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Nitenman

Playtest report request: Duels

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So, I can't actually make a playtest group, because my player group is quite inexperienced in Pen and paper and this beta might be a bit tough as first experience. Even dropped a birthing 4th ed game (after 1 session) to free my mind of bias and appreciate the beta. (we play star wars SE now)

but id like to see some mechanics in action. So Id like playtesting folks to report detailed duels with different kind of characters would it be from a test session or a GM simulation. Might help to understand the mechanics for everyone.

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The only duel we've had to date was Keinosuke (the titular Ronin in A Ronins Path versus Hida Takeshi, a PC)

This was a duel to first blood (incapacitated or - as a house rule - a critical inflicting the bleeding condition), and using only ceremonial weapons and wargear.

  • Keinosuke opted to make an assessment check, giving himself a starting initiative of 6 and noting where loose stones in the damaged section of the wall might be.
  • Takeshi opted not to make an assessment check - starting with quite a bit of strife, the free opportunity to dump some off was important, leaving him on an initiative of 5
  • Both parties bid the same strife in the staredown, 3 each.
  • Keinosuke went first, performing a centre (air) action,
  • Takeshi tried a Provoke (earth) running into Keinosuke's guess of his stance and taking strife. He failed his check but rolled a slack handful of opportunity, reducing strife by two.
  • In the next staredown, Takeshi made no bid. Keinosuke bid one - with a two point lead in base initiative to make up after this action, Takeshi didn't bother to bid further.
  • Keinosuke did centre (fire) and passing Takeshi a chunk of strife and increasing his initiative by one
  • Takeshi did centre (water), getting strife and getting right to but not over his composure. Between water stance and two opportunities, he burned off six strife, making himself much more safe.
  • Keinosuke then decided to open up actual hostilities with Iaijutsu (fire) and a void point. This landed eight wounds despite Takeshis lacquered armour (he was very glad the ceremonial trait meant he could still wear it), and which might have won the duel without it.
  • Takeshi responded with strike (earth) landing a hit which only did three wounds despite Keinosuke's much lighter armour, but with two opportunities caused a critical strike. Keinosuke fluffed his fitness check and took an injured leg result, giving +2TN on any water checks.
  • On the back foot (literally) Keinosuke attempted centre (air) to protect himself but messed up the roll, getting only air stances innate TN+1 to be hit.
  • Takeshi attempted a strike (water), burning off more strife, but missed.
  • Keinosuke used strike (air) and hit but thanks to the armour did only a couple of wounds - not enough to matter.
  • Takeshi went for strike (Earth) again and chained several exploding successes, incapacitating the ronin and inflicting prone.

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Kakita Jihi (the player) vs. Bayushi Konda (the NPC).

*Jihi passed the assessment and got some good info on Konda. Konda failed assessment and was forced to take a strife.

*Jihi and Konda both had the same Focus and bid the same amount during the staredown. For the tiebreaker they even had the same Honor! Rather than look up the next tiebreaker, we opted to write down our moves and reveal them simultaneously.

*Jihi Centered and succeeded but got some strife, taking him dangerously close to compromised. Konda provoked and succeeded but also got strife and almost compromised.

*Next round they both bid zero, making their initiative the same again.

*Jihi smartly chooses Void, but Konda makes the mistake of choosing Air.

*Both center. Jihi would become compromised if he weren't in Void. Konda is forced to take a strife causing him to Compromise.

*Jihi uses Rising Cut and manages to get his critical up to 16! Konda is cut in half.

 

The duelist really loved the dueling mechanics and the other players agreed that it was a lot of fun to watch. It only took about 2 rounds and everybody loved it. 

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Kakita Jihi (the player) vs. Bayushi Konda (the NPC).

*Jihi passed the assessment and got some good info on Konda. Konda failed assessment and was forced to take a strife.

*Jihi and Konda both had the same Focus and bid the same amount during the staredown. For the tiebreaker they even had the same Honor! Rather than look up the next tiebreaker, we opted to write down our moves and reveal them simultaneously.

*Jihi Centered and succeeded but got some strife, taking him dangerously close to compromised. Konda provoked and succeeded but also got strife and almost compromised.

*Next round they both bid zero, making their initiative the same again.

*Jihi smartly chooses Void, but Konda makes the mistake of choosing Air.

*Both center. Jihi would become compromised if he weren't in Void. Konda is forced to take a strife causing him to Compromise.

*Jihi uses Rising Cut and manages to get his critical up to 16! Konda is cut in half.

 

The duelist really loved the dueling mechanics and the other players agreed that it was a lot of fun to watch. It only took about 2 rounds and everybody loved it. 

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16 hours ago, Exarkfr said:

Bayushi Konda would be wise to Parry that blow. A Destroyed arm is better than dying.
And if it was a duel to first blood, he could have kept on fighting.

It's also alot more shameful, and dissatisfying for all participating entities(Players of the game).

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Shamefull in that if it was first strike or first blood, as it was a perfect legal strike, that he choose to soil with his actions. (thus proving that his opponent is the greater man, yet chosing to activly denounce the skill of his opponent)

After all duels are almost sportlike in the rules.

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5 hours ago, Chilitoke said:

After all duels are almost sportlike in the rules.

To make a sports analogy, there's nothing honorable about not defending against a goal. That's what you're supposed to do. The samurai are supposed to parry a blow if they are able. You may admit defeat after that, but it's honorable to continue to fight if you think you are likely to win.

I think the rules are a bit problematic here, where it's not as satisfying to have the initial blow parried. As a GM, having the opponent admit defeat at that point is probably a decent solution. Having used your parry, it may no longer make sense to continue the duel, since you may be throwing away your life.

However, as long as your players don't think it's strange that the samurai essentially fell on their sword, your solution works too. I imagine most players won't notice the missing parry.

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