Jump to content
FFG Max Brooke

[Focus Topic] Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages (Week 5)

Recommended Posts

Greetings L5R Testers!

This week, our discussion topic is Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages. Here are a couple of questions to get you started:

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

Greetings L5R Testers!

This week, our discussion topic is Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages. Here are a couple of questions to get you started:

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?
No.

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?
I will say it again I can't think of any good reason to split the Martial Arts skill in 3. I find that design choice highly confusing especially since all other skills are very top level.

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?
I think advantages and disadvantages most of the time do not play a significant role at the gaming table, except for the ones which might end up in a character description.

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?
I always tought the blessings and curses for the 7 fortunes were kind of cool.

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?
No.

In general I think a broder selection of passions and anxieties would be helpful. Many player struggled on these two things.

Edited by Yandia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the skills as they stand. One question we had though, is the repair a weapon from normal battle use supposed to repair weapons that were damaged because of razor edged?

As far as advantages and disadvantages, they have been quite fluid in their usage. Only odd thing is how almost all of them are more like traits in that they can be used as both advantages and disadvantages.  I'm more inclined to have them rescripted as traits and utilized however they fit at the time rather than the current distinction.

If, they are supposed to be actual advantages and disadvantages,  I suggest a more mechanical approach to what they do.

I'm all for either method, but I like the idea of traits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

1

A lot. "Naked" observation/spotting was legitimately hard to connect with a Skill, especially if the PC had no idea what she was looking for. 

Quote

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

Pretty much all of them. Sorry guys, but the generally accepted opinion around here is that the Skill List is a mess. Aesthetics/Composition/Design is hard to differentiate and feel redundant as three different Skills, Smithing to make bows/arrows is silly, Games and Performance as Social Skills (rather than Artisan Skills) is weird, Command is way too powerful and reigns the Social Skills category, Courtesy has a confusing name (easy to mistake with the Bushido virtue), Government feels like a Social Skill, Medicine feels like a Trade Skill, Sentiment has a confusing name, Fitness is bloated, the various Martial Arts Skills are somewhat confusing (you should drop the parentheses and call the Skills 'Unarmed Combat', 'Melee Weapons', and 'Ranged Weapons'), Meditation is extremely confusing all-around from being a Martial Skill to what it actually does, Tactics is very powerful when used well, Labor and Skulduggery are strangely named and are slightly confusing for what they do, and Survival is slightly bloated too (not as much as Fitness tho). 

The Skill List and the SKills are in a desperate need of a complete overhaul in my opinion. As of now, they are inconsistent, confusing, and unbalanced. This most likely requires more Skills per Skill Group, and maybe a revision around the Skill Groups themselves, but I don't think that this can be helped. It must be done. That's all. 

One thing we are thinking about is to adapt the Approaches directly into Skills. For example, Withstand can be Defense, Survey can be Investigation, Produce can be Craft, Restore can be Medicine, etc. This would also make the Approach/Skill pairing much easier. 

Quote

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

We mostly do the narrative application. In fact, we often forget the mechanical bonuses/penalties.

Quote

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

I don't want to heckle guys, but I think it would have been better if the Beta had had the "original" Advantages/Disadvantages instead of the current "reinvented" ones.  There weren't that many of them, and I dunno if I missed things like "Whispers of X" or "Playfulness". 

Quote

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?

So far, the rundown is a solid "all of them". The mechanical effects are strangely over-specific or present themselves openly as being highly abusable. On the other hand, the narrative bonuses are oftentimes ridiculously powerful and disruptive to the game. As of now, Sixth Sense and Playfulness are by far the greatest offenders, but Quick Reflexes is quickly growing on these two. 

I think Advantages and Disadvantages should get a big nerf so that they become more simple and straightforward. Some should only have a mechanical bonus/penalty with no narrative effect (Sixth Sense) while others should only have an almost ignorable but still thematic use (Playfulness with "not giving offense" only). 

 

That's all. Skills are pretty bad but easily salvageable. Advantages/Disadvantages are 'meh' but again, relatively easy to fix. Both feel like distinct (if not obvious like Strife/Outburst) weaknesses in the system. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

"Looking around" / "searching the room".
Anything that doesn't involve examining something in particular .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?
Not particularly

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?
No

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?
Generally its a combination of both.

