Jump to content
Gallows

Defence scaling.

Recommended Posts

13 minutes ago, Mobiusllls said:

There is the crescent moon style, no penaltys to your attack, but you need to roll 1 opportunity dice to be able to counter attack.

Hmmm.


 

Quote

 

Description: Striking first is valuable, but so is living through a battle. To defend without sacrificing offensive potential, the bushi must be ready to retaliate swiftly after blocking or evading. With a quick shift in their weight, the bushi switches from defense to attack, bringing down their full force upon their enemy.

Prerequisites: School rank 2 XP Cost: 2
Activation: When you perform the Center (see page 162) or Guard action (see page 165), you may spend  in the following way: : Until the beginning of your next turn, after a character at range 1–2 performs an Attack action targeting you or another character you are guarding, you may perform a Strike action targeting that character.

 

That's pretty much the Dark Heresy Counterattack talent in effect; do defensive stances all day long and get free attacks whenever you parry an incoming blow.

That's almost exactly what I was thinking of (and rather appropriately a technique 'pushed' by the Crane Clan's Duellist School....). Thanks!

 

 

 

Also, just noticed:

Quote

The first time each character’s strife exceeds their composure during a duel, their opponent may immediately perform a finishing blow. The character performing the finishing blow chooses an Attack action and performs it, interrupting anything their target is doing (including resolving a check of their own, in which case the finishing blow resolves during Step 6 of the check, after  results are resolved but before  is spent). One finishing blow can even interrupt another finishing blow!

If the character performing a finishing blow succeeds, instead of dealing damage, the finishing blow inflicts a critical strike with severity equal to two times the deadliness of the weapon or Attack action used plus the attacker’s bonus successes. Any other effects of the Attack action are resolved as normal.

A double-handed katana used in a finishing blow is deadliness 14+bonus successes. That's instant death territory, and far scarier than the odd light wound, so staying centred until your opponent cracks and then decapitating them is actually (and appropriately) probably the best technique in a duel.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Okay, but how is his skill expressing itself? By him taking actions, either deliberately defensive actions or simply rolling many, many dice due to awesomness (high skill and ring scores) and throwing the resulting shedloads of opportunity at 'make me hard to hit' effects - and because those actions are skill checks; so not only is Toturi doing a defensive action but his defensive action is better than the potatoes, because he has more bonus successes.

 

I agree, and that should be reflected in options taken in a given round to enhance one's defense. Expanding on the current setup, I am in favor of a system whereby some level of instinctive (or reflexive, muscle-memory, deep-ingrained training, or whatever you want to call it) defense is in effect. If Toturi decides to go all out on an attack, or simply has a bad set of dice to choose from on a role, he should have some basic level of passive defense that is better than the sack o' taters.

The beta rules as currently written are dependent on characters taking choices each and every round to keep their defense at some desired level. In the event of a change in tactics a skilled combatant ought to have some level of instinctive defense to make him harder to hit. A skilled combatant attacking recklessly will be easier to hit, of course, but he could still be more difficult to strike than a significantly less skilled combatant fighting normally or even defensively. As it is now Toturi is no better than an untrained peasant levy in terms of avoiding a hit unless he is specifically dedicating options to defense. His years of training should count for something--even being reckless in an attack, or hindered in some other way, he should still be potentially better at avoiding a hit than JoeBob the eta.

At the very least, having the base TN based on Air Ring, Vigilance or some other attribute should be an optional rule or a variant to be tested during the Beta phase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. A skilled combatant will do a better job of defending themselves under any given circumstance than a total novice under that same circumstance. Attacking? The master is harder to hit than the apprentice. Defending? Master is harder to hit than the apprentice. Charging in a berserker fury? Running away? Attempting to disarm you? In all cases, the person with training will be doing a better job of protecting themself while doing other things than the person without.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I'm leery of allowing defense to jump too high. I've played games where the dedicated defender is almost impossible to hit by average combatants , and the whiff game is really, really boring. 

Even in 4th edition the ability to hit very quickly outstrips the ability to defend... And that is necessary for combats that move quickly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, mortthepirate said:

 I'm leery of allowing defense to jump too high. I've played games where the dedicated defender is almost impossible to hit by average combatants , and the whiff game is really, really boring. 

Even in 4th edition the ability to hit very quickly outstrips the ability to defend... And that is necessary for combats that move quickly. 

Problem right now is that im not sure how "good" someone gets. The active defense of: Crescent moon style + Air Stance + Guard or Center spam is looking cancerous to say the least if we gonna keep only five dices. (And you can do that on a kakita with 2xp, 1 hour of game if you follow book suggestion.)

Aside from that, Upper level techniques having higher TN will make the player just ignore then and go for the 2tn's one. i think. a good example is the Kakita Rank 6,i would consider situational at best instead of a "wow rank 6 technique".

