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About SonofScarlet

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  1. First, I am praying for an Isawa Eju card before he's inevitably replaced by Uona. We need more male air and water shugenja and more female fire and earth shugenja. Second, they could always be shifting ages again and Tomo could be much younger. Whether he'd still be Kaede and Tadaka's sibling (assuming their relation is still canon) is completely up in the air.
  2. On signature abilities there's no argument. One is direct work with the Force (Prophesy), and the other is all about Force powers (Unmatched Destiny). That is clearly on the side of the Mystic. Though out of the powers you mentioned that grant power with the force, only two of those are not Dark Side related (induce auto conflict), and of those only one actually helps the character's Force rolls without automatically opening them up to Conflict (natural mystic). Unlike Empty Soul and One with the Universe which go contrary to the Consular modus operendi of buffing others and only help the character. The design has been very solid, and removing any kind of fluff descriptors I think its very well balanced. I just think (and this is just me here) mystic isn't necessarily my go-to spec anymore for a Force heavy character or one who's dedicated to Force-based mechanics. Sure once I've mustered enough experience for Unmatched Destiny, maybe, but before that Sage/Ascetic reads way better than Seer/Prophet unless I'm specifically going down the path of corruption, then yeah, nothing beats Seer/Magus.
  3. So, I'm probably not the first one to say this but... After Unlimited Power, does it feel like the Mystic and Consular have switched flavor? I mean between Advisor and Prophet being social-focused and the Makashi duelist being Presence-based it makes the Mystic decidedly "Face" heavy. Meanwhile, Consular has Sage (a more int based Seer) that gives +2 Force Rating and One With the Universe; Ascetic, that gives Empty Soul; and the Nimen Disciple that is about blending the Force with your dueling style. Now, force-use does not a mystic make, but still, even the flavor of the abilities in the Consular specs tends to focus on self-knowledge, connection to a greater power, and enlightenment way more than the mystic specializations. I suppose Magus makes an argument against that, but it's also inherently linked with a very possible "dark path." I'm not sure what my overall point is, but I just thought I'd bring it up.
  4. We know the base signature abilities for Unlimited Power, but have the been expanded upon anywhere in this thread? I haven't seen it. Like, where they attach to a tree, and what upgrades they get?
  5. I like the change to fatigue. I look at combat less, now as a battle of a thousand cuts and more of a trading of blows meant to stymie and exhaust your opponent until that one fateful cut. People, I feel should definitely narrate their scenes differently because of that. With talk about how an opponent's blow knocked them off balance and the effort it took to regain their footing, or how they just barely parried their opponent's swing with a planted foot and swift up cut that caused a hitch in their breath. Breath in particular being a very prominent aspect of combat.
  6. To a certain extent I agree, but I think a major part of the problem is mitigated by rituals not adding to most school advancement, making them an unappealing option for most save priests. I mean, the same watering down could be said about Shuji, which everyone seems to get. But the fact that courtier's actually advance by learning them means that they will, with very few exceptions, be the one's most likely to learn them. Now other random persons will have maybe one or two over the course of their whole advancement, but courtiers, by design will have 6-8 of them. Sure there might be some bushi or courtiers out there that know a ritual or two, but every shugenja more or less has 2 by default, and is likely to learn others in the final print of the rules.
