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Horiuchi Daimyo

Please may I have an Idiots' Guide to l5r lore

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This has spiraled a bit out of control, though if we have honored writers among us perhaps we can gain enlightenment :)

I have yet to find a cannon answer about marriage rules in L5R. Who takes whose family name? It seems logical to assume that whoever has the highest rank/glory would keep their name, so in Altansarnai's case she runs into a male-centric Ikoma tradition/rule that subverts this?

I know back in Old5R 1st edition the female would usually take the male's family name, with the exception of the Matsu and Otaku families being matriarchal. If this is covered in the new FFG RPG at any point please set me straight as I haven't been able to pick up a copy yet.

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1 minute ago, Eisenmerc said:

I know back in Old5R 1st edition the female would usually take the male's family name, with the exception of the Matsu and Otaku families being matriarchal. If this is covered in the new FFG RPG at any point please set me straight as I haven't been able to pick up a copy yet.

Nothing in the core book on it since that's mostly just the basics and mechanics for the game...might get something though in Emerald Empire which is all about culture and the like throughout the empire, AND I hear it's scheduled to release in just a few days! 

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4 hours ago, Eisenmerc said:

This has spiraled a bit out of control, though if we have honored writers among us perhaps we can gain enlightenment :)

I have yet to find a cannon answer about marriage rules in L5R. Who takes whose family name? It seems logical to assume that whoever has the highest rank/glory would keep their name, so in Altansarnai's case she runs into a male-centric Ikoma tradition/rule that subverts this?

I know back in Old5R 1st edition the female would usually take the male's family name, with the exception of the Matsu and Otaku families being matriarchal. If this is covered in the new FFG RPG at any point please set me straight as I haven't been able to pick up a copy yet.

Right now, we don't know for definite. But I broadly agree - this discussion came up on the RPG forums too:

  • Matsu expect men to marry into the family
  • Ikoma expect women to marry into the family
  • Shosuro and Doji normally marry 'outwards' since creating webs of connections is kind of their job, which is in the RPG adventure cast lists why there's invariably someone's Doji spouse in-law

Exceptions aside, you would normally assume the lower status partner marries into the family of the higher status partner; which is why Doji Hotaru is Doji Hotaru and not Kitsune Hotaru, and and why an uninvolved but interested observer* would be surprised it wasn't be Shinjo Anakazu not Ikoma Altansarnai.

At the same time, Rokugani rules always have situation-specific exemptions; any political marriage will inevitably - even if not between two feuding clans - come with a raft of attached treaties, and since one of the most important effects of the 'direction' of the marriage is which clan benefits from the future generations of children, I could see it being up for debate for suitable trade-offs if (for example) you're dealing with a family whose dynastic security is a bit wobbly.

 

 

* Utaku Kamoko, for example, is a solder not a courtier, and has no reason to know much of Ikoma/Ide negotiations beyond what her Daimyo's told her third-hand and no reason to specifically know much about another clan's customs.

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4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Utaku Kamoko, for example, is a solder not a courtier, and has no reason to know much [...]

And yet Altansarnai relies on Kamoko to change her mind ...

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19 minutes ago, Manchu said:

And yet Altansarnai relies on Kamoko to change her mind ...

Well, the stories do allow inputs from strange places. I would have never, ever, expected Kuwanan's life to be spared... by Matsu Tsuko's very own thoughts. Especially right after the scene of Tsuko mourning Arasou and the writer clearly showing us how deep she was hurt emotionally. That was weird. But hey, the plot has to roll forward!

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Well, the stories do allow inputs from strange places. I would have never, ever, expected Kuwanan's life to be spared... by Matsu Tsuko's very own thoughts. Especially right after the scene of Tsuko mourning Arasou and the writer clearly showing us how deep she was hurt emotionally. That was weird. But hey, the plot has to roll forward!

The notion of her being manipulated was completely repellent. She is such a contrarian that 'So you want me to do the thing I already wanted me to do, well now I am not going to!' makes sense to her. 

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6 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

At the same time, Rokugani rules always have situation-specific exemptions; any political marriage will inevitably - even if not between two feuding clans - come with a raft of attached treaties, and since one of the most important effects of the 'direction' of the marriage is which clan benefits from the future generations of children, I could see it being up for debate for suitable trade-offs if (for example) you're dealing with a family whose dynastic security is a bit wobbly.

