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Clan Choices at Winter Court 2018

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1 hour ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Nah, Kitsu Motso! "Well, I'm not one of them soo-dan says-no, but umm, the ancestors are always watching! But like, not in a creepy way. They just know everything you do. Er, wait, how do I do this again. Ah, heck, CHARGE!"

If you notice that I want Moto Tsume for the Unicorn choice, you may notice there is a trend developing for my suggested picks.  :)

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10 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

You said it, not me.

All right, since we're being flippant... Let me ask you a question.

Do think a game whose basic assumptions are predicated upon clan loyalty is ever served by making one of the clans as a whole appear not merely flawed, but actually stupid?

I thought not.

 

Stupid characters are one thing- stupidity as a baked-in faction trait? No.

It's part of why I've found the Unicorn's initial launch in this story so troubling, because there are some absolutely unforgivable missteps and oversights built into the basic premise of their conflict with the Lion (by contrast, their difficulties with the Phoenix have been nuanced and genuinely tragic). Now, matters have improved somewhat after the ball got rolling, but the fact remains, making a faction look incapable of some of its basic duties/day to day paperwork is a Bad Thing.

 

No.

Let's let the Phoenix (or anyone else, for that matter) be GOOD at something for a bit so that when they're arrogant, they don't just seem to be idiots. AEG fell down that hole repeatedly by having the Phoenix be either outright wrong about spiritual matters (Kinuye suckering them into thinking the Mantis used a Black Scroll), jobbing them out in their areas of expertise (Shaitung one-shotting the entire Elemental Council because "she wanted it more), or having them be right but totally irrelevant (the botched launch of the "New Moto Curse" had a lot of difficulties, but one of them absolutely stemmed from  presenting it as something that literally only the Phoenix took seriously- "They're right, and nobody cares")

 

Let the Lion be good at war. Let the Crab actually hold the Wall for a whole five minutes. Let the Dragon be mystical and unknowable instead of just being another pack of samurai who happen to like navel-gazing. Let the Phoenix be good at what they do.

 

I'm not averse to there eventually being shugenja who can show the Isawa up- but the Isawa need some street cred before that has any meaningful impact. And at this point in the story? They're having trouble boiling water. Now is not the time to go, 'oh, by the way, that thing you're word of god good at, but are having trouble with as your primary plot point? Yeah, here's some dude from another Clan who's better at handling it in every possible way."

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16 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

I'm not averse to there eventually being shugenja who can show the Isawa up- but the Isawa need some street cred before that has any meaningful impact. And at this point in the story? They're having trouble boiling water. Now is not the time to go, 'oh, by the way, that thing you're word of god good at, but are having trouble with as your primary plot point? Yeah, here's some dude from another Clan who's better at handling it in every possible way."

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfEffect

Maybe the fact they're having trouble boiling water right now is because of the Elemental Imbalance? Maybe their sheer mastery of an element apiece, when that element goes awry, it shows their over-reliance on it? But I will concede that they jumped to it far too quickly if that was the cause/reason.

19 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

It's part of why I've found the Unicorn's initial launch in this story so troubling, because there are some absolutely unforgivable missteps and oversights built into the basic premise of their conflict with the Lion.

If the Unicorn had been only one or two generations returned from Rokugan, I could see this as much less troubling. But at this point, no living Unicorn was born or raised during the Exodus.

"Which sword do I like using?" is one thing.

"Do I even care about being part of this Empire?" is something completely different.

Though I will say, I'm really uncertain how the Lion managed such a coup as to get a CLAN CHAMPION to marry and become the good little wife of a mere Family Daimyo. Now I know she didn't go through with it, but she was giving up all that and what exactly was the Unicorn clan going to get in return that made it even close to a good deal?

23 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Let the Lion be good at war.

I do have to wonder, why do they let anyone other than an Akodo lead an army? They really harp on the "No Akodo commander has ever been defeated!" So why ever assign a different family's commander?

