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nameless ronin

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Everything posted by nameless ronin

  1. Well, he's presumably still there. So he'd be out of the scene unless he did something offensive? What about if an opponent wanted to attack him? What if he wanted to do something non-threatening, like compose a poem or draw a picture? What if he wanted to try and run away, and the ambushers don't want to let him? Did he even get an initiative check when combat started? If not, how does that work when he decides to get involved/someone decides to get him involved? It seems utterly strange to me that someone who is physically present in the middle of a group of fighters would not be part of the same scene as those fighters, just because he's not actively participating in the fight at the time.
  2. What if he is? Would that take him out of the scene and/or make him safe from attack?
  3. A party, among which a pacifist courtier, gets ambushed. A fight ensues. Is the courtier not in the scene?
  4. I kind of hope so but very much doubt it, since I see very little evidence of future-proofing at all in the CRB.
  5. That depends on who is included in "we", I think. 😛
  6. Sidebar on p. 189. That said, that sidebar says this doesn't apply in conflict scenes and you'll be hard-pressed to use kata - repeatedly or not - outside conflict scenes at all. I don't think it's much of an argument here.
  7. That second sentence is exactly what I'm saying. I'm also saying that a courtier doesn't have to be a warrior, and if he isn't then it's to be expected he won't rush into a fight if he doesn't have to. As for allowing a clash, I'm not saying you can't challenge a non-combattant - you can do what you want, as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences. I'm saying that 1) it should probably cost you honor and glory to do so, 2) the non-combattant refusing shouldn't cost him anything, and 3) a non-combattant getting killed in a "clash" shouldn't cause his allies to suffer more strife than him getting killed in a regular skirmish round.
  8. The wakizashi is the soul, in principle. There are actual examples in the setting of not being allowed to bring your katana to meetings with lords of high status, and in City of Lies you're not alowed to enter the pleasure district with your katana either (although there at least a social excuse is made).
  9. Emerald Empire repeats this a few times as well. It just seems a bit too "because we say so" to me - the actual mechanics don't back this up. There are schools with both the courtier and bushi tags, which would be somewhat unnecessary if everyone's a little bit of a bushi. Some pure courtier schools like the Doji have nothing bushi-like in their curriculum, and one of the courtier schools I'd expect to be more martially inclined than most, the Bayushi, turned out to be less so than the Shosuro in this edition (though we'll get a Bayushi bushi school or title later on, I hope). There's a named courtier npc with zero ranks in the martial skill group in EE and the seasoned courtier in the CRB has no ranks in martial either (this entry also says "courtiers are also samurai, but they serve with words rather than blades") - in comparison, the loyal bushi has artisan 1, scholar 2 and social 1 (as I'd expect from any respectable samurai, no zeroes in any of the mental/cultural pursuits). I have never suggested that artisans should be battling ashigaru in the first place. As you say, non-bushi should in most cases elect to stay out of a fight.
  10. Emerald Empire repeats this a few times as well. It just seems a bit too "because we say so" to me - the actual mechanics don't back this up. There are schools with both the courtier and bushi tags, which would be somewhat unnecessary if everyone's a little bit of a bushi. Some pure courtier schools like the Doji have nothing bushi-like in their curriculum, and one of the courtier schools I'd expect to be more martially inclined than most, the Bayushi, turned out to be less so than the Shosuro in this edition (though we'll get a Bayushi bushi school or title later on, I hope). There's a named courtier npc with zero ranks in the martial skill group in EE and the seasoned courtier in the CRB has no ranks in martial either (this entry also says "courtiers are also samurai, but they serve with words rather than blades") - in comparison, the loyal bushi has artisan 1, scholar 2 and social 1 (as I'd expect from any respectable samurai, no zeroes in any of the mental/cultural pursuits). I have never suggested that artisans should be battling ashigaru in the first place. As you say, non-bushi should in most cases elect to stay out of a fight.
  11. I'm really not sure what that ample suggestion would be, to be honest. The wakizashi is the symbol of the samurai as a social caste as well as the "soul" of the bearer, to be used for seppuku if it came to that. The symbol of the samurai as warriors is the katana.
  12. In a formal duel, certainly one to settle a matter of honor, the use of magic is not allowed. The whole premisse is that the most righteous duelist wins, so invoking the help of the kami is an absolute no-no. Granted, a battlefield skirmish is not the setting for a fomal duel but nonetheless if you're required to stake both honor and glory to be able to issue a challenge it seems to me that getting the kami involved is still a major faux pas. So can you? Sure. Will there be consequences? Magic eight ball says: signs point to yes. Not quite true. Courtiers are warriors only on the "battlefield" of the court. Shugenja are priests first and foremost, and most of them are pacifists. Artisans are not expected to fight unless they took up martial training next to their artistic education. Yes, the Emerald Empire is a fairly martial society. No, that does not make everyone a warrior. Side question: if you decline a challenge you must forfeit glory and all your allies with lower glory than you suffer strife - do you compare your glory to your allies' before or after forfeiting?
