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Kakita Onimaru

Big changes you want to see in new RPG

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A lot of great ideas, most of them stemming from subjective views, which is perfectly fine (not just because I like most of those ideas) however, some cold hard facts are too often neglected, and that is why here is something we can all agree upon (I hope):

A sizable and quantifiable Rokugan!

Oh yeah! I want numbers for the proportion of samurai and non-samurai, numbers for the size of the map and every Clan's territories, numbers for the time really needed to reach destinations! It does give GMs an easier time to picture the world of one's stories and help players understand the land their characters roam.

Edited by Mirumoto Kuroniten
I am freaking excited by this new RPG!

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can't do without the Eta. Without Eta, no more reason for samurai.

The existence of Hinin and Heimin is part of the celestial order. It's also a base and justification for feudality.

As much as a samurai family is the pinnacle of reincarnation for an heimin, eta exist as a reminder of how reincarnate the wicked and unpious.

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Population numbers are dangerous because its easy to make them not make sense, especially remembering that Rokugan Samurai are much more than just soldier warrior caste.                                                                                

Also, something I want to see:

Stronger,more incorporated presence of folklore and supernatural happenings that are NOT Shadowlands related and are NOT shugenja-exclusive. Give me adventure fodder in a form of angry spirits, tricksy gods, weird happenings and other Legends of Five Inuyashas. More room for campaign hooks that are not political centered. 

Edited by WHW

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Another system can be cool, but not something with special dices.

I tried Genesys system with star wars and some of my friend that are huge star wars fans, and they all evaporated some session laters. If genesys is used to the 5th edition, it will be without me because I don't want to loose my friends for a game.

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6 hours ago, Laurence J Sinclair said:

No more eta.  Rokugan is not Japan, and as much as it is a feudal setting, it'd be nice to play a heroic, magical samurai without having such an extreme disparity between the player characters and the 'non-people' under them.

idk - the mechanic of the caste system aids in the presence of social interactions.  If you feel strongly about the caste system, its existence then gives you a great background for drama relating to it.  Maybe you find an Eta who is so beautiful that a Lord has secretly absconded with her, hiding her away as his precious pet because he can't have her publicly.  Your character can fight for her freedom from the evil warlord.  The focus of the mission is that he has committed no crime, so you find it difficult to gain allies against him.  Eventually you get a few partners in crime.  Maybe some of them are brave hinin or eta themselves, and you use your position as a Samurai to acquire weapons through the channels give to you, while obfuscating your purpose.  You fill out the paper work, dodge questions, spend weeks in the forest training them for the climactic, deadly raid you will lead on the evil warlords estate.  When you do free her you then must decide whether to return her to her eta village, or try to raise her in society to give her freedom.

Maybe you were an Eta the whole time, and only had your position because you found a loop hole.  Maybe you survived the 20 goblin winter.

Can't have a Django epic without the oppression inherent to the setting. 

3 hours ago, WHW said:

Population numbers are dangerous because its easy to make them not make sense, especially remembering that Rokugan Samurai are much more than just soldier warrior caste.                                                                                

Also, something I want to see:

Stronger,more incorporated presence of folklore and supernatural happenings that are NOT Shadowlands related and are NOT shugenja-exclusive. Give me adventure fodder in a form of angry spirits, tricksy gods, weird happenings and other Legends of Five Inuyashas. More room for campaign hooks that are not political centered. 

Yeah - population numbers and distance.  I've always wanted more concrete figures for these, but then I read through the Otosan Uchi box set...  The image of Otosan Uchi, and the map show about 30 or so buildings in each quarter, yet claim there are 4 or 8 thousand people there...  Its hard to make them make sense.

I definitely want more non-shadowlands mysticism.  There are a lot of Japanese spirits in their folklore which aren't evil that could be used to help create some eerie campaigns without having the taint everywhere.  Tengu warrior monks vs kappa warrior monks, lets go!

Edited by shosuko

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37 minutes ago, WHW said:

I'm also hoping for the eta removal, softening or at least renaming. Kind of like we can have Arkham Files without paying tribute to the source materials racism and lack of women. 

I can say as a black man that I personally dislike it when media tries softens things and trys to ignore/avoid those types of things. But, I dont dont speak for every one.

