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26 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

And I'd imagine every family will be maneuvering for advantage against every other in the clan 

Good point. I think internal family strife may happen too. Without going to full clan civil war, a Daidoji major Daimyo may allow two of his vassals to settle a dispute by an authorized war, and courtier may plead their cause to higher crane leadership to allow two Daidoji families who hate each others guts to pursue blood feud. 

 

Back on the dueling topic, I'd say Iaijutsu should be expected, but maybe not granted. 

If an honor challenge is thrown, nothing should "force" it to be a Iaijutsu duel. Nothing except court maneuvers that would stress out how dishonourable it would be to break from tradition and refuse to fight in the time honoured Iaijutsu stance, sort of bullying the opposing party in using Iaijutsu. And if Iaijutsu is refused, gossip time! Even if victorious, the non Iaijutsu practitioner might get badmouthed and his victory downplayed in court. 

The error would be to think that iaijutsu honor duel is about a skill contest between two honorable warriors. Iaijutsu honor duel is a political tool amongst an arsenal of means to pressure the opponent. And despite the Crane being on top of it, it's a tool also used by other political clans, like phenix and scorpion. 

Edited by Nitenman

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1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

There are at least 5 phenotypical differences - "breeds" in dog/cat/horse speak - across the samurai of rokugan:

Crab are visibly larger and more robust than most. Even those without large size.

I think this can mostly be attributed to natural selection.  When you fighting on the wall all your life I would think only the more developed would survive.

same goes with Hiruma being small and agile. As scouts this would be a naturally beneficial trait.

And just to clarify there are many insistence of Hida going into the scouts  and Hiruma with Hida builds in the stories it jut more common the other way around.

An example: My brother has a much smaller build them me by about a foot, but also has more muscles because he works out.

We are of the same ethnicity and this does not change due to these differences.

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Unicorn have visibly different features. Different hair and eye colors, and often "gaijin features"...

I'll give you this one due to the moto blood.

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Crane have a stupidly high rate of white hair, and often have elf-like features.

which is funny since Doji had black hair and dyed hers. I had always read that they just dyed their hair.

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Lion have a high rate of blondes; this is not as strong as the crane, but appears so - as many lion without blonde hair bleach theirs.

Again never seen any with out black or brown hair would need a source, now just to bring it up they do have a tendency to wear blondes wigs for the whole lion motif.

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Phoenix have a lot of brown and red haired folk.

Not sure of your source on this since every picture I've ever seen of members of the Phoenix clan had black or dark brown hair?

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That's 6 distinct phenotypical groups apart from the main line.

again I think you may have to show your sources on these.

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But the term ethnicity does not refer only to physical differences. The Serbs and Croats are separate ethinicites with the exact same pheontype - religious and cultural differences divide them; they are, genetically, one people slowly drifting apart.

This is not the place for this argument since even sociologist are split on this one.

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The earlier editions note most marry within the family, but not by any means all. Each family has a distinct cultural variation; the families of a clan usually share a common set of themes, beliefs, and approaches to bushidō, and each family has a slightly different take on it, as well. Given low interfamily admixture, and lower still inter-clan... it would be shocking if they were not ethnic identities as well as septs.

There seems to be more evidence that this is incorrect then correct. As intermarrying has been the foundation of a lot of the minor clans. and is a content theme in the stories.

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To put it another way: Everyone in the crane clan knows that most asahina will behave oddly, most daidoji are taught to be dour, Most Doji are artistically inclined, and most Kakita are taught the sword... most everyone else blends those into "the crane"... but within the crane, each is almost a nation of its own, allied with the others, and each has vassals sharing their ethnic identity, but carrying a name that none outside the clan use.

I believe this was more an illusion brought about by the card game then fact.

As in the stories there are plenty of insistence of individuals training at other schools outside their birth families within the clans.

Edited by tenchi2a

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Why do Cranes have white hair.

