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Tetsuhiko

Imperials will be the new Spiders (Predictions/Hopes)

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2 hours ago, Kuni Katsuyoshi said:

Well THAT wasn't frightening in the least ??

The whole "series" (there's 12 of them, I think) is pretty friggin good.  

Most of the characters are voiced by the talented Jenny Nicholson (nowadays, she mostly posts entertaining videos of herself talking about Star Wars and other "genre" franchises, and she's part of a show called Millennial Falcon).

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6 hours ago, Tetsuhiko said:

I want to clarify my original post. I DO NOT want a repeat of AEG L5R. I DO NOT want a Scorpion Clan Coup, I DO NOT want a Destroyer War or a Four Winds. I DO NOT want a Oblivion's Gate and I DO NOT want a Spider Clan.

However, I loved the Spider Clan (especially at the beginning. Stories were pretty much subpar for every clans anyway at the end), and as such I want similar stories. I want strong villains (with supernatural corruption or not), and I want them to look as badass as possible. That's what I'm hoping with Shahai and Imperial-heir-that-used-to-be-Daigotsu-in-another-timeline. If we end up with the same Spider Clan, I'll be as disappointed than if Shoju ends up doing yet another Clan Coup or if the Lying Darkness corrupts Hitomi once again.

 

I want things to be different this time, but I want the story team to throw me a bone once in a while. And namedropping Shahai and her having a chance to meet Daigotsu, fall in love and corrupt a good chunk of the Hidden Guard just sounds awesome, regardless of the final outcome (death, usurpation, etc.)

Here's the thing, though -- any hate for Spider is probably hate for Daigotsu, too. He was around longer, Spider was his baby, and he was guilty of similar sins (plot armor, being a creator's favorite, his presence cheapening and/or derailing the stories of others). I don't know that anyone would begrudge Spider fans a Mikio or an Omoni, but just namedropping the D's almost certain to anger some fans.

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14 minutes ago, SirEuain said:

dropping the D's almost certain to anger some fans.

I agree dropping the D on someone would probably piss most people off....

Of course dropping double D's is ok.......Nope, still doesn't sound good when phrased that way

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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1 hour ago, SirEuain said:

Here's the thing, though -- any hate for Spider is probably hate for Daigotsu, too. He was around longer, Spider was his baby, and he was guilty of similar sins (plot armor, being a creator's favorite, his presence cheapening and/or derailing the stories of others). I don't know that anyone would begrudge Spider fans a Mikio or an Omoni, but just namedropping the D's almost certain to anger some fans.

LOL begrudge us? 

why do the rest of l5r fans think they are somehow the gatekeepers of the game for the spider/shadowlands fans? 

buckle up, kids. theres a LOT of characters in the history of l5r you may or may not like, daigotsu among them, that the ffg canon is gonna re-use. strapping on your "we aren't gonna take this" pants is gonna be a futile effort so maybe just put those away at the back of the drawer now. 

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AGoT, Netrunner and now L5R have seven factions. It's big enough for players to find one that appeals to them, and small enough for all of them to have distinct play styles Also, it's simple for card pack design; two cards for each faction with some neutrals/provinces to round it out. 

That's why I personally don't expect the Mantis or Spider to be major factions in the LCG. I'm sure they'll exist in some way in the story, but likely not as a regularly supported faction in the LCG. Rather, I would suspect they'll be like Apex and the other minor runners in Netrunner; they'll get a deck in one of the deluxe expansions with some additional cards once in a blue moon. 

That probably puts a hard ceiling on their focus and importance to the story, which is to say they will probably not be Great Clans in L5R 2.0. However, if/when they release the mostly-inevitable RPG, that opens possibilities I suppose...

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3 hours ago, Zithaska said:

AGoT, Netrunner and now L5R have seven factions.

AGoT has 8 factions, Conquest had 9. I don't think things are as clear cut as you make to be. There's precedent with more than 7 factions in the latest LCG.

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I think the main issue with Spider Clan isn't about their narrative, but simply what the clan is.

