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mortthepirate

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

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More or less that, yes.

 

Was originally thinking something like "Set organic matter on fire. This is normally used to set fire to trees to provide light or to dead bodies for ritual cremation. However, the kami can, at the cost of X raise, be convinced to set living sentient flesh on fire. This is likely to anger the kami, and they are unlikely to do so again until you've executed some form of penance." Or words to that effect. 

Edited by Himoto

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Because living things have that totally annoying tendency to run around, scream, and try out to put out the flames. It' like asking your cat-loving friend to trimm claws of your ferocious Mittens "Meatgrinder" The Cat.

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Because living things have that totally annoying tendency to run around, scream, and try out to put out the flames. It' like asking your cat-loving friend to trimm claws of your ferocious Mittens "Meatgrinder" The Cat.

Honestly, to me that just sounds like a fun game to a Fire kami.  ;)

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Because why bother changing the mortals yourselves, when it's much more fun to watch them change themselves in their clumsy, foolish, mortal ways?

 

That's a perfectly alien explanation for kami not being particularly keen on setting fire to the living. 

Edited by Himoto

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Then comes the discussion about: "What's a living things from the point of view of a Kami?" When you think about it, we already have trouble to keep our planet alive, think about how a kami would differenciate a human from another living things. It may be a dog, a horse, a human, a plant, a tree, they are all living things. If the system starts to include raises on "setting something on fire" it will be really hard to manage once you start to check everything in the setting. What about the spirits, how about the undead, how about the Oni, how about elementals themselves, etc.

 

Let's take that on a game design level and, if I would be on a game designing team, I would do like the Wile E. Coyote and raise a sign saying: "Help!". Specially if we starts to include the amount of Water in consideration. What's the difference in Water between an undead and a human? Will this mean a Water Elemental is immune to Fire? What's the amout of water in the other creatures human like such as Naga, Nezumi, etc? Do we really want a complex system or a simple one?

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Uh, I think you are taking a joke way too far and too serious. 

In general, idea of decreasing overall number of spells to make them cover certain areas, and allow Shugenja to interact with this area using his or her skills (or to allow someone else to do it), is an interesting one. This way everyone are playing the same game, using the same base framework of "skill rolls to do stuff"; instead of "autoaim fireball", "ability to shoot fire using [pick a skill here]"; difference between "autoaim fireball" and "ability to fireball" is that second one is probably easier to use for encounter planning; instead of wondering "is my shugenja going to nuke the enemy with all of his spells in 3 rounds", you know that "he already befriended that fire elemental, he is going to be able to shoot fire one per round, kinda like party archer". 

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One thing to point out (to go back to a previous line of reasoning) is that clans up though third had "secret" spells. Spells that were not known outside of that clan. It is perfectly in character for that to be the case.

 

I am entirely a fan of mid and higher level spells being secret and unknown to the rest of the empire. What I am not a fan of is things like jade strike, the spell the that kuni intentionally gave to the rest of the empire so that is could protect itself. Remember that things need an in character justification otherwise it would not be L5R, it would be something else. There are many cases where certian spells would be open to many clans but their should be even more cases where the spells are limited that they were in fourth. But which spells are which should be specifically well throught out and honestly it should not really be at rank one where shugenja look all that different from each other.

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Uh, I think you are taking a joke way too far and too serious. 

In general, idea of decreasing overall number of spells to make them cover certain areas, and allow Shugenja to interact with this area using his or her skills (or to allow someone else to do it), is an interesting one. This way everyone are playing the same game, using the same base framework of "skill rolls to do stuff"; instead of "autoaim fireball", "ability to shoot fire using [pick a skill here]"; difference between "autoaim fireball" and "ability to fireball" is that second one is probably easier to use for encounter planning; instead of wondering "is my shugenja going to nuke the enemy with all of his spells in 3 rounds", you know that "he already befriended that fire elemental, he is going to be able to shoot fire one per round, kinda like party archer". 

 

Yeah, but the idea of fire kami in other mindsets can fundamental change the spell or its effects too. A system or GM could really run with the idea. 

