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Everything posted by Sephyr79

  1. You can easily shift between both, as the need dictates, for maximum effect. That was the point. You control the flow of the combat by making enemy actions harder/yours easier as convenient, every single round. And...TN 0 was hyperbole. People are not literal all the time. The fact is, Mirumoto can count on ignoring enemy Air Stance and generally accruing more successes, particularly in hard rolls, consistently.
  2. Akodo is strong as ****, basically erasing the need for two of the stances from ranks 3-4. Why bother with Strife (Void) when you can turn it to successes? Why enter Fire and give your game away when you can just do the same thing naturally? Sure, it costs fatigue now, but taking a bit of wind to utterly nuke a threat is an amazing tradeoff. It reminds me of the spells we would invent as power-gaming kids. "See, this spell kills any enemy without allowing a saving throw, but it makes you unable to be healed for that turn! It balances out, right?" We also have a bit of a Fight Club going where we test builds and rules, and the Mirumoto ability is also amazingly good and flexible. Once per -round-? I hope that's a typo, because forcing multiple reroll on an opponentis really strong, and dropping TNs by multiples for your next attack is stronger still, giving them perhaps the only way to counter Centering or Guarding in the game. You only need one round to determine the outcome of a combat, and Way of the dragon makes that really comfortable. Force reroll while you defend to pile up strife on your opponent while you wear him down, or just lower TNs to pile up successes with each strike and knock him out in a single TN0 blow where every success is a bonus one to damage. I guess the whole Kakita vs. Mirumoto debate has just been settled.
  3. Once you have, say, 4 martial dice and 4 ring dice, it does feel like mere Air stance won't be much of a barrier to being hit hard. Sure, guarding or Centering will punch that number upwards, but if the enemy won initiative, those won't be a factor at first. It's a tricky balance, to be sure. Make TN to hit a real thing and people will be able to game it, and you devalue first strikes. Brush it aside for flat TNs and you reward just rushing forward and hitting as hard as you can over any other strategy.
  4. It's in the very first Way of the Crane book, which my DM told me to read in preparation for the game, and also seen in other sources. Apparently, they use Hida iron, climb the mountain with their latest creation and shave a piece of it with the blade, and inscribe the depth of the cut on the grip as a Seal of quality; To be fair, I'm already happy enough with the latest update which at least makes 'Razor-sharp' have an upside (spending opportunity for crit lethality) instead of being 100% pure handicap. It's a way to make the weapon reward skill above adding successes to he strike like you can do with any beatstick.
  5. Definitely! Thematically, it's really cool and good. I wish it wasn't so front-loaded, though. Maybe making it like the Kakita ability and link it to Rank? You can cancel up to your rank in strife -and- add that many successes to your roll.
  6. It seems really strong all the same. It works for 2/3rds of physical conflicts, which is a lot, and it adds a LOT of successes even early on. While everyone else is happy to get 4 successes now and then starting out, you'll be tossing murderous 9-success bricks at your enemies every other round while also getting rid of Strife, meaning you never Unmask or get Compromised. I'd be cool with it giving less successes but working in all occasions. Let's just say that as is, any Akodo are way more amazing as scrappers and generals than 99% of all Kakita will ever be at dueling.
  7. Razor-Edged amuses me to no end because it sounds like a perk until you see it's actually an annoying flaw that forces you to, as others pointed out, pretend you never intended to hit in the first place so you don't shatter the very symbol of your honor and status. It really feels like this game had a Weapon Durability stat at one point, in which your less bulky weapons would be taking damage at some points, getting fixed via Smithing, maybe even attacks that target weapons to break them, but it all got cut and mega-simplified into "swords breaks against armor, use tetsubos when it matters".