The story goes that on the first day of thunder when the champions of each of the clans went with Shinsei to defeat fu leng in the shadowlands, doji's daughter was left behind in the battle, presumed dead. Her other son volunteered to venture into the shadowlands alone to find his sister. When he returned he looked like he had seen horrors beyond imagining, his hair used to be jet black but was now snow white from the things he had seen and he had lost the ability to speak. He did not return with his sister but returned with the ancestral sword of the crane that she carried with her into battle. For his bravery, Doji titled him “Daidoji” or “defender of the doji” and thus the daidoji family of the Crane was founded. The Crane dye their hair white in remembrance of the founding daidoji and also for the distinguishing look it gives them which could be an advantage in many of their dealings with other (or disadvantage at times).

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As this story clearly demonstrates, the Crane Clan, more so than most, were founded on close familial ties.   The Doji and Kakita founded and named after Husband and Wife.  Daidoji being their direct offspring, and even the later Asahina family founded after being married into the clan from the Phoenix.

While their always likely to be some love lost between clan families just like there tends to be in any family. All of the Great Clans have different relationships with the families that make them up that usually stem from the relationships between their founders.  Some can be that of absolute loyalty like that of the Shosuro towards the Bayushi while another like that between the Isawa and Shiba can be muddled and prove to be a conflict between Duty vs. Subservience.

Both the Lion and Unicorn Clans like the Crane in ways have histories that closely intertwine many of their families and promote not just interbreeding and mating but establish a kinship between them sometimes supersides blood.

The Dragon on the other hand hold their Togashi leadership on a pedastal and occassionaly as mentors towards enlightenment much as Mirumoto and Agasha themselves did. While interplay between the families exist as it does in any clan the relationships between the families as a whole are more based on function and perhaps faith than famial or like mindedness. Their goals for their clan differ like their philipsophies do.

 

In regards to the difference physical characteristics between clans goes, I would ask all to consider the founding Kami. With the acception of Togashi i believe, the blood of a founding Kami, a literal manifestation of divine order, runs through the veins of at least one family per clan though likely far more after 1000 years of political marriages.  

Despite the centuries of delution your still looking at sharing the blood of an deity with an arguably perfect mortal form aligned with what was most important to said kami. If the physical traits between those of samurai of different clans would be on a course to drastically diverge from each other i believe it would be here, at the very beginning.

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3 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

When he returned he looked like he had seen horrors beyond imagining, his hair used to be jet black but was now snow white from the things he had seen and he had lost the ability to speak. He did not return with his sister but returned with the ancestral sword of the crane that she carried with her into battle.

 

The full story is that Doju Hayaku (the founder of the Daidoji) pretty much wrecked the Shadowlands all by his lonesome while looking for his sister. He could only find her sword tho, in the Temple of the Thunders, but then he ran into an ex-Hida woman who was banished from the Crab Clan for dabbling with maho (I joke you not here). Enlisting the help of this woman, Hayaku cut his throat with his sister's sword - he died there and his soul was sent to Jigoku by the sword, after her sister's. There, he freed Konishiko's soul and sent her back to Tengoku, then got himself resurrected by the Hida woman. His hair turned white because of the journey to Jigoku and back (yes, it was implied that it was some Taint on him). He returned to the Crane Clan, married the Hida chick, and founded the Daidoji family. This is why the Daidoji is so tough: they have some Hida-like blood too in their veins. 

By the way, Hayaku couldn't save all of Konishiko: what remained from his sister later emerged from Jigoku as the demonic creature called the Dark Daughter of Fu Leng. IIRC there was an abandoned story arc with this, but I'm not so sure about it. 

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16 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

By the way, Hayaku couldn't save all of Konishiko: what remained from his sister later emerged from Jigoku as the demonic creature called the Dark Daughter of Fu Leng. IIRC there was an abandoned story arc with this, but I'm not so sure about it. 

No, the Dark Daughter was an entity who named herself that way.

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The phenotypic differences between the clans (or what color Lady Doji's hair was) is not really important.  What IS important is that each of the Kami were very different larger than life figures.  Each one of them had their own cult of personality around them.  Warriors gravitated towards Akodo... not ALL warriors gravitated there, but many of the people who had "warrior" as their identity went to him.  Large, strong, stubborn people felt a kinship with Hida, while religious people gravitated towards Shiba.  

