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The old Air Stance gave +1 to TN. 

The new Air Stance gives +1-3 to TN based on School Rank. 

While at low levels, where most people might playtest the Beta, this might not seem like a problem, at high levels Air Stance combined with Striking as Air isn't just optimal, it's a One True Path. Air Stance becomes better at avoiding Earth Stance at avoiding crits. While Earth Stance prevents Opportunities from being spent on crits, Air Stance does essentially the same thing by making your opponent keep all their successes to even land a hit, thus usually lacking the necessary Opportunities, if they even hit at all. Further, Air Stance stops crits from Heartpiercing Strike or Iaijutsu: Rising Slash, which Earth Stance does nothing to avoid. 

At high school ranks, Air Stance and Striking as Air allow someone to average a TN of 8-9 while still maintaining offense. This high of a TN often leaves someone untouchable. 

Worse, Air Stance makes combat BORING. Imagine two people who use it fighting each other. It creates a boring D&D-esque scenario of two high Armor Class characters swinging at each other uselessly forever. You can't even disable someone using Air Stance with crits that inflict a status because Air Stance usually disables getting hit. 

The counter argument I saw was that at high school ranks, Air Stance was bad because it was only a +1 and this didn't matter. That is mathematically not true. While explosions and Void Points can raise kept dice, even at the highest ranks characters generally keep only around 5 dice. Air Stance at high ranks reduced damage suffered by lowering average successes, and made it harder to be crit by making opponents have to keep more successes as opposed to Opportunities. Combined with Striking as Air, the old Air Stance was effective at all ranks. 

The change of wounds to fatigue helps answer complaints of the Fantasy that "I don't want to get hit in a fight" by stopping damage from meaning your character is sliced open. However, the new Air Stance goes too far and is 1) a One True Path and 2) makes combat boring and uneventful. 

I have seen complaints about Earth Stance being too strong, but while that could be true as well, the new Air Stance is a huge balance problem at higher ranks.

Is this game only intended to be balanced at low school ranks? 

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14 minutes ago, CrazyRadio said:

The old Air Stance gave +1 to TN. 

The new Air Stance gives +1-3 to TN based on School Rank. 

While at low levels, where most people might playtest the Beta, this might not seem like a problem, at high levels Air Stance combined with Striking as Air isn't just optimal, it's a One True Path. Air Stance becomes better at avoiding Earth Stance at avoiding crits. While Earth Stance prevents Opportunities from being spent on crits, Air Stance does essentially the same thing by making your opponent keep all their successes to even land a hit, thus usually lacking the necessary Opportunities, if they even hit at all. Further, Air Stance stops crits from Heartpiercing Strike or Iaijutsu: Rising Slash, which Earth Stance does nothing to avoid. 

At high school ranks, Air Stance and Striking as Air allow someone to average a TN of 8-9 while still maintaining offense. This high of a TN often leaves someone untouchable. 

Worse, Air Stance makes combat BORING. Imagine two people who use it fighting each other. It creates a boring D&D-esque scenario of two high Armor Class characters swinging at each other uselessly forever. You can't even disable someone using Air Stance with crits that inflict a status because Air Stance usually disables getting hit. 

The counter argument I saw was that at high school ranks, Air Stance was bad because it was only a +1 and this didn't matter. That is mathematically not true. While explosions and Void Points can raise kept dice, even at the highest ranks characters generally keep only around 5 dice. Air Stance at high ranks reduced damage suffered by lowering average successes, and made it harder to be crit by making opponents have to keep more successes as opposed to Opportunities. Combined with Striking as Air, the old Air Stance was effective at all ranks.

Did you perhaps not notice that Striking as air got nerfed so that it now requires two opportunity per bonus TN after the first? This balances things out when compared to the old air stance.

 

At rank  5 or 6:

0 Op goes from 3 TN to 5

1 Op goes from 4 to 6

2 Ops goes from 5 to 6

3 ops goes from 6 to 7

4 and 5 ops are unchanged (7 and 8 respectively)

If you looked at a rank 1 or 2 you'd see a similar difference in the opposite direction and that's the point of this change, since high level characters can manage to deal with high tns much more easily than low level characters can.