  8. I understand,and if if that's the way they want to go in the end, I'll shrug and accept it. I just don't think "It's ok that the daisho is lame mechanically, because it's -rude- to actually bring real weapons" is a good reason to keep it as is. And if, say, one of the court's musicians turns out to be a horrible Shadowlands impersonator that once exposed by the party grows a hide of obsidian scales that gives it armor 4, having the PCs scurry around for a vulgar club to be able to hit it because their katanas (folded 200 times, slaked in the blood of enemies, honed to perfection) will be slightly more effective than pillows. I've rolled dice for this game a grand total of 2 times. When I made this post, I was fully expecting (hoping, even!) to have someone reply "You are forgetting that by doing -this- or using this move you can easily get more damage-per-success out of your sword and be a deadly badass in 70% of situations". It even happened in my gaming whatsapp when I mentioned that strife builds up -way- faster than both me and the DM imagined without easy ways to bleed it off, one guy pointed out that you recover your water ring's worth every scene, and that was that. We briefly went over how armor values being generally high make the low damage even smaller, and no one really had an asnwer (I was called irrational and random, but no actual points). I even posted a skirmish example, fully expecting someone to say "Pfft, if you'd just done this, you'd have dealt with that brigand easily", and no one said anything regarding why a club is better in-game than a two-cent club. Here's another: Crane bushi does a Horizontal Iai strike at a training dummy with traveler's clothes (AV 2). Two successes. Boosts his damage to 5, reduced by two, for a final Three Damage. Toge the town drunk strikes at the dummy with his dog-beating club. Two successes. Extra success increases damage by one, to 7. AV brings that down to 5. An an elite duelist using a 'deadly' kata and a specialized weapon achieving about half the damage of a simpleton with a club for the same successes just blows my mind. I deliberately left stances out because with Fire stance toge would likely overshadow the iai strike event worse. I think we've all said all we are likely to say on this point, so I'll leave the thread here for the devs to use as they wish. My final opinion from what I've read/played/heard: - Katana Damage is too low, and its high deadliness does not compensate when piled damage will always be more effective and easier to achieve than gambling on crit techniques/toying with TNs. - General armor levels are too high given the current damage range. Regular fabric should be 0, Heavy winter clothing should be 1, concealed armor and ashigaru 2, Lacquered 3, and Heavy 4. - Blunt weapons currently have inflated damage, likely because devs thought their low Deadliness stat needed to be compensated for. Tone them down a bit and give them limited armor/bypassing abilities to keep them useful as anti-shadowlands gear. -Katanas breaking should be dramatic, not a common ocurrence whenever something of a certain AV pops up. Perhaps even allow for voluntarily damaging your sword in order to cut through enemy armor instead of having it snap harmlessly. -Having one class of weapons be more effective at what they do (combat) is not and should not be compensated by "well, it's a faux pas to lug one around." Thanks everyone, for the input.
  9. I just did a google search for L5R artwork. Wanna guess which weapon is shown being held and used prominently, both in war and in other less extreme settings, about 80% of the time? First two don't count. Man, those legendary champions are all doing it wrong. Who knew. History is great and fun for inspiration, but I'll take rule of cool every time when developing a system that has a strong identity.
  10. General question for those that have tested the beta more than me: How big a deal is a weapon being only 2-handed? This is not D&D, in which you are sort of expected to carry a shield in your off-hand. Other than dual-wielding Dragon bushi, what are you losing by picking a 2handed weapon? Having 1-handers get a perk when wielded with an extra grip is really neat, I'll say.
  11. Different strokes for different folks. More power to your peeps if they are having fun. But beta time is that time to push things and see how they break. Gotta say it's amusing to see the general theme evolve. "Katanas are fine" "Ok they are not really fine but teir Deadliness compensates for their issues" "Alright they lose to monk sticks in every practical way, but no one wears armor anyway, so it's a moot point" "Alright people had to keep plinking with 1 damage to avoid breaking their glass words last game, but it was FUN!"
  12. That's technically true, which is the best form of trurth. But I can go one better and say that an improvised weapon would have NO handle, so there! The actual point: Clubs are very, very basic weapons. Rokugan swords are tested by hitting them on rocks and marking how deep they cut the rock on their handles. This should mean something.
  13. Ahem. No one will willingly do that, or have a good time doing it.
