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Tashiro

Mythology (Not Beta Related)

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We don't have a generic 'L5R' forum here, so I thought putting this here might be better than... err, anywhere else?

So, setting up the campaign, I decided to throw out the mythology of the setting.  Why?  Well, I wanted something that was 1) closer to Japanese mythology, and 2) something closer to Shinto philosophy.  The entire background for L5R is way too Western for my tastes.  Tsukiyomi devouring his children?  Greek.  How on Earth would the Rokugani even remotely accept cannibalism as something the kami would do?  You would think Amaterasu would have shot him for that, then fished her kids out.

Anyway.  So for my campaign, that got thrown out.  I had the story follow the Japanese myths, including the 'hide in a cave' and her brother being banished and doing heroic deeds (and founding the Mantis Clan).  I had Amaterasu's contest with her brother be what created the kami which founded the Great Clans, crafted by Amaterasu and her brother.  This (by the by) also allowed me to sneak Shosuro in as a kami.

I removed the entire idea of Fu Leng being evil, and Jigoku being evil.  This falls more in line with Shintoism - the spirits are neither good or evil.  The idea of 'good' and 'evil' is a human concept, not a divine concept.

The other thing I did was adjust what the Taint is.  For me, the Taint is kegare.  Spiritual pollution.  It isn't 'Jigoku trying to claim the mortal realm' or anything like that.  I still have the Shadowlands, but it operates differently:  A maho-tsukai tried to steal the power of Fu Leng (who is the guardian of Jigoku - he looks after the punishment of the wicked).  The ritual blew a hole open and created a gate to Jigoku.  This caused a section of Rokugan to be permanently tainted with kegare.  If you're in the Shadowlands, and you perform spiritually impure actions, you can get Taint.  Which does most of the nasty stuff Taint normally does. 

Monsters still come out of the Shadowlands.  They're not Evil.  They're simply spirits that are trying to do their job.  Punish mortals.  In Jigoku they're fine.  Here, that's kind of traumatic for the mortal population.  These oni and goblins and such aren't evil - they're not malicious.  They are spirits - lacking in the free will to choose their path (Void).  So they do what they're supposed to do - to anyone they come across.  And so they have to be killed (sent back to Jigoku), banished (sent back to Jigoku), or bound (and aren't you a bad person for trying to usurp control there...)

I've also done some adjustments to the Kolat (made them closer to the Yakuza and got rid of this whole 'overthrow the gods' nonsense), and the Lying Darkness (again, something done by mortals messing things up, this time with Meido).  So far, it's gone pretty well, the in-character adjustments are few and far between, and it feels more like mythic samurai drama rather than Western Hybridization.

 

So, for the sake of conversation - what have other people done to tweak their game settings?

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Not something I routinely use, but from time to time I play around with splicing yet a bit more Japan into Rokugan. Namely by making Rokugan into an island and - here comes the mythology bit - borrowing the concept of the land beneath the sea found in some tales for the Shadowlands, i.e., the Shadowlands exist beneath the waves (and the Wall stands upon the beach, making the Crabs fit into this version quite nicely).

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That sounds pretty cool.  I've considered setting Rokugan as island-based, but hadn't quite gone that far.  I've also considered allowing ninja to not be 'verboten' - they exist, everyone knows they exist, and people hire the Scorpion Clan to get things done.

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2 hours ago, Tashiro said:

We don't have a generic 'L5R' forum here, so I thought putting this here might be better than... err, anywhere else?

So, setting up the campaign, I decided to throw out the mythology of the setting.  Why?  Well, I wanted something that was 1) closer to Japanese mythology, and 2) something closer to Shinto philosophy.  The entire background for L5R is way too Western for my tastes.  Tsukiyomi devouring his children?  Greek.  How on Earth would the Rokugani even remotely accept cannibalism as something the kami would do?  You would think Amaterasu would have shot him for that, then fished her kids out.

Anyway.  So for my campaign, that got thrown out.  I had the story follow the Japanese myths, including the 'hide in a cave' and her brother being banished and doing heroic deeds (and founding the Mantis Clan).  I had Amaterasu's contest with her brother be what created the kami which founded the Great Clans, crafted by Amaterasu and her brother.  This (by the by) also allowed me to sneak Shosuro in as a kami.

I removed the entire idea of Fu Leng being evil, and Jigoku being evil.  This falls more in line with Shintoism - the spirits are neither good or evil.  The idea of 'good' and 'evil' is a human concept, not a divine concept.

The other thing I did was adjust what the Taint is.  For me, the Taint is kegare.  Spiritual pollution.  It isn't 'Jigoku trying to claim the mortal realm' or anything like that.  I still have the Shadowlands, but it operates differently:  A maho-tsukai tried to steal the power of Fu Leng (who is the guardian of Jigoku - he looks after the punishment of the wicked).  The ritual blew a hole open and created a gate to Jigoku.  This caused a section of Rokugan to be permanently tainted with kegare.  If you're in the Shadowlands, and you perform spiritually impure actions, you can get Taint.  Which does most of the nasty stuff Taint normally does. 

