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Matrim

Uji and Harriers

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FYI since Samurai edition military and military/honor switch Crane was just standard archetypes till the end. Even without Harriers, which last time appeared in Lotus (edition before Samurai).

Mountain's Shadow Dojo

Shiro Daidoji

Hidden Falls Dojo

Akagi Sensei

Harrier as independent keywords was removed and merged into more versatile Scout. That was much easier to create Scout cards spreaded around various Clans, not for specific Harrier as it was in Lotus or earlier.

Edited by kempy

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Meh, the Crane players would be a lot less excited about the return of an exciting Scout archetype that every other clan had. Oh wait.

Plus Domotai wants a word as the story disagrees with you as well.

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18 minutes ago, Matrim said:

Meh, the Crane players would be a lot less excited about the return of an exciting Scout archetype that every other clan had. Oh wait.

Plus Domotai wants a word as the story disagrees with you as well.

Also i hope you are aware that Harrier keyword appeared in CCG in Diamond and Lotus only?

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The Harriers should never have been more than a footnote, or occasional reference - which is the proper role for a small top secret unit. Instead what we got was suddenly every Daidoji had to be a freaking harrier, and every story about them, because some fans and the design team (especislly the later) fell in love way too hard with the concept. And then completely misapplied it in the game by making Harriers left and right with 3 and even 4 personal honor (which totally screams Ninja, sure). Down to and including Doji Hayaku, who was certainly not a Harrier (since every Harrier write up ever has them coming into existence long after his time). The truth is, the so-called "Harrier" deck in the game (which was basically defensive honor/military switch) had nothing at all to do with the in-story Harriers. 

The other problem with the Harriers was the gunpowder thing. They weren't merely sacrificing their honor (poisoning wells, etc), they were comitting high treason for the sake of expediency. And the Crane as a whole were covering up high treason. That wasn't just "what you are in the dark", that was the equivalent of the Crane having an entire unit dedicated to using old school Maho in warfare under pretense of defending a clan (and covering it up). For a clan that's noted for relying on imperial connections for survival and power, this is an outright nonsensical course of action.

If the Harriers are to come back, they should be only a tiny fraction of the Daidoji printed (and should absolutely not be a deck archetype), and they should stick to the guerilla warfare side, without the gunpowder aspect. Dishonorable fighting to save the clan can work. High treason to save the clan was a bad story idea from the get-go. There are better ways to tell this story.

Uji himself was notably not a Harrier (his Lotus card, from the "every Daidoji  is a Harrier" era, needs not apply). He knew about them, but he was not one, and unlike the Harriers, there were limits he did not cross (most notably, his rpg write-up, while it mentions a fascination with black powder, does not mention his actually using it in war).

Edited by Himoto

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Thanks, there is an interesting view of how the harriers relate to law  in 'The Last Province' episode 25 between 1:03 and 1:08 (3+ hr podcast....).

Their opinion was that the Harriers needed to be kept secret as actual knowledge stops all the duelists etc who would otherwise be able to defend with a clear heart. They also make an interesting point on that the Harriers are generally internally aimed (i.e targetted at other clans) whereas the Scorpion similar units (Shinobi)  can 'claim' they were told to protect the Empire against unseen threats. As far as I can tell those 'threats' tend to be internal and usually aimed at the Scorpion as well but that's just my opinion.  Anyway it is an interesting counter argument whereas I think the world (both Rokugan and here) is more shades of grey and theirs seems to be more black and white.  Pure good/evil never makes an interesting story as it just does not ring true.

I think FFG's world and beliefs in proof etc are more forgiving thus making the world both more human, realistic  and less rigid. In my opinion (and it is just that) if someone came to court and screamed that the Crane illegally used gunpowder to blow up a Lion supply depot when the Lion was attacking Crane then the easy response is 'were they Crane? do you have proof, are you not trying to blame  incompetance on your own commanders on us? perhaps it was a successful raid and you are feebly attempting to lie to blacken our name'. At this point the duelists get involved. Then the accusor is cut down which automatically means (under Rokugan law) that he/she was lying  As far as the Clan Champion is concerned success covers a lot of sins and details can be avoided.

To my mind it is inherently more interesting to have a small subset of the Crane willing to go against everything most other Cranes respect most to ensure the Crane survives. The counter argument that all Crane are utterly honourable and would never do anything dishonourable seems something only a fake world would have especially as even in the old lore Crane's repeatedly did not behave in such a fashion for exactly the reasons I give.

 I also agree that we should have only the odd Harrier card and not the AEG splurge of almost all military cards being Harriers. Since FFG has only printed one so far I don't think that is a trap they are falling into. 

 

Finally I have adjusted the blog post slightly to include two quotes from 'The Crane' covering the Daidoji using these very methods along with Uji AND using black pepper. Therefore invalidating some of the incorrect opinions of other peeps above.

Edited by Matrim

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I hated the old-lore Harriers on a conceptual level for essentially five reasons:

1. They were frequently written outperforming the shinobi from the clan whose whole schtick was dishonorable skulduggery. While the new lore seems to be more... generous with letting clans use Shinobi, having the Scorpion get out-ninjaed in the old lore where they were the Clan with a thematic claim on the concept was... lame.

2. During their run, they overshadowed the more iconic and thematic Iron Warriors . You know, the guys from the Battle of the Tidal Land Bridge, the Iron Crane, the Defenders of the Doji? The ones who would hold the line against the Lion while the Doji fought the war in the Imperial Court? Had both types of Daidoji shown up it would have been one thing, but for a long time there it was portrayed as only the super-secret ninja unit keeping the Crane militarily afloat.

3. They never felt "Crane" in their general vibe. They didn't really fit the story beats the Clan as a whole seemed designed to revolve around, and basically seemed to exist because the Crane had to be in every stinking story ever, including stories with ninja in them. Crane aren't all effete morons, but they are the clan that embodies caring about form and proper observances. Their hypocrisy, when it appears, is generally more nuanced than it taking the form of a load-bearing unit of secret explosive-wielding face-stompers operating in violation of Imperial Law. Especially and particularly since they hide behind Imperial Law as a routine tactic.

4.  They were one of too many super-secrets in an empire crawling with conspiracies nobody knew about.

5. They were stinking Crane. ;)

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