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Hi,

I'll try to be brief, but here is my main problem with the game for now, even if there is much to like about it.  I hope I will be able to get the point through as I am not a native speaker, so please be don't be too hard on me if I'm not clear enough.

So:

Let's take a simple combat round.

1) I need to chose one of five stance
2)  I must decide if I move before of after my action.  For that, I need to already have an idea of what I aim to do, as certain effets on the roll will affect my movement.
3)  I need to choose an action.  For this example, I will only consider "Use Skill" and "Strike".
4)  I need to choose the ring and skill I will use.
5) I may need to apply Advantages and Disavantages
6) I make the check
7) I spend my opportunites.

Now, here's my problem.

As I may use any ring with any skill, it means I need to consider what I may spend my opportunities on.

So, as there is actually 12 generic effect I may spend them on, and 6 effects for each skill group, so 30, meaning I have to consider 42 possible effects on each round.  And that is not counting the effects I may have to consider because of my techniques.

Granted, most of those won't apply, but many do.

Do I strike with Fire, my  highest ring in order to get effect X, or do I use a skill with Air in order to get the generic effect granting me a way to spend twice the opportunities on any effect on any table?  Or maybe I want to strike with Water, even if it's lower than Fire, because I need Water effect X from the Martial table?  Or maybe a using a skill with another ring is better to get some other effect on another table. 

You get the idea.  

And In order to choose, I must also consider first what stance I want to be in, because it may interact with the way I spend opportunities, or if I want to move first or after my action; and to make this decision, I need to already know what I will gamble my opportunities on, and so on, and so on.

That's already 5 (stances) x 42 (way to spend opportunites) x 2 (move before or after), so 420 choices I must consider each round, not taking into account I may choose between 7 actions, and a lot of skills.

Again, a lot of those may not make sense in a certain situation, but a lot does make sense, and even there, in order to decide if a choice makes sense or not, I must be able to parse way over 2000 (!) ways a round could go.

As I see it, in order to play this game smoothly, I will need to ignore 90% of the possible ways I could go about in a given round.  That is bad design.  If, in order to play and enjoy the game, I need to ignore most of it, the game has a serious problem.

Granted, this is a first reaction after reading the rules and I did not have the chance to play with them (my group intend to try them soon), so it's pretty much theorycrafting, but I'm not convinced this game, in it's current state, is even playable if you don't take most of the mechanical choices out or don't accept that a player may have to spend 10 minutes each round figuring out what his character can and will do.
 

Edited by jfmongrain

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The Stance you choose in 1 determines the ring you use in 4.

See pp 153-154:
  - Step 2: Set Stance, last paragraph: "In addition to determining which ring a character uses for the action they perform during Step 3: Perform Action and for any other checks they make while in that stance, [...]."
 - Step 3: Perform Action, first paragraph: "When making a check as part of an action, the character must use the ring associated with their stance."

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Ok, good!  I missed that. It simplify things a bit.

Still, when choosing your stance, you'll need to consider 42 possible outcomes in order to make your choice, not counting those granted by schools and techniques.  Then choose the skill you will use.

Maybe only half of the them may make sense in a particular situation, but that's still a lot to consider.

Edited by jfmongrain

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34 minutes ago, jfmongrain said:

Ok, good!  I missed that. That simplify things a bit.

Still, when choosing your stance, you'll need to consider 42 possible outcomes in order to make your choice, not counting those granted by schools and techniques.  Then choose the skill you will use.

Maybe only half of the them may make sense in a particular situation, but that's still a lot to consider.

I think that a lot of things will tend to 'fall through' as default options. Movement, for example - generally this is a given - 'are you in range' (yes/no) and 'do you want to be in range' (yes/no) pretty much mandates your choice with no thought.

Choosing your action - yes, there are lots of actions to pick from. But they tend to boil down to 'do I attack or defend' - and the best attack action for a given opponent is generally easy to spot.

You have many options, but you tend to find the game goes faster than you'd expect.

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I do understand that it’s a lot to take in... one of the first things I did was piece together a cheat sheet of all generic uses of opportunities in a chart: by ring and by action type. 

But once you have a working character, I expect you’ll find a limited number of “routines” that depend on the situation you’re facing. For starters, you will likely have at most two favorite rings (read stronger) so you will want to privilege them - play to your strengths. Then you just adapt to the task at hand. Big Hida bushi in Earth Stance? No use trying Strike as Water, my opportunities will be useless... let’s go Fire stance and hope to overcome his resistance with all those Strife results! Etc. 

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The best way to go at this is to set up combos. For example, Fire Stance + Strike + Striking as Fire + burn all Opportunity on Critical Strike is the "Critical Nuking Combo" - each time you need to wreck someone's day, you pull out this combo instead of pondering on your choices. Combos tend to be straightforward because of your character's attributes, and once you have a good arsenal of them, the game will become a lot simpler. 

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Thank you all for your answers.

As I said, my group still have to try the ruleset in play, wich I hope we will do soon.

My GM is far from being sold yet.  If I, as a player, feel there is too much going on in a simple round and need to craft combos for my character in order to have a smooth experience, he, as a GM, will need to do this for all the NPCs, and that is A LOT of work.

In 4th, you could just wing it and come with a NPC in no time, but I'm afraid this ruleset won't cut it. 

Also, we have some players in the group, who are excellent roleplayers, but are not "rule geeks", meaning they like to keep it simple, get on with the story, have fast paced action scenes (wich in my mind is important for the "one or two stikes may take you down" feeling of the game)  and will not like to have to take a lot of time crafting combos in order to play the game.  I still think the new ruleset is WAY more heavy than 4th edition, and that analysis paralysis will be a somewhat bigger thing.

I'm not sold, and I have played a lot of FFG's WFRP with the special dices and all.  I feel that the "choose how to spend opportunities depending solely on the action you use" meaning you cand spend them on at most 4-5 effects, as it was in WFRP, would be better for the pacing of the game, but hey, we'll see when we try it out.

But I have a strong feeling we'll stick with 4th edition for a long while.

Edited by jfmongrain

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