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There are "secret" spells in 4e, too, but not many of them.

 

I think so, but they're more of an exception and not the rule. My proposal was to make them an integral part of the Shugenja Schools, right from the Corebook. :)

 

 

I will admit that's an idea that I really like. I have the Seppun Shugenja in head when I read this where you gain a Free Raise on spells only knows by the Imperial's families, sad thing is, there's 1 or 2 spells that are considered "Secrets to Imperial's families" and none of them are from the Corebook...

 

Something that could also be done is some "Clan specialisation spells". This may be more complex to do, but a clan may be stronger to cast the same spell as the others. For example, (Note: I've picked a damage spell since it's easier to display it) a Mantis Shugenja may add +1k0 while casting Fury of Osano-Wo. Sure this could be done through the Shugenja Technique, but I wonder if the technique shouldn't be more focused on their duty than on spells. Therefore, every clan may take the spell, but the Mantis may have the upper hand on this spell. This could be done to build a Shugenja with "typical" spells just like it's done with the Advantage/Disadvantage by giving some XP bonus when it's typical for a clan. I know that it's more complex, but it could be interesting, specially if the clan specialisation could have different effects.

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There are "secret" spells in 4e, too, but not many of them.

I think so, but they're more of an exception and not the rule. My proposal was to make them an integral part of the Shugenja Schools, right from the Corebook. :)

I will admit that's an idea that I really like. I have the Seppun Shugenja in head when I read this where you gain a Free Raise on spells only knows by the Imperial's families, sad thing is, there's 1 or 2 spells that are considered "Secrets to Imperial's families" and none of them are from the Corebook...

 

Something that could also be done is some "Clan specialisation spells". This may be more complex to do, but a clan may be stronger to cast the same spell as the others. For example, (Note: I've picked a damage spell since it's easier to display it) a Mantis Shugenja may add +1k0 while casting Fury of Osano-Wo. Sure this could be done through the Shugenja Technique, but I wonder if the technique shouldn't be more focused on their duty than on spells. Therefore, every clan may take the spell, but the Mantis may have the upper hand on this spell. This could be done to build a Shugenja with "typical" spells just like it's done with the Advantage/Disadvantage by giving some XP bonus when it's typical for a clan. I know that it's more complex, but it could be interesting, specially if the clan specialisation could have different effects.

So, I would say that if you are doing secret spells they should be in the core rulebook. Especially if they are going to retcon some spells that used to be secret spells that were made general in 4th edition. Each clan should start with two secret spells listed under their shugenja school as options. To not do this will be too confusing. I did like the general placing of most rules into the core rulebook. (Though I did not like seeing new specialty rules avoided like the plague.)

 

I also have to say, Clans allready had specializations, they were called free raises and they are annoying since they never made, a real design descision, to have raise options greater greater than two. Its true they sometimes had three or four but those were the exception not the rule. Without these raise options the free raise was really hit and miss.

Edited by Bremathon

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So, I would say that if you are doing secret spells they should be in the core rulebook. Especially if they are going to retcon some spells that used to be secret spells that were made general in 4th edition. Each clan should start with two secret spells listed under their shugenja school as options. To not do this will be too confusing. I did like the general placing of most rules into the core rulebook. (Though I did not like seeing new specialty rules avoided like the plague.)

 

I also have to say, Clans allready had specializations, they were called free raises and they are annoying since they never made, a real design descision, to have raise options greater greater than two. Its true they sometimes had three or four but those were the exception not the rule. Without these raise options the free raise was really hit and miss.

 

I know about the Free Raise through the techniques, but it doesn't feel "specialized". I think it could be interesting to see this:

 

(Note, this is a pure example)

Fury of Osano-Wo

Dmg: 5k2

Stam Roll TN 15 for Deafened effect.

Mantis: +1k0

Pheonix: TN for the Deafened effect increased by 5.

Raises: [Enter raises effect here]

 

Then instead of seeing Shugenja School with free raise, give them techniques at rank 1, 3 and 5.

 

For example, the Moshi Shugenja may look like this:

(Still pure example for the sake of explaining my point)

Rank 1 - Keep the Fire Affinity during the day.

