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Schmoozies

Reforming the Yoritomo's Alliance/Mantis Clan

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12 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

As to the same level as the founding Kami that was a player driven effort to cement the place of the Mantis as a Great Clan with status equal to the others and was a participation "reward" for storyline events.  One of the reasons Mantis players got so defensive about Yoritomo was that the rest of the player base seemed to take pleasure in ragging on the character as everything that was wrong with the Mantis.

Because he was.

Having no weaknesses or vulnerabilities that actually mattered to him? Check.

A swaggering attitude he never got called on or, indeed, even forced to deal with as a negative? Check.

An appalling tendency to swan in, act like a complete and utter scumbag, and then get called a hero for it? Check.

 

Giving him more cookies was not a solution to the distaste.

 

12 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

 The hate for the character was so strong that the last AEG Gencon a $1,000 cash bounty was put out for the story line prize to be used to "rip" Yoritomo out of the heavens since he didn't "belong" with the other great clans founders.  It was literally one player who didn't like Yoritomo undoing the work that a large segment of the Mantis player base had put into making sure that our clan was getting the same recognition as the other great clans.

And a Mantis player claimed that bounty, to the applause of thousands*. I still have a "Yoritomo Descends" playmat somewhere, and I don't use playmats.

*Or maybe hundreds, the game was in a bad way.

12 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

And in fairness the single character focus wasn't a trait unique too only Mantis and Spider.  In the early days of the game most of the factions were pretty focused on a single character (Kachiko, Toturi, Hitomi and Yakamo being the prime examples) and even in later stages of the game those characters were still considered fan favorites who ate up a lot of fan interest.

Yes, but their absence wasn't considered somehow deforming to the clan's identity. A closer parallel would be Togashi, and... well. Frankly, I'm not on the Dragon playerbase's side on that one either.

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8 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Because he was.

Having no weaknesses or vulnerabilities that actually mattered to him? Check.

A swaggering attitude he never got called on or, indeed, even forced to deal with as a negative? Check.

An appalling tendency to swan in, act like a complete and utter scumbag, and then get called a hero for it? Check.

 

And this was different from the other major characters of the era. 

Scorpion - Killed the Emperor to pave the way for the weak heir to take the throne at too young an age.  Kachiko proceeds to slowly poison said heir as vengeance for the "murder" of her husband and the disbanding of her clan of traitors, no serious repercussions to her or her clan in the aftermath of the Clan War and were given back full clan status for their efforts to kill Fu Leng.  The only disadvantage they faced was when they were framed for the kidnapping of Toturi and were "banished" to the burning sands, and they still came out of that stronger than when they left.

Crab - Abandoned the wall, formed a pact with the Shadowlands and had their champion support his son giving his name over to an Oni and led an assault on the Imperial Palace to collect a new shiny sword as a retirement present and when the new Champion was selected it was the son who had given his name to an Oni.  Said son goes on to become the new Sun.  His replacement is his sister and her eventual kids who all proceed to dominate Crab stories until Kisada makes a comeback.

Dragon - Yokuni as you've mentioned is almost enough said.  But than we have Hitomi who went nuts, took a known Shadowlands madman into her confidence, started kidnapping and forcibly tattooing people against their will and subverting them to her own will.  Eventually went crazy herself and went on a murder quest to kill a god, which she succeeded at and became the new Moon.  When the great faction pruning came they ended up essentially gobbling the Brotherhood of Shinsei and no one really bats an eye.

Phoenix - Self immolated at every turn, nearly "wiping" the Isawa out time and time again, yet never seemed to suffer for it long term and were always back to being the bestest Shugenja at the end of each arc.  Never seemed to meet a Shadowlands taint that the player base wasn't willing to jump all over for the quick power boost, but no one bats an eye.

