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Now I'm going to nip this stranded argument in the bud before it even comes up.

I am not against alternate-canon, but the new canon needs to make sense.

If the PCs are going to change the canon it needs to be sensible to the story.

I have seen to may GM/DM/ST modify the threats down to the level of the PCs to ignore it.

By doing this the threats are diminished to a point where you start wondering why they where even threats at all.

If a group of 4-6 rank 3 PCs can handle it how was this ever a threat to the armies of the Great Clans.

You can say that this was only a minor threat, but by doing that you have relegated the adventure to the level of side-quest.

As stated above, in a time of peace this would be a major accomplishment, but in a time of war its just a minor side-quest.

Again alternate-canon needs to make sense.

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1 hour ago, tenchi2a said:

While I understand what you are saying, you seem to have missed the overarching point of my post. 

CCGs and LCGs thrive in times of conflict because that is what they are made to simulate. They are designed to give the feeling of great armies of Samurai/Shadowlands monsters marching across Rokugan. 

In L5Rs case they are also made to simulate the politics of Rokugan at the highest level.

The different is that a RPG at its core is about the individual. even thou they are in a group each player is telling the story of their character not Rokugan.

In a time like the pre-coup era, Everything that the players do is important. From saving a village from bandits to smoking out a Bloodspeaker cult. 

In a war the question becomes why are they doing this and not fighting for their Clans in the army?

The main issues come in what the PCs are, they are samurai in service to their daimyo. They should not be out doing their own thing when the Clan is in jeopardy. 

Don't get me wrong something like the Scorpion Clan coup or the Clan Wars make a great ending arch for an RPG game, but if used to early they tend to make the characters seem out of place.

To explain this, look at the cards in the game. The character cards you play tend to be the rank 4+ characters of Rokugan, not the rank 1-3 characters.

The rank 1-3 Characters of Rokugan are the followers cards that you play on them. It is rare for this level of character to have that much of an impact on the game of war.

So in most games they get relegated to the level of side-quest that is to unimportant to the main characters to bother with. 

This issues is even worse in Rokugan, as the PCs are at their core soldiers in the armies of the Clans. It takes major justifications to explain why a group of Private/Lieutenant are wandering and not with their units during a time of war.

Add to this that in most cases the PCs are from multiple Clans and you have a bigger issues. Yes you can use the old standby of they are Imperial magistrates, but this starts to get old quick.

Now all of this falls by the wayside when the PCs reach higher levels, but they don't start that way and need time to reach it. This is why eras like the the pre-coup, post -coup, golden age, etc, make for better RPG games then the wars or conflicts that are the center-point of the CCGs, LCGs.

Eh. Courtiers are not soldiers. Shugenja may or may not choose to serve militarily. Ronin are ronin, monks are monks. Even bushi may serve better off the battlefield than on, depending on their skills. Moreover, not every important task in wartime requires units of soldiers. If you choose to use war as the setting for your campaign, create the adventures accordingly: high-stakes negotiations, raising a relief force, getting vital information across the empire, setting up defenses in strategic places, managing occupied villages, dealing with a potentially traitorous lord, compromising an enemy lord, ... There are lots of options. Maybe restrict character creation somewhat to accommodate the specifics of the situation, there’s nothing wrong with that. Every character can serve in a way that’s appropriate to their status, and any task can be critical to the success of the war.

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2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Eh. Courtiers are not soldiers. Shugenja may or may not choose to serve militarily. Ronin are ronin, monks are monks. Even bushi may serve better off the battlefield than on, depending on their skills. Moreover, not every important task in wartime requires units of soldiers. If you choose to use war as the setting for your campaign, create the adventures accordingly: high-stakes negotiations, raising a relief force, getting vital information across the empire, setting up defenses in strategic places, managing occupied villages, dealing with a potentially traitorous lord, compromising an enemy lord, ... There are lots of options. Maybe restrict character creation somewhat to accommodate the specifics of the situation, there’s nothing wrong with that. Every character can serve in a way that’s appropriate to their status, and any task can be critical to the success of the war.

Again you miss the point.

The point is not that is can't be done.

The point is that RPG play better it times when it is not an issues

as for the "Eh. Courtiers are not soldiers. Shugenja may or may not choose to serve militarily. Ronin are ronin, monks are monks." 

1. You are correct Courtiers are not soldiers, but what are they doing adventuring and not in court push their clan agenda during a war or at the least learning from one of the clans premier Courtiers at arguably one of the best times.

