existence.


So laugh at me if you will. Mock my uncouth behavior, start at my crude language. But do not speak to me of courage, little man. Do not speak to me of duty or honor. You haven't the slightest idea what they mean."

 

 

 

The Crab are awesome but don't take my word for it. Read these.

 

Kanshi Robert by Denton
http://www.kazenoshiro.com/2012/03/10/kanshi/
Good little Wife by Ree Soesbe
http://www.lowfierce.com/kazenoshiro/4/wife.htm
Truest Test by Shawn Carman
http://www.kazenoshiro.com/kazenoshiro/5/truest.php

 

Thank you saving me the typing time:lol:

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Thanks everyone, while I still need to do some digging I am at least beginning to see what draws people to certain clans. There is a lot of expectations riding on this game and I truly hope the gameplay and communities that develop will live up to both what brought you into it and what got my friends to tell me this was something I *neded* to check out. As someone still discovering the truly impressive history of this game I feel like if even half of the awesome tales I've been reading from other posts happen in this new edition I'll be having a blast and yelling Banzai at the top of my lungs no matter what clan I decide on.

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

I actually had a good laugh when I first read through it. It kinda does the same thing as Bearers of Jade: it tries so hard to describe the situation of the Crab Clan that it unwittingly swings to the other side and gives the reader a glimpse of why the Crab is doing everything totally wrong. At which point, thankfully to the lack of sarcasm, the whole thing becomes its own caricature. 

Well the last time a Lion tried "The right way" The Crab champion got killed dragging him back to shut up his sister.

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I'm gonna go and make a case for Scorpion here (even though every clan has given us amazing characters and amazing stories).

- The most valuable thing to a Samurai is his honor, not his life. Giving your life for your lord is easy. The Lion line up around the block just for a chance at a good death. The Crab die in droves protecting the empire, and they are remembered as heroes for it. The Scorpion sacrifice their honor to serve the emperor. They are the ultimate unsung heroes.
- Scorpions will use whatever works, whether in court or on the battlefield. If you stand in the way of a Scorpion courtier, he will blackmail you, threaten you, slander you and ensnare you; if he's found out, he will blame somebody else; and if there's nowhere left to run and he's about to die in ignominy and disgrace, he will at least try and take onto himself as many crimes and sins of his clanmates as possible.
- Scorpion duelists will poison their blades, carry their sword on the wrong side, put on shows of weakness in public, use hidden weapons; Scorpion bodyguards may spend their whole lives appearing as bumbling fools, only to protect their charge at a critical moment; Shosuro infiltrators will build false identities over decades only to abandon them at a moment's notice. Dedication, pragmatism, sacrifice, loyalty are the ultimate virtues.
- We have a school of swordmasters who pretend to be completely delirious lunatics. Or, well, most likely they are pretending. Hard to tell.
- We totally do not have Ninjas. Those are silly stories to keep children in line. Please be reasonable.
- We have illusionists.
- We have a dedicated family of poison masters.
- We have geishas, opium dens, gambling halls, essentially any vice known in the Emerald Empire.
- We have masks. 
- We have a secret task force that hunts down blood mages, Kolat conspirators, foreign agents etc. inside the empire.

Many Crabs may contest this (the Scorpion and Crab have at various times been BFFs and mortal enemies), but I feel like much of what has been said about the Crab also applies to the Scorpion, in a way.
They are tasked with protecting the Empire from the outside threat of the Shadowlands, and have had to sacrifice a lot of "properness" and decorum in order to do their duty.
The Scorpion are the defenders of the empire from blood magic sects, conspiracy, the lying darkness, demonic infiltration, and similar threats. The methods may be different, but the mindset is often the same.
We can't speak as beautifully as the Crane, but when the job needs to get done, we'll match them with bribery, blackmail and seduction.
We're not as good at dueling as the Dragon, but we'll use poison, deceit and intimidation to make up for it.
We don't have an army the size of the Lion, but when necessary we'll assassinate their generals and blow up their storehouses with gunpowder, and then when somebody needs to take the blame and die in disgrace for what we have done, the empire may remember them as honorless scum, but we know they did what they had to, and paid the price for it.
And the other clans may never realize that we did what we did to protect the empire from a threat they could never see.