The Great Clans are "inside" Rokugan.  They are the courts, the dueling, and the wars.  None of them, not even Scorpion are purely evil or good.  They are a mixed bag that can be shaped by characters and stories, and given an ebb and flow of power that allows a continuous story line.  Even the Scorpion and the SCC storyline didn't paint the Scorpion as a forever-cursed and must-be-destroyed faction.  They were beaten, pushed out of the story, but then they were re-introduced and it was okay because they were people doing new things.  Their purpose wasn't to destroy the empire, that was just 1 arc.

The Spider is like the Shadowlands, and Gaijin.  They are "outside" Rokugan, and thus are "evil."  Their clans serve a very singular purpose in destroying what makes Rokugan.  As these factions gain power it naturally culminates in a war that unites all of the great clans together against the evil force.  If any of these were allowed to actually succeed on a large scale it would literally end the game.  Its important the villains get a good face.  Something players can enjoy and relate to.  There are many players who want to be the villain in a more raw and evil way that characters like Junzo, Daigotsu, Shahai ect all fulfill.  The problem is these all eventually need to die.  There are only so many times you can see Shredder flee the TMNT before you don't care that he got away b/c you realize it is a simple plot device.  The suspended disbelief becomes weak until it drops and we cease to care for the narrative.  At this point the story, no matter how complex the machinations or how justified the preservation is, becomes anti-climactic.  When you tell a story of good vs evil you need to have a point where it comes down to a final fight, and good wins.

I understand why people like Spider.  I wouldn't mind them coming back - but they need to be transient.  Give them their story, let them do their thing, and then let them go - because they have no purpose beyond being a cool villain.

Edited by shosuko

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8 hours ago, cielago said:

LOL begrudge us? 

why do the rest of l5r fans think they are somehow the gatekeepers of the game for the spider/shadowlands fans? 

The thing is... they're gonna be. If FFG follow the actual Organized Play model for Story Advancement, with Hatamotos from different clans choosing from some pregiven options, they're gonna be. As someone else said, Spider was always an enemy for the other seven Great Clans. Meaning they would be in a pretty serious disadvantage when it comes to Story choosing time regarding their clan.

Look at the last (and also first) decision: Clans were split up between the two options of banning meishodo or investigating it. Apart from the obvious "Phoenix will ban and Unicorn will vote investigate", the other clans had to look to other things to make their decision: Did the Dragon wanted to keep the Unicorn as their allies at the cost of angering the Phoenix? Was the Scorpion interested in further debilitating the Unicorn by banning it, or preferred to investigate so they learn their secrets? Etc...

What I mean is, there was diversity in the election. Now, if that same story decision would have involved the Spider, you can rest assured that every Great Clan will choose the most negative effect for the Spider Clan. And I doubt the Spider Clan will have enough Hatamotos to counter having evey other Hatamoto from every other clan against them.

(P.S. I'm not a native english speaker so sorry if something sounds weird)

Edited by Tabris2k
Grammar

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26 minutes ago, Tabris2k said:

What I mean is, there was diversity in the election. Now, if that same story decision would have involved the Spider, you can rest assured that every Great Clan will choose the most negative effect for the Spider Clan. And I doubt the Spider Clan will have enough Hatamotos to counter having evey other Hatamoto from every other clan against them.

It may be right for storyline decisions determined by a vote of all hatamoto (or even only those of the tournament) instead of just the winner but we don't know yet if that will be the case. The first tournament was hosted in very specific conditions so there could very well be differences in storyline choices in the future.

On top of that, I can't be 100% sure since I was barely following the game at the time but I think there have been several alliances of their clans by players with the spider despite them being at the top of their unpopularity at the time, so I think people are less manichean that what you're saying.

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1 hour ago, KerenRhys said:

It may be right for storyline decisions determined by a vote of all hatamoto (or even only those of the tournament) instead of just the winner but we don't know yet if that will be the case. The first tournament was hosted in very specific conditions so there could very well be differences in storyline choices in the future.

