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Worloch

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  1. A bit back to the original topic here - The problem once again lies in the absolute nature of Lady Doji's Decree. If the check is successful, the target can not attack, full stop. Sure the duration is variable, but the fact that it is a complete shutdown for the duration is what drives the main issue, much like the issues with Earth Stance, and is compounded by the rules concerning duels where time can be of the essence. When outside of a duel, being prevented from attacking 1 single target for a few rounds may be a problem, but it will rarely shut you down completely. There may be other targets, or other objectives to concentrate on. In a duel, you have 1 target, and when you absolutely can not attack that target at all, that becomes a much bigger issue. I understand the intent of perhaps creating a discouragement of using the practice by imposing a loss of honor or some such to the practitioner, I would probably house rule it the other way - allow a player to take a loss of honor to ignore it. Basically, the Crane is free to make their insightful / distracting comment and most would stop to listen to such a profound statement, but if you want, you can be the crass brute who ignores it and bulls ahead. There is a reason those with lower honor act first in initiative if there is a tie, after all. Now it becomes less of a definite tactic for the Doji - can be effective, by punishing your opponent, but are you willing to spend your action on a result that may actually do nothing for you as long as you opponent is willing to take on that punishment. Outside of a duel, especially within an intrigue, I think the opponent would be likely to abide by the decree, not wanting to lose face and honor and having other options most likely available. In a duel on the other hand, depending on what is on the line ... As those above have posted, to me this creates the interesting aspect of choice in the situation.
  2. It is powerful, but does have some limiting factors that help it from being too much, in my opinion: 1) The Techniques that are available still cost XP to obtain. Having access to Kata does provide options but those options do require opportunity cost; IE - you have 3xp to spend. Do you want a Rank 1 or 2 Kata, or do you want a Rank 3 Invocation or perhaps a Shuji/Ritual? You have to choose. 2) It is limited (iirc, afb) to Rank 1 and 2 Kata, which aren't the most powerful Kata 3) XP spent on Title curriculum don't count for School curriculum advancement, so it will slow down down school rank, which has impact to most (all?) school abilities 4) Kata generally require investment in Martial skills to be effective, again requiring XP to be dedicated, and in a direction that a Shugenja would most likely not be focused Sure, combining something like Striking as Earth with Fire Katana (don't recall the official invocation name) is cool, but requires the Shugenja invests in the Kata, and invests Martial Melee, as well as the Invocation and Theology.
  3. I enjoy them as well Quick note on "Warriors Resolve", which you go over as part of the Ikoma Bard School write up: Honor Rank (and Glory Rank) are essentially the 10's digit of your Honor or Glory total, iirc. I am away from book, so I can't provide the page # for reference, but perhaps someone else can. As Ikoma Bard School starts with Honor 45 (per your write up), then Warrior's Resolve would remove 4 Fatigue for 1 Void point - not too bad if you need it. As you increase your Honor, it can be a quite nice recovery action. Update: back with my book, so I can update with specifics - Pg 37 of the main rulebook states "A character’s honor, glory, and status attributes each have a value between 0 and 100. When an effect calls for a character’s honor, glory, or status rank, the rank is determined by the tens digit of the value (or 10, if the value is 100). Shosuro Makoto has an honor value of 28. Therefore his honor rank is 2. He has a glory value of 31. Therefore his glory rank is 3."
  4. Indeed, that is what i meant. Extreme results lie at either end of the spectrum, but are balanced overall by the associated probabilities. Yes, 1r0s can potentially hit TN6, but likewise 5r5s can fail to hit TN1. An Isawa Elementalist at Rank 5 could reduce the TN6 for any of the Rise, [Elemental] invocations to TN1 once per scene, and have 5r5s for the roll and still fail, or succeed but with no opp or some such. The Shikigami by RAW can auto-succeed once per scene, with 2 bonus success and 2 opp. As pointed out above that's the equivalent of keeping at least 8 dice with successes (assuming some of those kept dice would be success+opp). While I do believe the intention is there in this system, and specifically with this technique, to use the vague outline of requirements (such as access to "sanctified vessel", or potentially having to stake Glory/Honor for actions) as a GM narrative tool to shape the game at their table, I also believe this technique needs more than that.
