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Fitsu

Akodo is on fire

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Looking at the results of some skirmishes and duels we've run the Akodo Commander school is streets ahead of any of the other Bushi schools, especially combined with Fire Stance. With 6k4 at rank 2 my player is regularly throwing out 7-8 successes per attack and climbing really slowly towards an Outburst. The fact that many of the other schools get less powerful abilities and can only use then once per turn while this extremely potent ability is always on seems weird. 

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At the chargen? yeah an Akodo schooled named Matsu is pretty strong. So is a Hida.

(They have good starting katas, techniques and a great "health pool" for a starting character.)

I think the Kakita are strong too, just no at chargen, they get strong once they fix their rings and start to dish out critical and use their technique almost every turn.

But Akodo only works in skirmish and mass battles. They lose their mojo if they are called out for a duel or skirmish. For whatever reason. I'm sure people will come with a fluff to make sense of it.

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2 hours ago, Mobiusllls said:

At the chargen? yeah an Akodo schooled named Matsu is pretty strong. So is a Hida.

(They have good starting katas, techniques and a great "health pool" for a starting character.)

I think the Kakita are strong too, just no at chargen, they get strong once they fix their rings and start to dish out critical and use their technique almost every turn.

But Akodo only works in skirmish and mass battles. They lose their mojo if they are called out for a duel or skirmish. For whatever reason. I'm sure people will come with a fluff to make sense of it.

They seemed even stronger in duels during our testing due to strife mitigation. What are you seeing that I'm not that hurts them is duels? 

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7 minutes ago, Fitsu said:

They seemed even stronger in duels during our testing due to strife mitigation. What are you seeing that I'm not that hurts them is duels? 

They can't use their school ability in a duel, only skirmish or mass battle.

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It seems really strong all the same. It works for 2/3rds of physical conflicts, which is a lot, and  it adds a  LOT of successes even early  on. While everyone else  is happy to get 4 successes now and then starting out, you'll be tossing murderous 9-success bricks at your enemies every other round while also getting rid  of Strife, meaning you  never  Unmask or get  Compromised.

I'd be cool with it giving  less successes but  working  in all occasions. Let's  just say that as  is, any Akodo are way more amazing as scrappers and generals than 99% of all Kakita will ever be at dueling.

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35 minutes ago, SideshowLucifer said:

The akodo technique deffinatly needs toned down to match the others.

It is quiet the opposite in my opinion. The other schools have to be buffed to match the akodo.
Buffing is the far better version as it leads to morepowerfull techniques for everyone instead and with that comes
more fun for everybody independent of the choice of school.

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30 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

It is quiet the opposite in my opinion. The other schools have to be buffed to match the akodo.
Buffing is the far better version as it leads to morepowerfull techniques for everyone instead and with that comes
more fun for everybody independent of the choice of school.

Also, I think the comparisons being made aren’t always fair. A damage school (which, admittedly, I don’t think the Akodo Commander should be) should outdamage a tank school or a duelist school by a significant margin. How effective schools are outside their area of expertise probably needs a bit of tweaking anyway, but comparing different expertises is not straightforward.

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14 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Also, I think the comparisons being made aren’t always fair. A damage school (which, admittedly, I don’t think the Akodo Commander should be) should outdamage a tank school or a duelist school by a significant margin. How effective schools are outside their area of expertise probably needs a bit of tweaking anyway, but comparing different expertises is not straightforward.

I don't think the Akodo Commander is necessarily bad. It is very powerful (and I'm not sure I'd want to see the effect be weaker), but its restriction is in the scope of its application.

  • It's similar to the Kuni Purifier trait, Stare Into Shadow which is awe-inspiringly terrifying against a shadowlands creature or tainted and......utterly useless against anything else.
  • By comparison, Way Of The Crane applies to any critical you cause, mass battle, duel, skirmish, blade or bow, regardless of foe....but all it does for a low-to-mid-level character is 'tweak' a critical up or down by maybe one bracket, max.

