tokugawa77 reacted to Doji Meshou in [Focus Topic] Intrigue and Duels (Week 6)
That's basically the spectrum, isn't it? "How much of this conflict should be resolved via mechanics versus roleplay/player thought?"
That's not unique to duels; it's the same with any part of a roleplaying game.
I like this way -- that blends mechanics and player thought -- better than a purely mechanical system. It feels more engaging to me.
tokugawa77 reacted to Ultimatecalibur in [Focus Topic] Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages (Week 5)
It should be pointed out that unless a roll is significant there should not be a roll by the rules as written.
Trying to use insignificant rolls to farm VP with disadvantages should not be happening.
tokugawa77 reacted to AK_Aramis in About ammunition
Historical traditions pre-tokugawa do not agree with you. Even during the Tokugawa Era, it was the Wakizashi that was the honor blade; the Katana, or the uichigatana, or the any of a half-dozen other named styles of long sword was always the bushi's work weapon - honored, but not carried everywhere. The Wakizashi would be racked by his bed, or even kept under his pillow, and worn almost everywhere... a Lord might rack his behind himself in court, along with his katana (and possibly his no-dachi or ōdachi). A samurai in town would, per some of the literature, bag the katana in town simply to protect it from accidental touch, so he didn't have to defend its honor everywhere, and others, those with secure townhouses (stone ground floors) and ashigaru in residence (goekonin and/or daimyō) might not even carry it in town at all
Further, prior editions do not agree with you about racking. 3E, p.178: "A samurai who does not carry his katana typically displays it in a place of honor."
3E, p. 179: "The wakizashi carries an additional role that the katana does not in Rokugani society - it symbolically preserves the honor of its bearer. A samurai's last refuge for protest is seppuku, performed with the wakizashi. Although the katana is held in greater regard by the noble classes, the wakizashi is a constant reminder of a samurai's duties."
1E p. 37, and 2E PG, p. 36 notes that a samurai always racks his sword when entering a friend's home. He carries it into a stranger's or enemy's home.
Note that traditional has 3 positions for the sword, while L5R has 2.
to the left is ready to use - the samurai doesn't trust the host, and/or is warning the host not to trust them. to the right is hard to use, and indicates a lack of current hostility. (note that there is a to the front is subservience - and while it's mentioned somewhere in 1E or 2E, it's not in the core. It's also mentioned in at least two period instruction manuals from the Edo period. It is literally placing the blade for inspection. There are also subtle nuances best ignored in play for hilt and edge direction in this case. you do not carry your sword into your lord's house unless summoned - you rack it at the door, so the guards don't have to. (note that the guards are usually armed.) You also rack it at the door if the guards instruct you to, or if the summons specifies to do so. Or if you are not a bushi. A shugenja summoned might have, wear, and be proficient in Katana - but he'd better not carry it when summoned, and had better have his scroll case. If you are not safe enough in your lord's house to rack your katana, you're about to be either rōnin or dead soon anyway.
Bagging before racking is historically not uncommon when about - as bags are often easier to distinguish, and it prevents others from accidentally touching the sword; touching it was an offense which could result in a duel between samurai, and execution for any lesser folk. Touching the bag was still offensive, but not immediate-death type. Also note: it's not hard to draw a bagged katana - pop the knot (usually a single bow), revealing the handle, grab the handle, and pull. The saya will remain in the bag, thanks to the knot on the saya.
Also note: wet silk stretches; the lacing, and the shark skin under it, and the wood of the saya, they are all very very unhappy when wet. The tightly woven bag keeps water, dust, snow, and mud out. The lacquer protects the wood only so much. The bag makes it MUCH easier to keep the weapon from environmental damage, in a land noted for lots of seasonal weather.
Note also - 5E is set in a relatively peaceful point. Only the crab and unicorn have active hostiles on the border. 15 years later, and all Rokugan's in a massive nasty civil war, but at this point, it's technically still officially peacetime (even if the occasional border village is changing hands after a fight...).
tokugawa77 reacted to AK_Aramis in About ammunition
Standard gear around town would be, as I recall...