Could be. As far as I know, the only thing that has been said about that is that the winner of the Winter Court (World Champ) will be named Shogun and will "make a critical story choice that will influence the very future of Rokugan." But I doubt that would be the only story choice in all year, or hence the story will move veeery slowly or with little interaction from the players. So I kind of expect they'll give minor story choices following the Hatamoto system in every Kotei/Grand Kotei.

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6 hours ago, KerenRhys said:

AGoT has 8 factions, Conquest had 9. I don't think things are as clear cut as you make to be. There's precedent with more than 7 factions in the latest LCG.

Ah, I keep forgetting about Nights Watch... I didn't play Conquest. Doesn't change my hypothesis, but I cede it could lend support to the alternative. 

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7 hours ago, shosuko said:

Even the Scorpion and the SCC storyline didn't paint the Scorpion as a forever-cursed and must-be-destroyed faction.  They were beaten, pushed out of the story, but then they were re-introduced and it was okay because they were people doing new things.  Their purpose wasn't to destroy the empire, that was just 1 arc.

Their purpose was never to destroy the empire. The whole point of Shoju's coup as a narrative element was the dramatic irony that his attempt to save Rokugan instead brought about the very thing he wanted to prevent.

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On 8/18/2017 at 9:57 PM, SirEuain said:

Having an internal threat like the pre-exposure Spider or the Kolat only works when it's an unexpected threat. When it becomes ongoing, the threat no longer is because the bad guys are just so awesome, it's because the clans are staffed by idiots. See also how the Spider, after their exposure, barely changed their methods, and nobody was the wiser -- not the Scorpion or Crab, who were actively looking for an excuse to fight the Spider, not the Lion who found clear proof of their ongoing corruption, and not the Dragon who literally had keeping the Spider in line as their primary purpose.

Turning the Spider into a hidden presence only works in the short term, as the clans who'd love nothing more than to slaughter every last Spider would not be allowed. Unless FFG lets them,  the Spider still has plot armor and the other clans still look foolish.

[Emphasis mine]

I agree with everything you have to say about the Spider, but I think you can have persistent covert threats without making the clans look foolish. The key is to make those threats more complex (less mustache-twirling evil). Rokugan is a medieval feudal society, and like any such society from our history, there are certain weaknesses that will be persistent:

  1. Religious minorities (heretics if you prefer)
  2. Down-trodden peasants
  3. Put-upon non-Samurai who are nevertheless wealthy/powerful.

If you had a covert faction bent on attacking/destroying the natural order, it could prove nearly impossible for even competent inquisitors to permanently eradicate so long as it provided a positive enough vision to a significant subset of Rokugani society.  This is why I'm really excited to see what they do with the promised land sect. 

I think it would also make for more interesting story telling if the covert threat was at least somewhat sympathetic. Morally irredeemable antagonists are boring in my opinion.

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5 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

What I mean is, there was diversity in the election. Now, if that same story decision would have involved the Spider, you can rest assured that every Great Clan will choose the most negative effect for the Spider Clan. And I doubt the Spider Clan will have enough Hatamotos to counter having evey other Hatamoto from every other clan against them.

I don't need the Spider Clan to be playable either. I could totally get behind a game where the villains are not playable. Give me good villains and I'll be happy.

 

However, give me a chance to corrupt a few things through story choices, and I'll be overjoyed. I can totally see a few story choices having a ''bad'' choice available, even if no ''evil'' clan is playable. (To be fair, Ornatov or Sparks, among others, will be the ones doing the corruption, since they win tournaments and I don't)

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31 minutes ago, Tetsuhiko said:

I don't need the Spider Clan to be playable either. I could totally get behind a game where the villains are not playable. Give me good villains and I'll be happy.

It's easier to make the villains interesting when they aren't playable, because then they don't have be treated on the same terms as the heroes.

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4 minutes ago, Kinzen said:

It's easier to make the villains interesting when they aren't playable, because then they don't have be treated on the same terms as the heroes.

The (regular) Great Clans can be heroes and/or villains.  The issue with the Spider old school would be the no possibility of heroes in the eyes of the rest of the Empire. If that's not enough some clans serve Tengoku, other serves Jigoku. So...

