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Defence scaling.

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1 hour ago, WHW said:

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.

I would'nt describe pulling every fiber of your body and raising up against all adversity to being able to keep fighting (and spending a void point for that) as "Taking a breath".

You can only use if you are incapacitated and once per scene. Like i said on all of my posts. Wounds are Wounds right now. They are not tempo, will or similar. In fluff or system.

Edit: Curiously enough, another game where wounds work just like you imagine it works with this beta edition, there is one action called "Take a breath" that literally restores your health in accord to your successes. Its just that a simple action. Not something special that you can use once per scene to raise and fight again at the cost of a void point (that is looking more rare than the 4th edition, since you begin only with one and dont get points by a good night rest.)

Edited by Mobiusllls
grammar

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7 minutes ago, WildKnight said:

 

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?

Well, since i was talking about how i perceived this aspect of the system... i guess you can say that i was being selective. But yes, the defense being based on a rapid, easy abstraction pushed my sense of disbelief too far, while the other stuff didn't.

I'm not saying that the defense is a bad design, or that it don't work. But is one of the few things that i having problens correlating system with fiction. Maybe is the way i visualise samurai fights, i dunno.

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Just now, RenanBarcellos said:

Well, since i was talking about how i perceived this aspect of the system... i guess you can say that i was being selective. But yes, the defense being based on a rapid, easy abstraction pushed my sense of disbelief too far, while the other stuff didn't.

I'm not saying that the defense is a bad design, or that it don't work. But is one of the few things that i having problens correlating system with fiction. Maybe is the way i visualise samurai fights, i dunno.

 

...  if the lack of a Passive Defense score means you CAN'T visualize a missed attack as the intended target shifting out of the way, that's on you, sorry.  The system is not responsible for the movies you can and cannot play in your head.

You're CHOOSING to have this problem.

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2 minutes ago, WildKnight said:

 

...  if the lack of a Passive Defense score means you CAN'T visualize a missed attack as the intended target shifting out of the way, that's on you, sorry.  The system is not responsible for the movies you can and cannot play in your head.

You're CHOOSING to have this problem.

... I'm choosing to tell what i felt about the defense system... i have no problems if it stays the way it is now. Since is a thread about defense scaling and there are other people that felt it odd, i'm just saying what i think about it. 

And is important to a RPG system to evoke feelings, images and ideas, is not  about "CHOOSING" to have any problems. Right now the defense seens odd to me. What i can't visualize is why a rank 1 courtier have the same TN to hit as a master swordsman, who naturally would be better at dodging and positioning "passively".

This is not a fight, don't be so defensive. After all, doesn't matter how better with arguments you are, the TN to hit you is 2 :P

 

Btw i don't think that using a Ring to calc Passive Defense would work, since the Ring would get much more powerfull than the other.

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1 hour ago, RenanBarcellos said:

... I'm choosing to tell what i felt about the defense system... i have no problems if it stays the way it is now. Since is a thread about defense scaling and there are other people that felt it odd, i'm just saying what i think about it. 

And is important to a RPG system to evoke feelings, images and ideas, is not  about "CHOOSING" to have any problems. Right now the defense seens odd to me. What i can't visualize is why a rank 1 courtier have the same TN to hit as a master swordsman, who naturally would be better at dodging and positioning "passively".

This is not a fight, don't be so defensive. After all, doesn't matter how better with arguments you are, the TN to hit you is 2 :P

 

Btw i don't think that using a Ring to calc Passive Defense would work, since the Ring would get much more powerfull than the other.

 

MY posts came across as defensive?  Interesting

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Well to explain, the courtier probably would not have katas to increase their TN to be hit and probably would not have the Athletics skill as high as a trained warrior. Thus, the warrior would shrug off more serious injury than the courtier would, even though they could both take a defensive stance.

