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Agasha_Kazusinge

Bummed out by the Lore Reboot.

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Maybe folks here can sell me on this, but for me I've always felt like what made L5R great was its continually evolving storyline. Lots of crazy stuff would happen and I would touch base with my friends for updates and it would just amaze me where the story had gone. When last I heard the Spider Clan had ascended and exiled the Great Clans to the desert. It makes me somewhat sad that we'll never get to see what happened with that. But beyond that there's just so many great moments from the history of the game that will have never happened. Hida Yakamo and Mirumoto Hitomi and their vicious rivalry that ended with them ascending to become Sun and Moon; Yogo Junzo and the opening of the Black Scroll; The revelation of Togashi Yokuni as Togashi the Kami; Toturi and Doji Hoturi...man a lot of awesome history is going under the bus.

 

It's bumming me out. I wonder if it wouldn't just be better to lay out the timeline the way Star Wars does: Eras of play. Let people choose where they want to enter the story. Or maybe even free them to run a much more personalized version of Rokugan if they want, without every forest and hill and town named, without the thousands of NPCs and bajillion year histories--where they are free to come up with their own stuff. I mean if we're talking about trying to change things to make it accessible to new players. I'm not sure a reboot is the way to go...

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I generally dislike almost everything they did after Scorpion Clan Coup, so i'm very happy about reboot
But i see your point here

Luckily, the storyline thing is something you can always incorporate in your campaign (and i also suggest you to pick up the Imperial Histories 1 and 2 from previous edition)

As for more personalized version, i think that FFG's reboot is to let us explore a brand new world, without anything cool (pun intended) already happened, and everyone knowing what's there, who's done that and uncovered this secret just because they read on previous editions...

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This all kind of goes to my original point though. If the whole thing were reinvisioned as Eras of Play, folks who like the old storyline would have resources to support it. Folks who longed for whatever they considered "their" Rokugan could set their games there. If there's lore or secrets that you don't approve of, you just set your game in an earlier era and those "secrets" become an uncertain future--prophecy you could call it. Who's to say what Yogo Junzo will do...

It might seem like semantics to say "we're playing in an earlier Era of Play" rather than "they're rebooting the setting but we're ignoring that and choosing to play in the dead former timeline" and maybe it is.

I just feel like there's so much story that everyone takes for granted. The stuff that makes Rokugan feel like Rokugan.

If you strip all of that away I don't know that I'm going to love what's left.

I mean it's possible FFG is planning to have a lot of the same storyline beats happen, that they aren't undoing the former story but are just winding it back and all the same plot points will just happen all over again. But what's the value in that? I mean granted I've seen enough Hollywood reboots that I know what that looks like: Robocop, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Mummy.

I have to imagine since they're giving themselves the power to change things from the very beginning, that they're going to use it. Right? Do that enough and the setting is going to quickly become unrecognizable. That's the worry anyhow. L5R is about characters and a living history, if its about anything. That's my concern.

Change that and it's what? Oriental Adventures?

Edited by Agasha_Kazusinge

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I like the evolving storyline. However... it was too wild too often. See also 2nd day of thunder...

And the Mantis becoming a major clan? 

I can see the Mantis rising over a few generations to being somewhere between minor and major, and the TMA doing so as well... but they'd still not become one of the "Children of the Kami" clans. (And, by 1100, even most of the Dragon, even the Togashi-by-birth, have a kami in their lineage somewhere...)

 

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The Mantis are already explicitly at the high end of minor clans, with power slightly above a single great clan family. I'd rather see the Minor Clan Alliance return, over a the addition of a specifically Mantis-themed great clan.

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17 minutes ago, Rawls said:

If this timeline avoids recreating the Spider clan, it'll all be worth it.

I partially agree. As long as it doesn't make the Spider a Great Clan

Edited by JorArns

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21 hours ago, Agasha_Kazusinge said:

This all kind of goes to my original point though. If the whole thing were reinvisioned as Eras of Play, folks who like the old storyline would have resources to support it. Folks who longed for whatever they considered "their" Rokugan could set their games there. If there's lore or secrets that you don't approve of, you just set your game in an earlier era and those "secrets" become an uncertain future--prophecy you could call it. Who's to say what Yogo Junzo will do...

It might seem like semantics to say "we're playing in an earlier Era of Play" rather than "they're rebooting the setting but we're ignoring that and choosing to play in the dead former timeline" and maybe it is.

I just feel like there's so much story that everyone takes for granted. The stuff that makes Rokugan feel like Rokugan.

If you strip all of that away I don't know that I'm going to love what's left.

I mean it's possible FFG is planning to have a lot of the same storyline beats happen, that they aren't undoing the former story but are just winding it back and all the same plot points will just happen all over again. But what's the value in that? I mean granted I've seen enough Hollywood reboots that I know what that looks like: Robocop, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Mummy.

