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School Advancement Charts

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I mentioned it in my Beta Overview Thread, but the plethora of Advancement charts for each school seems super-redundant.

Should be able to reduce that to one set of charts then one set of pages with the Rank 6 Techniques by clan, save some trees! 

Not exactly a typo I know, but it is a bear to skip through 10 pages that seem unnecessary. 

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Well if we have 3 schools/clan, plus imperials and few minors in the final product we are even looking at 20-30 pages of unnecessary material that would be better used with context and setting. Or skipped indeed to reduce the page count.

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They do actually need the different tables though since they're a major part of what separates the different schools (kitsuki investigators can get advancement from kata at rank 2 or 4 for instance). They do take up a lot of space for what they are up but I think that they would look quite ugly if you tried to fit more than one school on a page.

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Maybe something liek this rather tan charts?

HIDA DEFENDER SCHOOL ADVANCEMENT

RANK 1
Skills: Command, Medicine, Survival

Skill Groups: Martial Skills

Technique Category: Rank 1 Kata

Techniques: Rishing Avalanche Style, Honest Assessment

Rings: Ring

 

Or something like that. It saves space.

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My problem is not necessarily the redundence, but it is more that it can lead to unhealthy player behaviour of living in the future. Under AEG the school ranks never cared about how the players spend their points for their characters, which always left room to adjust the character advancement to the needs of the game, but I think that now plenty of players might end up not looking at what they character might learn from the scenerious they find themselves in, but only look at what is there on the advancement table.

So, I would say that should become massively broader, and be like a master table for everyone. Here how I image in table should look like:

Rank 1

  • school skill
  • school skill
  • any skill
  • any skill
  • school technique
  • elemental affinity school technique
  • elemental affinity school technique
  • any ring

So, that means every school also gets an elemental affinity, like the Hida bushi could get Earth.

If it is too broad for the skills then maybe add priorities on skill groups and then have one skill line say school primary skill group or secondary skill group, up to maybe tertiary skill group. In either way, just having on chart that is true for all an dthat leaves more room for different character developments, so that not every member of a school feel like the same.

Edited by Drudenfusz

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On 8.10.2017 at 3:25 AM, Drudenfusz said:

So, that means every school also gets an elemental affinity, like the Hida bushi could get Earth.

That is a nice idea... And yes I totally agree I don't want to plan out my character out for the next 20 evenings and increse all skills I need instead of the skills I want for the progression of the story.

The character advancement tables are a horrible idea.

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On 10/7/2017 at 6:25 PM, Drudenfusz said:

So, that means every school also gets an elemental affinity, like the Hida bushi could get Earth.

Schools (outside of maybe Shugenja) should not have elemental affinities. All Hida bushi should not be Earth bushi. All Hida bushi should be defensive but they should not all be Earth.

6 hours ago, Yandia said:

That is a nice idea... And yes I totally agree I don't want to plan out my character out for the next 20 evenings and increse all skills I need instead of the skills I want for the progression of the story.

The character advancement tables are a horrible idea.

No, they are not a horrible idea they just need a lot of work.

Do you want Bushi advancing for only increasing Social and Scholar Skills when their school is not social or scholarly?

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7 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

Schools (outside of maybe Shugenja) should not have elemental affinities. All Hida bushi should not be Earth bushi. All Hida bushi should be defensive but they should not all be Earth

Why not? They already have two rings assocciated with them. Namely the two rings which gets increased. It is a decent idea, and would increase the importance of the rings for all samurai, not only shugenja.

7 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

Do you want Bushi advancing for only increasing Social and Scholar Skills when their school is not social or scholarly?

I would not mind at all. We was trained a bushi and is now carving his own path.

Seriously if a Hida Bushi decides to only train a ton of Social and Scholar stuff , he or she stuff alreadly doesn't take full advantage of the school technique. (I honestly fail to see how the proficiency with armor helps in court). Seeing the player of said Hida punished twice for making a suboptimal decision doesn't improve the game experience in any way, shape or form...

And yes the advancement table for each individual school are a horrible idea. They do not need a lot of work, they need to go.

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47 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

Do you want Bushi advancing for only increasing Social and Scholar Skills when their school is not social or scholarly?

 

25 minutes ago, Yandia said:

I would not mind at all. We was trained a bushi and is now carving his own path.

But that's not exactly going to help him be a better Bushi (as much as training in weapons that is).

I don't think that making a character well-rounded as opposed to highly specialized is inherently a punishment. Furthermore all of the schools have several opportunities to pick up skills beyond their primary areas of expertise and still get school advancement. I the the advancement tables are fairly reasonable aside from the amount of space they take up.

 

A kind of related but branching thing:

Quote

Only characters with one or more school ranks in a school that lists “kata”
among its available techniques can purchase kata.

To me this reads like its allowing the possibility of characters having ranks in multiple schools.

