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Ultimatecalibur

Misconceptions about Strife and Outbursts

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This is a list about common and uncommon misconceptions about Strife and Outbursts. please add any more that you can think of.

  1. Strife Symbols are Threat symbols - Strife is more stress damage than negative side-effect tokens.
  2. Outburst happen every time you gain Strife - You need to have more Strife than your Composure to trigger an Outburst and each character can only have one Outburst per scene.
  3. Outbursts determine what the character is feeling - The form an Outburst takes is determined by the player for PCs and GM for NPCs.
  4. Outburst will happen every scene - Outbursts require a character to have more strife than their (Earth + Fire) x2, after every scene characters remove their Water Ring in strife and after a scene with an Outburst a characters Strife is set to half their composure
  5. You can not do anything about Strife - All Water approaches can spend opportunity to reduce your own strife by 2 for each opportunity spent this way, Earth approaches can reduce the strife of a number other characters equal to opportunity used by 2, Air approaches can use double opportunity to do the same as Water approaches, Fire approaches can use the same for Earth and Void approaches can use opportunity as if they were any other element. This is in addition to the effects of various techniques and actions.
Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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6. Strife is always bad - Strife in certain situations is desirable. Fire heavy characters love Strife as it gives them extra successes, certain School Abilities use Strife as fuel, and trying to Outburst ASAP during combat sequences is a valid strategy in order to reap Enraged bonuses (which include a form of Void Point regeneration). Having an Outburst and escalating the scene to a duel before you cool off make you immune to Finishing Blow (as you already suffered an Outburst during this scene). 

Edited by WHW

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Not a misconception - Strife takes away control of your PC

Correct - no more than damage, or any other game influence.  You can't narrate your character to be a master of void if the character sheet doesn't support it.  You can't narrate perfect, social stoicism if your character sheet doesn't support it. 

Juggling what you control, and what you can't control is the essence of drama and story.

Edited by shosuko

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6 minutes ago, Darksyde said:

I don't quite understand this first bit. What do you mean exactly?

Not to speak for what he means in particular, but some people believe that anything in a game that dictates character behavior is automatically bad.  Strife to these people is probably a major strike against the game.

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2 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

Outburst will happen every scene - Outbursts require a character to have more strife than their (Earth + Fire) x2, after every scene characters remove their Water Ring in strife and after a scene with an Outburst a characters Strife is set to half their composure

This is more going to be dependent on the luck the player has that night I think. We all know those players that for some reason the 1's are on every toss.

 

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Strife is less about 1's and more about "how much do you want this to happen". Strife shares the dice side with positive effects; if you are taking Strife, you are basically trading that 1 Strife for extra Opportunity or Success. If you are in Fire Stance and manage to Succeed on your own, each Strife also gives you an extra success; Void Stance makes you ignore Strife. Water Stance heals 2 Strife, so if you got less than 3 Strife during the roll, you can recover it instantly, and if you got less than 2 Strife you actually ended up ahead. 

 

The thing about Strife-on-Dice triggered Outburst is that they will be almost always accompanied by a high success on your part. 

Edited by WHW

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42 minutes ago, WHW said:

Having an Outburst and escalating the scene to a duel before you cool off make you immune to Finishing Blow (as you already suffered an Outburst during this scene). 

I'd argue that the transition to a duel is actually a scene change since Intrigue and Duel are defined as different types of scenes, and if it is not a scene change they should suffer from the same modified Finishing blow rules used in Clashes if over their composure (page 175).

1 minute ago, Mirumoto Seiichiro said:

This is more going to be dependent on the luck the player has that night I think. We all know those players that for some reason the 1's are on every toss.

Unless the players do nothing to prevent Outbursts that is unlikely to happen.

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Just now, Ultimatecalibur said:

 

Unless the players do nothing to prevent Outbursts that is unlikely to happen.

Come play with some of the people I have with that kind of  luck with and you'll see it happen. They won't even have the ability to prevent it. There will something SOMTHING a condition or what not that will prevent them from having it happen almost every scene. i say this because we are beta testing another tabletop game with a similarly unappealing mechanic and every **** scene they get hit with it.

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1 minute ago, Mirumoto Seiichiro said:

Come play with some of the people I have with that kind of  luck with and you'll see it happen. They won't even have the ability to prevent it. There will something SOMTHING a condition or what not that will prevent them from having it happen almost every scene. i say this because we are beta testing another tabletop game with a similarly unappealing mechanic and every **** scene they get hit with it.

Did that system have things like "No strife" Void stance and "Recover 2 Strife" Water Stance?

