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nameless ronin

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Everything posted by nameless ronin

  1. In narrative scenes strife should not be much of a concern for anybody, IMO anyway. Strife is mainly supposed to make conflict resolution challenging.
  2. I kind of doubt the intended purpose was to provide a significant drawback. If so, the other tech categories should probably also have one and they don't - even if they don't have a small boon like using offerings either. Backlash doesn't do much, but I don't think it was ever meant to. After a couple of sessions during which probably 4 out of every 5 player rolls resulted in a failure, I can't say I'm really enamored with the Warhammer system. 😛 Beautiful rulebooks, shoddy mechanics. And warptastic side-effects didn't help, no.
  3. Mid levels of competence tend to be best for balance in most RPG systems. At low levels, when characters are middling in a few things and poor in everything else, the "broken" options stand out and usually can't really be countered. At high levels the broken stuff is really broken. But at mid levels, if you try, you can probably find something useful to contribute in most situations because you don't have to suck in a lot of them anymore. I don't like judging a game based on how it plays at mid level, even if it's likely those are the levels you'll be playing at the most.
  4. Honestly, this is a bit of a red herring as well. The rings are not really set up to be symmetrical (Void stands out in particular) and I think most players agree they aren't all that well-balanced either. Is it "unfair" if only the Fire and Void stances give a benefit in non-conflict scenes? I guess it is. But is it more unfair than Earth and Water arguably being the most useful rings in terms of derived stats? I'd dispute that, especially since checks are arguably a lot less frequent during narrative scenes and investigations can often fairly easily be 'upgraded' to intrigue scenes. I suppose Air is the ugly little duckling again though, there is that.
  5. I have, a couple of times. It's a really great module. The GM's delivery is key though, I probably didn't do it justice the first time around.
  6. I was going by the first reply in this thread, which says so. Apparently that might have to,be revisited though.
  7. I think strife should be and is supposed to be pressing. It's the core narrative mechanic, more than anything else. If players are going through entire sessions barely breaking half composure I don't think the game is working as intended. Not that the opposite is any better though, players shouldn't be on the edge of getting compromised all the time either. Looking at my personal experiences, looking at what you're relating in this thread, it doesn't feel like this is on us either. I'm not saying I'm too good a GM to make mistakes, but this strife issue to me is taking more personal management than it should. There's very little that definitively clarifies any of this either way. You choose a stance when structured time starts, yes, but nothing that I can find says you can't use a stance in narrative time. In fact, there's really quite a bit of all this that seems to not get addressed specifically because in practice it doesn't/shouldn't matter and some of it is plain counterintuitive. If you're immobilized you can't change your stance, but you presumably still benefit from it. The incapacitated condition doesn't even mention stances - by a literal reading of the rules you could benefit from the Air stance to defend better against certainly scheme actions and possibly even attack actions (the "can't defend against damage" clause is slightly ambiguous). I would assume that - even if I don't see much reasons why you would - if you wanted to you could choose not to assume a stance at all for a round during a conflict scene, particularly if you chose to do nothing for that round. That said, I don't think allowing stances during non-conflict scenes is going to fix @Avatar111's issue. It might make his Void main feel a bit better, but in terms of mechanics the difference is unlikely to be significant.
  8. First, this is one reason why I'd love a better explanation of / guidelines for setting differing TNs for different approaches. This should be the standard mechanic for not letting the players abuse their best rings all the time. Second (and from here on we will be veering into opinion more than the RAW, I'm afraid) , this might be a problem with the Water opportunity expenditure to remove strife option more than anything else. If we assume for a sec that this is the case, I'll point out that one thing being broken is not a good excuse to break something else. I get that this might upset your Water main player, but the game might be better balanced / strife might work better if you could only remove one strife through Water opportunity use, or possibly even none at all (though I think that if TN variation could be improved as per my first remark, one strife should probably be ok). Third, if you use very few checks during non-conflict scenes (which is a good thing by my count) stance use for these checks shouldn't make a big difference (and an even smaller one if, again, there's sufficient variation in TNs by approach). Fourth (really getting into houserule territory now), Void is actually the ring most associated with removing strife other than one table stating you can use Water opportunities for this. Every bit of relevant fluff or example about treating mental issues seems to refer to Void, not Water (which is the ring for medicine / treating physical afflictions). Maybe strife removal would make more sense as a Void opportunity option. I'm usually fairly reluctant to use houserules, but strife in general is a mechanic that - to me - is very hard to get to work properly using the rules as they are.
  9. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your post at the top of this thread (which is about this exact topic) seems to indicate that yes, you do. 😛
  10. I certainly didn't mean that as a taunt, only as a lighthearted jest. My answer also wasn't "do as you feel like" (although I encourage doing as you feel like, it's not a suitable answer for a rules query). My answer was that you can assume a stance outside conflicts (since otherwise you can't make invocations outside conflicts) but that you don't necessarily always do (not every action requires a stance). I get that that is not a highly precise answer, but it is the answer I arrive at given what the rules tell me. I could probably formulate a guideline for what I think makes for appropriate circumstances to get to use a stance or not, but I don't think you're looking for my personal opinion on the matter.
  11. By RAW you have to assume a stance when making an invocation. You can make an invocation outside conflicts. So where does that leave us then?
