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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:08 pm 
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Goju wrote:
To be honest, i still can't understand the tenacity to a horrible "canon" :shock:


Because it's the story that everyone created together. It may not have gone the way that everyone wanted all the time, but it is what it is. Community is a big part of what L5R, and while the some of the big parts weren't chosen by the community, some parts of it were(ie; the Race for the Throne). To dump on that, because you feel your head canon is better is rather presumptuous.

The Spider forums have been fairly inclusive, to the point where a lot of the WC players ended up discussing here, even if they weren't Spider players. That's a good thing. And now it sounds like you're trying to chase them all off again.

Shinden Fu Leng does not need to become the Heroes of Rokugan for Spider. What Toturi Emperor are they on now? Just because a revisionist history would favor us, does not mean we need to become exclusionary, especially as previous attempts at a Spider(only/centric) games have not yielded results. If people want a place where people come to, it needs to be a setting that is interesting and fun, and not just Spider fan wank.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:03 pm 
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Shiba Gunichi wrote:
^ My dislike for this is intense and furious.


This was a "I'm taking a break from paperwork and this seems like an interesting thread" post. Other than the fact that obviously the Phoenix are under yoke because they, like the Crab, wouldn't have a place in an Onyx Empire as a Clan without something to force them to play nice. Regardless of your personal preference as a staunch Phoenix player, what is the part that thematically doesn't work for you? I'll focus on possibilities with the Phoenix Clan being a positive force in an interesting setting as the whipped underdog.

1. The Phoenix WANTS to get rid of the Jigoku'd Hantei line. Its an open secret, everyone knows but no one will talk about it. They plan for it, they look for ways to undermine the Taint and Jigoku and try to keep their inevitable rebellion from being exposed.

2. Shourido will allow the Phoenix to exist even though betrayal is coming eventually. The Hantei know it, the new Imperial Families know it, the Spider knows it. But the Phoenix are still useful and still do their job, so they are allowed to stick around until they have their one chance at a Coup. If there is failure, then thats it for the Phoenix clan.

3. The Phoenix wouldn't willingly participate in the Onyx Empire, its a mockery of what the Empire should be. So, they are put under yoke, subversively tainted with the "remission taint" that doesn't affect you unless you "Willingly Embrace it". The only side effect is that it is easy for a "Jigoku Blessed" to bully a tainted person. It is difficult to refuse an order issued in person, you have the feeling you are helpless to fight against a Jigoku Blessed, making you more susceptible to fear and despair when challenged in person. But plotting, sending spirits to do the dirty work and working to purge the taint aren't hampered at all.

4. They are becoming desperate and desperation will mean extreme measure might be taken. Secret expeditions into the outer areas of the Colonies, envoys to the Yotodai lands, alliances with non-human races (Ashalaan, Ratlings, Spirits) securing secret lore that may help in the inevitable fight.

5. They have allies because most clans do NOT want a Jigoku'd Hantei line leading. The Throne was taken by force and is being held with force. Hantei and the Spider are still bad guys. The Mantis and the Unicorn (for the most part) are on the best terms with the new Onyx Empire but undoubtly don't want Oni, orges and other beasties running around. Everyone knows in the back of their head that all of these "Blessed" people are just less likely to turn into a village destroying monster but it will eventually happen. The Hantei and Spider remain powerful because no one is currently willing to gamble on if they can take the Onyx Empire on and win. And the Onyx Empire is doing everything they can to tip the odds in their favor for when that eventual gamble comes.

So, I would have thought that the Phoenix being put in a dire situation would be appealing to you. The Underdog has more story potential.

If given the challenge of "Make this End Scenario Work" within these guidelines, what would you offer?

1. Onyx Empire has to be formed and maintained for 500+ years. Hantei line is revived, Spider Clan is the new "Torturi's Army" and the Taint has to be grudgingly accepted by all people, as the Emperor is Shadowlands Tainted.

2. All Clans have to still work in some capacity in the Empire and FOR the Empire. No Clans can annex themselves, make their own country or openly rebel as the background of the scenario.

3. The Clan still has to keep some semblance of their former Clan Identity, no turning the Lion into a bunch of Pacifist and the Dragon into a group of Guerrilla Sea Captains.

4. There must be a reason to be interested in the Scenario. Everyone just being passively happy with the Status Quo is not good enough.

So does my Scenario work in the Guidelines? (Kinda cheating since I made the Guideline after the Scenario, I acknowledge this.) What do you propose keeping with the guidelines?


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:19 am 
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dm_sb wrote:
This was a "I'm taking a break from paperwork and this seems like an interesting thread" post. Other than the fact that obviously the Phoenix are under yoke because they, like the Crab, wouldn't have a place in an Onyx Empire as a Clan without something to force them to play nice. Regardless of your personal preference as a staunch Phoenix player, what is the part that thematically doesn't work for you?