 

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I'm with you 100%  Even with the Striking as Air nerf - the new Air stance lets you stay full offensive with a TN of 3-5 which is actually really high...  Not only does it make you hard to hit - but the primary driver is opportunity driven effects to land crits or disables, breaking armor, ect or bonus successes to add extra damage and a high TN directly negates all of these.

The other stances don't scale anyway - except for Ring of Fire.  Earth gives a flat negation - and sure, while its more likely to help at higher ranks it isn't a scaling effect.  Ring of Water and Void don't scale at all.  Ring of Fire scales - but still requires the standard check to pass, and only adds bonus success - which is the smallest of bonus types, amounting only to extra damage.

The way the stances all scale is through the kata.  Earth can get more tanky, fire can get heavier crits, and air would boost the TN...  There was no reason to go and change this. 

Edited by shosuko

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hmm lets see at rank 4 and 5 your going to have a 5 ring  and a 5 skill in your chosen martial arts so that  10 dice  and 5 keep so lets check this in some rolls lets say you get that +3 for your rank that a tn of 5 and if you get really unlucky and get just opportunities  on a 5 keep and lets say ya got 6 of them do to an explosion using striking as air that is +3 tn for a total tn of  8 stance   took 4 swings to hit but it needed 3 explosions with each becoming a success to do it. but again this is assuming you got a decent striking as air boost. now base tn 5  first roll with 2 explosions got 6 successes so +1 damage now depending on weapon this might be effective but if it;s a katana at rank 6 you should probably if your expecting  battle have  plate armor so you just busted your sword if you where not in fire stance in fire stance you did 5 damage and only 1 opportunity.  so for a high rank game I do not think it's as bad as it  looks true with a really good striking with air result you will be strong for a round but if you choose to keep enough opportunities to do that (I would say 4 opportunities min) you will probably not hit your Target and if your opponent is in fire stance he will probably over come your air stance with strife. so it might draw out battle  a little bit but over all I still feel earth is worse cause of how much it really dose take away from  the most basic mechanic of the game opportunities. now if earth stance simple took out the targeting you statement from the earth stance  it would make it that you are the only one that can help yourself in that stance so it would make it more balanced.  that's my thoughts

Edited by Grodark

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@AK_Aramis  50% chance on each die to get a success and 50% chance to get an explosion = like a 75% chance to get some sort of success on any one die  10 dice keeping 1/2 of them  you have over a 75% chance   to get 5 successes of one kind or another

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1 hour ago, Grodark said:

@AK_Aramis  50% chance on each die to get a success and 50% chance to get an explosion = like a 75% chance to get some sort of success on any one die  10 dice keeping 1/2 of them  you have over a 75% chance   to get 5 successes of one kind or another

1) you don't get to explode before picking kept dice.

2) you only get to keep Ring+Helpers. 

3) you can only expect 1.66 explosions, and 2/3 of those require strife.

So, you can reliably expect 5 successes. 

5* 1/2 + 5*7/12 = 5/2+ 35/12 = 2.5 S on rings and just a hair shy of 3 (2 and 11/12) on skill.  THis gives an expected range of 2+2 to 3+3, but you can only keep 5, and only one is likely to be an explode in either side... so you can reliably expect 4 solidly on 5+5k5, 5 most of the time, but 6 is less than 1/6 of the time.

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ok I just did 3 sets of 10   set 1 15/10(150%) 18/10 (180%) and a 20/10(200%) generated explosions  each set had 2  that had no explosions 

set 1 2 and 3  where  1.5  per roll  1.8 per roll and 2 per roll averages  

the top rolls on all 3 sets  3 4 4

all sets got a 3 2 times  2 3 time

so not sure how your getting  1/6th as an average explosion success for 6 successes  when they have the same odds to roll a success as there base die.

 

 

5k5explosions.txt

Edited by Grodark

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It's quite simple analytically, in fact. On 10 rolled dice, you have almost 84% chance to roll at least one explosion. Both Skill and Ring dice have one chance in six to roll one (2/12 and 1/6 respectively). So rolling no explosion at all happens with a probability of (5/6)^10 = 16.15%. Rolling at least one explosion means any of the possible rolls except for those 16.15%, so take 1 minus that and you get 83.85%.

