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mortthepirate

[RPG] Shugenja (huh!) what are you good for?

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Shugenja compared to Bushi/Samurai are expected to be overpowered.

Unless you treat a shugenja as a thief class in a regular DND game.

Same as in DND, Wizards are often more powerful than Warriors in terms of raw damage or effects.

 

There is no way to balance this as if you look on the concept of a magic caster and a warrior, a caster is more often than not born with it, then it is trained, a caster can also become a warrior, but it isn't always true the other way around.

ie Ishikens

 

The allure of swinging swords and using bows isn't lost as some people like me do like playing samurai.

The hard part is incorporating elements in which even normal samurai have a job to do, instead of sitting in a corner while the shuggies fry up baddies.

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"Magic has to be more powerful" is an assumption, not a universal truth.

 

Agreed. But it's a sufficiently ingrained assumption by now that I suspect if you made the magic user not be that powerful, people would think it looked boring and not very fun to play.

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Well, let's look at it this way- "Magic has to be more powerful if it's supposed to be worth the hassle of mastering."

 

Under the current system, if a bushi swings his sword and misses, he can swing again, losing nothing but the round's damage. He's also absurdly more likely to be wearing actual armor than his shugenja counterpart

 

If a shugenja goes for, say, a fast-cast Tail of the Fire Dragon and fumbles the roll...he's standing there empty-handed on what is presumably a field of combat. Not a good situation to be in. Especially since he still has to roll to hit with his created weapon.

Making fewer of the spells auto-hit would help. But so would realizing that past a certain point, the guy who can, in fact, commune with the elemental makeup of the universe is going to be able to do things that a guy who has spent his life mastering the use of weapons and/or unarmed combat is not.That doesn't mean he has to be better at killing things, but it means if he's focused his knowledge on killing things, he's going to have ways of doing it that the bushi could never emulate.

 

How fortunate, then, that all L5R characters get their techniques, spells, equipment, and what have you from their Clan chain of command.

 

"I wanna learn Consumed By Five Fires!"
"Your lord doesn't see why that's a good use of your time. If he wants one target really, really dead, he has bushi to do that. You, on the other hand, can be trusted to fulfill other duties"

 

[tl;dr- A player who wants their character to kill things regardless of the setting's flavor will find a way to do it. But since, unlike many other systems, the shugenja in the present system gets their spells as part of their Clan training... just tell them "no, your lord has better things for you to do than learn Ray of the Inferno."]

 

Now, as someone who's not exactly wild about, as I have said elsewhere, scroll-reading spell-slot counters, this still leaves something to be desired for me. But the fear of "the shugenja makes the bushi feel useless" is already possible to work around. How many fights did you have today?

 

Bushi has his weapons, and hopefully he's not too banged up. Shugenja... well, he definitely atomized that one formation of cavalry. And then he healed himself and everybody else who got nicked.Oh, and he cast that one earth spell to make himself a bit tougher. But oh look, here comes another enemy unit....

 

If combat is infrequent enough that your shugenja can just nuke everything leaving the bushi high and dry, people should be looking at him funny for carrying around a bookbag full of nukes all the time. Bushi don't wear armor or carry weapons in court. Why is Isawa Bob carrying around The Fires That Cleanse when he's supposed to be a spiritual leader?

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Complicated issue...Nevertheless 90% of people I know prefer playing bushi & courtiers rather tha Shugenja, so we do not get problems.

I guess, as other say, it's a matter of why you are here.

I'm here since I'm in love with Kurosawa's and Kobayashi's movies, have been fan of them since long times ago and want to see them in the context of a fantastic world.

It's not that I dislike magic, but too much high magic turn L5R games into the worst "Forgotten Realms masked as Japan" thing.... 

Never liked anime & manga (and I really dislike how most of them depict Sengoku or Tokugawa Japan).

All of my inspiration comes from old chambara movies: so my Rokugan is mostly bushi and courtier - focused...

 

That's why I hated the overly focus on supernatural mechanics of the (very small) mechanics part of 4th ed. books.

However, I'm not for cutting off Shugenja & Monks powers.

I'm for giving more mechanical options to Bushi & Courtiers: advantages, dojo rules, weapon varieties, social mechanics, politics rules, combat maneuvers, social conditions, powering up the meaning of Glory & Status, etc.. 

They gave too many spells and Kiho to monks & Shugenja.