All the clans had Mary Sue elements that were just as bad as Yoritomo and behaved just as bad as him at various times so calling one clan out on it is a little disingenuous.  The difference is that the Mantis were the new kids on the block and the rest of the clans felt they didn't deserve to be there, but that was kind of the point.  The Mantis in game were the ambitious up and coming group, willing to buck the system and press their own interest when necessary.  They didn't accept that centuries of tradition meant they couldn't be more than they were born to.  It was a very dangerous model in a pre-Clan War empire, but emblematic of the direction that the society could have been moving post-Clan War with a none divine mandated emperor on the throne for the first time.  Instead the player base doubled down and gave into a few vocal voices who were fixated on what was being "taken" from their clans by the existence of the Mantis.  

9 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Giving him more cookies was not a solution to the distaste.

But it was never meant to be a solution for the other clans to magically make them like Yoritomo, it was a statement that despite the grumblings by the "traditionalists" the Mantis were here and you better learn to deal with it.  That the Clan as a whole had achieved enough in their time that they were worthy of the respect of the rest of the factions and that they had earned their place at the table with everyone else.  It was a recognition that the Mantis player base was just as legitimate as the rest of the clan player base, despite how often and vocally some would like to claim otherwise.

16 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

And a Mantis player claimed that bounty, to the applause of thousands*. I still have a "Yoritomo Descends" playmat somewhere, and I don't use playmats.

*Or maybe hundreds, the game was in a bad way.

Again a gross mis-characterization and the fact that anyone was surprised the bounty was claimed given it was the single largest cash bounty ever given for the game and it would have been stupid for Isaac to pass up on it given that his car had died on him during the trip to Gencon.  Even saying hundreds is giving the reaction too much credit as most players only saw it as an inevitability after the bounty and the only question was would they follow up on it.   Most of the anger at that point was less with Yoritomo and more that design had given Mantis a stupidly broken stronghold that was running rampant over the kotei season and some players wanting to punish the Mantis for that.

16 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Yes, but their absence wasn't considered somehow deforming to the clan's identity. A closer parallel would be Togashi, and... well. Frankly, I'm not on the Dragon playerbase's side on that one either.

The action was not about solving the "deforming" the identity of the clan it was literally giving a giant finger to the Mantis player base saying you don't matter and we want you out of our game.   What made it even worse was that AEG's follow up plan to that Gencon would have seen the Mantis being retired as a playable faction to be replaced with the Naga (because there was such a vocal fan base for that change) so they were essentially siding with this vocal minority.  This behavior in many ways was emblematic of what was wrong with a minority of the Clan Loyal players who felt that they knew what was better for the story and only wanted to focus on the elements that they personally enjoyed while ignoring or dismissing what they didn't enjoy.

Yoritomo was an important figure in the rise of the Mantis Clan from minor to great clan status, but he was not the only one.  There were plenty of Fox, Centipede and wasp loyalists as well.  After Yoritomo was killed in the story we had new characters who rose and were beloved by the player base, Yoritomo Aramasu was one of our greatest unused champions and the story of his actions to defend the empire from a war that they didn't even know almost washed over them during the time jump between the Hidden Emperor and Four Emperors Arc was very interesting.  Yoritomo Kumiko and the Mantis civil war, again interesting story that didn't specifically center on Yoritomo (aside from Kumiko being his daughter and heir).  Yoritomo Naizen and his family were just as important being the successor champions following the death of the Yoritomo line with Kumiko's passing.  Even today there are players talking about Tsuruchi just as much as Yoritomo so I would not really say the Mantis are a clan based on one character.

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On 1/24/2019 at 1:10 PM, Schmoozies said:

And this was different from the other major characters of the era. 

Yes, actually.

 

For one thing... notice how all but one of your counterpoints involve more than one friggin' character.

Scorpion: Shoju died for the Coup and ended up a name cursed throughout the Empire- and no chance of redeeming that name came along until the Scorpion took a temptation in the Race for the Throne- a temptation that never really got to pay off. The Clan was disbanded for their crimes. There were costs for what they were allowed to achieve. Kachiko ended up being packed off to the Burning Sands, and ended her run in the lake beneath Kyuden Bayushi.