Rank 3 - Perform an offering to the Sun Goddess granting them good fortune.

Rank 5 - During the day, the Shugenja cannot be distrubed, giving them +1k1 on Willpower Roll.

 

Of course, this is simply an idea that could be interesting. As I said, giving the Shugenja techniques that aren't focus on spell casting may bind them more to their duty and feel more interesting than "Pick some spell once your first technique is learned".

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Err... given those are different games, both setting and system-wise, I'm not sure I understand the question. :blink:

 

EDIT: I mean, the secret spell lists me and Crawd have been speaking of could be something as "Only Sith have access to Force-Lightning; only Jedi have access to Force-Heal". Is that what you meant?

Edited by Bayushi Karyudo

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So, I would say that if you are doing secret spells they should be in the core rulebook. Especially if they are going to retcon some spells that used to be secret spells that were made general in 4th edition. Each clan should start with two secret spells listed under their shugenja school as options. To not do this will be too confusing. I did like the general placing of most rules into the core rulebook. (Though I did not like seeing new specialty rules avoided like the plague.)

 

I also have to say, Clans allready had specializations, they were called free raises and they are annoying since they never made, a real design descision, to have raise options greater greater than two. Its true they sometimes had three or four but those were the exception not the rule. Without these raise options the free raise was really hit and miss.

 

I know about the Free Raise through the techniques, but it doesn't feel "specialized". I think it could be interesting to see this:

 

(Note, this is a pure example)

Fury of Osano-Wo

Dmg: 5k2

Stam Roll TN 15 for Deafened effect.

Mantis: +1k0

Pheonix: TN for the Deafened effect increased by 5.

Raises: [Enter raises effect here]

 

Then instead of seeing Shugenja School with free raise, give them techniques at rank 1, 3 and 5.

 

For example, the Moshi Shugenja may look like this:

(Still pure example for the sake of explaining my point)

Rank 1 - Keep the Fire Affinity during the day.

Rank 3 - Perform an offering to the Sun Goddess granting them good fortune.

Rank 5 - During the day, the Shugenja cannot be distrubed, giving them +1k1 on Willpower Roll.

 

Of course, this is simply an idea that could be interesting. As I said, giving the Shugenja techniques that aren't focus on spell casting may bind them more to their duty and feel more interesting than "Pick some spell once your first technique is learned".

 

no...

the last thing shugenja need is even more abilities piled on top of their spell casting.  To make this a viable option you would have to butcher spell access.  

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I know about the Free Raise through the techniques, but it doesn't feel "specialized". I think it could be interesting to see this:

 

(Note, this is a pure example)

Fury of Osano-Wo

Dmg: 5k2

Stam Roll TN 15 for Deafened effect.

Mantis: +1k0

Pheonix: TN for the Deafened effect increased by 5.

Raises: [Enter raises effect here]

 

Then instead of seeing Shugenja School with free raise, give them techniques at rank 1, 3 and 5.

 

For example, the Moshi Shugenja may look like this:

(Still pure example for the sake of explaining my point)

Rank 1 - Keep the Fire Affinity during the day.

Rank 3 - Perform an offering to the Sun Goddess granting them good fortune.

Rank 5 - During the day, the Shugenja cannot be distrubed, giving them +1k1 on Willpower Roll.

 

Of course, this is simply an idea that could be interesting. As I said, giving the Shugenja techniques that aren't focus on spell casting may bind them more to their duty and feel more interesting than "Pick some spell once your first technique is learned".

 

no...

the last thing shugenja need is even more abilities piled on top of their spell casting.  To make this a viable option you would have to butcher spell access.  

 

 

I've read you through all this topic and beside: "Please Nerf Shugenja", is there another reason that you've created this topic? A lot of people are saying that their's a lack of mechanism for the Shugenja's Duty. Even if I don't have a real need for it, I threw a couple of suggestions and all you've found to say is this? If your intention was asking for a nerf, why didn't you renamed this topic as "Nerf Shugenja please?". Butchering spell access... What a nice suggestion. I'll guess that I'll come back when there'll have more stuffs to discuss. I'm done here.

