Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Casual conversations about anything you want!

Choose your path!

Poll ended at Thu May 28, 2015 2:05 pm

Alliance With The Unicorn/Safehold
0
No votes
Endure the Occupation
2
6%
The Path of Compassion
1
3%
Walking The Earth
0
No votes
Guard The Way
0
No votes
We Can Rebuild
0
No votes
The Path of Creation
2
6%
Blossoms In The Wind
0
No votes
Honorable Hostages
2
6%
The Left Hand's Duty
26
79%
 
Total votes: 33

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Daidoji Tacticus
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Daidoji Tacticus » Thu May 21, 2015 12:29 am

Now that we have a set of Path guidelines up (finally...) and a poll, I suppose it is time for me to finally post the next draft of the Left Hand's Duty. It has been somewhat revised on a few accounts:

1) To conform better with the level of detail in the official Path choices offered by AEG, as the article suggested.
2) To be clearer about the nature of the downsides that come with the path, since a lot of those initially responding read it as not having meaningful costs.
3) To more clearly distinguish it from path 1, now that we have confirmation that "can support Honour decks" is not, in itself, a distinction.

With thanks to: Doji Makoto, Kakita Kasukaru, Tobikawa of the Unicorn and Idanthyrsus of the Lion for their assistance, suggestions and critiques; Doji Satevis, Martino and Daidoji Reiji of the Crane, Nomad Chronicler nee Moto Khedai, Shinjo Dae-Hyun, and Moto Naranbaatar of the Unicorn for inspiration.

The Left Hand’s Duty:

For twelve centuries, the Crane have tended to the fabric of the Empire, the subtle web of tradition, culture, etiquette and diplomatic ties that keep it functioning as a united entity rather than splintering into a hundred warring barbarian fiefdoms. It is a sacred trust handed down from the days of Hantei and Doji, every generation maintaining and building on the work of those before. As the Blackest Storm breaks over the Empire, the Left Hand must keep the Empire from splintering into infighting – and must ensure that enough of Rokugan's heritage survives to be rebuilt once the darkness is past, or the Jade Sun shall illuminate only a hollow victory and a desolate waste.

On this path, the Left Hand shall commit its political, economic and military might to saving the foundations of the Emerald Empire’s identity: its art, its laws, but above all, its people, the carriers of all skill, history and tradition. Crane military strength will be deployed to defend Crane territory and assets, while sending forth elite mobile forces such Daidoji scouts, Kakita duelists and Crane Magistrates to maintain order, defend areas of cultural and political import, and guard emissaries and relief shipments. The Crane shall accept refugees displaced by the conflict, while the Clan's courtiers work to secure passage for Crane and allied forces, mitigate inter-Clan tensions, and direct supplies to where they are most needed.

This path will not be easy or without costs and pitfalls. The toll on the Crane expeditionary forces will be heavy, including many of the Clan's best and brightest, and Crane efforts to preserve the future of the Emerald Empire may draw the ire of the dark forces seeking to tear it down, attracting new and terrible assaults against the armies and people of the Clan. Supporting refugees throughout the Empire will tax even the bountiful resources of the Crane - and as the influence of Jigoku spreads, some of those refugees may carry hidden corruption, posing insidious threats from within. And those Clans committed to the front line against the forces of the False Emperor will question why the armies of the Crane do not fight beside them, and resent the allocation of Crane resources to support fleeing peasants and noncombatants over their own valiant bushi, regarding this response to the onslaught of Jigoku as effete, cowardly - perhaps even challenging the Celestial Order.

In the CCG, this path will favour Honour decks with defensive and military elements, with an emphasis on Honour gain through exemplifying virtue and gathering allies rather than appealing to corrupted higher authorities.

Additional Component - the Alliance of the Sisters:

From before the Dawn of the Empire, Doji and Shinjo shared a special bond, a bond reaffirmed by Crane support for the recognition of Shinjo’s Clan on their return from centuries of wandering. Despite tension and misunderstanding, the friendship between the two Clans has endured, and over the past year the two Clans worked closely together to peacefully settle the dispute over the Imperial succession. As evil portents multiply, the Crane shall send envoys to the Unicorn to propose further co-operation against the gathering darkness.

Should the Unicorn accept, either by choosing an initial path of alliance or through a subsequent choice of how to respond, then the Crane and the Unicorn shall join forces to defend the foundations of the Empire, offering mutual support in military, logistical and political matters. Each Clan’s forces will find safe haven and supplies freely available in the territory of the other, greatly widening their areas of operations. Unicorn military support will strengthen Crane expeditionary forces, allowing them to undertake more ambitious operations in defence of the Empire’s culture and people. Meanwhile, Crane political support will ease political obstacles that the Unicorn may face in pursuing their own path. The closeness of Crane and Unicorn forces in their common struggle may build new ties of lasting respect, enduring long after the present conflict is done.

If this alliance is accepted, it may be reflected in the CCG by Crane and Unicorn personalities that cost less for the other Clan, or may be Proclaimed by the other Clan, or both; by Fate cards with lower costs or additional effects for Crane or Unicorn players, or for having Personalities of both Clans in play; or by other means reflecting the co-operation of the two Clans.