The Crab certainly got an obnoxious free pass in the long run, but Kisada died in slow agony from a gut wound for his effrontery (his becoming a Fortune, I will absolutely concede, is crap, but again, he's not the sole lynchpin from which the Crab seemed to swing). Kuni Yori died an accursed and hated name. Yakamo became the Sun as part of an actual arc where he went from villainy to heroism as an intended mirror to Hitomi.

The Dragon had a villain arc for Hitomi get derailed, true, but the horrible things she did were still acknowledged as horrible. No, "oh, the lying Darkness tricked me" cop-outs like Yoritomo got.

The Phoenix- I note you don't refer to any characters in your assessment, so... you concede my actual point, then? Because if you want to get into how the Phoenix were mishandled... start a new thread, pull up a chair, and prepare to be bored to sleep as Uncle Gunichi rants and rants and rants and...

And let's get into the guys you didn't mention at all-

The Crane- Who I actually loathe. But. They had multiple characters in the Clan War era to swing their identity from- many of whom came to bad ends. And the clan as a whole got it in the grill during the Clan War.

The Lion- Matsu Tsuko and Toturi both informed gigantic chunks of faction identity. Akodo Kage tainted the honor of his family name.

The Unicorn- Putting aside that they were practically a footnote for much of the era.. their Clan Champ was a Kolat and their Thunder was outperformed by her horse.

 

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All the clans had Mary Sue elements that were just as bad as Yoritomo and behaved just as bad as him at various times so calling one clan out on it is a little disingenuous.  The difference is that the Mantis were the new kids on the block and the rest of the clans felt they didn't deserve to be there, but that was kind of the point.

The difference is that the Mantis had a teflon coating everyone else could but envy, and no one character embodied that more than Yoritomo.

Because... news flash- By the time I got into the game with Glory of the Empire, the Mantis had been a great clan for... ten real life years? Maybe longer? So to me, they have never been the new kids, and that has never informed my views of them.

What meaningful defeat did the Mantis ever endure? The only one I can think of as even coming close was the forced draw (largely elided) in their invasion of the Phoenix lands which was then called on account of Oblivion's Gate.

Quote

But it was never meant to be a solution for the other clans to magically make them like Yoritomo, it was a statement that despite the grumblings by the "traditionalists" the Mantis were here and you better learn to deal with it.  That the Clan as a whole had achieved enough in their time that they were worthy of the respect of the rest of the factions and that they had earned their place at the table with everyone else.  It was a recognition that the Mantis player base was just as legitimate as the rest of the clan player base, despite how often and vocally some would like to claim otherwise.

And it was an insanely hamfisted and stupid way of doing that, because while in-setting it might Word of God have granted legitimacy, out of setting it embodied everything about Yoritomo that people hated,

 

Quote

Again a gross mis-characterization and the fact that anyone was surprised the bounty was claimed given it was the single largest cash bounty ever given for the game and it would have been stupid for Isaac to pass up on it given that his car had died on him during the trip to Gencon.  Even saying hundreds is giving the reaction too much credit as most players only saw it as an inevitability after the bounty and the only question was would they follow up on it.   Most of the anger at that point was less with Yoritomo and more that design had given Mantis a stupidly broken stronghold that was running rampant over the kotei season and some players wanting to punish the Mantis for that.

And a story run of basically uninterrupted victories strung between periods of lengthy absence.

Quote

The action was not about solving the "deforming" the identity of the clan it was literally giving a giant finger to the Mantis player base saying you don't matter and we want you out of our game.   What made it even worse was that AEG's follow up plan to that Gencon would have seen the Mantis being retired as a playable faction to be replaced with the Naga (because there was such a vocal fan base for that change) so they were essentially siding with this vocal minority.  This behavior in many ways was emblematic of what was wrong with a minority of the Clan Loyal players who felt that they knew what was better for the story and only wanted to focus on the elements that they personally enjoyed while ignoring or dismissing what they didn't enjoy.

And here you are conflating two unrelated things...

I hated Yoritomo's old handling.

I loathed the Teflon Mantis of the story.