My distaste has only a passing to-do with the Phoenix- no, the real sticking point is the absurd instrumentality of the Taint.

Put simply, if EVERYBODY'S Tainted, even just "remission Taint," then what's the friggin' point?

Quote:
If given the challenge of "Make this End Scenario Work" within these guidelines, what would you offer?

1. Onyx Empire has to be formed and maintained for 500+ years. Hantei line is revived, Spider Clan is the new "Torturi's Army" and the Taint has to be grudgingly accepted by all people, as the Emperor is Shadowlands Tainted.

2. All Clans have to still work in some capacity in the Empire and FOR the Empire. No Clans can annex themselves, make their own country or openly rebel as the background of the scenario.

3. The Clan still has to keep some semblance of their former Clan Identity, no turning the Lion into a bunch of Pacifist and the Dragon into a group of Guerrilla Sea Captains.

4. There must be a reason to be interested in the Scenario. Everyone just being passively happy with the Status Quo is not good enough.

So does my Scenario work in the Guidelines? (Kinda cheating since I made the Guideline after the Scenario, I acknowledge this.) What do you propose keeping with the guidelines?


I find those guidelines unworkable. 1 is fine. 3, up to a point, is fine. 4 is more or less a given.

But 2? Nope. Better to outright blow the bulk of certain clans apart than to try and shoehorn them into quasi-loyal service.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:26 pm 
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Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
This was a "I'm taking a break from paperwork and this seems like an interesting thread" post. Other than the fact that obviously the Phoenix are under yoke because they, like the Crab, wouldn't have a place in an Onyx Empire as a Clan without something to force them to play nice. Regardless of your personal preference as a staunch Phoenix player, what is the part that thematically doesn't work for you?


My distaste has only a passing to-do with the Phoenix- no, the real sticking point is the absurd instrumentality of the Taint.

Put simply, if EVERYBODY'S Tainted, even just "remission Taint," then what's the friggin' point?


Not everyone is tainted, just a vast amount of the samurai class (and essentially everyone in the Phoenix Clan). The point is to strongarm with an unfair tool to attempt to make everyone follow. It is unfair, its supposed to be. That is the reason the new Hantei Dynasty was able to stay in power up to this point. Otherwise it would be a a simple dogpile onto the Spider and the Onyx Empire wouldn't last a generation without needing to destroy pretty much every single clan. Then it wouldn't be "Rokugan", it would just be "Spider Nation." That would then make the point of this "exercise" moot.

Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
If given the challenge of "Make this End Scenario Work" within these guidelines, what would you offer?

1. Onyx Empire has to be formed and maintained for 500+ years. Hantei line is revived, Spider Clan is the new "Torturi's Army" and the Taint has to be grudgingly accepted by all people, as the Emperor is Shadowlands Tainted.

2. All Clans have to still work in some capacity in the Empire and FOR the Empire. No Clans can annex themselves, make their own country or openly rebel as the background of the scenario.

3. The Clan still has to keep some semblance of their former Clan Identity, no turning the Lion into a bunch of Pacifist and the Dragon into a group of Guerrilla Sea Captains.

4. There must be a reason to be interested in the Scenario. Everyone just being passively happy with the Status Quo is not good enough.

So does my Scenario work in the Guidelines? (Kinda cheating since I made the Guideline after the Scenario, I acknowledge this.) What do you propose keeping with the guidelines?


I find those guidelines unworkable. 1 is fine. 3, up to a point, is fine. 4 is more or less a given.

But 2? Nope. Better to outright blow the bulk of certain clans apart than to try and shoehorn them into quasi-loyal service.


Whats wrong with shoehorning them? If the "Grand Plan" is to honor Fu Leng (and Daigotsu) with controlling the Empire, having the vast majority of Rokugan as a scorched husk is kinda contradictory. If we don't use a taint as a mode to control, surely there could be another option? Hold the entire Empire hostage by having all but the last seal that keeps Tengoku and Jigoku separate broken, the last seal being a bound artifact that is passed through the "Hantei" line. This is transferred to the new Emperor each succession and if the Emperor embraces the Taint or dies, all hell literally breaks loose and its the end of the game? But that gives no play to coup and "beat the bad guys."

If we look at making a Scenario that "Evil Empire Must Fall!" and make the Hantei Line and Spider Clan the bad guys, they need to be able to hold strong against the status quo.
Either you:
1) make the the Empire insurmountably powerful
2) the combined might of the clans paltry
3) have a dirty trick that makes rallying against the Empire incredibly difficult

I went with #3 by make it difficult for the Clans to field an army against the "Blessed" Spider/Imperial Family. Openly opposing the Onyx Empire means a personal visit in which you are kinda helpless to effectively retaliate. The Spider Clan and the Imperial Family can then remain relatively small and have to try to find less than direct ways to destroy the Onyx Throne.

