Jump to content
FFG_Sam Stewart

Beta Rules Update v1.0 and Preview Material

Recommended Posts

People can't make each other do things, they can only make certain courses of action more or less attractive.

If you want to embarrass someone with the courtesy skill, you do it by successfully insinuating something via a check, not by increasing your target's strife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, GaGrin said:

People can't make each other do things, they can only make certain courses of action more or less attractive.

If you want to embarrass someone with the courtesy skill, you do it by successfully insinuating something via a check, not by increasing your target's strife.

It is quite simple to coerce people into action; it's another to be able to control their action. I'm advocation more for the former than the latter. 

I've spent the last 15 years coercing other people's children. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, you're taking advantage of the low TN of their Vigilance on your Courtesy (Air) Check.  That doesn't have to be linked to strife or unmasking at all.

Edit: Though, if you're referring to the Discredit Someone intrigue objective, that needs updating for sure.  The new rules don't allow this to be completed unless your opponent decides to capitulate for some reason.

Edited by GaGrin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, GaGrin said:

Sure, you're taking advantage of the low TN of their Vigilance on your Courtesy (Air) Check.  That doesn't have to be linked to strife or unmasking at all.

Edit: Though, if you're referring to the Discredit Someone intrigue objective, that needs updating for sure.  The new rules don't allow this to be completed unless your opponent decides to capitulate for some reason.

The discredit someone goal was probatively illustrative of one of the goals of the Strife mechanic... as a means other than violence to force someone out of scene or into a social concession. 

What I'm advocating for, in a clearer form, is:

  • From 0 to Composure: can take strife as willing and/or by opponent actions
  • from Composure +1 to 2x Composure: no voluntary strife, MAY (but not must) unmask
  • at (2x composure)+1 or more: must unmask immediately
  • leave room for talents to affect allowed/disallowed unmasks, but by default, player picks at time of unmask

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having mulled it over and re-read the intrigue section I think you're right.  Composure does seem intended to work as a sort of "social hitpoints" in this regard and the update has scuppered that.

I'm still not 100% convinced that a social victory needs to result in an unmasking.  Compromised characters are obviously compromised even if they're staying polite and I think this could and maybe should be enough for certain types of social victory.  Flustering your opponent so they can't debate effectively is essentially the same as compromising as things currently stand.

Shuji that allow you to provoke a specific unmasking of a compromised character when you push them over the limit on your action might also be interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, just as some techniques or effects play out differently between NPCs vs PCs, you could handle Strife > Composure differently as well. Some opponents in an Intrigue scene could behave like "minions" and automatically Unmask as soon as they reach the threshold, while more seasoned adversaries would hold until a specific (and scripted) level of Strife. Come to think of it, have you noticed that the Composure and Resilience of many NPCs do not follow PC rules? It's almost like we are supposed to manipulate the breaking point of GM controlled characters ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Franwax said:

have you noticed that the Composure and Resilience of many NPCs do not follow PC rules?

This is one of the few things I dislike.  I can deal with this for minions as a seperate class of npc, that's essentially a tool to make the GM's life easier.  It also makes sense for non-humans, who will have their own particular scaling and traits.

But why do human adversaries use different rules than the PCs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't understand why split it like that.  It practically ensures there is going to be confusion over how something resolves and I don't see what advantage you gain by making the divide.  It feels arbitary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because the pcs are the center of the story and the emphasis is on them. There is no need to play 20 questions for each ashagaru or samauri in the game. 

The distinction is to keep the game flow and the focus on the players and minimize the time and effort it takes to create npcs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I'm asking is how does having to remember two different versions of the same ability (the one the PCs have and the version the NPCs have) help me as a GM run the game? It's completely counter-intuative.  I'm not going to make NPCs using the same rules as the players, but that doesn't mean that what their stats, abilities and skills mean should differ.  That's just inconsistant.  At the very least ensuring that one name is one rule and not two is decent practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, GaGrin said:

Having mulled it over and re-read the intrigue section I think you're right.  Composure does seem intended to work as a sort of "social hitpoints" in this regard and the update has scuppered that.

I'm still not 100% convinced that a social victory needs to result in an unmasking.  Compromised characters are obviously compromised even if they're staying polite and I think this could and maybe should be enough for certain types of social victory.  Flustering your opponent so they can't debate effectively is essentially the same as compromising as things currently stand.

Shuji that allow you to provoke a specific unmasking of a compromised character when you push them over the limit on your action might also be interesting.

forced compromise IS one of the unmaskings.

6 hours ago, Doji Namika said:

Because they are not pc's? There is no reason to mirror everything pc's are subject to to npc's. If you want, sure, go ahead, but there is no need to do so.

Not a good reason. Actually  a pretty damned bad one.

Game rules set a series of expectations. Having two different sets of rules about abilities is a pain and problem - it means more that I have to either recall (if in the book) or intuit (if not explicitly in the book) when making new NPCs.

It's one of my beefs with FFG SW. I do, however, have a wide enough set of templates to work from that I was able to intuit that most minion NPCs in FFGSW are half, round down, the racial base WT, and don't add brawn to it. There are exceptions, but that's a good working number.