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42 minutes ago, Wintersong said:

The (regular) Great Clans can be heroes and/or villains.  The issue with the Spider old school would be the no possibility of heroes in the eyes of the rest of the Empire. If that's not enough some clans serve Tengoku, other serves Jigoku. So...

I personally make a distinction between villains and antagonists. With antagonists, you can understand why they want the things they want, and maybe you even agree with their goals, just not their methods. Antagonists are the ones who might be heroes, if you looked at them from a different perspective, or maybe you can reconcile with them and achieve a compromise that benefits everybody. Villains are just straight-up evil, the people who want bad things and achieve them via bad means, and compromising with them means losing. Shoju is an antagonist, because he's doing horrible things in an attempt to save the Empire; Kali-Ma is a villain, trashing everything because that's what she does.

Under that distinction, the regular Great Clans can be protagonists or antagonists, and that's an excellent situation for telling stories. My fundamental issue with a playable Jigoku faction is that playable = protagonist, from the standpoint of how the game interfaces with the story, but Jigoku = evil, which means it's a villain. So I'd be much happier with the approach other people have suggested, which is that there be mechanics for representing corrupted wins, etc, without treating that force as a protagonist.

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16 hours ago, cielago said:

LOL begrudge us? 

why do the rest of l5r fans think they are somehow the gatekeepers of the game for the spider/shadowlands fans? 

buckle up, kids. theres a LOT of characters in the history of l5r you may or may not like, daigotsu among them, that the ffg canon is gonna re-use. strapping on your "we aren't gonna take this" pants is gonna be a futile effort so maybe just put those away at the back of the drawer now. 

Because the topic was about how the Spider would likely need to change so that the rest of the player base is more accepting of them. I realize you're cool with Daigotsu, but for a lot of players, he and the Spider were reasons to leave the game last time. Moreover, while I understand you feel it right and proper to rudely condescend to people who don't care for Daigotsu and feel he was partly to blame for the game's death, it's no more mature to stomp your feet and insist you should get him back regardless of what other players want. Daigotsu was a divisive character. FFG's not obligated to listen to either his fans or his haters to the exclusion of the other. 

Edited by SirEuain

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I've long thought that the Spider Clan have suffered from players and the designers refusing/failing to disconnect the clan from the Shadowlands/Jigoku.

Prior to the clan's creation L5R was missing a fairly major part of the samurai genre: an Oda Nobunaga expy and those that proudly serve him.

Crane are the cultured warrior nobles.

Crab are pragmatic and brutish defenders of the realm.

Dragon are mountain mystics and wandering warrior philosophers.

Lion are honor before reason samurai and master tacticians.

Mantis were Wokou, Japanese pirates.

Phoenix are stoic yojimbos with arrogant onmyoji.

Unicorn are Japanese horse archers with compassionate onna-bugeisha.

Scorpion are loyal ninjas. (despite claims of being villains by players they were only nominally. They are sneaky loyal to death ninjas and sexy kunoichi.)

Where are the blood thirsty samurai who revel in battle and conflict? Where are the samurai  who others are not certain they are man or demon?

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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4 hours ago, Rawls said:

[Emphasis mine]

I agree with everything you have to say about the Spider, but I think you can have persistent covert threats without making the clans look foolish. The key is to make those threats more complex (less mustache-twirling evil). Rokugan is a medieval feudal society, and like any such society from our history, there are certain weaknesses that will be persistent:

  1. Religious minorities (heretics if you prefer)
  2. Down-trodden peasants
  3. Put-upon non-Samurai who are nevertheless wealthy/powerful.

If you had a covert faction bent on attacking/destroying the natural order, it could prove nearly impossible for even competent inquisitors to permanently eradicate so long as it provided a positive enough vision to a significant subset of Rokugani society.  This is why I'm really excited to see what they do with the promised land sect. 

I think it would also make for more interesting story telling if the covert threat was at least somewhat sympathetic. Morally irredeemable antagonists are boring in my opinion.

Those scenarios, though, don't rely on the exact same faction popping up repeatedly. Dealing with peasant uprisings is fine. Having the peasant uprising essentially lasting fifty years because the creators of the game decide that the lead core of peasants keep slipping away isn't. That's what happened with Daigotsu, it happened with Kokujin, it happened with the Kolat, and it happened with the Gozoku. 

