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About Agasha_Kazusinge

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  • Birthday 07/29/1974

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    East Wenatchee, WA

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  1. Where do you go to get those? I've had a hard time finding the update packets.
  2. Getting ready to run the module and I've been taking a final pass through the mechanics to try and get them down. And I ran into something. As written Wounds are John McClane damage--superficial cuts and bruises that don't do anything telling. Wounds that actually hinder you are Critical Strikes, which don't happen until after your Resistance is overcome and you're unable to fight. Here's the rub. You're unable to fight. You're not even unconscious. Yet there's no actual narrative reason why you can't fight? It's all still just minor cuts and bruises, right? So what happens in play? This huge Crab Clan warrior gets smacked around by a smirking Scorpion who sneak attacks him and goes off to go kill his lord in his sleep. The Crab warrior *can't* stop him, but yet he isn't dead. He isn't even unconscious or gravely injured. So...he's okay? No. He can't fight--he just isn't injured beyond, y'know, being defeated. That feels so game mechanicky I think my players would try to lynch me. Might I suggest that dropping to zero resistance just means all bets are off and you start taking Critical Strikes, but that you can still act? That the only thing that keeps you from fighting is an actual Critical that keeps you from fighting?
  3. I thought I'd downloaded the newest version--but I think I might have the first version. It's the one up on Drive Thru RPG, right?
  4. The Mirumoto family write up for the Dragon Clan makes a big deal of the fact that they get niten and can use two katanas at once. One of my players saw that and flipped out and just thought it was the coolest thing. He immediately picked a Mirumoto. Then he found out the Dragon don't have a real bushi school and that he had to make an investigator or a monk. He doesn't even get one katana much less two. Worse it seems as though, flipping through the rest of the packet that there's no rules for niten fighting anywhere in the rules as they exist now. Which, I mean, it's a playtest and all--but why mention them in the family write up, get a new player excited and then quash it by not releasing the rules yet? Is there some way to emulate niten in the meantime? So he has something he can do?
  5. I agree that the Akodo Commander way outpaces all the others. A lot of the school abilities feel pretty similar and not particularly good or flavorful at this point. It would be nice to see the other abilities get another look to see if they can be reworked so they can rise to meet Akodo levels of awesome.
  6. Looking over the rules for the effects of different stances the effect you get from Earth Stance seems far better than any of the others. Water lets you take a free move or fiddle with gear and drop two Strife. Fire is a crapshoot--if you get a lot of Sakuras, you get to use them for bonus successes. Air adds +1 to your TN. Void lets you ignore Sakuras. All of these feel pretty balanced against each other if not tremendously evocative of their flavor text (which is great and I wish was reflected more in the mechanics to be honest). Then there's Earth Stance. It makes you immune to exploding dice used to strike critical hits against you or triggered special abilities that inflict conditions or persistent effects. Wow. I can't see a reason why any fighter, whether PC or NPC wouldn't use Earth Stance all the time. Am I reading this wrong? It seems like they protect you from just about everything you really want not to happen to you as a character. I wonder if it doesn't remove some of the danger and fun from the game that you can basically adopt a stance that gets rid of criticals and ongoing effects. Still I can't imagine wanting to use any other stance. What do you folks think?
  7. I love the advantages and disadvantages they offer. I think they're great. A mechanic for creating custom ones would be awesome mind you, but I think I could make characters forever based on what they have here. Besides pretty much every Question ends with the line: "If you want to create your own ____, consult with your GM using the guidance in Creating Custom Advantages and Disadvantages". So I feel line with it. I just think the 20 Questions model would be strengthened and the book flipping could be reduced a lot if they consolidated the Distinctions, Passions, Adversities, Anxieties, Allies and Rivals right into the Questions they pertain to.
  8. So I did a little research this afternoon and was able to dig up how the idea of Outbursts work in real world japanese culture. The results were interesting. I'm not sure if they're particularly helpful. Tatemae is the word for what you genuinely feel, your true human feelings. It is your 'true sound' as though you were a musical instrument. You are expected to hide that under what's called honne, your guise. In America we would call this being suave or politic. It's how you are at work, when you're with a customer. A true lapse in honne isn't some dramatic moment where under stress the clouds part and you see a glimpse of the true person within--it's more a moment of social awkwardness that's seen as unhelpful, selfish and childish. There's a social lubricant that everyone uses to smoothly navigate the day and here comes a guy who doesn't have any. Typically if you're being nice, you cover for them. You work extra hard to smooth over the interactions in the way they are failing to. This is you doing them a solid for them not having their crap together and they would be remiss at not being grateful for it. Thus there's not really a word in japanese for what we want Outburst to mean--because real honne doesn't work like that. The actual words for outburst are boppatsu (something that happens suddenly), gekihatsu (when something flares up or spasms, like a sore knee) or bakuhatsu (when something explodes in an unexpected, damaging way--like a bomb). None of these are really things that describe people and I think in japanese were you to try to use bakuhatsu to describe a breech of civility they would think you didn't speak very good japanese. Words that do seem to describe what we're looking for are more like: Haji: embarrassment, chagrin, humiliation, disgrace, scandal, shame, mortification (this is the most common one used to describe a breech of honne ettiquette) Samoshī: mean, selfish or self-centered Wagamama: disobedience, brattiness, self-indulgeant See how there's not much romanticizing going on here? I thought maybe something like a word for nervous breakdown might help get us to where we want to go. It certainly seems like what's going on with a samurai who under the weight of too much Strife, just can't take it anymore. There's Shinkei Suijaku, but that seems to be a clinical term that doesn't have the informal conversational sense I think we're looking for. There is a phenomenon in modern japan of kids snapping under the pressure of japanese society and becoming teenage shut ins called hikikomori. They don't break it down that I can find but hiki means to carry, ko means young or little, and mori means forest--children getting carried off into the forest? https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/september-october-2006-global-warning/japans-nervous-breakdown Here's an article about the phenomenon. Shinkei suijak Shinkei suijaku