I don't mind "non-nemesis NPC's take strain as wounds" in FFG SW so much as I mind them not having given a formula for minion WT. (I'll note my SW players only recently realized the best way to deal with squads of minions is stun grenades, and use the triumph to trigger the blast so they all take the blast 8+successes... per minion, rather than 10+S to one (killing 1-2) plus a crit (killing a 2nd or 3rd).

That said, it's easy enough to refigure them. And they're off by 1-2 points after applying template - just have the base NPC match, and note in the adjustments for type that Resilience and Composure also change by X.

Edited by AK_Aramis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Not a good reason. Actually  a pretty damned bad one.

Encounter balance (which is the reason that NPCs don't match the formula) is one of the best reasons to do anything in an RPG. The seasoned courtier is an obvious example of why the derived stats deviate: water and air are the two rings that suit such a characters skill set best but they don't give a character a good compsure value (which doesn't make sense for a courtier and it boggles my mind why the PC derived values work this way but lets not get into that).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Norgrath said:

Encounter balance (which is the reason that NPCs don't match the formula) is one of the best reasons to do anything in an RPG. The seasoned courtier is an obvious example of why the derived stats deviate: water and air are the two rings that suit such a characters skill set best but they don't give a character a good compsure value (which doesn't make sense for a courtier and it boggles my mind why the PC derived values work this way but lets not get into that).

if the forumlae for PC are bad for courtiers, then the formulae need to be fixed, not the NPCs adjusted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Doji Namika said:

Eh, npc's have to conform to only one thing: will they be interesting, either as allies or antagonists and whatever scores or powers they need to achieve that are fair game.

The same restrictions as for pc's are utterly unnecessary for that.

This was the prevalent attitude in FFGSW That I always had a problem with.

The NPC system for any game IMHO should make characters that are possible for PCs to be like.

The idea of abilities that players can't have (adversary) or just being thrown together without the build of how they got there just don't work for me.

To me this is lazy game design at its worst.

If the system works for PC, it should work for NPC or it needs to be fixed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

if the forumlae for PC are bad for courtiers, then the formulae need to be fixed, not the NPCs adjusted.

Okay, how about the manifest Kami. Should fire and air have 6 resilience a piece? Regardless of the PC system it'll sometimes be useful to have NPCs that deviate from it. It's not actually hard to keep track of the stats of whatever you need handy and that over-rides NPCs deviating from the formula.

1 hour ago, tenchi2a said:

The NPC system for any game IMHO should make characters that are possible for PCs to be like.

The idea of abilities that players can't have (adversary) or just being thrown together without the build of how they got there just don't work for me.

To me this is lazy game design at its worst.

If the system works for PC, it should work for NPC or it needs to be fixed.

NPCs and PCs have fundamentally different purposes (if nothing else there's an order of magnitude more npcs than pcs in most campaigns). PC build systems are intended to build characters that will be used in multiple encounters in a role. NPCs can be used for nearly anything; it's folly to restrict them to the same rules as PCs for some sense of uniformity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing stops you from making your npc's like pc's I guess?

Though calling it lazy game design I can not agree with. PC's and NPC's not mirroring each other is just a decision. Take for example D&D 4e where no NPC ever uses pc mechanics. That edition has been accused of all the sins under the sun, but not lazy game design at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not lazy design so much as it's poor editing.  At least call the abilites unique names so that when they come up I know for certain that this rule functions differently from another one.  The issue is inconsistant application of pre-established nomenclature within the text.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Doji Namika said:

Nothing stops you from making your npc's like pc's I guess?

Though calling it lazy game design I can not agree with. PC's and NPC's not mirroring each other is just a decision. Take for example D&D 4e where no NPC ever uses pc mechanics. That edition has been accused of all the sins under the sun, but not lazy game design at least.

and this is one of many reasons that D&D 4th ed failed in my opinion.

 

2 hours ago, Norgrath said:

NPCs and PCs have fundamentally different purposes (if nothing else there's an order of magnitude more npcs than pcs in most campaigns). PC build systems are intended to build characters that will be used in multiple encounters in a role. NPCs can be used for nearly anything; it's folly to restrict them to the same rules as PCs for some sense of uniformity.

Its not about some sense of uniformity. Its about most PC and NPC both being human. If the rules were just for some oni or to make monsters I could agree with you, But most PC in the game are human like the characters. Why are they presented differently. Is it that the encounter system will not work right if they are build like PC, If so then that's bad design and a problem with the system. Is it because they want NPC to be easier or harder, then again if the normal system is not working then somethings wrong with it. This was a problem with NPC in the FFGSW beta. They could not get them to be the treat they wanted with the system so they invented a ability that only NPC could have called adversary. If you can't get the system to produce the challange your looking for,  the system needs to be fix. Instead they just jury rigged the system to band-aid it. That why I say its being lazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, let's just agree to disagree as we approach this from entirely different angles. Decoupling pc's and npc's opens up very interesting design space and gameplay opportunities on both sides of that divide and I personally do not mind sacrificing simulationism to get there. 

