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Rawls

Thank You for Approaches

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I love the way the new system deals with rings, skills, and approaches. Every ring is potentially useful for every skill. No longer must every katana-wielding bushi have high fire/agility. Also, the fact that in 4e, virtually every social skill was governed by awareness was one of the great weaknesses of that system. It led to the proliferation of high-air duelist/archer/seductresses.

Now every ring is potentially useful for every skill, but there's still an incentive to diversify rings, and a disincentive to overly specialize.

Also, I love how there are multiple forms of intelligence (memory, creativity, cunning etc) so it isn't "inefficient" to make my scholarly character anything other than agile. 

Overall, it's a very elegant system that captures the spirit of the setting.

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I build a high fire ring character. I attack on fire, I do artistic rolls on fire, I do scholar rings on fire... only social is a bit awkward on fire, but a little interpretation, and I can do them on fire too.

Same goes with air for a con-artist. The rules support all this, it's better than spreading your xp at character creation. The approaches per ring aren't balanced. Fire and air are easy to use with everything, while earth is weak.

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There's a lot of incentive to stance dance in combat.

-Use water stance to dump strife and to reduce the armor resistance of a tough enemy being attacked by you and at lease one other ally (better than fire stance when your party is facing a carapaced Oni).

-Use air stance when fighting multiple enemies solo. That extra +1 TN to attack rolls makes you very tanky versus multiple weaker adversaries.

-There's an entire thread in the balance forum about whether earth stance is over powered.

 

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2 hours ago, okuma said:

I build a high fire ring character. I attack on fire, I do artistic rolls on fire, I do scholar rings on fire... only social is a bit awkward on fire, but a little interpretation, and I can do them on fire too.

Maybe I'm getting this wrong, but as a GM, I been doing it like there's an ideal approach for every situation. Therefore, while in one case Fire might be the better choice, so I set a Normal TN, in the next case Water is the way to go, and I'll set a Very Hard TN if you choose to aproach it with fire.

Example: A group of Lion Bushi are getting nervous and want to attack the group of Crane Bushi that's in front of them because they think they're up to something. You as a player need to calm them and avoid the attack. If you decide to go a Fire approach, I'll set a high TN, because Fire is basically incite them to act as they feel (so you're actually encouraging them to attack). But if you decide to go Earth, and appeal to their duty and obligation to calm them down, I'll set a normal TN, because if something can stop a Lion is duty to their lord.

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2 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

Maybe I'm getting this wrong, but as a GM, I been doing it like there's an ideal approach for every situation. Therefore, while in one case Fire might be the better choice, so I set a Normal TN, in the next case Water is the way to go, and I'll set a Very Hard TN if you choose to aproach it with fire.

Example: A group of Lion Bushi are getting nervous and want to attack the group of Crane Bushi that's in front of them because they think they're up to something. You as a player need to calm them and avoid the attack. If you decide to go a Fire approach, I'll set a high TN, because Fire is basically incite them to act as they feel (so you're actually encouraging them to attack). But if you decide to go Earth, and appeal to their duty and obligation to calm them down, I'll set a normal TN, because if something can stop a Lion is duty to their lord.

Exactly so. The Demeanours listed for most NPCs are explicitely saying "this is X harder or easier if you use the respective ring"

so for example a peasant - Shrewd (Fire –2, Water +2) is not going to be easily talked into things with friendly promises but is pretty easy to threaten.

By comparison, an experienced Bandit - Ambitious (Air –2, Fire +2) is going to go "oooh, look, he's got a sword!" if you try and intimidate him.

 

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