  9. I would imagine (not based on the rules in any book, just going on common sense) that the leaders of a family at court can raise up vassal families to serve them. Clan daimyos create clan families in the exact same way. The Emperor creates clans in exactly the same way. What they're called is just a matter of which tier of the feudal structure you're talking about. There's political consequences for all of this, of course, which is why it doesn't happen all the time. The more vassal families, clan families, and clans, the less attention and resources there are to go around--so for every new one, everyone gets less once they divvy up what there is. Less attention means less opportunity for glory. Less resources means poorer arms and armor, less magical research, less funding for works of art and literature. New groups tend to capture the eye of court, which means the established ones have a tendency toward resentment. A good way to think about it is a family with a ton of kids who decide to have another. What does this mean for the other kids?
  10. I really enjoy Outburst. It feels like common use english rather than gamey jargon and it's evocative of what it is--emotion built up to a breaking point where you can't help it anymore and something slips out. You cry or you smile or you laugh. That seems pretty straightforward. Oh and awesome! That this is the central focus of the game; a game with magic and gods and zombies and kung fu. That the central focus is on the human drama of these people shouldering responsibilities that are so all pervasive and huge that they are supposed to literally negate who they are as human beings--and the impossibility of carrying around that kind of burden without your emotions suddenly and uncontrollably manifesting in startling ways. I love that so much.
  11. This is the first time that Fantasy Flight has introduced funny dice to a game and I've been genuinely this excited about it. The dice are easy to read--basically nothing, success, success and a reroll to maybe get another success and a sakura blossom that represents some internal conflict sparked in your character from the situation which pushes him closer to emoting true feelings--which is the bane of any samurai. I love this so hard. That and I love the idea that you're not looking at endless situations where you succeed at a roll but something bad happens, or you fail at a roll but something good happens. All that random weirdness made it hard to tell a consistent story--things kept veering off into madcap Keystone Cops territory. Plus some of the other symbols were so obscure I couldn't even tell if they were good or bad things, much less what they meant. I always had to keep a cheatsheet on hand. This? Super easy.
  12. I love that idea about a drinking contest as an intrigue challenge. That the folks involved are all getting less and less in control of themselves and its about who lets compromising information slip first. Everyone involved keeps drinking in the hopes that they'll get some information out of the other people at the table, but each round it's just as likely that they'll be the one who ends up blabbing something they shouldn't or being more forthright with their opinions than is wise and maybe end up getting blackmailed. That just feels like an incredibly dramatic way to run it.
  13. Thinking back, yeah it does seem like it was easier to deal with in previous editions. You were looking at the spread for your clan, and there's the schools and families in with your starting gear. I think it made it easier to grasp. It still made it a hard game to run, keeping all the family names straight--and truth be told, I still am not 100% sure we need families to be in the game as prominently as they are now, or at least not ALL of them. But it feels like a sacred cow to folks so I understand that. But yeah, I agree with you. I think just tweaking the organization would clear up the problem for the most part. I'd be happy if there was a way to do that without divorcing character creation from the 20 Questions...but I'm not sure you can.
  14. It seems like a bit of an odd decision to me to build character creation around the 20 Questions model and then have the answers to most of the last half of those questions involve flipping back and forth to the Advantages/Disadvantages sections that correspond to each question. In previous editions Advantages and Disadvantages were optional rules that used a point buy system so it made sense for them to be off on their own. But when you ask a question like #11 "What activity makes your character feel at peace?" and then direct them off to a subsection of Advantages called Passions on page 77--you could easily just rewrite most of those Passions as a bulleted list right there in the text of the question. The same with Distinctions and Question #9, Adversities and Question #10, Anxieties and Question #12. #13 "Who has your character learned the most from during their life" feels like a great chance to bake the idea of Allies and Rivals right into the fabric of the game so everyone starts with one. I would love that. In fact it seems like the strongest Questions, the ones where the answers feel most satisfying to me, are the ones where the output is in the form of an Advantage or Disadvantage you get. They're super flavorful and the mechanics feel heftier and more important than a +1 in a skill or a Ring. Other than the big central choices of Clan, Family, School and Giri I would sort of love if all the rest of the questions gave you something like an Advantage or Disadvantage. I really love them.
  15. I think that would help a lot. The further into character creation and the more gelled the idea of who the character is in the player's mind, the harder I think it will be to throw them. Maybe it's as simple as your guys' idea of just shifting the family material into the section on clan. Simple, but I think it could really help. It does sort of mess up the whole 20 Questions theme the new edition is trying to weave character creation around (which would be a shame, because I like it a lot) but I really think it would do a lot to fix this complexity issue.
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