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Everything posted by T_Kageyasu

  1. Yes, you threaten them with a successfully placed strike, that they can choose to dodge for fatigue, or choose to not dodge resulting in a critical hit. I interpret failure to hit the TN more akin to missing without the opponent needing to dodge (aka a wiff). Note that spending opportunity can also be used to save face for failing to hit the TN so that you don't appear as incompetent. In your scenario, you still need to successfull reach the TN, then you can spend opportunity to bypasses target having a choice in whether to take the critical hit or not (unless they are in earth stance). If armor physical resistance is greater than fatigue dealt, as stated razor edge weapons become dull/damaged, so the better options include dealing a critical, spending extra successes for additional damage, lowering armor resistance via kata, spending your action to assist others so they more effectively threaten, and probably others I'm missing.
  2. In previous editions, if you didn't outright kill your opponent or successfully strike to first blood, the whole thing immediately ended without resolution or devolved into a clash until someone yielded or died. I think that if the intention is to reconstruct the thematic feel of an Iaijutsu Duel, it really needs refined parameters within the current ruleset (what is or is not acceptable actions in an iaijutsu duel) or is mechanically rewritten so the one strike kill is achievable without exploding dice, rings maxed out, or higher rank kata.
  3. The conditions of the duel need to be agreed upon by both parties (and sanctioned by their respective masters) before anything can commence. Duels are supposed to be between equals or individuals of equal standing, therefore it wouldn't traditionally even make sense. Now this game sometimes blurs the line between classes (at least mechanically) in this edition, so tradition might be going out the window and this "duel" is more of a formal skirmish for lack of a better term. If the bushi agrees to the request, I don't see why it would be dishonorable, but it would be unorthodox at best. Duels are meant to resolve a question, like who is the superior swordsman? who is the winner of a dispute? who is favored by the kami? When you muddle the variables of artistry in arms vs artistry in magic, the answer becomes less clear about vindication and only resolves skill in combat.. so what really is the point of that match up? In other words, why duel?
  4. In practice I don't see many bushi taking downtime scenes for a discount shugenja ritual mid conflict.
  5. I'll accept that characters can have considerable skill overlap, but the role of professions are distinct. If your bushi are calling upon the kami why bother having schools in the first place?
  6. Cross skill training and diverse experience is essential for any well rounded samurai, but do the shugenja in your game really stand toe to toe with duelists and other martial builds? How many bushi heavily invest in artisan or scholar skills? How well rounded a characters is largely depends on the campaign and challenges the PCs more regularly face, but the differences among classes aren't negligible. All else being equal, certain clans and families are just generally better than your average samurai at a few specific things.
  7. It's ironic because imho I see these moments as characters standing out and excelling. They should be the best at what they were trained to do center stage. I agree that it shouldn't mean the other characters are humiliated, but said courtier shouldn't be standing toe to toe against the Maw. Conversely, it's imperative for the GM to create scenes for the diplomat and duelist to have their own moments to shine. This being said, I appreciate that Hidas make great duelists too. This isn't combat simulator (D&D) so it's not expected to be balanced for every scene and every challenge, that's why I think the designers made their ninjo / giri wheel.
  8. Ok I'll bite, difficulty in conflicts are character specific therefore there's no such thing as fairness: what is a challenge for one is not necessarily a challenge for another, and this scales by rank. How would you composure challenge said PC Iuchi the Impervious?
  9. And only an issue when you have a GM that doesn't challenge PCs in creative and compelling ways. Yes, there are many ways to reduce Strife, but it should be a tug-of-war, mind games and all.
  10. I don't disagree with you on earth stance, as the earlier editions equivalent of increasing TN to reduce damage was more balanced with the other stances you could take. The new system is firmly bound to the strife and fatigue gauges. I think increasing the fitness check to reduce criticals might have been a better mechanic rather than mimicking air. For example, multiply success results to reduce a critical threat by x2 rather than outright preventing opponents from spending Opps to threaten a crit. But this response isn't in "houserules" so I'll curtail the target conversation here.
  11. Counter the approach: if characters consistently turtle up, peg them with arrows from afar until they switch to water.
  12. The Yasuki and Mantis lands remind me of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia but I'm strictly talking more tropical and jungle like terrain. The mystical lands of the Kitsune and Naga I envision more like having a Thai aesthetic. I try to focus more on vegetation and geographic similarities rather than rw societal or cultural similarities... as alluded in previous comments, we're talking about a fantasy setting inspired by many cultures (predominantly Japanese) that at the same time isn't any of them. Looking for where Rokugan was inspired from in rl can be useful, but I'm leary of painting broad strokes when it comes to any ethnic similarities.
  13. Sounds like you have a mechanism that works for you. Personally, I'd handle it a little differently, but that's probably because my PCs are fine with having flexible duration rounds when it makes sense. I think a little more guidance for multi round actions and TNs to get there could be beneficial, but strict or fiercely literal interpretations of rules is not my idea of leisurely recreation, but sticking to a formula is good for the table.