But I didn't ever want the Clan eliminated- and to imply such makes you the disingenuous one.

Particularly since the "vocal minority" got drowned out and the Mantis were promised an amazing "choose your own fate" rebuild story (note: I think either the Dragon or the Phoenix really needed that choice more,  because the Mantis had been choosing who they were going to be all along the line with more freedom to do so than anyone else had to date, whereas both the Phoenix and Dragon were rudderless messes by the end).

 

 

Quote

Yoritomo was an important figure in the rise of the Mantis Clan from minor to great clan status, but he was not the only one.

He was the only one with noisily vocal fans crying out for his godhood.

 

And your Tsuruchi fans? Mostly piping up about how annoyed they were that their beloved Wasp were turning into Yoritomo with bows...

 

Edited by Shiba Gunichi

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2 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Because... news flash- By the time I got into the game with Glory of the Empire, the Mantis had been a great clan for... ten real life years? Maybe longer? So to me, they have never been the new kids, and that has never informed my views of them.

 

I think this is kinda the main reason there story needs to come up with some reason to eventually make the Mantis a Great Clan again. Because of the old games 20ish year run, the Mantis were a Great Clan for three quarters of it's run. 

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42 minutes ago, Uramov said:

 

I think this is kinda the main reason there story needs to come up with some reason to eventually make the Mantis a Great Clan again. Because of the old games 20ish year run, the Mantis were a Great Clan for three quarters of it's run. 

Great clan itself isn't even specifically necessary, but playable faction is something that they should be going towards.  I started the game in the clan war era before the Alliance was even a playable faction.  I've literally been an Alliance/ Mantis player from the ground up of the faction and I loved the small clans coming together to stand up for something greater; but I also lived through the no focus throw everything into the pot and see what comes out design philosophy.  Its the one thing I hope we son't see repeated as the early days of Alliance decks were very painful and one of the reason I hope that we end up with a core group that more closely shares themes so that we don't end up with the disjointed mess that early Alliance was.

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I kind of want to see it go the route of Yoritomo pilfering some of the families from the great clans to make his own clan.

Steal the Yasuki from the Crab, the Moto from the Unicorn, etc.

Or at least have some prominent characters from a few of the major clans join Yoritomo.  I want the addition of the Mantis as a great clan to be a contentious as possible.

Makes it easier for Fu Leng to waltz in and seize power.

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I gotta admit as an old time player from before the ascension of the Mantis I kinda don't want the mantis back as a great clan. I'd much rather the alliance reform with their own stronghold. It was always more interesting to me and I think would be cooler this time around as well.

I'd also like to see some variation of the army reform as well. The band of ronin/bandits thing was always pretty cool. And let's face it the sooner Toku is back the better. 

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Even without taking the story into account, from a gameplay perspective I don't think that adding a new faction is a smart move. They already struggle to have a somewhat balanced game (and with 7 faction who could blame them), they struggle to give new cards to the existing factions at a decent rate... Is adding an eighth one worth the risk ?

 

I mean I get it. It must be hard not being able to play your faction. Is it worth it if it makes key aspects of the game (balance and release of new cards for factions) worse ? 

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57 minutes ago, MrMenthe said:

Even without taking the story into account, from a gameplay perspective I don't think that adding a new faction is a smart move. They already struggle to have a somewhat balanced game (and with 7 faction who could blame them), they struggle to give new cards to the existing factions at a decent rate... Is adding an eighth one worth the risk ?

 

I mean I get it. It must be hard not being able to play your faction. Is it worth it if it makes key aspects of the game (balance and release of new cards for factions) worse ? 

In a lot of games what you said maybe the best course. But in L5R not so much. Faction loyalty and identification is of upmost importance to the player base and was what kept it going through the many hard times of the game. L5R is much more of a RPG with an lcg attached. Mantis and shadowlands players they will never fully feel part of the game until they can play the faction they identify with. It can be difficult for newer members of the community to understand the commitment of the old guard to their faction but in many instances it is absolute. Some of us even have clan tattoos. We must have understanding and sympathy for those of us who feel currently under represented in the environment.