  13. Everybody fighting is fair game to attack. Not everybody fighting is fair game for a clash. IMO anyway. That said, I don't think it's quite right to look at a clash as only one round. Aside from it possibly going longer to begin with, it allows a challenger to effectively hamper an opponent's ability to influence the fight, likely for more than one round (one of the sidebars goes into this). Tactically clashes can make a big difference, much bigger than merely getting someone to attack you instead of someone else.
  14. Not sure why you asked if your mind was made up, but ok. Agree to disagree. Keep in mind that in the Honor and Glory sections in the core rulebook various ways are listed to gain/forfeit honor, glory or both that can apply to duels that aren't mentioned in the section on clashes though (beating a foe with Glory 40+ for a minor glory award, and so on).
  15. 'Heck no' and 'no, but' respectively. If you're swinging a weapon in combat you're a combattant. Doesn't matter what kind of weapon. That leaves you open to be challenged. If you're clearly a weak, untrained warrior I personally would modify the details of the challenge accordingly (there should not be any honor or glory gain for challenging a weaker opponent, and depending on how much weaker there should probably be an honor loss), but since you're participating in armed combat you can be singled out for an individual armed contest - Rokugani customs will not protect you. If you're making offensive invocations in combat you're also a combattant, but you're presumably unarmed or considered to be (your wakizashi is more of a status symbol than a weapon, unless you draw it). In such a case you can't be compelled into accepting a challenge to a duel of martial skill and even attempting such a challenge should cost the would-be challenger both honor and glory. There are however shugenja (the Tamori are quite famous for this) that mix it up and employ both invocations and weapons. Such shugenja honorably can be challenged to a martial duel during a skirmish; they can still refuse without losing anything (or the challenger gaining anything, it's basically a dud in that case), but if they formally accept they should not (further) use invocations during the clash. It's more likely the "challenger" will merely try to provoke the shugenja into focusing on them in either case, and try to defeat him in combat without it being a "clash" - both sides can do whatever they want.
  16. That's how it works by strict RAW. Not sure that's intended to be how it works, in fact I really doubt it, but by RAW it is.
  17. Challenging a non-combattant in a clash (so during a skirmish, not because he insulted your honor in court) is dishonorable. Insofar as it should even happen, the non-combattant should be able to ignore or refuse the challenge without loss of honor.
  18. Possibly. Again, to me this just seems like the one instance in the entire book where some hard mechanical restrictions are imposed instead of letting the norms of the setting dictate what happens.
  19. What if the Moto was unaware of the challenge?
  20. Hare are typically pragmatic magistrates. Get the job done, don't worry too much about the niceties. So not very honorable usually, but not ninja.
  21. So I'm trying to get to Daigotsu Minii and one of his Moto buddies starts wailing on me. I have to allow him to keep doing so, I can't fight back, lest I delay the challenge and forfeit my honor?
  22. There is one thing in the entire system that penalizes a low Honor score, and that's getting hit with extra flaws. And of course, that same section in the rules shows it's technically possible to have your honor drop to zero. You can play a shinobi if you want, which is pretty darn dishonorable. That said, I've looked through the NPCs in Emerald Empire and a few have made me question the designers' choices. Example :"Chinoko, Deceitful Geisha" is described as Kolat assassin, spy and crime boss who loathes the Celestial Order. Her honor is at 28. Her status is at 30.
  23. While we're dealing with the devilish details: if you get a winning crit in during a first blood duel you inflict the Bleeding condition; bleeding can lead to fatigue. Does fatigue caused by bleeding count as inflicted by the enemy duelist, and thus add to the score in a duel?
  24. I'm not entirely sure about this, though it certainly goes in the right direction. I think they do expect the setting to guide gameplay, but that rarely works out in any system and - as you say - they definitely should have gone into more detail about the setting for that. Playing as the setting expects you might be taking it a little bit too far however, even if that depends on what you think setting expectations are. There are certainly incentives to play to the honorable samurai stereotype, but given the differences between the clans one samurai's "proper" behavior might be quite different from another's. Regardless, playing to societal conventions doesn't fix how vague advantages and disadvantages are defined in terms of when/how often they come up, or that there are a few strife management exploits that direct actions/behaviour in purely mechanical ways, or that duels are barely functional, and so on. I definitely use honor and (even more so) glory penalties to keep the characters in line, but that doesn't help with mechanical issues. Honor penalties are also something more pragmatic characters don't really care about.
  25. Honestly, by my reckoning 40K's mechanics are worse. I think they are fundamentally flawed. L5R 5th's are not essentially unsound, but they are in some instances badly executed and in more simply not developed and improved enough.
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