Edited by Mobiusllls
Adding stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Mobiusllls said:

Aside from that, Upper level techniques having higher TN will make the player just ignore then and go for the 2tn's one. i think. a good example is the Kakita Rank 6,i would consider situational at best instead of a "wow rank 6 technique".

The ability to inflict both Dazed (+2 TN on Attack and Scheme checks) and Disoriented (+2 TN on Move and Support actions) on a number of targets equal to opportunity spent should not be discounted and might be better than the auto-critical strike+ of hitting the TN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

The ability to inflict both Dazed (+2 TN on Attack and Scheme checks) and Disoriented (+2 TN on Move and Support actions) on a number of targets equal to opportunity spent should not be discounted and might be better than the auto-critical strike+ of hitting the TN.

I agree with you and thats why i call it situational. You use it on "trash", not on someone who is actually dangerous to your  powerfull samurai.
But also you can just be a Akodo and shout real loud once per session to inflict Daze in everyone hostile (important distinction) to you inside of your school rank range bands. (with opportunity being spent to give free attacks) (TN 1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TN to hit Toturi might be still 2, but your puny Rank 1 Samurai will hit him for what, 5 damage? Versus Toturis double digits pool of Wounds. Sack of Potates on the other hand will sport mighty 4 Wounds. 

Defence scales in the way that the stronger you are, the harder you get to Injure, and you become increasingly better at making Critical Injuries whiff. The biggest issue here is Wounds being called Wounds instead of something else, because while you fill opponents with Wounds, you are not actually Injuring them - you are tiring them out, probing their defences, slowly outmanuevering them and getting your attempts at making their heads roll blunted by their own defensive measures.

Capability of sustaining Wounds *is* the active defense that scales in this game. 

The mechanic seems to be balanced about creating a tempo where characters need at least two hits from a SIMILARLY POWERFUL OPPONENT to go down. The better you get, the more damage you can output; the stronger they get, the more damage you NEED to output. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, shadowgriffon99 said:

If Toturi decides to go all out on an attack, or simply has a bad set of dice to choose from on a role, he should have some basic level of passive defense that is better than the sack o' taters.

Which he does; spending opportunities on defensive effects. His action may be 'remove that dude's head', but the opportunities will be spent on 'don't get killed by his brother whilst I'm doing it'.

11 hours ago, Kinzen said:

Yes. A skilled combatant will do a better job of defending themselves under any given circumstance than a total novice under that same circumstance. Attacking? The master is harder to hit than the apprentice. Defending? Master is harder to hit than the apprentice. Charging in a berserker fury? Running away? Attempting to disarm you?

How about "chained up hands, feet, neck and waist to a wall"? Because if he's no harder to hit at that point, then clearly he needs to be actively able to participate in his own defence, so being able to take actions matters, and hence tying his defence increase to those actions (either as a primary goal from defensive actions or a byproduct from defensive opportunities) makes sense to me. As soon as the defensive increase in the system is primarily a product or byproduct of an action, higher skill and ring scores will generate better defence for better swordsmen automatically.

Equally, if you want to make the TN a ring score; my problem is another comparison.

  • Jim-Bob the Eta is a small-time sneak-thief with a decent physique but no idea how to wield any weapon more elegant than a pointy stick.
  • Sensei Akodo Nobunaga is one of Toturi's (many) former swordmasters. He's a cantankerous old so-and-so with an acid tongue, a bad back, and sixty-five years experience sarcastically pointing out the apparently utterly greivous flaws in the styles of the Bushi sent to him for instruction, up to and including once even smartly clocking the Hantei's champion himself on the noggin with his gnarled walking stick with an (infinitely respectful) barb to keep his guard up better.

Which one has the better ring score? And which one should be harder to hit sword to sword? 

13 hours ago, shadowgriffon99 said:

The beta rules as currently written are dependent on characters taking choices each and every round to keep their defense at some desired level.

Yes. Generating defence from opportunity by using Striking as Earth or Striking as Air does not require you to be doing anything specific other than 'an action with your sword which required a Martial Arts [Melee] check', which if you're in a swordfight can be pretty much taken as a given.

You aren't required to dedicate your action to keeping your defence up above 'normal' (unless you need defence level ridiculous because oh sweet kami that's thing's big and has a lot of teeth where are the reinforcements?) but being required to make a choice to dedicate at least a bit of effort (choosing what to spend opportunity on, and maybe selecting a few non-success dice to reduce your damage output from bonus success to get extra opportunity to spend) to your own defence if you want to be harder to hit doesn't seem unreasonable.

10 hours ago, Mobiusllls said:

The active defense of: Crescent moon style + Air Stance + Guard or Center spam is looking cancerous to say the least if we gonna keep only five dices. (And you can do that on a kakita with 2xp, 1 hour of game if you follow book suggestion.)

