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Crab Clan Catastrophe • View topic - An Abstract Question

An Abstract Question

Discuss L5R stories and post fanfics here.

An Abstract Question

Postby Doji Azai » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:03 pm

I will make this post on a few forums as I am trying to drum up responses to my question.

I want to take advantage of the fact that you guys get to ask me questions to turn it around and ask one of my own. This is quite abstract and I expect varying answers, but try to stay on topic.

What interests you most about the story?
- Do you like seeing big, sweeping meta plots that carry the characters into giant events and changes?
- Do you prefer to see smaller stories, more intimate tales?

Also, if given the choice would you rather see a wide array of characters from your faction given story time (say 10-15) or would you like to narrow down the big stories to a smaller group (3-5)?

I was thinking about what got me into this game and how I learned about the story back in the day. One of the more enjoyable tales that drew me in was the romantic conflict between Doji Hoturi and Bayushi (then Shosuro) Kachiko. You see, that tale was spread out over weekly fictions, flavor text, blurbs in the rulebooks, RPG books (specifically the first Winter Court book), and other places. But no matter what, it always stuck to the narrative. It did not include a wide array of other characters. I think for the Crane it touched on Kakita Toshimoko, Doji Satsume, Doji Kuwanan, and Doji SHizue. For the Scorpion, it connected to Bayushi Shoju, Bayushi Aramoro, Bayushi Dairu, and a few others. Yoritomo was even in there for a while.

But it was a story ABOUT the tragic romance between Doji Hoturi and Bayushi Kachiko.

So, that's what draws me in. What about you?
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Rixy » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:29 pm

Smaller, human conflicts, definitely. Things that can have touches of supernatural, but not 'the big bad of the week'.

The last time I really cared about the story, other than the exception of a few favorite characters, was the War of Dark Fire. There were real heroes. They fought an existing threat that, while it hadn't been seen often or so powerfully, was still not tacked on to the mythos of the world the way it seemed the Destroyers were. Even with the Yobanjin being foreign, there was a known villain behind them, one with ties that older players could see, and that made the conflict relevant, interesting, and most importantly, appropriate.

I didn't care, so much, for the name recognition. I cared that, for a given story, a character's point of view was well set, defined often by a few actions that came at the end of life. Two instances stick out (forgive the paraphrasing and my inability to remember the exact fictions):

From Mrs Sauer, when writing of the fall of Kyuden Hida: The berserker who refused, even at the last, to admit he was weeping, trying to convince himself until the end it was only sweat that was in his eyes.

From someone I suspect was Shawn, when writing of the evacuation of one of the Dragon castles: A Yasuki, non-chalantly leaning against a wall having a snack, a dead invader at his feet. The local Mirumoto charged with the evacuation approached him and demanded to know why he still remained and what he thought he was doing. In one of my favorite lines, he replied, "I am eating an apple. Are you simple?"

Were these earth-shattering moments? No. Did they come from kotei results? Yes, most likely. Do I remember them fondly. ABSOLUTELY.

Hope this was helpful.
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby barswanian » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:18 pm

Smaller moments where-in we see the view of a few samurai, once and a while, of the larger/bigger events. I really liked, for example, the letters between samurai as they caught up on events; although I also enjoy some of the bigger battle scenes.

One of the story ideas I've been hoping to see at some point, is some Miya herald down at the wall, reporting on what's happening up north; and the reaction of the Crab on the Wall to the news. The Crab soldier's world is the Wall; of what importance to him is a conflict between the other clans; of some declaration on the newest forms of poetry; of sudden sightings of fantastic creatures of myth and lore in Phoenix lands?

They've got the Wall. But the Kuni/Hida/Kaiu/Hiruma/Toritaka/Yasuki could all react differently to the news. What happens if the Miya reports on sumai matches around the empire instead? What happens to the Crab when they know that the words of the Empress/Emperor are coming from the mouth of a Crab witchhunter? (ala: Hida Kozan?) How does the average Crab's world change when they're actually connected to the high and mighty of the political world? When does the high & mighty politcal world start reflecting some of the Crab's tendencies?
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Iagosan » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:40 am

"Know this, Hitomi-sama. When you rise from earth to heaven, the Crab will be watching you. Do not think that our arrows cannot reach you in the sky. If we must, we will build a wall so high and so thick that even you cannot harm the Empire, and we will shoot at you from atop it until you fall screaming to the ground. Now, go." ~ Kuni Utagu,

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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Hyoton » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:35 pm

Interest: In L5R I like well defined characters and clear coherent story arcs. I like stories that emphasize strengths and deficiencies of rokugani/clan thinking.

# of characters: No single answer, in practice a mix is probably best
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Doji Azai » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:03 am

As a random note I am making a concerted effort to use a few characters with the intent of developing them while sporadically seeding the story with the other, less prominent individuals.
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby ACharmingHida » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:51 am

It's a trope of the RPG for a reason, so I'm a huge fan of the magistrate team type of story. I like the idea of a group of characters (regardless of clan, but obviously including one of my own) who dole out justice in the Empire. I'd be very interested to see bandits and ronin armies, organized crime stories and the like from the perspective of the peace keepers of the Empire.

Granted, I know we have Onyx coming, but it would be cool to see a few Magistrates duking it out with some human baddies for a while too. It'd also be interesting to see how these Magistrates react when it all starts to happen.

I like meta stories too, and I don't mind a wide range of characters as long as there are least a few major protagonists that get the spot light the most often. I eagerly await every single time Renyu is in a fiction, for instance.

I've never cared about love stories, I think the best love story is Reiha and Kuon, she told him she was eagerly awaiting all the demons she'd kill in his honor when he went off to die (though seriously...I'm still mad about that).
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Panayjon » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:11 am

I care more about the intimate stories. I love the learn-to-play sets SO much more than the story that comes with Heart of Darkness. Understandably the latter is on a grander scale so some sacrifices must be made but the interactions between characters in A Matter of Honor (Toritaka being smug, Clan champions having a friendly chat) and Currency of War (Crane murdering a Mantis, then burning the whole village) are amazing. The IA fiction in which we have a ghost story and follow some nobody Lion is the best. Crane and Scorpion Champions having 'tea'. Great, amazing stories.

Also, no joke. I am fascinated with Hida Zaiberu. I'm sure he was made as a joke but I would love to explore 'why is he a drunkard'. What made him that way? Is he dulling the pain of some loss? Is he just an a-hole? He could have an arc, we could see the redemption of this unkempt and belligerent samurai. Everyone loves a guy who picks himself up from the dirt.
He is belligerent. He is a drunkard. The most compelling story is that of Hida Zaiberu.
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Hida Mu Gen-rou » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:59 pm

I like stories with a definite end. Akio's group from the Death at Koten was nice as we know what happened to everyone in the group. Hida Nichie took a student for her style but we haven't heard what happened to them, or Hida Ruri. Stories that explain or touch on the flavor text people have I think would be interesting.
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Re: An Abstract Question

Postby Iagosan » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:35 am

"Know this, Hitomi-sama. When you rise from earth to heaven, the Crab will be watching you. Do not think that our arrows cannot reach you in the sky. If we must, we will build a wall so high and so thick that even you cannot harm the Empire, and we will shoot at you from atop it until you fall screaming to the ground. Now, go." ~ Kuni Utagu,

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