  5. Two things: 1) to the question posed in the original post, I concur with the above assessment that the Rank of the Invocation is discreet from the Rank at which it is learned. The basis of this viewpoint is that having special access to a technique by virtue of a curriculum (the diamond icon) bypasses the requirement - it doesn't modify it, as per the below that was posted as well. So a technique with a requirement of Rank 3, doesn't become a requirement of Rank 2 just because it appeared in your curriculum at Rank 2. Rather, the requirement is still Rank 3, but that requirement is waived due to that curriculum's specifics. 2) All other aspects aside, mechanics that create absolute results (always, never, etc) tend to be the most prone to creating issues in systems. An invocation that has its power balanced by being extremely hard to achieve, will automatically create an issue when combined with a technique that allows for automatic success. It is in the same vein as Earth Stance - automatically preventing crits and conditions from opp. creates issues with the rest of the related systems. Air stance, in contrast, is an example of an incremented approach that works with the systems. It makes it harder to do a thing, but not the absolute of "never", and scales to remain relevant as power levels increase. For this portion of the Shikigami technique, I would suggest house-ruling / modifying that reading to be more akin to the Kiho burst effects - you must achieve success first, but once you do, once per scene you can add 2 bonus successes and 2 Opp.
  6. you're right - maybe some day I'll learn to read ...
  7. Well, there is the corner case for the Togashi, with Rank 6 Mastery ability, that would allow them to combo it with something like Earthen Fist, or Way of the Edgeless Sword, but in general, yes.
  8. Somewhat ironically, I also emailed on this and received the same response: Little funny to me that he missed Water Fist in the explicit list, but he did cover it in the first part.
  9. @Ultimatecalibur Don't get me wrong, good design does account for future interactions to the extent possible, but this is not what is being discussed here. You are not talking about the design itself, but rather stating you are taking a strict interpretation of the current ruleset, based on content that has not been developed yet and may never be. I would of course be on board with a solid design framework with the definition needed to be extensible in to the future; but again, that is not the crux of this discussion. To be clear, I did not move the goalpost. I actually said "fist", as it was more casual description of the interactions and I did not make the initial comparison; you did - You said unarmed strikes, and stated the Katana has a superior range, not me - I just corrected that statement. At this point it is just nitpicking. And since we're delving in to the extreme's here, as an example. a Togashi monk can obtain any number of titles that provide access to Kata's - Emerald Magistrate, from the core book, would provide access to Rank 1-2 Kata, including Soaring Slice, and as Edgeless Sword also effects Improvised Weapons a Togashi can just as easily get that "10 damage/10 deadliness weapon Range 1-3+". Edgeless Sword, a rank 5 Kiho, is going to be powerful on any character with 5 ranks in [unarmed] and a 5 in their Void ring. Yes, Sharpened Ki can adds to particular combos, but the crux you're are pointing out seems to me to factor more heavily on Edgeless Sword than Sharpened Ki. At the point you're getting a Rank 5 Kiho, with a 5 ranks in a skill, and 5 in a ring, other characters will have combos and techniques of similar power. I will not pretend to state every character will end up with the exact same level of power in these exacts terms, and I believe that would be an unreasonable expectation. However, as another quick example, an Isawa Elementalist, at Rank 4, 5 in Fire and 5 in Theology, use Fury of Osano-Wo at a range of 0-4 outside, use their school ability to drop the TN from 5 to 1, and do 5 (Fire Ring)+(3x bonus successes) to a target, and if that incapacitates them (extremely likely), it does a critical of severity 8 as well. For 1 opp, you can also hit the target and all their buddies at 0-2 with a TN 3 meditation check, or become dazed and take 15 (3xFire Ring) Strife. On top of all that, you also have the 1+ opp for increasing the severity of the crit, and the basic Fire Invocations 1+ opp to select additional targets in range. With that die pool, it would be entirely reasonable for the character to be able to come away with 5 successes and 2 strife (so as not to backlash [which as @Avatar111 will tell you, makes this extremely hilarious if you do]), can become a 23 supernatural damage hit, that if it incapacitates you, also inflicts a severity 8 crit. Any additional success/opp you get beyond that just expounds it. In any case, I believe I will have to leave this here as @Avatar111 did - we will agree to disagree, as I really don't want to spend all my time picking apart corner cases at the extreme far end of the game, and treating them in isolation. I respect that you and others have issues with Sharpened Ki, and have chosen to interpret the wording in a stricter sense for their game table. Every table has to do what feels best for them to have fun, and I only submit this to the forums in an effort for the community to explore the perspectives beyond their own table, my own included.