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?
Advantages I'd like to see return: Imperial Spouse, Sacred Weapon, Reincarnated, Perceived Honor
Disadvantages I'd like to see return: Cursed by the Realm

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?
No, most seem relatively intuitive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Issues with Skills:

  • cap of level 5 implied in several places but not explicit
  • No explicit  deception social skill
  • Chargen cap of 3 needs to be more clear and on the worksheets.
  • should not be able to count a given skill more than once per school rank for raising school rank
  • calligraphy perhaps should be a separate artisan skill from compose . It's important enough a thematic element to warrant it, and rounds out the list
  • Design is not a good name for the described ability - which is fashion.

Activities not clearly covered: Calligraphy really isn't covered thematically by compose. Searching. 

Advantages and disadvantages: Narratively. And often.

Momoku is nowhere near as bad as it was under prior editions.

Missing advantages/disadvantages: Imperial Spouse, Nemurani, Estate.

Ads/disads at table - all seem pretty straightforward except for the being linked to one ring. Ditch that, please, for anything that does not explicitly need to use it mechanically (IOW it's fine for tainted).

I am really disliking the approaches more and more the more I use them. They're not readily memorized, and so I'm HAVING to run with the list in front of me ALL the time. 

Social combat got utterly nerfed.

It's too hard to kill; even to kill minions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Issues with Skills:

  • should not be able to count a given skill more than once per school rank for raising school rank

 

This is already stated in the beta (page 45)

Quote

In addition to specific skills, techniques, and rings, school advancement tables include a skill group: this means that as long as you have spent XP on a skill found within that skill group, it will count toward advancement. Note that you cannot count XP twice: if a school includes both the Martial Arts [Melee] skill and the Martial skill group on the advancement table, you do not get to list XP for both lines if you increase your ranks in the Martial Arts [Melee] skill—that XP counts only for the more specific line. There is no limit to how much XP can be spent within a skill group. Also note that techniques and skill ranks gained during character creation do not count toward the XP needed to rank up in your school.


 

Edited by JorArns

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Government feels like a Social Skill

To me the government skill represents your character's knowledge and skill of how to govern (such as what's an acceptable tax rate for the given city or what's the most efficient labor to pay ratio for building a new bridge with regards to worker happiness). I thought about having some courtiers basically be administrators and governors outside of their normal court duties. Or castle lords who make decisions each month about how they should run the city/their part of the clan. The social aspects would simply be your character using the other social skills at court/in the public eye to further their political goals.

Other than that I agree with a lot of what you said.

Edit: also things having to do with law would probably fit under government.

Edited by tokugawa77

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2017‎年‎11‎月‎2‎日 at 10:28 AM, FFG Max Brooke said:

Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

 - I would like to have horse-riding be its own skill instead of under survival. I would also like to see some mechanics specifically for horse-riding, because horses were used quite frequently in battle and especially with the unicorn clan focusing on horses. I think the shinjo outrider school ability is perhaps too vague to be used effectively. It is basically just "your GM will have to come up with a bunch of mechanics for how your horse can be effectively utilized in the game and for common purposes like mounted combat." Other than that it's just "your character owns a horse, nothing changes." Also a bit weird that only they can use horses for anything other than an item your character has.

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

- I think the artisan skills are a bit confusing because it is hard to tell whether they pertain to physical applications of those skills (as artisans usually "create" some product or experience using their skills). Or whether they are simply your character knowing what looks good. If I was performing a tea ceremony, which skill would I use? and why would being good at that skill also make me comparatively good at flower arranging or using carpentry to craft a nice table?

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

- We haven't really had the advantages/disadvantages come up in our session we did, but I would say I would do them narratively. If it makes sense for an advantage or disadvantage to apply, then I don't see why we wouldn't invoke it even if the specific ring wasn't being used or whatever. Similarly, if it does involve the ring or check then we would include that too.

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

- Same ones that other people are recommending (it's been so long since I played older editions that I can't think of specific ones off the top of my head). I usually just make ones up as needed, but it helps greatly to have ones pre listed that cover a lot of common cases. That way character gen is easier and people can get an idea of what they want.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?

- I would say the most troublesome ones for me are the ones that involve having another character with a specific relationship to the character. Don't get me wrong I like these a lot and definitely want to still see them in, but for me personally it can be a lot more work for me to create and keep track of a whole new character and then make sure they have an actual place in the campaign. If the player gains these companions organically during gameplay then it is fine because I will usually have the character at least somewhat fleshed out and the characters have already had an interaction with them so it is easier for everyone to relate and remember who they are and what their relationship is. It goes a lot better than a player who starts the game with like 3 unspecified people they know who do various things to/for them etc.