We all know the stories of the founding of the clans, and the choosing of Hantei as the first Emporer.  But what is important to remember is that these followers of the different kami created very different cultures based around that kami's cult of personality.  This means that each culture is VASTLY different than the other.  Lion culture is exceedingly different than Scorpion Culture. It isn't just that Scorpions choose Duty over everything, and Lion chose honor over everything... the difference in their culture is down to their very core... how they greet each other, how then enter a room, what clothes they wear, how they think.  There is a fundamental cultural difference between all the clans.  Lady Doji wanted beautiful artists and dissemblers.  With those artists came a man whose art was death.  Kakita was not a soldier, like Matsu, nor a philosopher, like Mirumoto.  That is why Kakita ended up with Lady Doji, Matsu with Akodo, and Mirumoto with Togashi.  It would be difficult for the cultures of the clans to be more different and still be able to see each other as non-gaijin.   

We must remember that Rokugan is not a federation, nor a unitary state.  It is an Empire, a multinational state with political dominion of populations who are culturally distinct from the imperial culture (which to be fair is heavily influenced by crane culture).  It is SUPER important to recognize the differences between the clans.  Crab culture and Crane culture are NOT the same, just as Phoenix culture and Unicorn culture are intrinsically dissimilar. 

These differences should be shown in ways that are impactful to the players.  Cultural differences and culture clash is one of the things that create drama for courtiers, and different fighting styles and techniques are important to bushi.  Being as an honor duel is very likely going to be the last thing a bushi ever does, the icons of that character's clan should be present in such an important scene.  But even beyond duels, if all but a few higher-level techniques are open to everyone, players will intrinsically gravitate to the ones that are the most kill-y, and will result in bushi feeling very similar.


 

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1 hour ago, sushicaddy said:

The phenotypic differences between the clans (or what color Lady Doji's hair was) is not really important.  What IS important is that each of the Kami were very different larger than life figures.  Each one of them had their own cult of personality around them.  Warriors gravitated towards Akodo... not ALL warriors gravitated there, but many of the people who had "warrior" as their identity went to him.  Large, strong, stubborn people felt a kinship with Hida, while religious people gravitated towards Shiba.  

We all know the stories of the founding of the clans, and the choosing of Hantei as the first Emporer.  But what is important to remember is that these followers of the different kami created very different cultures based around that kami's cult of personality.  This means that each culture is VASTLY different than the other.  Lion culture is exceedingly different than Scorpion Culture. It isn't just that Scorpions choose Duty over everything, and Lion chose honor over everything... the difference in their culture is down to their very core... how they greet each other, how then enter a room, what clothes they wear, how they think.  There is a fundamental cultural difference between all the clans.  Lady Doji wanted beautiful artists and dissemblers.  With those artists came a man whose art was death.  Kakita was not a soldier, like Matsu, nor a philosopher, like Mirumoto.  That is why Kakita ended up with Lady Doji, Matsu with Akodo, and Mirumoto with Togashi.  It would be difficult for the cultures of the clans to be more different and still be able to see each other as non-gaijin.   

We must remember that Rokugan is not a federation, nor a unitary state.  It is an Empire, a multinational state with political dominion of populations who are culturally distinct from the imperial culture (which to be fair is heavily influenced by crane culture).  It is SUPER important to recognize the differences between the clans.  Crab culture and Crane culture are NOT the same, just as Phoenix culture and Unicorn culture are intrinsically dissimilar. 

These differences should be shown in ways that are impactful to the players.  Cultural differences and culture clash is one of the things that create drama for courtiers, and different fighting styles and techniques are important to bushi.  Being as an honor duel is very likely going to be the last thing a bushi ever does, the icons of that character's clan should be present in such an important scene.  But even beyond duels, if all but a few higher-level techniques are open to everyone, players will intrinsically gravitate to the ones that are the most kill-y, and will result in bushi feeling very similar.