2. Shugenja should be blessing crops, healing soldiers, advising their lord on spiritual matters in this time of crisis. While you are correct that not all Shugenja choose to serve militarily. They are still samurai and if their lord wants then to take care of the wounded they can't just say no.

3. monks are monks is all that needs to be said, I personally have never agreed with the idea of Monk player character to begin with. And during a time of strife warrior monks should be at home in the temple doing what they are train for, protecting the shrine/monastery.

4. Ronin are an interesting lot. While they don't fall into the same group as samurai with the whole no lord thing. A time of war would be the best time for them to get one.

As to the game, I have to say unless the whole campaign is set for Ronins I have yet to see anyone willing to play one. By the game rules they tend to be under-powered and the whole social outcast thing makes them extremely hard to mix into a group of samurai. 

That said I know there are ways around this, again that is far from the point. 

The point is that RPG work better when the group have the freedom of movement to allow them to travel and explore the world. Meet the major movers and shakers of the world. Travel the shadowlands with the Hida, etc.

 During a crisis this freedom tend to be curtailed by the circumstances of war.

And if not the GM is putting in overtime to explain why not.

as to your adventure ideas. "high-stakes negotiations, raising a relief force, getting vital information across the empire, setting up defenses in strategic places, managing occupied villages, dealing with a potentially traitorous lord, compromising an enemy lord, ... There are lots of options"

None of this is stuff that a rank 1-2 PC should be doing, and for the most part rank 3 only if no-one else is available. 

This was the point of my second post. If you are designing these type of adventures for characters of this level then you are seriously having to dumb down the opponents, either making these events way to easy for the groups and breaking immersion or undercutting there important as to make them unimportant. 

As to each of the above ideas, your statements show a lack of knowledge on how the military or even negotiations works.

1. High-stakes negotiations: Why would a clan ever send a rank 1-2 Courtiers to a high-stakes negotiation alone? even a rank 3 would normally have a higher ranked Courtier observing to jump in if there is trouble or to report back the the Courtier is skilled enough to work on his own.

2. Getting vital information across the empire: Why would the daimyo entrust this to a bunch of lower raking characters, all armies and daimyo's have couriers that's job this is. They are trained to do this job.

3. Setting up defenses in strategic places, managing occupied villages: there is no army around that during war times is going to send a group of Privates/Corporals (rank 1-2)to do this without supervision of a Sergeant/Lieutenant.(rank 3 maybe 4) so a group of 1 rank 3 and some rank 1 thru 2s, and none that are going to send a group of Sergeant/Lieutenant to do it. And as PC groups fall into neither of these make-ups I doubt this will happen.

4. Dealing with a potentially traitorous lord: this is way out of the league of most PC at most levels. This is high level stuff as the players would either need the complete support of a higher ranking daimyo or a death wish to pull this off. Remember this is L5R not a Game of Thrones. 

5. Compromising an enemy lord: This is ninja stuff here. While a good Courtier could pull this off in a honorable manner, most PC are looking at seppuku for doing this or just at having this requested as a protest.

6. Raising a relief force: not sure what you mean here? All forces of the Clan should have been mobilized at the start of the conflict.

 a) If you mean raising a peasant levies then sure, but not sure how that would be all that exciting.

b) If you mean a new group of samurai then either thing are going really bad or you are trying to raise a group that refused their daimyo's call which would be more of a go put them to death not raise a new force type of adventure. Not sure how fun that would be.

Overall I am not say that it is not possible to run a game during a conflict, I am saying that it tends to be more open and fun to run them during "peace time".

Edited by tenchi2a

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9 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Why would the daimyo entrust this to a bunch of lower raking characters, all armies and daimyo's have X that's job this is.

 

This is the easiest questions ever: because the daimyo wants to send the bunch of lower-ranking characters and not the specialists. Why? Who knows? Who cares? If Rokugan was a meritocracy and/or a place where common sense rules, then it wouldn't be Rokugan anymore. Stuff happens, people get thrown around for tasks they can't do, L5R Standard Samurai Drama(tm) happens, the Empire burns, and it is just a boring Tuesday. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

This is the easiest questions ever: because the daimyo wants to send the bunch of lower-ranking characters and not the specialists. Why? Who knows? Who cares? If Rokugan was a meritocracy and/or a place where common sense rules, then it wouldn't be Rokugan anymore. Stuff happens, people get thrown around for tasks they can't do, L5R Standard Samurai Drama(tm) happens, the Empire burns, and it is just a boring Tuesday. 

