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  1. I consider the beginner games big deal being finally getting another official version of the Topaz Championship .
  2. Any idea if they are going to release the Beginner's Game?
  3. I'm glad people are mostly on board with the increased cost. Does 5 sound about right? That's what my group settled on after I made this post.
  4. Just in case the devs are still reading, I haven't seen a big topic on this: what do you think of the cost of rings, for XP purposes. My players all think they are way too low. They are suggesting at least 5 or 6 xp. Even with reduced XP, which we have been playing with since about week 4, their rings have been going up WAY too fast. Ranks aside, my shugenjas are already joking about taking on the elemental masters based sheerly on their rings and skills.
  5. Looks to me like they left the old update to the center action in, erroneously referencing page 163, when they added the new one for page 162. As near as I can tell the one for 163, duels should be ignored and supplanted by the new center action and predict action.
  6. The pull request finished today and the Roll20 character sheet for the beta is now generally available from the character sheet pull down. You no longer need to be a Pro user and install it as a custom sheet. I update these FAIRLY quickly, usually over the weekend, but the official, freely available sheet, will always lag a little behind, as I have to wait for the pull request to go through and they are done in batches.
  7. I understand where you're coming from here, but in my experience, this is the exception, no the rule. It might be the case in the example of my Ronin, above, but most of the time, the NPC has no reason to spend void until they meet the party. They are rarely getting into giant epic battles that before they meet the PCs. When they would have used the, I can drop the NPCs void in those situations. Both your concerns, the party running out and the NPCs spending before, were theoretically issues in all previous versions of the game, and they've never come up for me. If an NPC needed to be down a couple, I just dropped them a couple. I had the pool to spend if I needed them. I didn't need to spend them if I didn't have to. I've never heard anyone in any campaign complain about it being an issue, either in one I've run, or played in, or one I've heard about. Honestly, most GMs forget about them until it's too late, but it's nice to have them there when they are necessary.
  8. Yeah, clarifying the player choice totally fixes that.
  9. So the beginning of my playtest Saturday turned into a long discussion on why my game group is itching to give up on the playtest and go back to 4th edition (I actually thought things were going better than this, so it took me a bit off guard). I've already listed the four critical areas they don't like (rings not affecting passive play, bushi advancement being skewed against shugenja advancement, etc), but a few more came out. I thought I should mention. Ring Cost They all, universally, thought that Rings were too cheap and that they were already getting too close to the five limit too soon. I think the big issue here is that we used to have to raise two stats to raise a ring, but now we just need to raise the ring itself, so that throws off the speed of advancement. The cost of a ring seems too close to the cost of a skill to them. After discussing, we thought that maybe bumping the cost about 50%, with a proportional (I'm not sure what the proportion is, though) bump on the cost for going up a rank as well. That seems like it would fix their issue. Spending Opportunity During Play They just aren't having fun in combat. I pointed out that none of them were making use of the more narrative possibilities of the narrative dice and every one of them responded with surprise that this was a thing. I went back and checked and creative uses of opportunities is basically addressed in just one sentence. That sentence hits the concept pretty hard, but it's at the very beginning and the rest of the book undermines it pretty thoroughly. By the time they'd all finished reading the book, they'd forgotten that they'd read that. I hesitate to mention my background, but I can tell you from experience I know whereof I speak here. This is pretty easily fixed by just touching on the concept repeatedly throughout the text, mentioning the creative option first and then the mechanical options second. Don't get me wrong, we are all Star Wars players and the wealth of mechanical options fixes the number one problem with the Star Wars game. We need these mechanical options. They keep the game from miring down when someone can't come up with a clever idea. But there are just so many of them, that it's hard to drill into people's head that they aren't the end-all-be-all of opportunity spending. (I had the same problem with D&D 4th Edition. There were so many mechanical pieces in combat, I had a hard time getting huge roleplayers to keep the roleplaying flowing once the miniatures hit the board, even though once they did, they proved they could roleplay just as much with that system as with something Theater of the Mind. You just go to the toolbox presented to you with the most tools.) Anyway, I kept hitting that all through Saturday's session, and they liked it much more. Still Hate Tactical Ranges, Still Love Tactical Movement We haven't had an update since the tactical rules came out and I made my post, but they complained about it at great length, so I feel obliged to mention it again. They pointed out, without my making the analogy, that a bow can't shoot to first base. Cookie Cutter Character Creation They complained that character creation made "cookie cutter characters" and that the characters felt "off the shelf." I drilled down on this one until I thought I got to the heart of the matter, and it boiled down to the 20 questions actually felt like it took away their options rather than giving them more. The fact that all of character creation came down to a multiple choice test was pretty depressing to them. You fixed some with couple skill changes you've made in the updates since, but the big one I already mentioned in another post as well. Still, every one of them complained. Advantages and Disadvantages. They wanted a pool of points to play with as they pleased for advantages and disadvantages. They really wanted you to break the whole structure of your advantage/disadvantage system to kill the sameness of them. they want advantages that do weird things. They want disadvantages that are purely narrative. They want a point system with a maximum so that my crazy player can take twice as many points in disadvantages as he's supposed to and only claim the maximum points. (I know he could do this now, but with them all feeling the same, there was no fun in it). I mentioned it in passing in my other post, but this is the hill they are willing to die on, and it's probably the reason I won't be able to run this system when it comes out. I was actually kinda surprised by the passion there. Anyway, this, the passive rings matter, and the sameness of the bushi from my other post are the three things most likely to lose you sales with my group. Adversities On that subject, just a bit of clarification is needed. The book currently states that adversities cause a character gain 3 strife. And if the strife gained "causes the character to suffer an unmasking, regain 1 Void point." Now that gaining strife does not force an unmasking, Should that be "become compromised" not "suffer an unmasking"? Maybe it should be "become compromised and immediately suffer an unmasking." Anyway, that probably needs to be clarified in an upcoming update. NPC Void Points This one is mine. I think all NPCs should start with maximum Void Points. Right now you have them gaining points like PCs, but NPCs do not get enough scene real estate to make this practical. Assuming you expect PCs to gain void points regularly during play (unlike mine, who haven't got the knack yet), I think NPCs should just start at full. They are in and out too fast to play much with the void economy and would be getting their gains off stage, as it were. Like the Ronin in the starting adventure. He's had all sorts of stuff go down before the PCs show up, and has probably had plenty of chances to gain void points before that duel. He should not be starting at half maximum. He's had a rich life.
