Shinden Fu Leng


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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:38 am 
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The Lucid Dream
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Michio was one of our first paragons, but in the CCG, they don't need to be who carries Shourido (doubly so as most of the Dark Virtues have only worked with Samurai).

But in the Story, oh yes. They are card carrying badasses, every one of them, and Sora, a character I knew and cared NOTHING about prior to this fiction, is now one of the characters I most want to see more of, based of his one line 'then they were not worthy'.

No sentimentality, no compassion, just ruthless meritocracy of the most Spider kind, if you stand and fight and prosper, you are worthy, if you fall, you are unworthy.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:08 am 
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That's exactly why I love the monks! There is no compromising their standards, even for other spider monks!

I think the monks are going to win a lot of love from other clans too after this fiction. As has been said I still want to see samurai, both tainted and untainted, join the Shourido path. I would understand if AEG decided not to for simplicity's sake (they now have a lot of threads to weave) but I would be disappointed.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:35 am 
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Dahawi wrote:
That's exactly why I love the monks! There is no compromising their standards, even for other spider monks!

I think the monks are going to win a lot of love from other clans too after this fiction. As has been said I still want to see samurai, both tainted and untainted, join the Shourido path. I would understand if AEG decided not to for simplicity's sake (they now have a lot of threads to weave) but I would be disappointed.


Well, I am one of those that did ­''not get'' the appeal of spider monks. I have been convinced, great fiction.


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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:13 am 
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I know it's a very small thing, but I was very happy to see that it wasn't just Susumu that stuck around with the Empire, that some of the Daigotsu did as well. Was odd hearing only one Gyushi but then again, the taint is very tempting to Shugenja (If they do end up tainted, if not, makes me even more curious).

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:37 am 
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I've reread the fiction, and I still extremely like most of its stories.

The part wherein Kanpeki kills his wife still seems very rushed and kind-of out of nowhere to me. And I hope that he will regrain parts of his humanity and his love for Machiko. Because a rage-filled, emotionless killer isn't what I want our Clan Champion, any Clan Champion to be. That's what I feel we have oni or creatures like the God-Beast for - unleashed raging monsters to spread chaos and destruction.

What I still don't get is why Kanpeki is exactly declaring war on the Empire. So Seiken strips the position of Champion and gives it to his brother, a friend of Kanpeki's. This doesn't mean that Kanpeki has really lost the power within the Spider Clan. To beg for the Taint and declare war on the Empire seems also rushed and completely unnecessary. But perhaps it's because I love political intrigue so much more than battlefield stories that the whole situation feels completely unnecessary. As unnecessary as Machiko offering herself as safcrife (unless she knew that the man she loves needs to die for Kanpeki to survive the conflicts ahead, and that she does not want for her soul to be in Jigoku after her death / that said, I still hope she becomes a Dark Fortune).

But I am looking forward to more Spider stories from you, Max. I'm not sure if you would say that the Spider Clan is your favourite, but you write it as though you care for the clan and its characters and that increases my enjoyment when reading the fictions.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:40 am 
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Audax wrote:
What I still don't get is why Kanpeki is exactly declaring war on the Empire. So Seiken strips the position of Champion and gives it to his brother, a friend of Kanpeki's. This doesn't mean that Kanpeki has really lost the power within the Spider Clan. To beg for the Taint and declare war on the Empire seems also rushed and completely unnecessary. But perhaps it's because I love political intrigue so much more than battlefield stories that the whole situation feels completely unnecessary. As unnecessary as Machiko offering herself as safcrife (unless she knew that the man she loves needs to die for Kanpeki to survive the conflicts ahead, and that she does not want for her soul to be in Jigoku after her death / that said, I still hope she becomes a Dark Fortune).


I think it's because Kanpeki (and quite a few Spiders with him) view it as a blatant attempt to put the Spider Clan directly under the heel of the Iweko family. The only difference between this and, say, Dairuko getting replaced with Shibatsu, is that Kanpeki isn't willing to just accept the Emperor neutering his and his kins ability to vie for the throne.

