The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Casual conversations about anything you want!

Which of the Initial Path Options will receive your vote?

Path 1 - To Do What We Must
25
38%
Path 2 - The Left Hand of the Emperor
11
17%
Path 3a - Salvation in the Colonies
4
6%
Path 3b - Salvation in Rokugan
25
38%
 
Total votes: 65

MirumotoDaisuke
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The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby MirumotoDaisuke » Sun May 10, 2015 8:56 am

http://www.l5r.com/2015/05/10/left-hands-path/

Honor is my strength.

–Doji Domotai


Doji Domotai’s words echo through every pursuit of the Crane, from art and culture, to political maneuvering, to the art of Iaijutusu, to the field of battle. But with darkness threatening to roll across Rokugan, will the Crane be able to maintain such an adherence to Honor? Or will compromises have to be made, to preserve the Empire?

Crane players will have three paths to consider as we move from Twenty Festivals to Onyx Edition. Additionally, If Crane players want to develop up another choice for us to consider adding, we’ll be open to doing that, too.

To Do What We Must

As loyal subjects to the line of Heaven, the Iweko Dynasty, your choice is clear–if dark powers sit upon the Throne, they will breed corruption and infect all they touch. There comes a time, as painful as it is to admit, when words must be set aside in favor of weapons. This is a choice that many of your Clan’s greatest heroes, such as Doji Hoturi and Daidoji Uji, have made before. Like them, you cannot bow to a corrupted tyrant, no matter what other bloodlines he might claim. Few know better than you how to overcome superior strength and numbers with unconventional tactics. The disparate clans will need a unifying force, and your skill at making alliances is unparalleled.

If you choose to follow this path, it means setting aside your words, and joining those who still fight to dethrone the “New Hantei.” It is not a path of glory or affluence, but one of honor and necessity. Your Clan will lose much in blood and resources, and with your absence, it’s unclear who will preserve the arts and culture of the Empire. Once the false Emperor is unseated, however, there will be time to rebuild.

In the CCG, this path will favor more militaristic aspects of the Crane, at the expense of their more political ones.

The Left Hand of the Emperor

For most of its history, the Crane have been the Clan closest to the Imperial Line. The political clout and authority afforded by generations of Hantei Emperors calling a Crane “mother” placed your clan in an unchallenged position envied by all. However, it has been many years since a Hantei last sat the throne and your Imperial influence has waned. Soon, though, it would appear that a new Hantei Emperor will sit upon the Throne. This new Emperor will require administrative skills and knowledge both political and economic, and your Clan combines all these like no other.

If you choose to follow this Path, you will serve a new Emperor as his Left Hand once more. You will function as the primary political force in the new Empire, working directly with the Imperial family. You will not only be in a position to ensure a just and honorable Empire endures, you’ll have the power to protect and preserve the arts and culture of Rokugan. It’s likely that any who continue to oppose this new regime will almost certainly brand you traitors, though. Moreover, this closeness may also open your clan to corrupting influences. Of course, what you ultimately do with this power and influence will be up to you to decide with future Path Choices…

In the CCG, this path favors the more political aspects of the clan, with a particular emphasis on exerting Imperial authority.

Salvation

In his wisdom, the Crane Champion has been surreptitiously moving Crane political figures and valued objects of Rokugani arts and heritage across the sea to the Colonies. Should Rokugan fall, the Imperial Colonies may be the Empire’s last, best hope for preserving its essential identity.

Choosing this Path means that you will focus much of your effort on continuing to move people, assets, objects of art and culture, and so on, to the Imperial Colonies. You would need to wheel and deal with other clans, obtaining political favors from them in return for your assistance in evacuating these things from Rokugan. As a side effect, you would potentially be establishing your clan as a major power in the Colonies (although much of this will happen “off screen”, at least initially.) Other clans may, however, see your actions as opportunistic, defeatist or even cowardly. You may also attract particular attention from the dark forces moving against the Empire, as they try to stop you from helping this exodus. Powerful attacks on both land and sea will test not only your skill in opposing them, but also your resolve!

In CCG terms, this path favors Political elements, which may further favor tactics that aren’t quite as honorable as you’re accustomed to.

Another Way

Perhaps there is another way, another path your Clan could follow. It could be something derived from the three above, or something else altogether. It is up to you, the players, to design such a path, rally support around it, and propose to us that it should be offered to the Crane players for a vote.
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Kakita Shiro
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Kakita Shiro » Sun May 10, 2015 9:08 am

So far we are the only other clan asked to sacrifice of their identity (honor or culture) in their story path.

But if we control the political machine of the new regime, then we could mitigate any crazy that comes down from the throne, perhaps even feed rebels information.
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MirumotoDaisuke
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby MirumotoDaisuke » Sun May 10, 2015 9:29 am

Ya'll asked for Harriers. Be careful what you wish for - you might just get it.
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Kakita Takata » Sun May 10, 2015 9:33 am

Salvation is at hand. #CraneRapture. Option 3 all the way baby.

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Kakita Ijiwaru
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Kakita Ijiwaru » Sun May 10, 2015 9:51 am

Hard choice. Option 1 sounds the most glorious but #3 sounds interesting as well but means we spend more time in the colonies which is unfavorable. #2 Sounds terrible.