This is key. I know everyone wants to know the "rules" in Rokugan, because it seems like such a traditional, hidebound state like Rokugan would be rife with "rules" about how to conduct every aspect of life...and it kinda is. But...KINDA.

For example, there was a thread some time ago about what constitutes "war", of the type that needs to be sanctioned by the Throne to be prosecuted, versus things that are just "border skirmishes", "armed disagreements", etc. People were, I think, looking for something like "this many troops" or "that long a campaign". The real answer is that the cut-off is whatever the two sides can convince the Imperial Court and the Emperor it is. In one case, the (say) Lion might convince the Emperor that throwing twenty legions against the (say) Crane is a "skirmish"; in another, the (say) Scorpion may persuade the Throne that the (say) Crab attacking them with two legions is a violation of Imperial decree. The laws themselves are pretty general about this stuff because a) in-setting, there are good reasons to leave the Throne and the Imperial Court considerable discretion and b) dramatically, it makes it easier to write more interesting stuff. If everything is codified, the Empire would just be run by a bureaucracy applying established standards. Not very interesting.

It's the same thing with marriage. Customarily, the lower status samurai marries into the family of the higher status spouse-to-be. But, again, there tends to be a lot of negotiating and wheeling/dealing around marriages, which are really just another form of political contract. Moreover, they're often wrapped into bigger deals and treaties. So, if the political outcome that suits everyone best involves the higher status marrying into the lower's family, then so be it. Both sides will be pushing as hard as they can to get their way and, at the end of the day, someone wins or, at the very least, there's a compromise everyone can live with (for instance, maybe the higher status marries into the lower, but the first child will become a samurai of the higher status parent's clan.)

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1 hour ago, Waywardpaladin said:

The notion of her being manipulated was completely repellent. She is such a contrarian that 'So you want me to do the thing I already wanted me to do, well now I am not going to!' makes sense to her. 

That realization of "I'm being manipulated!" was kinda out of nowhere and not exactly in-character considering what she did and how in the previous stories. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

That realization of "I'm being manipulated!" was kinda out of nowhere and not exactly in-character considering what she did and how in the previous stories. 

Oh, her self awareness was startling but we knew so little of her that 'she is hot headed but ultimately cunning as well' isn't contradictory to what we have heard before but in addition to. 

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7 minutes ago, Waywardpaladin said:

Oh, her self awareness was startling but we knew so little of her that 'she is hot headed but ultimately cunning as well' isn't contradictory to what we have heard before but in addition to. 

I dunno but her scuffle with Toturi in the very first Lion fic did not sell her for the side of "insightful" characters, so to speak. It was just really odd to see a sudden 180° turn after a scene of Tsuko straightening herself. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

That realization of "I'm being manipulated!" was kinda out of nowhere and not exactly in-character considering what she did and how in the previous stories. 

But it was also a result of the Story choice from the first Worlds.

1. Duty - Send Doji Kuwanan back to the Osari Plains so that Tsuko can meet him in an honorable battle. One of them may not survive.

2. Justice - Send Doji Kuwanan to the Imperial City back to his sister Doji Hotaru. He will talk to Hotaru about what happened with the mysterious ronin who attacked them in the name of the Lion. Together they will investigate the manipulative politics and uncover who is trying to instigate more blood between Lion and Crane.

Shogun at Worlds selected Justice so there was no question as to whether he was living or not after that.

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33 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Shogun at Worlds selected Justice so there was no question as to whether he was living or not after that.

Yes, I know that, but it was still strange that Tsuko spared Kuwanan and the scene was not about Kuwanan being spared from Tsuko. Say, the ronin leader could have died while trying to peel off a frenzied Tsuko from Kuwanan and eating her wakizashi for his efforts. Then Agetoki arrives, stops Tsuko from strangling Kuwanan to death, sends him back to the Crane, and lectures Tsuko for not falling to such a transparent rouse. Thus everyone stays in-character, we can have lots of tension despite knowing the choice, and Tsuko can deliver some samurai angst while squeezing the life out of Kuwanan with her bare hands. 

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53 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Yes, I know that, but it was still strange that Tsuko spared Kuwanan and the scene was not about Kuwanan being spared from Tsuko. Say, the ronin leader could have died while trying to peel off a frenzied Tsuko from Kuwanan and eating her wakizashi for his efforts. Then Agetoki arrives, stops Tsuko from strangling Kuwanan to death, sends him back to the Crane, and lectures Tsuko for not falling to such a transparent rouse. Thus everyone stays in-character, we can have lots of tension despite knowing the choice, and Tsuko can deliver some samurai angst while squeezing the life out of Kuwanan with her bare hands. 

