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On 23-9-2017 at 8:48 PM, Molinext said:

I would love for them to put out an expansion, around an incursion from Shadowlands. I would invision this as a cooperative/competitive style like pandemic or arkham horror, where we either all lose or one of us wins. Could be a larger box like terminal directive for netrunner. Would be awesome if it scaled in difficulty based on nbe of players.

It could be similiar to the challenge decks from the Balance of the Force Expansion for Star Wars. Having two or three Clans/players fighting a pre-constructed Shadowlands deck could be epic.

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On the Facebook L5R LCG group, Shaunessy Connor had an idea for Shadowlands. I'd added 'Corruption' points to Shadowlands fan vcards I made, and he proposed that:

-For every point of corruption you have, it requires you more honor to win.

- For every point of corruption you have, your opponent can go that many points into negative honor before they lose.

I like the first part. It's very thematic, and could potentially balance Shadowlands stuff being beefy for the cost. granted, it's not like people running Shadowlands would be trying to win via Honor anyway (Kitsu Tombs in 'Old5R' was fun, but so, so silly). So, it's not that big of a penalty. I imagine they could print some cards that punish people based  on how many corruption tokens they have, and / or make it more difficult to get the favor.

The second part is also perfectly thematic, but having a main 'resource' go into negatives is rather clunky, and in the original L5R, it confused some people trying to learn the game. The benefits might outweigh the issues, though.

Also, using this version of a corruption system keeps Shadowlands from needing to use an entirely different honor system than everyone else. I would probably add something to the core rules like "you do not gain honor when an Honored Shadowlands personality leaves play", to help keep certain corrupt Clan decks from being able to bid high too often.

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I think a simple clean way to feature Shadowlands would be to make it so Shadowlands characters enter play dishonored.

none of them should have any glory or it should be very rare.  When they die you lose honor so the more you play with them the more honor you lose.

figure out the rest later but I think that would be a good starting point

 

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3 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

I think a simple clean way to feature Shadowlands would be to make it so Shadowlands characters enter play dishonored.

none of them should have any glory or it should be very rare.  When they die you lose honor so the more you play with them the more honor you lose.

figure out the rest later but I think that would be a good starting point

 

One problem with that idea, off the top of my head:

Making all Shadowlands character Dishonored by default limits design space. Any card the devs want to design that targets dishonored personalities (such as 'I can Swim') automatically effects all Shadowlands characters as well. This is an issue both mechanically and thematically. It makes certain iconic deck styles (courtier dishonor control, magistrate dishonor, etc) nearly impossible to make decent cards for.

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3 hours ago, Togashi Gao Shan said:

One problem with that idea, off the top of my head:

Making all Shadowlands character Dishonored by default limits design space. Any card the devs want to design that targets dishonored personalities (such as 'I can Swim') automatically effects all Shadowlands characters as well. This is an issue both mechanically and thematically. It makes certain iconic deck styles (courtier dishonor control, magistrate dishonor, etc) nearly impossible to make decent cards for.

Any way it's done will limit design space to some extent.  I'm only looking for ways to fit in Shadowlands based on what we know about the game as is.  With a complete reset, there are no iconic deck styles. Nothing really carries over from the old game.  Sure Lion Swarm, Scorpion Dishonor, or Crane Honor, etc may exist but not in the way we remember it in the CCG.

Should the possibly lead to cards that require a character to become dishonored in order to work being unusable against Shadowlands? Yes and imo thematically that is accurate as Shadowlands shouldn't  care about that.  It also makes cards that hose already dishonored characters stronger since you don't have to do any work to dishonor them. 

The goal is to keep Shadowlands balanced within the framework of the game. Making some whole new mechanic for Shadowlands presents the problem of having all the cards that were printed without that mechanic have less interaction with it and forces design into essentially rebuilding the game around it.

If FFG has already decided to include Shadowlands they have already figured it out since they are ahead several sets in terms of design.  We'll know for sure once we see ToA. 

