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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you've played Champions at all, you know that you can justify anything as part of Ice Magic. Seriously. Anything. You might have to think about it for a bit, but you can do it.

For the Samurai who wants to grow trees, it's not super hard. You become so much of a lord that you do a lord-is-land deal and your health and will causes the trees to blossom and bear fruit. It's all very fisher king.

Here's the thing though: the guy whose magic is that he's "book guy" still has it easier. His explanation for fucking around with tree growth is "I read it in a book." And that's sufficient. But more importantly, that's his explanation (that is also totally sufficient) for literally every other fucking thing it ever crosses his fancy to want to do.

If your idiom is that you're a magic Ninja or a magic Samurai or a magic Zookeeper or whatever, you're always going to have a harder time justifying your powers than someone whose magical idiom is based on something completely abstract like "words" or "imagination." Because if you're a magical bricklayer, then everything you ever want to do has to play six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon brick laying. And the imagination guy has to do that too, but he can always do it in one step: "I imagine the effect we're talking about."

Anything Goes Martial Arts can in fact do anything. But it's still harder to expand than Anything Goes Saying Shit.

-Frank
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The important question is, do you want to be more Dynastic China or more Feudal Japan?

First, let's make some assumptions.
1) The characters are going to be (disproportionately) upper-class; this is mainly driven by the available character concepts, that "Samurai" and "Warrior-Scholar" are both fun adventuring backgrounds, not to mention "Prince in Disguise", but "Starving Peasant" is not.
2) The default campaign is not one in which the characters are intent on overthrowing the entire system. Therefore, the system has to be, on balance, good. Bonus points, however, if the system is just corrupt enough that "seize the mandate of heaven", and "proclaim yourself consul, initiate the Republic" are both valid options.
3) Frank, Nath and I all gave mutually-conflicting suggestions for how you would do this, but you have a heavily dispersed layer of "splat" loyalties which are mixed together in different parts of the empire.

Feudal Japan has a lot of problems - historically, the Japanese have been starving barbarians in rags. They win at sexism. Central authority has been fragmented, petty and destructive. On the other hand, you can't do yellow face without Samurai and Ninjas. Hereditary nobility provides a mountain of exploitable tropes for the bored and lazy - being Mister Cavern is hard enough without a strictly limited supply of Princesses.

Dynastic China was, if anything, too civilized and successful. Depending on how far you push it, you are foregoing the additional tropes of monster-haunted wilderness and of persistent political fragmentation and simmering war. Confucianism is hard for people to wrap their heads around, and if the government is too honest and effective that reduces your ability to tell good stories in the setting.

Thus, the basic conceit of Rokugan - Japan projected onto a map of China, minus the sexism - makes a certain amount of sense. I think Frank is right that you can, and should, add a significant helping of additional China to the setting. I'm not sure if I'd rather have Confucian officials than hereditary lords, however. If you've got a major problem making the empire something you want to support, I admit that it does help a lot. But feudalism supports a permanent state of civil cold war in a way that confucianism... kinda doesn't? Of course this is one of the reasons that China was better than everyone else for most of history.

I mean in reality I'd much rather have some kind of Confucian system (however borked), but in terms of a swashbuckling game of yellow-face adventure, I'm not sure.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Even martial arts techniques are written in books n scrolls both in fiction and reality, so yeah "book learning" is a very broad concept.

What gates the use of "book magic" knowledge is whether or not the reader can comprehend or implement what they just read. So you can have a setting where everyone is a book guy, but not everyone can read/understand/implement every book.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DrPraetor wrote:
Thus, the basic conceit of Rokugan - Japan projected onto a map of China, minus the sexism - makes a certain amount of sense. I think Frank is right that you can, and should, add a significant helping of additional China to the setting.

Well, also Mongolia, Tibet, Korea, etc. Presumably those can be mined for cultural and governmental elements as well as brutally reductionist stereotype professions. Indeed, I think you might do well to have a province-generating flowchart so the PCs home region could be governed by hereditary aristocracy, dubiously-examined bureaucrats, elected warlords, reincarnated theocrats, or whatever; and also a prevailing religion, an economic model, and so on. Having a lot of regions with their own ways of doing things is going to make it feel a lot more like an empire.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I would be totally psyched to have Traveler style province generation tables. This province is heavily racist against Kappa, its leaders are hereditary monks, the chief exports are porcelain and copper, the chief imports are barley and silk, the most influential clan are the Fox Clan - who are most known in the province for their criminal enterprises. Mad Libs + Charts == Win.

