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6 hours ago, narukagami said:

If you keep saying it over and over again maybe someday it'll actually become true¬†ūüôĄ

It is pretty obvious the lack of polish in the mechanic parts, If someone other than me post one of the inconsistency or mistake or bad wording, I'll tag you.

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Howdy, folks! Dave of the Five Rings here!

So, I got to play in "The Highwayman", and the person running the room let me go home with a copy of the characters, but not the adventure. I did get to have a good conversation with the person running the adventure, though, so I learned about the roads not taken.

I will be posting more information in my full review / GenCon blog post later this month, along with pictures of the materials I was given. But the skinny on the scenario is that we were a group of Ronin whom had been working together for some time, who were hired to track down a lost sake shipment, along with the peasant who was transporting it. This lead us onto a "shortcut" through the Shinomen Mori, a ghostly encounter, and a sinister estate. Intrigue led to violence, and we all got paid in the end.

Hats off to FFG for representation in their characters, as they were split 2-2-2 along gender lines (male / female / NB), and had 2 burakumin and 2 gaijin. There was no story result from this module, however, but I would expect to see it online eventually.

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33 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

Hats off to FFG for representation in their characters, as they were split 2-2-2 along gender lines (male / female / NB), and had 2 burakumin and 2 gaijin. There was no story result from this module, however, but I would expect to see it online eventually.

Very nicely done. I have to admit that FFG have been good at putting in flexible characters without drawing attention to the fact - I genuinely didn't register Bayushi Kyo's character folio nowhere uses a gender-specific pronoun until someone pointed the fact out.

I'll be very interested to see hinin and gaijin characters - peasant families and ronin we can already make from the core book, but genuinely foreign ronin is an interesting one; and how the adventure suggests they interact with the world (and it interacts back) will be fascinating.

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4 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'll be very interested to see hinin and gaijin characters - peasant families and ronin we can already make from the core book, but genuinely foreign ronin is an interesting one; and how the adventure suggests they interact with the world (and it interacts back) will be fascinating.

The primary note about playing burakumin (one of the characters is a down-on-their-luck geisha, and the other is a highly skilled artisan born in the wrong caste) (like, seriously, the character is truly gifted at making pottery, and their backstory talks about them almost being mutilated as a child because of how offensive their existence is to the Celestial Order) is that you avoid dealing with samurai whenever possible. The gaijin do not have the same restriction, but there is definitely an element of "Rokugan is not as monolithic as it tries to seem".

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Posted (edited)

Well, geisha are always the 'yes you're technically hinin but not but are but not' character type due to the whole thing about their social status being "I can let my hair down because legally speaking there's no-one here". A geisha character is nevertheless an interesting archetype for, say, a court-set game given their potential social clout is out of all proportion to their (non-existant) 'official' social status.

The artisan is a more interesting one; I was mentioning not that long ago about the idea that hinin must have skilled workers (yes, jim-bob-san who shovels dung out the stables is a hinin but so are undertakers, butchers and leatherworkers and those are genuinely skilled careers), but a hinin who's skilled at actual samurai-style artistic skills like pottery is an interesting concept.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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On 8/6/2019 at 10:07 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

Very nicely done. I have to admit that FFG have been good at putting in flexible characters without drawing attention to the fact - I genuinely didn't register Bayushi Kyo's character folio nowhere uses a gender-specific pronoun until someone pointed the fact out.

I'll be very interested to see hinin and gaijin characters - peasant families and ronin we can already make from the core book, but genuinely foreign ronin is an interesting one; and how the adventure suggests they interact with the world (and it interacts back) will be fascinating.

I agree on both counts. 

I will try to parse my words so as to walk a fine line with my analysis.  I am irked by some of the in-your-face gender fluidity activists.  Pathfinder, while I liked its stories, often made such a big deal about in in the NPCs that it often overshadowed the adventure; a minor character trait with little bearing on the adventure often had more details than an NPC who provided a major lead during a gather info check.  Doji Shigeru/Lady Shitke to me is an in-your-face example, though unlike with how Pathfinder would present it, the character trait DOES have a significant part to play in the adventure.  Now I contrast that to how Scorpion character gender-fluidity is present.  Much more subtle, nuanced and less overt, perhaps because of the nature of the clan itself.  Less become more and so much like the character of Vaarsuvius, having the actual gender of a Shosuro infiltrator remain an enigma, even to the moderator is a more compelling character.  That enigma, particularly as present both AEG and FFG's origin story of "Bayushi's Daughter" was very well presented in both cases.

As for the Gaijin Ronin, I would very much like to see rules created for that.  Right now the nearest we can get to that is the Tortoise Clan.  But I would certainly like to see rules for creating characters akin to William Adams, Jan Joosten van Lodenstejin, Eugene Collache, Jules Brunet, and many other Westerners who were eventually accepted as equals to the great Samurai of their era.

