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Everything posted by Avatar111

  1. Just give them a horse... Not gonna break anything. Remove a piece of starting gear they have if you really want. The horse is more RP than anything else.
  2. It is a question of honor, one that prince Sotorii definitely lacks. In multiple occasions he should have accepted defeat and stop the duel, but he always keep pushing on despite his opponent's courtesy. If a duelist wants to go that way, it is shameful, but it can be done. I personally consider that if you could hit with a finishing blow but decide not to keep the successes on your roll that the opponent (and judges) should understand he was beaten. Obviously, this is mostly for "honor" duels, as if you really think showing mercy to your opponent won't make him forfeit, either because he lacks honor or other reasons, then you can always decide to gut him with the finishing blow. I think I just like to take advantage of the roll and keep mechanic, and honor, to answer the question about the high deadliness of the finishing blows. In so many fictions or samurai stories we have seen that holding a death blow and showing mercy is a very proper way to go. Obviously, the bad guys or reckless people will just want to go on in a fit of rage... And since you had your one chance at a finishing blow and didn't take it, you now need to beat the opponent with added difficulty. But that is the price of honor.
  3. predict action is not a reliable tool, very easily avoided and only put 4 strife on the opponent while fire opportunity can guarantee at least something, predict action isnt high enough of a reward for the risk. its only purpose is to take people out of earth stance. scheme action... well, fire stance gives 2 strife as an opportunity, you could achieve the same result and deal fatigue with a fire strike. There are no scheme action to really inflict strife, it is basically only "2 strife" no scaling, nothing... not a fun mechanic. tdlr: the "game" to compromise the enemy is not supported under the current mechanics and rules. BUT, that is OK. duels are meant to be much more about an exchange of blows in the current rules. Actually, even in the ficitons so far, every duels was an exchange of blows, never a "one shot thing" (except Toshimoko vs a Mantis noob, but hey, that is NORMAL) so we need to get the idea that duels are only one strike out of our mindset. unless you are higher rank, then eventually some duelist have the capability to do a one shot win. on the deadliness of a finishing blow, yes it is instant kill most of the time. you cannot become compromised in a duel, it is that simple. use water stance to heal strife, or accept defeat and stop the duel. if you are about to become compromised and still want to go on, it is at your own risks... the opponent could always show you mercy and willingly "miss" his finishing blow. but in that case, as a GM, I consider it as the blade is basically stopped at an inch from your face and you better accept defeat if you don't want to lose a ton of honor.
  4. I still find it interesting that it reduce the damage from all sources, even sources at range. It is only the extra "burning condition + weapon breaking" that feels a bit weird, limiting that second part of the Kiho's burst to be triggered only at the same range as the activation range is neat; kiho: The Body is an Anvil: Change the burst effect to: If you have two or more bonus successes, until the beginning of your next turn, before you defend against damage dealt by the target, reduce the damage dealt by your fire ring. If you successfully defend against the damage, and if the damage was done at range 0-2 from you, one weapon the target used gains the Damaged quality and the target suffers the Burning condition. what do you think ?
  5. Exact, the "one strike" fantasy is not something really viable, for the most part, in this version of l5r. A slight adjustment; allowing Iai Kata to be able to crit on 2 opportunities helps to implement that fantasy without making it easy. So if you, like many others, enjoy the idea of the possibility of one strike duels, then I would suggest that very slight houserule to you. Otherwise, you need to rely on compromising your opponent, but as we discussed this is not something the system really supports in a fun way during duels. Overall though, you are right, this edition never mention any "rule" about duels being only one strike and mechanically doesn't really support it. And I am all good with this hence why my only houserule on duel is to allow Iaijutsu kata the option to deliever critical strikes. I find it fixes 99% of the issues I had with the duels. Edit; and mechanically, I am really fond of initiative being meaningful in duel so that the staredown becomes important. With a good initiative and the ability to crit with Iai kata it gives the option to start with a defensive predict action in earth or air (predict earth, most probably) and do an Iai kata to crit on your next turn (or even on the first turn if the one losing the initiative didn't go for earth stance) Giving the edge to the duelist with an Higher initiative, considering the lore and the existance of earth stance, is something I enjoy. As it makes earth stance slightly more manageable and allows for one strike Iai wins (though it definitely won't be an easy thing to achieve early on) and still leaves the "wailing on" tactic very viable. Plus the staredown becomes reaaally important, as I feel it should be.
  6. It does work, according to the rules. But you can say than anything over range 2 (the burst activation range if I'm not mistaken) would not trigger the burst effect. Your call.