  7. Personal reflections after a couple days to absorb the rules, create characters, and do a few simple roleplaying test-runs with friends online.... The Good -The dice mechanics are actually really straight forward in practice. And it does feel that the system is balanced for beginning characters. That there are really only four symbols is good, though explosions, while traditional, do add to complexity. Still, when you're rolling you're just tallying rather than cancelling out (i.e. like in SWRPG). Also, I like controlling my choices and weighing my options with the dice. There have been times I took a suboptimal dice pool to keep just so I could avoid additional strife. It definitely is a wonderful reversal of the raise system. Instead of shooting for the moon with the chance of missing, now you hit and choose how much you're willing to suffer for the result you want. Very thematic. -Clan/Family/School base mechanics. What I mean by this are those trait and skill options that form the core of the character. I know there's been some debate by people who don't like family giving preset skills. I personally like it as a representation of just generic knowledge that any member of that Clan/Family should know just by virtue of that culture. Like a more concrete version of the clan knowledge sidebars. These give a very definite feel to the Clans/Families, and then schools end up being more flexible (which they always have been since most had 1-3 skills you chose anyway). -Preset school abilities. I like the feel of the preset abilities for Rank 1 and Rank 6 characters. They are thematic and give a good flavor to the school, and tend to manipulate the way techniques are utilized by the school, which is an interesting metasystem. -Technique mechanics. Thus far I really love the mechanics that the techniques employ and their types. I love the concept of rough equivalents of bushi techniques (kata), courtier techniques (shuiji), monk techniques (kiho), shugenja techniques (invocations), and generic (spiritual) techniques (rituals). They do what I want them to do, but simultaneously don't feel like they overshadow any other. The shugenja can do some amazing things, but they also have to make checks in order to do them and may suffer backlash. Meanwhile monks can do very similar things, but only have 1 thing active at a time. Bushi are definitely the stars of combat. Even with offensive kiho and invocations, kata really manipulate the combat system and if clan specific kata like those shown are any indication of clan-specific kata we're not seeing, then bushi are going to be wonderful masters of martial arts. -Speaking of which, combat. While there is some worry about the TN 2 to hit anyone, reading through the techniques has me believing that stagnant TNs to Hit will not be a concern. True, some schools start off better than others in that respect, but the openness of technique purchase seems to provide players with options to mitigate damage, avoid being hit, and apply tactics to deny your opponent attack options. And that's outside of the basic stances which themselves are small, but potent benefits that I believe are quite balanced amongst themselves. The Iffy - Number of Techniques. These are a mixed blessing, and are where I can see the dreaded parallels to 4e D&D. Unlike the easy talent trees of SWRPG that give us options to choose from to enhance our character, this system is a bit more open-ended. Freedom of choice is good, but I know for some it might be overwhelming. While I like the technique system personally, I can see it being difficult to grasp for new players to the game. The sheer volume of techniques, and each school getting access to 3 different kinds is a little daunting. Now the talents system is really no better in terms of sheer volume of abilities than the techniques system, but there's something about the tree structure that gave it a kind of orderliness. I dunno. I really can't make up my mind about which way I prefer or whether there's really no difference at all in terms of complexity. The Bad - Rules formatting. What I mean is the really quite convoluted way that the dice and character creation system are set up. Now they're inteligable enough, but the initial dice mechanics make the rolling system seem so complicated when it's not. Also, it does put the cart before the horse, so to speak. It really should be the players describing their approach and then the GM/Player together determining the appropriate Ring/Skill to roll for that approach. Rather than tailoring your approach to the dice pool. But otherwise, it's just a complicated way of saying "Choose your ring. Choose your skill. Check advantages and disadvantages for modifiers to the pool. Then roll, and tally results." I get that rules lawyers exist, but even this seems excessive. It's, ironically, clarity to the point of confusion. The same for character creation. As others have pointed out, a simple outline of the steps would be helpful for any new player, with the question and what it provides mechanically (if anything). And the advancement tables should really be with their school. That way you have all of your school information (aside from technique specifics which really do need to be separated out into their own chapter) in one place. Otherwise it's fairly straight-forward.
  8. That raises the question foremost in my mind about schools. Not whether we'll see more schools in the core, we will, but what additional options may become available in the future. The Lion's Pride is an excellent example because it has become so iconic to the Lion, but ever since it's inception has been an advanced school, and was the first such school for the Lion in 2e. How will they execute that? Perhaps as alternate techniques with greater prerequisites? Likewise there are schools like Isawa Tensai which were until 4e, base schools, but in 4e were an alternate path school. Will they go back to being a full school? Be braided into the Isawa Elementalist? Or kami forbid gotten rid of entirely? Very exciting to eventually see.
  9. Read the Kiho section and I think you'll definitely see a strong Wuxia theme going on there. But then Rokugan was always something of a mishmash of East Asian cultures (Mongolia, China, Japan, Korea, and even Thailand). Yes, mostly Japanese, but, I mean, come on....Fu Leng?
