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AtoMaki

AtoMaki's Beta Test Game(s)

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8 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

However, contacting your lord should be quite a hassle: it either practically ends the adventure because of travel time/waiting-for-the-message time (that's why it works for single player and one-shot campaigns, where such things are obviously no concern), or it forces the party to either have a single lord (Yoriki campaign) or have their lords readily at hand (Winter Court/Topaz Championship maybe?).

Assuming there is a shugenja in the party, Dominion of Suitengu can allow communication across any distance, including voices with 2 opportunity. Assuming the shugenja probably didn't buy that invocation, the importune invocations rule can provide access to get an update. This requires an item of value to the character (and will likely need to be performed for each party member), but perhaps this just turns into a mini-quest to acquire an item that allows them to call home (making that their giri, temporarily). Without a shugenja, perhaps they can do a favor for a local shugenja, and in return, be granted the invocation as a favor.

There are some difficulties with this approach. The shugenja in question needs to be familiar with the other location. Given the existence of this invocation, I would actually expect something like telegraph offices to exist in cities, with some shugenja specializing in making this communication possible. Perhaps they would go on tours to establish knowledge of the other locations, but for a more magic version, they would travel through them with a senior shugenja (4 opportunity), which would establish that knowledge.

Anyhow, it provides a solution if you need it, but may be an unwelcome modification to the setting. It means that major news will quickly travel across Rokugan, which dramatically changes the way wars play out. It probably significantly affects trade as well.

Edit: What will the players do when corrupt minister Pai changes the rules of the shugenja network to prevent updates from Carpenter Wall. :P

Edited by ubik2

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8 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Hey, that's all I have here :)

Also, I'm fairly sure that self-assigned duties belong to Ninjo.

Sheesh, yeah, I knew we forgot something. Yes, mono-clan parties obviously have this easier, just like the Yoriki party, but I reckon they are supposed to be rare. 

An easy way to think about it is Giri is going to be something you do as an obligation to your Lord, your family, or society as a whole.  It is an action or an observance such as always defending your clan's honor, which could result in many duels or near-duel-experiences, or it could be always praying for a family member, causing you to stop at temples and shrines often to continually appeal to the fortunes and kami for them.  This isn't to say that orders, or "strong suggestions" from your Lord can't serve as a Giri, but there are a lot of Rokugan societal expectations you can pick apart to craft a Giri for anyone.

Just think about what each Ronin might feel they own someone, or what they might owe society.  Maybe they are a Ronin because they needed to make money to send to a family member and their Clan wouldn't give them the money (or maybe they were disgraced out of their clan for always seeking to make money) causing them to go Ronin so that they could fulfil this obligation.  Maybe they seek to serve a Lord when possible and their Giri is still being a samurai in spite of being a Ronin.

The difference between Giri and Ninjo is that Giri is an obligation.  Ninjo is something your character is driven to do, and may (and typically does) go against social norms.  Respecting peasants, or giving compassion to enemy troops may be a Ninjo.  Its something you are compelled to do from within, in spite of your Lord or society's expectations.  Bayushi Yojiro would have the Ninjo to be honest in spite of being a Scorpion.

Edited by shosuko

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While I'm overall disappointed with the execution of Chronicles of Darkness games, I feel that there is a lot of good lessons to be learned about Ninjo/Giri like character sheet elements. I'm still pretty impressed by how Vampire 2nd ED manages to weave its themes of "humanity vs descent into monstrosity" into the gameplay mechanics without feeling gimmicky or heavy-handed. 

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10 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Gives me a feeling like the description of Giri (and Ninjo) needs a major update/revision. None of what @shosuko is saying makes any sense for me in regard of the current write-up. 

“As part of their glory attribute, each character has an associated giri (“sworn duty”), which represents the way in which they serve their lord.” 