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7 hours ago, SideshowLucifer said:

Well to explain, the courtier probably would not have katas to increase their TN to be hit and probably would not have the Athletics skill as high as a trained warrior. Thus, the warrior would shrug off more serious injury than the courtier would, even though they could both take a defensive stance.

Exactly.

The courtier would be TN2 to hit.

Toturo or Nobunaga would be - even if not 'actively defending themselves' with centre actions - TN2 plus the number of opportunities they chose to dump into TN increasing talents like striking-as-air with their prior actions.

Making it a byproduct of the quality of a previous skill check means that it can accomodate skillied but physically weak individuals or strong but relatively unschooled (because one gets lots of skill dice even if they keep few of them whilst the other gets every result in a large pool of ring dice). Making the TN either one of your skill scores or ring scores alone would make the other option  (Nobunaga or Jimbob respectively) hard to represent

Yes, chained up is an extreme example, and i apologise, but the point is valid: you are harder to hit because you are acting in a better balanced and more defensive way, regardless of whether the action is to just stand there (centre) or to stab the other guy (strike) or  whatever.

Making it deliberate also allows you to voluntarily not do it - we're essentially telling idealised samurai legends here, and the option for a swordsman to knowingly sacrifice his defensive stance (and probably himself) for a killing strike against main narrative bad guy #1, which would represent spending opportunity on 'extra critical severity' rather than 'improve my defence'

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Disagree a bit. Right now the only good kata to increase TN is Striking as air. Then you obviously need to be in Air Stance to have more than 2 TN. While a Courtier may not have bought the Crescent Moon Style so he can make his defence an attack. (and thus become really dangerous.) He will use tactics on a guard action to increase TN. Since 2 success is something really achievable we are looking at TN 5. (a pretty much hard difficult to hit without lucky exploding dices.)

After rolling dices, i do think combat is more dangerous than i foresaw it. But i still believe that the classic bandit attack on the road is pretty much less dangerous, an courtier can turtle it out while the Bushi fulfill their jobs. (And then if they are not being attacked themselves, they can help with support actions and even with some Shuji's i guess.).

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Should the question we should asking us ourself not be first about what the design intent is and what paradigm of play the game strives to provide?

I mean it looks like everybody seems to jump directly to the conclusion that the combat system and especially the defense options should follow a simulationist agenda. But I am not so sure that is how we should look at the game. Is in a game that tries to focus on samurai drama realism truly that important? Or should we not instead wonder what narrative options the design of the defense in that way actually offers?

So, let me go ahead and explain why I think it is good that defenses scale not into insanity.

First: like some have pointed out the calling is about how many hits one can take, not really how often one gets hit, that alone shows how dangerous it is, and makes to decision to initiate violence intersting. Which makes it now far more about how willing one is to die for their Lord (Giri) or Beliefs (Ninjo), and that is teh core of samurai drama!

Second: Character are with this pradigm of play are obviously no longer the heroes they had been under AEG, now the samurai have to contemplate their mortality. Now reading works like Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure suddenly feel right. That it is no longer about winning, but it is about honour and the glory is now worth more since there are actually risks involved.

Third: All the fluff that the samurai live only three foot away from death makes sense with the mortality in mind. The need to keep one's compusure is imminent now, no longer can a Crab simply make jokes to the face of Crane, since if that Crane loses their temper the Crab samurai probably will end up dead.

So I see that as a huge benefit to actually get more intersting narratives into the game that fit the idea of what L5R shoudl be. Not some boring samurai simulation, but stories of samurai drama.

Edited by Drudenfusz

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I think a fair solution would be to simply make Vigilance the base TN to hit a silhouette 2 target, unless they are completely unaware of the incoming attack. In the case of a completely unaware target (or immobilized one, or a training dummy) I'd say the TN would just be 1. It fixes the scaling problem, and also I think thematically fits.

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That simple solution would have characters with Air 3 Water 3 have a basic TN to hit of 3 and basic TN to hit of 4 in Air Stance. TN jumps of 1 are really, really big thing in this game. 

