With the 2014 Kotei Season (Renewal) reaching its final week, the available choices for each Clan are almost set in stone; but before we reach the inevitable discussions between players of what to do with the points; I wanted to share what I would choose if given the chance .
The Crab Clan should reach around 330 points, which means their choices are limited to winning a duel and taking a hostage. While I fully expect the Crab players to direct all their fury towards the Spider; I still hope they decide to aim somewhere else.
Let’s be honest, taking the Spider’s heir as a hostage will not gain the Crab anything; and who really cares if a Crab wins a duel against a Spider?
No, I think the Crab should focus somewhere else: the Dragon. The conflict between Kuni Renyu and Togashi Noburo needs to take center stage. And what better way to end this conflict that with a non-traditional duel between a Berserk Shugenja and a Tattooed Monk? And who would not want to see a tattooed monk fostered to the Crab?
Being the only Clan able to reach 750 points, gives the Crane the biggest range of options. While using all their points into killing a family daimyo can be tempting; I think (and hope) the Crane’s eyes rest somewhere else.
You see, I agree with a local player that the last few Crane Victories feel somewhat… incomplete. Who won the Mantis-Crane war in the Colonies? Did the Crane really won the Yasuki Wars? What about the War of Silk and Steel?
It is time for a Crane Victory to be … well, crushing. So (while I play Mantis as my secondary Clan), I hope the Crane would choose to have a Crushing Victory against the Mantis.
What of the remaining points, you ask? Well, they can either take a hostage, or since they are going to be targeted for duels anyway; win a few duels of their own.
So, I want the Crab to target the Dragon, but do I want the Dragon to do the same? I’m not so sure. You see, while the Crab can only choose to either win a duel or take a hostage, the Dragon could potentially do both! I fully expect to have the Dragon choose to win a duel against the Crane (if only to keep the tradition alive); but while fostering a Crab child could be interesting; I’d rather they foster Nitoshi’s son, if he has any. After all a bunch of pious monks raising the son of a sociopath can never go wrong, right?
With almost no chance of reaching the 500 point mark, the Lion are falling short of a crushing victory, leaving them, as with the Dragon, with the choice of a hostage and winning a duel.
Honestly, I see no point in the Lion winning a duel, so I am going to focus on the hostage. While there are many possible targets; I kind of want the Lion to take Kanpeki’s son as a hostage. Trying to raise him as an honorable samurai who values Bushido above all could provide some interesting stories; specially if he is already semi-honorable.
Ah, Mantis; another Clan with the chance of both winning a duel and taking a hostage. If what I want the Crane to do happens, and as I expect they get the chance to choose first (and the choices are made public); I fully expect the Mantis to aim back at the Crane. And you know what? I’m cool with that.
A Mantis winning traditional duel versus a Crane is one of the few duel results that could be shocking enough to mean something. And a Crane fostered by the Mantis sounds like an interesting choice.
The Phoenix would barely reach the 300 points mark; which means that, like the Crab they must choose to either take a hostage, or win duels, but not both. Now, since they portray themselves as pacifists, one would imagine that they would choose the path of least resistance, taking a hostage from the Clan most likely to attack them (to prevent said attack). But there is something I want to see resolved.
During the Third Winter Court RPG Event, the Phoenix delegation got in an argument with the Lion delegation when they requested the creation of a Jade Champion equivalent in the Colonies; what at that point they called a Pearl Champion. For some reason, the Lion saw this as an insinuation that they (who have somehow appointed themselves as the protectors of the Colonies because Akodo Tsudoken was the Second City Guardsman) were unable to keep Second City safe. The Phoenix argued that there were many mystical unknowns in the colonies that needed to be examined closely. Of course the Lion then claimed that this was an insinuation that the Jade Champion (by then a Crane, who happened to be allies with the Lion…) was somehow incompetent. In the end, sadly, the request for the “Pearl Champion” was denied…
the Fire Nation P’an Ku attacked. A virtually unknown force, which affected many honorable samurai (including apparently the Second City Guardsman himself). So, the Phoenix was proven right… the Colonies needs its own Jade-like Champion. And what does this have to do with the Kotei season?
Well, what I would like the Phoenix to do is use up all their points to win duels against the Lion. First, openly insinuate that the aftermath of P’an Ku’s attack is clear indication that they were right and the Lion were wrong. Then wait for the Lion to take insult. Challenge their shugenja to a duel (I want to see Shugenja duels), and win; proving that the Phoenix was right all along, and maybe create the Pearl Champion!.
Yes, the Lion might consider losing one or two (or three?) duels an insult and find reasons to attack the Phoenix in the future. But let’s be honest, is not like the Lion need reasons to start wars…
The Scorpion is at the threshold of reaching the 500 point mark, thus being able to achieve a crushing victory. but which Clan should they target? The obvious choices would be the Shadow Dragon, the Disgrace (which I fully expect them to request if the plot is not resolved soon), or the Crane (politically). If I were to choose, I would go with the Shadow Dragon, in hopes that the resulting ninja v. ninja war is as awesome as I imagine. And if they were to manage killing the Shadow Dragon, well, what exactly would happen to the Lying Darkness that it is containing? Hopefully a great story.
But what about something much more Scorpion-like? A very Scorpion thing to do would be to take two hostages, from two opposing Clans and raise them together. A Spider and a Crab? A Lion and a Phoenix? A Crane and a Mantis?
Another Clan barely reaching 300 points. But to me that is more than enough. Ever since the Renewal options were announced I have always though that there is one option I want the Spider to choose: A Crab Hostage. The son of Kuni Renyu (or the Kisada’s even) if possible. Think of the possibilities:
- Kuni Renyu disowns his son and attacks the Spider (or attacks them to rescue his son). The Spider make sure Renyu’s son is aware that his father is
willingaiming to kill him, because he does not trust him enough to remain pure among the Spider. The Spider make it look like Renyu’s son is dead after the attack (making Renyu look bad in the Empire’s eyes… not that he needs any help); then raise him as one of their own, opening the doors for great future stories. Imagine the fallout if it is Kisada’s son who dies by Renyu’s hands!
- Kuni Renyu is forced to stop his war against the Spider. Meanwhile, the Spider treat his son with honor and respect; making him their ally in the future. Maybe a future Jade Champion?
Seriously. Make. This. happen.
The Unicorn have achieved the 500 point mark already, but will fall short of reaching 600. That means, another crushing victory! But against whom? Its hard to think about the Unicorn’s oldest rival, and not look at the Lion. But really, do we want to renew that war?
Instead, I would like the Unicorn to be approached by their long lost family, the Moto Clan of the Burning Sands, the Original Ujik-hai, and have the Unicorn fight, and win, a war against one of their enemies; the Qolat, the Senpet, the Naar-Teban (after the Dark Naga is defeated, I suppose), or some such. Its time the Unicorn show that they can indeed protect the Empire against gaijin!