Your giri is just that: your duty as society sees it. Ninjo could be described as your duty to yourself if we want to things to be nicely symmetrical, though it’s probably clearer to define it as personal desires and ideals, the way the rules do. It’s what you should do (to be a proper samurai, ergo an obedient and loyal servant for your lord) versus what you personally want to do. I don’t think the current write-up and @shosuko‘s post above are at odds about this.

Which in turn means there’s no real problem with trying to meet your giri when you’re between specific orders from your lord. You’re still expected to serve your clan as best you see fit until your lord tells you what he wants you to do. That might be a little less clear to handle in game, but shouldn’t have to be noticeably harder than trying to meet your giri when you do have specific orders: your GM should/will offer opportunities to do so, but in neither case does he have to do that all the time. You represent your lord at all times. Everything you do reflects on him. Your duty, at all times, is to represent him as he would want you to.

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19 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Gives me a feeling like the description of Giri (and Ninjo) needs a major update/revision. None of what @shosuko is saying makes any sense for me in regard of the current write-up. 

Giri-Ninjo isn't a new thing FFG made up.  Check out some here to help you understand more

http://kabukishojo.com/article/giri-ninjo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giri_(Japanese)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninjō

 

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@nameless ronin Personally, I think falling down into this "Giri Limbo" after completing your concrete Giri is almost exactly like not having Giri. "Serve your lord" is not a task that needs to be named for a samurai and allows a huge leeway for Giribending. 

@shosuko I'm aware of all that, but it doesn't change what is in the rulebook. "Rokugan is not Japan" and all that. 

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52 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

@nameless ronin Personally, I think falling down into this "Giri Limbo" after completing your concrete Giri is almost exactly like not having Giri. "Serve your lord" is not a task that needs to be named for a samurai and allows a huge leeway for Giribending. 

FFG kinda makes this happen anyway by saying even a specifically called-out giri can be fairly broad. Also, look at the sample giri list: it’s pretty clear that some are a lot harder than others to fulfill, and for most of them I anticipate players not being able to make any progress at all towards that specific giri during many sessions (and something like “invent a new weapon” seems like a terrible idea period for a giri for this kind of game, to be perfectly honest). I think it will have to fall to the GM to make sure everyone gets an equal chance to reap some giri rewards over the course of a campaign.

But if the giri-ninjo thing is supposed to help drive the samurai drama throughout the game, it pretty much defeats the purpose when your specific giri doesn’t come into play for entire sessions. As such, I think we’re meant to have the general societal duty come up as well, aside from character-specific assigned giri. If you prefer it only being specific though, that can work too. The GM and player should pay a lot of attention to crafting a good giri then though, and particularly also try to tie all the giri of all the PCs together so they and up fulfilling them all together as well (at which point their temporary new giri becomes “go back to your lord asap to get a new giri”, I suppose). It puts a few more constraints on the chargen process with regards to the first giri.

Edited by nameless ronin

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4 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

FFG kinda makes this happen anyway by saying even a specifically called-out giri can be fairly broad.

1

This is typical Giribending to be honest. And if you can twist around your Giri however you like it, then why bother with it anyway? Better question: if Giri is so flexible, then why should it conflict Ninjo? This doesn't make any sense whatsoever. 

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9 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

This is typical Giribending to be honest. And if you can twist around your Giri however you like it, then why bother with it anyway? Better question: if Giri is so flexible, then why should it conflict Ninjo? This doesn't make any sense whatsoever. 

Giri is not flexible. If you twist it, your GM should point that out to you and if it comes to that, there should be consequences. This is very comparable to honor: players can try to justify their actions as adhering to bushido and thus being ultimately honorable, but the GM is the final arbiter.

edit for emphasis. A giri being broad does not make it flexible in any way. Period.

Edited by nameless ronin

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2 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

A giri being broad does not make it flexible in any way.

1

It kinda does. If you have a lot to go for it, then you obviously have a lot of space to wiggle around. A Giri like "winning glory for the Lion Clan on the field of battle" can be interpreted and/or accomplished in a great variety of ways while something like "defend Kakita Asami as her yojimbo" can be done only one or two ways. 