 

I do agree it seems the most powerful ability on first glance. If I wanted to tweak it, though, I wouldn't reduce the power, but maybe narrow the scope:

  • It currently works in both skirmishes and mass battles
  • If it only worked in Mass Battles, it would mean that an Akodo War College Graduate would still be by far the best battlefield commander (makes sense!) but wouldn't be able to use Fire Stance plus Way Of The Lion to Out-Hulk-Smash a brick outhouse Hida character. 
  • Alternatively, if you want to make them tacticians and commanders par excellence without also making them damage-bezerkers, focus it not on the scene type but on Command and Tactics skills - this still covers every Mass Battle action but also allows them to easily sieze the initiative in smaller fights, because they can use it on the assessment check in a skirmish.

 

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One good thing about the Akodo School is that it actually uses mechanics to tell a story about the Akodo. The Akodo family are stoic, putting aside emotions and channeling that into pure efficiency. Converting Strife to tactical or combat prowess is a very fitting ability to represent them. I think other schools should aspire to have the harmony between mechanics and storytelling that the writers achieved with the Akodo School. 

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4 hours ago, CrazyRadio said:

One good thing about the Akodo School is that it actually uses mechanics to tell a story about the Akodo. The Akodo family are stoic, putting aside emotions and channeling that into pure efficiency. Converting Strife to tactical or combat prowess is a very fitting ability to represent them. I think other schools should aspire to have the harmony between mechanics and storytelling that the writers achieved with the Akodo School. 

The Bayushi manipulator is not half bad in that respect ;)

But yeah, the Akodo technique is super strong. Their school has always been one of the best Bushi school in any edition. I kind of agree with Teveshszat that I'd rather see other techniques get beefed up to narrow the gap, actually.

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On 11/3/2017 at 2:44 PM, CrazyRadio said:

One good thing about the Akodo School is that it actually uses mechanics to tell a story about the Akodo. The Akodo family are stoic, putting aside emotions and channeling that into pure efficiency. Converting Strife to tactical or combat prowess is a very fitting ability to represent them. I think other schools should aspire to have the harmony between mechanics and storytelling that the writers achieved with the Akodo School. 

Definitely! Thematically, it's really cool and good. I wish it wasn't  so front-loaded, though.

Maybe  making it  like the Kakita ability and  link it to Rank? You can cancel up to your rank in strife -and- add that  many successes to your roll.

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I do think that’s what it does... 

“ When you succeed at an Attack or Support action check during a skirmish or mass battle, you may remove a number of strife from your character up to your school rank. If you do, add that many additional bonus successes to the check.”

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On 11/3/2017 at 11:17 PM, Magnus Grendel said:
  • It's similar to the Kuni Purifier trait, Stare Into Shadow which is awe-inspiringly terrifying against a shadowlands creature or tainted and......utterly useless against anything else.

The thing is, even assuming that both are triggering, Way of the Lion is much more powerful than Stare into Shadow. Beyond reducing strife (which WotL is better at since it can remove excess strife or strife from exploded rolls) SiS can turn a ring die result from opportunity to success or get a free opportunity on a skill die, this is limited by your school rank, the number of strife you actually roll (not including explosions because you've lost the opportunity by that point) and the number of results you roll that are as good as what you can turn results into (so for instance the ability does nothing if on 3+2k3 you roll an explosion and a blank on the skill dice and 2 success and an opportunity+strife (this is an extreme example but at higher skill ranks there's every chance that you won't get leverage out of every rank)). WotL adds successes to an already successful roll and is limited by your school rank and how many strife you have after adding strife for this attack (so one of the upper bounds of usefulness of SiS is a lower bound of usefulness of WotL at high school ranks). Even the shortcomings of WotL, not being able to turn a failure into a success and not being able to add opportunity, are things that SiS will only occasionally be able to do itself.

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4 hours ago, Norgrath said:

 

The thing is, even assuming that both are triggering, Way of the Lion is much more powerful than Stare into Shadow. Beyond reducing strife (which WotL is better at since it can remove excess strife or strife from exploded rolls) SiS can turn a ring die result from opportunity to success or get a free opportunity on a skill die, this is limited by your school rank, the number of strife you actually roll (not including explosions because you've lost the opportunity by that point) and the number of results you roll that are as good as what you can turn results into (so for instance the ability does nothing if on 3+2k3 you roll an explosion and a blank on the skill dice and 2 success and an opportunity+strife (this is an extreme example but at higher skill ranks there's every chance that you won't get leverage out of every rank)). WotL adds successes to an already successful roll and is limited by your school rank and how many strife you have after adding strife for this attack (so one of the upper bounds of usefulness of SiS is a lower bound of usefulness of WotL at high school ranks). Even the shortcomings of WotL, not being able to turn a failure into a success and not being able to add opportunity, are things that SiS will only occasionally be able to do itself.