Kimono (including Fundoshi, Tabi, Juban, Nagajuban, Kimono, hakama, and obi sandals: geta (platforms), Zori (flip-flops - often wood), or waraji (rope), possibly kimono-matched zori-slippers as well † hashi (chopsticks) - while a good host has extra for guests, a good guest brings their own. In a bamboo case, usually tucked into the obi. wakizashi, possibly bagged if in or near home, or making nice to the local lord ‡ Katana if bushi, again, bagged if near home and not on duty, and outside. Racked if inside and not on duty. purse with coin. May be attached to the obi, or may be attached to purse with a "chop" or more - a seal used to sign things. If you have a title-providing job, you'll probably have a separate chop for it from your contractual chop (which you use for signing contracts). You might have one for personal non-contractual signatures, too. And another for "private written conversations"... perhaps even more than one for romantic liaisons. Also, likely a small pellet of red ink to go with... because red is used for signing things most of the time. (Most things are written in black.) pair of hashi (chopsticks) one or two of: A caligraphy set - a pellet or more of black ink, a couple brushes, an ink stone, all in a nice 0.1 x 0.3 x 0.6 shaku box, possibly with a second box containing 0.25x0.5 shaku sheets of paper, or a slightly thicker box with a paper tray under the ink. This might be tucked inside the kimono (above the obi), or in a bag hung from the obi. One small item in a pouch off the obi - often a game or a book. Gō, Shogi, and a couple of different card games (actually played with shells originally) are options. Bushi might have a small sharpening set - under 0.1 shaku thick (3.3 cm), about 0.2 shaku wide (6.6 cm) and 0.3-0.4 shaku long (10-13.3 cm). Usually only two stones in the small kit - fine and very fine. This would be in a pouch tied to the obi or in a flap on the katana's bag, or tucked inside the kimono. A satchel with several items of import. a document folder - either carried or tucked inside the kimono. Used for shorter documents. (longer ones go in a satchel as scrolls, typically) thin wood cover stock, lacquered, and bound in cloth, thick rice paper lacquered stiff except at the fold cloth over lacquered thick rice paper. a book. Binding would be much the same as the document folder one or two small gifts, "just in case", either in a pouch or tucked in the obi, often in fancy paper or wood boxes. Often the box is as valuable as the gift itself, as the box can be reused... On "duty" - such as a yojimbo or yoriki, expect the katana to be unbagged unless racked, the wakizashi worn and unbagged, a satchel with any needed tools of work, and possibly also (based upon rokugan specific art) the Dō, shinguards, and gauntlets (light/ashigaru armor).
On duty for a shugenja would include the scroll satchel and the equipped yojimbo...
† if not travelling, unmatched would imply the host's inability to provide suitable slippers. Matched gives an excuse not to use the host's offered ones saving face for both.
‡ carrying it unbagged is a statement of "i'm ready to defend myself if needed"
tokugawa77 got a reaction from AK_Aramis in [Focus Topic] Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages (Week 5)
I like the idea of using the lowest skill between horsemanship and the relevant martial arts skill for mounted combat. Mounted combat is a whole different ballgame compared to regular fighting and it's not just "I am fighting with my weapon like normal, but I'm only sitting on top of something." You are very limited in the angle and type of attacks you can do because you do not want to hit the horse in the head/neck or anywhere else. There is a heck of a lot of other difficulties with it, but I will spare people the details unless they want to hear it.
Also, the good thing about that is you could still use your pure horsemanship skill for things like controlling your horse/staying on it etc. And it can work for other skill use cases that might involve multiple etc. Nice.
Iaijutsu on horseback would be incredibly difficult. The only way I can think of it working is if you angled the saya vertically and drew the katana upwards and then slashed downward to your right side so that you don't hit the horse. And even then I'm not sure you could angle the saya vertically because the horse is wider than you are so the saya would bump into it before it could go completely vertical. Maybe if you were already holding the saya in the left hand you could have a lot more freedom on how you draw without hitting the horse, but then your hand needs to be off the reins. Still, I love the unconventional skill use cases and I'm sure a case where it would work out well would appear somewhere.
tokugawa77 got a reaction from shosuko in [Focus Topic] Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages (Week 5)
EDIT: As far as a horse-riding skill goes, they could have it as something like equestrian or horsemanship. That way it is fairly general like the other skills and takes care of not only the skill needed to ride a horse while performing other tasks like combat effectively, but also care and maintenance of horses.
tokugawa77 got a reaction from Magnus Grendel in About ammunition
I'm personally a fan of keeping track of all the arrows like normal, but that is just how I prefer to play. Other people who want their rules to be as simple as possible and have the game flow as smoothly and narratively as possible will likely use the current rules. Also with regard to void points, I usually just award them when I see fit. I use most of the rules but if it seems like a strange place (like hiding TNs), then I just let it slide, or I award them through other means. I guess their thinking is that running out of arrows is similar to a spontaneous Adversity that is pointless to write down because it can come and go easily.
That all being said, I notice that when I play tabletops most people forget to note used arrows on their sheet and it can be hard to remember sometimes when you get into the thick of battle. You can always wing it, like if a character went through a few fights and used their bow quite a bit, then you could say they are low on arrows. The problem comes in deciding if they are low or out of arrows in the middle of a conflict(especially a decisive one). Also if the characters have some sort of caravan or supply chain, then the character could reasonably replenish arrows after each battle.
tokugawa77 got a reaction from Kakita Shijin in [Focus Topic] Chapter 2: Creating a Character (Week 4)
Yeah, there are also several redundant parts (like 3 identical locations for recording 3 different aspects of exp or 2 areas for recording rings (though I like the stance explanations on the conflict side)). Once the beta is done then they will likely have the character sheet more streamlined. It may also be a good area for feedback. If the final sheet is still not completely to people's liking then people will probably make sheets that show more or less information or reorganize things depending on demand.
tokugawa77 got a reaction from Norgrath in School Rank (halved) added on TN while in Air stance
The reason they use school rank for it is because it is the closest thing they have to general level of your character. The concept is that more experienced characters would be able to defend against attacks better than someone that was new and inexperienced. Instead of Air stance only giving +1 to TN and not scaling with higher level characters, they did it this way so it does scale in some way. School rank is the closest thing we have to insight rank from 4th ed. so I could see it being used in abilities and systems to scale them to the character's "level." showing that they get better at it over time.