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Prost

School Techniques

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Looking at the basic School techniques there definitely seems to be some disparity.

The Akodo has a solid 'Win more' one with the extra success when already successful (or more as rank goes up) with the added benefit of strife control.

Compared to the Shiba, the Shiba can remove one strife from another character only once per encounter/scene. While this can be clutch and has non-combat utility, it lacks the consistent utility of the Lion ones. 

The Shosuro Actor one seems like a pure 'Win more' in that if I'm stabbing helpless people than I likely am not super worried about the one damage. The against unaware part gives it some utility, but that's basically the first hit so if you aren't dropping them on hit one (maybe the second if you win initiative and got a free shot in too) then likely the alarm will be sounded. Compared to the Lion ability where the Akodo is likely to hit the unaware target and get the extra damage (as success equal damage) then will continue to get more damage for the rest of the fight. Now, the Akodo is not likely going to stab an unaware person in the neck due to honor sake, but that ability does the core perk (extra damage) in a wider range of circumstance. The Deadliness for one attack versus Strife mitigation for all attacks doesn't seem especially worth it either unless the GM allows for serious Batman hit and run strike from shadows style gameplay.

The Isawa is another once an encounter ability, but it's a potent one as you can ensure that you succeed on a clutch roll.

 

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Way of the Phoenix (School Ability): Once per scene, when a character at range 0–3 makes a check, you may negate a number of [strife] results up to your school rank.

Nowhere does it say friendly character - stripping a Fire-Stance attacker of his or her bonus successes can also be nasty. 

Since it says 'results' I don't think it can knock out a success/strife result, but that may be the intent (which would make it even nastier).

1 hour ago, Prost said:

The Shosuro Actor one seems like a pure 'Win more' in that if I'm stabbing helpless people than I likely am not super worried about the one damage.

It is and it isn't. Narratively stabbing a dude whilst they're asleep is the sort of thing which doesn't need dice rolls (hence why The Final Silence allows you to wipe out 600 guards at a time, or whatever).

Applying incapacitated to someone during a fight is more feasible, and being able to take out incapacitated foes quickly matters.

Note that it does also work in non-attack actions though I can't think of any off the top of my head where the weapon's stats trigger.

 

1 hour ago, Prost said:

Now, the Akodo is not likely going to stab an unaware person in the neck due to honor sake, but that ability does the core perk (extra damage) in a wider range of circumstance.

It does: if you've got strife to 'burn' it's one of the best school abilities in a fight (especially because it works in a mass battle)

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56 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Since it says 'results' I don't think it can knock out a success/strife result, but that may be the intent (which would make it even nastier).

Wouldn't count on it being the intent. FFG has been fairly consistent in the SWRPG where dice showing one success and one advantage symbol on the same face can be paired to failure and threat symbols separately. So you may be able to cancel an opponent's strife with the tech, but you won't cancel the success symbol from the same face without a failure symbol coming from somewhere.

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Once per scene Magnus. Congratulations, you pranked your opponent with your school rank, now you suffer a normal hit and no damage. he gets no strife. would be a shame if he did a lot of damage on you in the next turn.

Just like 4th Edition, Shiba school is focused on protecting their Isawa. Check the problems of Strife in their Magic, so a Shiba could potentially make a clutch save to the Isawa. I dont like their rank 1 alone, but at least they have exclusive techniques making them good yojimbos, so i think they are fine in this edition (So far.)

The Akodo is possibly the strongest. (Just make a Fire Akodo and start laughing at the damage you are dishing out every turn from rank 3 and forward)

I actually would love a nerf in Akodo where their Rank 1 could be used in clashes or duels, because right now, they have reasons to avoid it like the plague, its a big power hit to that player, entering in a clash. Remember, Akodos maybe didnt like Iaijutsu duels, that was not their thing. But a 1x1 fight in the battlefield? they like that as much as anyone and maybe more.

In other note, Doji diplomat will also scale in a way that makes them scary.

Edited by Mobiusllls
Gods, grammar

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I wouldn't mind Akodo  being reworked to allow to remove 1+Rank Strife from yourself, and for each 2 strife, you get an extra success, in exchange for enabling it for all conflict types that use Support and Attack actions. 

 

Re@Shiba - Shiba remove just Strife, not whole results. So Success+Strife "Shibaized" becomes just a Success.

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45 minutes ago, Mobiusllls said:

Just like 4th Edition, Shiba school is focused on protecting their Isawa. Check the problems of Strife in their Magic, so a Shiba could potentially make a clutch save to the Isawa. I dont like their rank 1 alone, but at least they have exclusive techniques making them good yojimbos, so i think they are fine in this edition (So far.)

Good point. I just read the spiritual backlash rules...

Stopping that happening can be a TPK prevention tool !
 

Quote

 

When a shugenja’s generates 3 or more [strife] results on kept dice while performing an invocation, the shugenja suffers some form of spiritual backlash. The form this take depends on the sort of kami the shugenja is entreating for aid.

Fire

Description: Fire kami are naturally drawn to powerful emotions, and when a shugenja loses control of them, they roil forth, spreading chaos and destruction wantonly.

Effect: The technique targets each character in range instead of its normal targets.

 

Lose your grip on something like Breath Of The Fire Dragon and it's goodnight Vienna.

(Obviously you would almost certainly choose to fail the check, not actually do this and barbeque half the party; but that's the point - the Shiba give you that option without mass fratricide)

 

45 minutes ago, Mobiusllls said:

Once per scene Magnus. Congratulations, you pranked your opponent with your school rank, now you suffer a normal hit and no damage. he gets no strife. would be a shame if he did a lot of damage on you in the next turn.

I wasn't advocating it as the primary use, just as an example that it's a very flexible ability given that it can affect enemy checks too. Stopping a shadowlands troll becoming enraged (and thus un-incapacitatable) might be another example of such.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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