What they gave to Bushi & Courtiers was just alternate paths...which are cool, but definitely overly too specific.

Spells & Kiho were not so mush specific, they were stuff useful for many different Monks & Shugenja.

I would have liked Bushi & Courtiers to get similar treatment in terms of mechanics than Monks & Shugenja got.

 

By the way, without touching mechanics, I guess that common sense should fix the problem.

In my Rokugan the Kami do not speak to everybody and the number of Shugenja compared to non-Shugenja is pretty small.

This way I preserve the "Kurosawa appeal" of my games.

Edited by LucaCherstich

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"Magic has to be more powerful" is an assumption, not a universal truth.

 

Yeah magic has to be powerful is an assumption. The truth is magic is as allmight as you want it to be.

 

Magic is a phaenomenon we can´t explain with real world sience. Therefore for us it has no definded boundaries and the consequence is that it can do even things concidered impossible

because all thing are only impossible as long as you find no way to make them possibel and since Magic can make anything possible nothing is impossible with Magic. 

The only way to regulate this is as designer of the Magic system and mechanics to say ok lets go for level x of Magical power but in the end Magic needs to be a least a bit powerful

to give you the feelin that it is Magic and not some kind of trick.

 

 

Why is Isawa Bob carrying around The Fires That Cleanse when he's supposed to be a spiritual leader?

 

Because beeing a spritual Leader and a Nightmare of the battlefield are not mutaly excluive.  I have seen enough animes and Wuxia movies that I can say there are many spiritual leaders in them which also have a terrifying battle strenght.

 

 

How fortunate, then, that all L5R characters get their techniques, spells, equipment, and what have you from their Clan chain of command.

 

"I wanna learn Consumed By Five Fires!"

"Your lord doesn't see why that's a good use of your time. If he wants one target really, really dead, he has bushi to do that. You, on the other hand, can be trusted to fulfill other duties"

 

[tl;dr- A player who wants their character to kill things regardless of the setting's flavor will find a way to do it. But since, unlike many other systems, the shugenja in the present system gets their spells as part of their Clan training... just tell them "no, your lord has better things for you to do than learn Ray of the Inferno."]

 

Yeah and if a Gm does this with me I stand up and go. The reason you normaly talk about the powerlevel you want to have before the game and also about the roles you want to fill and get to an agreement with all players. This means a siuation like the one above should not occuring since we all said ok you can go for the dmg Shugenja here.  If this talk does not happen and you did not inform him about any houserules which say, you can´t learn this spell, what you are doing is very abitary and a bad way of restriction. Btw  a very bad, bcause very easy abusable mechanic to let you lord decide waht you get and what not. Because as you demonstrated you Gm canjust troll you if he wants to punish you for no reason at alll. And yes I don´t count the stupid envy of you do more than I do a vaild reason where people should be focused on what they can do and not what other can do better.

 

 

By the way, without touching mechanics, I guess that common sense should fix the problem.

Yeah common sense would help but than most of th humans are not possesing it because the common sense is all but not common.

Edited by Teveshszat

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Thing is, everyone are learning how to become more in commune with universe, because that's what increasing Rings essentially means; especially the Void Ring, but other rings too. Another thing where L5R generally fails is mentioning that martial arts aren't just "mastering the weapons", but are also deeply spiritual art of self perfection, leading to better understanding of yourself and the world, becoming one with it. "Magic is powerful, so it's worth learning" is and should be as true as "1000 years of steel are powerful, so they are worth learning". There is literally no reason other than mage priveligism and "intellectual arts have to beat physical arts" to make magic inherently better than secret arts of the dojo; and it's simply jarring that one guy is literally able to turn arrows away by depleting a not-so-limited resource (spell slot) and making a funny dance, while a guy on the same "playing level" can't do the same by focusing for a second, depleting much more limited resource (Void Point) and then making a really quick succession of sword slashes, also deflecting arrows by mastering the air. There is literally no reason for this, other than favorism towards magic and assumption that it should be inherently more powerful than physical arts. Should it be more powerful than martial training of budoka? Sure. Should it be more powerful than martial arts of Daidoji Bob, the Shining Prince Of Rice Guarding? Sure. But heroic (player-characterish) magic should be on the same level as "rank-equivalent" heroic (player-characterish) martial arts.