-Frank
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Nath
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
It's really not that complicated.

Imagine for the moment that you have an Imperial Exams system like you were China. The Governor is a member of the Carp Clan, and he's governor because he did very well in his exams. The grain logistics magistrate is a member of the Wolf Clan, and he's a magistrate because he did almost as well in his exams - or maybe even just as well and magistrate was the highest available post that cycle. The governor brings in a bunch of Carp Clan people and appoints them to various offices where possible, and the Wolf Clan magistrate brings in a bunch of Wolf Clan people and appoints them to various positions. But when it comes to the governor needing adventurers, there are both Carp Clan and Wolf Clan people who are in his chain of command. The Wolf Clan Samurai is here because his father was brought in to oversee grain shipments, but he's still here and the governor he owes fealty to happens to be from the Carp Clan.

Alternately, imagine for the moment that each of the Clans has some industries that they monopolize by controlling relevant chartered guilds. So if you want tea, you have to go through the Rat Clan one way or another. Naturally, there are tea merchant outposts in every province. Even the provinces where tea is not grown, tea is still consumed. So the Rat Clan maintains houses in those provinces which oversee the transport and selling of tea. And if you're a Samurai of the Rat Clan, you may end up living anywhere there is a Rat Clan House (which is to say: anywhere in the Empire). But if the call for adventure is given out by the local Daimyo, you still have to answer it because you are living in their land and owe them fealty. The Daimyo may be a member of the Turtle Clan, who got rich off of rice wine futures, but he's still your Daimyo and if he commands you to go fight the Penanngalan, you'll have to do that.
What annoys me with your examples is how they keep a strong emphasis on how important clan loyalty is. The Carp governor and the Wolf magistrate are more trustworthy toward their fellow clan members than toward anyone else inside the Empire. And the Rat merchants rely on their connection to other Rat merchants to enrich themselves. So it really reads like serving the Empire and obeying orders is an annoyance, while your actual strength always lies in your clan. Which I don't think will entice players to leave aside their clan membership and act as a team.

That's the idea that made me go the opposite way. I'd say the description of a clan should not insist a lot about how they relate to the other clans, but rather about how easy or hard it can be to relate to members of their own clan who belong to another province and may have conflicting interests, while relationship between the different clans inside the same province, and thus inside a team of player, would be handwaved as inevitably and necessarily functional.

But if the stick is heavy enough, you may be able to keep the team glued together no matter what.

Nath wrote:
"Soldier" means "paid fighter". If he doesn't get paid, he's not a soldier.
Login wrote:
Whaaaaaa -- no, that's just wrong.

Plenty of soldiers don't get paid. Sometimes this pisses them off and they rebel. Soldiers are professional fighters and/or persons that are part of a military force. That's what makes them distinct, not salary. Slave-soldiers don't get paid shit by definition and they're still soldiers. Not even the dictionary definition of soldier references salary. N.B.: Professional doesn't mean "paid."
The Shay's Rebellion involved veterans from the war of independence four years after the war has ended, because they weren't receiving pensions. Those people hadn't been fighting as part as an armed force for four whole years, and were anyway labelled as insurgents, rebels, or whatever. They had been soldiers. But fuck, if you want me to correct it, I'll correct it. So let's have "fighters-that-should-been-paid-salary-and-afferent-pensions-accordingly-to-the-existing-social-contract-of-the-land". They'll go into the list next to the "fighters-trained-to-be-stealthy-even-under-difficult-but-yet-reasonable-circunstances" and the "magical-practicioner-who-take-a-notable-interest-in-books".

"Soldier" comes, likely through French, from latin "soldarius" which itself comes the "solidus", a type of coin. It has become synonymous with members of the armed force as feudal obligations ceased to contribute to their manpower. But a knight serving his liege would not have been referred to as a soldier.

Login wrote:
A "military" isn't a person or a job. [...] A military is a type of organization or an adjective describing things associated with soldiers.
In English, "military" is both an adjective and a noun, from the French "militaire" (also both an adjective and a noun), from Latin "miles" (plural "milites") which was only a noun, and would be accurately translated as "trooper" and was used to refer to members of armed units. Myriam-Webster mentions first use in English as a noun in 1709, so I don't think that's US slang, even if it fell into dissuse.

