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Mon no Oni

It Ain't Rokugan without the Taint!

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And now I'm weeping bloody tears of joy. We got our first official Shadowlands character! Sadly, Sneaky Goblin is sneaky and we can only see some of it's stats. Will it be a dynasty character or a conflict one? In any case, the title makes me think it will have Covert. Thanks, Dark Lords at FFG!!!

Edited by Mon no Oni

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Breaking news on the tainty side of Rokugan! Hida Amoro shows us our second image of a goblin, to go along the one we already had of the Goblin Sneak.  Both are shown as small green skined humanoids.  While the Sneak was dressed just with pants; Amoro's sparring friend seems fully clothed, including medium armor and even a cape. Both goblins sport some kind of hairdress (topknot, ponytail).

Considering that FFG has a more tightly controlled art style than AEG had, we can start seeing trends and speculate.  The original AEG bakemono were more cartoony and comical; only later on, the funny "shallow" Goblins were substitued by the "deep" goblins, who were more menacing and dangerous looking, almost like smaller ogres! These FFG goblins seem to find a place between both versions; neither cartoony nor too menacing, a low level Shadowlands threat. Both the clothing and the hair style seem to point they retain the "mockery of samurai" element the original Goblins had.

Also, Amoro! He has a promising future ahead of him!

 

 

Edited by Mon no Oni

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From the GTM article, more details on Shadowlands cards!

Tainted Lands

The element of Earth is firm, grounded, immovable. Tainted Lands focuses on the Great Clans’ relationship with this sturdy element. Look for powerful Crab Shugenja to make a big impact and the introduction of a deadly Oni from the Shadowlands.

The conflict cards included in Tainted Lands include spells based around the Earth element, including a dishonorable Mahō spell to buff your characters at a terrible cost.

Great news!

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16 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Can't wait to find out if they go with Akuma right out of the gate.

That was the card that hooked me 20+ years ago.

"Yes Mr. Akuma sir I'd like some power"

Probably not out of the gate as he should really be a major player (Clan Champ level character) but I'm sure we can expect some lesser Oni to begin, and maybe even the return of the Ogre Bushi.

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My expectation is that it will be some sort of non-unique oni or potentially a named one that is a pretty straight-forward stat-stick that gives us an idea of one of the ways they intend on implementing Shadowlands. 

My hope is that The Phoenix story with Tadaka referring to Akuma and this teased specifically mentioning the element of Earth is laying the groundwork to unveil Akuma. 

Of course, if you asked me when a good time to unveil Akuma would be I would have to say..........................YES!

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On 6/1/2018 at 11:57 PM, Ishi Tonu said:

My expectation is that it will be some sort of non-unique oni or potentially a named one that is a pretty straight-forward stat-stick that gives us an idea of one of the ways they intend on implementing Shadowlands.

I hope so... speculation time! How will they do it? In the old game, the Shadowlands trait more or less implied great stats... at an high cost, only not a gold cost (fate, if we translate to current equivalency). So, Akuma was a huge beast (the stats were Champion level), and it costs you zero Gold/Fate, but it destroyed the province where it came from. This was an extreme case, of course. More usually, Shadowlands cards just had above average stats for their cost, but they also cost you honor. Also, the Shadowlands trait on them put a big target on them, as there was very efficient meta against this.

In the current framework of the game, I see this early version of the Shadowlands as doable: cheap, big characters that you absolutely have to deal with. When/if it comes to them having a trait-based neutral Stronghold, it's going to be trickier. In the old game, that Stronghold was simply immune to dishonor efects, however you cannot simply port that to the new game, given how honor works. On one hand, I see it will be tricky; on the other, they know the Shadowlands will become a major player in the coming years and designing yourself in a corner when they have that information would make no sense, so I very much doubt FFG don't have some kind of plan on how to do it when the time to implement it eventually comes.

I guess these early Shadowlands/maho cards will give us further clues on how they could do it. For now, the Goblin Sneaks are the only inkling of a Shadowlands deck type, and it's not much to go on... A big leeway for Shadowland characters in the conflict deck, maybe? A higher Fate production in the Stronghold, but only for Shadowlands cards? But how will they handle honor in a way that both makes sense thematically, and also don't break the game for your opponent? Something more out-of-the-box? Probably.

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I said it some time ago in another thread: I wouldn’t start directly with the Shadowlands Horde (Oni, goblins, ogres, zombies...) but instead, release some tainted characters that can be used with the current strongholds. Some being neutral and some being clan characters.

Introduce a new keyword (like Sincerity or Pride) that would be Tainted, with its own mechanics (I proposed, just for fun, something like “Taintedcreatures with the Tainted trait cannot be honored or dishonored, and their glory value become 0 and cannot be modified”)

Then release some Oni that works the same and cost honor to play, or require sacrificing characters, or have some negative effects for its controller.

I fanmade some cards like those in this post.