  12. I wasn't aware that was the question. I thought the question was "are you in a stance if you make a check during a downtime or narrative moment?" so that's what I answered. 😛 If you think something works for you, have at it. I'm neither your mom nor your supervisor, you don't need my permission.
  13. Consider this: if during a conflict scene but while there is no actual combat going on you attempt to scale a ladder, are you in a stance? I'd say you're not. You choose an approach for the check, but that doesn't mean you assume the corresponding stance. So, stance or no stance? It depends on what you're doing - whether it's a conflict scene, a narrative scene or even downtime. You're much less likely to be in a stance if you're not in a conflict scene, but it's still possible.
  14. If you are practicing a kata, you're in the appropriate stance for that kata. Practice is typically a downtime or narrative activity, so... On the other hand, you don't have to be in a stance to be writing poetry or having a chat with a friend. In other words, you're not necessarily in a stance during downtime, but if it's appropriate you can be. It depends on what you're doing.
  15. A clash is pretty much a Warrior's Duel from the common forms of duels on p. 258 of the core rules, with the one stipulation that a clash must be part of a larger battle.
  16. Why can't he do anything about it? This is a pretty common situation in movies with mass combat: the protagonist and the antagonist lock eyes across the battlefield, it's clear they're going to settle this, but they still fight off others as they make their way towards one another. Maybe the third fighter did lose honor, but so what? Maybe he wanted the glory of defeating the protagonist for himself. Maybe he wasn't aware of the challenge. Maybe he's not that honorable to begin with. You don't have to be honorable to do duels anyway.
  17. So if one of them gets attacked by a third fighter after the challenge was made and accepted but before the clash proper starts, he can do nothing about it?
  18. I'm a bit on the fence about this. Same with the loss of your stake as the challenger if you make an Attack or Scheme action before the clash. It's supposed to be a narrative game. The narratives are ninjo and giri, strife and composure, honor and glory. I don't really want any arbitrary restrictions on what you can or can't do - if you do something that you shouldn't be doing, I'll hit you with an appropriate narrative penalty (just like you get a narrative reward if you do something you should be doing). If you want to do it anyway, that's fine: this narrative game makes the narrative come into play, that's what's supposed to happen. Putting in purely mechanical limitations to prevent someone from doing something that goes against the narrative kind of defeats the purpose of the game being narrative.
  19. It's a difficult balance to strike: a written module can never prepare for everything that can happen (and including a lot of the things that can happen will make it bloated with info you in practice often never need); the writers can to a certain extent remedy this by framing the adventure to restrict player options, but that quickly leads to railroading - which turns players off and kind of defeats the purpose of the whole game. When I GM a session based on a module I created myself usually more than half of what I prepared never comes up and over half the session is spent on things I didn't prepare for. The thing is though that that is often a good sign: it means the players are running away with the game, instead of only reacting to what you offer them. As a GM, just try and do the same: roll with it and have fun. I think you'll find you will be able to react positively and effecitvely quite soon, without needing a ton of experience, if you treat these situations as an opportunity for the game to be better and not as a hurdle or a test for you to pass.
  20. We're likely to get more insight in the Daidoji roles in the Crane Clan in Courts of Stone, but the fluff blurb for the Iron Warrior school pretty much already spells out why this court savviness is required. They also get Courtesy in the first three ranks of their curriculum and social skills in the fourth, and a lot of the shuji they get in school are either supportive in nature (Earth) or let them deflect attention away (Air). Honestly, other than Way of the Phoenix they make for better court yojimbo than the Shiba Guardians - and Vigilance of the Mind is the standard yojimbo ability par excellence. I think FFG would have done better keeping the "Iron" moniker for a Daidoji school in a war-themed book, to be honest. The Iron Warrior school as it stands is pretty much the ultimate wing man school.
  21. The Matsu have access to shuji and even feature a fair number of them in their curriculum, and they can obviously talk just like anyone else. I don't think they should get he courtier tag, but they can be about as good in court as a Bayushi can be on the battlefield.
  22. Nah. The tag wouldn't make sense. Looking at the school ability and curriculum it's fairly obvious that having access to kata is the only bushi-like aspect of the school - kata are never in the curriculum as a tech group (pnly Veiled Menace shows up), martial skills never shows up as a skill group and other than each of the martial arts once there are no individual bushi skills there either. The Shoshuro make much better bushi and could definitely justify getting that tag. The Ide and Ikoma make better bushi too, but arguably shouldn't (and don't) get the tag nonetheless. If they'd double-tagged the Bayushi Manipulators courtier and bushi with the school as is, I'd certainly have commented on that. Comparing the Kakita to the Mirumoto, the former getting the artisan tag while the latter are only bushi is clearly just a flavour thing: the Kakita have an Aesthetics focus and the Mirumoto a Composition focus, but they both give equal weight to artisan skill in the curriculum. A tag by itself doesn't mean anything, the school should back it up by having relevant entries in the curriculum too.
  23. I've played more MC characters than GC. I'd hoped for a little more love.
  24. This one's more of a "why spend time on another new Minor Clan when we barely know anything about the previous new Minor Clan yet and we'll be waiting for another 10 books before all the old ones will be covered at the rate we're going" annoyance of mine, admittedly.
  25. Also, again with the "pre-order directly from us to get these extra goodies" while simultaneously telling you to please order through your local store. Can't have it both ways, FFG.
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