I'm glad they did nothing of the sort because I'd have ZERO interest reading anything else about that sort of Tsuko. That makes her out to be a rabid dog with less self-control or dignity than even the sketchy ronin that the Ikoma unknown parties hired to kidnap Kuwanan in the first place. 

Edited by Kaito Kikaze

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10 hours ago, Kaito Kikaze said:

I'm glad they did nothing of the sort because I'd have ZERO interest reading anything else about that sort of Tsuko. That makes her out to be a rabid dog with less self-control or dignity than even the sketchy ronin that the Ikoma unknown parties hired to kidnap Kuwanan in the first place. 

Agreed. She isn't a moron. She does - by comparison - have a perpetually angry (not 'enraged') demeanour - but not without some self control, and whilst Doji Kunawan is hardly her favourite person, he didn't kill Akoko Arasou; his sister did - killing him out of hand would be a relatively petty attempt to hurt her and somewhat beneath the Matsu Daimyo.

7 hours ago, Manchu said:

The shocking way she acted toward Toturi  should be the exception, explained by her immediate grief, rather than the rule of her behavior.

That...I'm less convinced about. Shouting back publicly at the Clan Champion - probably - but insulting him to your subordninates behind his back isn't dramatically better, and it's pretty clear her disdain for Akodo-Ue is unchanged as of the start of The Fate Of Flames, and the only reason she was that near the Osari plains in the first place is that she was at best following the letter rather than the intent of her current duty.

 

 

Matsu Tsuko is another example in the 'who marries whom and when exceptions apply' debate - it's not been said in the current iteration of the fiction, but in previous editions tradition says men marry into the matriarchal Matsu. 

However there's no indication that Akodo Arasou was about to become Matsu Arasou and give up the Championate, and I'm pretty sure that's something which would have come up in either Akodo Toturi or Matsu Tsuko's fiction since it's a pretty big plot point....

15 hours ago, DGLaderoute said:

The real answer is that the cut-off is whatever the two sides can convince the Imperial Court and the Emperor it is.

Exactly so. And the Imperial court has no more interest than anyone else in being required by precedent to give a consistent answer to the question.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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16 hours ago, Kaito Kikaze said:

I'm glad they did nothing of the sort because I'd have ZERO interest reading anything else about that sort of Tsuko. That makes her out to be a rabid dog with less self-control or dignity than even the sketchy ronin that the Ikoma unknown parties hired to kidnap Kuwanan in the first place. 

Obviously, we shouldn't skip the context for this: Tsuko has just lost her beloved Arasou to something that amounts to a farce, and when she tried to demand repercussions, she got rebuked and humiliated in front of her peers. She is angry and hurt, to the point where she causes actual, physical pain to herself while mourning. And as far as the saying goes:

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor **** a fury like a woman scorned."

Tsuko snapping and almost killing Kuwanan would have been the perfect occasion to show how deeply Tsuko's grief runs and the true extent of her tragedy. Not to mention that this would add some depth to Arasuko, the single most underrepresented ship in both the old and (so far) the new storyline. 

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45 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Obviously, we shouldn't skip the context for this: Tsuko has just lost her beloved Arasou to something that amounts to a farce, and when she tried to demand repercussions, she got rebuked and humiliated in front of her peers. She is angry and hurt, to the point where she causes actual, physical pain to herself while mourning. And as far as the saying goes:

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor **** a fury like a woman scorned."

Tsuko snapping and almost killing Kuwanan would have been the perfect occasion to show how deeply Tsuko's grief runs and the true extent of her tragedy. Not to mention that this would add some depth to Arasuko, the single most underrepresented ship in both the old and (so far) the new storyline. 

I wouldn't call it a farce.  She lost him in battle to a well timed and coordinated counter attack that he, in his eagerness to claim glory, walked right into.  She rages against it as yes she is grief stricken, but at the same time she is not a stupid woman, and her having the clarity of vision to comprehend that someone is trying to manipulate her and refusing to fall into their trap plays better to the proud Matsu who bows to no man, than the grieving widow blind to nothing but her own desire for revenge.

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On 12/7/2018 at 11:51 AM, Kinzen said:

Surely there are other things to debate?

Nope. Kakita Yoshi's folly is beyond debate. ;)

 

On the Tsuko issue...

