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Ikoma Sentan

Potential Mistakes in the Text

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1. The Current Beta Rulebook does not have conversion rates between the various currencies of Rokugan. It does not tell me how many Zeni there are in a Bu, or how many Bu in a Koku. (Looking at other posts, they seem to agree that conversion rates are not in the book).

2. The Paragon of Bushido Distinction (pg 65) tells us that one could be a Paragon of "Courage (Fire), Propriety (Air), Compassion (Water), Loyalty (Earth), Justice (Void), Mindfulness (Void), Truth (Void).", but these do not actually match up with the tenets of Bushido. In contrast, the Disdain for a Bushido Tenet Adversity (pg 70) tells us that one could disdain "Courage (Fire), Courtesy (Air), Compassion (Water), Loyalty (Earth), Righteousness (Void), Honor (Void), Sincerity (Void)."

3. Certain Schools say that the purchase of higher-level Techniques (which are designated for ranks higher than one's school rank) can be used to help advance up in School Rank. For instance, the Rank 2 Technique Iron Forest Style is supposed to help Rank 1 Akodo Bushis reach rank 2 (pg 52). Yet, these higher-level techniques cannot be bought at one's current school rank, and there appears to be nothing in the book that says these rank-advancing techniques are an exception. I presume they are meant to be an exception, but something should clearly state them to be such.

4. I am unsure as to whether this is a genuine mistake, but it appears as if one can use multiple of the Rank 2 "Style" techniques at the same time. For instance, if I am wielding two weapons (each in a one-handed grip), I can be both in Spinning Blades Style and Veiled Menace Style. Am I supposed to be imagining these "Styles" as complete ways of approaching the fight, or are they meant to just loosely categorize the way one is approaching the fight such that one could reasonable in multiple "Styles" at once? When I attack while dual-wielding in this way, against an unaware opponent, and I get 3+ opportunities, the book as written seems to say that I can use those opportunities to activate both "Style" techniques. Is this intended, or are styles meant to be incompatible with one another?

Not sure if this is the right way to go about pointing out potential errors. Please tell me if I've made any mistakes myself.

Edited by Ikoma Sentan

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More Potential Mistakes:

5. According to the rules for Artisan skills, you can use a Water Opportunity to remove Razor-Edged from a weapon when modifying that weapon with an Artisan skill (pg 82). This seems to suggest that one could remove the Razor-Edged from a Katana (and other edged weapons) while still retaining the weapons utility. The only downside seems to be that Iaijutsu (and maybe some other Techniques later down the line) will require the use of a Razor-Edged weapon, and so if you removed Razor-Edged from the Katana you could not Iaijutsu Strike. Is this intended? Is modifying your blade in this way dishonorable? Surely it doesn't make the weapon entirely dull, since one could remove Razor-Edged from Knives and the Knives would still be quite useful (suggesting that the Knives still have some edged bite to them). The ability to remove Razor-Edged seems really powerful, given how important it is to avoid breaking one's primary weapons of choice. Are we really supposed to be able to just remove it by succeeded at a single Artisan (Water) roll?

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1 hour ago, Ikoma Sentan said:

More Potential Mistakes:

5. According to the rules for Artisan skills, you can use a Water Opportunity to remove Razor-Edged from a weapon when modifying that weapon with an Artisan skill (pg 82). This seems to suggest that one could remove the Razor-Edged from a Katana (and other edged weapons) while still retaining the weapons utility. The only downside seems to be that Iaijutsu (and maybe some other Techniques later down the line) will require the use of a Razor-Edged weapon, and so if you removed Razor-Edged from the Katana you could not Iaijutsu Strike. Is this intended? Is modifying your blade in this way dishonorable? Surely it doesn't make the weapon entirely dull, since one could remove Razor-Edged from Knives and the Knives would still be quite useful (suggesting that the Knives still have some edged bite to them). The ability to remove Razor-Edged seems really powerful, given how important it is to avoid breaking one's primary weapons of choice. Are we really supposed to be able to just remove it by succeeded at a single Artisan (Water) roll?

As part of a Downtime check, yes, I believe it is intended.

There are various ways to grind edges and some grinds are notorious for how quickly and easily they nick and dull even though they start sharper than other grinds.

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2 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

As part of a Downtime check, yes, I believe it is intended.

There are various ways to grind edges and some grinds are notorious for how quickly and easily they nick and dull even though they start sharper than other grinds.

Yeah, its not like its thematically impossible. It just seems ludicrously good mechanically, since Razor-Edged is part of every edged weapon and since it is an incredibly dangerous trait to have on a weapon. I can't see many situations where people would be better off keeping their Katana Razor-Edged rather than removing it. Why doesn't the Katana start off without Razor-Edged, with an option to add it instead? It seems weird.

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2 hours ago, Ikoma Sentan said:

Yeah, its not like its thematically impossible. It just seems ludicrously good mechanically, since Razor-Edged is part of every edged weapon and since it is an incredibly dangerous trait to have on a weapon. I can't see many situations where people would be better off keeping their Katana Razor-Edged rather than removing it. Why doesn't the Katana start off without Razor-Edged, with an option to add it instead? It seems weird.

