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AtoMaki

AtoMaki's Beta Test Game(s)

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Agreed! But then how can the case mentioned by AtoMaki come up? When you have this level of evidence, there’s no way that you are wrong about it. So you won’t be in a situation where you want to trigger the technique and find out it’s not working...

Only possibility I see is if the Kuni had been willfully deceived by way of an illusion or similar means. Some Air spell made it seem like that merchant was performing Maho; try to activate the technique... and it fails. That fact only would let the Kuni that he has been fooled, and it’s an interesting effect of its own. 

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This might come out as a little bit random, but @AtoMaki - you might want to try out a nerf to Akodo we use on our table. Basically, instead of adding +Bonus Successes = Strife Removed, change it to "Bonus Successes equal to half the Strife removed". As fractions are rounded up in this game, it means that you get the following scaling:
Rank 1: 1 Strife, 1 Bonus Success

Rank 2: 2 Strife, 1 Bonus Success

Rank 3: 3 Strife, 2 Bonus Success

Rank 4: 4 Strife, 2 Bonus Success

Rank 5: 5 Strife, 3 Bonus Success

In my experience, it makes Akodo tuned just back enough that they stop being so dominating, and it actually makes you want to built up Strife somewhat to unleash the bigger hits.

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Kuni Case: it happened twice, both with similar circumstances. First, the Kuni Witch Hunter fought Akira, who was at this point Igaki's "friend" and thus the Witch Hunter was 100% certain that Akira too was Tainted, especially since said Witch Hunter had seen Akira defeating a Troll while on the brink of collapse. The Witch Hunter (reasonably) concluded that Akira must be Tainted all things considered. 

The other case was Igaki spelling the Witch Hunter's yojimbo. The dude had had a fling with the mahotsukai, and Igaki knew that something was up with him (he was Afflicted) but he did not know what (failed the check), and the player used the narrative Fire opportunity to notice that the Witch Hunter and his yojimbo were missing their jade - he then concluded that they must be Tainted. 

The question came up because as per the fluff, the School Ability is not supernatural, but the character's determination in work. And determination works even if the character is wrong. 

@WHW We will check it out, we plan to return to the Dangerous Ladies for a special oneshot anyway. But our opinion on the Akodo Commander School is that it is fine, the others suck. Especially with the Mirumoto Two-Swords School in the game that feels a bazillion times stronger. 

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18 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Kuni Case: it happened twice, both with similar circumstances. First, the Kuni Witch Hunter fought Akira, who was at this point Igaki's "friend" and thus the Witch Hunter was 100% certain that Akira too was Tainted, especially since said Witch Hunter had seen Akira defeating a Troll while on the brink of collapse. The Witch Hunter (reasonably) concluded that Akira must be Tainted all things considered. 

The other case was Igaki spelling the Witch Hunter's yojimbo. The dude had had a fling with the mahotsukai, and Igaki knew that something was up with him (he was Afflicted) but he did not know what (failed the check), and the player used the narrative Fire opportunity to notice that the Witch Hunter and his yojimbo were missing their jade - he then concluded that they must be Tainted.

I would count neither case as "knowing" for sure that the target is Tainted. Strong suspicions, sure, but not hard fact.

If in similar instances the Kuni tried to Jade-strike either target, I would not grant the technique's benefit on the first roll even if they are indeed Tainted; but after seeing the result of the Jade strike, if "positive" (burning flesh and all), the actual knowledge would be achieved.

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3 minutes ago, Franwax said:

I would count neither case as "knowing" for sure that the target is Tainted. Strong suspicions, sure, but not hard fact.

 

For Igaki, the missing jade was "hard fact" enough. Similarly, Akira passed far from what one could call "suspicion" by openly sheltering a Tainted person and winning a fight he shouldn't have won (against a Tainted creature no less). 

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9 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Kuni Case: it happened twice, both with similar circumstances. First, the Kuni Witch Hunter fought Akira, who was at this point Igaki's "friend" and thus the Witch Hunter was 100% certain that Akira too was Tainted, especially since said Witch Hunter had seen Akira defeating a Troll while on the brink of collapse. The Witch Hunter (reasonably) concluded that Akira must be Tainted all things considered. 

The other case was Igaki spelling the Witch Hunter's yojimbo. The dude had had a fling with the mahotsukai, and Igaki knew that something was up with him (he was Afflicted) but he did not know what (failed the check), and the player used the narrative Fire opportunity to notice that the Witch Hunter and his yojimbo were missing their jade - he then concluded that they must be Tainted. 