Login wrote:
I never used the term "archetype" and I don't see how applying that term mystically makes what you just said make any sense. I was referring to professions.
Quote:
Longes wrote:
We have four archetypes. A fighting specialist (Samurai), a sneaking specialist (Ninja), an unarmed fighting specialist + something extra (Monk) and magic specialist (Shugenja).
Login wrote:
This is incorrect. We have a soldier, an intelligence agent, a religious ascetic guardsman, and a librarian.
If it wasn't to talk about archetypes, then why the fuck did you answer to someone talking about archetypes? He made a statement about the game offering four primary archetypes to play. If you think that TTRPG shouldn't take the idea of archetypes into consideration and strictly focus on character's professions, then write it.

Login wrote:
When I used the term "intelligence agent" I was describing a job and deliberately using a phrase that was more expansive than the term "spy" precisely because "spy" does not overlap completely with "ninja." I was describing the point of a ninja. "Spy" also refers to Charles Atlas superheroes who fuck lots of attractive people: that has fuck-all to do with the job/idiom of ninjas and the greater field of intelligence agent which includes ninja, so I don't know why you'd bring up spies.
The point of a ninja is "covert action", which does not overlap completely with "intelligence," especially in feudal Japan. Covert action by ninja was one mean to gather intelligence that could be used by the samurai to wage war, but it wasn't the only one. And assassinations and arsons are not intelligence.

Now, if you were referring to professions and describing the point of samurai, ninja, monks and shugenja, then using "librarian" for the latter is wrong, because the point of a librarian is to manage a collection of books, and it's not something you actually want players to do in-game.


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ETortoise
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Do peasants have a clan affiliation or is it strictly for the upper classes?

Will there be military conflict between Daimyo without necessitating a response from the Emperor? I assume we want Japanese castles because they look awesome but they imply internal conflict (or regular attacks that can strike far from the border.)

Frank Trollman wrote:
Mad Libs + Charts == Win.


Yes!
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TheFlatline
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
I would be totally psyched to have Traveler style province generation tables. This province is heavily racist against Kappa, its leaders are hereditary monks, the chief exports are porcelain and copper, the chief imports are barley and silk, the most influential clan are the Fox Clan - who are most known in the province for their criminal enterprises. Mad Libs + Charts == Win.

-Frank


Let's drop SJGames a note and get them on that.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ETortoise wrote:
Will there be military conflict between Daimyo without necessitating a response from the Emperor?


I think so. Partly because sometimes you want to tell a war story without having the Emperor butt in. Partly because imperial fomenting of Daimyo-on-Daimyo conflict to control ambitious vassals is good intrigue.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath wrote:
What annoys me with your examples is how they keep a strong emphasis on how important clan loyalty is. The Carp governor and the Wolf magistrate are more trustworthy toward their fellow clan members than toward anyone else inside the Empire. And the Rat merchants rely on their connection to other Rat merchants to enrich themselves. So it really reads like serving the Empire and obeying orders is an annoyance, while your actual strength always lies in your clan. Which I don't think will entice players to leave aside their clan membership and act as a team.


I don't follow your logic. Obviously characters are going to have powers and connections through their clan. That is a thing that is going to happen. First of all, characters are going to need to have social connections that predate the campaign starting, and if not through their family where is that supposed to come from? It's like how a Shadowrunner starts the game with contacts that are different from the contacts of the other characters.

It is in fact desirable for the Rat Clan Monk to have contacts in the tea merchants that he can go to in order to learn things and get things done. It is desirable for the Wolf Clan Samurai to have a cousin in the grain ministry who can show him the pre-release grain audits. It is desirable for the Snake Clan Ninja to know that the captain of the city guard is a family member.

What would be bad is if being a member of a clan automatically gave you a distinct military leader, or a specific territory to defend, or a set of Capulets you had to fight. Or in any other way shat on your ability to team up with other characters from other clans to go have adventures.

The province level Daimyo needs to be "your boss" regardless of what clan they or you are from. But once you've taken care of the absolute requirement to support mixed parties, everything you can do to make characters from different clans feel different is good. So economic specialization (whether it be on the provincial or imperial level) is good. Just as long as none of the clans have a monopoly on the "adventurer" career, you're all good.

Dr Praetor wrote:
But feudalism supports a permanent state of civil cold war in a way that confucianism... kinda doesn't?


Confucianist China managed to have plenty of periods of warring states. I think there's room there for conflict. But you're probably going to want things to be a little bit more like Sengoku Japan. At least to the extent that you can have armies from one province invade another province because the lord of one of the provinces didn't attend a feast they were invited to. Having provincial armies attack each other without the empire collapsing is pretty important, and allows you to tell a lot of stories you want to tell. You need wars to be started by secret villains, which necessitates the idea that people can go to war without being a villain.