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6 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

I do have to wonder, why do they let anyone other than an Akodo lead an army? They really harp on the "No Akodo commander has ever been defeated!" So why ever assign a different family's commander?

Well, that goes on par with “Ikoma are the historians in charge of recording every battle in imperial soil.”

It normally goes like this:

-Hey, Ikoma, remember that bit about undefeated Akodo commanders and what not? Akodo Arasou. An arrow to the eye. Totally dead. Also, defeated. 

*Ikoma frantically scribbling* What are you talking about? It says here that he won that battle. But died later in his tent. From dysentery.

-Wha—? I was there! His head looked like a pork skewer!

*Ikoma ignoring him while archiving the scroll* Yup. Dysentery. Totally what happened. Akodos still undefeated. 

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1 hour ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Oh, I know where your loyalties lie. I've got my eye on you.

Whoa there.....are you getting sweet on me?

You're gonna have to answer to my wife and in true Oni fashion, she's a "ride or die" chick.  

Best to keep your eyes on the wall or you may find them removed from your skull.  :P

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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1 minute ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Whoa there.....are getting sweet on me?

You're gonna have to answer to my wife and in true Oni fashion, she's a "ride or die" chick.  

Best to keep your eyes on the wall or you may find them removed from your skull.  :P

 

I mean, I heard that Oni aren't all that picky about whose name they take, and go with whoever offers...

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Just now, Ishi Tonu said:

Well I did call dibs on her when we first met so she was more duty-bound to honor the rules of dibs.  I wouldn't say she choose me.  

Duty-bound and honor from an Oni? Now I see why you want Kitsu Okura. You're an infiltrator looking to bring down the Shadowlands from within!

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9 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Duty-bound and honor from an Oni? Now I see why you want Kitsu Okura. You're an infiltrator looking to bring down the Shadowlands from within!

Oni's have feelings too.  They are just misunderstood because of their outward appearance.  Everyone seems to get along fine with the Oni that are disguised within the empire................whoops, up forget I said that.  So yeah what does everyone think about those Unicorn and Lion picks? :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

I'm not averse to there eventually being shugenja who can show the Isawa up- but the Isawa need some street cred before that has any meaningful impact. And at this point in the story? They're having trouble boiling water. 

To be fair, boiling water is probably one of the few things they're not having trouble doing. ?

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55 minutes ago, swinkee said:

Given what we saw of him in "A Simple Test" I'm pretty sure Aramoro is choking somebody...

Or something...all that close contact with Kachiko, I wonder if he took Weapons as his passion so he can relieve all that strife by polishing his sword.

Edited by Kaito Kikaze

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8 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

All right, since we're being flippant... Let me ask you a question.

Do think a game whose basic assumptions are predicated upon clan loyalty is ever served by making one of the clans as a whole appear not merely flawed, but actually stupid?

I thought not.

 

Stupid characters are one thing- stupidity as a baked-in faction trait? No.

I don't know, Orks in Warhammer and Warhammer 40k are pretty stupid and they still have quite a few fans.

There're whole franchises built around organizational incompetence, like Resident Evil. The Phoenix are basically the Umbrella Corporation of Rokugan: a bunch of really smart people who keep messing with things they shouldn't and never learning their lesson no matter how many times it blows up in their faces. Or put another way they're the Mad Scientist trope applied to magic.

I suppose I can see wanting them to be different, but it's like asking for the Crab to be more courtly, the Crane to be less dainty, or the Dragon to be less enigmatic. You're trying to mess with their core essence.

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44 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

I don't know, Orks in Warhammer and Warhammer 40k are pretty stupid and they still have quite a few fans.

1. I play Orks, and it's not for how dumb they are- it's because they're the only ones having any actual fun.

2. It's not stupid when it works. Ork stupidty works a depressingly large amount of the time... moreover, that entire universe is gonzo stupid.

44 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

There're whole franchises built around organizational incompetence, like Resident Evil.

L5R is not one of them.

Again.