  14. Common sense is not a houserule. Perhaps I take a far more loose and figurative approach to this game, using Rokugani social convention to round out the supposed gaps in the mechanics. In your scenario, I'd ask everyone what their multi round actions are and go from there. Why or how did your NPC get nerfed? Did your PC roll some amazingly hight TN courtesy or command check to force him into a non ideal situation without a counter proposal?
  15. There's no need to houserule *everything* @Avatar111 Unless they are arrow dueling at range 4 the clash doesn't begin immediately because they are not in range. As a GM I'd ask if they are taking any notable actions before getting into range. Maybe they want to epically water stance into range, or fire stance over the mooks rushing to get out of their way. If their honorless dog of an enemy starts firing arrows, I'd be fine with keeping those previous round air opportunities. If they want to cleansing breath a few rounds and wait for their opponent to walk to them, that's fine too. My point is that unless there's a compelling reason, why not fast forward to the skirmish scene? The play by play can certainly be important and pivotal to success or failure, but let that be on your players to decide. Keep the action coming unless you intentionally want to introduce mind games on the battlefield.
  16. Maybe the range 5 is for challenges across the battlefield using tessen or war flags, etc. I don't see why "teleporting" keeps coming up.. a challenge is called, answered, and actions take place at the appropriate range. Do we really need an ESPN play by play leading up to combat actions? If anyone is doing anything other than getting into position, there's probably an honor loss or forfeiture on deck.
  17. This is great free and powerful customizable software that incorporates many aspects of dundjini battlemap creation software and many of the whiteboard options of roll20. I used it extensively for in person grid mapping, but it also works remotely. I loved the fog of war, personal vision, and shadow effects (which are available on roll20 with a paid subscription plan). Major downside of maptools was that everyone needed the same version of the software and it wasn't as easy a learning curve compared to well supported subscription services (battlemap rpg, roll20, etc).
  18. I know we're talking about rules here, but the psychological and social implications of being corrupted should not be understated either. Prevention might be as simple as sometimes available prophylactics, but just being corrupted should have lasting effects given uncertain rates of successfull curing. I'd be tempted to make this a hidden roll to play up the suspicion, either hiding the TN for those administrating the afflicted, or hiding the result from afflicted PCs.
  19. Just playing Fu Leng's advocate here, but if one approach doesn't succeed why shouldn't a PC be allowed to learn from their failure and attempt the same skill with a different approach? It all depends on the circumstances and consequences of that failure. If the GM doesn't escalate the difficulty (wounds festering making TN more difficult, maybe the suspicious tower guard calling backup, or running out the clock), the PCs should have leeway. Personally, I agree with avatar that it's up to the GM to set the conditions for the skill roll (ratchet up the tension and economy), else why bother with a roll if failure or success is trivial? This game forces us to think about what makes for a decent challenge.. being exposed to the taint after a casual encounter with hordes of undead at the wall, or being lost and delirious in the Shadowlands without the luxury of a restful downtime scene? There needs to be a more guidance for setting up the appropriate challenges at all ranks of play, but this is a good start.
  20. It's a great way to escalate a duel from first blood to the death
  21. I've considered this too, but my trouble as a GM was revealing too much about the surprise subplots the characters might encounter. For a limited session campaign being upfront works best because characters need guidance so they feel competent enough to deal with situational challenges. If the intention is slowly building tension and revealing a thin veil between a normal and dark reality, maybe you can set the tone that those general skills only apply to routine, non esoteric lore.
  22. Certainly, and their hubris of combat superiority might lead to their downfall at the hands of a nameless farmer. In this game anyone can gank anyone, but status should matter. To my point, it would be nice if there was a quick way of assessing threats between combatants (politically, socially, pugilistically) that contributed to gains and losses of honor and glory. Maybe the average difference in status is staked by the challenger, which is converted into gains or losses of glory if victorious. So high status combatants would never formally challenge lessers (without loss) but have no problems with less formally hacking them to pieces during the course of battle. They might answer challenges, but not gain anything for it, aside from proving themselves.
  23. I agree, but think of battles in L5R more akin to chess where any pawn can challenge a bishop, and if the knight steps in to silence the threat there might be a small honor loss, but losing the game is far worse for everyone.
  24. Yes, this is more a question of honor and glory than anything else. There's no glory to be found in killing peasants or goblins (depending on their effective numbers), or bashing an artisan to pulp. An honorable samurai would let an inferior opponent retreat, but stand up to them if they persisted.
  25. Good point, there should probably be more emphasis on the importance of sizing up enemies both martially and politically in this game. Sure, if an artisan wields a sword and dons armor they shouldn't claim to be a non-combatant when Hida or Matsu show up... but then again, would Hida or Matsu debase themselves by quarreling with an unworthy combatant? "Agasha san, did you misplaced your paint brush this morning? I believe I saw one safely to the side of this battlefield"
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