Episode 053 – It’s A Wanderful Life

Why wait for GenCon? Chris (figuratively) sits down for a conversation with Fred Wan, continuity editor for the Legend of the Five Rings story team. Topics include . . . umm . . . it’s an hour and a half long, we talked about a lot, and I didn’t take notes.

Strange Assembly – Episode 053 – It’s a Wanderful Life

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8 thoughts on “Episode 053 – It’s A Wanderful Life

  1. Fred Wan on homosexuality in Rokugan:

    “[I’ve been asked] ‘Do you think it would be a good idea if were to explore this, yes or no?’
    My own take on it has been
    1. it’s very easy to do terribly wrong
    2. We don’t have very many overt portrayals of sexuality in the stories anyways
    We have characters who obviously have feelings for one another, obviously, but – it doesn’t come up that often, period.
    Is the risk of offending either a) someone who is prejudiced or b) someone who actually is homosexual quite high if we do it wrong? Yes. So I’m not sure. And there is an argument to be said that, you know, people don’t read l5r in general for examinations of sexuality in general. So yes, I’ve been asked about this before. Yes, I thought about it. I’m not sure what the answer should be.”

    My own take on this: There is no reason why people in L5R shouldn’t at times “obviously” have feelings for people of the same gender, even if there is no “overt portrayal of sexuality” in L5R fiction in general. People hardly even kiss in L5R fiction, that much is true, but romantic feelings, requited or not, are a mainstay of L5R fiction. I guess it boils down to whether the topic of love is an “examination of sexuality” per se, and as such should be excised from l5r fiction telling. If it should not, there is an unnecessary double standard at work.

    Michele Bachmann’s husband made a living out of acknowledging that these feelings exist between people of the same gender. I think L5R can go at least that far.

  2. I played and followed Clan wars and notice that 3 of the 7 thunders are women, 2 Family Daimyo (Hitomi and Kamoko) and a default Champion (Kachiko). Also, Lion Champion was a Matsu and a woman.

    There was no gender prejudice in Rokugan, IMO, then or from what I’m reading now… How is this an issue?

    1. I don’t know if it’s an “issue,” really, more of a “think I thought about” (this interview was, generally, more high concept than my usual ones). But the early RPG books (which have tons of information on the setting beyond what’s in the fictions) were explicit that Rokugan was patriarchal – I mean, there’s a reason that Fred agreed with me on that basic point.

  3. Personally, I find much more annoying the constantly offensive jokes about Crane supposed gayness/lack of defined masculinity. It is offensive for gay people, it is offensive for Crane players and it is frankly derogatory. Why is it that the slightest suspicion of offensive stuff against women or ethnic groups is immediately moderated on AEG’s forum, while completely inappropriate “gay Crane” jokes are always allowed to fly is beyond me.

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