  7. My answer based on my interpretation of the lore; If it is a ritualised, honor duel, then no. Kami should not interfere with that like they should not interfere with any form of law matters. If it is a challenge on a battlefield, or basically, not an honor duel with anything at stake aside the prowess of both combatants, then yes, I'd allow it. Though these informal duels would probably be considered a "fight" more than a duel proper. As in the case of a challenge in a skirmish, any weapon is viable. It is good to remember though that in a formal duel, one which have something bigger than the characters at stake, one that is done according to the rules of laws. A shugenja doesn't have to accept this and/or can have their yojimbo take the duel instead. Personally, I see a wide gap between a "ritualised honor duel" and a "clash". But opinions may vary. If a bushi challenge a shinobi while pursuing him on a rooftop, if the shinobi feels like being honorable or feel that it is a good thing for him to duel the bushi, then it is a go. But such duel doesn't have "rules" per say and should be considered more as a 1v1 fight than a duel (though it can still use the duel conflict mechanics, and would probably be to the death by default. Now if you decide to kill the target is another matter altogether).
  8. Basically, get in earth stance and take out your weapon (because who needs iai kata) and chill doing nothing for a few rounds? If you have less total composure than the other duelist, no choice but to strike through their earth stance and hope to incapacitated them in one shot? Doesn't make sense...
  9. Shugenja are overall slightly more powerful in the long run than a bushi. But since most game won't go to like 250xp, you need to make choices that allows you to rank up, so it is not that bad. Of course, if you just check endgame possibilities, shugenja can become a god with all techniques and skills aside kiho or shuji depending on their school. But I don't think it will be a problem for most of the gameplay which is rank 1-4 because a shugenja need to pay out of school price to increase some of their bushi skills or kata which leave them behind in ranks (and technique power) if they decide to take the god path of being good at everything.
  10. I agree, if there were decent options to put strife on the opponent during duel, or otherwise giving the option to crit with rising blade, or giving an option to take someone out of earth stance (predict can do this though, but you will lose to a character who decide to "wail" on you.) The narrative sure is that one strike win is more glorious (or honorable) but the mechanics to achieve it are not available. If both contestants are waiting for the other one to be compromised, it can take a while, becomes very weird as the one woth most composure would surely win and you don't use the staredown mechanic because initiative becomes irrelevant. A tweak to enable this narrative to be fun mechanically is also a solution, but it still requires a tweak 😕
  11. I also think the initial school ability should have a way to scale with ranks (don't they all?) I am also uncertain on an ability that will be rolled, freely? at the beginning of every scene. Seems to slow down the game a lot.
  12. Yeah, Kakita can increase the deadliness of their bites. Because you know, at the dawn of the empire...
  13. yeah, the Phoenix book felt like a story, I genuinely cared for the characters. The two other books felt like what you would find in a section of the RPG book (lore, setting etc). And then, strangely, the "lore" part at the end of the unicorn book is the weakest of the 3 books by going way too wide and not explaining the crunch that actually matters enough (meishodo and what it really is, death priests, ujik-hai customs etc). weiiiird.
  14. They are two-weapon masters. Not one-hand weapon and one hand free (like all the other guys out there?). And mechanically, it is just very weird that even in a fully unarmed combat, the Mirumoto is using their Niten technique and are the best unarmed fighter out there by default of having, well, 2 hands. (daisho only is a limitation that is not necessary, and that I also don't do, but thematically, the dragon school teaches users to use the daisho, not 2 clubs or 2 kama... But yeah, leave them that versatility of being the best "two-weapon" fighters out there, it is allright.) But you do you in then end. No houserule is for everyone.
  15. In my humble opinion; The Phoenix Novella is much better than the other two and is the only really GOOD book among the three. Great characters, great story that keeps momentum throughout but still feel tight. Thumbs up here. Scorpion one is okay. The clan lore and the great images of the city she is able to convey, and ninjas, make up for the average story. Still, some cool characters and moments in there. But what stick with me was her images, it gives great inspiration on how to describe cities in Rokugan, especially shady ones. The Unicorn book is by far the worst. Mostly just "gaijin" lore thrown on paper for most of the book. No real good storytelling at all, nothing tight. Aside the two last chapters, everything feels like the same, it is almost on the level as a lore description column in the RPG book. The story doesn't even need to be there. And then it ends in a few pages. Still, I would recommend to pick it up if you want to learn about gaijin, or Unicorns a bit. It is in then end, MORE L5R LORE and this book does a good job at lore.