All great points.

And thou I know you where the OP, the last few post were directed at the statement that there were many ethnic groups in Rokugan. 

I believe all have acknowledged that there are multiple different cultures in Rokugan.

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On 06/11/2017 at 2:09 PM, AtoMaki said:

The full story is that Doju Hayaku (the founder of the Daidoji) pretty much wrecked the Shadowlands all by his lonesome while looking for his sister. He could only find her sword tho, in the Temple of the Thunders, but then he ran into an ex-Hida woman who was banished from the Crab Clan for dabbling with maho (I joke you not here). Enlisting the help of this woman, Hayaku cut his throat with his sister's sword - he died there and his soul was sent to Jigoku by the sword, after her sister's. There, he freed Konishiko's soul and sent her back to Tengoku, then got himself resurrected by the Hida woman. His hair turned white because of the journey to Jigoku and back (yes, it was implied that it was some Taint on him). He returned to the Crane Clan, married the Hida chick, and founded the Daidoji family. This is why the Daidoji is so tough: they have some Hida-like blood too in their veins. 

By the way, Hayaku couldn't save all of Konishiko: what remained from his sister later emerged from Jigoku as the demonic creature called the Dark Daughter of Fu Leng. IIRC there was an abandoned story arc with this, but I'm not so sure about it. 

I think it's implied in Bearers of Jade, but I don't remember it exactly either. For a long time after it's publshing BoJ was kind of the ref-headed stepchild of the line for with the Dark Daughter and the Demon Bride being sometimes considered the same entity and then being merged with Doji Nashiko as well.

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2 hours ago, sushicaddy said:

We must remember that Rokugan is not a federation, nor a unitary state.  It is an Empire, a multinational state with political dominion of populations who are culturally distinct from the imperial culture (which to be fair is heavily influenced by crane culture).  It is SUPER important to recognize the differences between the clans.  Crab culture and Crane culture are NOT the same, just as Phoenix culture and Unicorn culture are intrinsically dissimilar. 
 

"Every Emperor has a Crane for a mother." I forget which book states this, and until Bayushi Kachiko, it was mostly true.

The stereotype I've heard cited: "Every Emperor has a crane for a mother, a lion for a yojimbo, and a bayushi for a nanny." And, "The crane are the right hand, the lion the left hand, and the scorpion the underhand."

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8 hours ago, sushicaddy said:

while religious people gravitated towards Shiba.  

 

Religious people gravitated towards Togashi. Shiba's original followers were all scholars. Militaristic scholars, no less. Isawa joining the Phoenix Clan was not granted at all, Shiba was essentially forced to include those guys - his alternative was getting rekt'd by Fu Leng. If Isawa hadn't been such a massive prick then chances were high that his people wouldn't have ended up with Shiba at all (they talk about this in the Imperial Histories), and the Phoenix would have never picked up the religious angle. 

5 hours ago, Suzume Chikahisa said:

I think it's implied in Bearers of Jade, but I don't remember it exactly either.

 

Yeah, I also remember it from Bears of Jade. 

5 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

I forget which book states this, and until Bayushi Kachiko, it was mostly true.

 

Until Isawa Kaede, to be exact. And she was half Crane. Bayushi Kachiko remained childless after the coup. 

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5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

 

Yeah, I also remember it from Bears of Jade.

It was clarified later that Konnishiko didn't returned as a Shadowland corrupted creature, only the son of Hida did and for a short time. Remember that Bearers of Jade was written as folk tales and not as storyline truth, like all 1st edition books.

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 There's multiple Iaijutsu styles. Niten is just the most distinct. Different stances, different draws, differing theories etc. The Hida aren't using the Kakita Dueling Academy style, though their style likely originated from a student of Kakita, but has evolved over the years. You can see this idea in schools like the Calm Heart Duelist and the Crab Defender. An Iaijutsu duel is the agreed upon conflict resolution, but it's not just one style. There's probably even smaller variations that the game's mechanics really can't capture.