  10. That's amusing and all, but that's only one possible interpretation of those rules. The whole point of the strife system seems to be to make players think about the emotional landscape of their characters. And not every "outburst" (as they're called) is some dramatic display of shirt rending and screaming. They are any way in which a player loses their composure, which in a setting as stoic as Rokugani tries to be, that can be as simple as letting out a sigh of frustration, dabbing at watering eyes, or even walking away to compose yourself at an inappropriate moment. Yes, some of the narrative is forced on players, but in my opinion (and my opinion only), not in a overwhelming way. Firstly a player can always choose which dice to keep, and it's stated outright that they can choose to fail rather than "lose face." Otherwise, if they do choose to suffer an outburst, then its up to them to come up with a creative and "in-character" way that it happens that feels organic to the scene.
  11. Okay, liking what I'm seeing thus far. Overview article paints a good mix of old and new. We'll see if a hybrid system works. Could be the best of both worlds or be a confused mish-mash. Though already loving the focus on the internal and having emotions be an active aspect of the mechanics that makes players think. Very risk vs. reward setup with a narrative flair. A tentative optimism blooms.
  12. The better question with modern FFG seems to be whether we'll get an official PDF of the final game. Physical copies seems to be a given.
  13. Oh gosh. Well, another elder from way back in the day with 1e. I've played every itereration of l5r (suffering through 2e and the WotC era). I was introduced to the setting by friends who liked this new-fangled L5R thing (it was actually around 3 years old at the time), and fell in love with the lore, the tragedy, the drama. It was great. Friends knew I loved elemental magic and spirits and so gave me my first character, an Isawa Air Tensai. I was the yoriki to one of the other PCs, a large, gruff, unappreciative Moto Emerald Magistrate. And that led to the sessions that truly drove home the game for me, as a small long-suffering Phoenix yoriki who, in the parlance of the now was ever so much "Notice me senpai!" Now, 18 years later, I've playtested two editions (about to be three I suppose), and my love for Rokugan hasn't diminished. And I remain as devoted as ever to my Phoenix Clan. You know....because we're the best. Oh, also played the CCG, but only casually, and was never really good at it.
  14. I agree with much of that, though I would say that overall the Kitsune is only getting a 1exp advantage over the Moshi because the Kitsune had to also spend exp on picking up "Different School" which costs 3 points. Actually my bigger issue is when that happens internally within a clan. Like one, usually non-shugenja, family gets to double up on trait bonuses while the shugenja family does not making it a somewhat more optimized build with no cost. There are obvious setting issues to take into account, and a general lean in l5r away from min-max, but it's an interesting issue. For Star Wars I'm much more against the way they handled their trait system. Now I understand the notion of player choice and what they choose to spend their exp on and all that, but I have rarely been a fan of those stagnant trait systems where post-chargen there's no movement, which had to be bought using the same pool of points as everything else on my character. What I mean is that for something as essential and far reaching as traits I feel it balances the game and makes a far less "high-stakes" environment by offering players a resource pool specific to traits that they can then spend as they choose independent of the rest of their character (skills, abilities, advantages, powers, etc.). I'm not saying Star Wars is bad by any means, but it does have the possibility of having a player spend all of their initial experience just on traits, and rewards such builds, while the one who spends very little on traits in favor of a skill or ability heavy character is punished mechanically. And I don't think that's necessarily good. A good character generation should make me feel as though my choice of build is valid rather than required.
  15. On the subject of katana, I love the idea of them being the "socially acceptable" armament for samurai (as part of the daisho), which is why there is a ubiquity of katana. However, I echo what others have said. They are useful because of that aspect not to the detriment of other martial advances. Those other weapons are merely seen more as tools of war rather than as station. Mostly I would like to see this reflected in setting and mechanics if only because the notion of the katana being "a civilized weapon of a more civilized time" is so much Western tropism as to be painful to watch. During much of the history of samurai culture was more typified as "the way of horse and bow" (Kyuba no michi). That demarcated the samurai martial training. Now I'm not saying we suddenly need to only have horses and bows, but a shift away from simplifying a culture down to a single ubiquitous weapon could have very positive results.
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