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The Grand Falloon

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  1. The Grand Falloon

    Duels

    More like "no visage."
  2. The Grand Falloon

    Duels

    Considering that the first post is deleted, we have no context for the second. Which makes this a heck of a thread!
  3. The Grand Falloon

    Binding Spirits and Kansen

    Okay, so maybe not "unintelligent," but they certainly don't perceive the world the way we do. So our Tsukai might be able to return to the idol and question the kansen within, but he probably won't get straight answers. Bandits discussing how to get out of their predicament wouldn't be understood by the spirit. However, bandits being slaughtered by PCs (or each other) would probably delight the kansen and it would take note of it, though interpreting its perception of the events would be tricky at the least. Sound about right? Likewise, a PC attempting to bind and interrogate the kansen would face similar troubles. It wouldn't be able to identify "Isawa Jimmy, the Phoenix Shugenja" as the Tsukai, but might know him by a character traits that would appeal to the spirit. Perhaps by an advantage or disadvantage that shares the same element... Well, it looks like I need to come up with some epithets for a lot of the advantages and disadvantages. How about the act of binding a spirit or forcing it into physical form? Would that be an ad hoc Invocation? A ritual? I'm figuring it would be some sort of "momentum points" challenge.
  4. First off, how smart are most kansen? Are they basically smart little demons, like imps in D&D? Or are they more like raw emotions, like intangible spirits of hate and anger? Let's say a Maho-Tsukai wanted to bind a kansen to an idol, telling his henchmen, "This spirit will watch all you do!" Could that spirit leave and report back to the Tsukai? Could the Tsukai return to the idol and interrogate the kansen? Or would the idol just exude an aura of darkness and fear, and the henchmen (not knowing any better) would assume the Tsukai was watching their every move? Moving on, let's say a group of samurai storms the hideout, and finds the idol. Assuming they can detect the presence of the evil spirit, what can they do about it? Does it work to smash the idol? A Rite of Cleansing ought to drive it away. What if they want to bind it, forcing it into physical form so that they can kick its butt? Maybe even interrogate it to find out who controls it? That seems like crossing the Maho line, but I can imagine a lot of situations where you would want to bind a spirit (even an elemental kami) into physical form.
  5. The Grand Falloon

    Skirmish Combat

    Heh, we'll find out. I've played a bit with a few of my more regular "gamer" friends, and we all really liked it, despite a few hiccups. We'll soon be starting in earnest with the addition of some much more casual folks, and I really hope the fiddly bits don't drive them nuts. Ah, well. I'm used to hand-holding.
  6. The Grand Falloon

    Skirmish Combat

    This is very good, but I'm also noticing a few things. Franwax already pointed out the limitations of Earth Stance. It's very useful, but it does not negate as many Opp spends as it first appears. Things like Iron Forest and Striking as Water are still completely valid, as are Kata that require a Resistance roll, such as Crashing Wave Style. Also, you wrote that "'Way of the Lion' is a very strong ability that both reduces risk (from bleeding)..." Way of the Lion does NOT help you with Bleeding, nor does Void Stance, or any other ability that helps prevent Strife. If you keep those symbols, you take that Fatigue, even if you're able to mitigate the Strife. Actually, later in the fight, you write that "She turns one of the strife into a bonus success (the Way of the Lion ability) making a total of five success and one received strife." Not how Way of the Lion works, but close. Way of the Lion has no effect on the Strife received from the roll. It removes it from your character. This actually makes it better, because you don't need to roll any Strife symbols to make use of it (pretty handy at Rank 6). Now, I'm pretty sure that, even if you start the roll with zero Strife, you can gain it on the roll, then remove it. But BE CAREFUL! If you're in a duel, close to your Composure, accepting that Strife can trigger a Finishing Blow before you can remove it! Nitpicking aside, though, this is some very helpful work. This system is not always intuitive, and has some pretty weird ways to manipulate die results. In-depth examples like this are really handy to new folks trying to wrap their heads around these things. And here's hoping it's also helpful every time one of us pushes our taped glasses up and jumps in with an "Ackshually!"
  7. The Grand Falloon

    Passions and making checks

    It's a simple thing, but in "Wedding at Kyotei Castle," they included opportunities for downtime activities after a day's events. You could use that opportunity to indulge your Passion, removing Strive, or you could go try to get something else done, like meeting with a lord for some unofficial negotiations. I would probably model off of that, with a little room for something in between. If the Battle Maiden with Animal Bond has suffered a lot of Strife, she may want to head to the stables and spend some time brushing and tending her horse. I would say she can remove three Strife, no check. After all the politics and backhanded compliments, she's ready to slap someone and really just needs to do something calming. However, the Shosuro Infiltrator may want to sneak in to the daimyo's office to have a look at his plans. He's going to need to make a check or two, and will not have a chance to indulge his Passion. Meanwhile, the Akodo Commander with a Games Passion might challenge a rival to a friendly game of Go, trying to learn a bit about him. He will make a check and recover Strife, but if he wants to win or learn something important, he may need to suffer some Strife on his Games roll.
  8. The Grand Falloon

    Question for the Writers: Scorpion Bushi

    The answer to this is the same as all clans: The Minion Bushi School. Obviously this ain't a great answer for PCs, but of the thousands of samurai serving in the armies of the Great Clans, the vast majority of them don't have a School Technique, nor do they need one. Sure, they've studied "Pincers and Tail," but for the average bushi it's more of a warm-up kata (with a lower-case "k") they practice in the dojo. The average bushi don't need to be sneaky, conniving, and underhanded. They need guard the castle, the temple, and the caravan, and when necessary, take to the field with their spears and swords and get killed by Player Characters seeking Glory.
  9. The Grand Falloon