This. 

Assuming Toturi is going to be throwing something like 10 dice and keeping half of them, he should on average be able to get a success or an opportunity on all of the five dice he actually uses.

That gives him a pass on the Centre action (+2 TN to hit him) and some combination of either 4 bonus successes or 4 opportunity to spend on Striking as Air (both +4 TN). Add in Air Stance (+1 TN) and we're up from TN2  to needing TN9 with pretty average rolling. He does not need to be able to further claim a passive sword-repelling force field to be next to unassailable.

2 hours ago, WHW said:

TN to hit Toturi might be still 2, but your puny Rank 1 Samurai will hit him for what, 5 damage? Versus Toturis double digits pool of Wounds. Sack of Potates on the other hand will sport mighty 4 Wounds. 

Defence scales in the way that the stronger you are, the harder you get to Injure, and you become increasingly better at making Critical Injuries whiff. The biggest issue here is Wounds being called Wounds instead of something else, because while you fill opponents with Wounds, you are not actually Injuring them - you are tiring them out, probing their defences, slowly outmanuevering them and getting your attempts at making their heads roll blunted by their own defensive measures.

Indeed. That's one thing I always liked about Fighting Fantasy/Lone Wolf gamebooks - the 'damage block' was Stamina and Endurance respectively - it was noted in a couple of the intros (Advanced Fighting Fantasy and the LW multiplayer book, which were more like 'proper' RPGs than gamebooks) that these stats being depleted could and probably would represent being tired out avoiding/parrying the blow, such that the next blow did land and cause injury, as often as it represented 'being stabbed'. 

It might be worth adding some text to this effect to the combat description ( I think the fitness test to mitigate criticals bit might already include it - talking about 'narrow evasion' as well as just tanking the hit).

Maybe part of the problem is using the term 'wounds' in the first place?

I remember similar conversations with the Dark Heresy beta; where an early critical might cause a 'bad bruise' - given that to get to the point of suffering this I've already shot you twice in that leg with a bolt weapon and done a dozen wounds, a 'bad bruise' seems like the wrong narrative injury to suffer!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, WHW said:

Rename Critical Injuries to "Wounds". They definitely want to keep "Wounds" somewhere, because it's Iconic L5R Terminology.

Good idea. It's pretty iconic to a lot of game systems - warhammer and Star wars, too. 

Besides which, I don't think anyone would argue with calling a result of "you are now missing an extremity" a 'wound'!

More to the point, it also helps explain the rate at which people heal. If you recover twice your Water ring per night's rest, then if your water and earth ring are about equal, two good night's sleep recovers you from 'full wounds' to 'fine'. I'm okay with that  if 'full wounds but no criticals' represents 'exhausted, bruised and covered in minor shaving cuts' but not 'some dude put a sword through me!'

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It also makes Warrior's Resolve much more clearer to interpret.

"You finally managed to Incapacitate Toturi by dealing the 40 or 50 pre-reduction damage and losing 3 people. Good job. You also made him dazed. As his action, he stands up, is back to 5 Wounds, and looks at you. Gain 3 Strife."

Good luck translating Warrior's Resolve to literally regenerating half your wounds in an instant.

Edited by WHW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WHW said:

"You finally managed to Incapacitate Toturi by dealing the 40 or 50 pre-reduction damage and losing 3 people. Good job. You also made him dazed. As his action, he stands up, is back to 5 Wounds, and looks at you. Gain 3 Strife."

Many sacks of potatoes died to bring him to this point...

But sillyness aside, yes, agreed.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Fitness skill is the passive defense that people keep looking for. It's the ability to passively avoid injury and it scales pretty well.

I think a lot of the problems are the names they gave things, such as wounds and Outburst. They create a different expectation and visualization then the game mechanics represent. Instead of wounds, it could be called opportunity or tempo or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wounds are literally wounds, minor cuts and things, by the fluff text. is not HP like in a D&D game. and it takes days to recover. So i dont think it should change, nor i think its deluding people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

How about "chained up hands, feet, neck and waist to a wall"? Because if he's no harder to hit at that point, then clearly he needs to be actively able to participate in his own defence, so being able to take actions matters, and hence tying his defence increase to those actions (either as a primary goal from defensive actions or a byproduct from defensive opportunities) makes sense to me. As soon as the defensive increase in the system is primarily a product or byproduct of an action, higher skill and ring scores will generate better defence for better swordsmen automatically.

Dude, "chained to a wall" is a straw man in this argument. In 4e you would have been down to 5 plus armor, because your Reflexes can't help you. In Pathfinder, you lose your Dex bonus and an additional -4 to AC. The rules recognize that if you're immobilized, you're in a completely different situation.