Monsters still come out of the Shadowlands.  They're not Evil.  They're simply spirits that are trying to do their job.  Punish mortals.  In Jigoku they're fine.  Here, that's kind of traumatic for the mortal population.  These oni and goblins and such aren't evil - they're not malicious.  They are spirits - lacking in the free will to choose their path (Void).  So they do what they're supposed to do - to anyone they come across.  And so they have to be killed (sent back to Jigoku), banished (sent back to Jigoku), or bound (and aren't you a bad person for trying to usurp control there...)

I've also done some adjustments to the Kolat (made them closer to the Yakuza and got rid of this whole 'overthrow the gods' nonsense), and the Lying Darkness (again, something done by mortals messing things up, this time with Meido).  So far, it's gone pretty well, the in-character adjustments are few and far between, and it feels more like mythic samurai drama rather than Western Hybridization.

 

So, for the sake of conversation - what have other people done to tweak their game settings?

I have to say, I like a LOT of what you have here. I'll definitely be appropriating some if it.

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That sounds pretty solid.  I always felt bad when I got a new person interested in L5R, but when I tell them the origin story they're like "oh, that's greek" lol

I don't make changes like that, but I do assume every clan has some type of ninjas. 

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2 hours ago, Tashiro said:

How on Earth would the Rokugani even remotely accept cannibalism as something the kami would do?

Did they accept it? Who worships Lord Moon, exactly? Oh, right. Maho death cults who don't mind a bit of cursed obsidian. Who are also 'not even remotely accepted'.

Quote

You would think Amaterasu would have shot him for that, then fished her kids out.

Sounds a bit too "thinking like a resident of Ningen-do" to me. Amaterasu did what she could to fish her kids out of the other single known entity formed from the literal embodiment of nothing.

47 minutes ago, Tashiro said:

I've considered setting Rokugan as island-based, but hadn't quite gone that far.  I've also considered allowing ninja to not be 'verboten' - they exist, everyone knows they exist, and people hire the Scorpion Clan to get things done.

Everyone has access to deniable infiltrators/assassins/saboteurs. Someone in the clan is always willing to sacrifice their honour for the clan's goals. You just can't talk about it the way you could as a Scorpion clan samurai.

Otherwise, mostly sounds cool.

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24 minutes ago, Yoritomo Kazuto said:

Since they have yet to talk about the founding mythology of Rokugan in the new L5R I hope they do move it closer to East Asian Mythology a bit. The whole it's the Greek Gods in Kimono's thing always bugged me, and I basically ignored it the whole time.

As far as I can tell, it's the same Rokugan - they're just starting the timeline from the beginning, following the same course, but focusing on new stories within that timeline.  I've yet to see any clue of anything actually different, canon-wise.

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19 hours ago, Tashiro said:

As far as I can tell, it's the same Rokugan - they're just starting the timeline from the beginning, following the same course, but focusing on new stories within that timeline.  I've yet to see any clue of anything actually different, canon-wise.

They seem to have made some serious changes to the Mantis, so I hope they take the opportunity to excise the worst Greek elements from the Cosmology. With the focus on Ninjo and Giri and the increased emphasis on the Confucian and Neo-Confucian values the incoherence and tonal clash is magnified.

I like yours, but even if FFG wants to cleave closer to the orginal l5r cosmology the Izanagi and Izanami myth could provide justification for the existence of the Shadowlands and for a Fu Leng figure.

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4 hours ago, Suzume Chikahisa said:

They seem to have made some serious changes to the Mantis, so I hope they take the opportunity to excise the worst Greek elements from the Cosmology. With the focus on Ninjo and Giri and the increased emphasis on the Confucian and Neo-Confucian values the incoherence and tonal clash is magnified.

I like yours, but even if FFG wants to cleave closer to the orginal l5r cosmology the Izanagi and Izanami myth could provide justification for the existence of the Shadowlands and for a Fu Leng figure.

If they used Izanagi and Izanami, all that means is that there's access to the underworld, and the worst of it is 'unclean', and not much else.  But that would also replace all of the various realms as well.  Not necessarily a bad thing though - it'd be a lot closer to baseline Shinto.  You have 'here', and you have 'there'.  Tengoku is off limits, and... that's it, really.  That's not a bad thing though.  I decided to keep the various realms in my game, just because it's familiar.

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On 10/25/2017 at 10:28 PM, Tashiro said:

As far as I can tell, it's the same Rokugan - they're just starting the timeline from the beginning, following the same course, but focusing on new stories within that timeline.  I've yet to see any clue of anything actually different, canon-wise.

Let's see, changes I've noticed

  • the mantis are no longer focused upon peasant weapons.
  • the lands northwest of the Unicorn are not those described in Legend of the Burning Sands.
  • The mantis have contact with many outside groups
  • (implied) most or all clans have "ninja"
  • Shadowlands taint seems a bit more hidable.
  • it's much easier to detect magic (kihō, invocations, Mahō) influences.

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2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Let's see, changes I've noticed

  • the mantis are no longer focused upon peasant weapons.
  • the lands northwest of the Unicorn are not those described in Legend of the Burning Sands.
  • The mantis have contact with many outside groups
  • (implied) most or all clans have "ninja"
  • Shadowlands taint seems a bit more hidable.
  • it's much easier to detect magic (kihō, invocations, Mahō) influences.

Yes, I just watched that FFG video were Katrina Ostrander mention that FFG did not buy the Legend of the Burning Stands license so they can't use those cultures from there now. 

Interesting indeed.

Edited by BlindSamurai13

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