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Agasha_Kazusinge

Bummed out by the Lore Reboot.

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2 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

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.

I mean, that's fine -- but do you really think FFG would have rebooted the timeline if it didn't make economic sense?

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Another thing they rebooted for was the chance to update the game. The original l5r is full of mistakes and inconsistency with the cultures it's inspired by. 

Like in the new game the Utaku family don't seem to have ever been the Otaku family, and don't need a big convoluted story to fix it. Also they've changed the way village and castle names work because AEG had it backwards. They've got the Unicorn much more Mongol influenced than they were at the beginning of AEGs l5r. They've made the game more inclusive by having more female champions like later editions did.

It seems like they're adding more elements of Shinto and other Asian beliefs. They've added crossbows and a few other weapons. Ashigaru seem way more common.

They're not just resetting the timeline, they're adjusting the setting.

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2 minutes ago, llamaman88 said:

Another thing they rebooted for was the chance to update the game. The original l5r is full of mistakes and inconsistency with the cultures it's inspired by. 

Like in the new game the Utaku family don't seem to have ever been the Otaku family, and don't need a big convoluted story to fix it. Also they've changed the way village and castle names work because AEG had it backwards. They've got the Unicorn much more Mongol influenced than they were at the beginning of AEGs l5r. They've made the game more inclusive by having more female champions like later editions did.

It seems like they're adding more elements of Shinto and other Asian beliefs. They've added crossbows and a few other weapons. Ashigaru seem way more common.

They're not just resetting the timeline, they're adjusting the setting.

This this this this. 

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5 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

This this this this. 

They could have done that without resetting the world.

Either way, I think the reboot will bring in more new players.

Edited by JorArns

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13 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

I mean, that's fine -- but do you really think FFG would have rebooted the timeline if it didn't make economic sense?

I’m sure they have their reasons. I doubt “this amount of history is off-putting for new players” is one of them though.

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The reboot also let's them ditch stuff that wouldn't be productive to new fans like the colonies and the Spider Clan. I am a fan of both things in the old game, probably one of the few, but saying the shadowlands is the empires greatest enemy, except this whole faction who worships it. Of and they hate Gaijin stuff... Except they own an entire Gaijin nation. 

The real thing is, they didn't have to reset to clan wars, they could have just made their own version of the setting with the great clans and the shadowlands and an emperor. But they gave AEG fans a nod by giving us old familiar characters we love along with their new take on the setting. 

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Just now, llamaman88 said:

The real thing is, they didn't have to reset to clan wars, they could have just made their own version of the setting with the great clans and the shadowlands and an emperor. But they gave AEG fans a nod by giving us old familiar characters we love along with their new take on the setting. 

Exactly right: for much the same reason comics reboot instead of discontinuing characters. :)

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I think a bit of this is having just started contributing to the open beta, I'm not really sure what trains have already left the station and what things are up for grabs in terms of making the new L5R what we want. The ad that brought me here gave me a pitch that I think led me to believe that things were a lot less decided on and more up for discussion. I'd heard word that FFG was talking about resetting the timeline. It now seems after a few days of looking around at the new LCG and watching some YouTube videos that the setting part of the game is fairly set in stone. I think that makes this seems a lot more like I'm just griping, which really isn't how it was meant.

With regard to being able to do what I want in my home games. Of course. It's not like, whatever happens with the rules, I can't go back and play the new game with my old books. Heck, I don't even have to buy the new FFG edition at all depending on how it goes. Right? Obviously the hope here is to hope influence the shape of the new edition, to say the things I love about the game and to try and pick away at a few of the things I've always been irritated by (a lot of which seem like they already got sorted out...which is great).

Trying to see anything of what I'm interested in make it into the game is kind of inherently a longshot. Like being one voice in a giant whirlwind. Part of making that work is figuring out what things are set and what things are open to change. It'd be nice to have a better picture of what's still open for change.

Right now I'm pulling together a character to get a better sense of how that works (hope to give some feedback on that) and I'm negotiation with my game group to try and run this new version of L5R so we can actually do some real playtesting rather than just theorizing. Until then I'm just waiting for my dice to show up from Amazon.