Agreed. But - the big differences:

  • Stare Into Shadow can turn a failure into a pass. Way Of The Lion cannot.
  • If you're rolling 3 ring dice, you've got about a 42% chance of being able to add at least one success that wasn't there before. That's not trivial when you're trying to hit higher TNs
  • Remember that a Kuni Purifier is a Shujenga.
    • Being able to mitigate strife is most important for duellists (because finishing blows can instagib you) and people performing invocations (because Spiritual Backlash can realistically TPK your own side). 
    • Stare into Shadow works in both of these situations (and as a Kata-taught Shujenga school, Kunis will realistically find themselves in both). 
    • Way Of The Lion works in neither.
    • The ability to deal with higher TN invocations means the Kuni can use Importune Invocations on invocations they do not know much more reliably, making them much more flexible.
7 hours ago, Franwax said:

I do think that’s what it does... 

“ When you succeed at an Attack or Support action check during a skirmish or mass battle, you may remove a number of strife from your character up to your school rank. If you do, add that many additional bonus successes to the check.”

It does, but it does more than that - because you receive strife before you check for success or failure, you receive the strife from your roll, then can 'spend it' on bonus successes. 

However, you can also spend strife picked up previously in the scene, so even if you don't roll strife on this check, you can drop a point or two of strife you already had.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Fun fact: at rank 3~4, the Akodo synthetically gets the benefits of both Void and Fire stances (but better), while having the option to be in any other Stance!

Will not likely suffer from the Strife on their kept dice (Void); will use any roller Strife and maybe even more as bonus successes (Fire, but better). 

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26 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Fun fact: at rank 3~4, the Akodo synthetically gets the benefits of both Void and Fire stances (but better), while having the option to be in any other Stance!

Will not likely suffer from the Strife on their kept dice (Void); will use any roller Strife and maybe even more as bonus successes (Fire, but better). 

More likely you would be in fire stance - that way you get double-benefit from rolled strife - kept strife results give you strife (which count as bonus successes) plus you can then 'spend' said strife for even more bonus successes. 

That's the key thing with the commander - if you can make sure he or she is going to pass the check regardless then the Akodo can easily rack up a devastating number of bonus successes. What they can't do is readily improve their odds of doing that (which is where allies with assistance and provoke-esque actions come in, I guess).

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30 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

More likely you would be in fire stance - that way you get double-benefit from rolled strife - kept strife results give you strife (which count as bonus successes) plus you can then 'spend' said strife for even more bonus successes.

Can they? Oh wow but they can!! I had wrongly assumed that it depended in which order you resolved the two "when you succeed on a check" effects, but the Akodo tech does not actually use up your kept dice Strife results, it uses your character's Strife directly, so you CAN double-dip in Fire fury... sorry if it was obvious.. I had missed that. Still, having simple Fire stance-like effects + TN increase from Air stance or extra Action from Water is pretty nifty too.

30 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

That's the key thing with the commander - if you can make sure he or she is going to pass the check regardless then the Akodo can easily rack up a devastating number of bonus successes. What they can't do is readily improve their odds of doing that (which is where allies with assistance and provoke-esque actions come in, I guess).

Or their Rank 6 tech if all else fails :P Re-do with a TN2! Yes please.

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29 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Can they? Oh wow but they can!! I had wrongly assumed that it depended in which order you resolved the two "when you succeed on a check" effects, but the Akodo tech does not actually use up your kept dice Strife results, it uses your character's Strife directly, so you CAN double-dip in Fire fury... sorry if it was obvious.. I had missed that. Still, having simple Fire stance-like effects + TN increase from Air stance or extra Action from Water is pretty nifty too.

Or their Rank 6 tech if all else fails :P Re-do with a TN2! Yes please.

Indeed. Although if we're looking at Rank 6 abilities, everyone's is ridiculous (and so they should be, given the level of characters they represent).

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I agree that the Akodo Commander way outpaces all the others. A lot of the school abilities feel pretty similar and not particularly good or flavorful at this point. It would be nice to see the other abilities get another look to see if they can be reworked so they can rise to meet Akodo levels of awesome.

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