Typical L5R FFG forum, take the least important part of the post and act like it's the whole point. 

That said I could care less about most of this, the whole point is and always was in my 27 years of gaming  wars have never and never will make for good role-playing.

You can think differently, but experience has show me this as both as a GM and a player. I'm not going to go into anymore then that.

Edited by tenchi2a

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13 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

1) ... what are they doing adventuring?

2) None of this is stuff that a rank 1-2 PC should be doing, and for the most part rank 3 only if no-one else is available. 

1) what is any low-status character doing “adventuring”, unless it’s a ronin or wandering monk? A typical module has the PCs serving their lord in whatever fashion suits them best when something happens and they find themselves having to deal with that. I rarely use the old D&D trope of the PCs sitting in an inn somewhere to get approached by a stranger in need in L5R. Low-ranking samurai serve at the pleasure of their lord, they don’t get to gallivant about doing whatever they please. When they do go after whatever it is the module has them going after, they still do so because presumably their lord will be pleased if they take care of it/displeased if they don’t. Or, you know, because they get a direct order.

2) low-ranking characters can help. They won’t be in charge of high-stakes negotiations, but they can be asked with gathering information or spreading misinfirmation or doing things the high-ranking courtier in charge wants to be able to deny having anything to do with. They won’t be deciding strategy, but they might get tasked with scouting or guarding a passage. They might well be put in charge of one or two small units and ordered to strike at minor targets. They could be sent to escort hostages that need to be relocated.

Also, Insight Rank is a metagame concept that’s largely meaningless to NPCs. What matters is status, recommendations, possibly being wealthy, definitely who you know and especially who you are known by. Even characters fresh from gempukku might have a status of 2, and after a few well-handled tasks that might go up quickly.

Finally, not every group chooses to start off with IR 1 characters or has no higher IR characters from previous campaigns.

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10 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

1) what is any low-status character doing “adventuring”, unless it’s a ronin or wandering monk? A typical module has the PCs serving their lord in whatever fashion suits them best when something happens and they find themselves having to deal with that. I rarely use the old D&D trope of the PCs sitting in an inn somewhere to get approached by a stranger in need in L5R. Low-ranking samurai serve at the pleasure of their lord, they don’t get to gallivant about doing whatever they please. When they do go after whatever it is the module has them going after, they still do so because presumably their lord will be pleased if they take care of it/displeased if they don’t. Or, you know, because they get a direct order.

2) low-ranking characters can help. They won’t be in charge of high-stakes negotiations, but they can be asked with gathering information or spreading misinfirmation or doing things the high-ranking courtier in charge wants to be able to deny having anything to do with. They won’t be deciding strategy, but they might get tasked with scouting or guarding a passage. They might well be put in charge of one or two small units and ordered to strike at minor targets. They could be sent to escort hostages that need to be relocated.

Also, Insight Rank is a metagame concept that’s largely meaningless to NPCs. What matters is status, recommendations, possibly being wealthy, definitely who you know and especially who you are known by. Even characters fresh from gempukku might have a status of 2, and after a few well-handled tasks that might go up quickly.

Finally, not every group chooses to start off with IR 1 characters or has no higher IR characters from previous campaigns.

Again this has nothing to do with my point, so I will just say.

That said I could care less about most of this, the whole point is and always was in my 27 years of gaming  wars have never and never will make for good role-playing.

You can think differently, but experience has show me this as both as a GM and a player. I'm not going to go into anymore then that.

Edited by tenchi2a

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18 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Again this has nothing to do with my point, so I will just say.

That said I could care less about most of this, the whole point is and always was in my 27 years of gaming  wars have never and never will make for good role-playing.

You can think differently, but experience has show me this as both as a GM and a player. I'm not going to go into anymore then that.

Reflects far more on your skill level than proving the point. I've found wars often make a great setting. 

Several war-setting games have had commercial success:

  • Twilight 2000
  • Recon
  • Mechwarrior
  • Dawn Patrol (tho' this runs the ragged edge between wargame and RPG)
  • Battlestations (again, ragged edge)
  • Robotech
  • Rifts
  • Torg
  • End of the World
  • WFRP
  • Traveller, MegaTraveller, and Traveller the New Era
  • Pendragon. - warfare abstraction mechanic focused upon PC experience of large battles as part of core rules.
  • Star Wars (ever edition except Edge of the Empire)
  • Jovian Chronicles
  • Heavy Gear
  • Mekton
  • Star Trek: DS9 RPG. (Decipher Trek)
  • Prime Directive 1E (Star Trek variant setting, playing special ops teams)
  • L5R 1-4 - same as pendragon.