Did I mention the masks? We have some really cool masks.




 

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So, I'll preface this by saying I'm new to this game and setting and (after a bunch of research) I spent the better part of last month bouncing from Dragon to Phoenix. I think both clans have already been spoken for by people way more capable then me, but I'd like to add my two cents on why I think I've settled on Phoenix:

So, starting with the coolness factor: people have pointed out the masters of magic thing, which is awesome, but there's also the Clan Champion. Our Champions carry within them the Soul of Shiba which contains the souls, knowledge and experience of every previous Champion going back to the Kami Shiba himself. And once a Champion dies, the Soul of Shiba chooses to reincarnate inside the right successor, based on the whole of who that person is and not necessarily on their birth position or their battle achievements. This makes all the Shiba Champions special, but keeps each one of them different and human.

This brings me to the idea of reincarnation which is central to the Phoenix mithos. The idea of dying and being reborn in another body, of sacrificing yourself for something which will keep living in a new form. It means that no matter how low we fall, how deep we dive, we can always be just about to rise from the ashes.

Which is good, because if there is one thing the Phoenix are is flawed. And this, this is the part I love the most about the clan: the Phoenix are full of contradictions and dichotomies. Starting from the unusual relationship between the Isawa and the Shiba. Our Kami was the one who bowed to a human (which I think is awesome) and this leaves us with one of the most self-important human-descendant families ever, and probably the most humble Kami-descendant family as well. The Shiba constantly disagree and argue with the Isawa, but they'd give their life for them without a second thought. And then there's the power. The Phoenix won't level your entire city and kill every living being in there. But they could. But they won't, because they value life deeply. But they could. And if they see no other choice, they might (see: five nights of shame). And finally, in the Clan that from the start has reversed and discussed the relationship between human and Kami, we have a family that is bridging the gap between what it means to be those things.

So, to summarize, this is what I love about the Phoenix: we are a deeply flawed and contradictory Clan and it's in our nature to acomplish some of the most awesome, unbelievable things that no other Clan could while simultaneously making several mistakes from which we will fall just so we can rise again. ?

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So I started out as a big Crane fan. I was introduced to the setting around the same time I was discovering (and falling in love with) Rurouni Kenshin, and look, a clan that fights just like that? Sign me up!
It wasn't long before I realized my error and started favoring the Dragon instead. :lol:

But while I may personally have more in common with the themes of the Dragon and will always feel a pull toward them, it was the Scorpion that I truly fell for, and I think the reason is because no other clan has as many little "attention to detail" considerations as the Scorpion. You'll really notice the difference if you're ever able to read through the 1st Edition "Way of the..." series of RPG supplements.
Every clan has it's own interesting fictions and tidbits about why they're awesome, but the Scorpion has vastly more useless flavor to draw you to them.
The Lion have their Leadership, countered by the Scorpion's Lies... but the Scorpion also have Little Truths, they have Guwahime's Fables, they have all sorts of other little "interesting but unimportant" bits of flavor all over.

In essence, I think the Scorpion have the most humanity out of all the clans, and are the least caricature-like out of all the options.
(I also think Bayushi-kami had the most character growth out of all his siblings, but that might just be my bias showing. ;) )

And let's not forget the unavoidable truth of the flavor text of Geisha House:

'"Why, in every play, is there a Scorpion villain?' Takesi asked.
'Because it is a villain's duty to make the story interesting,' replied Kurumi."

(All of the above subject to change, depending on how FFG handles the clan in their new narrative. :lol::unsure:)

Edited by Bayushi Tsubaki

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I love the Lion because they feel like fantasy-world heroes done right.

A Lion samurai isn't a thug. They might be a warrior, but they don't act for personal gain or out of hatred: they do it because of their own sense of righteousness. A Lion would rather die than raise their sword in a dishonourable cause. That's awesome.