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18 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

It kinda does. If you have a lot to go for it, then you obviously have a lot of space to wiggle around. A Giri like "winning glory for the Lion Clan on the field of battle" can be interpreted and/or accomplished in a great variety of ways while something like "defend Kakita Asami as her yojimbo" can be done only one or two ways. 

Being accomplished in a larger variety of ways is not the same as flexibility or wriggle room. Deliberately choosing to interpret your lord’s commands in a different way than he intended will not help you fulfill your giri to begin with (you can’t resolve your giri without recognition from your lord, as explained in the rules) and is borderline dishonorable to boot - and may warrant actual honor and/or glory loss depending on how far the PC takes it.

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11 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Deliberately choosing to interpret your lord’s commands in a different way than he intended will not help you fulfill your giri to begin with

3

It will, actually, it will just also break the system as mentioned above. The consequences of accomplishing your Giri in interesting ways is a whole different can of worms altogether - I guess this is why Giri is under Glory and not Honor. 

And again, this problem is not addressed at all in the rulebook. Same with what happens when you accomplish your Giri but cannot get back to your lord to get a new one. You can meta it away, but I dunno if that speaks well of the rules themselves, especially since Giri is supposed to be a core concept. 

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21 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

It will, actually, it will just also break the system as mentioned above. The consequences of accomplishing your Giri in interesting ways is a whole different can of worms altogether - I guess this is why Giri is under Glory and not Honor. 

And again, this problem is not addressed at all in the rulebook. Same with what happens when you accomplish your Giri but cannot get back to your lord to get a new one. You can meta it away, but I dunno if that speaks well of the rules themselves, especially since Giri is supposed to be a core concept. 

If your lord doesn’t recognize your accomplishment - as it says he should in the rules - you obviously haven’t fulfilled your duty to him. He gave you an order, you didn’t follow it properly. Deliberately misinterpreting your lord’s orders is not accomplishing your giri in an “interesting” way. It’s insubordination and borderline disobedience. Dishonor on you. Dishonor on your cow. With a side dish of glory loss. If you can’t be relied upon to do as your lord wishes, what good are you to him? The only thing he can do to keep you as a retainer, despite being a massive disappointment, is to find a responsibility for you where you can’t possibly disgrace him. Rank and file bushi who gets yelled at a lot by a grizzled gunsho sounds right up your alley.

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4 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

If your lord doesn’t recognize your accomplishment - as it says he should in the rules - you obviously haven’t fulfilled your duty to him. 

 

Nah, the rules quite disagree. If your lord doesn't recognize your accomplishment then you simply fall into a sort of a weird place because it does not mean failing your Giri, it just postpones its resolution indefinitely (until your lord recognizes your accomplishment or you give up and admit failure or abandon your duty).  In fact, this is a pretty good way for a rules-savvy player to completely kill Giri: choose an easily accomplishable one, accomplish it in whatever way you want, then never report back to your lord to get a new one. 

This, of course, only comes into play if you feel generous enough to share the details with your lord or if your lord even cares about the means to those ends. Or if your Giribending is relevant to begin with. Or if you do some master-level Giribending to take your lord out of the picture altogether. Again, we are back to the possibilities being endless. 

Like, this is probably not a problem if the players play along and try their best to respect the spirit of the rule, but reading through this very forum, I wouldn't hold my breath for it to come that naturally. The developers should really sit down and rewrite the section to be more clear-cut and less up to shameless abuse. It is one of the core concepts of the game, for crying out loud, so put some effort into it!

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12 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Nah, the rules quite disagree. If your lord doesn't recognize your accomplishment then you simply fall into a sort of a weird place because it does not mean failing your Giri, it just postpones its resolution indefinitely (until your lord recognizes your accomplishment or you give up and admit failure or abandon your duty).  In fact, this is a pretty good way for a rules-savvy player to completely kill Giri: choose an easily accomplishable one, accomplish it in whatever way you want, then never report back to your lord to get a new one. 