EDIT: As far as a horse-riding skill goes, they could have it as something like equestrian or horsemanship. That way it is fairly general like the other skills and takes care of not only the skill needed to ride a horse while performing other tasks like combat effectively, but also care and maintenance of horses.

Edited by tokugawa77
extra info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After thinking a little bit about the Approaches-as-Skills idea, I came up with the following list of Skills:

 

Artisan

Martial

High

Social

Common

Air

Calligraphy (Refine)

Unarmed Combat (Feint)

Awareness (Analyze)

Deception (Trick)

Stealth (Con)

Earth

Medicine (Restore)

Defense (Withstand)

Lore (Recall)

Etiquette (Reason)

Craft (Produce)

Fire

Acting (Invent)

Melee Weapons (Overwhelm)

Governorship (Theorize)

Instruction (Incite)

Security (Innovate)

Water

Games (Adapt)

Athletics (Shift)

Investigation (Survey)

Temptation (Charm)

Commerce (Exchange)

Void

Perform (Attune)

Ranged Weapons (Sacrifice)

Meditation (Sense)

Subtlety (Enlighten)

Hunting (Subsist)

 

Forgery

Battle

Culture

Manipulation

Animal Handling

 

Engineering

Horsemanship

Theology

Intimidation

Sailing

So there are five "connected" Skills, each being tied to a specific Approach. Each of these Skills uses the tied Approach as their primary Approach and thus have a specific Ring as "you should use this Ring most of the time". There are also two "extra" Skills in each Skill Group that are not tied to any Approach. For example, you mostly use Earth with Defense to Withstand, Water with Investigation to Survey, Air with Stealth to Con, etc. But Manipulation (the old Courtier Skill) can be used for a lot of things freely. I also renamed the Skills (and two of the Skill Groups) for ease of understanding. 

How does it look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my take on this phase:

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

Some were unintuitive like bservation/spotting...

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

Yes, in my humble opinion there are skills that should be tied together like Aesthetic, Design and Composition and they are separated while you have other skills that are part of a group that should be separated like Horse Riding under Survival. I can understand handling a horse under Survival but to be honest if you want Horsemanship or whatever you want to name it under one skill doesn’t fitness make more sense, since riding a horse tires both the rider and the steed?Also will it be possible to bring Investigation back? Ohave name that not are the best match. I think this section could be revised carefully, as skills are an important part of the game. Please let’s take our time and get through this carefully.

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

Both

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

Ishiken-do, Reincarnated, Sacred Weapon, Seven Fortune’s Blessing, Cursed by the Realms, Obligation.

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?

None so far. But they need more diversity.

Share this post


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

should not be able to count a given skill more than once per school rank for raising school rank

 

4 hours ago, JorArns said:

This is already stated in the beta (page 45)

No, it's not. You missed the line "There is no limit to how much XP can be spent within a skill group. " (Also on page 45.)

I could, RAW now, if allowed the Martial group, dump all 16 points on raising , say meditation...

2 for rank 1, 4, for rank 2, 6 for rank 3, 8 for rank 4, and rank up.

Edited by AK_Aramis
Expanding thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skills:

I like that the list has been trimmed down and is high level enough, but as others pointed out, it's not always clear which does what, and some skills are "more equal than others" (Fitness, Tactics... Survival is a good one too, especially if you use it for tracking and general perception).

I am ok with the way Investigation works though, with no specific skill.

Advantages/Disadvantages:

Mostly, they feel a little bland compared to previous editions. Mechanical effects are always the same (but that's understandable given that there is no variable "cost" to buy advantages), but some seem to apply in much more valuable situations. Anything that lets you apply it to Martial Arts rolls (Ambidexterity, Flexibility, Keen sight... for the 3 main skills) seems overpowered as the character will just reroll two dice on his favorite attack rolls.

Also, the one-mechanic fits all does not allow for some of the advantages from previous editions: Inheritance, Sacred Weapons, Wealthy... have an effect on your equipment but should not impact your dice rolls. Maybe these can be rolled into the Heritage table, though, but it would need more options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:
  • should not be able to count a given skill more than once per school rank for raising school rank

I must be misunderstanding what you mean by this then.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

No, it's not. You missed the line "There is no limit to how much XP can be spent within a skill group. " (Also on page 45.)

I could, RAW now, if allowed the Martial group, dump all 16 points on raising , say meditation...