The question came up because as per the fluff, the School Ability is not supernatural, but the character's determination in work. And determination works even if the character is wrong. 

@WHW We will check it out, we plan to return to the Dangerous Ladies for a special oneshot anyway. But our opinion on the Akodo Commander School is that it is fine, the others suck. Especially with the Mirumoto Two-Swords School in the game that feels a bazillion times stronger. 

neither is "knowing" - both are in the "probable" range, not the known range.

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33 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

neither is "knowing" - both are in the "probable" range, not the known range.

Yeah, this is why the whole deal was stuck at the discussion level. The wording is somewhat unfortunate because it should be "the target has the Disadvantage and the character knows it", because otherwise, it is well within the realm of probability that the Purifier gets the "knowing" part ticked and still be wrong. An example of this is if Hanzo would have told the Witch Hunter that Akira was Tainted. 

We also speculated about whether things like "speculation" and "probability" are even in the dictionary of the Kuni Purifiers :D

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7 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

We also speculated about whether things like "speculation" and "probability" are even in the dictionary of the Kuni Purifiers :D

I have some distant memories of Kuni Utagu dispelling any doubt surrounding such “speculations” with a preemptive Jade Strike, in lieu of conversation opening :P Not recommended in polite company though (he could only get away with it because he was Jade Champion and nobody dared to tell him down)

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5 hours ago, Franwax said:

I have some distant memories of Kuni Utagu dispelling any doubt surrounding such “speculations” with a preemptive Jade Strike, in lieu of conversation opening :P Not recommended in polite company though (he could only get away with it because he was Jade Champion and nobody dared to tell him down)

Oh, yeah... something in Bearer's of Jade, I believe.

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The Eclipse Phase campaign in our gaming club finally concluded (I've got the Phoenix Cup for most deaths with returns :rolleyes:) so L5R is back on the menu here. However, since the Beta is over, we modify our normal program to openly test fixes. Game is at saturday, as usual, so far it will be the Dangerous Ladies coming together for Akodo Toturi's ascension to Emerald Championship. Adventure and fun all over.

Things we will probably try:

- Akodo Commander nerf as per WHW's proposal above: Successes halved but the Technique works in Intrigues and Duels too.

- Critical Wounds Table squeeze into four levels (1-3 : lightly wounded, 4-6: heavily wounded, 7-9: crippled, 10+: dead).

- Removal of Unmasking and Calming Breath.

- Center action in all four Conflict types. 

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The game yesterday was a short one for more than one reasons. Including the realization that Critical Wound 7-9 for Void being 'Lost Head' meshes very well with Yue's character concept :D

But first off, let's talk about the changes we tested. The Akodo Commander changes should be obvious from above, and to be honest here, I did not feel a lot of difference, tho I did forget to use it a few times in Intrigues and in the final Duel. The change in Critical Wounds needs an explanation, however: we changed the system so that the type of wound is determined by the Ring used by the attacker rather than the target, and the table goes like <1 staggering blow (minor conditions like Dazed and Disoriented), 1-3 severe damage (injured body parts), 4-6 crippling injury (crippled body parts), 7-9 mortal blow (lost body parts, with lost head being equal to "totally dead") and 10+ dead. This change caused an excessive amount of sweating all around the table when weapons were drawn. More about this later. Removal of Unmasking and Calming Breath was also obvious and really good for the gameplay. Like, I have big regrets that this did not occur to us earlier. We ruled that spending a Void Point gives an Unmasking-like effect (drops Strife to half Composure) and the change made Strife a lot more engaging mechanic because it suddenly required a lot of the characters being... well, themselves. Center in Intrigues, Skirmishes and Mass Battles is another "I should have done this sooner" kind of deal, the action definitely shines brighter if the character is not fighting solo and thus have the time to "Center Up" while her buddies keep the enemy occupied. 

Then, I must say how strange it was to return to this game, especially after playing such a crunchy system like Eclipse Phase. There were a lot of things we had to look up again, like how Approaches work and what the Opportunities are. Thus the game became a little chaotic in the middle, especially since Akiko's player constantly referred to Opportunities as Raises :lol: . Luckily, we had Technique descriptions on our char sheets, so at least that was sorted out. There is certainly a sort of "return cost" in this game... I honestly did not expect that. 