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Re: geographic dimensions of Rokugan.

I like this in theory, but there is a problem: Sci-fi writers have no sense of scale. In this case, replace 'sci-fi' with 'fantasy.' While the trope usually applies to space, it can easily apply to continents. People have trouble grasping big things the bigger it gets, and a continent is pretty big, relative to us. Unless they have someone who is very well educated on the subject, they will either grab a random number, which will be too big to be practical, or be too small to make any sense. Even if they did, it will not mean much to the layman, because most people can't navigate their way around their own neighborhood without getting lost, let alone follow a simple set of directions, let alone comprehend an atlas of the real world, let along comprehend the atlas of a fantasy world.

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12 minutes ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

I can say as a black man that I personally dislike it when media tries softens things and trys to ignore/avoid those types of things. But, I dont dont speak for every one.

I'm OK with the negative sides of the setting, too. The xenophobia against gaijin, feudalism, discrimination, militarism, and so on combine with the rest of Rokugani society to create a number of unique stories that you simply cannot tell in any other world. Not always nice and rosy, either. Not always with happy endings. Imperfect people in an imperfect world trying to do the right thing. That's what great stories are made of, in my mind.

But. If changing the name Eta to Burakumin or some such will genuinely make the world a better place, I'd be fine with it. But let us not wash away all the dirty underbelly and flaws of Rokugan.

Janny Wurts' To Ride H e  l l's Chasm or Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn are some of my favorite stories, and both have characters living in very unequal, very unfair societies. The History Channel's Vikings show is pretty good, but it doesn't exactly paint a pretty picture of my ancestors.

Edited by lumia2
Odd censorship of book title

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34 minutes ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

I can say as a black man that I personally dislike it when media tries softens things and trys to ignore/avoid those types of things. But, I dont dont speak for every one.

I agree.  Otherwise you can also get things like Deadlands where you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get why the CSA abandoned slavery.

 

Even in Arkham games we don't have to match the game to Lovecraft's  (loathesome) personal views to acknowledge the difficulty certain groups faced in 1920s America.  Pretending otherwise does everyone a disservice.

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1 hour ago, lumia2 said:

But. If changing the name Eta to Burakumin or some such will genuinely make the world a better place, I'd be fine with it. But let us not wash away all the dirty underbelly and flaws of Rokugan.

My issue with that sort of name-change is that it would be the equivalent of a game about the antebellum American South, with slavery supporting the lives of your plantation-owner PCs . . . while the books are very careful to refer to the slaves as African-Americans. Changing the term to a modern, less offensive alternative while keeping the structure of oppression and bigotry doesn't really help.

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I would like to see Rokugan presented as a more ethnically diverse world, with significant differences in appearance, mannerism, language, and culture throughout the Empire. And make the caste system differently permeable. In Lion Clan lands, if you are born a peasant, you have a choice: farm or pick up a spear (because being a lifelong Ashigaru is a thing). Born in the Crane Clan lands? Farm or hope to have inherited wealth from a merchant family. Born in the Crab Clan lands? Farm (and dream of one day picking up an axe and killing 20 goblins and becoming samurai). Born in Phoenix Clan lands? Pray to the Fortunes that your new daughter is actually talking to the kami, not just her imaginary friends.

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20 hours ago, suburbaknght said:

 I like that in 4e the katana is a superior weapon because in Rokugan it should be.

Ugh... Man, the überkatana thing gives me ulcers.

I have a dream. A dream that one day, katanas will be regarded as sidearms that they are. A dream that spears will get the respect they deserve as true battlefield weapons...

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16 hours ago, Manic Modron said:

I mean, that is the point of the sword being so used in so many cultures all over the world.

Actually, no. Swords where so prevalent because they where the kind of weapon you could use as a self-defense tool in day-to-day life in a relatively comfortable and convenient way.

Think of them as pistols. The pistol is such a prevalent weapon because it is small, comfortable to carry around and way easier to have legally than an assault rifle. But a soldier goes to war armed with an assault rifle, the pistol is there just as a last resort, if **** hits the fan in an amazing way.