*edit*

How about instead of the dishonor being automatic make it a part of the cost of their printed actions?  For example: what if part of the cost to use Goblin Sneak's ability was to dishonor it? To me this would represent that character choosing to embrace the Shadowlands, gaining all that comes with it......powerful effect at the cost of their own honor.  It feels thematically accurate to me, and balanced.

Edited by Ishi Tonu
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56 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

The goal is to keep Shadowlands balanced within the framework of the game.

Then you would build them just like you build any other faction. They favor one particular aspect of the game's mechanics and then have synergistic abilities with keywords internally. Having sweeping effects or mechanics is generally a terrible move that ultimately cripples design space.

There should be no huge sweeping mechanic for shadow lands. Like the goblin they should just have interesting effects that fit their flavor, maybe some cards that care about the shadowlands keyword, and then a core concept that many of their abilities are lightly tied around. You really don't need anything more honestly, mechanics should be VERY general, then inside themes could be more specific.

For example, look at the clans at their most general

  1. Lion care about attacking military and having higher honor
  2. Crane cares about the political stat and having more honored characters
  3. Crab cares about defending and resource management
  4. Dragon cares about attachments and fate management
  5. Phoenix cares about the Glory stat and ring manipulation
  6. Scorpion cares about the honor dial and negative modifiers
  7. Unicorn cares about movement and having the initiative

These are all SUPER general, they all don't have sweeping mechanics that define every character, and neither should any other faction introduced. You don't need these drastic new mechanics to create the flavorable and thematic feel to shadowlands, it's possible to do with the inherent design practices we see in the game already

Now for Shadowlands, if I were building a faction around them, I would consider something that already happens in this game. There is a very real play state where a player will turn one flip a champion, buy them fully and then go to town with them while the opponent tries to deal with this one huge threat. If you haven't fought a turn one Shoju let your scorpion friend show you as it is a great example of what I'm talking about. He quickly can take over the dynamics of the game in a very interesting all in strategy, he could dominate and score major victories or he could fall apart as the opponent goes wide around him. When Isawa Kaede comes out she too will be a very powerful turn one buy. While clans can all have that moment with their champion, I would make shadowlands take that style of strategy, building a tower character, and run with it as their core concept.

Shadowlands could be built around the mechanic of caring about having 1-2 main characters who have higher individual stats then the opponent's characters. Way of the Shadowlands style cards would be like a variation of Rout or Outwit, except requiring the shadowlands keyword. They  would have abilities that care about their stats being higher then others like (Interupt: If this character is participating in a conflict and has the highest military stat, cancel an event that targets it.) or (This character gets +1/+1 during combat for each participating character opposing it). So you have very high stat characters and are about leveraging that to their advantage while being a block the opponent has to get around. Maybe have them have less actions that directly interact with the enemies characters, but instead focus on buffing or protecting themselves selfishly. The entire concept of Jigoku vs Rokugan on an ideological level at least, is this dynamic that Rokugan is about Order, about the self merely being a part of the greater whole and finding contentment in being within your chosen place, however the Shadowlands and Jigoku itself is inherently greedy and selfish, an endless maw that will not be content until all are devoured into it and the strongest stand along. 

An oni is a giant monster that has little to no concept of teamwork, only a desire for power and destruction, the old concept of the Lost and Spider were evil Samurai that followed Shourido, the path of seeking to perfect the self over others, so make them very selfish cards mechanically. They buff themselves, protect themselves, destroy things that are harming them, a very selfish faction at its core. Characters that have massive stats but only fight alone, or incredible abilities that only matter when they are ahead.  Something like "Here is a 9/2 Oni being sent right at you, he cant be bowed as long as he is the tallest character, find a way to stop him" kind of situations where the opponent has to deal with these bricks you are throwing at their face. Shadowlands would be about bringing out these huge monsters/ powerful dark samurai and throwing them into fights as giant obstacles the opponent has to maneuver around or answer in specific ways, very selfish effects and a play style that could see one monster taking on an army of 2-3 characters and still holding strong as the opponent has to approach them in a certain way. Shadowlands would be the faction that builds TALL, with a few small utility characters that effect or disrupt the opponent's abilities to stop them, like how the goblin steals fate to reduce the bodies and options of the opponent for the turn. You would also find the Chuda summoners, helping you bring these beasts into play and enhancing them further.