It also may not be necessary to create entire new factions for them. We can give them strongholds with deck building restrictions. Such as may only include neutral cards in you dynasty deck or may only include cards with the shadowlands trait in your dynasty deck and give them synergistic bonuses that work well with those playstyles such as giving mantis and minor clan personalities a buff of some kind or shadowlands players not suffering honour losses from their own cards. There are ways of at least in the short term giving them something without diluting the card base as you post seems to suggest.

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7 hours ago, MrMenthe said:

Even without taking the story into account, from a gameplay perspective I don't think that adding a new faction is a smart move. They already struggle to have a somewhat balanced game (and with 7 faction who could blame them), they struggle to give new cards to the existing factions at a decent rate... Is adding an eighth one worth the risk ?

 

I mean I get it. It must be hard not being able to play your faction. Is it worth it if it makes key aspects of the game (balance and release of new cards for factions) worse ? 

 

With the sheer amount of unaligned Imperial cards we have, I think we basically already have an 8th faction.
Sure, it isn't a particularly functional 8th faction without any real options and so far exists almost entirely on the dynasty side (a couple of the new characters seem like they ought to be conflict side, but.. I guess not).

But, point is, within the first year of the game we basically do have an 8th minor faction existing on the periphery. It just isn't the Mantis like people were expecting. Instead, we kind of got the "Toturi's Army" equivalent first.

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2 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

 

With the sheer amount of unaligned Imperial cards we have, I think we basically already have an 8th faction.
Sure, it isn't a particularly functional 8th faction without any real options and so far exists almost entirely on the dynasty side (a couple of the new characters seem like they ought to be conflict side, but.. I guess not).

But, point is, within the first year of the game we basically do have an 8th minor faction existing on the periphery. It just isn't the Mantis like people were expecting. Instead, we kind of got the "Toturi's Army" equivalent first.

Except that Imperial is nothing like Toturi's Army was.  The Army was a ragged band of Ronin who gathered with the support of the Dragon and Unicorn to support the ronin Toturi and protect the empire from the shodowlands horde and the tainted clan armies when the great clans were too distracted by their own squabbles during the clan war.  The only reason they became "Imperial" was Toturi being named emperor after the Clan War.  Even than most of the army didn't cross over to positons of power with him.  Many went back to the other clans or continued as Ronin, or joined the new Monkey Clan.

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1 hour ago, Schmoozies said:

Except that Imperial is nothing like Toturi's Army was.  The Army was a ragged band of Ronin who gathered with the support of the Dragon and Unicorn to support the ronin Toturi and protect the empire from the shodowlands horde and the tainted clan armies when the great clans were too distracted by their own squabbles during the clan war.  The only reason they became "Imperial" was Toturi being named emperor after the Clan War.  Even than most of the army didn't cross over to positons of power with him.  Many went back to the other clans or continued as Ronin, or joined the new Monkey Clan.

I wrote "kind of", you are being pedantic.  The previous Seppun, Miya and Otomo characters in the Clan War era were mostly printed with that "Toturi's Army" trait. And we already have Toturi as the emerald champion. Almost none were printed with the "Imperial" trait until maybe Gold edition. So while the faction may not be relying on a bunch of ronin yet, the Scorpion's coup has also been a thus far bloodless affair.

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20 minutes ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

I wrote "kind of", you are being pedantic.  The previous Seppun, Miya and Otomo characters in the Clan War era were mostly printed with that "Toturi's Army" trait. And we already have Toturi as the emerald champion. Almost none were printed with the "Imperial" trait until maybe Gold edition. So while the faction may not be relying on a bunch of ronin yet, the Scorpion's coup has also been a thus far bloodless affair.

There were literally 8 Imperial characters out of 75 who had the Toturi's Army faction and all came out after the Clan War era when Toturi's Army was essentially "disbanded" as they had fulfilled their role and those who remained were either back to being Ronin, or had joined the Monkey.

