First off, thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I thrive on it, since I tend to come up with a lot of interesting ideas, but sometimes they can do more harm than good. Active OOC input really is a requirement for me, largely for that reason.
Am not a fan of linking mechanical benefits to flavour elements, but it's not a deal-breaker. My objection is more on principles of system design, and I get what you're trying to do here.
Completely understandable. I think I am going to re-do the table and scale it back a bit. After doing some math, an average 51 year old would be half way to Insight Rank 3 with that xp, which is, in my opinion, behind the curve, but it is still an advantage over another PC, which can make things awkward. I think I have a better idea of how to handle it now.
Was leaning female myself since a) my other two L5R characters are male, and b) I tend to be more on the femme side on E anyway. I do think that sexual tension is a classic element of the kind of stories L5R is trying to tell - but the key is tension, the conflict between desire and duty, and possibly tragedy if/when it gets resolved.
No argument here at all. I think the issue is that much of that tone is lost once the average sex scene on E is written. But yeah, much as with the next issue, moderation is the key.
I like this, particularly in the way Muse presents. I wouldn't want to see anything to permanently fragment the group (unless one side is being retired as PCs), but divided loyalties and tension between them is another strong element of a good samurai story.
I was glad for his suggestion. I think that political and philosophical conflict is necessary for the story I am intending to run, but a derailing conflict can end a story, so this is a good compromise.
Ehh, I'd argue that the clans as a whole are very carefully balanced - it's just that the balance tends to be triangular. There will be a clear winner and loser among any two individuals of equal XP and insight, but there'll be a third that can demolish the "stronger" and will be spanked by the "weaker". Ronin are the exception here, but that's a) in keeping with setting, and b) a strong discouragement from playing characters who should be rare.
There are enough exceptions to this to make it debatable, but I do see your point. Regarding ronin, I'll just say that my favorite family in Rokugan is ronin, and I hate how they were written off without a single attempt to do anything with them. It's Kaeru, by the way.
I can't say I blame you for neglecting the War of Spirits. Everything after Toturi took the throne became very contrived, in my opinion, and the cultural impacts are kind of ignored. Personally, I liked the challenge of trying to do a what would have happened. I mean, the Emperor gave an order, and a large portion of Rokugan refused it. Incidentally, the order applied to him, and the hypocrisy of that is NEVER mentioned. Then, a force rises up to forcefully remove the Emperor, and loses, yet the leader of that movement isn't executed, or even remotely punished. Hell, he gets to raise the Emperor's child. This is the kind of shit that shatters belief in divine rule. So, uh...spoiler, this game will deal with samurai whose belief in Toturi's divine mandate has been shattered. And I kept the Hidden Emperor because it kind of contributes to the progression of that belief.
Glad you noticed the locations that Owl occupies. I think the Stag have a nice location as well.