 

EDIT:

16 hours ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

Not really. Swords are actually fairly mid-tier weapons in most cultures, including japan. Weapons with reach are generally preferred. Plus, its much easier to learn a spear than a sword. Even still, the "best" weapon to field in battle depends a lot on the continual evolution of weapon and armor technology.  For a time Halberds were the dominate weapon on the field for it reach and ability to pierce the armor common for the time.

 

BUT

 

You do consistently see swords everywhere because it proves to be an incredibly versatile, easy to transport, and reliable weapon. If we were to compare martial weapons to guns the Sword would be the Handgun: You'd want a rifle or shotgun if you knew you were going into a fight but you'd almost alway have your reliable handgun on you at all times.

 

Hah! Serves me right for not finishing reading the topic before responding. You ninja'ed me by a massive amount...

Edited by Mirumoto Saito

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A bit of humor for my actual point.


All I want is a samurai game where if, Kami forbid, we actually get into a sword fight, then reaching for your sword would be a wise thing to do.  You can't have a samurai game where people playing it say "whatever you do, DON'T GRAB YOUR KATANA."


It would be like a modern military game where you have a handgun, but in a situation where you want to use it, the system presents punching the target as a better choice.

Or like the X-Wing game where a number of people don't fly X-Wings.


By all means, samurai should be encouraged to use the right weapon for the right job.  But, if a katana isn't a dangerous tool, then players won't use one... Which is pretty sad for a samurai theme.

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11 hours ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

Everyone agreeing on something is not something the internet does.

Well, I disagree with your statement.

Back on topic, I do admit numbers can be tricky. However, there is no need nor demand for exact and perfect numbers, just numbers that give consistency to the lore. Something along the lines of  percentages of population and rough estimates of distances and travel times.

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2 hours ago, Manic Modron said:

However, I completely agree that training and technique should overshadow a weapon completely.  No sword or other weapon should be a substitute for skill.

 

Still, a superior tool will help you get the job done easier.

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I don't mind other weapons being viable. But this isn't Japan. In Rokugan the sword is culturally significant, same as Iaijutsu duels. You can't take those things away just because spears are more practical. The average person thinks Samurai use "samurai swords", and that's the way the world was built. Having them run around with more practical weapons ends with adding guns to the setting and starts taking away the fantasy elements of the story. For all this "gritty realism" this is a fantasy setting, with goblins, spell slingers and wuxia badassery.

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I came here for the 'spear is superior to sword' fight, but will stay for other shenanigans.

The thing I want to see has less to do with actual rules, and more to do with the legalese and licensing.  Specifically, if I start up a chatroom game/forum game/MUSH, will the Cease and Desist letters overflow my email, or will this sort of thing be allowed?

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3 hours ago, llamaman88 said:

I don't mind other weapons being viable. But this isn't Japan. In Rokugan the sword is culturally significant, same as Iaijutsu duels. You can't take those things away just because spears are more practical. The average person thinks Samurai use "samurai swords", and that's the way the world was built. Having them run around with more practical weapons ends with adding guns to the setting and starts taking away the fantasy elements of the story. For all this "gritty realism" this is a fantasy setting, with goblins, spell slingers and wuxia badassery.

I think ignoring practicality creates foolish settings.  The Sword is acceptable to wear around town.  It is very important to have with you, and it is also a symbol of your status.  Katana are deadly weapons, but they aren't the most deadly if you know you might be in combat and have nothing else to do.  Naginata, yari, yumi, and tetsubo could all be much better than the a katana in anything more than a minor skirmish.

Armor and Naginata are not acceptable to simply wear around town.  If you are wearing armor and carrying a naginata I would expect a magistrate would stop you to find out exactly who you plan to kill.  They are also cumbersom, making it difficult to do other things.  This isn't D&D, we aren't wandering the country side fighting what beastly mobs inhabit the wilds.  One of the most important differences between Rokugan and any other game is the air of civility.  You aren't taking the best weapon everywhere with you, you are taking the weapon that is acceptable to carry everywhere.  A sword should not be the best weapon by damage or in full combat.  The advantages of a Katana should be that it is acceptable to have it with you every day, and it is not encumbering.  Imagine carrying a spear or tetsubo everywhere with you.

Likewise - if you know you are going to war, or at least that you very well may be fighting then you should probably don your armor, and grab the weapons that mean business.  The advantages of good armor and weapons with a reach should be noticeable.

Edited by shosuko

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