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About Harzerkatze

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  1. @Magnus Grendel One place still seems to be open in my PBP campaign "Bearing the Light" on discord.gg/hsJwhJW If you are still interested.
  2. Added another combat challenge: Peasant weapons. @Tenebrae : I thought about night fighting. My problem is that Obscuring terrain alone is not much of change to regular combat: Only TN+1. One way of escalation would be giving everyone without other senses the Blind Disadvantage. Still, both are far from covering how a fight it total darkness would go, when you do not even know where an enemy is. The rules are quiet about how long it takes to light a candle/lantern, but requiring at least 1 action with a lighter in hand (requiring hands free of weapons) seems sensible, and an attack aimed at a lantern should extinguish it. An enemy with access to the Extinguish invocation like my Chochin Obake or a group of minions with night vision (goblins perhaps) would certainly have the ability to create this kind of combat szenario.
  3. Regarding Resistances, that is not necessarily the case: the Forest Troll from the Core Rulebook, for example, gets resistance from an ability, that cannot be overcome through inflicting the Damaged/Destroyed condition. So a creature with higher resistances than the Troll is easily imaginable and in line with the rules. Regarding wrestling, the problem with Predict would be that that is an action, and an Attack at that. So while you could predict Earth, you could not attack in the same round, even in Water stance. The effect is that you only attack every second round, while your opponent can attack every round (albeit only every other in Earth stance).
  4. I was thinking about ways to create uncommon combat challenges in L5R to offer variety for groups that feature combat more often. I think the rules offer a variety of scenarios that differ from how a combat usually plays out. Now, these fights need to be specially set up by the GM to avoid them being either completely unfair or easily completed with the right counter ability. I expect each will only work if certain abilities are NOT in the PCs arsenal. A few ideas: 1) Fist Fight Since unarmed attacks have very low damage, an interesting challenge might be if the PCs have to fight a skirmish or duel with unarmed strikes alone, whether as a barroom brawl or a boxing match. The result is a combat that may take multiple rounds, especially if one fights in Water Stance and thus can regenerate Fatigue. Problematic if the PCs have access to: Kiho, since that raises the damage to weapon combat levels. Also the Flowing Water Strike Kata. 2) Fighting invulnerable opponents A very special challenge might be fighting an opponent with Resistances so high that regular damage will not break through. Thematically, that may be the werewolf equivalent of a supernatural enemy immune to most weapons that has to be pretty much hacked apart before it dies. That fight can still be won, but only through critical hits, which ignore resistances. In the simpler version of this challenge, the resistance may be part of the opponent's armor, so two Critical Hits of Severity 0 are enough to destroy the armor and make the fight normal. In the harder version, the Resistances are an opponent's ability and thus not dependent of armor. Multiple critical hits may then be necessary depending on the PCs weapons: Two Lightly Wounded Crits become one Seriously Wounded, another Wound will cause a Scar, and another Scar of the same kind will result in Dying (5 rounds). Problematic if the PCs have access to: Sacred or Unholy weapons or invocations (which ignore otherworldly creature's resistances), although offering an Unholy weapon as a problematic solution is certainly interesting. The Bind the Shadow invocation can prevent the encounter by just binding the Otherworldly opponent to a place, which on the other hand means the threat is only postponed. 3) Sadane fight Sadane is the game of insult fighting, favored by the Crane courties. In a sadane fight, your words are your only weapons. Attacks may be Courtesy checks vs the target's Vigilance as TN, with success dealing Strife equal to 1+Bonus Successes, and the fight being won when an enemy becomes Compromized or Unmasks. Wargear should not be allowed in such a courtly setting. 4) Wrestling Match The lore tells us that the Unicorn clan likes to duel as wrestling matches. The problem is that there are no good rules for that: Wrestling should certainly mean inflicting the Immobilized condition, but since the only ways to do so in a wrestling context require the spending of Opportunities (Snaring weapon Quality or Coiling Serpent Style kata), simply fighting in Earth stance would make a fighter completely immune. Only the Silent Elimination ninjutzu technique would work around that, and very few schools can even learn that. Even if we were to say that in a dedicated wrestling match, Earth stance does not prevent the Immobolized condition, we would we left with a fight where a successful attack is unimportant, since the Immobilized condition only requires Opportunities, not a successful attack, and thus e.g. the Air stance bonus is useless here. It would be one way to say that in a dedicated wrestling match, causing Immobilized requires both a successful Unarmed attack AND the Opportunities to use the Snaring weapon quality, Earth Stance does not prevent that, and then having three successful instances of Immobilized as the win condition, possibly with just hitting the opponents until he is unconscious as an alternative way to win (those Unicorns can kick...). But I have not found a great solution here. Does anyone have a good idea? Problematic if the PCs have access to: Silent Elimination Ninjutzu, and Kiho if hitting opponents is allowed. 