I mean, what do you think the Spider think'll happen if they just go along with this? In their minds, they'd be reduced to a glorified extension of the Otomo. Better to burn out in a blaze of glory than slowly fade away under Seiken's heel.


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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:57 am 
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Maybe what irritates me the most is that I don't see how Seiken, even as Emperor, can hand the Spider Clan over to Shibatsu. Emperor or not, he doesn't have the political clout to do so, because the Spider samurai are not the Lion and their service to the Iweko Dynasty has been one of convenience.

Kanpeki's parents are the Spider Clan's gods, not just their ancestors. They also rule Jigoku where the Tengoku-mandate that allows Seiken to be Emperor means nothing. Of course, with nine faction you cannot have a huge and slow build-up towards the conflict that Brand and the Design Team have cemented years ago already. But declaring war on the Empire and killing Machiko just are rushed for my taste. Maybe Kanpeki has a short fuse, but his reaction to just kill everyone seems like a knee-jerk reaction. Maybe it was planned all along, and we just weren't shown it as readers (the corruption of Yoritomo's Shrine happened before Seiken announced to remove Kanpeki).

I guess I also would have wanted a talk between Shibatsu and a Spider bigwig (if not Kanpeki, maybe Machiko, Takuan or Kuroko). I would also have liked for the Dragon to play a role there. They've been the Spider's overseers and spiritual guides for about a generation, and you don't get the feeling that this mattered anything.

In any case, I love the idea of renegade Spider (semi-)loyal to Shibatsu and I love how the Goju and Ninube are becoming true characters. But Kanpeki has become less interesting to me since he is rage-enthralled and emotionless.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:44 am 
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Sora freaking stole the show for me (I'm biased) with one freaking line: "Then they were unworthy" First time reading an L5R fiction that I damn near shouted "F@%& YEAH!" at my computer.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:05 am 
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Daigotsu Yuzu wrote:
I know it's a very small thing, but I was very happy to see that it wasn't just Susumu that stuck around with the Empire, that some of the Daigotsu did as well. Was odd hearing only one Gyushi but then again, the taint is very tempting to Shugenja (If they do end up tainted, if not, makes me even more curious).


Its in a sidebar that introduced the Gyushi that when Chuda Gyushi pledged loyalty to Kanpeki he said if you betray me I will kill you myself. Perhaps thats what keeps the majority in line, the thought that they are just extensions of their families head. While if it is Kageto he and his wife were very anti-maho and he himself thought the taint was a shortcut to power that wasn't necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:27 am 
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Audax wrote:
But I am looking forward to more Spider stories from you, Max. I'm not sure if you would say that the Spider Clan is your favourite, but you write it as though you care for the clan and its characters and that increases my enjoyment when reading the fictions.


I remember at some point trying to decide on a favorite Clan, and could only narrow it down to 5 out of 9 (not that I hate the other 4! :P ). So I can't really say I have one - probably the effects of being a GM for the game for so long.

But I've always enjoyed the Spider since they were revealed to be a contestant for the Race for the Throne, and took my forum handle from the Lost even before that. Plus I had the opportunity to flesh out Kanpeki some more in the RPG, so I like him. And the Goju are just so fun :D so yes, expect more of this.

And because it's worth repeating, THANK YOU for pointing out what worked and what didn't. It's really appreciated, and I'll do my best to keep it all in mind in future works.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:30 pm 
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Daigotsu Max wrote:
But I've always enjoyed the Spider since they were revealed to be a contestant for the Race for the Throne, and took my forum handle from the Lost even before that.


Yes, I still remember your Miho Avatar. ;)

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And because it's worth repeating, THANK YOU for pointing out what worked and what didn't. It's really appreciated, and I'll do my best to keep it all in mind in future works.