Because both the fantasy and real world the "image" of a katana is of a sword with a blade honed to a razor edge.

There are bad jokes about the katana being only really good for cutting down unarmored peasants and convicts among those whom study swords and other weapons, but they are not really far from the truth. Attacking someone in heavy armor would ruin a katana the same way it does in game unlike doing the same with a longsword with a less razor-edged grind.

The katana is still a perfectly good weapon even with Razor Edged when used as a sidearm (on or off the battlefield) rather than a primary battlefield arm. "The katana is the only weapon a samurai needs" is a meme that kinda needs to die.

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On 10/13/2017 at 3:00 AM, Ikoma Sentan said:

. I am unsure as to whether this is a genuine mistake, but it appears as if one can use multiple of the Rank 2 "Style" techniques at the same time. For instance, if I am wielding two weapons (each in a one-handed grip), I can be both in Spinning Blades Style and Veiled Menace Style. Am I supposed to be imagining these "Styles" as complete ways of approaching the fight, or are they meant to just loosely categorize the way one is approaching the fight such that one could reasonable in multiple "Styles" at once? When I attack while dual-wielding in this way, against an unaware opponent, and I get 3+ opportunities, the book as written seems to say that I can use those opportunities to activate both "Style" techniques. Is this intended, or are styles meant to be incompatible with one another?

As long as the two techniques are not both 'action' techniques (that is they both say 'when you make a martial arts check' rather than 'as an attack action you may' ) , then yes, they can coexist as long as you have the opportunities to fuel them because they just give you new ways to spend opportunity. They are a given way of approaching a fight, but not a complete combat form by themselves. 

However, Veiled Menace style (and quite a lot of kata, for that matter) specifically requires "If you succeed" - meaning you're going to need 3+ opportunities and ~2 successes because if you didn't hit, you can't use Veiled Menace style. 

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On 10/13/2017 at 7:20 PM, Ikoma Sentan said:

This seems to suggest that one could remove the Razor-Edged from a Katana (and other edged weapons) while still retaining the weapons utility. The only downside seems to be that Iaijutsu (and maybe some other Techniques later down the line) will require the use of a Razor-Edged weapon, and so if you removed Razor-Edged from the Katana you could not Iaijutsu Strike. Is this intended?

Pretty much. The effect is removing the risk of damaging your weapon against a heavily armoured opponent, which is equivalent to (if slightly better than) the earth equivalent of adding durable to the weapon.

On 10/13/2017 at 7:20 PM, Ikoma Sentan said:

Are we really supposed to be able to just remove it by succeeded at a single Artisan (Water) roll?

This verges into a different thread, but: what was the Artisan roll about? 

I've more sympathy here because changing a sword with the Adapt approach of Smithing (Water) makes sense - you are reforging the sword to (do a thing), and one of the things you can spend opportunity (not success) on is to add or remove razor-edged. 

The example given is "Fitting a blade onto a new hilt", TN 3 Smithing (Water) check, Downtime, so maybe you're changing the style of the hilt to allow you to put more strength behind the blade (such that you're less concerned about it striking a foe's armour and failing to penetrate) but the straightened, lengthened grip makes it ill-suited to the iaijutsu technique. Hence, mechanically speaking, no longer razor-edged.

On 10/13/2017 at 7:20 PM, Ikoma Sentan said:

the ability to remove Razor-Edged seems really powerful, given how important it is to avoid breaking one's primary weapons of choice.

Except, why were you breaking your primary weapon? At the point you chose which dice to keep, you knew if you had rolled enough bonus successes to cause damage. 

You can, if your ring score is high enough elect to keep enough bonus successes to cause at least 1 damage past the target's protection (say, a total of 3 successes with a katana against a target in lacquered armour).

If you don't roll 3 successes, you can always elect to keep only 1 die - which will cause a strike action to fail, and hence not trigger razor-edged and not damage your weapon.

If you only roll 2 successes against an armoured target, you have to voluntarily choose to hit, knowing you're probably not going to do damage, either in the hopes of one or more kept exploding successes triggering a further success (and hence damage) or accepting damage to your weapon to spend 2 opportunities and trigger a critical.

In either case, you chose to do that, knowing you would (a) damage your weapon and (b) as it stands inflict no wounds. The fact that the weapon has the razor-edged quality did not force that on you.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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On 10/24/2017 at 9:06 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

Except, why were you breaking your primary weapon? At the point you chose which dice to keep, you knew if you had rolled enough bonus successes to cause damage. 

This assumes that how much resistance the enemy has is transparent. Oftentimes, it is not good (for storytelling purposes) to keep such knowledge public at all times. For instance, samurai fighting Fu Leng might have to experiment in order to figure out how to kill Fu Leng, who may have various amounts of armor throughout different phases of the fight. Resistance is also based on dynamic mechanics (such as Strike as Earth) which may change throughout a fight.

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