L5R fans pay heed. This is important to you.

When first coming up with the plotline for the Clan War, we all sat down and started thinking. We needed an outline. I’d fill out the details of that outline, but we needed a structure for the basic set and the five expansions. We knew one Clan would fall and another would be redeemed. We knew the Scorpion would return in Shadowlands. We knew Hoturi would be important, but we didn’t know how important. At the time, we kind of had him as a wildcard. It was my suggestion to keep all our cards close to the chest and make everything seem important, then allow the tournaments and player feedback to help guide our ship to port. We had a map, but we knew the seas would have just as much influence as the wind… if that makes any sense.

We also knew Fu Leng would return at the end, but we didn’t know anything about the Thunders. Not until Matt Wilson and I (as I recall) had lunch together and together we came up with the idea. A small band of heroes gathering together to face off against the final evil. Matt had something very Western in mind and I had something very Eastern in mind. That was the beginning of a long disagreement between us. Something I think both of us could have handled better.

What I didn’t tell anyone was that my own inspiration for the Seven Thunders came from one of my favorite movies. A movie that makes me laugh every time I see it, no matter how many times I see it. On the DVD commentary, the star notes, "I’ve met two kinds of people. People who love it and people who haven’t seen it." He’s absolutely right.

There isn’t a single line in this movie that isn’t quotable at the game table. Forget Monty Python and the Grail. Forget the Princess Bride. This movie’s got it down. Down.

(By the way, one of the reasons the movie works so well is the director got sick during pre-production and the assistant director did most of the work.)

I love this movie. I mean, I really love it. And, L5R fans, if you watch very closely, you’ll see Hoturi and Fu Leng and Shinsei… and Toku.

Yeah, this movie’s got a whole friggin’ ton of Toku.

Greatest Movies Ever Made (#2)

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