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Kakita Onimaru

Courtier Ninjas?

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Courtiers (especially Crane) tend to have high Air stats. But since the game does not differentiate between physical and social stats, that mean all the have to do is spend a few point on Fitness and the BOOM, expert shinobi. 

Yes yes, lore lore, dishonor dishonor, but its still strange how easy it is for a courtier to trasform their social skills into ninjitsu. 

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Why ninja? why not a great duelist? or a archer?

Every ring is important and everyone will eventually buy them. Buying skills and techniques is what will make the difference between characters. (One of the reasons that i think a skill system more like 4th edition would be actually better than this simple version that we got on this beta.)

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6 hours ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

Courtiers (especially Crane) tend to have high Air stats. But since the game does not differentiate between physical and social stats, that mean all the have to do is spend a few point on Fitness and the BOOM, expert shinobi. 

Yes yes, lore lore, dishonor dishonor, but its still strange how easy it is for a courtier to trasform their social skills into ninjitsu. 

Now the Harriers have to kill you... we of the Crane do not speak about such things!

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its not the skill that makes the man, its how and why you use it.

Imagine a large crab courtier who also doubles as an amateur Sumai wrestler. He needs the fitness ranks, as well as some unarmed ranks. That will not make him a Ninja, won't it?

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9 hours ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

Courtiers (especially Crane) tend to have high Air stats. But since the game does not differentiate between physical and social stats, that mean all the have to do is spend a few point on Fitness and the BOOM, expert shinobi. 

Yes yes, lore lore, dishonor dishonor, but its still strange how easy it is for a courtier to trasform their social skills into ninjitsu. 

Is this a bug or a feature?

In the previous versions you would have 2 stats for each ring, one physical and one mental.  In order to have a high ring you had to have both.  This meant a character who was supposed to be a mental or social giant, but weak physically was doomed to have low stats or a character sheet that didn't match up to the character concept.

With the new system you can interpret it how you wish.  If you have a high air ring and want to be a physically fit character you can be.  No one is saying you're weak because you're a courtier.  The difference now is that you don't have to be.

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Exactly. The setting implies that someone who is suitably focused and in tune with themselves is good at a given approach, regardless of whether the specific task is a physical, mental or social task.

How realistic this is isn't the point; it's a trope of 'bad samurai fiction' that a suitably gifted individual is gifted at everything their temperament is suited for.

I refer you to the Provincial Daimyo NPC:
 

Quote

 

All Arts Are One

Activation: As an action, a provincial daimyō may make a TN 4 Martial skill (Void), Games (Void), or Performance (Void) check to rapidly absorb a new activity covered by that skill.

Effects: If the daimyō succeeds, they immediately intuit how to wield a new weapon, play a new game, or perform a new instrument, song, dance, or other task. They do not suffer any TN increases that might be associated with dealing with something completely new to them

 

So essentially the Daimyo can decide "you know what, I fancy being a ninja this afternoon" and go sneak up on his finest shinobi scouts to prove the point.

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On 10/10/2017 at 8:45 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

Exactly. The setting implies that someone who is suitably focused and in tune with themselves is good at a given approach, regardless of whether the specific task is a physical, mental or social task.

How realistic this is isn't the point; it's a trope of 'bad samurai fiction' that a suitably gifted individual is gifted at everything their temperament is suited for.

I refer you to the Provincial Daimyo NPC:
 

So essentially the Daimyo can decide "you know what, I fancy being a ninja this afternoon" and go sneak up on his finest shinobi scouts to prove the point.

That Rank 3 Void Shuji only covers Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee/Ranged/Unarmed], Meditation, Tactics, Games and Performance.

You can use it to learn how to Rock Climb, wield a Rapier, fire a wheel-lock pistol, judge Pankration, use Yoga to meditate, comprehend how Western heavy Calvary were used,  play Poker or do Shakespearean acting.

It doesn't allow access to the Skullduggery skills Ninja/Shinobi need.

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1 hour ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

That Rank 3 Void Shuji only covers Fitness, Martial Arts [Melee/Ranged/Unarmed], Meditation, Tactics, Games and Performance.