War makes for lots of opportunities for guilt-free violence. Active Duty Missions are the easy to swallow plot hammer.

Each of the above has been commercially successful, and has some adventures that are wartime.

 

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1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

Reflects far more on your skill level than proving the point. I've found wars often make a great setting. 

Skill level has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of taste in adventuring. I would think that attempting to start off with an insult would be bellow you but I guess I was wrong.

To the point,  my groups and I have found that playing as a magistrate solving mysteries is far more fun then the typical hack and slash adventures that tend to happen in war based games.

Now this could be that I started role-playing on games like Top Secret, James Bond 007, Pendragon, Shatterzone. 

Most of the players I play with have never like D&D hack and slash dungeon dive adventures.

I personally hate D&D.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

Several war-setting games have had commercial success:

  • Twilight 2000

The war is over in twilight 2000, its a post apocalyptic survival game. It was never really a commercial success with only a small core following, as was shown by the commercial failure of twilight 2013.

Just to let you know I have all the books for this game in dead-tree and PDF, so i do like it.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Recon

Never played it 

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Mechwarrior

Battletech the board game is commercially successful, Mechwarrior is far from it. We where just having this discussion on Catalyst Game Labs website.

Again have all the books/PDF/boxsets for this game so I do like it as a war board game. 

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Dawn Patrol (tho' this runs the ragged edge between wargame and RPG)
  • Battlestations (again, ragged edge)

never played these

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Robotech

And that"s why Harmony Gold just pulled the licence. The game has never truly been successful as anything other then a Rift add-on or for collectors of Robotech merchandise.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Rifts

Rifts is not a war game in and of itself. Is a generic RPG that can have wars if the GM sets the campaign like that.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Torg

Again war is not the core of this game, but it can if the GM sets the campaign like that.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • End of the World

never played it

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • WFRP

this game is more a D&D clone for its adventure setup then anything else. 

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Traveller, MegaTraveller, and Traveller the New Era

unless you focus on certain era/areas war is not a normal adventure focus in this game.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Pendragon. - warfare abstraction mechanic focused upon PC experience of large battles as part of core rules.

Most of this game is during the adventuring phase of the game where its more like D&D, the campaigning phase very abstract with less role-playing in my experience.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Star Wars (ever edition except Edge of the Empire)

depends on your focus most groups I have played with either play as smugglers or special forces teams trying to avoid combat.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Jovian Chronicles
  • Heavy Gear
  • Mekton

Pretty much all the same games here (Heavy Gear Jovian Chronicles sue the same system) and  set in different locations. again like battletech the war portions of these games are board-game based. And the role-playing aspects are either just a few stats thrown together to make pilots for the game or not all that well revised.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • Star Trek: DS9 RPG. (Decipher Trek)
  • Prime Directive 1E (Star Trek variant setting, playing special ops teams)

Star trek games are about exploration not war, and even DS9 was more about what was going on outside the war then in it for most of its run, and outside the cool effects the episodes that focused on the war where some of the worst. 

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • L5R 1-4 - same as pendragon.

see above, for most eras of L5R. 

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

War makes for lots of opportunities for guilt-free violence. Active Duty Missions are the easy to swallow plot hammer.

And if guilt-free violence is what your after then that's fine. If its not, then war is not a good setting for you game.

And since my groups are not into violence for violence sake it has never worked for us.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

Each of the above has been commercially successful, and has some adventures that are wartime

Funny at the top you listed them as "war-setting games", but here you change it to "has some adventures that are wartime" there is a difference.

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10 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

1) It is a matter of taste in adventuring.

2) depends on your focus most groups I have played with either play as smugglers or special forces teams trying to avoid combat.

1) which means that depending on your taste, a war setting can be perfect.

2) so you played against a war background, doing things outside direct combat? Sounds like most of the examples I gave for things you can do in L5R during the Clan War. 

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4 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

1) which means that depending on your taste, a war setting can be perfect.

At no time did I ever say that you can not play in a war setting I said "IMHO" I don't think they work well. This is my opinion and you will not change that.

4 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

2) so you played against a war background, doing things outside direct combat? Sounds like most of the examples I gave for things you can do in L5R during the Clan War. 

No, the examples you gave where based on Samurai doing things outside their skill range, or areas that they would not normally be assigned at the lower levels.

Now I'm not sure about your games but it takes my character quiet a long time to get up past 3 rank in my games, the last game I ran it wasn't till about 6 months of playing once a week that they got to level 3.