2 for rank 1, 4, for rank 2, 6 for rank 3, 8 for rank 4, and rank up.

OK...? It still doesn't mean you can count the same skill twice in any given rank(unless I am misunderstanding the rule itself, which is, of course, possible). Again, I must be misunderstanding what you mean.

Quote

Note that you cannot count XP twice: if a school includes both the Martial Arts [Melee] skill and the Martial skill group on the advancement table, you do not get to list XP for both lines if you increase your ranks in the Martial Arts [Melee] skill—that XP counts only for the more specific line. There is no limit to how much XP can be spent within a skill group.

I take this to mean the Bolded line is also under the rule of the Italicized line. Meaning, to me, that if I were to use the Martial Skill Group for example, I could only count the XP spent on Meditation once for the purposes of ranking up, though I could count Martial Arts [Melee} and Martial Arts [Ranged] as per usual. That's just the way it looks to me though. :)

Edited by JorArns
Clarity

Share this post


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

Meaning, to me, that if I were to use the Martial Skill Group for example, I could only count the XP spent on Meditation once for the purposes of ranking up, though I could count Martial Arts [Melee} and Martial Arts [Ranged] as per usual. That's just the way it looks to me though. :)

Here's an example. Say that your current advancement table lists martial skill group on one line and martial arts[melee] on another. If you spend xp to upgrade martial arts[melee], some people may wonder if they can list 2 xp on the martial arts [melee] line and 2 on the martial skill group line since the upgraded skill is also part of the martial group. The listing in the book simply clarifies that in the case of an overlap like this, you only note experience spent on the more specific line, being martial arts [melee] in this case. You can still spend as much xp as you want on the relevant groups to rank up school.
 

What AK_Aramis is trying to point out is that he would prefer it to be that school rank cannot be increased solely by dumping xp into 1 skill.

This might help to illustrate it a bit

Note that you cannot count XP twice (if a school includes both the Martial Arts [Melee] skill and the Martial skill group on the advancement table, you do not get to list XP for both lines; if you increase your ranks in the Martial Arts [Melee] skillthat XP counts only for the more specific line.) There is no limit to how much XP can be spent within a skill group.

The formatting here isn't trying to be rude, just to try and help point out the nuances of the sentence which can definitely be easy to misunderstand.

Also an example from the book right below the quoted material

Quote

Emily’s character is a Hida Defender. She’s rank 1 within her school, and she wants to spend 2 XP on increasing her character’s Martial Arts [Unarmed] skill rank to 1. That counts as 2 XP toward the Martial skill group: e.g., 2 XP toward graduating to school rank 2. She decides at a later time to spend 4 XP on increasing Martial Arts [Unarmed] skill to rank 2. Now, she’s spent a total of 6 XP in the Martial skill group line, and all 6 XP count toward getting to the 16 XP she needs to achieve rank 2 in her school. [bold added to make it easier to notice]

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JorArns said:

I must be misunderstanding what you mean by this then.

OK...? It still doesn't mean you can count the same skill twice in any given rank(unless I am misunderstanding the rule itself, which is, of course, possible). Again, I must be misunderstanding what you mean.

I take this to mean the Bolded line is also under the rule of the Italicized line. Meaning, to me, that if I were to use the Martial Skill Group for example, I could only count the XP spent on Meditation once for the purposes of ranking up, though I could count Martial Arts [Melee} and Martial Arts [Ranged] as per usual. That's just the way it looks to me though. :)

But you could dump 18 on meditation because it's not on the specific line, and inside the skill group, and there's no limit inside the skill group.  

That whole section needs a rewrite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

Investigation

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

Fitness has a really odd name not fitting with the universe and super confusing (I have to read fitness to remember what it does). As people have pointed out, group skills and such aren't clear.

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

They are so bland with just do them narratively mostly...

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

Blessings and curses of the 7 fortunes

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?