  14. Better? Yes. Exceptional? No. Do a Horizontal strike against some guy in traveling clothes and you've done a stellar 3 damage. A guy packing an actual naginata can do more damage, have better deadliness and save himself a kata pick. And if the opponent gets inside his reach, he can drop it and draw a new weapon for free when picking a stance. A weapon that needs an extra talent to reach the performance of a regular one is not good. "I bought a Yugo, but now that I've spent $20k redoing it engine and shocks, man it goes fast!" "Why didn't you just buy an actual muscle car for half the price?" "Because Yugos are great! Mine goes fast and all!" The dude with a club? Also out-damaging you, and while he doesn't get to strike at range 2, it's not a big deal since you can just walk closer in your turn. Relying on critical blows is nice and even setting-appropriate (It does fit in nicely with the classic trope of someone taking a slash, seemingly not taking any damage, and then falling to pieces when they take a step), but statistically spiky and weird. So now you're using your razor-edged sword to stun and kick up dust instead of cut? I thought that was what monks did with their cheap staffs. Not to mention it's easy to counter; once you know you have enough armor to block most or all sword damage, you basically just need to worry about making crit-techniques unfeasible using TN manipulation, or so costly in strife that the other guy will Unmask before you ever get seriously harmed. Let's try a sample situation: My reedy kakita guy (Air 3, Fire 3, Earth 2, Water 1, Void 1, MA 1, Resilience 6, no armor because he's walking the road and not a barbarian, which means he still has Armor 2 with his hiking gear.) with his trusty katana and horizontal strike VS Smelly Bandit (Earth 2, Fire 2, Water 2, Air 1, Void 1, MA 1, scavenged ashigaru armor, basic club) Round One, Fight! I likely go first. I can either strike or iai. If the bandit picks air stance, I'll need 3 successes on 4 dice to do 2 damage if i do a Iai. If I just strike, 3 successes will see me doing 1 damage. Neither choice is great. I'll pretty much have to pick Fire stance each time to try and get more hits while racking up strife. He goes. He's in Air stance to make my life ****, so he does the basic strike. Gets two successes, goes for a double grip on his piece of timber because why not. 6 damage, minus two from my kimono, means I'm already left with only two resilience and will be taking crits the next round. He is sitting pretty, still way above half his 'life'. At this point, I'm basically forced to stay in Air to avoid getting another hit and just doing basic strike hoping for a dice miracle. He can go Fire and overwhelm me, because eh, he's a disposable NPC and doesn't care about strife management. I take a second hit, which is a crit, but with Deadliness 2 won't harm me much. The thing is, a third hit and I am out. Once you go down, stuff like Deadliness means nothing. He can toss me in a pond to drown or slit my throat at his leisure. Keep in mind, one person in that equation is the warrior caste of the empire. It actually dawned on me that if Smelly Bandit decides to duel me for giggles, I'm actually worse off, because then he can Center and completely evade me. He'll fare better at the stylized duel of nobles than the actual noble raised from birth and armed by fate to do it! TL,DR version: The fruit of ten years of strict martial training should not be vexed by roadside scum because tradition demanded his weapon suck. And weapons requiring master-level artisanship should not be bad compared to a plank with a grip.
  15. We are talking a bit past each other and disagreeing to agree, due to viewing the terms differently. We all game the system a bit. We like to create fun combos that are effective and make us win and look cool while doing it. Air stance plus Strike as air, try and hit me now you Crab flakes, hah! I'm airy as all get out! There is a range here, though. And that is when the 'gaming' either becomes foolproof (at which point everyone will ape it and the game just dies) on one end, and when you NEED to game-break it so you can be functional at all. "The rules decided my mainstay, iconic weapon is bad in 60% of the cases, so I have to keep doing Quantum Schroedinger* attacks that don't hit unless they miss or I'll be picking bits of katana from the ground along with my teeth once that hammer brains me" is one such case. Let's look at Strike as Air. It was pretty broken when every opportunity gave you another TN increase. It feels about right now, though I haven't tested it. Having a +2-3 TN boost out of the gate is strong, yes. But an enemy can power throgh it. Fire stance and burn Void and mix in a good kata, take some Strife, and he only has to hit my airy bloke once. If a middling roll from the old version caused a +4-5 increase in TN, it might have broken the game. You'd need an amazing roll plus lots of people giving you assists, and even that might not do the trick. I'm glad they spotted it early. * I hereby copyright Quantum Schroedinger Strike as my own personal kata.
  16. I was about to ask just how heavy the 'heavy' armor was. And yeah, Lamellar is another reason non-crappy sword should not break so casually when striking them. They have LOT of little junctions. And agreed X100 on the gaming angle. It's the equivalent of playing that dope in Street fighter 2 that figured out that perfect hadouken/dragonpunch zone trap that works against 80% of all characters and moves. Not illegal and not cheating, but really takes you out of the game and kills the fun.
  17. No argument there. We could tone down blunt weapon damage but give them a rule that makes them halve effective armor. Make Katanas Damage 5 but reduce the Deadliness bonus for the double grip for 2 to 1. Give me more options to bypass some armor. I'm not saying the iconic weapon should be the answer for every encounter; there's a reason Crab bushi prefer to drop the hammer. But it should at least be a good option for the majority of them. If I was playing a pirate-based game in which cutlasses and flintlock pistols were bad except for pirate duels on Pirate Island, but spiked whips and ukeleles did killer damage, the flair would be gone real fast. Switching dice to alternate between doing 1 damage (when the Fortunes give you that perfect combo) and missing on purpose to avoid a 0-damage weapon breaks seems really, really un-fun. No one will do that; if you're going to lame it out, do it effectively. People who want to game the system will just go "My samurai carries a bo because it was, um.... a gift from my monk grandpa, yeah, he was a hero! I use it to fight because my daisho is too pure for use on lowlifes. Except for the final cut, that is." The beta is just the place to work things out so we can avoid such transparent exploits in the future.