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I would  be pretty ok with advancement tables as long as purchases out of your current Rank would be banked for future. Removes the FeelsBad for buying, say, Courtesy 1 now instead of waiting for rank 3 where you get a bonus for picking social group skills. 

"Can get a technique rank earlier" is a pretty swell idea.

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2 hours ago, Norgrath said:

But that's not exactly going to help him be a better Bushi (as much as training in weapons that is).

I don't think that making a character well-rounded as opposed to highly specialized is inherently a punishment. Furthermore all of the schools have several opportunities to pick up skills beyond their primary areas of expertise and still get school advancement. I the the advancement tables are fairly reasonable aside from the amount of space they take up.

That is not at all what I said. Buying only social stuff for a Hida Bushi is pretty much the opposite of being a well rounded character. Your school technique is helpful only for a true bushi and your skill set is entirely social. This character is not well-rounded, it is disjointed.

And yes I would like to see well-rounded character in my campains. And the advancement tables actively prevent this. Every XP not spend on the advancement table will make the character weaker in the long run... So people will not spend XP outside of the advancement table. Making the characters ultimately one note and not well-rounded.

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1 minute ago, Yandia said:

That is not at all what I said. Buying only social stuff for a Hida Bushi is pretty much the opposite of being a well rounded character. Your school technique is helpful only for a true bushi and your skill set is entirely social. This character is not well-rounded, it is disjointed.

And yes I would like to see well-rounded character in my campains. And the advancement tables actively prevent this. Every XP not spend on the advancement table will make the character weaker in the long run... So people will not spend XP outside of the advancement table. Making the characters ultimately one note and not well-rounded.

Have you looked at the advancement tables? They're specifically set up to be focused but with room to not be one note. And speaking for myself I will absolutely spend xp outside the advancement table if it's important to the character.

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1 hour ago, Norgrath said:

Have you looked at the advancement tables? They're specifically set up to be focused but with room to not be one note. And speaking for myself I will absolutely spend xp outside the advancement table if it's important to the character.

I have looked at them, and find them entirely too narrow. L5R under AEG solved that much better, by allowing every character to walk their own path. I would suggest a middle ground (like I already did), where picking school skill as well as non-school skill can advance the character. And not this walking down a predetemined path, that is so very unlike what L5R should be or had been. Shinsei would not appreciate that walking down such an narrow path.

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10 minutes ago, Drudenfusz said:

I have looked at them, and find them entirely too narrow. L5R under AEG solved that much better, by allowing every character to walk their own path. I would suggest a middle ground (like I already did), where picking school skill as well as non-school skill can advance the character. And not this walking down a predetemined path, that is so very unlike what L5R should be or had been. Shinsei would not appreciate that walking down such an narrow path.

I honestly think you're being ridiculous here. You're complaining about walking a narrow path because learning to paint will slow down your progression as a warrior (well, unless you're a Kakita). You can learn nearly anything you want and most if not all of the key abilities of your character will help their school advancement.

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4 minutes ago, Norgrath said:

I honestly think you're being ridiculous here. You're complaining about walking a narrow path because learning to paint will slow down your progression as a warrior (well, unless you're a Kakita). You can learn nearly anything you want and most if not all of the key abilities of your character will help their school advancement.

Well, I love the Kakita, so maybe that is where my views on this comes from. ;)

But I also like the game to be more narrativistic and not trying to be a boring simulationistic attempt at whatever you want to go for with your preferences there. So, I wonder, why is it so important to you that the character path is so narrow? Why do you think that the mentality that we can find in plenty of eastern fiction of discoving things that are beneficial in fields that are entirely unrelated. Like the caligraphy and swordmansship comparishions that are made often, and can be seen in the film Hero for example. Or that Uncle Iroh in Avatar the Last Airbender could improve his Fire Bending by studing how Benders of other elements practised their bending, and so on. This is a very common trope in fiction that portaits east asian philosophy. So, why are you so set on opposing this in a game that should do exactly that?

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3 hours ago, Yandia said:

That is not at all what I said. Buying only social stuff for a Hida Bushi is pretty much the opposite of being a well rounded character. Your school technique is helpful only for a true bushi and your skill set is entirely social. This character is not well-rounded, it is disjointed.

I was referring to a problem with 4e L5R where the fastest way to gain insight was to buy 1 rank in a bunch of skills (usually knowledge). Made characters "well rounded" to the point on non-functional.

3 hours ago, Yandia said:

And yes I would like to see well-rounded character in my campains. And the advancement tables actively prevent this. Every XP not spend on the advancement table will make the character weaker in the long run... So people will not spend XP outside of the advancement table. Making the characters ultimately one note and not well-rounded.

Have you actually read any of the advancement tables?

Hida Defender has the following Skills as part of its advancement:

  • Rank 1: Any Skills in the Martial Group, Command, Medicine, Survival
  • Rank 2: Any Skills in the Martial Group, Command, Tactics, Theology
  • Rank 3: Any Skills in the Trade Group, Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee], Meditation
  • Rank 4: Any Skills in the Scholar Group, Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee], Meditation
  • Rank 5: Any Skills in the Martial Group, Command, Survival, Theology

Note that each Rank has a Skill Group that XP put into it that counts for Ranking up and the Hida Defender has two ranks where a non-Martial group is available. Ranking up by the tables is hardly "one note."