Edited by Agasha_Kazusinge

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They've made the game more inclusive by having more female champions like later editions did.

Did anyone ever accuse L5R of not being inclusive enough? Were female players ever "There just aren't enough women in this setting for me to enjoy it?"   The story even had a good mix of female characters were good, and ones that were evil, and they had ones who had glorious victories, and those who had ignominious deaths. If L5R was ever anything, it was inclusive.  And it was doing it 20 years ago. Seven Thunders, three of them were female. Saying FFG has made the game "more inclusive" is almost insulting to how much AEG went out of its way to make a setting where female samurai were equally respected to the male ones, as if inclusivity is gained by balancing a ledger.

I mean, it's up to the individual to say "I'm cool with a lore reboot." But there's nothing FFG has done that has added anything to the story that wasn't already there. If anything, their stories are a little less sophisticated than the original Clan Wars lore was, with cheap storylines like "Hotaru, my best platonic friend, shot my brother, leaving me conflicted!" 

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1 hour ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Did anyone ever accuse L5R of not being inclusive enough? Were female players ever "There just aren't enough women in this setting for me to enjoy it?"   The story even had a good mix of female characters were good, and ones that were evil, and they had ones who had glorious victories, and those who had ignominious deaths. If L5R was ever anything, it was inclusive. 

(1) Inclusivity isn't just about gender or about gender balance; to my group, for example, having a signature character who's indisputably q-ueer is HUGE;

(2) celebrating New5R for being inclusive isn't a slam on Old5R? But it's probably worth recognizing that our current Clan Champions are roughly balanced between men and women, that they include a person who is q-ueer, that they include diverse perspectives on marriage, parenthood, and gender roles, and that none of them read as appropriative

ETA: forgot to say also: advocating for inclusivity isn't just for women (or for any one group advocating for themselves); successfully advocating for inclusivity needs to be intersectional -- which is part of why I'm showing up for this. :)

Edited by Doji Meshou

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On 10/22/2017 at 0:22 PM, 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.

Look at the Star Trek or Battlestar Galactical Fanbases for a examples of how a reboot can divide the fanbase...

People are mentally and textually invested in the old timeline; the new one has to do something much better to hold up.

In the case of JJ-Verse Star Trek, it does Action Flick better than any other Trek line. It mangles the personalities, crumples the timeline, makes many self-referential in-jokes... They work as date movies on their own. They piss off a large part of the old fanbase, and have, largely, drawn a new fanbase as well as a small fraction of the old fanbase (usually the least invested ones). Simply put, it's good enough trek for casual fans, but hard core fans are going to either love it or hate it, with few in between.

And now, with ST: Discovery... it reset the look and feel, and claims to have not reset the timeline... but has upped the tech level... so it's obviously NOT the prime timeline, no matter what Brian Singer claims. It's a good show, but it's not what many Trekkies/Trekkers think of as "Good Star Trek." (Oh, and the main character violates a ST:TAS episode - Yesteryear - which establishes no children of that age besides spock in the home.

BSG, for it's case, shared the same series high concept, borrowed the names and used them as call-signs instead, totally changed the nature of the cylon-human war and the origins of the cylons. It did better visuals, tho not better for the time they were done than their age comparable competition,  and did long running plots and a whole cold-war inside a hot war and civil unrest  kind of thing. What it wasn't was the Morality Play of the Week family-friendly space opera of the original. Some of the fans of the original liked it. Many (over 10K, according to the studio, after day 2 of the pilot) emailed hate mail about the pilot. It largely formed a wholly new fanbase, with some crossover - most of whom were not big fans of the original.

That mental and textual investment makes reactions to new directions divisive... but if they're worth a ****, the new direction forges a new fanbase, and slowly picks up more of the original fanbase.

Resetting the timeline in this case isn't so drastic - but resetting the rules with it (a tried and true RPG tradition), it's quite likely to diverge from the original. Those most invested in the old are likely to stick to it... but they will, like oBSG fans, find ongoing compatibility dropping and new player expectations further and further from what they know. 

 

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8 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Look at the Star Trek or Battlestar Galactical Fanbases for a examples of how a reboot can divide the fanbase...