Not really... they are so bland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

  • We've had no specific problem with skills, because when searching the players have been examining 'the blood spatter' or 'the door' or 'the tracks on the road' meaning there's a specific 'thing' being investigated and hence picking a skill to match it isn't too hard.
  • I like this approach to investigation. The fact that you need to know something about a subject before you spot abnormalities relating to it makes sense to me. 
  • If put into a room and told 'search it for clues' where there isn't a non-obvious object to investigate I'm not sure how it would go.
  • Obviously I know (as the GM) what the item-associated-with-clue is (let's say for the sake of an example that the fact that a famous blade resting in a Daisho stand has been replaced with a credible but imperfect forgery to allow a thief a head start), so I can tell them what skill to roll on, but that does rather telegraph the item in question (because what else would I be asking them to roll on Smithing for?) even if they fail the check.
  • The problem will come up if someone essentially says "I search the room to find anything out of place" rather than "I look at XYZ".
    • I have no problem with a Survey roll using the water ring, or a Recall roll using the earth ring to remember where everything was (if they've been there before), but a skill doesn't really jump out.
    • Theoretically I could 'hide' the skill (meaning you just roll on the ring) in return for a void point if the check was failed, in the same way you  might hide the TN of a check and award a void point as compensation if the check was failed?
  • We're going to try a new adventure (I have something vaguely swashbuckling in mind involving pirates preying on Imperial Trade Ships returning from the Islands of Spice and Silk) so I'll try and put a similar scenario into the adventure and see if it causes an issue and/or how it resolves in practice.
18 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

  • Not really. Aesthetics, Composition and Design do feel like they have very narrow fields compared to 'fitness' or 'survival', but then we've only played A Ronin's Path to date, so we've not had a major 'court' session, and you could say much the same about the three variations on Martial Arts.
18 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

  • Narratively. Players being players, they tend to be very good at asking when they can apply an advantage!
  • They're still very much in the mindset of hoarding fate points (40k RPG) rather than the more dynamic economy of Destiny Points (SWRPG), and I suspect Void Points are meant to be closer to the latter, so we've not seen them deliberately call up disadvantages for mechanical advantage, but they're pretty good at mentioning them when they think they might be relevant - Shiba Mishiko's Haunted Adversity, for example, was something she was very worried about when undergoing the cleansing ritual by the Kuni Shujenga in A Ronin's Path - thinking her Brother's ghost might be taken fora Shadowlands taint. 
18 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

  • I don't have any prior edition experience.
  • At the same time, the ability to define a 'custom' advantage or disadvantage (because they all have the same mechanical effect and all I'm doing as the GM is vetting to see if the defined scope is going to trigger too often or not often enough) means I can't see it being a real problem.
  • At the same time, more clan/specific event related advantages or disadvantages would be good. In the case of a putative clan sourcebook, I could see additional advantages/disadvantages and replacement ancestries being a good way to tie a character into specific bits of a clan and to drip-feed recent Rokugani history (e.g. "Veteran of XYZ battle" or namechecking a specific individual from the last few generations as an ancestor).
18 hours ago, FFG Max Brooke said:

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages you have had trouble using at the table?

  • Yes and No. 
  • We haven't had a problem per se with the Passion Animal Bond, but there is a potential balance issue with it because unlike most passions it specifically gives you something tangible to go with the mechanical strife removal benefit: 
Quote

Choose one silhouette 0 or 1 animal; it follows you around wherever you go and generally acts as your companion. It can be cajoled to do what you want, but it might need incentives (usually food) to perform difficult tasks on demand. If you are granted an animal as part of your starting outfit, that animal can be your companion (regardless of the usual size restrictions).

  • We gave our Scorpion Clan Ninja, who took this passion, a Hawk (it's size 1, and has stats). It sounded fitting. 
  • Even allowing for a Survival check to direct it, we discovered a hawk is a REALLY dangerous combatant to an unwary opponent; Air 4, Martial Arts [Unarmed] 2 and claws with deadliness 5!
    • A dog or cat, by comparison, isn't that bad.
    • I just wasn't expecting a PC's pet to essentially solo an adversary-level opponent...

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

claws with deadliness 5!

FFG. WTF? That's more dangerous than almost every single martial weapon on the table.  An Otsuchi is deadliness 3.  An arrow is deadliness 3.  A SPEAR is deadliness 3.

Guys.  Sort it out!

Edited by GaGrin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2017 at 10:28 AM, FFG Max Brooke said:

Greetings L5R Testers!This week, our discussion topic is Skills, Advantages, and Disadvantages. 

Howdy!

Quote

•Are there any activities you have wanted to pursue during a session that are not clearly covered by one or more skills?

I understand why there isn't one "notice stuff" Skill, but its absence means my players have struggled to figure out what they should be rolling in any given situation.

Suggestion: specify -- more clearly than the book (and the relevant sidebar) currently do -- which Skills are used for "notice stuff" in which broad situations -- i.e. Sentiment in social situations, Survival in the wilderness, Tactics in combat.