5) Mobile Opponents This is not such an obscure challenge: The PC simply face opponents good at Water Stance and either armed with ranged weapons or long-ranged melee weapons like the Kusari-Gama. Since the opponents can move two or more range bands on their turn, the PC may have to dig deep in their abilities to get in range for their own attacks, with solutions from throwing weapons as improvised attacks, immobilizing foes, using kata or invocations up to only assisting the one PC with a ranged weapon or suitable Water ring. A variation of this can play out in Concealing terrain, where opponents are only visible if they are no more than 2 range bands away, so ranged weapons are less of a solution to the opponent moving away after attacking. The inverse would be if opponents had an ability like the Armor of Radiance invovation, where it is imperative to prevent the opponent from getting near. Problematic if the PCs have access to: Without the Obscuring variation, PCs with good ranged attacks will not even notice the challenge as uncommon. 6) Balancing Fight A classic in the martial arts movie canon, this is either a duel fought balancing on top of vertical poles or a skirmish fought on scaffolding. Any hit that either exceeds a certain damage threshold or inflicts the Prone condition or pushes the opponens one or more range bands calls for a Fitness check to avoid falling a number of range bands depending on the setting, with possible bonus damage if the ground is covered in blades, glass, fire etc. While falling in the Duel version of this usually means losing the duel, PCs or opponents falling in the skirmish have to move back up before they can continue fighting, so even a single opponent good at pushing targets (e.g. with the Thunderclap Strike Kata) may keep multiple PCs busy climbing while fighting just one or two at a time. Problematic if the PCs have access to: This does not work if the PCs can just stand somewhere else and pepper the opponent with arrows. 7) Peasant Weapons Whether as a campaign set-up or only for an adventure, the PCs could be forced to act as peasants of the bonge class. An option would be that the PCs lord orders them to enter enemy territory disguised as peasants to fulfil a quest (the GM should make sure the PCs do not regard this as impossible to reconcile with their bushido). When disguised as reasants, the PCs cannot use any armor better than travelling clothes, no swords or Wargear weapons, and not use Kiho or Invocations where they are seen by others. Hatchets, hammer or perhaps a bo staff are their means of combat. Other creative ideas?
  5. One could argue that since the step isn't defined, the player can use the ability whenever there is a kept die, either in step 5 or 6.1. So he could decide to use Still the Elements right after the explosive success is rolled, before it exploded, but use the Yoriki ability later after the explosions. Same would go for the GM if the NPC have the abilities, of course.
  6. I just noticed an inconsistency on the rules regarding readying more than one weapon. Readyed Weapons, p. 230: "A character may ready a weapon at will during narrative time, or as an action during a conflict scene. When a character has the opportunity to ready weapons, they may choose to ready any number of weapons at range 0–1 that they can hold at once." Prepare Item action, p. 264: "Description: You prepare, ready, or stow one weapon or other item. Activation: As a Support action, you may interact withone item. Effects: Prepare one item for use, ready a weapon in agrip of your choice, or stow an item." So can I ready two weapons in one action or not?
  7. While I think the order of rolling dice, keeping dice, exploding, Strife, Opportunities, Success is well laid out in the Core Rulebook, there are a few gray areas when it comes to abilities that modify dice. The reason is that there are two places in the order at which the Kept Dice have been decided: Afetr step 5, and again after the explosive dice have exploded in Step 6.1, for I have to decide for each exploded new die if I want to keep it or drop it. 1) The Yoriki title ability allows you to change Kept Dice with a Success or Explosive Success result to Opportunity. Likewise, the Kuni Purifier changes Kept Dice with Strife Symbols to simple Success results. The question is: Does this happen after Step 5, so before any dice with Explosive Success have exploded, or after Step 6.1, so right after exploding those dice? Personally, I prefer to let the player roll all their dice including explosions to see what they have, and then modify them. But that certainly is more powerful than having them decide what to change in Step 5, which would mean that a die cannot be first exploded and then changed. 2) Likewise, the Still the Elements kiho allows me to change an enemy die to blank. Can I change an Explosive Success die to blank before it explodes? Another thing that came up yesterday at my group, but that is clearly laid out: In Water stance, if I have a roll with two Strife symbols and 1 Opportunity, I can spend the Opp to heal the two Strife, since Strife are converted before Opps.
  8. Since there are no shinobi schools that do not have access to all 4 ninjutzu techniques in the core rulebook, we decided that shinobi have access to all ninjutzu and should keep that access. So all schools with the shinobi tag get Ninjutzu as an added "Techniques available" at my table. A house-rule, of course.
  9. My understanding is that the sword allows the wielder to channel anchestors from Yomi. The cosmology of Rokugan is weird and contradictory on purpose, because they have two main religions with opposite afterlives (souls stay in Yomi in Fortunism, but are reincarnated in Shinseism), but because a Hantei declared both religions as true, they have to be both true, even if that is not possible. So anchestors staying around to guide their children does not mean they are somehow torn from the wheel of incarnation. It means that it's a miracle and mortals cannot really understand it.