 

And no, dude missing a sword hit is actually doing terrible. He just probably wasted around 1/3 of his actions TOTAL in this round doing nothing, exposed himself to a counterattack without giving his opponent any wound penalties, lost tempo, didn't use his action to aquire a good tactical position, didn't adopt Defence Stance to gain extra ATN, and in general, made 0 impact on the combat. Just because "there is no cost associated with launching your attack" doesn't mean "you lose nothing by missing", because you lose a lot. In fact, often you will lose a lot even if you hit (though L5R is better than many other games in this regard simply because in DnD, if your opponent has 100 hp and you hit him for 99, he is still at full combat capacities, ready to tear you up; here, he will be at significant disadvantage).

 

Saying that "sure, there is no problem with these spells, because you can just say that your player cannot gain them using his "Rank-up free spells", lol!" isn't helping either, because uh, it kinda shows that one of core mechanics of the Shugenja is busted, because you literally have to censor the spell lists? And yes, I should *totally* punish my player for wanting to play a character that has ability to nuke enemies, simply because game system handles it badly. If game presents "Fire master of nuking" as viable archetype, advice to GMing for Shugenja definitely shouldn't be "punish them in character for trying to play a concept that's presented as viable and picking spells that are presented as viable".

 

Saying that "no problem, Shugenja will suck after 20 combat encounters, just throw 20 combat encounters at them" is also not fixing the problem, but only showing that Shugenja are so problematic, that they actively warp the way you need to structure the adventure in order to work. And yes, 20 is only a little over the top, because you usually need to cast about one combat spell per combat, assuming you know what you are doing. And yeah, while I really like combat, there is usually place for only one combat scene per game session, be it a duel or a skirmish, so "make 2 hours of 4 hours of your whole game focused on softening up shugenja, just so he won't totally wreck the climatic boss battle of the evening...and when everyone else will be out of Void Points and Wounds, because well, enemies can hit you too" won't help. Again, the whole model of "Shugenja need to be more powerful because they are shooting using a limited (but not really, unless you are a **** gm specifically targeting them) resource" needs to go; make special actions like martial wonders and spells activated by spending a Void Point, no matter if you are a Shugenja, Bushi, or Courtier, and don't use it to justify out-of-whack effect of Shugenjas.

 

Teve - that's only one definition of magic. In general, wherever you look, you will find a "definition of magic specific for this system/place/fiction". In Faerun, magic was at one point ability to understand the "force field binding the world together, which was also technically a body of a Goddess" and using it's mechanics to achieve specific results; it had very scientific approach to it, too. In Mage The Awakening, magic is ability to reach into supernal world of truth and lifting the Lie of fallen world, to reshape it under certain rules. In L5R, magic is asking elemental spirits to do specific things. Magic can and definitely *should* be definied and have clear boundaries, simply because magic that doesn't have it, usually ends up uninteresting and handwave-plot-device. 

I mean, look at "magic" in Avatar; would you expect Bending to allow you telepathy, raise dead, or summon large fish? There are clear boundaries to Bending. 

One of reasons why I really disliked Expanded Universe of Star Wars was that it took the Force and really killed it's flavor, making Force Users into some weird things that could levitate, drop meteorities, ignite things, control your blood, and generally didn't "fit" the boundaries of original-material Force (which were never really stated, yes, but I dunno, it was pretty easy to "get it", at least for me; which is why I really feel out of place when playing The Old Republic, and seeing all the stuff flying around me)

 

Common sense won't help you at the game table, simply because in general people have different ideas of how things should look like, and thus will have two very different common senses; one of reasons why mechanics, game books, and predefinied settings are needed at all is because people need to anchor themselves to a common ground clear and "the same" for everyone else, in order to make sure they are all on the same page. 

One person can literally expect that your Air Shugenja won't do much in court because he will have spell effects making him glow and stand visually stand out, while other person will assume that spell effects are subtle and non-noticeable unless noted in description. Their common senses clash; which is more common sense-ish? 

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OK, but common sense tells me that if you have 100 players and 80 players choose Shugenja....that version of Rokugan is a bit too much "high fantasy" to me.

If in a player troupe you get no more than 1 Shugenja, maybe things get better, even if they have the bloody powerful rules that they have. 

If they are rare, you can jutstify why Bushi & Courtiers have their roles.

But maybe it's just me.

1 powerful Shugenja is fine, fun and interesting.

10 powerful Shugenja in the same group...is not for my vision of Rokugan.