  10. No offense, but both edge cases, which have little to no bearing in the current environment. The first is literally based on an assumption of future content, which has absolutely no bearing for playing right now, and can't be predicted to shift balance in a negative way - consider the idea that you "reign in" this ability on the prospect of events that never occur; not fun. In short, deal with that when it happens, not now. The second is ... well, very limited in scope and I would submit almost a straw man argument. A Katana, frankly, does not have superior range to unarmed attacks - Punch is 0 and Kick is 1, which means you actually have more versatility in range with unarmed attacks than you do with a Katana. As we are basically discussing Edgeless Sword here, the profile of the unarmed attacks in terms of damage and deadliness is irrelevant as they are replaced whole-cloth. Some Kata cannot be performed with unarmed true ... but really would you argue that as a basis here? There are really only 5 Kata used with non-ranged weapons that I would see as not being usable unarmed and two become questionable when you add in the specific scenario of using Edgeless Sword. Soaring Slice technically only states a readied weapon in a 1 handed grip is needed, but unless you are cutting your hand off and throwing it at your opponent, I wouldn't allow it. Rushing Avalanche states a "blunt weapon" with Martials Arts [melee], so even though we would commonly ascribe fists as a blunt weapon, it doesn't count in this case. Iron Forest Style straight up requires a Polearm, so it is right out. Both Iaijustu Cut techniques require a sheathed, razor-edged weapon, but considering Edgeless Sword does affect your unarmed profiles, and specifically adds razor-edged, you do find yourself in a strange place of questioning if you can have a "sheathed" unarmed attack - that is up to your GM but if they decide putting your hand in your pocket or some such could count as sheathed, then you're good to go (probably because you are rank 5 at this point or so, it is an extreme corner case, and it is hilarious). The rest, and frankly the vast majority, either explicitly call out Unarmed as usable, or simply state a "weapon" and using the appropriate skill to that weapon. The sidebar on page 237 gives us the information required for this case, in stating that you can use unarmed attack profiles explicitly as weapons for use with techniques. Now, Shuriken I had never really thought of - but again, 1 specialist weapon, with negative associations, combined with 1 school ability, and 1 rank 5 Kiho is part of your argument against a more generous reading of the entire schools ability? Why not simply rule that you can't use it with Shuriken, or more broadly, ranged weapons at all, as that is obviously in keeping with the theme as presented. To sum up, this seems like some pretty far reaching to me - again, no offense intended and you and your group should play it how it works best for you all to have fun but I can't help but read that and think the position doesn't make sense.
  11. Noting that this was originally a topic surrounding Togashi Monks ... By my reading, there are 23 Kiho in the main book. Of those, my reading is that for Sharpened Ki (Taoist Blade School ability) there are 5 that are in, 14 that are out, and 4 that are "maybes". I will not bother listing those that are out, as I believe those would be non-controversial. For those that are in: Earth Fist, Air Fist, Fire Fist, Water Fist, and Way of the Edgeless Sword. This is based on the reading of "profile" basically being in listed in the ability as well as the premise that Water Fist is the only Kiho Taoist Blade starts with, and say what you will about the rules in general, I absolutely refuse to believe they would start off with only 1 Kiho that was explicitly not used with their school ability. For those that are "maybe": Breaking Blow, Way of the Falling Star, Freezing the Lifeblood, and Death Touch. This is based on the more generalist interpretation that "punch" and "kick" are simply a subset of "unarmed profiles" and that the reading of "unarmed profiles" is not explicitly "all unarmed profiles". IE - the plural could be read as "one or more profiles in the unarmed profiles category" as opposed to "all profiles in the unarmed category". So, to give some context and by way of comparison, a Togashi Monk is limited to 6 (1 each rank) tattoo to get the +bonus success school ability on (as mentioned above), and the more liberal reading above would give Taoist's 9 Kiho to potentially get that effect on. However, one could compare the *other* benefit each school gets as well - Taoist get to use 1 handed weapon with those Kiho, while Togashi get potentially 6 free Kiho. The Taoist needs to spend those 3xp per to benefit, and if you look at their curriculum, takes a hit in school advancement somewhere along the way if they do, as only Water, Earth and Void Kiho are listed - not Fire or Air. For me, it works out well enough with the liberal reading that it isn't over balanced but to each their own. Limiting the Taoist to a strict 5 (4?) Kiho that get affected by their school ability to me is overbearing and also consider that way of the edgeless sword is essentially useless as concerned with the Sharpened Ki school ability - it replaces the profile with Void+Unarmed skill, so using it with your fists is just as effective as a katana ...