I have to imagine since they're giving themselves the power to change things from the very beginning, that they're going to use it. Right? Do that enough and the setting is going to quickly become unrecognizable. That's the worry anyhow. L5R is about characters and a living history, if its about anything. That's my concern.

Change that and it's what? Oriental Adventures?

What's stopping you from playing 4E if you prefer the old timeline?

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The reboot is good for the game. New owners, new marketing team and most importantly new players. If they had to get to know 20 years of story to get involved in it, it would be a real turn off. They reset it to what most of the old guard would consider it's favorite point in history when they didn't have to as a nod to us. A new player doesn't care that Hida Kisada and Akodo Tutori are back, those of us who invested in those characters do. It's a best of both worlds scenario for new and returning players. And for a player like me, who started during broken blades, a chance to affect the stories of the legendary clan wars characters after missing out on them in the late 90s is even better.

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On 10/20/2017 at 1:10 PM, Agasha_Kazusinge said:

This all kind of goes to my original point though. If the whole thing were reinvisioned as Eras of Play, folks who like the old storyline would have resources to support it. Folks who longed for whatever they considered "their" Rokugan could set their games there. If there's lore or secrets that you don't approve of, you just set your game in an earlier era and those "secrets" become an uncertain future--prophecy you could call it. Who's to say what Yogo Junzo will do...

It might seem like semantics to say "we're playing in an earlier Era of Play" rather than "they're rebooting the setting but we're ignoring that and choosing to play in the dead former timeline" and maybe it is.

I just feel like there's so much story that everyone takes for granted. The stuff that makes Rokugan feel like Rokugan.

If you strip all of that away I don't know that I'm going to love what's left.

I mean it's possible FFG is planning to have a lot of the same storyline beats happen, that they aren't undoing the former story but are just winding it back and all the same plot points will just happen all over again. But what's the value in that? I mean granted I've seen enough Hollywood reboots that I know what that looks like: Robocop, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Mummy.

I have to imagine since they're giving themselves the power to change things from the very beginning, that they're going to use it. Right? Do that enough and the setting is going to quickly become unrecognizable. That's the worry anyhow. L5R is about characters and a living history, if its about anything. That's my concern.

Change that and it's what? Oriental Adventures?

Those stories aren't gone. You can go to Kaze no Shiro and read them until your heart is content. And the rpg material isn't gone either, 4e takes you from the Naga Empire all the way to the Fudo heresy (if not beyond). 

But individual characters and story arcs don't make l5r what it is, that's why it was so successful for so long. Every few years they'd soft reset the setting to tell new stories with new characters. What makes l5r what it is is it's setting, and the fans ability to influence and share in the development of that story. Which isn't gone. Yes this is a hard reboot vs say gold edition or Empress edition. But we've already got a dozen new fictions and already got to influence one. We have old favorites back to their familiar arcs, but we also have new people on new paths. 

The ride will be different, but that's not a bad thing. What would be the point of retelling the same story? But it will be l5r, if you don't believe me I urge you to go read the new fictions. Ffg really seems to understand what it's working with, and how much it means to people. Maybe they'll misstep along the way, trying to walk the hard line of making it new and exciting and theirs while trying to honor what came before and fan expectations, but it's clear to this long time fan that they're trying their best to make a game old and new fans will like.

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14 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

For that matter, what’s stopping anyone from playing any edition they want, in any era of any timeline they want?

  • Availability of books
    • New GM's can't easily get the old ones
    • new players can't easily get the old ones
    • new material isn't going to come out for it
  • willingness to play out of print systems with now-irreplaceable books
  • Many dislike the d10 R&K system, having used it as a tolerated PITA
  • Many dislike D&D 3.X, and don't like the difference from core feel it produces when using D&D 3.5's OA
    • Many of these also don't like d10 R&K, making the rules a pain.
  • Many have a strange distaste for the old even when the old is better.
    • This is true in many fields, not just tabletop gaming.
      EG: A modern fully mechanical engine can be just as fuel efficient as the current electrically controlled ones. But the current generation expect the electrically controlled ones, because of a misperception that the new tech is automatically better. The precision mechanical controls to get the same efficiency are extremely expensive... so there is a cost issue... and require more regular maintenance, also a cost issue... but if a nuke hits, the mechanical will still be functional; the electronic controlled won't be.
      EG: There are many practitioners who prefer the clarity of the DSM IV to the DSM IV-R or DSM V... (I personally know quite a few...)
  • Some have a desire to experience new systems, rather than to simply reuse old ones. (I'm one of those. Still, I ran an L5R 3E game last year... set just before the opening of the Scrolls of Iuchiban)
  • Some need new inspirational fiction and art.