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The point is in the setting of Rokugan a Shugenja does not need to have an incentive to become a Shugenja.

He can speak with the kami so he is expected to become one as simple as that. 

Shugenja don't need to be more powerful then anything. It is their sacred duty to learn the stuff.

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OK, but common sense tells me that if you have 100 players and 80 players choose Shugenja....that version of Rokugan is a bit too much "high fantasy" to me.

If in a player troupe you get no more than 1 Shugenja, maybe things get better, even if they have the bloody powerful rules that they have. 

If they are rare, you can jutstify why Bushi & Courtiers have their roles.

But maybe it's just me.

1 powerful Shugenja is fine, fun and interesting.

10 powerful Shugenja in the same group...is not for my vision of Rokugan.

 

First of all, if you have a group of 10 in the same game, I feel like there's way too many people. I prefer having a game with 3 to 5 players.

 

Second, if you have a huge number of Shugenja in your group, that's fine, just give them a hard time to solve spiritual problems instead. My players rarely want to play Shugenja because they know that I'll want them to play the Roleplay (with a capital R) of a Shugenja. They're getting involved in Shinto's discussion, Spiritual trouble, etc. Sure they have spells when they have to deal with stuffs, but they also have their own stuffs to deal with, that the courtier and bushi just can't.

 

I've read most of this topic and when I was reading it, this question came to my mind: "Are the storytellers doing their job?" Specially when I've read the locust shell's post (I do not mean any offense). My Shugenja in my game has a hellish time right now, because I gave him some visions which involved spiritual problems. His reaction, after each vision that I gave him was: "Oh ****, I'll have to deal with that ****?". The other players are like: "You picked to be the Shugenja, so yes, deal with it" without even knowing the vision. I'll bring my question back: "Are the storytellers doing their job?" It's easy to say: "That archtype is doing someone else's job." but the real question is: "Is the storyteller gave the Shugenja a job?"

 

I know that some storyteller barely prepare their game. On my side, I usually take 2 hours for each 4 hours of session. I write the main direction with branching path, I write some visions, etc. I do not improvise my game, sure there is improvisation, but the main stream isn't and I never forced my group to follow the main stream, which is why I always prepare branching path. Some of my players asked me: "Did we picked the path you were hoping for?". My answer was simply to show what I have prepared and he was like: "Ok, we really had to pick a wild choice to not go somewhere you were prepared." To archieve this kind of stuffs, I feel like the "Challenge/Focus/Strike" is really a good suggestion from the 4th edition. Take their confort zone and attack this zone, don't let them attack yours.

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Is the game designer doing the job he was paid for? "Put a band-aid on badly designed thing", and "if there is a rock blocking a road, just walk drop your cart and walk around it", aren't good solutions; good solution is "get competent person to write it next time, so rock will disappear".

Edited by WHW

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Is the game designer doing the job he was paid for? "Put a band-aid on badly designed thing", and "if there is a rock blocking a road, just walk drop your cart and walk around it", aren't good solutions; good solution is "get competent person to write it next time, so rock will disappear".

 

Is the band-aid box tells you what kind of injury you should put the band-aid on? Nope. They just tells you how the band-aid works, the rest, it's up to common sense. Geez, are you trolling or something? Because I've read you a lot and you whine more than bring solutions.

 

Also in every game designs, there will have people that like it and people that won't. There's also budget limitation, there's also deadline, there's also human's factor (Mistakes happen you know!). How about you bring a solution instead?

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Is the band-aid box tells you what kind of injury you should put the band-aid on? Nope. They just tells you how the band-aid works, the rest, it's up to common sense

 

Which is actually a problem cause it is totaly possible to mess up with this and make it worse than before. Thats why most people who deal with such things regularly or are often in siuation where first aid can be needed do regular courses so that they know what to do.

This is not common sense and as I allready mentioned the common sense is all but not common. Actually Gurps did it right and made an actuall advanatge out of it.

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The point is in the setting of Rokugan a Shugenja does not need to have an incentive to become a Shugenja.

He can speak with the kami so he is expected to become one as simple as that. 

Shugenja don't need to be more powerful then anything. It is their sacred duty to learn the stuff.

Not really relevant when we're talking about why a player, who is outside of the setting, would choose to play one.

 

 

OK, but common sense tells me that if you have 100 players and 80 players choose Shugenja....that version of Rokugan is a bit too much "high fantasy" to me.