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On 1/26/2019 at 4:42 PM, Mirumoto Ryan said:

In a lot of games what you said maybe the best course. But in L5R not so much. Faction loyalty and identification is of upmost importance to the player base and was what kept it going through the many hard times of the game. L5R is much more of a RPG with an lcg attached. Mantis and shadowlands players they will never fully feel part of the game until they can play the faction they identify with. It can be difficult for newer members of the community to understand the commitment of the old guard to their faction but in many instances it is absolute. Some of us even have clan tattoos. We must have understanding and sympathy for those of us who feel currently under represented in the environment

It's been a while since I was first introduced to L5R (almost ten years) so not quite the old guard but not really the newcomer either. I didn't play the ccg for long because I had trouble enjoying some aspects of it but I fell in love with the setting and I played the RPG and read the lore ever since while playing other cards games.

I wouldn't play the lcg if the game was worse than it already is. One can love the setting and still want a somewhat balanced card game at the same time.

That being said I don't mind Mantis being introduced like a "mini faction" in Android Netrunner (granted it was after several years) but I don't think this was the idea behind this topic.

Ps: regarding imperial cards, it is more of a theme than a 8th faction really.

Edited by MrMenthe
Added "PS:"

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When I started playing L5R about a decade ago I was playing Mantis and had never played any other Clan. They where what I loved in Old5R so I really want to play Mantis as a full faction and love how they are being written into the fiction and being developed. However I believe that FFG may have missed the boat on this one as far as the LCC goes. 

I think for Mantis to be introduced as a playable clan they needed to release a Premium Expansion for Mantis instead of "Children of the Empire", alongside a Dynasty pack for Mantis. 

At this Stage Phoenix Clan have 38 Dynasty cards and 31 Conflict Cards (not including cards from Children of the Empire).

Currently "Children of the Empire" has 33 Dynasty Cards and 25 and Conflict Cards, If you give each other clan 1 Dynasty and 1 Conflict card and make the rest Mantis that leaves you with 26 Dynasty and 18 Conflict. Add a Clan Pack  of about 9 Mantis Dynasty Cards and 7 Mantis Conflict cards. This gives you 35 Dynasty and 25 Conflict cards.  throw in some provinces and some strongholds and they would still be behind the current amount of cards BUT it would be reasonable and it would be plausible for them to come into the competitive scene. 

But that's not what is happening, and the other Clans will be getting more and more cards in their pool making it an even bigger and bigger gap to fill. By the next time a Premium Expansion (I am guessing a year) it will be such a big difference in a card pool, Mantis would be playing catch up for a couple of years. I could be wrong though and they plan to release another Premium Expansion this year, Closing that gap sooner, but I would be surprised. 

Now don't get me wrong. This isn't a dig at "Children of the Empire", I like the story direction and flavor it brings. I just think it means that the Mantis Boat has sailed away 😥

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Well, we had two cycles and two clan packs before seeing a first Deluxe. If the rythm stays the same, we'll see two more cycles before a second Deluxe box. Yes, that would make a lot smaller card pool for a new faction. On the other hand, they wouldn't need as many cards to make a balanced faction.

A new faction doesn't need as many cards as an existing faction to be at the same level of playability, as there are a lot of released cards that are not even considered when building a deck...

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48 minutes ago, Ser Nakata said:

Well, we had two cycles and two clan packs before seeing a first Deluxe. If the rythm stays the same, we'll see two more cycles before a second Deluxe box. Yes, that would make a lot smaller card pool for a new faction. On the other hand, they wouldn't need as many cards to make a balanced faction.

A new faction doesn't need as many cards as an existing faction to be at the same level of playability, as there are a lot of released cards that are not even considered when building a deck...

As an experienced late to the table faction i can not emphasis enough how wrong this is.  Card parity is massive in any constructed format game as the smaller card pool leaves you with fewer options and your opponent will basically know most of your deck just by virtue of the available card pool.  Any new faction introductions are going to need a massive card influx to be on the same level as the other clans which is why the longer they take to get the deluxe boxes out the worse it will be.