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On 11/8/2017 at 3:10 PM, sushicaddy said:

Each one of them had their own cult of personality around them.  Warriors gravitated towards Akodo... not ALL warriors gravitated there, but many of the people who had "warrior" as their identity went to him.  Large, strong, stubborn people felt a kinship with Hida, while religious people gravitated towards Shiba.  

There's also a subtle note of how the Kami also used name magic (of a different kind), and that the Emperor naming a family influenced it towards his perceptions. Ditto mortals ascended to Fortunes.

 

On 11/9/2017 at 5:53 AM, llamaman88 said:

There's multiple Iaijutsu styles. Niten is just the most distinct.

Multiple duelling styles. Not all clans draw and strike in the same motion in a duel, and of these, Niten is the most distinct. "Show Me Your Stance" shows this most clearly. :ph34r:

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On 11/11/2017 at 10:25 AM, The Grand Falloon said:

I'm not even weighing in on the topic, I just want this in my list of discussions so I can get back to that list of Western Chinese cuisine. Especially that pamirden.

Maybe I shouldn't read such things before breakfast.

I'm glad you commented, because I double checked myself and found that I spelled Pamirdin incorrectly.  The correct spelling should make it easier to search. ;)  Also, if you like that sort of thing check out xian bing, which is north eastern Chinese dish that is kind of like soup filled hockey pucks of amazing.

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On 08/11/2017 at 8:53 PM, llamaman88 said:

 There's multiple Iaijutsu styles. Niten is just the most distinct.

just a little nitpicking there, but technically, Niten in not a Iaijutsu style : it is impossible to draw two weapons simultaneously (because you need to hold the saya : it is just tucked into the Obi). when you practice Niten, you are suposed to start the duel with your two weapons in hands, and cross them before you, point facing down, when you salute the adversary.

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On 10/26/2017 at 6:46 PM, sushicaddy said:

The update and its change to honor duels to make them iaijutsu only duels again has really made me consider one of the things that has been in the back of my head, which is that samurai ted to feel a bit generic in this beta.

Lets look at honor duels.  Now, I admit, I am dyed-in-the-silk Crane clan; if you cut me, I bleed white and blue.  So duels are an very important part of my play experience, much like how the stats of Shadowland creatures are much more important to people who play Crab clan characters more often.  I must admit that I am quite disappointed by this move to iaijutsu duels from just honor duels.

Beyond mechanical concerns, it is so much cooler to see the slim crane duelist in sky blue hakama and embroidered sarashi with her sword sheathed and ready to strike against the massive crab samurai, heavily armored and swinging his gigantic tetsubo over his head; then it is to see that same crab remove all of his iconic gear and stance to try and mirror the crane duelist.

All of the clans have these iconic differences in how they fight, and with what.  Imagine the same duelist against:

The tattooed Dragon, naked from the waist up, in his Niten stance
The Unicorn dervish, whirling her scimitar as if it were a steel tornado
The golden haired Lion, with her razor-sharp nodachi that has spilled the blood of hundreds on the battlefield.
The sly Scorpion, lazily spinning the weight of her kusari-gama in her left hand.
The brave Phoenix, with his glittering naginata

These are awesome scenes.  They also allow each clan to bring their strengths into an honor duel.  If they are all doing iaijutsu, then they all look like the crane but wearing different colors (until they are cut down by that self same crane).  It feels much cooler to me for honor duels to allow for any weapon and style you want.

Mechanically the other clans don't need iaijutsu, water stance allows them to ready a weapon... and that is a good thing imo.  I like the idea that iaijutsu is a crane thing, just like niten is a dragon thing.  Lion are not interested in iaijutsu because they are to busy winning wars, Crab are not interested because they are too busy manning the wall, etc.  I like where the mechanical changes are going with respect to duels and iaijutsu... I think there is more to be done, but that is not for this forum.  Having all duels be iaijutsu duel feels very much like an artifact of the old lore and system.  I have often felt that all duels were iaijutsu duels because there was a card in the CCG that said so.  Requireing samurai from schools other than the Kakita school study iaijutsu as well as their normal skills feels like a bit of a handy cap to them... I means sure they could if they wanted to, but why?