If you have an option 4 which doesn't involve entirely removing a Clan from the Empire, I'd be glad to hear it.


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:18 pm 
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I had a thought as to how Seiken could go so crazy in such a short time. What if he took a bride who was a member of the Kolat? Maybe what's left of the Kolat decides that they can't allow another dynasty mandated by the Heavens to take root and they slip an agent in as Seiken's bride. She poisons Seiken with something that is slow-acting and that causes or enhances madness, slowly deteoriating his brain as time goes on. So Seiken becomes irrational, paranoid, and arbitrary as time goes on and makes the horrible decisions that lead to a Spider coup.


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:32 pm 
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That's an interesting idea. Although it would be a terrible plan to enact considering the Kolat is likely to be aware of the Spider's goal to overthrow the government. Unless they have a contingency plan to take care of the problem. However, that contigency must fails miserably. Perhaps through the action of the Susumu infiltrator among the Kolat or the actions of the scorpion or an external event or a combination of the above. Maybe if the poison was supposed to have a really slow effect, leaving time for the Kolat to take over, but Seiken's interaction with p'an ku made him susceptible to madness, combined with the fact he isn't a great leader from the start.

Let me think about that. I might post a simplified timeline using that idea. Is the tournament for Seiken's bride done yet? If so, who won?

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:31 pm 
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Tetsuhiko wrote:
Let me think about that. I might post a simplified timeline using that idea. Is the tournament for Seiken's bride done yet? If so, who won?

Crab. With a Yasuki deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:47 pm 
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dm_sb wrote:
Not everyone is tainted, just a vast amount of the samurai class (and essentially everyone in the Phoenix Clan). The point is to strongarm with an unfair tool to attempt to make everyone follow. It is unfair, its supposed to be. That is the reason the new Hantei Dynasty was able to stay in power up to this point. Otherwise it would be a a simple dogpile onto the Spider and the Onyx Empire wouldn't last a generation without needing to destroy pretty much every single clan. Then it wouldn't be "Rokugan", it would just be "Spider Nation." That would then make the point of this "exercise" moot.


Taint arm-barring is not how I would go about it. The Taint, in the classical sense, erodes free will.

How, then, is THIS not just "Spider Nation"?

An Empire aligned with Jigoku has plenty of raw muscle to oppose would-e threats, if that's your concern- Oni, Ogres, Undead...

Quote:
Whats wrong with shoehorning them? If the "Grand Plan" is to honor Fu Leng (and Daigotsu) with controlling the Empire, having the vast majority of Rokugan as a scorched husk is kinda contradictory.


A Rokugan hamfistedly shackled by the Taint is not much less of a husk.

And furthermore, there's a pretty definite line between "underdog" and "utterly defeated and pathetic wreck of a Clan" which this plan merrily strides across whistling to itself. Not just the Phoenix, but the Crab, the Lion... they have to not be what they are for your plan to work.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:24 pm 
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kakita_shiro wrote:
Tetsuhiko wrote:
Let me think about that. I might post a simplified timeline using that idea. Is the tournament for Seiken's bride done yet? If so, who won?

Crab. With a Yasuki deck.


Convenient. Let's see if I can find a cool Kolat Yasuki to fit into the story. It's not like there is a shortage of them after all. How old is Yasuki Makoto?

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Tetsuhiko wrote:
Convenient. Let's see if I can find a cool Kolat Yasuki to fit into the story. It's not like there is a shortage of them after all. How old is Yasuki Makoto?


Quite young, as I recall. She's absolutely a possibility.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:26 pm 
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Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
Not everyone is tainted, just a vast amount of the samurai class (and essentially everyone in the Phoenix Clan). The point is to strongarm with an unfair tool to attempt to make everyone follow. It is unfair, its supposed to be. That is the reason the new Hantei Dynasty was able to stay in power up to this point. Otherwise it would be a a simple dogpile onto the Spider and the Onyx Empire wouldn't last a generation without needing to destroy pretty much every single clan. Then it wouldn't be "Rokugan", it would just be "Spider Nation." That would then make the point of this "exercise" moot.


Taint arm-barring is not how I would go about it. The Taint, in the classical sense, erodes free will.

How, then, is THIS not just "Spider Nation"?

An Empire aligned with Jigoku has plenty of raw muscle to oppose would-e threats, if that's your concern- Oni, Ogres, Undead...