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I've only had the opportunity to do a cursory glance through the rules, but on average, anything above TN2 is going to require a successful roll that requires 3 kept dice, or an explosion. When you start looking at TN 4, and 5, that seems like the realm of the higher ranking characters. Correct me if I am wrong.

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As a general rule of thumb, you want a minimum of twice as much dice rolled as the TN of the task you are attempting to stand a chance (read, have better odds at making the roll than not making it), and two extra above that to make it reliable. Then, you also need some room for Opportunities. Additionally, each 6 dice rolled *might* be considered to pseudo-increase your Ring by 1 (due to a pretty reliable of Explosion result at this point). 

Thats all on top of having enough Ring to keep the dice you want to merely succeed, and then some dice for opportunities. For example crits are unreliable until you get either Ring 4 and at least 1 skill, or Ring 3 Skill 3, because you need to keep 2 successes and 2 opportunities to crit. 

Opportunities are the lifeblood of this game. Oppresive TNs that leave no room for keeping Opportunities are really bad for the system, and thus I'm happy combat scales using Wounds and Injuries as a "resource" that can be gathered at different tempos according to your skill levels, instead of flat out taking away your ability to progress the win con because opponents TN is too high.

Edited by WHW

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15 hours ago, WHW said:

TN jumps of 1 are really, really big thing in this game.

Agreed. A Ring 2 approach facing TN3 to hit must get an explodes result or the check is pointless.

Even with 4 dice (due to extras from skills, assists, whatever) that's only coming up about 50% of the time, and an explosive success is still not garuanteed to actually translate into another success.

Even ring 3 getting straight successes isn't easy, and it's not hard to increase your TN further (see the flat TN bonus of air stance).

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I'm just trying to provide something as an option to the OP, if you introduce variable TNs to hit, and your default is 2, really the only place to go is to have a 1-3 range. However, you don't want to base it off a single ring (or skill for that matter) because then it is too easy to raise. So a dual stat average curbs that to an extent at least, and Vigilance is already provided. That said, I see your concern with TN 3 as valid, and getting a 4 in Air Stance is very difficult to hit. However, anyone in Air Stance *isn't* in Earth Stance, so that's something lol.

How about a solution that allows for it to be increased over time but much more slowly, and that is capped at 2 at creation? I'm thinking (lowest ring + Air Ring) / 2

Replacing 'Air Ring' with 'Void Ring' or 'highest ring' would also work if you feel that overpowers Air Ring.

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On 10/6/2017 at 10:44 PM, SideshowLucifer said:

Well to explain, the courtier probably would not have katas to increase their TN to be hit and probably would not have the Athletics skill as high as a trained warrior. Thus, the warrior would shrug off more serious injury than the courtier would, even though they could both take a defensive stance.

We have now done a couple skirmishes, and there's a few things I'd like to point out. I made a Doji with a kata (thanks to her ancestry), and took Strike as Air. Between that and her Air stance, she had a TN of 4 and never got hit.

Our Hida was hit, but was able to use his Strike as Earth to negate damage, and only ended up taking a little bit of damage.

We had a Togashi that took some damage, but he also dealt some good damage.

I had Lady Doji's Decree in waiting if I needed it, but never ended up needing it during the battle. I did decent damage against the NPC's presented to us.

So far, all the worries about defense and combat didn't really come into fruition for us. It took 3 rounds of combat.

We've now fought Goblins and regular Samurai NPC's. Seems to work pretty well when you actually test the combat instead of speculating about the nebulous possibilities.

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4 minutes ago, marshzd said:

We have now done a couple skirmishes, and there's a few things I'd like to point out. I made a Doji with a kata (thanks to her ancestry), and took Strike as Air. Between that and her Air stance, she had a TN of 4 and never got hit.

Our Hida was hit, but was able to use his Strike as Earth to negate damage, and only ended up taking a little bit of damage.

We had a Togashi that took some damage, but he also dealt some good damage.