I don't care that the human npc has two or three times the fatigue that the pc's could possibly have, an extra action and the ability to shed the first three conditions inflicted upon it and some gruesome custom techniques if it would provide an exciting and nail-biting set-piece encounter (yes, d&d 4e is my favorite d&d, sue me). Granted, haven't really given human opponents the d&d 4e solo/elite treatment yet, but I wouldn't shy away from that.

In my experience going the other route, where both use the same mechanics, such encounters become very built-focused and thus binary, a sort of rock-paper-scissors game, which I personally find rather dull, and likely makes the bigger fights very, very complex as everything is running on pc-level complexity. 

Different strokes and all!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lazy or not, it's usually problematic. 

Further, L5R has, in all prior editions, been NPCs built from PC schools plus extras as the author/writer/GM felt appropriate. Even shadowlands characters have been buildable.

Many L5R fans (like me) want Adversary level foes to be 100% PC equivalent. I don't mind minion level non-samurai being reduced, so long as it's formulaically reduced.

What it means right now is that an NPC having Earth 4 is not the same as a PC with Earth 4. And it's far more obvious in L5R than Star Wars, and less thematically appropriate for samurai NPCs, and more to keep in mind when adding to the lists. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Norgrath said:

NPCs and PCs have fundamentally different purposes (if nothing else there's an order of magnitude more npcs than pcs in most campaigns). PC build systems are intended to build characters that will be used in multiple encounters in a role. NPCs can be used for nearly anything; it's folly to restrict them to the same rules as PCs for some sense of uniformity.

Do they? Not all do. For many NPCs I used in 3E, the only difference was who was in charge. I ran them the same way as a GM as I would had they been my PC - goals, ambitions, and even cross purposes with other NPCs. Further, they're all human, and all use the same stat system.

It's not like D&D, where most NPCs didn't actually have the same attribute set as PCs - but those in PC classes were supposed to be handled exactly like PCs.

Star Wars is an entirely different kind of setting, one where the PC's are supposed to shine like bloody action hero stars from the first day of play - and (if the GM knows the difficulties and odds well) they can pull that off to a great degree.

L5R, however, the characters by default are on the monomyth hero's journey - traditionally, starting the game either in the process of completing their gempuku ceremony, or shortly after. Great emphasis was placed in prior editions on the paths of growth. Watching the characters grow was part of the fun. Watching near-lethal encounters at rank 1 become minor blips at rank 3 was great, both for the players and for me as a GM.... and while some ********-yankers out there want everything handed to them on a silver platter, excepting a chance to lose, most players quickly get bored of that.

D&D, for example, is balanced (in 3.X, 4.X, and 5) so that PC's are running low on resources if the GM is following the recommendations, and are coming close to defeat regularly, but generally can pull off victory by careful play, and sometimes, knowing when to retreat.

L5R 1/2/3 didn't have a balance system per se, but it was always possible to hit a foe... tho' several kinds couldn't be damaged, and a few were so hard as to require 1-in-a-thousand rolls.... Kami-no-kaze were a real pain to fight in 3E... which is what made them fun to fight. For human foes, tho', school rank was a good indicator - a school rank 1 bushi was a good fight for a school rank 1 bushi, or a school rank 1 shugenja or Mahō-tsukai, or a rank 2 courtier... but in court, that rank 1 courtier was going to walk on the rank 2 bushi or shugenja. And in magical opponents and stories, that rank 1 shugenja was worth a rank 3 or 4 bushi or courtier...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2017 at 11:39 PM, AK_Aramis said:

Lazy or not, it's usually problematic. 

Further, L5R has, in all prior editions, been NPCs built from PC schools plus extras as the author/writer/GM felt appropriate. Even shadowlands characters have been buildable.

Many L5R fans (like me) want Adversary level foes to be 100% PC equivalent. I don't mind minion level non-samurai being reduced, so long as it's formulaically reduced.

What it means right now is that an NPC having Earth 4 is not the same as a PC with Earth 4. And it's far more obvious in L5R than Star Wars, and less thematically appropriate for samurai NPCs, and more to keep in mind when adding to the lists. 

Agreed for anything 'roughly human'.

  • I don't mind if a character isn't something I can build with the rulebook per se - as in, there's an "evil Dark Moto School" I can imagine (and reverse-engineer if I can be bothered) but couldn't take as a PC option.
    • Derived stats should work out the same regardless
  • At the same time, something like a Kami is a different matter - when the creature is fundamentally not human - or even humanoid - I can understand derived stats not adding up.  "Composure: ∞" is the obvious one on all the undead, and makes sense.
  • If you want a 'bad-guy-with-a-name-tag' to be generically more dangerous under all circumstances, that you can easily add in to important (or plot-critical) opponents as a simple buff without needing lots of text, then something akin to the Star Wars Adversary Talent (which upgrades the difficulty of any hostile check targeting the character by their ranks in the ability) would be simple enough to add. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...