If in a player troupe you get no more than 1 Shugenja, maybe things get better, even if they have the bloody powerful rules that they have. 

If they are rare, you can jutstify why Bushi & Courtiers have their roles.

But maybe it's just me.

1 powerful Shugenja is fine, fun and interesting.

10 powerful Shugenja in the same group...is not for my vision of Rokugan.

 

First of all, if you have a group of 10 in the same game, I feel like there's way too many people. I prefer having a game with 3 to 5 players.

 

Second, if you have a huge number of Shugenja in your group, that's fine, just give them a hard time to solve spiritual problems instead. My players rarely want to play Shugenja because they know that I'll want them to play the Roleplay (with a capital R) of a Shugenja. They're getting involved in Shinto's discussion, Spiritual trouble, etc. Sure they have spells when they have to deal with stuffs, but they also have their own stuffs to deal with, that the courtier and bushi just can't.

 

The problem is, the game does a terrible job of laying out what those things are supposed to be.

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Wasn't "Rokugan your way" the mantra of 4th edition?

 

My way of L5R is "few Shugenja - I like Kurosawa". My players know it and they think like me.

 

If you like more Shugenja and, therefore, more "high fantasy anime" and "less Kurosawa", this is perfectly OK: it is your game.

 

BUT if your players choose Shugenja ONLY because they can kick the Bushi's bottoms everyday and not because of how special Shugenja are in story terms....that's not just a Mechanics problem, that's a power-player problem...although some people like it that way.

Given this, I approve again the issue that Bushi & Courtiers should have more interesting mechanical options....like bloody Monks & Shugenja have! 

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Crawd, I think that you are really approaching this from your subjective experience. Imagine if in your game you laid out these spiritual challenges you describe and your shugenja player said, "cool, don't care about that, where is the next group of bandits for me to fry? All my spells are about frying bandits, clearly I'm telling you that's what I want to do in this game, why are you throwing these spiritual issues at me when you know I'm not going to follow up on them?"

This is not a GM or storyteller issue. And GMs can be doing a great job and still have these issues come up. If the mechanics of the shugenja were about dealing with spiritual issues that resolves the problem, not the tired, worn out "blame the player/GM" argument. Just like the mechanics give bushi and courtiers roles in the setting, the same should be true for shugenja.

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Crawd, I think that you are really approaching this from your subjective experience. Imagine if in your game you laid out these spiritual challenges you describe and your shugenja player said, "cool, don't care about that, where is the next group of bandits for me to fry? All my spells are about frying bandits, clearly I'm telling you that's what I want to do in this game, why are you throwing these spiritual issues at me when you know I'm not going to follow up on them?"

This is not a GM or storyteller issue. And GMs can be doing a great job and still have these issues come up. If the mechanics of the shugenja were about dealing with spiritual issues that resolves the problem, not the tired, worn out "blame the player/GM" argument. Just like the mechanics give bushi and courtiers roles in the setting, the same should be true for shugenja.

 

Your example also shows a subjective experience. You have a group that only care about frying bandits. While I found that sad if that's all they care about, maybe it's the lack of experiencing something else than frying bandits. Did I start playing L5R with what I'm talking about right now? Of course not. I started by the desire to wack bandits up. I was like this until I've passed through new experiences and learned more about the world of L5R. I've said it that I've played games where character sheets wasn't even looked up once and didn't roll a single dice. I've also said this may be because my group is more advanced or prefer the roleplay at playing a dice game.

 

I guess that you're mechanic focus while I'm setting focus. If you read what I've said, I never said there wasn't some missing mechanics, in fact, I have told that it's true. However, I've also said that you don't need a mechanic for everything and some stuffs can be done other way. There's a lot of stuffs that the storyteller and the players do that doesn't have mechanics and yet, nobody complains because it's something that you're used to do. Talking to an officer, petitionning a magistrate, traveling between towns/villages. These seems stupid but it's something that we know and we're doing. The Shugenja's role is written in the setting. What stops you from reading it? What stops a player from reading it? You play a character that lives in another world, another universe, the way of thinking isn't the same, so you have to know what's the way of thinking to make your character behave in his world, not the other way around.

 

You can have an RPG with a mechanics for everything, but you'll feel that very heavy after a while. I'm sure the corebook would be heavy if there was all mechanics in the corebook...