As for the more common play of smuggler. When we play this type of game we normally have nothing to do with the galactic war/rebellion.

Saying that these games are set in a war background is like saying if we are running rum smugglers in the US south during WW2 its a war setting. yes there is a war going on but it would have nothing to do with our characters.

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6 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

1) At no time did I ever say that you can not play in a war setting I said "IMHO" I don't think they work well. This is my opinion and you will not change that.

2) No, the examples you gave where based on Samurai doing things outside their skill range, or areas that they would not normally be assigned at the lower levels.

Now I'm not sure about your games but it takes my character quiet a long time to get up past 3 rank in my games, the last game I ran it wasn't till about 6 months of playing once a week that they got to level 3.

As for the more common play of smuggler. When we play this type of game we normally have nothing to do with the galactic war/rebellion.

Saying that these games are set in a war background is like saying if we are running rum smugglers in the US south during WW2 its a war setting. yes there is a war going on but it would have nothing to do with our characters.

1) you did not say it was your opinion. I always assume that’s implied though. However, that means people (like myself) can have a different opinion on this matter (like I do). 

2) there are entire clans who’s main line of business is smuggling, and entire schools that train yojimbo, special operations teams, court tactics based on compromising the other side, and so on. Player characters can definitely have skill sets aimed specifically at handling wartime assignments that have little or nothing to do with frontline battles. Also, again, status, glory and connections mean much more than actual skills in terms of getting assigned a task by your lord and Insight Rank is a meaningless term in the game. Also again, not everyone starts with fresh characters at the start of a campaign, and those who do don’t always create characters according to character creation - some give more XP, others give additional advantages (and/or disadvantages) that suit the campaign, or they hand out some other freebee. Or they might simply say the characters’ lords were impressed by their gempukku and the recommendations from their sensei, so they get more prestigious assignments than other young samurai of their low status might get. None of these arguments of yours have to be an actual problem in this setting.

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3 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

1) you did not say it was your opinion. I always assume that’s implied though. However, that means people (like myself) can have a different opinion on this matter (like I do). 

And yet you keep trying to imply that my opinion is wrong. That said you can play it how you like and I'll play it how I like.

3 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

2) there are entire clans who’s main line of business is smuggling, and entire schools that train yojimbo, special operations teams, court tactics based on compromising the other side, and so on. Player characters can definitely have skill sets aimed specifically at handling wartime assignments that have little or nothing to do with frontline battles. Also, again, status, glory and connections mean much more than actual skills in terms of getting assigned a task by your lord and Insight Rank is a meaningless term in the game. Also again, not everyone starts with fresh characters at the start of a campaign, and those who do don’t always create characters according to character creation - some give more XP, others give additional advantages (and/or disadvantages) that suit the campaign, or they hand out some other freebee. Or they might simply say the characters’ lords were impressed by their gempukku and the recommendations from their sensei, so they get more prestigious assignments than other young samurai of their low status might get. None of these arguments of yours have to be an actual problem in this setting.

I would give you that there are families that have smuggling schools. I would not go as far as saying that there are entire clans who’s main line of business is smuggling. 

Now just to clarify I am speaking from L5R 1-4 , I don't care about 5th.

As for starting playing at higher levels, never have never will. To me and my players you lose to much character development doing this. And you can bypass a lot of the mechanical limiter built in to most games by doing this, which defeats the purpose of said system.

That said, as I pointed out before you can put PC in these areas but if they are low ranking samurai that have, as you said impressed their lord and you are setting up the adventure so they have a chance of success then you are dumb down the obstacles. I don't care how high your status is, if you don't have the skills to deal with the adventure at the level something like it should be handled at then you are just reducing the challenge to a point that is should not have been happening in the first place.

Per one of your examples: If you have some rank 2-3 characters that have high status and you send them for High-stakes negotiations, you would have to explain to me why the other clan would send a negotiator that was there level just because you sent them. Lets say it negotiations with the Crane Clan and are players are from the lion. Why would the Crane not send Kakita Yoshi or some one equally as skilled. The only answer would be that you sent low level character to do this and you want to give them a chance. To me this take you out of immersion right away. 

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20 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

1) And yet you keep trying to imply that my opinion is wrong. That said you can play it how you like and I'll play it how I like.

2) I would give you that there are families that have smuggling schools. I would not go as far as saying that there are entire clans who’s main line of business is smuggling. 