    Making a Kakita Duelist

    A lot of folks take issue with two key points of duels: first, that Iaijutsu cuts can't Crit by spending opportunity. The second is that Earth Stance seems exceptionally strong. Some have suggested allowing Iaijutsu cuts to Crit for two opportunity. Here's a crazy thought: what if, instead, we remove the ability to Crit on a Strike action? By flipping that switch, it becomes a race to either Incapacitate your opponent so that he can't Defend against your next attack, or to Compromise him so you can land a Finishing Blow. You can't hope for that one lucky "2 Success, 2 opportunity" roll, and turtling in Earth isn't as helpful. There's almost certainly a lot of fallout I haven't considered, so lay it on me.
  10. The Grand Falloon

    Making a Kakita Duelist

    I think at my table we might stick with the "wrong" ruling (not that we have any Kakita). Applying the technique after Soak makes it a little more powerful, but also much more versatile. There will be a lot of times where you want to teach some punk a lesson without killing him, and you don't want a silly thing like a random die roll screwing that up. Allowing the adjustment after the roll reflects the renowned precision of the Kakita school, instead of just the deadliness.
  11. The Grand Falloon

    Making a Kakita Duelist

    This is very important, because you also want to make sure you control the conditions of the duel. You won't always be in a formal court setting, so you might need to do some work to insure the duel follows the rules you're hoping for. New head-canon: A series of humorous poems and stories, about a great swordsman who travels the Empire, issuing challenges among the various clans. He challenges a Crab in a sake house, who immediately stomps into the courtyard, stripping down to his underclothes, ordering the hasty construction of a Sumai ring. He challenges a Unicorn, who accepts, saying, "I hope you can find a suitable horse and bow by dawn!"
  12. So, first thing, that would be 8 points of Hull Trauma, not 11. The first hit does 7-3 for 4 damage, and the second does the same. You don't add the damage all together for the linked quality before applying Armor. But yes, that's still a nasty hit. This is why it's a good idea for someone with the Computers skill to "Hike up those deflector shields! Angle them to double-aft!" Now that TIE is rolling against 3 black dice instead of 1. So then, with a single Success and two Advantage, there's a 2/3 chance that single shield die prevented things from being even worse. Sure, it may have come up blank, which always sucks. However, if it rolled a failure, it prevented 2 more points of damage. Not too shabby. If it rolled a Threat, it prevented a Critical Hit, because it takes 3 Advantage for a TIE to crit. That shield might have kept the navicomputer functioning, which is pretty important. Also, being at 11 Hull Trauma is NOT half-destroyed, which people have been pointing out since this game was released. When you exceed your Hull Trauma, there is a dramatic explosion on the hull, the lights go dim, and the key grip shakes the camera while the heroes stumble around the cockpit. Suffer a Crit while you're at it. The freighter drifts lifelessly, and the TIE fighters radio for a boarding crew. The GM decides whether it would be more fun to have the heroes try to fight off some stormtroopers, or to perform an emergency landing as the ship careens toward the surface of Tatooine. Let them make a Piloting check to make a soft crash. If they succeed, they were able to get a little bit of juice out of the engines, or fire the deflector shields at the moment of impact. They still crashed the ship, but everyone is okay. If they fail, hit them with some wounds and maybe a Crit. Heck, they can always make a Hard Mechanics check to bring the ship back to life (EotE, top of page 243). The ship is still in terrible condition, and you do not want to take it into a fight (or even try to leave the system, probably). But it's flying again, so you can probably land it wherever you like.
  13. The Grand Falloon

    Genesys-style Initiative

    I've never been much of a fan of "Wait" actions in games. Actually, I don't think I've ever seen anyone use one, except perhaps in Savage Worlds, which uses a pretty dynamic card system anyway. I hadn't considered the effect on Stances, which actually seems bigger to me than special techniques. If the group controls both ends of the initiative order, a pair of Bushi could alternate going first and last, so they could spend the entire scene in Earth Stance, only switching briefly to Fire or Water at the end of the round, then back to Earth at the beginning of the next. Very boring, and therefore bad. Maximizing cool attacks might even be more unbalancing, but it's also more fun, so I'm much more inclined to allow it. I also hadn't considered that it would mildly nerf Vigilance and Focus, which don't get a lot of love as-is.
  14. The Grand Falloon

    Genesys-style Initiative

    One of my favorite things about Genesys/SWRPG was how initiative worked. For those unfamiliar, you rolled it much like other games, but rather than "Chewbacca goes first, then Greedo, then his henchman, then Han Solo," you generate slots that anyone on your "team" could use. So, in the example, it would go "Hero, Villain, Villain, Hero," thus allowing Han to Shoot First, and all is right in the Galaxy. A clever group that paid attention could get quite an interesting dance going, especially if they controlled both the top and bottom of the initiative order. You could also take advantage of effects that last until the end of a particular character's turn. I was a little disappointed that they didn't use this system for L5R. But would it screw things up too badly if we used it anyway? Yeah it could be "abused." But for the most part I would like to reward tactical thinking. For example, there's an ability that knocks your enemy prone, or deals extra damage if he's already prone (Rushing Avalanche?). Usually, your enemy will use his turn to stand up, so you have to knock him down again. However, if you go after him on Turn 1, and before him on Turn 2, you can make mincemeat out of the guy. Seems alright to me. I think I would require that everyone act on their rolled slot on the first turn of combat, and obviously this wouldn't work in duels (bit you manipulate Initiative every round anyway). But other than that, nothing game-breaking jumps out at me.
  15. Gah! Help! Mine is displaying Star Wars dice! Oh... Nevermind. I see it.
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