Good to know that you appreciate it. I can imagine how demotivating some negative critique can be. But what I find a rushed death scene for Machiko, others see as ultimate empowerment and the optimal way to Show the audience who Machiko really was. Tastes simply are different. And as a fan of political intrigue (who happens to consider the Order of the Spider only a fringe element of what the Spider are to me), my Impression of the fictions are different than those of others. But while I like other clans, too, the Spider have always been my favourite clan, because Fu Leng's story has always been my favourite aspect of the Fall of the Kami.

The main problem I currently see for the Spider is that we don't have well-established characters or that our old ones (like Yajinden, Omoni or Katsu) aren't regularly used anymore. Granted, other clans have similar problems, even without nigh-immortal bigwigs, but to kill one of the clan's leaders and seemingly change Kanpeki, the best-established character beyond the old ones, into a rage-filled hulk without emotions for his beloved does not look like the best decision at first glance. Of course, many decisions have already been made by Brand and the Design Team and you Story Team members must find a way to make sense of these in-story.

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:44 am 
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In regard to the portrayal of Kanpeki, keep in mind Embracing the Darkness was selected as the top path for the Clan. So he has to rage at least a little bit. But this was only a short glimpse into his (now even more) twisted mind, I'm sure we'll get opportunities to see more in the future.

As for establishing more characters, I hear ya. But we're working on that, as I'm sure you've noticed - Atsushi and Yurishi have been present in a couple of fictions now, which considering our low volume isn't bad at all.

(That reminds me of somebody on AEG who complained we had only seen Mahciko in four fictions. Dude! Four fictions is huge these days! There's only so much we can do. I understand wanting to see more of one's favorite characters, but we have to put things into context of the fiction/characters ratio.)

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 Post subject: Re: IA Fiction - Embracing the Darkness (basically everyone)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:18 am 
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Daigotsu Max wrote:
In regard to the portrayal of Kanpeki, keep in mind Embracing the Darkness was selected as the top path for the Clan. So he has to rage at least a little bit. But this was only a short glimpse into his (now even more) twisted mind, I'm sure we'll get opportunities to see more in the future.


I hope that Kanpeki will finally lose some of his rage. Maybe it's because I primarily see (or envision?) Legends of the Five Rings as a setting where clans fight for power. I want Baron Harkonnen, Tyrion Lannister or Saruman, but I don't like Kanpeki's portrayal in Thunderous Acclaim 1 and after Embracing the Darkness he could become the Hulk. Maybe it has more to do with my approach to the setting than what the Story Team write. But when I'm told that Kanpeki will be nuanced, I didn't think about him forgetting all etiquette in the Imperial courtroom and storming out like a cartoon villain. And I didn't think of him as becoming a rage-filled monster, who has forgotten the love for his beloved. Granted, that's spot on for someone who wants to destroy the Empire, it's just not my favouriote Spider Clan Champion.

Quote:
(That reminds me of somebody on AEG who complained we had only seen Mahciko in four fictions. Dude! Four fictions is huge these days! There's only so much we can do. I understand wanting to see more of one's favorite characters, but we have to put things into context of the fiction/characters ratio.)


Yes, with the biweekly fictions and story prize constraints it's definitely not easy. But Machiko was the most powerful female Spider character (maybe Warlord Aranai not counted), but she hasn't done anything of note before she sacrificed herself. Compare this to other characters like Kanpeki, Omoni, Yajinden, Katsu and there's quite a difference. Of course, being the faction with immortal or nigh-immortal characters doesn't help much, and I see that new characters like Atsushi must be created and established. You cannot have the ancient bigwigs in the stories all the time. Unfortunately, it's a general problem of L5R and story prizes that once a character wins an interesting position, you want to see them in that position. But more often then not, the character is either pushed to the background or loses the position before he did anything. With the Imperial Matchmaker and some others I'll try to change that, though. ;)

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