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I'm done being diplomatic.

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I don't think that likely. Strife is a great mechanic in the setting and it works fairly well in most of the game. It could use some fine tuning, but it's too central to the core of the game to get rid of.

The game is designed as a social drama, not a combat simulator. The mechanic stresses this well. It's a struggle of success vs composure.

No game works well if people play to game the rules rather than playing for the story.

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16 minutes ago, SideshowLucifer said:

The game is designed as a social drama, not a combat simulator.

 

Oh yeah, this will also come down. I expect more "Rokugan Your Way" stuff popping up and less ridiculously enforced thematic choices. 

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Might help if FFG would say what things are inmutable so we can all focus on improving the things that can be improved instead of spinning our wheels on things that are never going to change.

It would also be helpful if FFG would start some official threads for each week's focus (this week is supposed to be on Chapter I: Playing the Game) where they give a little bit of direction and clarification on what they are looking for.

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6 minutes ago, SideshowLucifer said:

What forced choices? 

Giri and Ninjo, Strife, Outburst, the way Advantages and Disadvantages are set up, regaining Void Points, etc. These things should be either neutral or not exist. And not try their bestest to force cheap soap opera drama into my Doom of the Five Rings: **** on Rokugan game. If you know what I mean ;) .

Edited by AtoMaki
**** is a bad word now? What?

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Certain nomenclature has been a sticking point for people, particularly “Outbursts.” We have some ideas we want to put in front of the community to see what people think, so prepare to discuss this soon!

Also, I'd like to remind folks of the above quote from FFG Max Brooke in the beta schedule thread. It'll be interesting to see what they put in front of us to comment on.

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It's also widely accepted nowadays in rpg theory (or maybe I am just an insufferable reader of indie games who enjoys sniffing his own farts) that the quality of a game lies in how much the system makes it easy and straightforward to replicate the intentions stated by its writers.

For example, Geist: the Sin-Eaters is a game that says it's about death and second chances and making your peace with what will pass and keeping hope and talking with ghosts to resolve their unfinished emotional business. And provides only rules for fights and being buddies with other guys like you.

Geist: the Sin-Eaters is terrible.

Now if you want to play samurai drama, FFG makes it very clear that that's what they're going for. They repeat it time and again. And maybe you don't like that, and that's fine, you don't need to play this game and previous editions are still there if you need them. They're good too, in their own way!

But it's a bit rich to blame them for trying to write a system that does everything in its power to keep its thematic promise.

Edited by shizumaru

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3 minutes ago, WHW said:

You basically want a generic system for task resolution

 

No. I want a generic system for adventuring in Rokugan with my fantasy samurai. I will handle the genre emulation in whatever way I see it fit, I don't want the game to constantly tell me that meat is fine just because it is in a hamburger. 

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7 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

No. I want a generic system for adventuring in Rokugan with my fantasy samurai. I will handle the genre emulation in whatever way I see it fit, I don't want the game to constantly tell me that meat is fine just because it is in a hamburger. 

Hamburgers are fine if you want a hamburger. If you don’t, they’re not.

I think this beta has the makings of a decent system. I don’t think my group will pick it up regardless of how well it turns out. These are not contradicting statements.

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

No. I want a generic system for adventuring in Rokugan with my fantasy samurai. I will handle the genre emulation in whatever way I see it fit, I don't want the game to constantly tell me that meat is fine just because it is in a hamburger. 

Then you may want to just go with Genesys and hack that system on your own (heck, I want to do that).

But the fact that they've already sold an online dice roller for this specific system means that this meat will remain a hamburger, whether you like it or not.

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3 minutes ago, Radon Antila said:

But the fact that they've already sold an online dice roller for this specific system means that this meat will remain a hamburger, whether you like it or not.

 

Oh, I wouldn't bet on that. The dice will remain, but that cherry petal symbol is up to a change. They might keep the ingredients, but I think they will tuck them into a salad, to roll with the association. 