For the game, HERE is the four Dangerous Ladies as they were in the adventure. Kitara became a respected diplomat, Macha was the most trusted retainer of her Inquisitor, Yue was the captain of a whole company of Lion Clan samurai, and Akiko was Yue's right-hand woman under the disguise of an ex-ronin-now-Lion. They parted after cleaning up a Shadowlands/Bloodspeaker infiltration attempt in the Kuni lands, and now reunited for the occasion of Akodo Toturi becoming the Emerald Champion: Yue and Akiko as part of Toturi's honor guard, Macha as a simple visitor, and Kitara as a Crane Clan representative. 

So one would expect a teary reunion for starters, but you see, the girls parted at rather bad terms. Thus we started with an Intrigue as the three sides tried to remain all kinds of formal to each other. While we hoped for a quick warming up for the conflict mechanics, the Intrigue turned out to be a Strife hailstorm where Kitara had to play into her Disdain for Honor to shed Compromised and Akiko began her long and arduous journey to drop Compromised. So the Intrigue went to Yue as I constantly killed Strife with Playfulness and the others just couldn't keep up. It was actually a pretty darn good Intrigue scene, we enjoyed it a lot and it pumped us up for the rest of the game just fine. I in particular had a blast with exploiting character Advantages and Disadvantages. 

The next scene had the four girls split up to do their own thing. Akiko tried to reconnect with her Scorpion masters, but to her biggest surprise, the Scorpion safe house was raided, the ninja in there slaughtered, and Akiko had to fight a bunch of shadowy creatures that showed us exactly how deadly the new crit table was: despite having Fitness 4, Akiko still suffered a Crippled Arm crit wound and killed all three of her opponents with crits (mostly via Striking as Fire). It was a brutal fight. Macha also got the scent of something shady going on around the supernatural front but failed to investigate. Yue was practicing the ceremony with the other members of the honor guard when the coldness in her mind suddenly turned into gripping claws of ice, making her faint (worst Fitness roll ever). She only avoided a shrameful dispray because Kitara was nearby and dragged her away before anyone could inquire. 

This, in turn, forced the four girls to unite their forces yet again to find the source of this new evil before it could disrupt the ceremony or do something worse. at this point, Akiko had some explaining to do, and while she presented a pretty believable lie (the dead people in the safe house were ronin she knew from her pre-Lion life), her otherwise good Courtesy roll (note: she was still Compromised) was not enough to beat Kitara's top-tier Sentiment roll and couldn't really get through Macha's Subtle Observer either. These two thus immediately started to push the envelope against Akiko, but between Yue believing her lieutenant and Akiko's lead being a rather poor one, we decided to follow Macha's lead. 

At this point, to represent Yue's growing supernatural disconnection and unease, I had to wear earplugs for the rest of the game. No kidding. We ended up investigating some sort of secret shrine/cult of Onnotangu and meeting this unpleasant Unicorn fella named Shinjo Balnazaar. We fought corrupt ninjas and shadow creatures, with the latter constantly dropping Strife on Yue and making my life miserable with Compromised (because the **** earplugs were not enough).  The new crit table made the fights extremely brutal, severed limbs were flying left, right, and center, and Khorne was definitely pleased as Yue and Akiko severed enough heads to build a mountain (a 2-handed katana crit strike with Void is crit wound 7 (lost head) from the get-go). Macha was surprisingly tame because nobody gave her assistance for in-character reasons so she couldn't drop nukes with impunity. Kitara sadly remained mostly useless because of some extremely poor rolls and an unfortunate waste of Lady Doji's Decree. 

In the end, all things tied back to Shinjo Balnazaar who turned out to be an evil Onnotangu cultist. We faced him in his secret shrine where he was in the middle of becoming the Avatar of Onnotangu and thus acquiring the power to kill Akodo Toturi. Yue challenged his claim to be worthy for Onnotangu's blessing, and the two faced off in the fastest duel we ever had: Yue won initiative and crit'd Balnazaar with Void severity 8, the guy saved a mighty 1 severity with his Fitness roll, and lost his head. We could physically see the disappointment on the GM's face :D . And with that done, the session ended.

It was a good game, all things considered. This kind of "fresh start" toned down the most annoying aspects like meta-gaming and rulebending, that only reinforced my feeling about the game needing a serious streamlining. It was also nice to have Strife as a real thing, but it was also strange how better off it was without Unmasking. We also joked a lot about the lack of Assistance bringing back martial combatants and nerfing Macha. So yeah, it was fun. More next week or maybe the week after. 

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