This, of course, only comes into play if you feel generous enough to share the details with your lord or if your lord even cares about the means to those ends. Or if your Giribending is relevant to begin with. Or if you do some master-level Giribending to take your lord out of the picture altogether. Again, we are back to the possibilities being endless. 

Like, this is probably not a problem if the players play along and try their best to respect the spirit of the rule, but reading through this very forum, I wouldn't hold my breath for it to come that naturally. The developers should really sit down and rewrite the section to be more clear-cut and less up to shameless abuse. It is one of the core concepts of the game, for crying out loud, so put some effort into it!

That’s a problem with enforcing the mechanic, not with how it’s defined. If your character doesn’t care about his giri, then he doesn’t and that’s it. If you as the player don’t want to put any effort into it, then you don’t. It’s not unlikely there will be in-game consequences at some point, but other than not getting the glory reward there is no built-in mechanic to force you to care about it. That’s a problem with the supposedly narrative nature of the game which I’ve pointed out a couple of times in other threads. It’s not a problem with how giri is defined in the rules or with how you deal with it in the game if you do choose to make it matter though. It is perfectly clear how it’s supposed to work.

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10 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

It is perfectly clear how it’s supposed to work.

 

I would say it is perfectly clear what its intent is. I actually doubt I can find a single section in the whole document that doesn't mention "samurai drama" at least once :P .

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8 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

 

@shosuko I'm aware of all that, but it doesn't change what is in the rulebook. "Rokugan is not Japan" and all that. 

First off - if you just want to say the book is wrong, and then ignorantly follow the book to make a point about it - sure.  The book has a horrible description of Giri that makes it sound like its your job.  As if your giri was to weld trailers, or cook eggs.  Its a bad description and I've already writen a few times about it.  That said "Rokugan is not Japan" really doesn't work.  That would be like saying Strength doesn't mean what you think it means because Rokugan is not Japan.  I'm posting this to try and help people understand Giri-Ninjo so they might get something useful that makes sense.  If you just want to rail against the writing of the beta book, then tell me that and I'll ignore your posts.

Giri-Ninjo is a constant theme in Japanese drama and FFG brought it into L5R specifically to bring what it is in Japan to L5R.  Sadly their beta writing team has flopped in crafting an explanation clear enough for a western audience.  Giri is not a job, it is an obligation that a character feels because society expects it of them, to the point that they expect it of themselves.  Giri can manifest itself as a job, and some giri are contradictory just like some elements of Bushido are contradictory.  You might have Giri as "unwavering loyalty to your commander" because it is important to be subordinate.  That commander might tell you to kill his commander to aid in his advancement.  That is a more specific task which is made manifest by the real Giri which is that your character feels the pressure from society to be obedient and subservient to his direct superior even though the order might cost its life.

Bayushi Yojiro in the recent fiction releases illustrates Giri / Ninjo conflict very well.  Kachiko gives him an order to do something he feels is dishonorable.  He feels he MUST do it, and he does... kinda.  You might think his Giri box is checked because he "did the thing" yet his ninjo also kicks in and he does something else because he is compelled by his personal sense of honesty and fairness.  It would seem he has accomplished both but...  what if Kachiko finds out?  Even though he hopes he's escaped his obligation the truth is he picked Ninjo over Giri.  If Kachiko called him out on it he would have to profess that he did not do what she wanted even though he carried out the specific actions of her request.

Edited by shosuko

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20 minutes ago, shosuko said:

That said "Rokugan is not Japan" really doesn't work. 

 

I dunno but the Rokugani Bushido is already quite different than the original Japanese one, and I'm not even touching areas like "Shugenja" and "Kensai". I know where you are coming from, I'm just saying that your Average Legend of the Five Rings Newbie will not have this kind of keen insight into the matter... and the Average Legend of the Five Rings Veteran will do even worse. 