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All this talk of meat and hamburgers is making me hungry...  Too bad my playtest group doesn't run until Saturday lol

The Strife system is core to the game in general.  Even the most hack'n'slash Rokugan enthusiast must recognize the Courtier side that is built into the core of the entire theme!  The card game, every RPG, even the miniatures games included politics.  Strife is basically political hit points.

If you think the system is just completely out of place then I simply must disagree.  I'd also want to stress that you shouldn't expect the Strife system to be taken out, so if its a deal breaker prepare to keep playing other games.

However - there is no reason the Strife system can be altered in a way that it still provides its function while not taking over the game session.

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8 minutes ago, shosuko said:

Strife is basically political hit points.

I'm curious how my political hit points shall come to play when I'm trying to pry a door open or approaching a group of cute wild animals to pet them. Because it does, and I'm in no way obliged to start an Intrigue with a door or a bunch of animals. If you know what I mean.

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13 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

I'm curious how my political hit points shall come to play when I'm trying to pry a door open or approaching a group of cute wild animals to pet them. Because it does, and I'm in no way obliged to start an Intrigue with a door or a bunch of animals. If you know what I mean.

And then losing the intrigue against the door and cute wild animals...

It can also be irritation, exhaustion, distraction...quite a few things other than just politics

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23 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

I'm curious how my political hit points shall come to play when I'm trying to pry a door open or approaching a group of cute wild animals to pet them. Because it does, and I'm in no way obliged to start an Intrigue with a door or a bunch of animals. If you know what I mean.

Ever see someone rage at a video game?  Or cry after a wrestling match?  Cuss when they drop a hammer?  That's how composure effects you in these situations.

Is it a problem to cuss during a fight?  No.  Is it a problem if you're infuriated, frustrated that yet another blow has been deflected?  Yes.  You can't focus clearly.

How its done isn't perfect - I'm not saying the system doesn't need work, but the concept is relevant.  I wouldn't mind seeing tiers similar to HP where you start with a lack of focus, maybe a blanket TN increase and if it keeps building THEN have an outburst - similar to the crits and hp.

Edited by shosuko

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What I meant was that not everything that fits into the Strife/Outburst mechanic goes well with its intention. Cussing at a jammed door in an abandoned fortress, or scaring animals with a sudden burst of laughter is obviously quite different than going into a berserk frenzy in the middle of the Winter Court... unless we stick to the mechanics because then they are the same. Somehow. 

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@AtoMaki Are you playing it that your character goes into a berserk frenzy?

From page 16 we have Compromise (or flee), Expose a Weakness, Become Enraged, Shut Down, and Inappropriate Remark.

Only one of these could be a "berserk frenzy" and that one doesn't mean you just start killing people.  It can mean you physically lash out at someone.  Maybe you don't attack them, but you could shove them or slap them.  It also says it could be that you challenge them to a duel.  They could refuse, maybe you don't even seriously challenge them, but you threaten it.  You don't have to cut down everyone in the scene.  Become Enraged is obviously for a feisty fighter or bully type character.

My character took Inappropriate Remark so I just cuss at people, or say rude things when I'm frustrated.  The double edge sword is a great fit for my character.  She is an actress, so being unable to control her words fits well for the -3 Glory penalty.  The ability to ignore an interpersonal disadvantage works well too.  She has Whispers of Treachery, and the obviously honest words of an emotionally exposed character would allow people to maybe trust her...

Whatever you pick according to page 41 this is just your "most common" outburst, there is no reason you can't look at the 5 different ones presented and pick based on the situation which you feel your character would do.  You could even devise a completely custom outburst between you and the GM to make it appropriate to your character design.

Edited by shosuko

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15 minutes ago, shosuko said:

@AtoMaki Are you playing it that your character goes into a berserk frenzy?