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11 hours ago, neilcell said:

As for the Gaijin Ronin, I would very much like to see rules created for that.  Right now the nearest we can get to that is the Tortoise Clan.  But I would certainly like to see rules for creating characters akin to William Adams, Jan Joosten van Lodenstejin, Eugene Collache, Jules Brunet, and many other Westerners who were eventually accepted as equals to the great Samurai of their era.

I was mentally defaulting to Blackthorne from Shogun - who is a very similar character, if completely fictional - but pretty much.

53 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

What do you think of the various same-sex couples that have been presented in the game and fiction.

No problem. Essenitally, Rokugani culture (whether it's an emotionally healthy thing to do or not) totally separates the concept of 'marriage' from 'love' - it's a dynastic tool and means of securing an heir, as in feudal-era history, so I severely doubt you're ever going to see same-sex marriage in the setting, but there's no reason that there shouldn't be attraction, relationships and/or stable couples.

That said, are there many? I know there's the whole Kachiko/Hoturi "no it's not been said explicitely but everyone up to and including Shizue's cat can tell what's going on" but have many others been mentioned? I can't say I've noticed but then I can't say I've been looking either.

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It's in Emerald Empire on matchmaking. Matchmakers are still focused on political gain for the clan, but if a match is incompatible, it reflects poorly on their work, so they'll make same-sex matches and provide heirs through adoption, which is a lot bigger of a deal in this version of the setting, as far as I can tell. It's still not about love, but also there's no reason to make an obviously conflicting pairing. 

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[Goes off to read]

Well spotted. Given the Deer Clan's role, I'd imagine Courts of Stone probably has some more as well.

"Adult adoptions are not uncommon, and are used when sexual orientations (or an existing marriage) preclude the possibility of marriage." (Emerald Empire, P.53)

So, yes, same-sex relationships aren't uncommon, but same-sex marriage isn't a thing, though a formal adoption into the clan might do more or less the same thing (although specifically which samurai within a clan is actually doing the adopting might take a bit of careful planning lest your beloved end up legally either your sibling or child....)

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11 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

(although specifically which samurai within a clan is actually doing the adopting might take a bit of careful planning lest your beloved end up legally either your sibling or child....)

ūü§Ē

You just gave me an idea for an adventure!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'm intrigued.

I'm thinking the classic scenario where the PCs are put into a position between choosing being dutiful and honorable, or being human. Maybe a provincial daimyo is moving to adopt the last surviving member of a vassal, which is played off as an act of kindness toward the vassal but in reality will gain him... something of importance I'll think of later, but is the beloved of the daimyo's heir, who he could just have married to the vassal and still get their important thing, but the heir is about to be betrothed to someone from a rival clan, and the rival clan and matchmakers will do anything to make sure they get their way. If the PCs allow everything to proceed as everyone else planned, the parents are happy but the kids will be miserable, but if they find a way to intervene and help the kids, they'll not only make someone happy but also gain allies and favors in the future (or possibly enemies depending on how it plays out).

Just an idea off the top of my head, not well thought out at all (yet). Obviously there has to be more bumps in the road, like what do the PCs lose by not helping the heirs? And some other wrenches to make things more interesting and up the stakes. edit: Oh, maybe throw in something about how the kids are planning to Romeo & Juliette it and will commit seppuku in protest if they can't be together.

Edited by narukagami
tragedy makes good stories

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One of the Courts of Stone fictions (the first one?) has a courtier arranging a same-sex marriage for her childhood friend and yojimbo, including setting up a valid candidate to be adopted into the appropriate clan as a child of the couple and heir.

There's also the Tortoise Magistrate of Slow Tide Harbour in the GM pack.  Kasuga Mikoto is a widow, having lost her wife to a duel with a Crane, and has two children, aged 12 and 10.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think it was a smart move from FFG.

A lot of ttrpg consumers have different sexual orientations or descriptions. L5R especially, from simple observation.

L5R, years ago, use to have sexy drawings of girls, as that was the fantasy of most consumers of that time. And now, we do not know if a character is a boy or a girl or a X.

Most of the publish material play on these themes or have such characters too.

Fan service 2019 style! :D

Edited by Avatar111

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

There's also the Tortoise Magistrate of SlowÔĽŅ Tide Harbour in the GM pack.¬† Kasuga Mikoto is a widow, having lost her wife to a duel with a Crane, and has two children, aged 12 and 10.

Thanks! Then never mind. Same-sex marriage plus adoption is apparently a thing in the setting too.