Other way around for a shadowlands SH is just renaming the honor tokens to represent another thing, but work exactly the same. Like, I dunno, naming them “Fear”. Because a Shadowlands horde is bound together by fear to their commander. So when you reach 0 Fear, you lose because it represents that your army disbanded. 

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I suspect that FFG isn't going to try to remake the honor system for Shadowlands.  They will likely do something along the lines of

You may not win the game with an honor victory.

You do not lose honor for costs and effects of cards you control.

.....and then possibly some ability like

Action: Bow this stronghold to play a Shadowlands card from your discard.

Then the stronghold would likely have a starting Honor of 8 or less.

So here you have a stronghold that allows Shadowlands to be themselves but is still vulnerable to all the win conditions. They will not be able to draw lots of cards because bidding high still has the potential to push them into dishonor range.  If their opponent does a 5 bid, well then they opened up the ability for Shadowlands to bid higher in subsequent turns but their opponent at least has an initial card advantage.

Then you can expect Shadowlands decks to be running any cards that cause themselves honor loss, ie Banzai, Assassination, etc

And there will probably be some actual Shadowlands actions which we see the Crab ratling being immune to them.

Keep it simple.  It will make Shadowlands difficult to play, but they aren't supposed to be easy when you are essentially fighting the entire empire.  

I would also prefer a slow leak of Shadowlands cards that are neutral and/or in each clan before we get an actual Shadowlands stronghold.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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Great, ominous day today! We got out first oni (it's me or it looks a little like Oni no Ugulu?), our first maho spell (Crab, of course; but we are all-inclusive in the Shadowlands), and our first recruit, Kuni Yori (oops, wait! Not yet! But I wonder who is casting that maho spell to bolster Crab troops?).

As for our previous conversation... this oni gives us a second glimse (after the Goblin Sneak) on how Shadowlands is working, or not? In fact one single common characterstiic is a dash in political, which makes sense. After all, at this early stage Shadowlands is only a cheap way to bolster your military power. Power, yes. And such a small price to pay... IF eventually Shadowlands is to become a playable faction, i guess a lineup of infiltrator characters (Pekkles, Bog Hags, etc.)  could easily be produced.

However thats were the similarities end: the Goblin was C, the Oni is D. Thematically, it seems hard to picture a Clan openly recruiting such a creature without losing lots of honor. However the Oni only causes you to lose honor when declaring for a conflict. I guess it's just a playability/balance decision. The cannot be honored/dishonored makes sense, and can cause interesting interactions with other cards.

Edited by Mon no Oni

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On the one hand, I really like that we get a chance to show off the Phoenix as not corrupted and keepers of peace. Also I never liked Tainted Chickens.

 

But golly gee that maho spell plays so nicely with Kyuden Isawa.

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10 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

" To the Phoenix, nothing can necessitate the use of Mahō, not even the threats to the south. "

...

*Gunichi spasms in a weird mixture of hope and the sense that the other shoe has yet to drop.*

 

Somebody tell that to Tadaka and his special "own's earth" sauce! ?

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Maho Initiates: The College Years.

Tadaka, sits alone in the library, visibly frustrated:  "I just don't think my professors are preparing me for the many tests to come"

Yori, walks in and blurts out:  "Yo T-dawg, looks like you're having trouble, you need a study partner?" Yori gets an evil glare and a "shush" from the librarian

Shahai, looks to be experimenting with new Crane goth fasion: "Hey boys, looks like you're up to no good....................I want in"

Junzo, peeks his head out from behind a stack of scrolls: "Ain't no party like a J-Z party, and a J-Z party don't stop!  Let's do this"

Tadaka: "Thanks!  You're the best friends a guy could have." and.............group high five

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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1 hour ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Maho Initiates: The College Years.

Tadaka:  "I just don't think my professors are preparing me for the many tests to come"

Yori:  "Yo T-dawg, looks like you're having trouble, you need a study partner?"

Shahai: "Hey boys, looks like you're up to no good....................I want in"

Junzo: "Ain't no party like a J-Z party, and a J-Z party don't stop!  Let's do this"

Tadaka: "Thanks!  You're the best friends a guy could have."

 

Isawa Tsuke:  "Hey guys what'cha up to?"

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5 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Probably isn't Maho, but something to be very dubious about.

It's clearly being presented as Tadaka's "gateway drug," and a clear indication that he's willing to make sacrifices others wouldn't even dream of to get his way.

He's clearly begun the process of hollowing himself out. Can't wait to see just when he realizes he's got nothing left to give except... oh, right, blood!

Especially since only now is Tsukune all that worried about him...

 

And he's off to see the wizard, down in the Crab lands. Hooboy. Tadaka, Tadaka, Tadaka...

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Posted (edited)

Political Cloud the Mind...……...seems pretty evil to me.  I just wish there were a little bit more of a glow in his eyes.  Of the two pictures Sotorii looks to be the more sinister of the two, but, I'm hoping there is follow up art for this one that shows that butterfly crushed in Daisetsu's hands and an evil smile on his face...…….then a follow up card to that card with a Zombie Butterfly!

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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