 

No, I'm playing it that one character cusses at a door and another is butchering the Winter Court, and the mechanics tell me that they are on the same level. When they are obviously not. Extra points if you are turning the Winter Court into a slaughterhouse because you are so happy (entirely possible as per the description). 

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29 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

No, I'm playing it that one character cusses at a door and another is butchering the Winter Court, and the mechanics tell me that they are on the same level. When they are obviously not. Extra points if you are turning the Winter Court into a slaughterhouse because you are so happy (entirely possible as per the description). 

I'm not sure how you get the "butchering the winter court" from the outbursts provided.  Is this a custom outburst?  Or are you trying to interpret the Become Enraged one.

I think the word choice is poor in the beta.  Become Enraged, Outburst, Strife... these don't quite articulate what is actually happening.  Become Enraged states that you must challenge a person, or attack them.  It doesn't mean that you have to be vicious or blood thirsty.  It could be that your character feels so great about how things are going that they want to take it up a notch and challenge their antagonist to a duel, or push them around a bit.  Basically they are getting bullish.  If its because they are failing then they might be feeling trapped, and think a duel might be a good way to end it, or by physically slapping or pushing people they can rough their way through it.  Basically their words are working, so they want to try their actions.

Nothing says they have to immediately draw their sword and cut everyone down.  Its just a mannerism of how they are behaving in their manic episode.  This is a pretty realistic one too.  The number of times I've seen some drunken sob at a bar get frisky or bullish with someone else because he didn't get the girl, or felt snubbed at the pool table.  Maybe they actually attack a person or get in a fight, or maybe they just posture and push until the bouncer takes them outside.

Edited by shosuko

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1 minute ago, shosuko said:

I'm not sure how you get the "butchering the winter court" from the outbursts provided.  Is this a custom outburst?  Or are you trying to interpret the Become Enraged one.

1

Yeah, this is the problem. There is kinda like an inconsistency in the whole mechanic that makes it fail at its intended role unless all the stars align and the GM starts fixing things, the player(s) start minding the fixes and not try to p*ss against the wind, the adventure is providing an environment where it can all come together in a satisfying way, etc. You miss one and we are back to a player butchering the Winter Court because that's what he thinks the character should do, a hardboiled fantasy samurai verbally assaulting a door, or absolutely nothing because "being rude is okay in our Rokugan". There are so many ways it can go wrong I really do wonder whether your average GM/player (especially those who are new to the setting) can get it right and enjoy it. 

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@AtoMaki Word choice is certainly important.  I hope they come to better terms (literally, come to better terminology) to describe these things.  I feel like Strife should be called Stress.  Strife comes with a connotation of some type of opposition, not always internal or reflective.  Stress is more understood as something you feel within yourself.  I think most people can understand that stress happens when things are going good as well as going bad, and that it can effect your behavior.  I think Strife was used because it is closer to the SW Threat concept.  Strife isn't "random bad things" but just a welling up of emotion - either because you are failing, or even because you are succeeding and getting carried away with yourself.

Outburst is also a bit of a misnomer.  You don't have to actually FREAK OUT!  yet the term Outburst sounds like you're supposed to FREAK OUT!  My feedback for the beta specifically goes over these terms.  I'd like to see the terms evaluated so that their meaning is more clear.  Outburst could be renamed something like Breach of Etiquette to give a throwback to the old card, or just Lost Face.

From the conversations on this topic I think adding some saving check to Save Face is needed.  I know people are frustrated with the inability to save face - which make sense.  Your character doesn't die when their wounds get too much, yet they immediately freak out when their composure does?  Maybe have a Save Face check when the Composure is full, and repeat it every round your composure stays full, with an escalating TN until you chill out.  In this way the tension of having high stress can also be drawn out - one of the issues I have with the system is that your composure is very  much like turning on a switch.  Once you flip it, that's it.  You're composure is blown for the scene.  Having a Saving Face check when your composure gets full is needed.

Edited by shosuko

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