Now just to clarify I am speaking from L5R 1-4 , I don't care about 5th.

As for starting playing at higher levels, never have never will. To me and my players you lose to much character development doing this. And you can bypass a lot of the mechanical limiter built in to most games by doing this, which defeats the purpose of said system.

That said, as I pointed out before you can put PC in these areas but if they are low ranking samurai that have, as you said impressed their lord and you are setting up the adventure so they have a chance of success then you are dumb down the obstacles. I don't care how high your status is, if you don't have the skills to deal with the adventure at the level something like it should be handled at then you are just reducing the challenge to a point that is should not have been happening in the first place.

Per one of your examples: If you have some rank 2-3 characters that have high status and you send them for High-stakes negotiations, you would have to explain to me why the other clan would send a negotiator that was there level just because you sent them. Lets say it negotiations with the Crane Clan and are players are from the lion. Why would the Crane not send Kakita Yoshi or some one equally as skilled. The only answer would be that you sent low level character to do this and you want to give them a chance. To me this take you out of immersion right away. 

1) I’m stating what my opinion is. It’s different from yours. If that means I’m implying yours is wrong, that must mean you’re implying mine is wrong. Personally though, I just think it means people can have different opinions. I’ll let the readers form their own, but I’ll reserve the right to weigh in on a topic with my own opinion - just like you did - on a forum pretty much set up for people to express opinions.

2) there’s one smuggling clan, the Tortoise. The Scorpion do a lot of smuggling too, but it is indeed only part of their illicit operations. Regardless, you’re ignoring the actual point: there are lots of skills a samurai can have in Rokugan that let them be particularly suited for all manner of wartime tasks away from the battlefield.

As for dumbing down assignments, why do you think there are no tasks in wartime that are relatively simple (until the plot thickens, of course) and suitable for samurai with little or no experience yet? Escort missions away from the front will largely be threatened by the same bandits that would be around in more peaceful times, and even if enemy troops would infiltrate far enough to interfere it’s unlikely they would be very numerous. Negotiations don’t have to be with the enemy, they could for instance be about trade for food with a neutral minor clan or about troop passage with a minor lord. The PCs also don’t have to be in charge of the negotiations, they could assist a more seasoned courtier - assisting someone of high status is a convenient way of letting PCs be part of large events, that goes in peacetime as well.

Regarding (not) starting at higher XP or otherwise beefing up starting characters, you are of course entitled to your opinion. But again, so is everyone else. 

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1 minute ago, nameless ronin said:

2) there’s one smuggling clan, the Tortoise. The Scorpion do a lot of smuggling too, but it is indeed only part of their illicit operations. Regardless, you’re ignoring the actual point: there are lots of skills a samurai can have in Rokugan that let them be particularly suited for all manner of wartime tasks away from the battlefield.

I wouldn't really call the Tortoise smugglers. Smuggling in its main definition the moving illegal goods while avoiding the law. Since the daimyo of the Tortoise Clan has the permission of the emperor to do what they do its hard to said its illegal. I know its a gray area. 

On the other things, I just assume we are going to agree to disagree.

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Just to point a fact people seem to be confused about... most of the samurai of a clan never go past rank 1-2, rank 3 characters are already high ranked members and rank 4 and 5 are super rare (and let's not talk about what is higher than that). That the canon. A rank 3 character has achieved a high rank in his clan and likely an important position as an officer, sensei or diplomat. So yeah, sanding rank 3 characters to do diplomatic missions is what happens in the setting. Most NPC aren't higher than rank 3, but people remember those who are higher than those because they are more memorable. People remember Kakita Toshimoko, master sensei when most of the senseis in the Kakita Academy are rank 3-4.

Now, all the discussion is still relevant, just need to move the rank bar a bit lower.

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@tenchi2aActually, no, I did not miss your point. You missed my point. My point is this: They could literally give us between 3 to theoretically 3,000,000 years in canon time between major wars/conflicts. We have no clue what their plans are. As far as we know, they could be planning to turn Rokugan into a Tokugawa Shogunate, a Togashi Empire, or a thousand other things. And L5R could work just as well in a mostly peaceful Rokugan under any regime without some epic war. For example, with a Tokugawa Shogunate-type post-clan war era, they could keep battles going as small border wars, and put the major plotlines into the courts. Remember, the LCG has Political AND Military Conflicts. Just because AEG chose to focus on this War, then this war, then this war, doesn't mean FFG has to. It doesn't have to always be "This Great Evil Rises up and all the Samurai have to arm up and kill the evil/it's minion." That's a 90s/early 2000s trope. Yes, it's a necessity for some games like Magic: the Gathering, but not all of them. AEG seriously underused the Poly side of L5R in it's story creation, and mostly to spark off wars. We have to wait to see how FFG plays it's story creation to see what they are going to do with things. ****, we don't even know if there's going to be a Clan War at this point, or, if they're going to use it how they're going to spin it or it's successor stories As far as we know, the Clan War itself could be fought mostly in the courts.