I think the lack of Investigation is a specific deficit. It's currently very XP-intensive to build e.g. a Kitsuki Investigator who's both capable of (1) competently investigating all situations and (2) being good at literally anything else.

Suggestion: re-implement Investigation, making clear that it cannot be used for "notice stuff."

Quote

•Are there any skills that have confused you in their implementation?

I think rolling Iaijutsu into Martial Arts [Melee] was a bad idea. I've talked about this at length elsewhere. Here's the short version:

Iaijutsu is one of the two cornerstones of legal process in Rokugan. As a profession, iaijutsu duelists aren't warriors; they're lawyers.

The system already contains trade-offs for specializing in one aspect of the game (court, war, magic, murder). It should include a trade-off for specializing in iaijutsu. There should be a deeper, more expensive way for iaijutsu duelists to differentiate themselves from warriors. As it is now, the duelist archetype doesn't have much mechanical support once you reach School Rank 2 and can buy both Iaijutsu: [Name] Techniques regardless of whether you're a Kakita Duelist.

Suggestion 1: re-implement Iaijutsu as a skill. Require players to use the Iaijutsu Skill instead of Martial Arts [Melee] during iaijutsu duels.

Suggestion 2: re-implement Iaijutsu as a Skill. Allow players to use either Iaijutsu or Martial Arts [Melee] in iaijutsu duels. Implement additional Iaijutsu: [Name] Techniques at each Rank, and require a minimum Skill rank of Iaijutsu (in addition to School Rank) to purchase them. 

Suggestion 3: create additional Iaijutsu: [Name] Techniques that can only be purchased by Duelist Schools, e.g. Kakita Duelist, Mirumoto Bushi, Bayushi Bushi.

Quote

•Does your group generally apply advantages and disadvantages narratively, or only to the specific listed checks and rings?

Both. More narratively than mechanically given the nature of the game.

Quote

•Are there any advantages or disadvantages from prior iterations of the game you would want to see return?

Why yes! They include:

  • Yogo Curse
  • [Clan] Weapon
  • [Fortune]'s Blessing
  • [Fortune]'s Curse
  • Dark Fate

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

After thinking a little bit about the Approaches-as-Skills idea, I came up with the following list of Skills...

I think @AtoMaki's list is too large, but in general, it's an improvement over what's there. 

My 30,000 foot feedback: the Skill list needs to be more user friendly than it currently is. I think you could borrow the Skill list wholesale from Exalted 3rd Edition and be 95% there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Doji Meshou said:

Dark Fate

I don't want to see this return as a disadvantage some will look at as an advantage.

I'd like Great Destiny's "cheating death" and Dark Fate's "something very bad is waiting for you to happen" to be available options you can combine into the old Dark Fate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Iaijutsu. As it sits, it's weak sauce. There's no explicit way to force a stress-out in a duel, and it is really only truly useful if you can.

OTOH, if you can do so, and succeed on the hit, it's a cracking good hit...

Iaijutsu had non-duel uses in 2E/3E... if you were trained in it, you could use it on round 1 for a draw-and-strike in place of Katana or Wakizashi, and not have to make a raise to draw & strike.

That said, I would suggest, like horsemanship, these should be "limiter skills" - you cannot use more skill dice than the lower of the limiter skill or the primary skill. So, attacks from horseback, use lower of Iaijutsu or Horsemanship. Quick draw outside the duel/clash, use lower of Iaijutsu or melee. Quickdraw on horse, lowest of the three.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2017 at 11:28 AM, FFG Max Brooke said:

..()

•Searching without knowing what you're searching for is tough sometimes. I tend to make it based on location. If you're searching the woods, survival, if you're searching a blacksmith shop, smithing. If you know what's supposed to be there, you can usually tell if something's amiss, right?
•Nope they all seem pretty straight forward, even if I keep calling courtesy sincerity on reflex.
•We've only ever brought up advantages/disadvantages in seemingly the worst time. "Hey..Wouldn't your illness prevent you from running away from that wolf like that?" Would like to bring them up more in the next sessions, though.
•Hero of the People, Prodigy, Great Potential, Inner Gift, Gaijin Gear. For disadvantages, Black Sheep, Consumed (The Shourido), Hostage, Lost Love, True Love, 
•Not really. Daredevil makes me a bit apprehensive since I don't want someone to be able to use it every single round of combat (after all fighting is risking your life!), a daredevil duelist would be insane if that were the case, but none that I have actually had trouble with yet.

Edited by KillingGoblinBabiesIsDishonorable
im dumb

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...