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 4:52 PM, Schmoozies said:

For me that starts with which minor clans would be most suitable to make up the core of the new Mantis Great Clan and for that I think we need to scrap some of the old expectations and come in with a fresh perspective.  Most clans have a four major families and each serves a role in the clan as 1 bushi, 1 courtier, 1 shugenja and 1 wildcard family. Assuming we want the reformed Great Clan to follow that ascetic then the Mantis are the obvious choice for our bushi family, however they also have the Tenkinja which is too interesting an idea to just throw out so I would propose that they could cover both those roles (similar to how the Bayushi are presented as both a courtier and bushi school but separate the two traditions like they did with the Seppun and Miya in Emerald Empire).  Once we have that position established its now time to look at the other families that would make a good fit for the Clan.  

Since all three of the oldest minor clans (Fox, Badger, Mantis) are only some generations youngers then the great clans so I'm actually surprised that all three don't have their own bushi, courtier, and shugenja schools

 

On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 3:35 AM, TheHobgoblyn said:

In the previous continuity the Fox Clan was part of the Mantis Great Clan, but honestly they never fit well. The whole Mantis Clan theme is about seafaring, storms, gold and archery-- the Fox could not possibly be thematically further from that. The Fox Clan with their concept of forest dwellers that deal with weird magical spirits gives them more in common with the Falcon and Badger, I could even see more in common with the Sparrow and Hare. And probably the Bat Clan as well, though we don't know what shape it takes in this continuity.

I rally don't want the Fox to join the Mantis if the later absorb other minor clans when it become a great clan. It just don't fit with how the Fox has been presented as unwilling to stop being their own clan when the Unicorn offered to take them back; and to be absorbed into the Mantis would probably be like accepting that the Mantis was the first minor clan, something that their pride would have hard to allow.

If the Fox is given the choice to either join another clan or die I think they would rather join the Unicorn

Edited by Gamiel

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1 hour ago, Gamiel said:

Since all three of the oldest minor clans (Fox, Badger, Mantis) are only some generations youngers then the great clans so I'm actually surprised that all three don't have their own bushi, courtier, and shugenja schools

Oh, its got to go deeper than that.
One has to figure that every clan has an array of different Bushi schools. The idea that only the Unicorn clan trains people to use horses or that only the Crane Clan trains dueling specialists or that only the Crab clan trains scouts can't hold up to any real scrutiny.

And I am sure courtiers could be broken down the same way. Is it really reasonable that only one clan has people trained in mercantile arts or only one clan has "loremasters" or "storytellers" or "artisans" or "engineers"? Surely not. Every clan is going to need some number of people with specialist training in all the various sorts of political/educated work.

Even if the clan is only 100 people, you are going to have someone who handles the economics and someone who handles the horses and so forth. Even if some clans put extra emphasis on certain specialties, the land just wouldn't function if a lot of these things were absolutely exclusive.

Really, the system introduced in the current edition of the game works so much better than the rather rigid version that assigned 5 absolutely distinct and unique abilities to every school that no other bushi in the entire game could ever hope to mechanically make up the difference from was just way too crazy.

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33 minutes ago, Gamiel said:

Since all three of the oldest minor clans (Fox, Badger, Mantis) are only some generations youngers then the great clans so I'm actually surprised that all three don't have their own bushi, courtier, and shugenja schools

I think its more a question of how specialized those schools are, as yes each minor clan will likely have members who fulfill those roles, however given the "focus" of the clans they are likely far fewer in number.  For Example we know the Mantis have at least 1 bushi and Shugenja school and I can easily see them having a "Negotiatior" school that serves the role of Courtier and is likely very proficient in dealing with foreign delegations and has focus towards merchant skills that other clans find somewhat unsavory (so similar to the existing Yasuki school).  While the schools likely exist however they are not what the clan is best known for.  The Family Focus on a school would more be a convenience thing as it reflects what the bulk of the family are best known for and be a guideline when creating RPG and LGC characters of this is what the norm for the family would be.