ETortoise wrote:
Do peasants have a clan affiliation or is it strictly for the upper classes?


Of the core archetypes, Ninja and Monk can specifically come from the lower classes, and they still need Clan Affiliations. So I think peasants definitely have a clan. It might be "the clan that owns them" or soemthing weird, rather than being specifically a measure of family lineage, but it still has to be there. A Boar Clan Ninja or a Snake Clan Ninja both have to do their whole clan thing just like a Samurai - but being Ninja they are presumably lowborn.

-Frank
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Nath
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
I don't follow your logic. Obviously characters are going to have powers and connections through their clan. That is a thing that is going to happen.
If a character helps his clan, he gets more powers and more connections. If he serves his liege, he gets... cookies and a hug? So I wonder how big of a stick you'll need to keep the characters in line and dissuade them from always putting their clan first.

It's your Carp governor and Wolf magistrate example that specifically has me wondering. If the Carp governor can bring Carp from the outside and appoints them to high positions, every Carp PC from anywhere in the Empire ought to ask him for a job, because obviously this will get him more power, a boss he trusts and who trusts him. In comparison (and PC always do compare), to have a liege from another clan seems like the losing move.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath wrote:
FrankTrollman wrote:
I don't follow your logic. Obviously characters are going to have powers and connections through their clan. That is a thing that is going to happen.
If a character helps his clan, he gets more powers and more connections. If he serves his liege, he gets... cookies and a hug? So I wonder how big of a stick you'll need to keep the characters in line and dissuade them from always putting their clan first.

It's your Carp governor and Wolf magistrate example that specifically has me wondering. If the Carp governor can bring Carp from the outside and appoints them to high positions, every Carp PC from anywhere in the Empire ought to ask him for a job, because obviously this will get him more power, a boss he trusts and who trusts him. In comparison (and PC always do compare), to have a liege from another clan seems like the losing move.


I don't follow. You get power and connections by birth through your clan. By being a Samurai of the Carp Clan you automatically have a bunch of cousins and uncles and shit who are members of the Carp Clan. But doing shit for the Carp Clan won't get you any more cousins. It might make your cousins like you better, but there are few things you could do to make any more of them get born (insert Shelbyville joke). Doing tasks for the local Daimyo will make the Daimyo like you, and he's probably more powerful than your cousins.

Yes, Carp Clan Magistrates are going to appoint a bunch of Carp Clan people to positions of authority, because they are going to preferentially choose to promote their own contacts and they have a bunch of family contacts in-clan. But that doesn't mean that they only have in-clan contacts, and I don't understand your argument that it does.

-Frank
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name_here
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If a character serves his liege he gets "not being ordered to commit seppeku." I am entirely serious.

Also, getting powers and connections from within the clan doesn't mean they can't get them from elsewhere too, and there's no reason why clan goals have to conflict with each other or with imperial goals. If one clan manages tea sales and another one sells cloth, they both want the tea and cloth industries to do well because both clans consume tea and cloth.

Weapons and grain shipments should probably be managed purely by the imperial administration or split among everyone; a clan controlling one of those is the start of a story that ends with "And that's how we became the Hereditary Shogunate".
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Nath
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
I don't follow. You get power and connections by birth through your clan. By being a Samurai of the Carp Clan you automatically have a bunch of cousins and uncles and shit who are members of the Carp Clan. But doing shit for the Carp Clan won't get you any more cousins. It might make your cousins like you better, but there are few things you could do to make any more of them get born (insert Shelbyville joke). Doing tasks for the local Daimyo will make the Daimyo like you, and he's probably more powerful than your cousins.
But doing tasks for your cousins may make your cousins more powerful, and they like your more than your Daimyo.

Most cousins are never going to be a daimyo, even with your help, but every major NPC is going to belong to one clan or another. So you can't avoid situations in which a character has more interest in helping the clan than obeying the daimyo (though I guess that if the daimyo is aware of the situation, maybe he ought to like you even more for fighting your own cousins for him).

FrankTrollman wrote:
Yes, Carp Clan Magistrates are going to appoint a bunch of Carp Clan people to positions of authority, because they are going to preferentially choose to promote their own contacts and they have a bunch of family contacts in-clan. But that doesn't mean that they only have in-clan contacts, and I don't understand your argument that it does.
Because the Carp clan does it, and the Wolf clan does it, an the Rat clan does it, and every clan does it. The very reason a member of a Carp clan will prefer appointing his cousins establishes the reason why every other clan will avoid appointing them, and he will avoid appointing members of any other clan.