  10. Exakkfr, thanks for that. I've been annotating the main PDF with all the updates, but I missed that one.
  11. I've never had a minion group take a group action. Individual actions don't seem like that much work to me, I just have them go in the same initiative. I have them all on group strife, though. The rules specifically advise against minion groups bigger than 6, so four has never seemed unwieldy to me. The only thing it effects is that group strife which changes as they die anyway. Just realized that minions don't get a benefit from fire stance, so our goblin example actually doesn't work, but the overall problem remains since it still exists with adversaries. I'm still just tearing these people up with fire stance. I'm just doing it with more competent opponents there. I just used the goblin example because that's what they fought in our tactical grid playtest Saturday so they were fresh in my mind and seemed ironic.
  12. My preference on diagonals, in order: 1.5 1 Ruler/Manual measure. 2 I can use hexes, in theory, but I have a HUGE body of grid maps prebought through Kickstarter.
  13. Quick. Walk me through the math on how three groups of four is more dangerous than four groups of three. I can't see it, and that might mean I missed a rule somewhere. Just because we disagree doesn't mean I can't learn from you.
  14. We tested the tactical grid rules this weekend. We've been using a tactical grid on Roll20, using pretty much a direct conversion of range bands, with me using the middle of the range band for movement when in doubt, since the beginning. We were mid-battle when the rules update came out and that changed a battle that should have been a near TPK (I designed it so that the party would need to call in reinforcements) into an easy romp. Here were the unanimous opinions of my players after the first night: Tactical Movement: Pretty much perfect. The movement rules were a revelation. The original rules made movement feel like every character started mired in molasses. If I placed a foe any distance from a character, the party all but sighed and gave up. They were hoping that the tactical grid rules would fix that, but they didn't dream they'd fix them so perfectly. Seriously. Don't change a thing. We LOVE them. The fact that a person with a good fitness in water stance can reliably move 12 squares had them dancing with joy. Okay, change ONE thing. Give us diagonal movement. "But there is, diagonal movement!" you say? When all diagonals cost two, then no. No there isn't. Everyone might as well be moving down and over for every diagonal. I know you're probably trying not to be like D&D 3.5. Who cares. Be like D&D 3.5. Or be a rebel and charge two for the first square and one for the second. The point is, don't charge two. But even at two per diagonal, they were singing your praises for movement. Roll20 has a ruler. If all else fails, I can just measure. Ranges: Boy. The ranges don't work at all, do they? Not a bit. There's a running joke with RPGs in my group that no game designer has ever played an actual sport. You can tell because of how many games make it impossible to throw a baseball from home to first base, which is considered an easy throw in what we call "the sports circles." We don't have rules for throwing a baseball, of course, but with the new rules, you can't shoot a bow to first base, so it's a pretty good bet you can't throw a baseball there. However, you can run there in one round. The thing is, ranges were fine before. I mean, not the ranges for invocations, those were a mess, but the bands themselves? Those were great. I know you were trying to make them easy to remember. I'd rather they were practical, and I needed a cheat sheet. If I need a cheat sheet for ranges on the tactical grid, that's fine. In fact, with the movement rules, I don't need a cheat sheet, I just need to know the ranges, in squares, for any invocation or weapon. I can either write them down that way, or (better yet) you can in the descriptions. If your weapon table had an entry for ranges in bands AND in squares, and they were the same in both columns, both narrative and tactical, just pre-converted, then bam! Problem solved. With invocations and the like, you can just have the range in squares in parenthesis after the range bands. If I know the maximum range (and min for weapons), that's all I need on a tactical grid. Invocations My players would also kill me if I didn't lodge their complaint about how short the ranges are on every Invocation. They are very upset about it. if they wanted to play up close warriors, they would have played bushi. Especially with the new, functional movement rules. With most spells having a range of 3ish, very few spells reach even halfway to first base. As it were. What are the experiences of the rest of you? Have others tested the new rules?
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