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  1. 1 & 2: Agree. Though to be fair, I'm gonna lump myself in a new group: those that felt 4e was sufficiently flawed that they're very ready to like something that's significantly different. I might be the only member, but I'm guessing not. I imagine it's difficult to determine how large a grain of salt to take with forum feedback. It's not like anyone participating in the forums is a run-of-the-mill L5R player. It's the folks that care enough to show up--be they old L5R fans, current FFG fans, or serial beta testers. Dunno that the forum group is a representative sample of customers. And another thing that complicates assessing forum feedback: folks aren't always great at differentiating "I don't like this mechanic because it's different" vs "I don't like this mechanic, but it works" vs "This mechanic doesn't work". Each is different. And the better people can communicate the difference, the better info FFG will have. 3. Saaaaaaaame.
  2. My group's enjoying it. Busy preppin the next session now. Will post more later, if I finish my prep in time. (Wish me luck--adding a city & it's inhabitants....) Not perfect. Some stuff I hope gets changed. I think the timeline is a little optimistic.
  3. There are other levels listed with it though. Am I missing something? Not at my table I really like this approach, actually, for a couple reasons. Schools don’t (and shouldn’t) give credit for everything, just stuff relevant to the school. Just like IRL. You don't get a physics degree by taking mostly literature classes. Second, char advancement as-is offers players a dramatic choice--will I be a carbon copy? How much space can I give myself to be my own person? Plus, now there's no race to get to rank 3 for a second attack. The pressure to advance is much lower. You don't win the game by going up in school rank Being a well rounded character is its own reward. The following is a response to the quote below it, because mobile forum formatting: Assuming the tables are in different campaigns, it doesn’t matter if they have different XP rates. It matters that they both have *fun* XP rates. No need to be consistent across tables, just within a table If both tables want to go from rank 1-5 in one year, and one group meets weekly and the other monthly, of course they’ll have different advancement rates.
  4. @AK_Aramis I think it seems high, too. If we assume a 4 hour play session (which gives 8 xp/session RAW), and a significant milestone (3 to 5 xp, avg = 4) every 4 sessions, we can average 9 xp/session. At 9 XP/session, you go from gempukku to rank 4 in 7 sessions. Seems quite quick. But that's assuming you only buy things off your advancement table, which could be boring. @nameless ronin I do. The rules updates already have guidelines about how much starting XP to give depending on how experienced the characters should be.
  5. Aha! Excellent analysis, @Exarkfr thanks!
  6. No, AFAIK. Check the Resistance sidebar on p. 145 By a conservative reading, no: Open Hand Style inflicts a condition. Though forcing the target to change stance doesn't seem to be a persistent effect, technically. So who knows. By a strict reading of the main opportunities table, you can, but it costs 4 <OP>. Also, "I should not have to turn a sword into something other than a sword to do this" is a simulationist argument, but there aren't a ton of simulationist mechanics.
  7. I’m guessing it’s mostly that the beta has been out for over a month, and there’s not as much to talk about with updates. *Especially* for those in the polished-4e-or-bust camp I’ve got threads I want to follow up on, but I’ve got other gaming stuff on my plate, too I’ll get them eventually. I imagine others are in a similar boat.
  8. Isn't it up to the player though, if their character would bargain or be convinced? It's the same problem, just lower stakes. Like if the player wants to kill the NPC, but they make their life-bargain check, the player just lost agency. Similarly, if the character now believes something new that the player didn't want the character to believe, the player has lost agency. Huh. Considering this... maybe the first two conditions for a check ("Could a character succeed?" and "Could a character fail?") preclude any persuasion checks that target PCs in a narrative scene or conflict. Here's my thinking: Assuming that the GM cannot tell the player who their character is, what they believe/think, or what they do--only the player can decide if a check against their character could possibly succeed or fail. If it cannot succeed, there's no check required. If it can succeed that means the player has an idea of some argument/form of persuasion that would convince their character. In which case, there's still no check required; the would-be-persuader only needs to make the right argument. Which kind of answers my original questions--by this logic, social-oriented PCs get a bit of a PVP nerf because their persuasion mechanics become ineffective. Though persuasion checks could still be used in a downtime scene (as long as success is possible) in lieu of roleplaying.