 

 

Edit: There's a few very poorly said things in this post, I will admit it. Sorry for any offense, my other post kinda addresses them.

Edited by Crawd

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What stops you from reading it? What stops a player from reading it? You play a character that lives in another world, another universe, the way of thinking isn't the same, so you have to know what's the way of thinking to make your character behave in his world, not the other way around.

 

The question is not what stop the player or Gm from reading it. Actually most do. The real problem comes up when people refer to their interpreation of the setting as the right one and on this basis they jugde your interpretation of how a Shugenja behavs, works, lives etc as wrong one.

This they back up with things like realsim and co. This is a problem cause nothing can be proven wrong or right since there is a lact of mechanics.

Yes the optional rules in the Archiev book can help but they are optional and therefore people can´t use them as default base of argumentation.

Mechanics are needed to avoid problems like how to play something and if your version right or wrong. Which actually is not done with the Shuegnja and therefore people have the problems we describe here.

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The question is not what stop the player or Gm from reading it. Actually most do. The real problem comes up when people refer to their interpreation of the setting as the right one and on this basis they jugde your interpretation of how a Shugenja behavs, works, lives etc as wrong one.

This they back up with things like realsim and co. This is a problem cause nothing can be proven wrong or right since there is a lact of mechanics.

Yes the optional rules in the Archiev book can help but they are optional and therefore people can´t use them as default base of argumentation.

Mechanics are needed to avoid problems like how to play something and if your version right or wrong. Which actually is not done with the Shuegnja and therefore people have the problems we describe here.

 

 

What are you suggesting then? Beside: "Plz bring mechanics". I would like to see them. There's a lot of suggestion that we said that you simply deny, I would like to see yours now.

Edited by Crawd

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The question is not what stop the player or Gm from reading it. Actually most do. The real problem comes up when people refer to their interpreation of the setting as the right one and on this basis they jugde your interpretation of how a Shugenja behavs, works, lives etc as wrong one.

This they back up with things like realsim and co. This is a problem cause nothing can be proven wrong or right since there is a lact of mechanics.

Yes the optional rules in the Archiev book can help but they are optional and therefore people can´t use them as default base of argumentation.

Mechanics are needed to avoid problems like how to play something and if your version right or wrong. Which actually is not done with the Shuegnja and therefore people have the problems we describe here.

 

 

What are you suggesting then? Beside: "Plz bring mechanics". I would like to see them. There's a lot of suggestion that we said that you simply deny, I would like to see yours now.

 

 

There have been numerous ways to do combat and non-combat mechanics (important distinctions) for classes like the Shugenja but it all comes down to what the designer wants to accomplish. Oh, and whether or not we have another custom dice centric FFG rpg.

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Ye ole roleplay vs roll play, story vs mechanic. Personally I like to side with roleplay and story any day over mechanics. I am a strong advocate of the rules are only a guideline, and the GM is the final arbitrator of the story, as he is the Storyteller. Now does this solve every problem that arises? Definately not. Yet if gamemaster and players are reasonable problems can be resolved on a case by case scenario.

I also do not think either story or mechanics is going to solve the imbalance issues that are under discussion. I am of the belief it takes both, as well as a little creativity on the part of the gaming group as a whole to assert balance. Please do not put the weight upon the gamemaster alone. Story working with mechanics in co-operation of the players and gamemaster create a dynamic game where all feel they play a role, and are important to its success.

A roleplaying game that is too burdened by mechanics begins to feel like a board game.

A roleplaying game with great story but its mechanics are too losely written creates rules lawyer arguments that totally unravel the game until it is unplayable.

So where do you find a solution? On a case by case basis with a mutual understanding of each gaming group. This is why having a campaign planning session, and communicating character concepts/ builds can be beneficial. I like clear communication in my groups. Hey guys how did you like that last scenario? Too hard? Too easy? Something I was unclear about? Just some thoughts, and observations.

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Crawd, nothing I've said supports the way you've tried to rephrase my point. In fact, your attempts are very disingenuous - my groups don't only care about frying bandits and more importantly I never said they did - you inserted that for whatever reason. Your mock pity for them is therefore unnecessary. You have either not considered what I've said or deliberately tried to rephrase it. I'm not even sure what you mean by saying I you guess I am "mechanics focused" vs "setting focused" as if this is some dichotomy. I think most people are both mechanics focused and setting focused if I'm even understanding what you mean by that. My whole point is that the mechanics should fit the setting. We want good mechanics that reinforce the setting. There is no conflict here, rather the two should support each other.