Edited by Daigotsu Naraku
a quick specification as for who I was talking to.

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17 hours ago, Daigotsu Naraku said:

@tenchi2aActually, no, I did not miss your point. You missed my point. My point is this: They could literally give us between 3 to theoretically 3,000,000 years in canon time between major wars/conflicts. We have no clue what their plans are. As far as we know, they could be planning to turn Rokugan into a Tokugawa Shogunate, a Togashi Empire, or a thousand other things. And L5R could work just as well in a mostly peaceful Rokugan under any regime without some epic war. For example, with a Tokugawa Shogunate-type post-clan war era, they could keep battles going as small border wars, and put the major plotlines into the courts. Remember, the LCG has Political AND Military Conflicts. Just because AEG chose to focus on this War, then this war, then this war, doesn't mean FFG has to. It doesn't have to always be "This Great Evil Rises up and all the Samurai have to arm up and kill the evil/it's minion." That's a 90s/early 2000s trope. Yes, it's a necessity for some games like Magic: the Gathering, but not all of them. AEG seriously underused the Poly side of L5R in it's story creation, and mostly to spark off wars. We have to wait to see how FFG plays it's story creation to see what they are going to do with things. ****, we don't even know if there's going to be a Clan War at this point, or, if they're going to use it how they're going to spin it or it's successor stories As far as we know, the Clan War itself could be fought mostly in the courts.

Actually you did miss my point. 

As it stands right now the story is being written for the LCG not the RPG.

That was my major issue with the old canon to. When a card game that is at least half military based it running the story, you need a conflict.

And that conflict is going to have to be at least part military. 

So conflict is going to happen. (see below) 

As to the L5R LCG story. I'm not sure they can go with out a Clan War (or its equivalent).

The driving point behind even the new game is Clans at war, whither militarily or politically.

There has to be a driving force behind these conflicts or the story falls down to we hate each other and just like to fight.

If they wanted to just do the card game without the background then yes then could justify this with little story.

But unless they do a major red-con on the empire as a whole and not just change things here or there, there will need to be some form of major conflict.

As to the RPG (which ever version you use) 

As I have said before, I don't like to run games during war. So why is this an issues, the clans are not at war right now, or just run your came at an earlier date.

Well they may not be at war right now, but my guess is they soon will be (see above)

As for running it at an earlier time. The issues is we know very little to nothing about the past right now.

It could be just the same as it was or totally different.

Just some of the minor changes that have made so far have already possibly changed the past.

Now I am still waiting to see where this new story goes, to see if that will be a issues or I just use the old timeline.

 

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On 3/28/2018 at 1:30 AM, okuma said:

Just to point a fact people seem to be confused about... most of the samurai of a clan never go past rank 1-2, rank 3 characters are already high ranked members and rank 4 and 5 are super rare (and let's not talk about what is higher than that). That the canon. A rank 3 character has achieved a high rank in his clan and likely an important position as an officer, sensei or diplomat. So yeah, sanding rank 3 characters to do diplomatic missions is what happens in the setting. Most NPC aren't higher than rank 3, but people remember those who are higher than those because they are more memorable. People remember Kakita Toshimoko, master sensei when most of the senseis in the Kakita Academy are rank 3-4.

Now, all the discussion is still relevant, just need to move the rank bar a bit lower.

IIRC this was confirm by members of the 4e RPG design and story team on the AEG RPG forums; A F&Q topic or something close to that. 

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1 minute ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

IIRC this was confirm by members of the 4e RPG design and story team on the AEG RPG forums; A F&Q topic or something close to that. 

I know, I've fought the creeping rank levels increase when playtesting 3rd so we returned to the levels the topic you mention speaks of.

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On 3/27/2018 at 11:30 PM, okuma said:

Just to point a fact people seem to be confused about... most of the samurai of a clan never go past rank 1-2, rank 3 characters are already high ranked members and rank 4 and 5 are super rare (and let's not talk about what is higher than that). That the canon. A rank 3 character has achieved a high rank in his clan and likely an important position as an officer, sensei or diplomat. So yeah, sanding rank 3 characters to do diplomatic missions is what happens in the setting. Most NPC aren't higher than rank 3, but people remember those who are higher than those because they are more memorable. People remember Kakita Toshimoko, master sensei when most of the senseis in the Kakita Academy are rank 3-4.