 

I'm not sure whether you're arguing that FFG rebooting the timeline was a mistake or not, but regardless of what All True Scotsmen think about the new Star Trek (I'm not a BSG person), the initial Star Trek reboot (2009) made $137m profit at the box office. Compare that to the three previous Star Trek films:

First Contact (1996) -- $101m profit
Insurrection (1998) -- $55m profit
Nemesis (2002) -- $7m profit

If I were running FFG, I'd look at Star Trek and see a compelling case for rebooting the timeline. 

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8 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

I'm not sure whether you're arguing that FFG rebooting the timeline was a mistake or not, but regardless of what All True Scotsmen think about the new Star Trek (I'm not a BSG person), the initial Star Trek reboot (2009) made $137m profit at the box office. Compare that to the three previous Star Trek films:

First Contact (1996) -- $101m profit
Insurrection (1998) -- $55m profit
Nemesis (2002) -- $7m profit

If I were running FFG, I'd look at Star Trek and see a compelling case for rebooting the timeline. 

You see “rebooting the timeline”, I see “making a blockbuster action type flick that appeals to the largest common denominator and pushing it with a massive ad campaign instead of making a tenth movie that only aims at fans of the show”.  I mean, the last Fantastic Four rebooted the timeline as well and was an even bigger flop than the previous two (which took some doing). Reboot yes/no is really not the operative decision here, I think.

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1 minute ago, nameless ronin said:

You see “rebooting the timeline”, I see “making a blockbuster action type flick that appeals to the largest common denominator and pushing it with a massive ad campaign instead of making a tenth movie that only aims at fans of the show”.  I mean, the last Fantastic Four rebooted the timeline as well and was an even bigger flop than the previous two (which took some doing). Reboot yes/no is really not the operative decision here, I think.

I wasn't arguing that All Reboots Are Profitable. That would be a pretty silly argument, right? So let's not pretend that's what I was saying. :)

The point I was actually making is more robust: that over time, venerable franchises often lose both old fans and the capacity to attract new fans, and that Star Trek is a great case in point.

I'm not sure why you're invested in arguing that potential fans don't find a lot of back-(story, reading, watching...) off-putting. Even as a socialist, I recognize that (1) FFG's decision to reboot the timeline was ultimately made in context of "how do we sell the most products?" and (2) there's a reason we see so many reboots in movies, comics, popular fiction, even role-playing games: because reboots are demonstrably successful at moving product

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Just now, Doji Meshou said:

I'm not sure whether you're arguing that FFG rebooting the timeline was a mistake or not, but regardless of what All True Scotsmen think about the new Star Trek (I'm not a BSG person), the initial Star Trek reboot (2009) made $137m profit at the box office. Compare that to the three previous Star Trek films:

First Contact (1996) -- $101m profit
Insurrection (1998) -- $55m profit
Nemesis (2002) -- $7m profit

If I were running FFG, I'd look at Star Trek and see a compelling case for rebooting the timeline. 

Yeah, the box office shows it's profitable to be "barely trek but great action"...

and the Nielsen numbers on the Orville show that one can still draw a fan base with simple good sci fi story... (and crass humor...) The Orville's drawing a lot of the trek fanbase in. It's not trek, in the same way AEG's L5R1E was not FGU's Bushido - different settings and mechanics with very similar underlying trope sets.

L5R has a big enough name that the reset can draw some less hardline fans, and pull them in, and they pull in both new blood and less receptive old blood.

Me, I enjoy the JJ-Verse movies. I just have to ignore that they claim to be Star Trek.
I'm enjoying Discovery. I have to work a lot harder ignoring that it claims to be Star Trek set 10 years before Kirk's 5 year mission. It doesn't have the trek feel, it has the wrong uniforms for the era (we see the uniforms for the era in TOS: Menagerie.)
I'm thrilled with The Orville...

But when I run Star Trek, I want it to be TOS/TAS/TOS-Movies... 

For L5R, I don't want full-on chanbarra nor anime... but I don't want Kurosawa, mundane, either. My players, however, are massively anime fueled.

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(2) celebrating New5R for being inclusive isn't a slam on Old5R?

The way it was indelicately phrased certainly was.  But that's really neither here nor there.