You can use it to learn how to Rock Climb, wield a Rapier, fire a wheel-lock pistol, judge Pankration, use Yoga to meditate, comprehend how Western heavy Calvary were used,  play Poker or do Shakespearean acting.

It doesn't allow access to the Skullduggery skills Ninja/Shinobi need.

No, but fitness covers 'ninja acrobatics' and performance covers impersonating people (both specifically namechecked in example uses of the skill), so you can do most of the core movie-ninja-esque stuff, if not the secret-agent planning/cover stories/false documentation bits.

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Wait, why shouldn't a courtier be good at the secret-agent planning/cover stories aspect of being a ninja? Aren't couriers basically non-secret agents? Put in modern terms, would you be shocked to learn that an experienced agent at a nation's foreign services was actually a spy?

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2 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

No, but fitness covers 'ninja acrobatics' and performance covers impersonating people (both specifically namechecked in example uses of the skill), so you can do most of the core movie-ninja-esque stuff, if not the secret-agent planning/cover stories/false documentation bits.

Which they likely already could do already if their Air Ring and Fitness (Stealth) and Performance (Acting) Skills were high enough to beat the Shinobi's vigilance ((Air+Water)/2) and their disadvantages didn't get in the way.

All Arts are One is more about letting high Void characters pick up new proficiencies for existing skills quickly rather than making characters omni-skilled.

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10 hours ago, Rawls said:

Wait, why shouldn't a courtier be good at the secret-agent planning/cover stories aspect of being a ninja? Aren't couriers basically non-secret agents? Put in modern terms, would you be shocked to learn that an experienced agent at a nation's foreign services was actually a spy?

There's no reason they shouldn't be. Skulduggery as a skill isn't specifically covered by All Arts Are One - but nothing stops you buy the skill 'properly'.

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Maybe there should be some point where you can say your character is more physical, or intellectual - and this can give your character a general bonus to all things physical or mental that they don't get in the other realm?

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19 hours ago, shosuko said:

Maybe there should be some point where you can say your character is more physical, or intellectual - and this can give your character a general bonus to all things physical or mental that they don't get in the other realm?

That's the sort of thing you'd do with advantages (or disadvantages)

'Air' doesn't distinguish between 'acrobatic' and 'observant', but start stacking on +/- rerolls from traits like 'intellectual' and 'elderly' and it's a lot clearer mechanically what he or she is good at.

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On 10/13/2017 at 7:45 PM, shosuko said:

Maybe there should be some point where you can say your character is more physical, or intellectual - and this can give your character a general bonus to all things physical or mental that they don't get in the other realm?

You are doing that by buying up skills. If you buy Fitness ranks, you are kinda developing your physical side. If you buy Scholar ranks, you are probably getting at least tiny bit intellectual. 

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On 10/9/2017 at 10:44 PM, Kakita Onimaru said:

Courtiers (especially Crane) tend to have high Air stats. But since the game does not differentiate between physical and social stats, that mean all the have to do is spend a few point on Fitness and the BOOM, expert shinobi. 

Yes yes, lore lore, dishonor dishonor, but its still strange how easy it is for a courtier to trasform their social skills into ninjitsu. 

Maybe in the final version, techniques will make being master courtier and master ninja difficult? Like, maybe we'll see a bunch of new courtier techniques that--if you spent your points on being a good ninja instead of the courtier techniques--would make your opponents significantly more effective.

Buuuuuuuuuut in defense of the "Are they really so different?" camp, I recently played a Shosuro Infiltrator (4e), and like 90% of my rolls were social. In fact, my neck depended so much on being smooth in social situations that I barely had points to spare for my actual ninja job. Every time I had to go ninja, I just thought, "Well, guess I'll die!" 

Edited by sidescroller

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So what about having Ninja Courtiers? :lol:

Had an actual play session yesterday (that could have gone a lot better), and the Shosuro Infiltrator (cover was that she was a traveling performer) was very much on track to being a capable social character (all she really needed was a rank in Sentiment and she'd have been as capable in social scenes as my Kakita Duelist was)

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