Now, all the discussion is still relevant, just need to move the rank bar a bit lower.

This to me has always been the point where the overall story-line for L5R tends to fall apart.

Don't know if it was to many chefs in the kitchen or just a failure to lock-down what they where trying to portray.

First you have the issues of the size of Rokugan. 

According to the map it is about the size of Mongolia per land mass at around 560,000 square miles (not including the Shadowlands).

Japan has a 145,932 square miles in area which it about 26% the size of Rokugan.

Sengoku: Around 22 million, 150 people per m^2

Where Rokugans population is around 26 million people, or around 46 people per m^2

This seem out of place to have almost the same population with four times the available landmass.

Then we have the amount of samurai per population.

Sengoku: about 6% of the population was made-up of samurai and their families.

That's about 1,320,000 samurai. That includes non-combat women and children.

And an estimated 300,000 troops in the standing armies.

So around 2 troops per m^2 

Rokugan: about 5% of the population was made-up of samurai and their families.

Safe estimate around 1,300,000 samurai. That includes non-combat women and children.

And an estimated 636,760 troops in the standing armies.

or around 1.1 troops per m^2

The point being that the population is to small for the land mass and the armies are to small to protected it.

I Think a lot of this has to do with the lack of defined size when the game was first made.

They seem to have given the writers a large geographical area to work with, but have kept to the relative size of the Japanese population to fill it.

The issues here is that the population of japan was limited by the geographical area of Japan and the centuries of wars it had fought.

Where Rokugan had four times the landmass (a large part fertile) and had been at relative peace for the same amount of time.

The writers thru all editions can't seem to decide if they are writing a Japan clone with a different history or something completely different.

And before it comes, I know Rokugan is not Japan, (at least not 1-4 ed) but you have to expected it to at least make sense.

 

Edit: sorry forgot the unicorn clan.

 

Edited by tenchi2a

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On 3/30/2018 at 4:41 AM, tenchi2a said:

Actually you did miss my point. 

As it stands right now the story is being written for the LCG not the RPG.

That was my major issue with the old canon to. When a card game that is at least half military based it running the story, you need a conflict.

And that conflict is going to have to be at least part military. 

So conflict is going to happen. (see below) 

As to the L5R LCG story. I'm not sure they can go with out a Clan War (or its equivalent).

The driving point behind even the new game is Clans at war, whither militarily or politically.

There has to be a driving force behind these conflicts or the story falls down to we hate each other and just like to fight.

If they wanted to just do the card game without the background then yes then could justify this with little story.

But unless they do a major red-con on the empire as a whole and not just change things here or there, there will need to be some form of major conflict.

As to the RPG (which ever version you use) 

As I have said before, I don't like to run games during war. So why is this an issues, the clans are not at war right now, or just run your came at an earlier date.

Well they may not be at war right now, but my guess is they soon will be (see above)

As for running it at an earlier time. The issues is we know very little to nothing about the past right now.

It could be just the same as it was or totally different.

Just some of the minor changes that have made so far have already possibly changed the past.

Now I am still waiting to see where this new story goes, to see if that will be a issues or I just use the old timeline.

 

Still you ignore my point even as it sinks your ship, how sad.

Right now, they're still in the groundwork phase. Look at 40k's RPG. It got set long before the Game's official Canon even started because they had the groundwork from the tabletop. FFG does not have that. They have a turd (**** AEG Kotei fan spanks) that got handed to them along with the words "There's a diamond in there somewhere. Find it and polish it." when they bought the licences. Who's to say that, when the RPG comes out and background changes are finalized, FFG might not do the same thing. We saw a test, a TEST, of a system. We don't know when or where they may drop the RPG's starting point. As far as we may know, the RPG's canon may start anywhere between the time the Kami fell to the world and the moment the big major first event pops off. They might go with one of the Eras/timeframes that never got touched with a book or, at most, beyond 'What if' speculation from Imperial Histories 2. When you assume, you make an *** out of you and me. Just wait to see like the rest of us, and if they screw it up you'll have the energy and credibility to do the flame war equivalent of lighting a torch, taking to the streets, and starting a mass riot with looting and pillaging instead of blowing through it all by raving like a conspiracy theorist.

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