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Schmoozies

Reforming the Yoritomo's Alliance/Mantis Clan

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The further away the Mantis are from absorbing other minor clans, the better.  If the Mantis becomes a Great Clan, awesome, great, lucky you..., but not at the cost of other Minor Clans being absorbed and the possibility of losing their respected identities. 

Minor Clan Alliance over Yoritomo Alliance all day, everyday.    

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1 hour ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

The further away the Mantis are from absorbing other minor clans, the better.  If the Mantis becomes a Great Clan, awesome, great, lucky you..., but not at the cost of other Minor Clans being absorbed and the possibility of losing their respected identities. 

Minor Clan Alliance over Yoritomo Alliance all day, everyday.    

The thing is that as long as they are considered part of the same faction, regardless of what that faction is called, it is inevitable that their identities be somewhat merged together. Which I guess is potentially better than having effectively no identity at all.

But fundamentally, even the idea that there could be a "minor clan alliance" suggests that the minor clans would have more in common than they would have with any of the great clans and be able to communicate and coordinate in some way despite being scattered across the empire with various Great Clan lands between them.

To be honest, given their lack of resources and manpower, thus how few diplomats and courtiers and scholars they are going to have-- I find it highly improbable that any sort of alliance between all or even most of the minor clans could ever take place. Such a thing only makes sense when you erase the geographical and practical constraints entirely from your mind, throw immersion and world building out entirely and instead think of all the clans as a bunch of people standing inside the same room or maybe even just words on a page to be organized however is convenient.

But within the realistic constraints of Rokugan, it is very likely that minor clan members have never even heard of any minor clans that aren't in their general vicinity much less have any diplomatic ties with them. It is probably that a Great Clan samurai would be able to name more Minor Clans than a minor clan samurai would simply because someone from a minor clan has other things that are of more pressing concern than what the name or spirit animal of a group of samurai living on the other side of two Great Clan territories that they are likely to never encounter is.

 

There could certainly be, and I wouldn't be surprised for there to be, several different regional alliances between minor clans that all have to deal with the looming threat of the same Great Clan. Especially among those that live close to lands of Great Clans known to be particularly aggressive or sadistic (i.e. Lion and Scorpion), but not some grand empire-spanning alliance between every single minor clan.

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When it comes to the minor clans the official ones should be considered:

Historically
Badger Clan
Centipede Clan
Dragonfly Clan
Falcon Clan
Fox Clan
Hare Clan
Mantis Clan
Sparrow Clan
Tortoise Clan
Wasp Clan

In addition there are a few that were destroyed or disbanded:
Boar Clan (believed extinct but Ronin do show up claiming to be from the clan periodically)
Snake Clan
Tanuki Clan

And post Clan War several new clans were founded
Bat Clan
Firefly Clan
Monkey Clan
Oriole Clan
Ox Clan

FFG has also added a new Cat Clan with the 5th edition RPG so there is the possibility we will see more minor clans in the future but for now these are the ones that can be considered canon based on actual previous official publication.

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I think it has already been subtly indicated that the new canon is going with the idea that there are just so many minor clans out there that come and go with such frequency that no can really be expected to keep up with the most current list.

It would certainly make a lot more sense as to why anyone wouldn't have heard of all of them. If there were 10 and absolutely only 10 and each is a third the size of a Great Clan, well.. it was silly that anyone wouldn't know about them all. It wouldn't have ever taken anyone more than 30 minutes to have learned them from illustrations.

But if the current list is such that it is always in flux with the possibility one or two was created or disbanded in any given year, then it is quite reasonable that samurai wouldn't recognize them.

And it means that any time a new minor clan is dropped into the narrative, instead of having to have it created on the spot by recent events, it can always be stated that it has always been around and it just hasn't been relevant until now. Just like most of what is going on in the empire isn't story relevant and we don't hear about that either.

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 2:35 PM, Ser Nakata said:

There really is a Shark Clan?

Yep, pages 58-61 in 4th ed. Imperial Archives

 

Part of a chapter called 'Lost Minor Clans' that present sex possible minor clans with origin, culture and land that the GM could have in his campaign or have as a minor clan that had existed but later disappeared into the pages of history. Each of them was give a couple of different reasons why they are no longer around that the GM who wanted them in the history books could choose from. Non of them was given any rules or even rules suggestions. So I guess they are semi-canon.

Edited by Gamiel

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7 minutes ago, Gamiel said:

Yep, pages 58-61 in 4th ed. Imperial Archives

 

Part of a chapter called 'Lost Minor Clans' that present sex possible minor clans with origin, culture and land that the GM could have in his campaign or have as a minor clan that had existed but later disappeared into the pages of history. Each of them was give a couple of different reasons why they are no longer around that the GM who wanted them in the history books could choose from. Non of them was given any rules or even rules suggestions. So I guess they are semi-canon.

They are canon to the same extent that many of the other alternate campaign settings were.

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3 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

They are canon to the same extent that many of the other alternate campaign settings were.

Which is certainly more canon than what you implied earlier:

10 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

Never an official Shark Clan.  They were a fan creation from someones personal canon.

I'd actually go so far as to say they're more canon than the alternate history campaign settings - their existence wouldn't change the canon storyline at all.

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14 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Which is certainly more canon than what you implied earlier:

I'd actually go so far as to say they're more canon than the alternate history campaign settings - their existence wouldn't change the canon storyline at all.

 

I think it would be fair to say he slightly overstated, but-- well-- split the difference.

Yes, it was a "fan creation from someone's personal canon", but that fan was assigned to write for an actual official RPG and we generally accept that whatever is written in the RPG product, no matter how ridiculous, is generally considered to be official canon. And when that person got the opportunity to write them up in such a book, they wrote them up as something that possibly existed.

But then that book was a book of alternate universes and even in that context they were described as something that could have existed and not as something that definitively did. So within the official, mainline canon the clan either didn't exist or it is just not relevant to anything that happened within any of the stories that they existed if they happened to exist.

That being said-- as in my earlier post, what has been written about the minor clans thus far indicates that FFG's new canonical world is one in which it has been stated that there are "countless" minor clans and along with noting all the ones that existed at this time in the previous canon, they have also mentioned a new one and one that did not exist at this time in the previous canon and the events that led up to their creation have not and will not happen within this canon-- and statements to the effect that this is not at all a complete list, but simply a sample of notable ones.

I feel like right now we should be approaching the current version of Rokugan in terms of minor clans with the mentality "if the old version stated it exists or existed or may have existed, then in the new version it no doubt exists or existed-- maybe not the most powerful or influential version, but some version? Yeah-- sure, why not."

And, really, once you consider it? Once there was an active story within the world, we see a new minor clan pop up once every decade or two on average. And there have been 1200 years of Rokugani history previous to the start of the story. So there easily could be between 60 to 120 minor clans that have existed at some point in the history.

Of course, by the same token, it is weird that the clan families are limited only to those that were founded within the lifetime of the original Kami and that we don't have more like 20-30 families in any given clan. But I guess a Rokugan that has more than 5 families people are expected to recognize in any given clan would just be far too overwhelming for players to keep track of.

Though if I were running a Rokugan RPG, I think I would heavily consider taking all of those vassal families that were named in previous L5R products and simply say that they all exists as families within clans and all use their vassal family name openly even with other clans. Because such a thing adds a whole new level of depth to the setting that makes it feel like it has been lived in before the start of the current story and was not artificially ordered perfectly at the start of the story and only allowed to change, grow and become disordered after that starting point.

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