If you have a subordinate from the same clan than a rival, you know he may pass him information or even actively sabotage your action. If you have a subordinate from the same clan than your own boss, you know he is going to report every mistake you because he is in line for succeeding you when you will fail, and that he's going to appoint even more members of his clan under him (not only undermining your powerbase, but reducing the number of appointments your own clan will get). When everyone's doing it, preference quickly becomes a necessity.

If loyalty takes precedence over skills, you enter a vicious circle akin to a spoils system. It something that frequently happens inside large organizations (I do have first-hand experience with it, only replace clans with alma maters and fraternities and the Empire with a French administration). Any rivalry is almost certain to start creeping purges, which may successfully end up establishing actual "strongholds" for each of the factions (or at least until the faction changes again).

A hierarchy with a limited number of levels, and strict upward loyalty may survive a little bit of nepotism. But it is going to be kinda dull if betrayal is really impossible.

name_here wrote:
there's no reason why clan goals have to conflict with each other or with imperial goals
You will need conflicting goals somewhere to have an actual opposition for the PC to defeat, and the people with those goals will belong to clans or to the Imperial seat. The only other alternative is to send the PC back against the Pure Evil From Outside.

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath, I really don't get what you're trying to say. In a world where people have large families and inherited power and wealth, obviously people will send disproportionate favoritism to people they are related to. But they will also show favoritism to people they like for other reasons. So what?

Seriously, you're going to have to start over from the very beginning, because I genuinely don't even see how it's a potential problem to give characters some free in-clan contacts at character generation representing some people in various highly placed portions of society that happen to show up to the same family parties. That really doesn't seem like a weird thing or a destabilizing thing or a thing that would make it hard to make multi-clan parties from a fluff or mechanical standpoint.

Throw me a bone here: what the hell are you talking about?

-Frank
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name_here
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath wrote:
Most cousins are never going to be a daimyo, even with your help, but every major NPC is going to belong to one clan or another. So you can't avoid situations in which a character has more interest in helping the clan than obeying the daimyo (though I guess that if the daimyo is aware of the situation, maybe he ought to like you even more for fighting your own cousins for him).


There's a very simple reason to obey the daimyo, which is that his orders are not requests and compliance is mandatory. The stick is getting to pick whether you'd rather be executed or ritually disembowel yourself. You want to work against the daimyo, you'd better have strong military backing and friends in the Imperial Court.

Now, there is the question of what incentive you have to work to advance his goals beyond just doing what you're ordered to. The answer there is that he's kind of in charge of the entire region and his gratitude brings benefits. Like giving you a job which matters when he runs out of competent cousins. He will also give jobs to incompetent cousins, but they will be useless bullshit jobs. His gratitude will also be helpful if someone in the territory pisses you off or you ran over the neighboring daimyo's dog or something.
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Nath
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Nath, I really don't get what you're trying to say. In a world where people have large families and inherited power and wealth, obviously people will send disproportionate favoritism to people they are related to. But they will also show favoritism to people they like for other reasons. So what?

Seriously, you're going to have to start over from the very beginning, because I genuinely don't even see how it's a potential problem to give characters some free in-clan contacts at character generation representing some people in various highly placed portions of society that happen to show up to the same family parties. That really doesn't seem like a weird thing or a destabilizing thing or a thing that would make it hard to make multi-clan parties from a fluff or mechanical standpoint.

Throw me a bone here: what the hell are you talking about?
To keep it as simple as possible:

Characters can do either A or B.
A is working with people from your clan.
B is working with people who are nice and/or useful from another clan.
Characters disproportionately prefer doing A.
B is required for PC teamwork.

To me, this creates a situation where the GM will have to always tread carefully to never ever have any of the PC in a situation where A and B will be mutually exclusive (like, never ever having a bad guy from one of the PC clans). Or carry a big enough stick to dissuade a character from his disproportionate preference when he needs to.

That's still better than L5R, where characters were nearly always required to do A.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm unconcerned mostly because stamping out conflicts of interest entirely shouldn't be the goal and because having clan relationships at all isn't the same thing as saying clans have to be monolithic structures that enforce loyalty. After all, it'd be super weird if inheritance systems didn't occasionally spit out some really nasty sibling rivalries from time to time. There's going to be many times where someone doesn't promote their cousin because they're incompetent or just kind of a dick.
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath, imagine for a moment that we're talking about D&D, rather than an L5R reboot.