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Doji Pheelyp
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Doji Pheelyp » Sun May 10, 2015 10:01 am

I believe that arts and culture are valuable not in and of themselves, but because of what they are a manifestation of - virtue. It is not so much the painting, but the painter and the painted that matter more. Abandoning honor for kimonos and flowers does not appeal to me.

And besides, culture exists primarily in people, not things, which have meaning only because they are given such by living, breathing people. As long as the Crane survive, art survives with us, and we will rebuild the Empire in our image when the darkness has passed.

For Option 2, I doubt the extent that the Crane will be able to "ensure a just and honorable Empire endures" with Jigoku on the throne. When evil rules, I imagine the normal, honorable way things are done - dueling, marrying, politely drinking tea - would be done away with or would be horribly twisted. Even if this doesn't come to pass, when it is strength and not honor that sways the Imperial family, how can the Crane influence things to happen our way without compromising our values? What influence we would have would be from being useful lackeys assisting a gangster. And with the Susumu undoubtedly being the courtier family in ascendance, we would be working under their shadow.

Moreover, it matters whom one serves. We are happy being Heaven's foremost servants, but how could we justify even the appearance of serving Hell? Maybe the Scorpion can be so two-faced (as one of their Paths lets them be) but not us. We operate in the open, our virtue for all to see. How would we reconcile what we would be forced to do and say with who we are?

The Scorpion were given a similar choice, to side with Kanpeki. If both the Left Hand and the Underhand reject being part of this regime, then the darkness is significantly deprived of resources it otherwise could have used to further its reign. Dismantle the imperial bureaucracy indeed.
Last edited by Doji Pheelyp on Sun May 10, 2015 10:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Daidoji Maseru
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Daidoji Maseru » Sun May 10, 2015 10:27 am

"...to the Crane, make good your promises to restore honor and wealth to the lands of Rokugan..." - Charter of the Crane Clan

"This is not the Empire I know. This is paradise. This is Jigoku." - Daidoji Uji Exp 3

"Lesson one: You cannot be courageous without first learning compassion. Lesson two: You cannot be compassionate without first learning courage." - Kakita Kenjutsu School

The Crane have long been charged with the protection of the culture of Rokugan. With this in mind there is only one path that lies before us. If we choose option two, we sacrifice our honor to the empire my pandering to a dark emperor, an emperor who embraces Jigoku and would have turned his back to the culture we are sworn to protect. If we choose option three, we abandon that culture entirely as well as our honor. Will we survive? Probably, but it will be a survival without our Rokugan. No, there is only one course of action. We MUST stay and fight Jikoku and we must do it with courage, duty, passion and honor. For without those traits of bushido we are nothing. Fumisato-sama fought to the last man in Yumi-do (the Thousand Years of Darkness storyline) to protect the ideals of the Crane even though the clan itself suffered immeasurable losses. We must do our best to do the same.

We are the Crane. Our honor is our strength. Our honor is worth fighting for. To do what we must.
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AEG_Ukyo
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby AEG_Ukyo » Sun May 10, 2015 10:59 am

If you folks have any specific questions, I'll do my best to answer them for you.
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Doji Pheelyp
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Doji Pheelyp » Sun May 10, 2015 11:15 am

Thank you for being here to help us wrap our heads around this, Ukyo. :bow:

Are there any hard deadlines for a player-generated Path to be submitted, and is there any particular format you would like it to be in?
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Daidoji Tacticus
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Re: The Left Hand's Path - Crane Story Paths

Postby Daidoji Tacticus » Sun May 10, 2015 11:20 am

I can't say I'm really satisfied with any of these.

Option #1, I think, is throwing away our actual strengths in the political, cultural and economic arenas in favour of what has always been one of our weaker areas. It strikes me as akin to having a long-range radio and using it to beat someone over the head... if you're really desperate, you might have to, but you are wasting so much of its potential.

Also, giving up on non-military decks for the Crane means giving up on an essential aspect of Crane mechanical identity. The Crane are the faction most associated with Honour decks (other Clans do them too, of course, and sometimes they do them better, but the Crane are the ones who most consistently have it as a central strategy). I don't want the central Crane strategy to be Mantis in blue (well... not unless we get the absurd gold and card draw... then maybe...).

Option #2... honestly, if Kanpeki were some other usurper, I would be totally on board with this. Screw Seiken (Moto Chagatai for Emperor? Why not!). But Kanpeki is a tainted maniac (and also ultimately doomed, which I can't deny is a significant factor in my thinking...).

Option #3: I like the general idea behind it, but not the method. Reacting to this by running away does not strike me as a great plan, especially when we would be running away to the enemy's own centre of power. All the strength of the Spider is in the Colonies currently, and even if they mrch most of it off to Rokugan, you can bet they'll be leaving some behind.

So, of course, if I don't want to pick any of those options, it is incumbent on me to put forward an alternative. And I will get to work on that tomorrow, once I've had some sleep. For now, the elements I would want to see in such an option:

- A CCG focus on Political strategies, preferably Honour (though I can live with Dishonour).
- A story focus on using the political and cultural power of the Crane, rather than wading into aggressive battle and trying to pretend that we're the Lion or the Crab.
- Something that entails defending Rokugan, not running away.
- Ideally, something that can mesh with the Unicorn desire to defend the peasants.

Anyone who feels similarly is more than welcome to make suggestions.
Ceterum autem censeo Otomines esse delendam.

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