 

One of the problems the Matsu in general had in the prior lore incarnation? They were almost always portrayed as killingly, dangerously inflexible. Sure, sometimes it took the form of insane displays of honor like the seppuku of Matsu Domotai, but generally, the family came off looking... not terribly friggin' bright, to be brutally honest. Having Tsuko figure out a blatantly transparent attempt to elicit a reaction allows us to see that the Akodo haven't corned the market on actual brains in the Lion clan. It also allows her to show more nuance than she'd permitted up to that point- after all, had she met Kuwanan in battle, she would have cheerfully killed him without a moment's hesitation- but by having some ronin deliver him in gift wrap, we get to see that she has more than just grief and fury going on.

Edited by Shiba Gunichi

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24 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Having Tsuko figure out a blatantly transparent attempt to elicit a reaction allows us to see that the Akodo haven't corned the market on actual brains in the Lion clan.

We already have this one covered with Matsu Agetoki putting Tsuko back to her place in The Price of War (and he could do it again in this scenario too). So I think letting Tsuko loose wouldn't hurt the overall narrative too much and it would be more in line of her ongoing characterization (she is ANGRY) and shed more light on her emotional state. Not to mention that what she did was rather Toturi-like, and it is not like she didn't spend the entirety of the previous story berating Toturi for doing Toturi-like things. And for one, I would rather have Tsuko the Furious than Tsuko the Hypocrite. We have an annoying lack of truly dangerous characters anyway. 

32 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

I wouldn't call it a farce. 

To be honest Hotaru sniping him from a safe distance while he was busy with the fodder is not something one would consider a fair fight. Not only that, but Arasou dies and the next Lion Clan Champion becomes the Akodo Toturi who is conveniently Hotaru's friend and does not want to obliterate the Crane as a revenge for Arasou's death - in fact he just shrugs and gives up on the whole ordeal. 

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38 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

We already have this one covered with Matsu Agetoki putting Tsuko back to her place in The Price of War (and he could do it again in this scenario too). So I think letting Tsuko loose wouldn't hurt the overall narrative too much and it would be more in line of her ongoing characterization (she is ANGRY) and shed more light on her emotional state. Not to mention that what she did was rather Toturi-like, and it is not like she didn't spend the entirety of the previous story berating Toturi for doing Toturi-like things. And for one, I would rather have Tsuko the Furious than Tsuko the Hypocrite. We have an annoying lack of truly dangerous characters anyway. 

To be honest Hotaru sniping him from a safe distance while he was busy with the fodder is not something one would consider a fair fight. Not only that, but Arasou dies and the next Lion Clan Champion becomes the Akodo Toturi who is conveniently Hotaru's friend and does not want to obliterate the Crane as a revenge for Arasou's death - in fact he just shrugs and gives up on the whole ordeal. 

Well she was at the castle gates where he was leading the charge against her defending forces so a one in a million shot during the heat of battle I'd say is a fair play.  AS to Toturi not pressing the issue, again a death during active combat is different from an assassination, and the whole hesitancy is playing to his specific character of he over analyzes everything and so to the other Lion he is seen as weak and "cowardly" when in reality he is just considering the ramifications on the game 4-5 steps ahead of everyone else.

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17 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Well she was at the castle gates where he was leading the charge against her defending forces so a one in a million shot during the heat of battle I'd say is a fair play.  

Hotaru was sniping Arasou from roughly 300 meters (he was 200 paces from the gates according to Tsuko) while he was fighting multiple Crane opponents:

Quote

He raged through the Crane ranks, slashing through blue bodies on either side of him, leaves before a tempest. He was a mere two hundred paces from the gate.

The only reason she did not shot him in the back was because Arasou was advancing towards her all the time. Otherwise, this is as much of a "battlefield assassination" as it can get. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

So I think letting Tsuko loose wouldn't hurt the overall narrative too much and it would be more in line of her ongoing characterization (she is ANGRY) and shed more light on her emotional state.

"She is ANGRY" = "She is boring" if that's all you ever do with her. And whatever a character should be? Boring isn't on the list.

1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Not to mention that what she did was rather Toturi-like, and it is not like she didn't spend the entirety of the previous story berating Toturi for doing Toturi-like things.

What she did was honorable- there is no honor (or glory) in murdering a prisoner. And while much of Tsuko's rage is driven by grief, she is also angered by things she sees as dishonorable.... which throttling an unarmed, helpless prisoner would certainly have been.