The party consists of a thieves guild rogue, a Leopard Tribe barbarian, a Cuthbertian paladin, and a Grey Academy Wizard--all people with loyalties to institutes.

Is it your belief that the campaign could never have a villain who is one of the following:
  • A snitch to the city guard
  • A Loki-esque traitor to the barbarian's tribe
  • A corrupt Cuthbertian priest
  • An Academy Student who has turned to demonolgy

Because the PC tied to the same institution would evince more loyalty to the villain than their party?
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Nath
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Joined: 28 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Nath, imagine for a moment that we're talking about D&D, rather than an L5R reboot.
The party consists of a thieves guild rogue, a Leopard Tribe barbarian, a Cuthbertian paladin, and a Grey Academy Wizard--all people with loyalties to institutes.
Is it your belief that the campaign could never have a villain who is one of the following:
  • A snitch to the city guard
  • A Loki-esque traitor to the barbarian's tribe
  • A corrupt Cuthbertian priest
  • An Academy Student who has turned to demonolgy
Because the PC tied to the same institution would evince more loyalty to the villain than their party?
All those opposition you suggest share the same trait: they are traitors to their own side. You're asking the PC to purge their own faction and, by doing so, please all the other, loyal members. I hardly see a moral dilemma here.

L5R is just doing that when the only opposition it can throw at the PC must be someone corrupted by The True Evil.


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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My point is that I don't see much reason for a clan structure to make Multi-Clan parties and "Clan X is the bad guy this time" mutually exclusive. Yes, if the adventure centers on "Wolf Clan is overstepping their power, and terrorizing the unaffiliated villages on their border" the Wolf Clan samurai might feel a bit uneasy, but it also puts him in the spotlight as he's the one who can most easily walk up to the Wolf Clan nobles and say "Ok guys, come on, what's the real issue here?"
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Whipstitch
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Joined: 29 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Let's be real here for a second: individual groups of players likely are going to end up with in groups and out groups based on what clans are represented in the party. But you know what? That's actually fine. Again, you're not trying to squeeze out all potential for conflict from the setting. You're just trying to leave the setting open enough that way back at chargen people can pick whatever clans appeal to them without that requiring the MC to throw out half the setting materials just to explain why the Hatfields are hanging out with the McCoys.
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bears fall, everyone dies
Mr. Vampire character sheet
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
explain why the Hatfields are hanging out with the McCoys.

Really good hooch and Daisy Duke skinny dipping. Done.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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zeruslord
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 573

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We want a setting where clan loyalty matters, but NOT AS MUCH as loyalty to your daimyo. It's not that hard to say "yes, your clan is a big part of your life but when there's a conflict of interest between your clan and your daimyo you are expected to side with your daimyo". Also, it's not even "the Wolf Clan is the bad guy this time" - it's "a neighboring daimyo, who happens to be from the Wolf Clan, is the opposition this time". Also, clans are ridiculously huge - everybody is part of a clan, and there's maybe a dozen of them for the whole empire - and while all your relatives happen to be from the same clan, not everybody from the same clan is a close enough relative for it to actually matter. The governor isn't just automatically going "I will promote you because you are a Horse" any more than Irish-Americans go "I will promote you because you are also of Irish descent". It's probably more cosmopolitan than is totally realistic, but playability trumps realism every time.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath wrote:
To keep it as simple as possible:

Characters can do either A or B.
A is working with people from your clan.
B is working with people who are nice and/or useful from another clan.
Characters disproportionately prefer doing A.
B is required for PC teamwork.

To me, this creates a situation where the GM will have to always tread carefully to never ever have any of the PC in a situation where A and B will be mutually exclusive (like, never ever having a bad guy from one of the PC clans). Or carry a big enough stick to dissuade a character from his disproportionate preference when he needs to.

That's still better than L5R, where characters were nearly always required to do A.


Nath, even as formulated that isn't a problem. Imagine for the moment we were talking about Shadowrun. Every character has their own contacts, and any particular character has a modest preference for taking jobs from their own contacts (in that doing so improves the loyalty of one of their contacts in addition to whatever money is paid). Are you prepared to say that this is a problem? Because I'm pretty sure it is a feature.

It is simply genuinely a good thing that player characters have different contacts that they can turn to for information and quests. It lets players be proactive and self starting and other buzzwords when it comes to getting and completing quests.

You keep pointing at the fact that players might have motivation to do one thing over another thing and saying that's bad. How could that possibly be bad?

-Frank
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