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Are we ignoring, in all of this, that previous editions had characters making Honor Rolls as a last ditch effort to avoid certain things, and if those rolls were failed, the character went in for the behavior regardless.

In my 30 or so years of gaming, PCs being "forced" to feel or do certain things has been in systems more often than not.  No human being is completely in control of their emotions at all times, but PCs should be?  C'mon, this argument is just silly.  We're not talking about removing agency completely from the player.  The player gets to determine HOW being overwhelmed effects them, and gets to choose which things will be specifically difficult for their PCs to manage. 

Do people really want a system where characters are immune to basic humanity, especially in a game that is, at its core, about the struggle between one's humanity and one's desire to be more?  I'm used to this "Trenchcoat McBadass must not be compromised!" mentality from oWoD players.  Didn't think I'd encounter it with the L5R crowd.

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14 minutes ago, WildKnight said:

Are we ignoring, in all of this, that previous editions had characters making Honor Rolls as a last ditch effort to avoid certain things, and if those rolls were failed, the character went in for the behavior regardless.

In my 30 or so years of gaming, PCs being "forced" to feel or do certain things has been in systems more often than not.  No human being is completely in control of their emotions at all times, but PCs should be?  C'mon, this argument is just silly.  We're not talking about removing agency completely from the player.  The player gets to determine HOW being overwhelmed effects them, and gets to choose which things will be specifically difficult for their PCs to manage. 

Do people really want a system where characters are immune to basic humanity, especially in a game that is, at its core, about the struggle between one's humanity and one's desire to be more?  I'm used to this "Trenchcoat McBadass must not be compromised!" mentality from oWoD players.  Didn't think I'd encounter it with the L5R crowd.

No? My intention with this thread was to point out those sorts of misconceptions about the Strife/Outburst system.

Heck, I like the system and the ideas behind it. I now have a mechanical way to represent how to push someone so that they get mad and challenge someone to a duel, say something stupid, compromise/run away, reveal a weakness or start sulking and make characters better/worst at doing/taking it.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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53 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

No? My intention with this thread was to point out those sorts of misconceptions about the Strife/Outburst system.

Heck, I like the system and the ideas behind it. I now have a mechanical way to represent how to push someone so that they get mad and challenge someone to a duel, say something stupid, compromise/run away, reveal a weakness or start sulking and make characters better/worst at doing/taking it.

 

Right, I wasn't talking about you.  I was talking about the people who hold the misconceptions that you're trying to correct (or specifically, one argument that you address, and that one not because I felt you covered it inadequately, but because someone said you were wrong about it)

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And I might note that, demanding duels aside, Outbursts aren't that dramatic. They shake things up, but real derailment is a bit past what they're about. And shake-ups are good! Awesome samurai drama happens when your on slips juuuuust that little bit!

There's another game, Exalted, with a sorta-similar mechanic, and let me tell you, its deliberate character-arc-shattering campaign-table-flipping Breaks have been the subject of rather a lot of virtual ink. This certainly ain't that.

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I have the feeling that Strife might not be that huge of an issue anyway. With the roll and keep here people will be able to simple drop plenty of strife, and as the characters increase their rings and skill they get even better at that, pretty much like people that mature usually get their emotions better in check.

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1 hour ago, Drudenfusz said:

I have the feeling that Strife might not be that huge of an issue anyway. With the roll and keep here people will be able to simple drop plenty of strife, and as the characters increase their rings and skill they get even better at that, pretty much like people that mature usually get their emotions better in check.

The problem is that there is no dice result with only Strife. When you drop Strife you also drop a Success, an Opportunity, or even an Explosive Success. And considering how tight the characters' dice result economy is, I dunno if you can just take a Blank and call it a day. 

Me and my GM talked about this yesterday (while burning down the club's printer with the rulebook), and we came to the conclusion that Strife/Outburst is like the flagship concept of the beta: it is a very cool idea with lots of potential, but it is convoluted and somewhat poorly thought out. Luckily, we have the beta just to shape things up for the better, and oh boy I already have ideas :D!

Edited by AtoMaki

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Remember that:

1. Outburst triggers at start of your turn. Even if you overdose on Strife, you still have until your next turn to calm down.

2. Earth Opportunities allow you to remove 2 Strife. Water opportunities allow you to remove 2 Strife *per opportunity*. You can buy these opportunities even when using a different Ring, you just get a worse ratio. 

3. Water Stance removes 2 Strife from you per roll. At end of each scene, all characters remove Strife equal to their Water for free.