The problem also isn't that there aren't mechanics for shugenja it is that mechanically, the game incentives certain things that are not present in the setting or does not account for important things that are present. I think what I and others are trying to say is that this issue needs to be addressed. What you seem to be saying is that your "more advanced" group doesn't care if the setting and mechanics match. That may be fine for you, but for those of us who do want them to match, your argument doesn't even apply.

Edit: Please understand for some people there is no such thing as story vs mechanic or roleplay vs roll play. For some people these things support one another and are mutually inclusive not exclusive. When you suggest such a dichotomy exists you will be having a different conversation than the one being had by someone who thinks there is no dichotomy. The same would be true if the tables were turned.

Edited by cparadis

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Crawd, nothing I've said supports the way you've tried to rephrase my point. In fact, your attempts are very disingenuous - my groups don't only care about frying bandits and more importantly I never said they did - you inserted that for whatever reason. Your mock pity for them is therefore unnecessary. You have either not considered what I've said or deliberately tried to rephrase it. I'm not even sure what you mean by saying I you guess I am "mechanics focused" vs "setting focused" as if this is some dichotomy. I think most people are both mechanics focused and setting focused if I'm even understanding what you mean by that. My whole point is that the mechanics should fit the setting. We want good mechanics that reinforce the setting. There is no conflict here, rather the two should support each other.

The problem also isn't that there aren't mechanics for shugenja it is that mechanically, the game incentives certain things that are not present in the setting or does not account for important things that are present. I think what I and others are trying to say is that this issue needs to be addressed. What you seem to be saying is that your "more advanced" group doesn't care if the setting and mechanics match. That may be fine for you, but for those of us who do want them to match, your argument doesn't even apply.

 

My bad, I didn't wanted to say to rephrase your point as your group, I wanted to point the group you were pointing out. I apology for this. Also, you seems to rephrase that I do not agree that some additional mechanics could be good. I've said it a few times actually, I don't find the need but I won't refuse it. I agree that the Shugenja mechanics aren't strongly pointing into the setting, they are but weakly. I never deny this. In my games, I'm simply solving this kind of stuffs through roleplay.

 

I've also said that some group (I'm not pointing anyone's group) aren't roleplaying much and just want to "roll their stuffs up", this is reality. There's also everywhere between all roleplay and fully dice rolling. I'll explain my point here with the "Investigation roll syndrome", there's some players, and even some storyteller, that immediatly ask for an investigation roll each time they enter a new room while "Dungeon crawling". There might have something under the carpet, if someone asks to look under the carpet, will you make him roll the skill? Some will, others don't. While there's a mechanics on the investigation, it's not required to always use it. That's also my point.

 

Sorry again for the way I've said it, I will admit that it wasn't well said.

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Ye ole roleplay vs roll play, story vs mechanic. Personally I like to side with roleplay and story any day over mechanics. I am a strong advocate of the rules are only a guideline, and the GM is the final arbitrator of the story, as he is the Storyteller. Now does this solve every problem that arises? Definately not. Yet if gamemaster and players are reasonable problems can be resolved on a case by case scenario.

I also do not think either story or mechanics is going to solve the imbalance issues that are under discussion. I am of the belief it takes both, as well as a little creativity on the part of the gaming group as a whole to assert balance. Please do not put the weight upon the gamemaster alone. Story working with mechanics in co-operation of the players and gamemaster create a dynamic game where all feel they play a role, and are important to its success.

A roleplaying game that is too burdened by mechanics begins to feel like a board game.

A roleplaying game with great story but its mechanics are too losely written creates rules lawyer arguments that totally unravel the game until it is unplayable.

So where do you find a solution? On a case by case basis with a mutual understanding of each gaming group. This is why having a campaign planning session, and communicating character concepts/ builds can be beneficial. I like clear communication in my groups. Hey guys how did you like that last scenario? Too hard? Too easy? Something I was unclear about? Just some thoughts, and observations.

 

Here's my point of view. 

 

The system and mechanics in an RPG exist to model the "world" in the game is set, and the desired feel and tone. 

 

The setting, the characters, the tone, the feel, the genre, etc, those are all the actual TERRITORY -- the mechanics and system are the MAP. 

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