  12. From my perspective, it was a conscious design choice drawn from the need to balance the core mechanics. Because a die pool is made up from Attribute and Skill, and all characters will have at least some value in all 6 Attributes, all characters start off with some chance of success on all skill checks. Maybe not a good chance, but a chance nonetheless. This intrinsically makes Attributes more valuable than Skills, as increasing a Skill makes you better at one thing, but increasing an Attribute makes you better at a lot of things. As the OP stated, this could be balanced by making it possible to raise Attributes directly with XP, but at a commensurately more expensive ratio. However, that could still easily lead to characters prioritizing Attributes over Skills and even Talents, resulting in Characters that lack depth or differentiation. 4 Characters in a group who ended up with 3's in all their Attributes, and only their starting Skills, would end up playing very similar in practice. So, as stated above, the designers moved Attribute increases in to Specialization Talents. Specializations and Talents cost XP, of course, so really you are still dealing with an XP cost, and it is relatively more expensive than just raising a Skill, as it should be but you also get Talent differentiation between Characters along the way, by necessity. For example, Scoundrel and Thief both have a straight path to Dedication in their Trees, so the XP cost for raising an Attribute by 1 could be considered to be 75 XP (5+10+15+20+25). However, by picking up the Talents along the way, you know the Smuggler who advances down Scoundrel will play differently than the Smuggler who advances down Thief. So my advice would be to explain to your player(s) that Attributes can be raised with XP, just not directly, and that the system isn't designed to keep them from becoming powerful, but rather the system is designed to help ensure that as they become powerful, they also have depth.
  13. I think this was essentially answered in the original post: (Modified Quotes for brevity/clarity) Additionally, this was added later: Which contrasts with this: Which can be combined to be understood, that PC's and Nemeses can not be easily killed and that this chart helps to rectify that, and really goes back to points 1 and 2 in the OP. Personally, I believe the intent of the combat design in EotE was to avoid an overly lethal system, and so it was purposefully hard to kill, even with a crit. If you and your players are happier with this house rule, more power to you. For myself, I think the Crit table works well enough as is, and wouldn't bother trying to create and balance a new table. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of mentality.
  14. You defeat a minion with 5 wound threshold when it has 6 wounds (have to exceed the threshold). ^ indeed per RAW. Which has always thrown me as far as tracking minion group WT. Wouldn't a more accurate accounting of minion WT include that extra point? So the group of 4 would have WT of 24 instead of 20 and one drops at 6? Not quite. A Minion group has a Wound Threshold (WT) equal to the sum of the total WT of the minions that make up the group (EotE, pg 390). So, 4 Minions that each individually have a WT of 5 have a Minion Group WT of 20. Individual members of the group are defeated as wounds applied to the group exceed their portion of the total WT of the group (EotE, pg 390). So, when 6 wounds have been applied to the Minion Group WT of 20, one member of that group is defeated, as its contribution to the total is 5 WT. When 11 wounds have been applied 2 members portions of the total (5+5=10) have been exceeded, so two minions drop. This ends up consistent with the normal rules for WT (EotE, pg 215) as the last member and the group itself will be defeated when the total wounds done exceeds the total group WT amount. Breakpoints work out as follows: 1-5 out of 20 WT = All 4 members up 6-10 out of 20 WT = 3 Members up, 1 Member defeated 11-15 out of 20 WT = 2 Members up, 2 Members defeated 16-20 out of 20 WT = 1 Member up, 3 Member defeated 21+ out of 20 WT = 0 Member up, 4 Members defeated You can also look it like this: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 | 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 | 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 | 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 | 6 11 16 21 The real purpose for this, as far as I can discern it, is that it prevents overflow damage from being wasted on individual minions. If you kept the minions in a group WT separate, and did 13 damage (after soak) to one minion with a WT of 5, you have definitely exceeded the WT, but since you really only needed 6 to exceed, you will have wasted 7 damage. By pooling the WT but still dropping minions as their portion is exceeded, the whole 13 damage would be applied to the total, and following are example above, 2 minions would be dropped, and you would 2 points in to dropping a 3rd.
  15. 1) As stated above, the basic FFG Star Wars system really doesn't penalize you for not being trained in a skill; hence, anyone can try anything and if operating within commiserate boundaries, have a reasonable chance of success. Sure 2 Ability dice isn't a great die pool, but you can still succeed on an Average difficulty check sometimes. Throw in assisting actions and other ways of gaining boost dice, you can do alright even without being invested in an area. 2) Opportunities for growth. Sure, they are specialized in certain areas, but that doesn't mean that can't grow in other areas as well. You may find that as challenges become evident outside their specialty areas, they players choose to invest in other areas to become at least nominally proficient. I wouldn't be surprised to see each player maybe pick at least one other area besides "combat / stealth" and handle it over time. If they really do all share the same expertise, I imagine they will get tired of all taking the same actions and doing the same things and will mix it up. 3) Present players with challenges, and let them decide how to handle it. Sure, they'll trend towards their strengths, and that is fine; just play it out as makes sense, and ensure the players understand the consequences of their actions. Locked door is ahead of you (challenge). The players have a multitude of options on how to proceed. Pick the lock, break it down, convince a security guard to open it, cut a hole in the wall, hide and wait for someone else to open the door, etc, etc. Each one of those can potentially overcome the challenge, and each one has its own inherent consequences. So you really don't have to plan anything different than normal - present the story and it will play out.
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