And, you know, this isn't exactly a matter we can just skip over, in my opinion. Giri is terribly interpreted in the Beta: it is somewhat confusing, way too easy to abuse, poorly explained, and the attached rules are all kinds of clunky. It can be better, I'm not arguing against that, but it isn't

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

I dunno but the Rokugani Bushido is already quite different than the original Japanese one, and I'm not even touching areas like "Shugenja" and "Kensai". I know where you are coming from, I'm just saying that your Average Legend of the Five Rings Newbie will not have this kind of keen insight into the matter... and the Average Legend of the Five Rings Veteran will do even worse. 

And, you know, this isn't exactly a matter we can just skip over, in my opinion. Giri is terribly interpreted in the Beta: it is somewhat confusing, way too easy to abuse, poorly explained, and the attached rules are all kinds of clunky. It can be better, I'm not arguing against that, but it isn't

I can agree it is terribly represented, as well as given a horrible description.  I'm pushing forward with my test group as long as we are having fun, but pretty much every player would prefer a return to 1st or 4th ed if not for testing the beta - ie if this were actually the released product we wouldn't be playing it anymore...

Fortunately it seems FFG is willing to take criticism and is willing to re-work things.  I just hope they take this feedback and make the game better for it.

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I don’t think it’s as bad as all that. It’s kept quite simple, but that’s because it’s a game. It’s not quite true to life (though close enough), but that’s because it has to be simple. I don’t see a lot of potential abuse looming over the game: it’s easy to ignore, but that’s not abuse. Abuse would be perverting the purpose to gain an advantage, but that’s not easy at all unless the GM lets far too much slide. Clunky attached rules? How many attached rules are there even?

Bayushi Yojiro’s situation, which @shosuko brought up, is about as complicated as it gets since he dupes (or intends to, the story doesn’t tell us how he fares) the lady he is supposed to obey, and in game terms it’s still not that difficult. Assuming Kachiko remains unaware of his true intentions, he’ll gain glory if and when she acknowledges he did his duty well (which she might not if her plan is not successful). He’ll lose it again (and more) if she finds out he also worked at cross-purpose to her plans, since that means he not only did not do his duty but actually betrayed it. And that’s all there’s to it in terms of giri. The ramifications in terms of honor are far less clear, but they are not part of the giri mechanic.

Giri, as a game term, is just your duty. Aside from being a dutiful retainer in general, the game specifies that all PCs should have one specific duty, like an order from their lord. Fulfilling that will grant the PC some glory, since his lord acknowledges he’s been a good retainer. This seems all fairly straightforward to me. Considering that “completing a quest” is one of the listed ways to gain glory in 4th edition, as is being acknowledged by someone of sufficient status, it’s barely even anything new. The only new part about is that 5E makes it compulsory, and thus has to be a bit broader in scope than quests (since that would otherwise be too limiting for the GM). It’s just another way to push the samurai drama narrative. It doesn’t do a very good job of that (because it is still supposed to be a Legend of the Five Rings game, set in Rokugan, which means FFG can’t restrict the PCs all being honorable, or all seeking glory, or even have them all follow bushido properly - never mind follow bushido the same way), but as rules go it doesn’t seem all that hard to me. It’s everything else about glory and honour and bushido that’s complicated, but that’s part of the game anyway. Scrap any mention of giri from the rules and all the glory, honour and bushido will still be there (and include that you are expected to be a dutiful retainer, even if giri is not mentioned).

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2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Giri, as a game term, is just your duty. Aside from being a dutiful retainer in general, the game specifies that all PCs should have one specific duty, like an order from their lord. Fulfilling that will grant the PC some glory, since his lord acknowledges he’s been a good retainer. This seems all fairly straightforward to me. Considering that “completing a quest” is one of the listed ways to gain glory in 4th edition, as is being acknowledged by someone of sufficient status, it’s barely even anything new. The only new part about is that 5E makes it compulsory, and thus has to be a bit broader in scope than quests (since that would otherwise be too limiting for the GM). It’s just another way to push the samurai drama narrative. It doesn’t do a very good job of that (because it is still supposed to be a Legend of the Five Rings game, set in Rokugan, which means FFG can’t restrict the PCs all being honorable, or all seeking glory, or even have them all follow bushido properly - never mind follow bushido the same way), but as rules go it doesn’t seem all that hard to me. It’s everything else about glory and honour and bushido that’s complicated, but that’s part of the game anyway. Scrap any mention of giri from the rules and all the glory, honour and bushido will still be there (and include that you are expected to be a dutiful retainer, even if giri is not mentioned).