  10. OK, I've proposed my campaign over on the Fan and Sword Discord server: Bearing the Light campaign. Right now, it is in the Find Players stage, so no dedicated channel yet. @Zantosa @Magnus Grendel If you guys are interested, feel free to have a look at the #looking_for_group_pbp channel at discord.gg/hsJwhJW
  11. Hmm, the other L5R forums do not see much traffic yet. - Rpggeek has 11 L5R forum threads altogether, only four of those in the last 5 years. - Overlight mirrors our thread structure here, which is cool, but has 18 forum members altogether. Not that the forum here was so overcrowded, but I fear noone new will find anything posted there once this here goes down.
  12. On a related note: The Bayushi Deathdealer seems to be very popular. It should be said that, while he can exploit a targets Advantage without spending a Void Point, and finding out an opponent's Disadvantage is easy with one Opportunity on Initiative or two on any check in Air stance, it must still be observed: "the player may choose a known disadvantage of one of the targets that logically could be used against the target on that check". It must make sense that the known Disadvantage is used against the opponent for the check. So if a PC Bayushi Deathdealer knows his target has Daikoku's Curse and thus bad luck at gambling, that does not automatically mean that he can reroll all his attack dice all the time. Also, the target decides which Disadvantage is revealed, and there are no rules saying that repeated use of Opportunities have to reveal new Disadvantages after the first. Otherwise, playing a PC with e.g. Dark Secret or Hidden Identity would be completely impossible. That is an advantage the Ikoma Shadow has: The staked Glory means that he can use the ability only when it really counts, for just one check. But he can always count on it.
  13. I have not played the Ikoma Shadow, but from what I can tell: a) a quite powerful school ability that is useful in skirmish, duel, intrigue... Very nice. b) What's Yours Is Mine ninjutzu at rank 1 is great, that is a powerful ability, since you can make opponents Dazed AND steal their weapons. Silent Elimination at Rank 5, however, is VERY late for a Rank 3 ninjutzu. That stings, as it is probably the most powerful ninjutzu technique and among the most unique things a shinobi can do. c) Whispers of Court is a very good free shuji for Air-based characters. Generally, the strong school ability makes you a possible force in any area, no matter if courtier, duelist or bushi. On the other hand, the school ability forces you to try to gain Glory, as that is your fuel. So you are less able to just act the villain than many other shinobi are. Regarding as to how it compares to other Shinobi: There are quite a lot of Shinobi schools with powerful abilities. The Soshi Illusionist is a whole shugenja on top, the Bayushi Deathdealer can do what you do almost every round, that Shosuro Shadowweaver is powerful... I would say you are among the more effective shinobi, but do not outclass everyone.
  14. I am a big fan of 5th edition L5R, it is probably still my favorite system. So I CLEARLY do not want a 6th edition; I would fear to lose a lot of the great things. But of course, some things are not perfect. Regarding this, ones blaring errors are the other's nitpicks, so there will never be a definitive list of deficits for 5.5 to fix. But if I had to make my own: 1) Mass Battle really does not work, as called out above. Cut Off The Head is the best action by far, it does not even need to be successful to award its points, so it ignores stances etc, even sitting in a giant castle has no effect against it, and if successful, it will probably permanently ruin the character who had the bad luck to be the targeted cohorts leader, with pretty much nothing the character can do against it. That is just awful rules design. That is the primary list in my eyes. Everything else are ideas where improvements would be nice, but if things stayed the same, that's also ok for me: a) Duels are a great mechanique that sets L5R apart from other systems. It is also great that you can use them inside of mass battles and skirmishes, and that you can do them without having to specialize for them. But it would be cooler if you could do them more like in the source material: a long staredown followed by a single strike. b) Ninjutzu is underpowered. Shinobi/Ninja are among the first things you would think of when thinking "japanese-legends-inspired fantasy RPG", but while there are many cool Kata and Kiho and Invocations, there are only 4 Ninjutzu in the book, the first ist mostly useless, because you rarely have only one opponent, the second and third require a component that costs you Glory and are still outclassed by e.g. similar invocations, and while the last one is nice, you need to be near the endgame to take it. Courts of Stone introduced new ninjutzu, but shinobi from other books can't take them. Thus, an Air-based shugenja will out-shinobi the shinobi, with turning invisible and jumping from shadow to shadow and whatnot. c) I think Shuji and Intrigues are a cool idea, but Intrigues need to be expanded to be really useful. As the rules are, I have never used them, which is a shame. d) The Titles mechanique to give characters important access to abilities that seem central in a samurai RPG is clunky and badly placed in the back of the book. e) That the Scar critical hit effects are usually less effective than the Wound critical hit effects is problematic, but easily fixed. f) A minor thing that is a per peeve of me: I really like the conditions and their effect and variety on the play. But e.g. it is strange that Prone almost always has no effect whatsoever, that you can immobilize someone and then move away from them, or that Bleeding has no effect one someone as long as they do not act a lot.
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