Yes, the Taint does erode free will. Hence why Kanpeki, once Emperor and appeases his Father's greatest desire, strikes a bargain to essentially create better "Lost". This essentially means Hantei Kanpeki learns the Ritual to make you go quickly to "Lost" status and unlikely to become a Maho-Bujin (Madman). And all Lost are now "Lost 2.0", able to strike fear in the mildly tainted (when they want to strike fear) and greatly slows the process of looking super tainted (losing flesh and looking demon-like and all that).

Doing this allows the Onyx Empire to not just be a Haven for Shadowlands monsters. Sure, probably an outpost of Undead out there and a contingent of Ogres. But why create a setting where every town has a Barracks of Undead and Ogres and Oni? Sure, you can trust the Undead to do as commanded but Oni and Ogres get restless and eat those peasants that are growing rice to feed the Empire. Its not sustainable. And while lesser Oni will bend to the will of Big D and the Hantei/Chuda Shugenjas, powerful Oni still don't listen to anyone and have their own agendas.

And it's not "Spider Nation" since the other clans still have free-will, they are just oppressed. Paragons of Bushido would be able to overcome the urges instilled in them from being remission tainted when faced with Jigoku Blessed, but thats a small number of the whole.

Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
Whats wrong with shoehorning them? If the "Grand Plan" is to honor Fu Leng (and Daigotsu) with controlling the Empire, having the vast majority of Rokugan as a scorched husk is kinda contradictory.


A Rokugan hamfistedly shackled by the Taint is not much less of a husk.

And furthermore, there's a pretty definite line between "underdog" and "utterly defeated and pathetic wreck of a Clan" which this plan merrily strides across whistling to itself. Not just the Phoenix, but the Crab, the Lion... they have to not be what they are for your plan to work.


I pointed out that the Crab are not tainted, makes sense since they are used to keeping themselves safe and still carry jade even though everyone says "Don't worry, you won't be tainted against your will!" in the Ivory Storyline. They are also on the complete other side of the Empire from the Capitol, were always fairly autonomous and have a pragmatic sense of Duty. There are still uncontrolled Shadowlands monsters out there, there is still the Scorpion Pit to guard against and when the Jigoku'd Hantei line succumbs to madness, they have just the hammer to fix that. Give them a compelling reason initially to go "Okay, you can have the Throne right now" like Kanpeki ousting a Yotodai invasion through force, then they will let it happen.

The Phoenix, like you pointed out, wouldn't go for a corrupted Hantei line (even though they love learning some Blood Magic) so you have to either destroy them or yoke them. Chaining them down with Taint seems to be the most logical choice, though it doesn't adversely affect them except when encountering a Jigoku Blessed/Lost. They fall from Grace during the initial rise of the Onyx Empire, become somewhat of a Pariah but allowed to persist under the conditions of being "remission tainted" so they cannot directly oppose the Onyx Empire. They can still learn, teach and find ways to counteract the remission taint. They aren't castrated eunuchs, they are just being held on a tight leash.

The Lion are still Paragons of Virtue, regardless of the Taint. They more just grudgingly acknowledge that the new Hantei line is legitimate enough. And under the tenements of Shourido, can actually prosper to a degree since they can more openly contest provinces and resources. The Akodo and Ikoma are still brilliant, the Kitsu still can commune with Ancestors and the Matsu still don't understand fear. The Lost just seem more fierce and are treated accordingly compared to another strength equivalent force.

From your responses (correct me if I'm wrong), it seems like you more think I'm implying that the Spider/Hantei line can actively brainwash anyone tainted at a moments notice. I am not, its more like a samurai encountering an angry Lost is like a eta encountering an angry Samurai. Everything in your head goes "Bad idea! Stop whatever you are doing and apologize for existing right now and you might live!"


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:06 am 
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dm_sb wrote:
And it's not "Spider Nation" since the other clans still have free-will


Being subject to Fear-magic at the random whim of others? Nope.


Quote:
I pointed out that the Crab are not tainted, makes sense since they are used to keeping themselves safe and still carry jade even though everyone says "Don't worry, you won't be tainted against your will!" in the Ivory Storyline. They are also on the complete other side of the Empire from the Capitol, were always fairly autonomous and have a pragmatic sense of Duty. There are still uncontrolled Shadowlands monsters out there, there is still the Scorpion Pit to guard against and when the Jigoku'd Hantei line succumbs to madness, they have just the hammer to fix that. Give them a compelling reason initially to go "Okay, you can have the Throne right now" like Kanpeki ousting a Yotodai invasion through force, then they will let it happen.



But that's just it, the Crab are even LESS likely to get with the program. In fact, they basically didn't in canon- Kisada Jr. took every chance he could to turn his dogs loose on the Spider. What about thischanges that? Yodotai?For the Crab, Gaijin are not worse than Jigoku.