Maybe in this game that is true, bur this is a case of misunderstanding the word by the writers.

Giri: is the burden of obligation in it's best translation. And covers all obligations not just to you lord, but to your family and the society around you.

Giri is not just one thing, it all obligation at once. So you just don't go and pick one fulfill it and move on.

you have an obligation or Giri to your liege lord, you family, those who have provided aid (gifts,money, etc), clear you name of insult or accusation of failure, to admit failure, fulfill social responsibility, responsibility to maintain face,  and to remain stoic in the face of pain.

and unlike the write-up in the book you don't chose one you always have them all. 

 

Ninjō: Is human emotion or compassion. Ninjo is human feeling that Both complements and opposes the value of Giri, or social obligation, within the worldview.

It is not some thing you just pick for dramatic tension.  It is the overall make up of your human emotion. 

Not on any level does it "have to" oppose Giri.

It can and that's what creates the drama in Japanese literature, but should not be a requirement . 

This is a role-playing aspect of the PC and should not be a forced mechanic.

 

A good example of Giri and Ninjo complementing each other would be Robin Hood or in the more Japanese sense Ishikawa Goemon. 

They operate out of a combined sense of Giri and Ninjo. 

Giri: to defend the weak against oppression, since they have the skill and the ability they are obligated to do so.

Ninjo: And they do this out of compassion for the underdog.

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5 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Maybe in this game that is true, bur this is a case of misunderstanding the word by the writers.

Giri: is the burden of obligation in it's best translation. And covers all obligations not just to you lord, but to your family and the society around you.

Giri is not just one thing, it all obligation at once. So you just don't go and pick one fulfill it and move on.

you have an obligation or Giri to your liege lord, you family, those who have provided aid (gifts,money, etc), clear you name of insult or accusation of failure, to admit failure, fulfill social responsibility, responsibility to maintain face,  and to remain stoic in the face of pain.

and unlike the write-up in the book you don't chose one you always have them all. 

 

Ninjō: Is human emotion or compassion. Ninjo is human feeling that Both complements and opposes the value of Giri, or social obligation, within the worldview.

It is not some thing you just pick for dramatic tension.  It is the overall make up of your human emotion. 

Not on any level does it "have to" oppose Giri.

It can and that's what creates the drama in Japanese literature, but should not be a requirement . 

This is a role-playing aspect of the PC and should not be a forced mechanic.

 

A good example of Giri and Ninjo complementing each other would be Robin Hood or in the more Japanese sense Ishikawa Goemon. 

They operate out of a combined sense of Giri and Ninjo. 

Giri: to defend the weak against oppression, since they have the skill and the ability they are obligated to do so.

Ninjo: And they do this out of compassion for the underdog.

Well, that’s the thing. It’s used as a game construct here. It’s not necessarily the exact same thing as in real life. While I get that there are plenty of things to dislike here (not being entirely true to real life, not really accomplishing much, feeling like an unnecessary add-on to the chargen process to get to 20 questions, etc) I really don’t think there are any big mechanical problems with it. It’s something that’s pretty much always has been in the game anyway, since it’s part of the samurai identity, only formalized a bit more and given a not quite exact name.

As for it being a roleplaying aspect of the game that shouldn’t be a forced mechanic, I don’t disagree, but if FFG wants to make this a narrative game they have to slap some mechanics on a narrative aspect somewhere and this is what they chose to go with. I’ve said why I don’t consider this a truly narrative game regardless multiple times already, no need to rehash that yet another time, but it is what it is and whether it makes this a narrative game or not doesn’t change that it’s not a difficult rule to understand or use.

