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wastevens

Some of the Clan rings seem weird

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I picked up the core book over the weekend as a friend is plotting to start a game shortly.

To prep, I was walking through the game of questions a few times, to get a feel for what characters and character creation look like. And some of the Rings associated with the Clans seem *weird*.

Specifically, it feels like the Dragon Clan and the Lion Clan got their starting Ring bonuses reversed; Lions get +1 Water (even though they're the brash, fearless, inventive, and inflexibly honorable, and Dragons get +1 Fire (even though they're the individualistic, and highly perceptive/insightful).

Is there some deeper level I'm failing to grok here?

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Posted (edited)

You'll probably get a lot of responses going back and forth about these rings mean and what each clan should be.  A lot of them will be hypothetical.  I'm of the opinion, however, that while ring allocations can look a little weird, they work out in practice so don't worry about it. 

I've had players who notice the same weirdness you do and what I tell them is that they should try making a character using rules as written and if they still think think their character's ring scores don't reflect their idea of their character, then they can move some ring points around after the fact.  Just so long as their total ring points adds up to 10 in the end, I'm fine with it.  So far, though, I've had nine players and none of them have taken me up on my offer since all of them were comfortable with their character stats after they went through the 20-Questions process.  It helps that each player gets to pick one ring of their choice during character creation to represent how they stand out.  So, if someone wants to play a passionate and aggressive Lion, they can take a point in Fire there.  That seems to be enough to satisfy players.

That's my practical answer.  If you're looking for debate about what the game should be, there's plenty of that to be found on this forum as well.

Edited by DanGers

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i agree with letting players tweak their ring as long as it not more than 2 rings at 3. And total 10.

It doesnt really affect anything, and yeah, my players were also fine with their ring aside kakita who wanted less Air, but hes ok with it now.

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9 hours ago, wastevens said:

I picked up the core book over the weekend as a friend is plotting to start a game shortly.

To prep, I was walking through the game of questions a few times, to get a feel for what characters and character creation look like. And some of the Rings associated with the Clans seem *weird*.

Specifically, it feels like the Dragon Clan and the Lion Clan got their starting Ring bonuses reversed; Lions get +1 Water (even though they're the brash, fearless, inventive, and inflexibly honorable, and Dragons get +1 Fire (even though they're the individualistic, and highly perceptive/insightful).

Is there some deeper level I'm failing to grok here?

I'm going to refer a bit to the older editions here as well, but these examples are fairly in-line with their Clans.

Water is perception and strength, and has traditionally been the "Battle" ring. Surveying to learn about the land where you'll fight, turning an opponent's strength against them, etc. As a highly-militaristic clan, the Lion have been fairly consistent with their Water Ring aspect.

Fire is intelligence and agility. It isn't a destructive ring, unlike how fire tends to be perceived in Western cultures. It's about inspiration and creativity. Not as familiar with the Dragon clan at large, or their history in the RPG.

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For the Lion water seems to represent leadership/charisma whereas fire for the Dragon represents creativity and innovation. I haven't seen a build that really bothers me. The odd NPC without a 3 ring during the Topaz Championship biased things a little.

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On ‎6‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 8:35 AM, wastevens said:

Is there some deeper level I'm failing to grok here?

Yes.

 First, the "rule of cool" has always been a factor in L5R.. so I'm sure the image of a fire-breathing dragon weighed into the decision at some point, but there are more story-driven reasons as well.

  Fire is an essential element in forging a steel blade..  and this is probably a great analogy for the dragon clan as a whole.  Other clans look at the dragon as being dispassionate, but in truth the dragon are as passionate as any other clan.. From the very founding of the empire, Togashi has allowed his followers to find their own path, and in so doing his clan has become stronger.  Mirumoto had a passion for dueling, so he created one of the finest dueling schools in the empire.  Kitsuki had a passion for studying nature, and through his study of nature he became adept at biology and alchemy.. and later the Kitsuki detective school created based partially on his ideas.  The Dragon are very passionate, they simply have a passion that is tempered more than, perhaps, any other clan..  making them the empire's finest blade.   Normally I would see earth as being the dragon's strongest ring, but the "individualist" nature of the dragon clan doesn't exactly seem to match the unchanging, durable, monolithic impressions that earth gives.. in fact, the dragon are well known for having some thinkers that are really far outside the box. Fire is the element of agility and inspired thinking.

  As for the lion.. they want people to think they are passionate and unchanging.. but behind the scenes the lion are ever changing and adapting.  The lion are excellent tacticians who understand that the first casualty of any war is the plan.. and so they are always ready to improvise.  In addition, think of Akodo's maxim "Every Akodo is your fellow", which represents the empathic and compassionate traits of water very well.  In order to maintain any coherence on the chaotic battlefield, the Lion must have excellent perception and communication skills.  I would also note that, because the lion are constantly getting injured, healing magic is very important to them. Also, the lion probably know fear better than anyone except the crab.. they may be seen as fearless, but one can't be both emotional (or passionate) and unemotional (or fearless), the lion simply learn how to work around and through their fear.. the way water works around and through a wall. BY the way, water is the element of strength.

  Personally I've always had a slight problem with the Unicorn.. being "the people of the wind" and traditionally water-based, although this edition seems to give them a lot of earth too.

 

P.S.:  While I see why the Lion were given water, I actually don't really support it.  Of the 3 "militaristic" clans, Lion had been fire, with Crab being earth and Unicorn being water.  This worked as the Lion would be able to use their ferocity and inspired thinking.. along with their huge army to win most fights..  the Crab would sit on the wall and defend for days, and the Unicorn cavalry would punch through, slip through the cracks, or engulf enemies like water does.

Edited by Black_Rabbit_Inle

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