Quote:
The Phoenix, like you pointed out, wouldn't go for a corrupted Hantei line (even though they love learning some Blood Magic) so you have to either destroy them or yoke them. Chaining them down with Taint seems to be the most logical choice, though it doesn't adversely affect them except when encountering a Jigoku Blessed/Lost. They fall from Grace during the initial rise of the Onyx Empire, become somewhat of a Pariah but allowed to persist under the conditions of being "remission tainted" so they cannot directly oppose the Onyx Empire. They can still learn, teach and find ways to counteract the remission taint. They aren't castrated eunuchs, they are just being held on a tight leash.


When Kanpeki and his line can change the nature of the Taint just by chatting up their ancestors, this is simply not feasible.They're done.They're cooked. They'd be better off wiped out.

Quote:
The Lion are still Paragons of Virtue, regardless of the Taint. They more just grudgingly acknowledge that the new Hantei line is legitimate enough.


Why?

Quote:
From your responses (correct me if I'm wrong), it seems like you more think I'm implying that the Spider/Hantei line can actively brainwash anyone tainted at a moments notice. I am not, its more like a samurai encountering an angry Lost is like a eta encountering an angry Samurai. Everything in your head goes "Bad idea! Stop whatever you are doing and apologize for existing right now and you might live!"


You are incorrect, in essence, I got what you were going for. And I loathe it with every fiber of my being. The last thing the Lost need are MOER SUPERPOWERZ. Being able to embrace the abilities the Taint already offers with legal backing should make them plenty scary.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:14 pm 
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Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
And it's not "Spider Nation" since the other clans still have free-will


Being subject to Fear-magic at the random whim of others? Nope.


K, then nix the mass remission taint and fear magic. Any suggestions on an alternative that doesn't require the Spider to be the largest clan (as big as any two or three other clans combined) or walking around with leashed Onis and Ogres in every city?

Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
I pointed out that the Crab are not tainted, makes sense since they are used to keeping themselves safe and still carry jade even though everyone says "Don't worry, you won't be tainted against your will!" in the Ivory Storyline. They are also on the complete other side of the Empire from the Capitol, were always fairly autonomous and have a pragmatic sense of Duty. There are still uncontrolled Shadowlands monsters out there, there is still the Scorpion Pit to guard against and when the Jigoku'd Hantei line succumbs to madness, they have just the hammer to fix that. Give them a compelling reason initially to go "Okay, you can have the Throne right now" like Kanpeki ousting a Yotodai invasion through force, then they will let it happen.



But that's just it, the Crab are even LESS likely to get with the program. In fact, they basically didn't in canon- Kisada Jr. took every chance he could to turn his dogs loose on the Spider. What about thischanges that? Yodotai?For the Crab, Gaijin are not worse than Jigoku.


I always remember Renyu being more of the jerk, but you follow the stories much more closely than I do. Okay then, any suggestion short of the dispersal of the Crab Clan which would involve the Spider overtaking the current lands in Rokugan, forcing the Crab to etch out a measly holding in the old Hiruma Castles in the Shadowlands, on the other side of the wall? Spider Clan holdings would then be from Shinomen Marsh/Forest, all the way down through the Great Wall. The Crab now do Guerrilla Assaults on the Wall and try to protect themselves from being pinched between the Lost & free-willed shadowlands and the Spider on the Great Wall, ironically keeping the Crab out of the Empire.

Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
The Phoenix, like you pointed out, wouldn't go for a corrupted Hantei line (even though they love learning some Blood Magic) so you have to either destroy them or yoke them. Chaining them down with Taint seems to be the most logical choice, though it doesn't adversely affect them except when encountering a Jigoku Blessed/Lost. They fall from Grace during the initial rise of the Onyx Empire, become somewhat of a Pariah but allowed to persist under the conditions of being "remission tainted" so they cannot directly oppose the Onyx Empire. They can still learn, teach and find ways to counteract the remission taint. They aren't castrated eunuchs, they are just being held on a tight leash.


When Kanpeki and his line can change the nature of the Taint just by chatting up their ancestors, this is simply not feasible.They're done.They're cooked. They'd be better off wiped out.


Okay, is there an option other than subjugation that would make the Phoenix stay in the Onyx Empire Setting as a formed Clan, continuing their canon role? Or from you perspective the best and truest form would be the supposed destruction of the clan, which the remaining Phoenix are hiding in monestaries, cared for by the Brotherhood of Shinsei? The Council of Elemental Masters stay hidden, the soul of Shiba is guarded constantly to ensure the eventual revival of the Clan. For all intents and purposes, the Empire believe the Phoenix Clan is no more. Pretty much the Phoenix start acting like the Kolat (lol).