Edited by nameless ronin

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11 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Well, that’s the thing. It’s used as a game construct here. It’s not necessarily the exact same thing as in real life. While I get that there are plenty of things to dislike here (not being entirely true to real life, not really accomplishing much, feeling like an unnecessary add-on to the chargen process to get to 20 questions, etc) I really don’t think there are any big mechanical problems with it. It’s something that’s pretty much always has been in the game anyway, since it’s part of the samurai identity, only formalized a bit more and given a not quite exact name.

And this is where the issues lie for me.

This game has all the hallmarks of "we know how to play your character better then you do" attached to it.

20 questions and its "one from column A, two from column B approach" to character design.  P.S.: which is the reason most of my players refused to play the game.

All these unnecessary add-on for "drama" mechanics. Strife, Giri/Ninjo as presented.

And in general not accomplishing or add anything meaningful to the game.

In my view of a role-playing games mechanics, there are different levels of the game that the rules address in different ways.

 

Setting: The world that the game is set in has a lot of influence on how the game is played.

a) It helps to define the types of characters that are common to the setting, Knights, Wizards, Samurai, Space marines, etc.

b) It gives an overall feeling of how society works in the setting.

c) It provides an outline for how to make characters that will work in the setting.

 

Stories/Adventures: Provide a glimpse into the everyday life of a adventuring PC.

a) What one can expect to do as a "see above".

b) Teaches a DM/GM/ST how to react to the players inputs on a NPC level.

c) Helps to teach how the rules system works.

 

 Game rules/Mechanics: The sole purpose of the game mechanics are to resolve a action that is in depute. This is where some of the majority issues with this game lie.

a) To resolve combat so it doesn't devolve into "I hit you", "No I dodged it" arguments.

b) To differentiate one PC/NPCs level of skill from another.

c) Judge the Difficulty of convincing the merchant to sell you the item at the price you want, etc.

 

Character creation/Advancment: This is a guideline for creating a character that fits the setting. This is IMHO the greatest issues with this game.

a) Character creation should allow for any character concept that fits the setting or even some on the line concepts to be possible to make.

b) Should allow the player to decide the level  of adversity that he wants for his character. (advantages,disadvantages)

c)  Should reward a player that thinks outside the box but within the story.

d) Should allow the flexibility for a character to create a unique PC that he wants to play, and not that the game wants him to play.

 

The Beta misses on all these points.

The writers assume that they must direct play through the mechanics, and control the narrative.

The have created Character creation/Advancement systems that punish you for thinking outside the box.

And pushing their character designs on you.

The rule are geared to control the flow of play and enforce a way of play that the writers not the players or GM want.

The add-on rule are there to enforce unwanted drama where none is needed. and do a poor job of that.

The story writes range from ok to having no clue what they are talking about in the setting.

 

Overall this Giri/Ninjo issues is just one of the problems with this game.

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

And this is where the issues lie for me.

This game has all the hallmarks of "we know how to play your character better then you do" attached to it.

The writers assume that they must direct play through the mechanics, and control the narrative.

Bringing it back to the essential issue: FFG wants a narrative RPG, you (and I, and probably a lot of others) don’t. That’s the whole problem in one line. We don’t want our characters to be defined by this one particular narrative, but that’s how narrative RPGs work - including having mechanics to handle the narrative, so it’s not cops & robbers and just shouting what happens..

Personally I don’t mind narrative RPGs, I enjoy several of them even. Rokugan is just not the setting for one though, or at least not for this narrative, and switching from 4 non-narrative editions to a narrative one was always going to rub players the wrong way. That’s frankly a concern with several of FFG’s narrative RPG lines, but with the SW RPG for instance it’s less jarring at least mainly because the narrative elements are consistent across all characters. The clan differences that are a large part of what makes Rokugan the setting it is prevent that possibility for L5R..

Edited by nameless ronin

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