Each Clan is supposed to offer things that people root for. While the Phoenix playerbase is a masterpiece of disunity, safe to say none of us are Phoenix fans because "hur hur hur, Phoenix are dumb and blow themselves up, how hilarious!"

44 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

The Phoenix are basically the Umbrella Corporation of Rokugan: a bunch of really smart people who keep messing with things they shouldn't and never learning their lesson no matter how many times it blows up in their faces. Or put another way they're the Mad Scientist trope applied to magic.

Nope. Not even going to say you're entitled to your opinion here- that statement is factually incorrect.

Not even in the old story was that really true- unless you were inclined to dislike them anyway and chose to skim the high notes.

The idea was idealism, tainted with hubris- that they really were more in tune with the mysteries of the universe most of the time, had the actual best of intentions (unlike the Umbrella Corporation) and therefore presumed they could handle it. There's also the aspect of responsibility- Phoenix, at their best, do dangerous things because they're honestly better at it than anyone else would be.

Even when they were popping open Black Scrolls like Pez dispensers, the idea was that the Empire needed the knowledge they discovered by doing so (and it's easy to forget now, in hindsight, but... they did. In the new Lore, people appear to be aware of the legend of the Seven Thunders, but in the old lore? Yeah, the Phoenix uncovered that while Tainting 80% of the Elemental Council and shared that knowledge with the Empire).

So... no.

38 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

I suppose I can see wanting them to be different, but it's like asking for the Crab to be more courtly, the Crane to be less dainty, or the Dragon to be less enigmatic. You're trying to mess with their core essence.

No, having them be spellslinging idiots incapable of learning is messing with their core essence.

It's somewhat akin to saying that marching alongside of oni is the core essence of the Crab.

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1 hour ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

It's somewhat akin to saying that marching alongside of oni is the core essence of the Crab.

 

The really direct parallel to the Phoenix would be if every Crab + Shadowlands story showed them not knowing important things about the Taint, or falling victim to or embracing it, or getting steamrollered by the Lost, or upstaged by Yogo shugenja and Matsu berserkers who are much better at fighting the Shadowlands than they are.

There have been some stories like that. But there have also been enough stories of the Crab being bad-*****e$ against the Shadowlands that the exceptions stand out as exceptions, rather than the status quo.

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2 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Not even going to say you're entitled to your opinion here

Hmm, alright. Clearly this is a subject which has affected you greatly and as I was never particularly interested in discussing it in the first place I'm inclined to end the  conversation here.

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On 10/11/2018 at 12:27 PM, Tonbo Karasu said:

 

The Burning Sands were mentioned in Way of the Unicorn back in 1e, but very little was said about them.  The details of what existed there were fleshed out in the LBS card game later.  I anticipate that the area existing, with that name, is in the IP, but all of the characters, factions and details aren't.  Thus, while there is a Caliph, I doubt he'll rule in Medinat al- Salaam.

It does appear that they still got to use the name. Sidebar for the Unicorn (Core Rulebook) under "What does your character know?" mentions the Burning Sands.

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20 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:
21 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

I'm not averse to there eventually being shugenja who can show the Isawa up- but the Isawa need some street cred before that has any meaningful impact. And at this point in the story? They're having trouble boiling water. Now is not the time to go, 'oh, by the way, that thing you're word of god good at, but are having trouble with as your primary plot point? Yeah, here's some dude from another Clan who's better at handling it in every possible way."

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfEffect

You know that website? No!

Run!

That website will ruin your life!

Run!

Run far away before it's too late!

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I wouldn’t mind a spiritual rivalry between Shugenja families, healthy rivalry promotes honing your skills and the betterment of yourself, but I have high hopes that in this alternate timeline it’s shown why the Phoenix are the Masters of Magic.

Could be interesting to see a story on how their Yojimbo and Shugenja work at unison, not just protecting their charge and spell blasting their targets but how does it feel to allow the flow of Void through their bodies and work as a single entity, how this ethereal and mystic element grants them abilities... at least that’s what I missing... And the Kaito!!!!

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