Either way, none of these changes have added anything meaningful to the plot. It's just some kind of trite window-dressing to grab at demographics who need to find some contemporary or personal relevance in their story about warring fantasy 16th century samurai with their prearranged political marriages.  The original storyline had like one actual love story in it, and the dude was dead at the start of it, lol. Everyone else is marrying the Oracle of the Void to protect his soul from the Lying Darkness and produce heirs for the throne.  I've never been looking at L5R to find meaningful personal relevance, so you'll forgive me if I don't much care if anyone else does if it's not making the story better and it wasn't needed in the first place.  Next thing you know, we'll be commenting on how there aren't any black samurai and the Middle Easterners are treated with mistrust and hostility.

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9 minutes ago, Doji Meshou said:

I wasn't arguing that All Reboots Are Profitable. That would be a pretty silly argument, right? So let's not pretend that's what I was saying. :)

The point I was actually making is more robust: that over time, venerable franchises often lose both old fans and the capacity to attract new fans, and that Star Trek is a great case in point.

I'm not sure why you're invested in arguing that potential fans don't find a lot of back-(story, reading, watching...) off-putting. Even as a socialist, I recognize that (1) FFG's decision to reboot the timeline was ultimately made in context of "how do we sell the most products?" and (2) there's a reason we see so many reboots in movies, comics, popular fiction, even role-playing games: because reboots are demonstrably successful at moving product

This new edition is a reboot, much like 3rd ed D&D was a reboot but AD&D 2nd wasn’t, whether they mess with the timeline or not. Or like pretty much any RPG that got a new edition after the IP had changed hands was. Resetting the timeline is not a required part of a reboot, in fact that only happens in a minority of cases. Reboots are good for creating demand , yes. Timeline resets? I don’t see much evidence that that is a money maker.

Also, if you want to posit that rebooting the timeline was a decision based directly on the desire to sell more products, you should really establish some kind of logical connection between the two. More so if you want to link that connection to not pushing away potential new fans instead of say, wanting to change a number of big characters and big events in order to be able to release a new setting book faster and more easily (just a guess).

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My personal druthers is: the reboot is a foregone conclusion. I'm not interested in wasting time shaking my fist at the heavens. I hope it's awesome and I'm looking forward to exploring it.

Had there been more wiggle room for FFG to maybe think about doing it another way I would certainly be all for hashing that out, but there comes a time when decisions get set in stone--and debating them further stops helping.

I kinda' feel like that's where we're at.

Now that said I would like to hope that our contributions are going to be able to go further than helping figure out what to call Wounds and Outbursts. I'd like it if we could make our mark on the world as well. I'm just not sure what's still open for discussion.

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The reboot serves multiple purposes.

1. It allows them to drop twenty years of not always well thought out baggage. Lets face it the old storyline had some moronic stuff in it.

2. It gives them a chance to start with a more or less clean slate. And tell the stories they want to tell and not what was dictated by the past writers. Something FFG needs to learn to let GMs do.

3. It allows them to plan future events for the game without having to go thru 15 years of books to make sure they are not stepping on any toes. 

 

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So I came to L5R later than some folks. I got told continually how terrible the storyline was and how Clan War was supposed to be so much better. From my point of view the storyline seemed to have unfolded pretty naturally from the story threads that had been introduced. I didn't get the feeling that it was moronic. I genuinely enjoyed all of it. My friends, for the most part old school Clan War guys, hated this.

I'm sure that you could just continue the story from where it left off without stepping on any toes. I think most folks would have just been happy to see the Great Clans fight their way back out of exile and oust the Spider Clan. So long as what was left was a stable and recognizable Rokugan I seriously doubt anyone would have had any problems with how it happened. Personally I find scribbling out decades of story to be more "toe-stepping" than any new direction they could have taken the story.