1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

And for one, I would rather have Tsuko the Furious than Tsuko the Hypocrite. We have an annoying lack of truly dangerous characters anyway.

Have you considered that sending Kuwanan back to question his sister's inactivity was actually far more dangerous? Not that I think Tsuko intended it that way, but seriously...

 

As for "an annoying lack of truly dangerous characters," uhm, between Shahai, Daisetsu, Tadaka, Kachiko, Aramoro, Kage, Ujiaki, Yori...

 

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22 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

"She is ANGRY" = "She is boring" if that's all you ever do with her. And whatever a character should be? Boring isn't on the list.

I dunno but angry characters are rarely boring in my book because they tend to do interesting things with their anger. Like initiate a violent and deeply emotional scene that has lots of samurai drama woven into it from tragic love to (self-)destructive but righteous(?) anger. 

33 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

What she did was honorable- there is no honor (or glory) in murdering a prisoner. And while much of Tsuko's rage is driven by grief, she is also angered by things she sees as dishonorable.... which throttling an unarmed, helpless prisoner would certainly have been.

Oh yes, this is the real stuff! What kind of consequences can we have with Tsuko once she gets shut down? Will she admit the dishonor her rage brought upon her? Will this incident giver her a "Then Bushido be damned!" moment? I mean, wow, that last one would be pretty darn heavy in my opinion: Matsu Tsuko of all people denouncing Bushido out of grief and rage! Or will Agetoki sweep it all under the rug because nothing builds tension better than a Tsuko-packed time bomb in the heart of the Lion Clan? The stakes would be in the stars! 

1 hour ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

As for "an annoying lack of truly dangerous characters," uhm, between Shahai, Daisetsu, Tadaka, Kachiko, Aramoro, Kage, Ujiaki, Yori...

2

Out of those, I would only consider Aramoro as "truly dangerous". As per the established narrative, he is the only one who has a ticking timer on him. And no, not!Daigotsu counting down for Shahai is not the same :D.

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2 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

I dunno but angry characters are rarely boring in my book because they tend to do interesting things with their anger. Like initiate a violent and deeply emotional scene that has lots of samurai drama woven into it from tragic love to (self-)destructive but righteous(?) anger. 

"I'M ANGRY!"
"I'M ANGRY!"
"I'M ANGRY!"
"I'M ANGRY!"
"I'M ANGRY!"
"I'M ANGRY!"

 

Repetition is the essence of boredom. One-note characters are trash, when they manage to be characters at all.

Quote

Oh yes, this is the real stuff! What kind of consequences can we have with Tsuko once she gets shut down? Will she admit the dishonor her rage brought upon her? Will this incident giver her a "Then Bushido be damned!" moment? I mean, wow, that last one would be pretty darn heavy in my opinion: Matsu Tsuko of all people denouncing Bushido out of grief and rage! Or will Agetoki sweep it all under the rug because nothing builds tension better than a Tsuko-packed time bomb in the heart of the Lion Clan? The stakes would be in the stars! 

*yawn*
 

Quote

Out of those, I would only consider Aramoro as "truly dangerous".

Then you haven't been paying attention.

Edited by Shiba Gunichi

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34 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Repetition is the essence of boredom. One-note characters are trash, when they manage to be characters at all.

That's called bad writing. If you can't give a character weight and depth then he/she can be a six-bazillion dimensional psychological study and still fall flat. 

Also, a character making a 180° turn in a situation where she really shouldn't =/= showing more character, especially if the reason behind said turn is a story choice. This doubles up if said character spent one-and-a-half story flying straight despite considerably more pressing circumstances and comes from a scene where she has just become, like, straighter than straight. 

Not to mention that Arasuko got shafted after a huge buildup. It is almost like Tsuko is only allowed to talk about her loss but do nothing with it <_<... all the while people all around Rokugan are having shippy actions left, right, and center unless their love is ruined by Tsuko, that is. Oh boy, poor Tsuko just can't get a break, can she? 

54 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

*yawn*

Hey, this stuff is supposed to be important in L5R. It is not for everyone, obviously, but I would rather leave the smooth-flowing intrigue for the characters who are actually into that stuff and can pull it believably. 

1 hour ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Then you haven't been paying attention.

More like I have high standards. For me, a character doesn't become dangerous just because he/she twirls his/her mustache once in a while or has some kind of hazily sketched-up plan or opinion that might or might not pose a threat in the near or not-so-near future. 

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