  9. My group has had a wonderful experience with "The Art of Investigation" so far. In 4e, and in many other games, players with investigation enter a room and then try to press A to investigate. Players--even the investigator--checks out until the investigation check is done. In contrast, when using "The Art of Investigation"--my players listen to my description of an environment, then follow up with specific questions/actions related to their skills. Everyone was engaged and involved. That, to me, is the biggest benefit of "The Art of Investigation": there's a chance for everyone to contribute and engage in the scene, not just the character with the highest investigation skill. Maybe it's not perfectly simulationist, but it's a good game mechanic (especially for a setting in which procedural investigation is a quirky practice of a strange family). That said, I wouldn't be opposed to adding a knowledge-gate system like the Angry GM describes in this article about D&D. Gating certain information behind a ring or skill rank instead of behind a check avoids both "just giving away" clues and stalling the investigation when characters fail a roll. Thanks for sharing your experience! Always nice when someone can contribute more than mere speculation on a controversial topic. The important thing that such training demonstrates is that Investigation is learnable--i.e. characters should be able to spend XP to get better at it. What it doesn't demonstrate is that it must be a "Skill" in this game. And indeed, you can spend XP on it in this game: up your Water (which will raise your Survey), and up your Air (which will raise your Analyze). For some non-XP representations of such training, consider taking a Distinction, or playing a Kitsuki. Exactly!!! It's super important. None of the other important systems are reduced to one single check of one single skill. Look at combat: there's five separate skills , five stances, a ton of techniques, and many kinds of weapons and armor. It's more complicated than "press A for combat", as it should be. If investigation is as important as Intrigues or Duels, of course it should be more complicated than a single skill check! I dunno. If it's so important, maybe it should have it's own subsystem. Though it'd be weird to structure it like a Conflict--with assessment and turns and resolution. To me, spreading investigation out over all skills seems like a kind of compromise between having a single skill and having a whole other system. Also, general comment: for those groups that are getting stumped by "The Art of Investigation", don't forget that you can OP spend to learn the best approach and skill.
  10. For me/my group/most players I know, the issue isn't roleplaying something you don't believe. After all, that's good fun in an RPG! The issue is that when social mechanics dictate what a character believes or how they behave, the mechanics basically change who that character is. And it's an issue that occurs whenever a PC is the target of persuasion social mechanics, regardless of whether the persuader is an NPC or a PC. Imagine a maho tsukai speaking to a Kuni Purifier. "Come to the dark side, the kansen have cookies" (or something more realistic). If we give that NPC a simple Courtesy (or whatever) check to persuade the Kuni--even if the TN is super high--there's a chance that the mayo-tsukai will succeed... and the Kuni will "be convinced"... and they'll become a totally different character. What's the problem? Well, the PC is the player's avenue into the game/story. Social mechanics--when used as I've just described--take away player agency. The player loses control of their character. When the kuni becomes a maho-tsukai simply because of a roll (as opposed to because of a choice), it breaks immersion. The player has a choice: Play a maho-tsukai--which is completely antithetical to the character concept and his arc so far... or play a new character, and lose the one they've grown attached to after so many adventures. Can't combat change a fundamentally change character? What if an archer gets his arm lopped off? Sure. That will absolutely change the arc for that character. But the player remained in control of their character even when they suffered the strike that took the arm. The character may become a different person as a reaction, rather than as a direct consequence.
