The game concept sounds very interesting, an exploration of post-war Rokugan, whether from the point of view of a minor clan or a major one. The idea of being a newly created minor clan, created from drafted major clan members, does have a fair amount of appeal.
Some things I would like general feedback from:
I am considering different starting xp based on age. How does everyone feel about this, and what type of scale would you be comfortable with?
Mmm. I don't have very strong feelings about this, but I would say what feelings I do have are slightly negative. I don't know that roleplay would balance mechanics, since L5R has a lot of mechanics for roleplay. Higher xp allows a player to buy social advantages like Benten's Blessing, status, higher honor/glory, etc. Higher rank gives a character a higher glory floor, which is presumably what causes people to talk about you? It seems to me that roleplay would actually have to run counter to mechanics, or additional mechanics introduced (like, lower age gains glory faster), for it to balance the mechanical advantages that can be gained from higher xp and insight.
Like I said, though, my feelings about this are not particularly strong, and I'd be perfectly happy to go along with it.
I am normally pretty big on gender ratios, but I can't say that I am expecting a particularly significant amount of sexual tension, so am considering tossing that aside.
But... but... UST! Eventually becoming RST! If it helps, and you're ok with it, I know that Muse, MR, and I have all done crossplay before, so I imagine a gender balance could be achieved.
I am considering playing with the possibility of differing loyalties/philosophies within the group, which could lead to elements of pvp later on in the story.
Mmm, depends on how big the group is. I think it would have to be pretty big, though. A schism in a group of 12 means 2 groups of 6, which isn't bad. A schism in a group of 6 means 2 groups of 3, which seems like it could be a momentum killer. And pvp is something I generally try to avoid, although Muse's way of handling it sounds pretty good.
Anyway! These are just my opinions. Really, I'm happy with nearly anything that allows me to pretend to be a magical samurai. And the basic concept for the game really does sound very interesting.