Shiba Gunichi wrote:
dm_sb wrote:
The Lion are still Paragons of Virtue, regardless of the Taint. They more just grudgingly acknowledge that the new Hantei line is legitimate enough.


Why?


Because the other option is a mass suicide like when Iweko legitimized the Spider as a Clan? The Lion are reduced to less than half of their original numbers, predominately Kitsu and Ikoma remaining and much of them at the time were courtiers and shugenja (the Akoda and Matsu are quick to commit seppuku). The Lion loses their place in the Empire as the Right Hand, instead filling in the role that was once held by the Phoenix, as scholars and shugenja.

Still an interesting story juncture which would work for RPG, I still have my head more wrapped around CCG story and clan mechanical balance which is kinda a moot point in the RPG forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:08 pm 
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Once again, sorry for the wall of text. I listened to everyone's opinion and decided it was time for another timeline draft. I removed the concept of the Jigoku seals, which I agree were a bad ass -pull, decided to keep Kanpeki untainted and used many of the most recent ideas. Please note that I also tried to incorporate as many unresolved styre prize as I can remember. Feel free to add any as desired.

There is one thing I'm sad about. In its current form, Kanpeki's wife is still alive. However, marrying Iweko Miaka would give him a much better chance at being accepted as the rightful ruler of Rokugan (even if he is a very evil man). It also opens up the possibility of a war of the Dark Daughters after a time jump. I'm open to any ideas to kill Kanpeki's love. Right now, I'm thinking Seiken should be the one executing her for a clearly wrong reason, giving somehow the rest of Rokugan sympathy for Kanpeki. Of course, if the majority prefers to see her unarmed, I will comply, but it seems to me her death gives so much more story opportunity. I also left out Koji for now. It would still be time to add him later on if needed.

Imperial Navy is created

Seiken demotes Kanpeki, but as a retcon, he just swallows it and leave court, leaving Shibatsu in charge officially of the Spider Clan.

Yoritomo Ichido opens a black scroll to defeat Yoritomo himself, destroying the Isles of Spice and Silk in the process.

Made aware of the resurgence of the Black Scrolls, Kanpeki sends his agents across Rokugan and beyond to recover as much of them as possible.

The Imperial Navy is destroyed by the creature that destroyed the Mantis Archipelago. All seems lost until Kanpeki and the Spider Clan intervenes and banish the creature, saving the coasts of Rokugan from destruction.

Seiken officially disbands the Mantis and the Tsuruchi, Moshi and Kitsune are back as the Wasp, Centipede and Fox.

Kanpeki discovers a few scrolls an dispatch Goju and Ninube infiltrators to find suitable samurais to convince them, under the right circumstances, to use them. Of course, he wants samurais from other Clans to unleash the wrath of Jigoku as to evade any suspicion.

Seiken is declared officially Emperor and disbands the bureaucracy. He also severly punishes the clans who sided with Shibatsu with severe political, military and economical sanctions, preventing the Crane to step up and replace the Otomo. The Shosuro and the Ikoma takes that role instead.

Inspired by the manipulation of aa Goju infiltrator, a Crane courtier opens a black scroll to enact revenge on the Shosuro and the Ikoma. Many among them, as well as many Doji are corrupted in the process. The end result is a devastated court system and a completly chaotic government all around Rokugan. Many blame Seiken (not openly of course) for his lack of foresight and disastrous first decision.

The Phoenix, after studying the consequences of the last black scroll, discovers that the deal between Daigotsu and Iweko is broken. They announce that Seiken's decision to demote Kanpeki is responsible for this.

Seiken marries Yauski Makoto. She puts into motion a plan to discredit Seiken even further, slowly poisoning him.

The Dragon Champion appears before Seiken and asks for forgiveness for the Progressists. Seiken demotes him as champion and puts the Kitsuki Daimyo in his place.

Skirmishes between the Lion and the Scorpion destroy part of the wall, freeing many monstruosities that rampages the land unchecked. Jade magistrates are unable to control it until the Order of the Spider steps in and kills all the onis. It appears only the Spider Clan has the tools to effectively keep Jigoku in check, a fact that will not be forgotten by the common samurai.

Seiken calls the Scorpion and Lion Champions and order them to commit seppuku for the fiasco with the wall. The Lion obeys but the Scorpion refuses and turn Ronin.

A Kitsu, convinced by her Ninube lover in disguise, opens a black scroll and ressurect the Fallen Lion Champion. The now undead Champion rampages through the Lion lands.

Seiken, horrified with the results, brands the Lion as a lost cause and orders the destruction of the Clan by its neighbours.

The now Ronin Scorpion Champion approaches Kanpeki. He believes Seiken's madness is caused by the Kolat and asks for his help to destroy that organization.