  11. I'm not sure it's quite this silly. If we check the order of events on p. 168 (regarding damage, fatigue, critical strikes, and incapacitated), we can see it runs like this: When a character is damaged, they take Fatigue (formerly Wounds) After suffering Fatigue, if Fatigue > Resilience, the character suffers a Critical Strike After resolving critical strikes, if Fatigue > Resilience, the character becomes Incapacitated So the Critical Strike and Incapacitated have the same trigger, and Incapacitated doesn't happen until after the Critical Strike. The only way that a character can be Incapacitated without suffering a Critical Strike is if they get it from some other effect, which would provide a narrative reason. That said, it's possible for a critical strike to have 0 severity, which doesn't hurt the character, and instead makes the armor Damaged. Which seems like the most gamey part of it to me. Resilience seems like a lot, but it's not huge. When my group played the module, the Goblin minion group incapacitated a Togashi monk in two turns (granted... everyone else was fine...). Armor will help you make the most of your Resilience. But armor won't help you much against critical strikes, as they don't affect severity at all (at least by default... maybe there's a Kata or something I'm neglecting). Though it does protect you from Fatigue, which can protect you from Critical Strikes happening at all. Honestly, I like this system better than 4e. In 4e, if you didn't hit first, you were facing wound penalties. And if you were in a "fair fight" against opponents with similar stats, you were pretty much done. Which might be an interesting story to read or watch, but it's not necessarily the most rewarding game experience, at least for my group. I'm not either (think I've said this elsewhere) Seems like the major benefit would have been incorporating bushi or monk school rank into Resilience to represent experienced fighters not getting hit, but instead school rank affects Air Stance.
  12. Based on posts in other threads, I've been wondering if PvP does or does not work in this game, and to what extent. I haven't looked into it thoroughly yet, but I thought I'd at least start a thread to get the ball rolling. Most recently, my curiosity is raised by @Teveshszat's post in a different thread. So, does PvP work? The follow-up questions is "is it balanced"? Would any mechanic see a huge nerf or hand a PC a steam roller? I have no idea about this yet. Off the top of my head, I'm not seeing anything that indicates that duels, skirmishes, and mass battles wouldn't work. I'm guessing Mass Battles would work best, but I'm not positive (Earth and Water OP spends could really bog it down, and Akodo Commander really shines when taking out cohorts). But intrigues and Shuji are a different story. Intrigues & Shuji I don't think rhetorical points would work very particularly well for PvP. Applying that to PVP seems similar to "Okay this other character made their Courtesy roll, so now you have to agree with them". Which is a pretty un-fun way to play. (especially when players can actually argue dance, puppets!). Though I could see it working as: A clock, if PCs have already been debating something a long time. When enough rhetorical points have been accumulated, and the GM wants to force them to make a decision to keep the game moving ("For the love of god, make a decision! Any decision! Ahhhhhh!) Establish who "won", for the sake of NPC witnesses. While some Shuji would work fine (The Wind Blows Both Ways, Fanning the Flames), others are questionable (Whispers of Court, since--without houseruling--it would force PCs targeted with the technique to give the rumor credence; or Pillar of Calm, since it forces characters to see reason--yes yes I know pillars of calm isn't for intrigues).
  13. Haven't yet had the chance to fully catch up on this thread.... but as far as skills go, my group is loving that there's no general perception or investigation skill. Before, my group felt that we just had to wait around while the one character who was good at looking for stuff did their thing, but now they feel they can all meaningfully contribute to an investigation. Which is good, because our games often feature those. When you do have that one character that's particularly good at investigation, they're a Kitsuki, which is fitting. To be clear, this is a narrative and gamist preference--give each character and each player something to do to move an investigation forward. Whether or not it is accurate simulation is ... probably outside most of our (forum users) pay grades, and not important to us because we find this method fun.
  14. Agreed. Renaming "Wounds" to "fatigue" seems like the sort of change to make if they represent avoiding hits, as well as bearing through them. Plus, courtier schools could buff composure, while bushi and monks buff resilience. Dunno about shugenja though. (Ninjas wouldn't buff anything because there are no ninjas what are you talking about). Though personally I'd prefer raising resilience to shedding fatigue; I'm not a fan of healing abilities that work mid-combat. Might create a similar problem to the 4e void spend to prevent 10 wounds. Tactically potent, but just dragged out combats.
  15. The old fear mechanic was great. Hope they add one. A kernel of an idea: a "fear ability" could add a condition like "Afraid", which makes a character compromised (like when strife exceeds composure) until they remove the Afraid condition with a check (... Meditation?). The check should probably scale. Or something nasty dice penalty and strife dumping. But strife alone seems insufficient.