Probability to roll a success on a skill die is (7/12)/(1-1/6) = 70% exactly

On a Ring die: (1/2)/(1-1/6) = 60%

Now as AK_Aramis said, you only explode your dice after you keep them, and most of those explosions also cost Strife. What will happen is that you will probably be able to reliably hit TN5, a little less reliably TN6 (but still not too far from 50% I guess), BUT you will have to keep every success and exploding success you get, so you're way less likely to get opportunities or control Strife efficiently.

Since the last Forum thread on the same topic I did have the time to run a few "real-life" tests and it does slow down combat, especially when the Air stance target uses Striking as Air (but in a many vs many situation, it's less of an issue: the Kata only gives a bonus vs the "next attack", so have a grunt hack away with no hope of hitting, and they make the rest gang up on the TN5... still it's sad to have to resort to this kind of gamey tactics).

Finally, just one point: assuming a 10k5 roll event at higher ranks is probably a "best case" assumption. The provincial Daimyo, with his combat conflict rank of 7 will roll 8k4 at best on martial skills. And PCs should have an incentive to change stances depending on the situation, so they may not always use their best Ring for every attack action... (well unless their best Ring is Air, in the current state of the rules, because then they have very little incentive to drop out of it ;p)

Edited by Franwax

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Note that the oni in chapter 6 can get 6+5k6 on Combat (Fire).

Don't forget that the provincial daimyō:

A3 E4 F4 W4 V4  Res 14, Comp 16, Foc 7, Vig 4
Artisan 1, Martial 4, Scholar 3, Social 3, Trade 2 

with the Warlike adjustment is:

A3 E4 F5 W4 V4  Res 14, Comp 16, Foc 7, Vig 4
Artisan 1, Martial 5, Scholar 3, Social 4, Trade 2 

And so can be rolling 5+5k5 in combat in fire stance.

If he's perceptive, instead...
A4 E4 F4 W4 V4  Res 14, Comp 16, Foc 7, Vig 4
Artisan 1, Martial 5, Scholar 4, Social 3, Trade 2 
4+5k4 in air, fire, or water

Several other personality type modifiers can push him up to 5+4k5

 

 

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Correct, you can add a template... but that also increases the conflict rank, so CR 8 for the provincial Daimyo. One vs one against a rank 5 PC, he should dominate the fight... but if the PC is in Air stance, he's in trouble. He will hit from time to time and slowly eat away the PC's Resilience, but he will be in Fire stance: the PC will easily hit too AND land critical strikes with opportunities to spare.

At first, I was glad that the Air stance bonus had been revised... but now I'm afraid we've swung to the opposite extreme: a high rank PC in Air stance has no solid counter and is likely to win against superior odds more often than not.

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9 hours ago, Franwax said:

Correct, you can add a template... but that also increases the conflict rank, so CR 8 for the provincial Daimyo. One vs one against a rank 5 PC, he should dominate the fight... but if the PC is in Air stance, he's in trouble. He will hit from time to time and slowly eat away the PC's Resilience, but he will be in Fire stance: the PC will easily hit too AND land critical strikes with opportunities to spare.

At first, I was glad that the Air stance bonus had been revised... but now I'm afraid we've swung to the opposite extreme: a high rank PC in Air stance has no solid counter and is likely to win against superior odds more often than not.

I agree.

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I admit I don't fully understand why the change was required, or why it's supposed to be good. 

Yes, I know people were upset there was no 'passive' to hit bonus for higher level character's defenses, but making air stance better whilst making striking-as-air worse seemse counterintuitive.

Especially since it scales with school rank, not ring rank, it actually makes air stance as a defensive approach most appealing to characters who don't have a high air score (because they may have a high school rank but wouldn't have been able to garner many opportunities in a martial arts [air] check and hence wouldn't be inclined to spend XP on striking-as-air). 

 

 

Also, what is an Adversary-level opponent supposed to do in air stance?