A Lion samurai isn't a brute. Ever since the days of Akodo One-Eye, they've stressed that intelligence, scholarship and artistic pursuits are as important as warrior skills. As Akodo said, "in the right hand goes the sword, and in the left hand goes the text." Again, that's awesome, and makes a refreshing change from the "dumb fighter" trope of many other fantasy worlds.

A Lion samurai isn't a bigot. The clan has a strong tradition of gender equality and equal representation. This may have been just flavour when it was written in the early-mid 90s, but given where some darker strands of geek culture have gone within the last few years, it's inadvertently become a strong and inspiring statement. (To be fair, this is true of L5R as a whole.)

Most of all, no Lion ever stands alone. They understand that their strength comes from one another. Even their magic is centred around getting the support of now-deceased heroes. Other people rely on gods or kami or enormous walls; the Lion know where strength resides.

This is a warrior culture that I can admire.

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3 hours ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

You'll really notice the difference if you're ever able to read through the 1st Edition "Way of the..." series of RPG supplements.
Every clan has it's own interesting fictions and tidbits about why they're awesome, but the Scorpion has vastly more useless flavor to draw you to them.
The Lion have their Leadership, countered by the Scorpion's Lies... but the Scorpion also have Little Truths, they have Guwahime's Fables, they have all sorts of other little "interesting but unimportant" bits of flavor all over.

The 1st Edition "Way of the X" books were really good, and the Scorpion one was one of the best.

If you can find them, I'd highly recommend them to anyone. Read the books of your own clan. Read those of the others, too. Even if you aren't an RPG player, it presents a vivid picture of a living, plausible world.

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7 hours ago, Suzume Urusai said:

Well the last time a Lion tried "The right way" The Crab champion got killed dragging him back to shut up his sister.

I did not say that the others are right, only that the Crab don't know better either.  

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8 hours ago, Kuni Katsuyoshi said:

I can't wait til she gets the 'tetsubo in face treatment' her brother got.

You have Hitomi figured out wrong if you think she'll stand still for that slow-*** tetsubo the way Satsu did. Unless they mess her character around *a lot*, of course. By which point they might as well change the name, too.

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12 hours ago, blackheartz said:

Well because we are savvy politicians and trained duelists, we speak with the voice of honor and our actions are above question, we dress in the height of fashion and are received as honored guests, we offer perfect gifts and force our enemies to admit defeat before our majestic elegance. 

While I agree that they are awesome, the Imperial Families do not constitute a Clan. You were talking about the Hantei, right?

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45 minutes ago, BitRunr said:

You have Hitomi figured out wrong if you think she'll stand still for that slow-*** tetsubo the way Satsu did. Unless they mess her character around *a lot*, of course. By which point they might as well change the name, too.

we'll come back to this once they've posted the fiction.:)

She is going to have a major personality transplant before I consider her to be worth more than just grave filler.:P

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10 hours ago, Kuni Katsuyoshi said:

I can't wait til she gets the 'tetsubo in face treatment' her brother got.

I will dance and sing.

Her brother let himself be killed to save the Empire. He was a hero.

Also, in the original version of that story, Yakamo was being a huge jerk, which is what led to the duelwith Mirumoto Satsu in the first place,

Hitomi and Yakamo both made some poor choices, and both of them were rather villainous at one point or another. Both went on to rise above that.

Edited by Togashi Gao Shan

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2 minutes ago, Togashi Gao Shan said:

Her brother let himself be killed to save the Empire. He was a hero.

Also, in the original version of that story, Yakamo was being a huge ****, which is what led to the duel in the first place,

Hitomi and Yakamo both made some poor choices, and both of them were rather villainous at one point or another. Both went on to rise above that.

I'm would never call Yakamo  perfect.

I simply found Hitomi ENTIRELY unlikeable, and unsympathetic.

Satsu's wife should have kept her tounge behind her teeth:P

We will see if they can move Hitomi beyond 'the dark side of revenge' cliche'.

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