  18. I believe I get it. When at court, and in many non-battlefield situations, only Crabs and some Lion will be in full armor. I have two issues with that: 1- Bushi are warriors, They will be spending a lot of time in dangerous situations, and you'll find armor there. Players are escorting a bigshot to a military encampment for peace talks. Most people there will be wearing armor, even for duels, if things get pear-shaped. Traveling around the countryside, a bandit lord decides to be a bother. He won't care much for etiquette and will keep the suit he grabbed from a dead samurai on. There are lots of non-cheesy ways a player can end up very short of options because his weapon is lacking compared to a bo that costs two coppers. 2- Armor should not be near-immunity to the main, iconic weapon of the game. Traveling clothes cut base katana damage in HALF. You're telling me the peak of Rokugani swordcraft is 50% blunted by linen? While you are pricking them with your sword, they can just send you down Resilience+10 in two swipes with a stick or hammer, and at that point Deadliness is a moot point: you're done. My katana's Deadlinessm might as well be 55: If I have no way of getting him under Reslience or force a finishing blow, it makes no matter.
  19. It's the mean streets of Otosan Ochi, man. The game will do that to you.
  20. You are correct, and Iwill commit seppuku soon after finals because doing it now would be the easy way out. (We really need the seppuku emoji) My main point, though, is that historically dealing with armor has been done in a few ways: stunning the meat inside with a big hammer (doesn't really -pierce- as you said, but you can just stab his face once he passes out), piercing it with a big pointed spike at the end of a lot of force (mounted spears, crossbow bolts, a few really big swords) and finding gaps you can cut to wound, tire and allow a kill blow, or better yet, capturing the rich noble inside for ransom. Katanas are ideal for -none- of those. I get it. I'm cool with it. Now here's my real position: Katanas are awesome. They have been awesome in the West since squinty Christopher Lambert used one in Highlander back when I was a wee spurt of a nerd. And in that movie one sliced through a **** concrete pillar in a parking lot and parried a zweihander that weights about as much as me. And it was glorious. Should they be this way in L5r? **** no. But I can only take so much reality in my epic samurai drama. When my character faces some shadowlands overlord or hulking rival bushi that has despoiled my lands, I don't want him to be thinking "I should switch to a naginata or borrow a tetsubo or I'll never scratch him.". I want him to grip the sword of his ancestors and charge because the force of all his forebears will be in that cut. If swords get relegated to slicing naked bandits and doing ritualized noble duels where everyone strips down (Armor 2 for traveling clothes?), they might as well become an affectation, like having rap battles*. It's just what some people use to engage each other in a bizarrely specialized manner. And I think the setting and the game will lose a lot if that happens. * I might actually play the **** out of a game involving rap battles. forget I said anything.
  21. Sephyr79


    These are all golden. Need putting into techniques and testing, yes, but they are EXTREMELY what I enjoy. Turning insight into power, switching weaknesses for strengths at the moment of clarity, creating that distraction of a thousandth of a second in which you can wager life and death. Much more dramatic and cool than things that end up meaning "+1 deadliness" or -1 TN.
  22. Sephyr79


    I'd make it once per game, since it can scale to make you absurdly fast later on. It seems pretty strong, as currently there are no wound penalties but inflicting a status early on can be a big deal!
  23. Sephyr79


    I'd really enjoy it if Kakita duelists' thing was a strife mechanic instead of actual combat bonuses. Either a natural 'armor' against strife bidding, or making the enemy lose extra strife when they lose the bid. It would be a nice representation of having a talent for finding the perfect decisive moment when an opponent quivers and acting upon it!
  24. Tripping someone up would be an action or maneuver, which some weapons make easier, but has nothing to do with the basic stats. there' a reason most of mankind moved past hitting each other with wood as soon as it could, and much of that reason was armor becoming a thing. Having blunt weapons being the AP options is just...weird. And no, I don't think Deadliness make up for it. It won't even come into play for 80% of the time. A tough/armored enemy can just Air/Earth stance + Center your successes away so you never have enough to pierce their defense, and wail on you until your Resilience is gone, an then either start going for finishing blows with a bo/hammer, or draw a blade for the finish. You'll be loaded up with strife from the rolls to try and get any damage in, so you'll be behind in both the damage and the strife race. Either all armor needs to be toned down a point or two (casual clothes having armor 1 is weird!), blunt weapons need a bit less damage, or blades need a boost. Maybe a little bit of each.
  25. One of the first stories in an old Crab clan book was a Crab bushi tromping into a fancy court party in full armor to deliver a birthday gift, getting mad at the snobby courtiers, punching one raw and stealing his Scorpion mask as a souvenir. And even iron-shod staves are still bad against armor. Sure, you can use them to trip up an armored opponent, disarm him, block, a lot of stuff, but as far as getting -through- it? No. Because that was not how anyone fought, East or West.
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