But we aren't talking about characters chained to walls; we're talking about combat, where the characters are moving around normally. In those situations, there is such a thing as focusing specifically on your defense -- but there's also the baseline defensive capability that doesn't come at the cost of other actions, the part that just amounts to "you've got quick reflexes and have learned to do everything in a manner that minimizes the risk to you." I've spent nine years of karate practice learning to do that kind of thing, and I guarantee you there's a major component to it that isn't about "stances" or "actions" or anything of the sort -- it's integrated with every movement you make. I'm better at it than your average white belt; the shihan who runs our dojo (who might as well be your Akodo Nobunaga) is better at it than I am. Because he knows that something as simple as the angle of your elbow makes a difference. And he can achieve that angle without having to "change stance" or "use a technique" or anything else that precludes him from doing other things.

Edited by Kinzen
accidentally hit "post" before actually replying

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wounds are wounds. not "tempo" as you guys are saying or will or even health points. . if it were they proper way to deal with it would be regenerating them after the scene.

"Wounds represent minor cuts, bruises, and abrasions that result from damage."

"After a full night’s rest, a character heals a number of wounds equal to two times their Water Ring."

Its literally written.

His Shihan(or whatever) wouldnt beat you up and go to bed in pain. He would beat you efortless and be ready to beat someone else.

Thats the argument of people who wants a passive defense. I am in favor of a passive defense, i do not expect it tough. the game is in "beta", I doubt that they will change much in the system. we may help more with balance if anything.

Edited by Mobiusllls

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not that people don't understand the argument for some kind of enhanced "passive defense."  Nobody is arguing that there isn't some "realism" to the idea.

The point, as many have pointed out, is that its incredibly difficult to balance, and in practical gameplay, typically causes enough of a slowdown as to be more of a problem than an actual benefit.  Some people are trying to present some sense of "reality" to serve as a balm to those who seem to think that sitting around a table munching popcorn with one's friends and rolling dice to simulate combat must be absolutely realistic in this one very specific regard.

Instead of debating whether or not scaling passive defense is realistic, it would be a lot more helpful to discuss whether it could be done in a way that was;

1) Simple

2) Fast enough to not bog down the game

3) In keeping with the over all design philosophy of the game itself

and most importantly,

4) Balanced.

 

I've seen lots of arguments as to WHY there should be some kind of enhanced Passive Defense, but everything I've seen on HOW it should be implemented fails on one or more of the above points, and #4 really shouldn't be negotiable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way the game chassis was built. Personally. I dont think there is a good way to do it. It would need a entire system overhaul. Specially because Skirmishes, Duel and Clashes are conflicts, instead of something separated, so this passive defense would have to apply to conversations and even games.

But maybe someone has better ideas than me and could share them.

(i dont really see how every character having a tn to hit bogs down the game. At least it wont bog down more than debating with your gm if your narrative advantages and disadvantages apply to every single thing you do, Figuring out how to use your opportunity and then debating with the gm if its possible and a lot of other narrative things.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It bugs me that a skilled bushi is not exactly better dodging attacks (isn't it the basics of japanese sword fight?) than a, i dunno, scared courtier.

I understand all the problems about scaling,  simplicity and balancing the game, but i'm having difficulties to accept this abstraction. And i guess that the mechanics doesn't need to be "realistic" but need to achieve suspension of disbelief. Right now, it just strikes me as something really odd.

I like the idea of wounds being renamed to something else. Like, i dunno, Fatigue.  The characters would lose fatigue until they run out of it and get a real blow. Which would be the current critical injury.

In this model, there could even have more critical injuries categories, like EotE, with some of them giving penalties to the characters like the old wound system of the L5R 4th. Maybe some fights at high level would get somewhat long this way, but not with minions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You basically described how the current combat rules work, just replaced word Wounds with Fatigue. Again, I'm all for changing Wounds to Tempo and Critical Injuries to Wounds; all it takes to regenerate more than half of your Resilence is to take a breather (Warrior's Resolve)! Also inspect the Critical Injury table; Crit of 0 Severity is avoiding the blow altogether and taking some clothing damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, I guess I did not express myself well. Yes, I basically described the current combat, changing the word "wounds" (I agree your "tempo" idea, btw, sounds cool). What I was trying to say would bring some change would be to put more "grades" of Critical Strikes, between Close Call and Staggering Strike, and Crushing Blow and Maiming Strike. Maybe drawing inspiration from EotE table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RenanBarcellos said:

 

I understand all the problems about scaling,  simplicity and balancing the game, but i'm having difficulties to accept this abstraction. And i guess that the mechanics doesn't need to be "realistic" but need to achieve suspension of disbelief.

 

That's remarkably selective of you.  There are other elements of this system that are just as abstract, if not more so.  Entire social and even religious rituals can be broken down into a roll of the dice, but defense being based on a rapid, easy abstraction pushes your sense of disbelief too far?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...