I think that samurai in this edition tend to feel rather generic already, especially if you have a school ability that you can only use once a scene.  Then you are only special in that one instance, then you go back to being generic.  To be fair, we are used to the crazy powers of the schools, but it feels like a step down in uniqueness as well as power.  Having more powerful, school specific kata will help... and we have no idea what the final list of kata will be, or how many will be exclusive to whatever school.

I want my duelist to cut other characters down while they are using their strongest techniques, not their weakest.

Actually, such duels were traditional in historic Japan. It was their version of the European Monomancy duels as the Kami would not allow those in the right to lose. For example, I kill your brother but your family is trying to avoid an all out blood feud with mine we'd (or myself and a duelist of your choosing) duel to the death to resolve it.

However, you also have to remember, this is the Beta still and probably only has 1/800th of the fluff meant for the actual book... tacking what they already had done to it to avoid giving the idea this was going to be a Murderhobo crapshow.

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On 2/1/2018 at 12:14 AM, Daigotsu Naraku said:

Actually, such duels were traditional in historic Japan. It was their version of the European Monomancy duels as the Kami would not allow those in the right to lose. For example, I kill your brother but your family is trying to avoid an all out blood feud with mine we'd (or myself and a duelist of your choosing) duel to the death to resolve it.

Actually outside of the epic tales there is little to no evidence that these duel ever existed in the form that we know.

While you are right about the blood feuds, most evidence points to them just being everyday sword fights and not these elaborate Iaijutsu duels that are presented in media or this game.

Most of the modern depictions of the Iaijutsu duels come from parables and epic stories told to mystify the past. 

To the best of anyone's knowledge Iaijutsu was a technique use to draw ones sword when surprised by his opponent, and not some ultimate dueling style. 

It was given its legendary status by the media as it made for a great tense one-on-one struggle that watchers/readers love.

On 2/1/2018 at 12:14 AM, Daigotsu Naraku said:

However, you also have to remember, this is the Beta still and probably only has 1/800th of the fluff meant for the actual book... tacking what they already had done to it to avoid giving the idea this was going to be a Murderhobo crapshow.

The issues is they are obviously trying to appeal to a different customer base then the old schoolers.

So by not explaining things, these new customers are left in the dark about why things are as they are.

And telling people that have never followed or only have a passing knowledge of the game that they need to find the info in another book or wait to see when it come out and they buy it is not a good selling point.

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19 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Actually outside of the epic tales there is little to no evidence that these duel ever existed in the form that we know.

While you are right about the blood feuds, most evidence points to them just being everyday sword fights and not these elaborate Iaijutsu duels that are presented in media or this game.

Most of the modern depictions of the Iaijutsu duels come from parables and epic stories told to mystify the past. 

To the best of anyone's knowledge Iaijutsu was a technique use to draw ones sword when surprised by his opponent, and not some ultimate dueling style. 

It was given its legendary status by the media as it made for a great tense one-on-one struggle that watchers/readers love.

The issues is they are obviously trying to appeal to a different customer base then the old schoolers.

So by not explaining things, these new customers are left in the dark about why things are as they are.

And telling people that have never followed or only have a passing knowledge of the game that they need to find the info in another book or wait to see when it come out and they buy it is not a good selling point.

The beta makes note that the lore is elsewhere, but the corebook derived from it will have lore. Quit harping about things that are not broken.

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6 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

The beta makes note that the lore is elsewhere, but the corebook derived from it will have lore. Quit harping about things that are not broken.

First, you can take the attitude and stick it.

second no one said anything was broken, my comment was that the writes have made the decision to go after another demographic of players, which is fine.

But that if you are going after a group that doesn't have the background with the setting then you need to provide a little more info to get them involved.

Now does it have to be in the Beta book, no.

but a primer PDF like Battletech does in their universe book would help new players to understand Rokugan.

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