People want subtle, infiltrating enemies, I'm all for it. Just don't make them so subtle that the rest of the playerbase isn't allowed to touch them.

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24 minutes ago, Kinzen said:

I personally make a distinction between villains and antagonists. With antagonists, you can understand why they want the things they want, and maybe you even agree with their goals, just not their methods. Antagonists are the ones who might be heroes, if you looked at them from a different perspective, or maybe you can reconcile with them and achieve a compromise that benefits everybody. Villains are just straight-up evil, the people who want bad things and achieve them via bad means, and compromising with them means losing. Shoju is an antagonist, because he's doing horrible things in an attempt to save the Empire; Kali-Ma is a villain, trashing everything because that's what she does.

Under that distinction, the regular Great Clans can be protagonists or antagonists, and that's an excellent situation for telling stories. My fundamental issue with a playable Jigoku faction is that playable = protagonist, from the standpoint of how the game interfaces with the story, but Jigoku = evil, which means it's a villain. So I'd be much happier with the approach other people have suggested, which is that there be mechanics for representing corrupted wins, etc, without treating that force as a protagonist.

This reminds me of a storytelling stunt from Jojo's Bizzare Adventure Diamond is Unbreakable, which impressed me a whole lot. The THE Villain of the story was presented in a way that made my head spin a little, because somehow, he ended up being a villain-antagonist-protagonist all at once. That's probably mostly because his proper introduction was made with him as a point of view character, facing major troubles and challenges, definitely not being in a position of power, For these two episodes, he was basically a protagonist and a main character. Later, narrative shifts points of view a lot, but until the very final arc, The Main Bad Guy is almost sympathetic, constantly struggling against heroes (which is shown usually from his POV) and in general, he is a protagonist on his own in his episodes.

All of this while rest of the cast is on a manhunt to get him, for good reasons (the guy is a serial killer!), and it's pretty clear that he is the antagonist of the story, and unless you go for the "he is mentally ill" card (which, in the end, i ended up going for), pretty goddamn evil. Even during "his" episodes, you can never forget that he is a villain. A troubled, just-wanting-to-have-a-peaceful-life, constantly doing his best, but still a villain. 

So I think it is doable to have a villain protagonist antagonist of evil evilness...but writing it can be really hard. Whats actually interesting, opinions about this specific villains are pretty polarized - a lot of people really loved him and his story, but not insignificant portion of readers and watchers didn't like him, or not as much as the previous Main Villain. What I got from reading lots of these reviews and opinions is that the method which was used to make the guy work as a "protag villain" (not overpowering the heroes, and basically constantly having to outsmart them just to survive; facing constant threats and being put in a lot of vulnerable spots; being reactive to proactivity of heroes [dude just wants to maintain his lifestyle, heroes threathen that lifestyle; villain is forced to take a major risk and face a dramatic change in his life or perish; and, in the end, he finally discovers a new power that puts him on the counteroffensive and rebuilds his self confidence, which allows him to triumph over the heroes and continue his peaceful life [well, he almost does]. Sounds...awfully familiar, doesn't it :P?] defanged him, "robbed him" of "villainous majesty", made him "weak", and "lowered the stakes of the story". Basically, a lot of people didn't like the fact that he was a villain who wasn't all powerful and for majority of the story, the biggest problem protagonists had in beating him wasn't overpowering him, but actually finding him (and when they found him for the first time, ho boy, he barely made it out). Compare this to his predecessor, who was a nearly immortal, super powerful, "large ham" cartoonishly evil vampire overlord, who actually ascended to being sort of an iconic character for the genre.

 

What this has to do with Shadowlands? Well...I feel that a lot of attempts at making "Spider Clan working" would end up facing a backlash similar to what the Villain Protag Antagonist of above did; people love the "sitting on the dark throne and cackling" nature of Shadowlands, they love the feeling of being overpoweringly powerful, and overall, they like the "villain package". Which doesn't really work for protag, villain or not. 

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