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Interesting ideas for improvements to the 4e, but how would you translate this to something like the Warhammer Fantasy or Star Wars rpgs that FFG has put out?

Well, we have no idea how they will do spells at all.

 

They could do something like starwars does does. The Sectret spells would be part of the school's tree while the spells that are not sectret and are known to all schools would rest in elemental trees as seperate trees accessible to shugenja.

 

In this model its likely that each school would have access to their secret tree and the generic tree of their affinity. They could then buy into the other general trees. 

 

Note that spells that are normally on the general trees could be placed on the secret tree at lower levels. While the spell is not sectret this does represent a schools focus and specialized training.

 

Now this does change the spell dynamics because it does basically say you have to master some spells before you learn others which is different from the current model. This does make sense though as you have to become more skilled in doing certian things such as in the case of the Osano-wo spells communing with a fortune more quasi-directly.

 

In general, I'm not a fan of piling on "secret techniques" and "hidden knowledge" that are tied to certain "splats" in an RPG, and that often have overpowering synergies.

Its part of the gameworld, this concept of secret knowledge is what drives the bushi schools and the shugenja schools are just as protective of their knowledge. Also, by Isolating things and/or making them more expensive it lets a designer not have to worry so much about how different things post together.

 

Now I am not a fan of having spells that specialize for individual schools. Its messy, but controlling access in a game world where knowledge is sectreted away and you have to earn your way into it is entirely appropriate.

Edited by Bremathon

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I know about the Free Raise through the techniques, but it doesn't feel "specialized". I think it could be interesting to see this:

 

(Note, this is a pure example)

Fury of Osano-Wo

Dmg: 5k2

Stam Roll TN 15 for Deafened effect.

Mantis: +1k0

Pheonix: TN for the Deafened effect increased by 5.

Raises: [Enter raises effect here]

 

Then instead of seeing Shugenja School with free raise, give them techniques at rank 1, 3 and 5.

 

For example, the Moshi Shugenja may look like this:

(Still pure example for the sake of explaining my point)

Rank 1 - Keep the Fire Affinity during the day.

Rank 3 - Perform an offering to the Sun Goddess granting them good fortune.

Rank 5 - During the day, the Shugenja cannot be distrubed, giving them +1k1 on Willpower Roll.

 

Of course, this is simply an idea that could be interesting. As I said, giving the Shugenja techniques that aren't focus on spell casting may bind them more to their duty and feel more interesting than "Pick some spell once your first technique is learned".

 

no...

the last thing shugenja need is even more abilities piled on top of their spell casting.  To make this a viable option you would have to butcher spell access.  

 

 

I've read you through all this topic and beside: "Please Nerf Shugenja", is there another reason that you've created this topic? A lot of people are saying that their's a lack of mechanism for the Shugenja's Duty. Even if I don't have a real need for it, I threw a couple of suggestions and all you've found to say is this? If your intention was asking for a nerf, why didn't you renamed this topic as "Nerf Shugenja please?". Butchering spell access... What a nice suggestion. I'll guess that I'll come back when there'll have more stuffs to discuss. I'm done here.

 

That's likely because what I am want is a semblance of MECHANICAL parity between Shugenja and the other options.  Now perhaps I go about this the wrong way.  People seem to be really upset about the idea of losing the spell list aspect of the school type.  But asking to Nerf ONE type of character option is infinitely easier than boosting bushi, artisan, and courtier options to be the level of shugenja in play.  

 

Bringing them more in line with actually BEING holy men of one sort or another simply seems to be the default direction to take the changes, as they currently are severely lacking. 

 

I actually like your idea for the Moshi shugenja as a place to start.  A 5 skill progression is exactly what they need (like every other school).  

 

But as I said above, really any suggestion that doesn't start bringing all the school options into some sort of parity is a bad one (as far as I'm concerned) because the setting as written assumes a PVP mentality, and I have never seen the game played otherwise.  In PVP, options need to be different, but as equally viable as possible. 

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