The Kolat masterminds meet and discuss Seiken's case. The poison seems to be too much effective, as if he was susceptible to madness. Probably a side effect of his close encounter with P'an Ku. The plan is changed to protect Rokugan and Makoto is tasked to deliver the antidote and stop providing the emperor with poison.

A scorpion, convinced by a goju infiltrator, opens a black scroll to learn more about the Kolat. Combined with the intel provided by Susumu Naishi, a elite force comprised of Scorpion and Spider warriors expose the organisation and kills most of their members. Makoto is arrested and put to trial, the Abbot is tainted horribly but escapes, now completly mad.

Seiken's mind breaks even further when he learns of his wife betrayal. The Phoenix, Crane and Scorpion (newly appointed) Champion confronts Seiken about his last decisions and ask him to reconsider. He orders the Seppun Guards present to execute them on the spot.

Taint is spreading faster than ever and many samurais turn to the Spider Clan for help against a growing number of monsters everywhere. The sympathy towards Fu Leng's clan grows higher. Now would be a good time to kill Machiko, but I'm not sure how.

Dragon closes all access to the mountains and isolate themselves.

The Phoenix starts a ritual designed to protect many of their assets and send them into the Heavens, protected from the taint and Seiken's madness. The ritual backfires horribly and the vast majority of the Phoenix, samurais, heimin and eta included, disappears without a trace.

Seiken recalls all the Imperial Legion to Toshi Ranbo and closes all contact with the outside world. It creates a shortage of rice.

A summit between the scorpion, crane, spider and unicorn clan takes place. The majority wants Shibatsu to replace his brother, by forceif necessary. Kanpeki declares the only one who will sit on the throne is himself and no others. Shibatsu realizes that Kanpeki will not back down and that his military might is necessary to remove Seiken from the throne. For the greater good of Rokugan, he proposes a deal to those present. Kanpeki will take the throne, but he will respect the autonomy of the Great Clans. He will also keep Jigoku in check and prevent further black scrolls to be opened. All clans accept, unwilling to test the alternative, a three-way war against the Spider Clan and Seiken.

The combined forces march on Toshi Ranbo and, thanks to the starving legions, manages to take the city and kills Seiken, but not before he orders his troop to burn the city to the ground in a futile attempt to stop the attackers.

Kanpeki reveals his heritage and takes the name Hantei XL. He reinstates the Lion Clan as a great clan and offers amnistice for anyone tainted but able to control himself. He also disbands the Seppun, we were almost all killed in the conflict and the Otomo, who joins other families, but mostly the Susumu and the bureaucracy is given to the Crane. Over time, the taint is somehow accepted by the populace and Kanpeki rules his empire with an iron grip. Maho is still somehow taboo, but its practitioners are no longer hunted, unless the taint is too stong and they lose control.

Imperial families: Daigotsu (magistrates and yojimbos), Chuda (advisors and shugenjas), Miya (Heralds, eventually secretly replaced by the Ninube) and Goju (Not really a secret, but a mystery serving as spies and assassins)

Spider Clan: Stewards of the Clans, comprised of the Susumu, tasked with overseeing the courts of each great Clans, the Guyshi, with the responsabilities of safeguarding the remaining black scrolls and keeping an eye of the other clan's shugenja and the Sahara, a family of bushis and duelist overseeing the different wars opposing the Great Clans.

Phoenix: Now only a minor Clan led by shugejas willing to study any sort of magic to understand what happened to the rest of the Clan and a few ''extremists'' who refused to use any sort of corruption, but also driven to understand the truth behind the dissapearance of ther clansmate.

Crab: Most of them commited Seppuku, attacked the new Emperor's army and failed or left the mainland for the colonies. Those that remains are only a minor clan.

Lion: Many were killed during the conflict, and some followed the Crab, but most of them, especially the Kitsu and the Ikoma are still loyal to the throne above all (Bushido and all), but the clan now serves a purpose closer to the Phoenix of old.

Crane: Perfection, throught taint or otherwise.

Scorpion: Their loyalty stands for the Empire as always. For now, Hantei XL is the best chance the Empire has to survive. They are prepared to act if this change, however.

Unicorn: They survived the conflict relatively unharmed and enjoy a great deal of power under Hantei XL, thanks to their status as the Spider oldest allies. It doesn't mean the Otaku are happy, but they also follow Bushido, which means to serve.

Dragon: At first they stay isolated, but over time, they rejoin the Empire. They believe their old mandate as Stewards of the Spider still applies. No matter how harsh and cruel the new regime, it will benefit from the counsel of the Dragon.


Thoughts, ideas, insults?