  16. I still think not letting the players use their success on the persuade check to inflict a strife then one extra strife per 2 bonus successes for the "discredit action" (as momentum works for the other "actions" in intrigue) is just something they forgot. They can't be serious when they say "go look at p.328" and use techniques (like what technique again?)... It is just another thing they didn't have time to review and polish before the release, something that happened in the dark times between the beta and the release when everybody stop working on the project. Anyway, I play it like that! (1 success = 1 strife. +1 strife per 2 bonus successes. It is more fun, still balanced, and streamlined as it plays the same way as the momentum rule. And most of all more FUN as you can use other rings to inflict strife (less than if using Fire but still). And I'm sure even "earth Reason" can be a source of strife. I sure used a lot of earth Reason and created a lot of strife. So I feel it can work in an "intrigue" which is more like a debate and more intricate than casual social encounters.
  17. Open-hand is a definite no-no, I agree! and this is how I houseruled it also. Otherwise it is too versatile even if you don't have a good initiative or don't have your "two weapons" out. For the TN reduction, it still cost you 2 deadliness (because wielding katana in 1hand) which is a 2 success cost(or opportunities with razor edge) with Heart Piercing Strike. You also need someone to actually attack you for the technique to be used as a "counter attack". Meaning you still took the first hit. Not making any excuses, the Mirumoto technique is still very strong, but I am not certain it needs to be nerfed on top of the open hand nerf. I could be convinced it needs to be though! I generally try to balance things for rank 1 to 3 as after that, the game goes into total nutcase territories and balance just isn't a thing anymore.
  18. NO the discredit action does not "explicitly tell you to use momentum to inflict strife" as you said. Go read it again.....
  19. No, "discredit" p.255 doesnt inflict strife instead of momentum. Read it again. But it should, as per how I play it. Some people...
  20. because in the Intrigue chapter, if you choose the goal of "discrediting" someone, the rule mentions you need to make them lose their composure. that is like, the GOAL.
  21. I agree. It is a problem for duels and intrigues, mostly. For intrigues, there is specifically a rule to "discredit" others and the text specify it can be done with opportunities on p.328 or techniques. And I'm like... But, there are basically no technique that put strife on someone! Again, some kind of problem that happened in the rush, dark period of development, that seem to have been between beta and full release. For the intrigues, I actually use the success on the social check to inflict 1 strife +1 more strife per two bonus successes (basically, you inflict strife instead of momentum, if you specifically do the "discredit" intent which doesn't give momentum points anyway). It is a bit better, as it makes it possible to discredit someone using any ring and not just fire (though fire is still better at it because of the opportunity usage). Edit; there ARE a few techniques, but overall, it surely feels lacking. For duels too, there should be a way to inflict strife without striking. And no, predict action is not good enough for it.
  22. Yup, but you won't make that water-void-earth character lose composure, unless you basically throw a "you take 10 strife!" at him/her but say to the other players; "but you guys take only 3". so in the end, to go back on the original subject, it is not really that possible for the GM to make such character lose composure, unless it comes out as an obvious "unfair stab" at the player, which are not cool things to do usually.
  23. This is an interesting side of the system, the way that a lot of thing is very binary. It does create a bit of issues to have characters that are on different ends of the spectrum as extremes are quite extreme in this game. Your big crab can probably handle 5 times as many "mobs" striking at him than your courtier who would struggle against one. It is challenging for the GM, and not the ideal design, but I am sure you can find ways to challenge each players on their weaknesses. Its just that some things will be sometimes trivial for one of you player and absurdly difficult for another. Try to make it so that every player gets their "turn" at being the weak one in a scene.
  24. If the player build their character to be hard to strife out, nothing you can really do. Same as if a player made an Earth crab with a big full plate. You can't challenge that character with regular physical damage mobs (unless you make the difficulty of the opponent so strong that the other players would basically be one shot and just always attack the crab player). You have to find an other way of challenging the player, on one of their weakness. The challenges need to be set for the average of the party. But some challenges can be harder for one character to deal with than for another. Example, using supernatural dmg would make the crab player be vulnerable. But you cannot always do that. The way the game works is like that, it is a "hard counter" game. No point most of the time to just try to overwhelm one player strong side at the detriment of the other players. Basically, as much as the big crab earth in armor is "almost" immune to physical damage, the water-void character is "almost" immune to be strifed out, but that character can be dealth with in other ways, just that he won't have issues with strife at all, and not much you can do there.
  25. yeah, water 2... can't really go without it. dumping water is straight up insanity most of the time. that is a bit of the Kakita problem, there is no ring he can "dump". so you end up spending a LOT of XP on rings, and not have many techniques/skills. But it is good at what it does later on.
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