I didn't notice that part; but I admit to not reading Mikoto's background too much. The PCs were rather impressed with her in game, though, even if their report to the Ruby Champion after Dark Tides basically boiled down to "what happens in Slow Tide Harbour, stays in Slow Tide Harbour".

49 minutes ago, narukagami said:

Oh, maybe throw in something about how the kids are planning to Romeo & Juliette it and will commit seppuku in protest if they can't be together.

Probably  a given. "But I'll be really miserable" isn't going to cut much ice with the PCs but having to deal with the after-effects of seppuku is quite another.

49 minutes ago, narukagami said:

Maybe a provincial daimyo is moving to adopt the last surviving member of a vassal, which is played off as an act of kindness toward the vassal but in reality will gain him... something of importance¬†I'll think of laterÔĽŅ

If the child is just about to undergo their gempukku, they're legally a child, so any property they inherit from their now-defunct house would be held 'in trust' by their guardian.

That doesn't really work, though, since if they were a vassal anything the family held effectively belongs to their daimyo anyway.

Having respective heirs be childhood sweethearts when their parents out of the blue end up getting hitched for political reasons is painful in the extreme.

It probably works best for people on the same level - i.e. it's quite feasible that two daimyo might want to (or be ordered to!) get married to seal a treaty, and they would have children of roughly equal social status who would therefore have, up until that point, been thinking of one another as good marital matches.

9 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

It used to have sexy drawings of girls, and now we do not know if a character is a boy or a girl or a X.

To be fair, the majority of female characters illustrated for the newer L5R are hardly unattractive, but they are, for example, nevertheless actually wearing decent a suit of armour rather than falling out of not much of one at all. The new version of Hia O-Ushi is a good case in point, and given the way voting went on Worldly Shiotome, a majority seem to prefer it that way.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Personally, I am irked by the automatic assumption that some people have that any mention of gender fluidity, non binary, or non cis het sexualities are an "in your face activism", and not simply writing that reflects reality. Writing that refuses to accept the reality of humanity and force gender stereotypes and roles on people they don't apply to is in your face activism, imo.  

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9 hours ago, Scrivener Spills said:

Personally, I am irked by the automatic assumption that some people have that any mention of gender fluidity, non binary, or non cis het sexualities are an "in your face activism", and not simply writing that reflects reality. Writing that refuses to accept the reality of humanity and force gender stereotypes and roles on people they don't apply to is in your face activism, imo.  

Did I say I had a problem with how the Scorpion Courtier/Shinobi characters have been presented?  I actually said I liked that enigma.  You want to talk about forced stereotypes, let us broach the subject of androgyny shall we?  The way people on BOTH sides of the issue makes assumptions about them is very troubling.  In Pathfinder's case, they took a character unsure of herself due to androgyny into a "transsexual" which is a rather overt example of such assumptions ruining an otherwise interesting character.  I would hope that does not become the case in this campaign setting.  With regards to the setting, one could easily mis-characterize a androgynous male in Kabuki as female, giving rise to futanari(NOT a safe for work Google Search).

But that was the very kind of recrimination I was hoping to avoid.  If you wish to pursue this further I fear it risks us both getting banned from the forums.  I would rather that not happen.  I prefer to keep this an open market of ideas rather than a pretext for censorship.  To the forum moderators, I humbly apologize for this unpleasantness.

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6 hours ago, neilcell said:

Did I say I had a problem with how the Scorpion Courtier/Shinobi characters have been presented?  I actually said I liked that enigma.  You want to talk about forced stereotypes, let us broach the subject of androgyny shall we?  The way people on BOTH sides of the issue makes assumptions about them is very troubling.  In Pathfinder's case, they took a character unsure of herself due to androgyny into a "transsexual" which is a rather overt example of such assumptions ruining an otherwise interesting character.  I would hope that does not become the case in this campaign setting.  With regards to the setting, one could easily mis-characterize a androgynous male in Kabuki as female, giving rise to futanari(NOT a safe for work Google Search).

But that was the very kind of recrimination I was hoping to avoid.  If you wish to pursue this further I fear it risks us both getting banned from the forums.  I would rather that not happen.  I prefer to keep this an open market of ideas rather than a pretext for censorship.  To the forum moderators, I humbly apologize for this unpleasantness.

Not quite sure what you are trying to say here? What does androgyny have to do with this? Do you mean androgyny as in intersex? 

Well, I can make assumptions by you putting transsexual between scare quotes, but lets not for now. Anyway, if you are referring to Shandra, I believe she was always meant to be transgender.

That said, FFG has been doing well with lbgt+ representation. They don't make a big deal about it, these are just characters that exist in the world and it is just one of their traits. Much better than introducing npc's as an afterthought, whose whole purpose is checking off the representation box and have no other role to play. But hey, even that is better than nothing, alt-right complaints of virtue signaling notwithstanding. 

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