We can assume (fairly logically) that their Conflict Rank is considered equivalent to a school rank, but it's not stated anywhere as such in either the beta rulebook or the update.

Otherwise, what is the school rank of (for example) Kazanagan no Oni? Worse, do you really want a Provincial Daimyo (conflict rank 7) requiring TN6 base to be hit in air stance?

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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maybe if your hurting you switch to air stance to avoid being hit  use your 2 movement to move away and  your action to take a calming breath and recover strife and fatigue

Edited by Grodark

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I admit I don't fully understand why the change was required, or why it's supposed to be good. 

Yes, I know people were upset there was no 'passive' to hit bonus for higher level character's defenses, but making air stance better whilst making striking-as-air worse seemse counterintuitive.

Its a standard "Step 1: ID possible problem, Step 2: create fix that might work, Step 3: test fix, Step 4: If fix discovered to be flawed return to step 2 else go to Step 1 for a new problem."

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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On 5.11.2017 at 10:48 AM, Franwax said:

Correct, you can add a template... but that also increases the conflict rank, so CR 8 for the provincial Daimyo. One vs one against a rank 5 PC, he should dominate the fight... but if the PC is in Air stance, he's in trouble. He will hit from time to time and slowly eat away the PC's Resilience, but he will be in Fire stance: the PC will easily hit too AND land critical strikes with opportunities to spare.

At first, I was glad that the Air stance bonus had been revised... but now I'm afraid we've swung to the opposite extreme: a high rank PC in Air stance has no solid counter and is likely to win against superior odds more often than not.

A high rank PC in Air stance does not need a counter. We are not playinga  competetive game here and PVP is also not a foucs of the game.  Actually it is fiting that a high ranking PC has such a high defense because afterall the PCs are the center
of the story. It is only logical that they can outclass the NPCs who are only there to help in telling the story of the PC. Exsepcially in sucha  late stage where the normal progression shoudl go for a resloution of the story and the defeat of the antagonists.

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20 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

A high rank PC in Air stance does not need a counter. We are not playinga  competetive game here and PVP is also not a foucs of the game.  Actually it is fiting that a high ranking PC has such a high defense because afterall the PCs are the center

They kinda do need a counter or combat will devolve into camp Air Stance until all targets are defeated.

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1 hour ago, Teveshszat said:

A high rank PC in Air stance does not need a counter. We are not playinga  competetive game here and PVP is also not a foucs of the game.  Actually it is fiting that a high ranking PC has such a high defense because afterall the PCs are the center
of the story. It is only logical that they can outclass the NPCs who are only there to help in telling the story of the PC. Exsepcially in sucha  late stage where the normal progression shoudl go for a resloution of the story and the defeat of the antagonists.

one of my two groups didn't get that memo... they just about broke into PC vs PC duel...

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5 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I admit I don't fully understand why the change was required, or why it's supposed to be good. 

As I said earlier, the point was the nerf to striking as air and center so you couldn't get nigh unassailable TNs in the early game. The buff to air stance is to make up for that at high levels.

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47 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

one of my two groups didn't get that memo... they just about broke into PC vs PC duel...

Yeah then go and write it it for them to read. The sytem ist not balanced arround the assumption that players fight ech other it is balanced arround PCs that fight npcs( that are built with the systems npc rules in mind).

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9 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

Yeah then go and write it it for them to read. The sytem ist not balanced arround the assumption that players fight ech other it is balanced arround PCs that fight npcs( that are built with the systems npc rules in mind).

It needs to be. Winter court type stories are not alien to the corpus of the prior editions, and are a blast to run - with the right players - and are high on the PVP.

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1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

It needs to be. Winter court type stories are not alien to the corpus of the prior editions, and are a blast to run - with the right players - and are high on the PVP.

You run winter court stories with multiple npc factions the players need to overcome.  PVP is not a focus of the game and therfore not an aspect it needs to be ballanced arround.
What you want to do with it is classical PVE even in social situations.

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4 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

They kinda do need a counter or combat will devolve into camp Air Stance until all targets are defeated.

Yup, and I was not only talking about PVP. There needs to be viable and realistic villain options to compete too, and make it so Air stance is not the single best option at high ranks.

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