I had Lady Doji's Decree in waiting if I needed it, but never ended up needing it during the battle. I did decent damage against the NPC's presented to us.

So far, all the worries about defense and combat didn't really come into fruition for us. It took 3 rounds of combat.

We've now fought Goblins and regular Samurai NPC's. Seems to work pretty well when you actually test the combat instead of speculating about the nebulous possibilities.

 

Have you fought enemies who took fire stance? It seems to counter both Strike as Air and Strike as Earth as long as a character is willing to gain significant strife.

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3 minutes ago, Rawls said:

 

Have you fought enemies who took fire stance? It seems to counter both Strike as Air and Strike as Earth as long as a character is willing to gain significant strife.

Not in these battles. They were all minions, who are not allowed to use the benefits from stances.

Also, eating up strife for extra successes might lead to some hits, but also to outbursts. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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8 minutes ago, Rawls said:

Outside of a duel, do combat outbursts really matter?

If a DM understands Rokugan, absolutely. The book has a note that in combat, it should lead to more dangerous and crazy decisions in combat (see Battle Rage note pg. 17 of beta). Aside from that, someone watching the combat and seeing things relating to the world culture being ignored (attacking an opponent engaged with an ally, raging, crying) could have social impacts. Honor loss, glory loss, status loss, and NPC's treating you differently.

Edited by marshzd
Added reference

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Also, the Enraged condition could apply, depending on the NPC. Enraged characters add +2 severity to critical strikes they deliver, and receive. So Enraging an opponent can make your strikes against them more deadly.

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I don't mean to dismiss the social repercussions of outbursts. But if there's one place I'm willing to lose face, it's when drawing my sword to strike down those who would raise arms against the interests of my Lord (skirmishes). ****, what even counts as an outburst (other than enraged) when fighting vile Ronin, Bandits, and the Lost?

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It's important to remember that the Technique list in the book is not even all what will be in the Core book. I used to worry about the lack of defense scaling in Edge of the Empire (which has even weaker ways a character without talents can upgrade their base defense.) But In practice the PC's get very durable to the point of ridiculousness.. Between health, soak and/or avoidance talents they add up to many different ways to survive in combat and 3 successes to hit someone in air stance is likely to always be a challenge. Even if opponents roll the successes, they are giving up other dice options 'just to' hit.

Since basically every character has access to Kiho, Kata and/or Invocation (Looking at you, Kuni) all but the most non-combat focused character will have defensive tech available to them at some point. And if PC's are expecting to go against Oni or Emerald Champions and not get hit, than they either will be robust XP wise, lucky enough they should head to Vegas, or not have a realistic expectation of what their characters should and shouldn't be able to do. 

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4 hours ago, Rawls said:

I don't mean to dismiss the social repercussions of outbursts. But if there's one place I'm willing to lose face, it's when drawing my sword to strike down those who would raise arms against the interests of my Lord (skirmishes). ****, what even counts as an outburst (other than enraged) when fighting vile Ronin, Bandits, and the Lost?

Maybe, but lost face is still lost face. You still know you hesistated nervously faced with that trio of grubby bandits (flee outburst), even though you still made yourself advance on them. It's the same as other honour breaches - you lose honour for lying, despite almost definitionally no-one else knowing you did it (that being the point of lying)

Equally, expose a weakness lets your opponent 'get under your skin', making Provoke actions a lot easier.

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He didnt hesitated, he got mad. "DONT TELL ME HOW TO PLAY MY CHARACTER" remember? (Despite being able to be bullied,seduced,intimidated and everything else by receving rolls in all editions and mostly all rpgs).

So he can actually just fight like a mad guy. i Dont think that a clan would... really care about it.(as long as he does his job.) Maybe the Akodo? But them the Akodo can just burn strife, they arent supposed to loose their cool in a skirmish.

And then a Akodo Death Seeker going mad and dashing alone at the enemy, would be doing what they are supposed to do.

Edited by Mobiusllls

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