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:34 pm 
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I like it... and here's something fun to throw at the Crab,Lion, and Phoenix:

Kanshi is no escape from service in the Obsidian Empire.

"Your protest has been noted. Now. Rise. Your service is only beginning."

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:48 pm 
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Seiken doesn't like Kanpeki to begin with, right? Once he decides to oust the Otomos and the Imperial Bureaucracy he might decide that Machiko, as a former Otomo, is too dangerous and too politically connected to be allowed to live (whether or not this is true). He might summon Kanpeki and order Machiko to commit seppuku right there in the throne chamber as a test of loyalty for them both, with miharu guards on hand to kill them both if either objects. It could be a sign of his deteoriating madness, or just a jerk Emperor on a power trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:02 pm 
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I feel like there needs to be something to differentiate this version of Seiken from Hantei XVI.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:20 pm 
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Hantei XVI wasn't mad. At leaast that's how I remember him. Maybe if we add a few actions made by Seiken that can only be explained by his madness and paranoïa.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:16 am 
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I like this version, and I feel that Seiken's actions are extreme enough to justify being called mad. Especially when he just starts demoting other Clan Champions, and raising up others in their place because it pleases him, coupled with the extreme sanctions against all former Progressivists.

Maybe we can take a page from A Song of Ice and Fire, and have Seiken begin having "suspected Tainted samurai" publicly executed by being burned alive, even though it can be proven that they are not Tainted.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:50 pm 
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I edited the first post with the most recent timeline. I will see what I can do about Kanpeki's wife.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:06 am 
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Has anyone considered having Kanpeki utilizing oni in some way, as a way of making his allies more concerned about their new emperor?

Like, for instance: Seiken orders the Spider and their allies exterminated for treason, sending the Imperial Legions and elements of loyalist Clans out to destroy them. The traitors are tracked down at the ruins of Otosan Uchi, but before the pursuers can fall on them, someone (Chuda rituals, opening of a Black Scroll, something) tears open a gateway to Jigoku in the ruins of the old capital, unleashing throngs of Oni and Undead against the Imperial army.

The Imperials wheel around to face the horde head on, but discover to their horror that their spells and jade weaponry is having little or no effect. Then, while the realisation that their most potent weapons aren't working, the traitors smash into their now exposed flank; the Imperial Legions, suffering horrific losses, are routed by the combination of Jigoku's forces and the Spider clan and its allies.

Post-battle, while the Spider celebrate their victory, their allies gather in secret to discuss what they've just witnessed and participated in. They've fought alongside the forces of Jigoku. They've allied with the Spider, but now they may find themselves questioning if overthrowing the mad Iweko II will just replace him with an even more monstrous Emperor...

The surviving Imperials report what happened to their army; Tengoku's retreat from Ningendo, and the true extent of said retreat, becomes known to the Great Clans. And while the Kuni, the Asako, the Isawa and the Seppun scramble to discover why, Seiken descends further into madness...


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:15 pm 
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The basic idea behind the setting is the give a reason for the clans to back Kanpeki instead of immediatly thinking about overthrowing him. That's why Seiken is driven mad by the Kolat and (potentially) his interaction with P'an Ku. An emperor using maho would, at best, be too much similar to KYD and at worst, immedtitly challenged by the might of the Great Clans. Of course, his power could be so immense the Clans have no chance, but it feels like cheating to me and much less interesting.

Instead, I think an approach where the Spider (and the Imperials after Kanpeki's coup) knows a lot about corruption and Jigoku, and even some of their members openly practice maho, but it is not how they define themselves. Instead, for the common samurai, the Onyx Empire is seen more like fighting fire with fire. It has the best weapons to protect the Empire against outside influence, including Jigoku.

I really think it is important the Great Clans support Kanpeki. Anything else either requires a lot of handwaving or it will be, by definition, very temporary.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:38 pm 
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sndwurks wrote:
Maybe we can take a page from A Song of Ice and Fire, and have Seiken begin having "suspected Tainted samurai" publicly executed by being burned alive, even though it can be proven that they are not Tainted.

Read that as buried alive, which would definitely cause mass hysteria given the fact that they would not stay dead long if they were tainted.

I don't know it too well, but I think Toturi was executing people he suspected of being kolat before people knew what a kolat was.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Shiba Gunichi wrote:
I like it... and here's something fun to throw at the Crab,Lion, and Phoenix:

Kanshi is no escape from service in the Obsidian Empire.

"Your protest has been noted. Now. Rise. Your service is only beginning."


:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: YESSSSSSSSSSS :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:42 pm 
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Fwiw, in the recent L5R campaign that I oversee, I will make use of a Shuten Doji to make the invasion actually work. They are a very nice tool to recruit new spiders in the heart of the empire. :twisted:

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