The funny thing here, for me, is your second point. I feel like cutting out all the baggage of twenty years of storyline could have created the kind of clean slate you're talking about. And if that's what looked to be what was going on I would have been all for it: pare down on the families, named NPCs, towns, forests, rivers. L5R has long suffered as the setting where you could walk down a road and practically every branch of every tree will have been detailed, given stats and a proper name. How cool would it have been if this version of the game presented a world where the map gave you maybe named regions, but with enough blank space that you can make your own towns, villages and NPCs to your heart's content. Imagine if each clan had the main Kami-descended family and maybe the second most powerful family, but that's it--all the other families are minor ones that you're allowed to make yourself! Or same with minor clans, that you're encouraged to introduce your own minor clans rather than have to use the dozen or so from the various eras and editions from the past.

As much as I like the old history and how it was generated organically by the players themselves as the various tournaments results got woven into the setting's ongoing story--man I would love it if they rebooted it so they could make it simple and accessible like that.

No chance though. Everything I've seen tells me this game is going to be as packed with minutiae as any edition of L5R. They're wiping the slate clean with one hand, sure, but only so they can junk it up again with the other.

Edited by Agasha_Kazusinge

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12 hours ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

I've never been looking at L5R to find meaningful personal relevance, so you'll forgive me if I don't much care if anyone else does if it's not making the story better and it wasn't needed in the first place.  

AEG L5R wasn't bad in the 90's, but it still could have been a lot better, certainly with lbgt+ themes. Let me assure you that when it came out there really weren't that many interesting female characters in the game, and those that were had issues, either with their art and/or their characterization.

Compare with a contemporary like White Wolf for example. As a lbgt female gamer from back then I can say, without even a sliver of a doubt, it was them that finally managed to draw in other women and people for the lbgt+ community and it certainly contributed to their success. It's not about meaningful personal relevance, it's about being able to relate to and identify with the story and setting. Most people can't help doing that, even if you don't!

That is something the L5R community certainly also does, most players I know have their favorite Clan and characters, so it really does matter to be inclusive. I mean, it was no coincidence 'my' Clan at the start was Lion, because, you know, Matsu Tsuko. It wasn't a conscious choice, even, but yes, woman champion and didn't look like sexualized eye-candy? It worked apparently.

So, for me Hotaru, just by existing as a protagonist of the story, makes it better yes and thus was needed. 

Edited by Doji Namika

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It's not about meaningful personal relevance, it's about being able to relate to and identify

Okay. Those are the same things.

Most people can't help doing that, even if you don't!

Heavily anecdotal. My buddy played Unicorn because he likes the color purple.

there really weren't that many interesting female characters in the game, and those that were had issues, either with their art and/or their characterization.

It wasn't a conscious choice, even, but yes, woman champion and didn't look like sexualized eye-candy? It worked apparently.

Which is it?   

Which of these characters had "issues with their art?" These are all cards from the original AEG days in the 90s,

Isawa Kaede  Otaku Kamoko  Hida O'Ushi   Mirumoto Hitomi   Ikoma Tsanuri    Geisha Assassin

And what was wrong with any of their characterizations?  If anything, most of them were treated as equals to their male counterparts. Which meant they had strengths and weaknesses, victories and defeats.

You're just making this stuff up, aren't you? You're going to say "But, but Kachiko!" aren't you? Because a female character can't be allowed, ever, to have sexuality or be a villain.

 

Like I said, trite window dressing to grab at certain demographics. Maybe you're just one of those demographics. Aren't you worried about Orientalism? Just trying to figure out what is on your short-list for problematic depictions. 

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On 2017-10-20 at 5:45 PM, kelpie said:

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...

I am with you 100% on this. As much as I love L5R and the good work AEG did, there was a slippery slope where every new CCG expansion started to mean crazy new additions, big changes to the canon, and new Earth-shattering catastrophes with new über-supernatural powers. The whole idea of the Spider clan in itself is so absurd that it can only be included as a big of a wink wink nudge nudge joke, rather than as a serious addition to Rokugani canon.

When my friends and I play the RPG, we dial the setting back to when there was a Hantei on the throne. Even with the 4 Winds scenario, we have it end with a Hantei on the throne, one way or another. Without a Hantei emperor, there is no mandate of heaven. There is no Rokugani empire. There is just another country, with people, with some swords.

We have stretched it to include the Mantis clan, despite some objections by more conservative players. But Spiders and foreign colonies and maharadjas and 53 different dynasties and killing off Amatersu? Never.

Reboot = the only sane option.

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