4. Void Stance makes you not gain Strife from Strife results.

5. Other characters can use their Opportunities and abilities to reduce your Strife before the Outburst triggers. 

6. Skipping Assessments rolls allows you to remove 3 Strife.

7. Passions exist.

Outbursts are manageable. Strife management is one of the reasons why you should switch your Stances and dont pull all your Ring advancements into one basket. Generally getting an Outburst is something not only you as a player need to allow to happen, but also all other player characters need to allow to happen, *and* all the NPCs need to allow to happen. 

Edited by WHW

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But what if I want to gain "Strife" and have an "Outburst", just not some cheap drama but a moment where things are put on the edge, and my character says "Enough!" She puts her lord to his place without breaching etiquette, just with a strong "No." She makes a Kakita duelist back away with a staredown that lasts for only a moment but has the intensity of a thousand suns. She readies her katana in an audible silence, despite the battle raging around. She drowns a Bayushi courtier into his own tirade with a blood-curdling laughter. 

But yeah, I'm kinda stuck with cheap drama, so there is that :rolleyes:

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Anyone else think strife is similar to stress from the Darkest Dungeon games. I like stress in those games and think I'll really like strife in this one. My Fire Miromoti Bushi will definitely make use of it. 

Only concern I have is that combat-based outbursts seem to spell instant death. 

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9 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

The problem is that there is no dice result with only Strife. When you drop Strife you also drop a Success, an Opportunity, or even an Explosive Success. 

This is a feature, not a flaw. If a die face had Strife and nothing else, it would always get dropped, there's no choice to make.  Remember, you don't have to keep any dice.  If your choice is to either fail or take Strife, that's when you have do decide which is more important.

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First I am dyslexic so forgive misspellings and punctuation.

you all make gear points but you are forgetting one that makes me kinda laugh. (warning this is long and a bit specific) 

I want to make a new sword as a gift to someone  and the rest of the party wants to help (3 people assisting) 

under the assisting rule these people add a single advantage or disadvantage to the scene chosen by the gm. (now I know some GMs who would do this just for the fun of it)

they would take all the appropriate disadvantages  that give 3 strife and each assistant can take away 1 for a total of 2 per assistant so  +6 before dice are thrown.

to forge a blade you must use passion and aggression to make the blade perfect.(aka fire and a tn of 4 so no throwing away good dice even with strife)

unless I I am wrong them strife from the other players are not rolled strife and do not count as successes for the project just the ones on the dice roll.

so lets look at the pool 3 people  is 3 d12s  I have say 2 skill so that is 5d12 and a fire ring of say 2 so I am rolling 2d6 and 5d12   and I get to keep 5 dice.

I get a 1 success and a strife ,  2 explosive success and strife ,  3 success , 4 opportunity , 5 success and opportunity,  6 explosive success and strife ,  and an  7 opportunity

to grantee me success I would have to take 1  3 5  4 and 7   

3 Success  1 strife(each count success  it's self )   and 2 opportunity   with only 2 opportunities I have to just pick resplendent quality from the artisan qualities.(if I had 3 I would have other oppositions )

so now i have 7 strife now this is a downtime scene  next I got to put a hilt to the great blade so this is a  Smithing(water 3 ) roll the others assist me again  I get Same  rolls  but can take 2 away cause it's water.

This time I take 1 3 4 5 7  I can pick to lower strife by 6 taking a total of 1 strife right now or do something cool like give the blade a +1 damage making it a katana with a 5 damage or give it the durable quality .

so this choices leads to 1 of 2 results a strife of  0 strife , or 13 strife . If I do not make this resplendent  katana  with a +1 damage or durable quality I fail as a smith  or I must have an out burst  of some kind.

I think  that is a bit much  people helping me make an Item adding that much strife.  I think a salutation might be to only have them add advantages that are appropriate to the assisting not GM pick of advantage or disadvantage.

 

Sorry a bit long but a funny thought of possible abuse of strife.

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Do consider, that in Rokugani culture, samurai are expected to carry themselves with perfect decorum, and showing your true feelings to anyone but your closest friends and family is a breach of etiquette. I've yet to start playtesting, but I like the idea of Strife bringing this into play, otherwise everyone would just perfectly cool all the time. It's the name Outburst that I don't necessarily like because it implies a more severe response than what might actually happen. That is, if your daimyo says something so stupid you suffer Strife, the triggered Outburst can be no more than audibly sighing at the stupidity (and since the PC has to decide what form it takes, this is no different from other systems without Strife, where the GM will have you make a Willpower/Cool/Discipline etc saving throw to avoid doing so). That sigh, because of the meanings it implies of your vassal lord, is a breach of protocol nonetheless.

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