There will be difficulties, of course. Supplying an ally’s forces as well as one’s own is a further burden on one’s resources. The closeness of the two Clans will inevitably lead to each being blamed for the failures and missteps of the other – and some may even accuse the two of plotting together to seize power for themselves. And as closely as the two Clans may work together, their priorities will never be quite the same, causing inevitable friction when those priorities come into conflict.

-

The fundamental difference I want to emphasise between this path and path 1 is that this is a defensive path, focused on preserving as much as possible from the ravages of war rather than taking the fight directly to Kanpeki. If we choose this path, the job of directly unseating Kanpeki will fall to someone else; we are instead taking it upon ourselves to make sure that there's something left when he is overthrown. Anyone who wants to see the Crane leading the charge against the False Emperor should vote for Path 1.
Ceterum autem censeo Otomines esse delendam.

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Kakita Kasukaru
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Kakita Kasukaru » Thu May 21, 2015 1:55 am

I believe that, to emphasize costs of the option "The Left Hand's Duty" above (and as required by AEG), we could specify the losses per family:
* Daidoji : just like in AEG's official Path 1. The only difference being that they will fight defensively. The costs should be the same.
* Asahina : Very likely risk of corruption and infiltration. This is an ADDITIONAL cost compared to the official Path 1.
* Doji : probably less of a human cost but a very expensive political one. Our favors should be more or less depleted after this. This is an ADDITIONAL cost compared to any of the official Paths.
* Kakita : pretty much similar to Daidoji.
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Doji Honshingen
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Doji Honshingen » Thu May 21, 2015 2:21 am

I don't think that those who want to oppose Kanpeki will look upon this path antagonistically. We do fight against the forces of evil (defensively), and the support of peasants frees them of the need to spend resources for doing that themselves (or loosing their peasants altogether, which would be very costly).
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Daidoji Tacticus
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Daidoji Tacticus » Thu May 21, 2015 2:28 am

Kakita Kasukaru wrote:I believe that, to emphasize costs of the option "The Left Hand's Duty" above (and as required by AEG), we could specify the losses per family:
* Daidoji : just like in AEG's official Path 1. The only difference being that they will fight defensively. The costs should be the same.
* Asahina : Very likely risk of corruption and infiltration. This is an ADDITIONAL cost compared to the official Path 1.
* Doji : probably less of a human cost but a very expensive political one. Our favors should be more or less depleted after this. This is an ADDITIONAL cost compared to any of the official Paths.
* Kakita : pretty much similar to Daidoji.


I considered that, but none of the official path choices are that specific about costs, so I'm not sure it's appropriate at this stage.

After talking to Idanthyrsus about this, I'm also no longer convinced that "depleted favours" is likely to be a notable cost compared to the others - yes, we'll be calling in a lot of favours, but we will be offering people a considerable amount of help, as well.

Doji Honshingen wrote:I don't think that this path will be seen very antagonistic by those who want to oppose Kanpeki. We do fight against the forces of evil, and the support of peasants frees them of the need to spend resources for doing that themselves (or loosing their peasant altogether, which would be very costly).


Holding back our full resources from the fight in order to protect people who in the Rokugani hierarchy are literally considered less than human is a pretty unconventional choice from the perspective of the Lion, Scorpion, even Crab (the three most likely to go all-in on military opposition to Kanpeki).
Ceterum autem censeo Otomines esse delendam.

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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Dare » Thu May 21, 2015 4:43 am

Anyone not voting the Path of Creation may or may not be permabanned :D

(Do empty threats work??)

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Kakita Kasukaru
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Kakita Kasukaru » Thu May 21, 2015 4:48 am

LOL! :)
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Asahina Genichi
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Asahina Genichi » Thu May 21, 2015 5:41 am

If we end up going with Tacticus-san's idea, can we please, please, PLEASE campaign for a new unit called the Daidoji Rangers as a replacement for the Daidoji Harriers? Inspired by the U.S. Army Ranger Regiment, the Daidoji Rangers would be a light infantry unit with a long-range reconnaissance mission. Basically, they go behind enemy lines for weeks or months at a time as a unit, collecting information, striking targets of opportunity, and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

They would serve as the hammer to the Iron Crane's anvil.
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Daidoji Tacticus
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Daidoji Tacticus » Thu May 21, 2015 5:44 am

Isn't that what the Daidoji Scouts already do? Or are you thinking of a more specialised unit?
Ceterum autem censeo Otomines esse delendam.

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Kakita Mitsuhide
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Kakita Mitsuhide » Thu May 21, 2015 6:27 am

Also we're done with the Harrier's. We've been done with them since around Lotus. We don't really need to add Crane Clan 'Ninja/Saboteurs' into the design mix of magistrates, courtiers, duelists, scouts (and sometimes shugenja) do we?

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Kakita Ijiwaru
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Re: Another Way - Proposals for Alternate Story Paths

Postby Kakita Ijiwaru » Thu May 21, 2015 8:37 am

Kakita Mitsuhide wrote:Also we're done with the Harrier's. We've been done with them since around Lotus. We don't really need to add Crane Clan 'Ninja/Saboteurs' into the design mix of magistrates, courtiers, duelists, scouts (and sometimes shugenja) do we?


You forgot Jesters...


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