But main reason why the Mantis would likely need to forge alliances with the other minor clans to bring them under a greater banner when they make their final push for Great Clan status in world would be less to diversify their schools and more to bring a larger influx of land to meet the tax burden that great clan status would place on them, and to assist in putting enough samurai under their banner to defend those holdings against aggression from the other great clan

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1 hour ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Oh, its got to go deeper than that.
One has to figure that every clan has an array of different Bushi schools. The idea that only the Unicorn clan trains people to use horses or that only the Crane Clan trains dueling specialists or that only the Crab clan trains scouts can't hold up to any real scrutiny.

And I am sure courtiers could be broken down the same way. Is it really reasonable that only one clan has people trained in mercantile arts or only one clan has "loremasters" or "storytellers" or "artisans" or "engineers"? Surely not. Every clan is going to need some number of people with specialist training in all the various sorts of political/educated work.

Even if the clan is only 100 people, you are going to have someone who handles the economics and someone who handles the horses and so forth. Even if some clans put extra emphasis on certain specialties, the land just wouldn't function if a lot of these things were absolutely exclusive.

Really, the system introduced in the current edition of the game works so much better than the rather rigid version that assigned 5 absolutely distinct and unique abilities to every school that no other bushi in the entire game could ever hope to mechanically make up the difference from was just way too crazy.

Yes, and specifically for the FFG role-playing game you can do all the specialists already.  With the way techniques, curricula and titles exist, you could probably get away with just two schools for all the needs of a Clan.  1 Shugenja (for Invocation access), 1 Bushi/Courtier (for everything else).  When it gets right down to it, the only things that are unique to a school are its Rank 0 technique and Rank 6 technique, everything else can be learned by everyone.

The Courtier names (like all the school names) are mostly for flavour, but do indicate what that school does best.  However, you could build a Loremaster from any courtier's school: focus on Earth, buy Scholar Skills up when you can and invest in All Arts are One.  Likewise, you can do a Merchant from virtually any school that gets Shuji access - Tributaries of Trade, and a couple of other Water Shuji are what you need.

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50 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

.......I can easily see them having a "Negotiatior" school that serves the role of Courtier and is likely very proficient in dealing with............

Mantis Negotiations 101

Step one:  Offer the target a reasonable sum off money.

Congratulations! You have passed Mantis Negotiations 101

 

Mantis Negotiations 201

If the target declines your first offer, proceed to steps two and three of Mantis Negotiations

Step two:  Punch target in the face

Step three:  Offer the target less than your first/last offer

*Repeat steps two and three until the target accepts an offer*

Congratulations!  You are ready for Advanced Mantis Negotiations

 

Advanced Mantis Negotiations

Sneak into an enemy's compound.

Kidnap a high ranking target.

"Negotiate" with them.

*It's the target's responsibility to know what Mantis Negotiations consist of*

 

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4 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Mantis Negotiations 101

Step one:  Offer the target a reasonable sum off money.

Congratulations! You have passed Mantis Negotiations 101

 

Mantis Negotiations 201

If the target declines your first offer, proceed to steps two and three of Mantis Negotiations

Step two:  Punch target in the face

Step three:  Offer the target less than your first/last offer

*Repeat steps two and three until the target accepts an offer*

Congratulations!  You are ready for Advanced Mantis Negotiations

 

Advanced Mantis Negotiations

Sneak into an enemy's compound.

Kidnap a high ranking target.

"Negotiate" with them.

*It's the target's responsibility to know what Mantis Negotiations consist of*

 

You missed Mantis Negotiations master class.

All your Shiro are belong to us.

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Two clans I can see being "eaten" by the Mantis as a part of becoming a major clan is the Firefly and the Shark.

They both have lands beside the sea and the Mantis can offer them things: people, ships and money for the Firefly to help with their duty; security for the Shark once they are no Imperial hand protecting them (the Imperial Archives even suggest that as a possible end of the Shark)

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