The actual easiest way to make a character "one note" is only spend XP on their Rings which will rank them up.

 

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28 minutes ago, Drudenfusz said:

Well, I love the Kakita, so maybe that is where my views on this comes from. ;)

But I also like the game to be more narrativistic and not trying to be a boring simulationistic attempt at whatever you want to go for with your preferences there. So, I wonder, why is it so important to you that the character path is so narrow? Why do you think that the mentality that we can find in plenty of eastern fiction of discoving things that are beneficial in fields that are entirely unrelated. Like the caligraphy and swordmansship comparishions that are made often, and can be seen in the film Hero for example. Or that Uncle Iroh in Avatar the Last Airbender could improve his Fire Bending by studing how Benders of other elements practised their bending, and so on. This is a very common trope in fiction that portaits east asian philosophy. So, why are you so set on opposing this in a game that should do exactly that?

My point was that learning to paint doesn't slow your progression as a warrior if you're Kakita.

Secondly, you're misrepresenting me: I'm not demanding a narrow path; I'm arguing that the current system is far from narrow (something that you haven't given me any reason to doubt).  Any restrictions in the tables mostly serve to differentiate the schools in what I would argue is a less restricting way than giving each school an ability at each rank (or whatever else might be used to differentiate them).

Looking at your table I'm wondering if perhaps you misunderstood how the tables work (forgive me if I'm wrong): Any experience you spend on something on the appropriate table you counts so a Hida Defender could go from rank 1 to rank 2 just by buying levels in medicine (not advocating this but you could).

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26 minutes ago, Norgrath said:

Looking at your table I'm wondering if perhaps you misunderstood how the tables work (forgive me if I'm wrong): Any experience you spend on something on the appropriate table you counts so a Hida Defender could go from rank 1 to rank 2 just by buying levels in medicine (not advocating this but you could).

No, my table is supposed to work that even if you have multiple open skill slots that you still can use them only for different skills and all for the same. But even that would not be the case (afterall I guess I have not made that explicitly clear), then I still would not see something wrong with a Hida becoming a better warrior just by learning about medicine, using that knowledge to know hoe to hit weak spots of an opponents anatomy, knowing how to treat illnesses so they can defend the empire better and not have to lie in bed sick and so on. That sounds to me like an awesome Hida, one that was possible to play in L5R und AEG, and I am pretty sure most GMs would loved to have a player who plays such a unique character their games.

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Just now, Drudenfusz said:

No, my table is supposed to work that even if you have multiple open skill slots that you still can use them only for different skills and all for the same.

I was talking about the table in the basic game. So if you intend yours to not work that way then I think that's actually more narrow. 

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4 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

I was referring to a problem with 4e L5R where the fastest way to gain insight was to buy 1 rank in a bunch of skills (usually knowledge). Made characters "well rounded" to the point on non-functional.

Have you actually read any of the advancement tables?

Hida Defender has the following Skills as part of its advancement:

  • Rank 1: Any Skills in the Martial Group, Command, Medicine, Survival
  • Rank 2: Any Skills in the Martial Group, Command, Tactics, Theology
  • Rank 3: Any Skills in the Trade Group, Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee], Meditation
  • Rank 4: Any Skills in the Scholar Group, Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee], Meditation
  • Rank 5: Any Skills in the Martial Group, Command, Survival, Theology

Note that each Rank has a Skill Group that XP put into it that counts for Ranking up and the Hida Defender has two ranks where a non-Martial group is available. Ranking up by the tables is hardly "one note."

The actual easiest way to make a character "one note" is only spend XP on their Rings which will rank them up.

Yes, I have looked at them and I honestly can't think of any reason, why it doesn't look like:

Rank 1-5: Martial Group, Trade Group, Scholar Group

or

Rank 1-5: Martial Group, Command, Medicine, Survival, Tactics, Theology

And I will tell you why this is a problem....

Let's say my Hida is working towards ranks 3 and ends up in a Sumo competition. Martial Arts [Unarmed] would be an obvious skill to advance since this is what he is essentially focuing on. However I shouldn't improve that skill.

Spending point now on the skill is not a good decission, because currently Martial Arts [Unarmed] doesn't help me to improve my rank. Even worse if I would max out the skill at rank 5, I would loose the opportunity to use this skill for my rank 5 advancement limiting my future options.

 

Seriously I had a lot of problems with the AEG L5R, but insight rank was a generally good idea.

And I never encountered any Hida Bushi, how put all their skills in ikebana and singing. Usually if people pick a school, they want to play students of that school.

I do agree that buying a bunch of level 1 skill was the best strategy to advance a rank, which was a problem... But the name of the problem is escalating cost.

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