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3 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Availability of books
    • New GM's can't easily get the old ones
    • new players can't easily get the old ones
    • new material isn't going to come out for it
  • willingness to play out of print systems with now-irreplaceable books
  • Many dislike the d10 R&K system, having used it as a tolerated PITA
  • Many dislike D&D 3.X, and don't like the difference from core feel it produces when using D&D 3.5's OA
    • Many of these also don't like d10 R&K, making the rules a pain.
  • Many have a strange distaste for the old even when the old is better.
    • This is true in many fields, not just tabletop gaming.
      EG: A modern fully mechanical engine can be just as fuel efficient as the current electrically controlled ones. But the current generation expect the electrically controlled ones, because of a misperception that the new tech is automatically better. The precision mechanical controls to get the same efficiency are extremely expensive... so there is a cost issue... and require more regular maintenance, also a cost issue... but if a nuke hits, the mechanical will still be functional; the electronic controlled won't be.
      EG: There are many practitioners who prefer the clarity of the DSM IV to the DSM IV-R or DSM V... (I personally know quite a few...)
  • Some have a desire to experience new systems, rather than to simply reuse old ones. (I'm one of those. Still, I ran an L5R 3E game last year... set just before the opening of the Scrolls of Iuchiban)
  • Some need new inspirational fiction and art.

Keep in mind I said “playing [what] they want”. It’s rare for a player or GM to want to play anything they don’t have access to (even if only via borrowing) or don’t like the mechanics of. None of my current players, who only played after 3rd ed was released, has ever asked if I would run a 2nd ed campaign for them (thankfully). They’re interested in 1st a bit, but only because of stuff I told them from way back when. We might start a 3rd ed game soon, since there’s no interest at all in 5th and most if us like several aspects of 3rd better than 4th (what we normally play now), but that’s an edition all of us have played so we have access to the materials. Choosing the in-game era is relatively easy and doesn’t require all that much access to source material beyond what the GM needs to explain to the players. You don’t necessarily have to get everything right just so either, nobody’s going to take your books away if you get something wrong or deliberately make some changes. Or even if you make up  stuff wholesale, like I did for a campaign set against the Yasuki ramping up for defection to the Crab (which the PCs delayed by a couple decades. There are also cheaply available legal .pdf versions of most sourcebooks, for those who want them.

There are lots of reasons why someone might not be able to or want to play a certain edition or set a game in a specific era, sure,  but those who can’t usually don’t have any real desire to and those who do want to usually can.

 

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All of which to the side, isn't the bottom line that

(1) FFG has a better chance to on-ramp new players (and therefore sell more books) with a reset timeline, and

(2) FFG therefore has no particular incentive to cater to existing players who miss the old timeline except by keeping the old timeline books available for purchase (which they are, through drivethruRPG)? 

I like the timeline reset for a lot of reasons, but I like it best because it's more likely to bring in new players and keep new L5R sourcebooks coming out.

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1 hour ago, Doji Meshou said:

All of which to the side, isn't the bottom line that

(1) FFG has a better chance to on-ramp new players (and therefore sell more books) with a reset timeline, and

(2) FFG therefore has no particular incentive to cater to existing players who miss the old timeline except by keeping the old timeline books available for purchase (which they are, through drivethruRPG)? 

I like the timeline reset for a lot of reasons, but I like it best because it's more likely to bring in new players and keep new L5R sourcebooks coming out.

In practice, why would (1) be true? It’s a timeline. Groups can ignore or use it as they see fit. It’s not like my players who only started out in 4th ed felt like they had to study all of Rokugan’s history in order to be able to play. They just needed to know the current situation and some broad strokes of what went on previously, and in a pinch I could just tell them what’s what anyway. We jumped all over the timeline, in fact in one campaign we actually jumped between eras by having the players play their regular characters one session and one of their character’s ancestors the next. It’s just a tool. One timeline isn’t better or worse than another.

Edited by nameless ronin

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1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

In practice, why would (1) be true? It’s a timeline. Groups can ignore or use it as they see fit. It’s not like my players who only started out in 4th ed felt like they had to study all of Rokugan’s history in order to be able to play. They just needed to know the current situation and some broad strokes of what went on previously, and in a pinch I could just tell them what’s what anyway. We jumped all over the timeline, in fact in one campaign we actually jumped between eras by having the players play their regular characters one session and one of their character’s ancestors the next. It’s just a tool. One timeline isn’t better or worse than another.

I think you underestimate how much "this game comes with two decades of lore" is off-putting, especially to people who aren't Dedicated Gamers. And even for people who are: I'm much less likely to pick up a game if I feel like there might be a large reading burden that won't make the game much more enjoyable for me.

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4 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

I think you underestimate how much "this game comes with two decades of lore" is off-putting, especially to people who aren't Dedicated Gamers. And even for people who are: I'm much less likely to pick up a game if I feel like there might be a large reading burden that won't make the game much more enjoyable for me.

The history part of the 4th ed rulebook is 11 pages. The setting fluff part is three times as long, and that’s without counting the clan-specific stuff. I agree there’s a fairly hefty reading burden for new players, but it’s not the amount of history that makes it so.

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