That is the direction I would take the clan, focusing on an aspect of the game that other clans can do, but they do it more often. Like how Lion care about attacking military... other clans also attack military but Lion does it far more often and with far more gusto and results. Every clan can turn one champion swing, but Shadowlands would do that more often, focusing on making 1-2 massive threats over the game.  A mechanic that the other factions have dealt with, but none really specialize with or focus on it. The closest we have is dragon and its more a side effect of them wanting to have a lot of equipment and attachments on their characters.

 

2 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

How about instead of the dishonor being automatic make it a part of the cost of their printed actions?  For example: what if part of the cost to use Goblin Sneak's ability was to dishonor it? To me this would represent that character choosing to embrace the Shadowlands, gaining all that comes with it......powerful effect at the cost of their own honor.  It feels thematically accurate to me, and balanced.

Dishonoring yourself for abilities is already a thing, its the scorpion clan's  primary cost for their more powerful actions and synergies with their thematic feel of "becoming the villain". Shadowlands wouldn't care about those mechanics because honor means nothing to them, in fact they should usually have 0 glory, so that they can never profit from being honored and do not suffer from being dishonored.  

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2 hours ago, TheItsyBitsySpider said:

Shadowlands wouldn't care about those mechanics because honor means nothing to them, in fact they should usually have 0 glory, so that they can never profit from being honored and do not suffer from being dishonored.  

I wouldn't agree that Shadowlands card should only have 0 glory.

In fact I think that Shadowlands should have quite a few cards with high glory and ways of using that glory without being honorable/negate the penalties of being dishonorable.

Wouldn't Shourido be very tempting splash for high glory clans if it was a philosophy attachment that negated the pol/mil bonuses/penalties of the honorable/dishonorable status in exchange for always adding the characters glory?

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@TIBS

That sounds like a good idea. My concern would be that it ends up being Tyranid re-skin ported over to L5R.  The design team does have experience with Conquest and I could see that happening.  While the comparisons between Tyranid and Shadowlands can certainly be made, they are not the same and I think it would be somewhat of a failure if the Shadowlands just ended up being represented that way.

The Shadowlands had just as much diversity as the whole rest of the empire.  Oni were widely varied in their abilities and stats.  There are a also, goblins, trolls, ogres, undead, lost, and fallen humans who were each unique in what they did.  

Don't get me wrong, I plan on playing the heck out of whatever Shadowlands cards we get, I just think it would be a shame to force them into the "big dumb brute smash province" role........because that's the Crab's job anyways. :P

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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We are definitely getting neutral Shadowlands cards according to the FFG spoiler articles.  I wonder if a future Shadowlands deck could be as simple as a neutral Stronghold representing some offshoot of the Imperial family that gives you benefit for playing Shadowlands cards.  I'm very curious to see what that Goblin Sneak does.  He's very pricey for those stats.

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1 hour ago, kempy said:

Imagine whole deck based on bog hags infilitrating and wearing other people skins.

So, a whole deck of Shosuro Actresses? :P

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3 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

The Shadowlands had just as much diversity as the whole rest of the empire.  Oni were widely varied in their abilities and stats.  There are a also, goblins, trolls, ogres, undead, lost, and fallen humans who were each unique in what they did.  

Don't get me wrong, I plan on playing the heck out of whatever Shadowlands cards we get, I just think it would be a shame to force them into the "big dumb brute smash province" role........because that's the Crab's job anyways. :P

Hmmmmm. I just cant see Shadowlands being popular or playable as a stand-alone deck. I mean, come on, who would play that?

What will we see next - An Imperial stand-alone deck? Who the heck would play that??? :D :P

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