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1 minute ago, Franwax said:

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.

No you don´t need a villian option that can beat this at this stage of the game as the only ones who are able to stance are adversaries. Since you probably get rank 5 near the end of the game
the adversary should now be at the point where the time has come for the pcs to defeat him and end the story.  It is important tha adversaries are strong during the main part of the game to
let the pcs struggel but in the end the pcs outclassing the npcs is totaly ok as it fits fine with the planned defeat of the antagonist in a story arc.

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40 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

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.

I disagree. Samurai fiction is full of ally vs ally clashes. Courtly stories often have friends with opposing goals. "Nakama"tic rivals might regularly duel each other as a way of training. 

Also @AK_Aramis was referring to a series of large scale (50+ player) games were groups of players participated in a Imperial Winter Court as each clan's diplomatic retinue. Most of those events had deadly PvP duels that ended up widely talked about.

Saying that PvP isn't or shouldn't be a focus of this game is blatantly false.

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2 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

I disagree. Samurai fiction is full of ally vs ally clashes. Courtly stories often have friends with opposing goals. "Nakama"tic rivals might regularly duel each other as a way of training. 

Also @AK_Aramis was referring to a series of large scale (50+ player) games were groups of players participated in a Imperial Winter Court as each clan's diplomatic retinue. Most of those events had deadly PvP duels that ended up widely talked about.

Saying that PvP isn't or shouldn't be a focus of this game is blatantly false.

But that does not change the fact that this system does not have PVP as focus and never had. And thats why it will also be not balanced arround it.
I know what he was refering to and thats also not a thing the game will be balanced arround because these large scale games are not what you expect to happen. The ttpycial group of players is 4 to 5 man and thats
the number you ballance the systeme arround. As you can see there is more than nough room for enemy npc factions.
So yeah no balancing for 50 + players is to be expected from the offical side and the same counts for PVP.
 

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28 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

No you don´t need a villian option that can beat this at this stage of the game as the only ones who are able to stance are adversaries. Since you probably get rank 5 near the end of the game
the adversary should now be at the point where the time has come for the pcs to defeat him and end the story.  It is important tha adversaries are strong during the main part of the game to
let the pcs struggel but in the end the pcs outclassing the npcs is totaly ok as it fits fine with the planned defeat of the antagonist in a story arc.

I personally like to have a challenge at every level... having the end of campaign adversary be a pushover feels a bit anticlimactic. 

But mostly, I am concerned that gameplay variety will suffer at higher ranks. If even the Hida bushi is better off picking Air Stance along with every other PC, it is a balance issue. 

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8 hours ago, Franwax said:

But mostly, I am concerned that gameplay variety will suffer at higher ranks. If even the Hida bushi is better off picking Air Stance along with every other PC, it is a balance issue. 

Agreed. And equally having an adversary NPC be either untouchable or unable to benefit from one of the stances, neither of which feels like an appropriate response.

I get that mechanically there will be differences between PC and NPC characters, but in the case of an adversary they are meant to be pretty minor because an adversary is supposed to be a fair match for a PC (or even multiple PCs).

Where the NPC is, to all intents and purposes, someone who could be a PC - a veteran samurai, for example - it would feel weird if they're artificially restricted from using some of the same mechanics that the PCs have. For minions, fair enough. Minions are for 'slicing up goons, the musical'

14 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

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."

Perhaps I should rephrase - I didn't see it particularly as a problem.

 

Still:

  • High TNs from centre/striking as air combined will make a target very hard to hit - agreed. So I will accept it as a thing people want to fix.
  • The 2 bonus successes/** for TN+1 is a simple way to counter this.
  • If this leaves high level characters feeling short of defence, fair enough.
    • The high level characters who'll be feeling let down are the ones who have a high air ring and invested into air katas
    • The new approach does not require either, which actually feels like it makes the issue worse as any high level character can now do this. Taking away their special thing and making everyone else better is a double-hit to their ability to 'stand out'.
    • If really worried about high level Air-focused bushi being sold short, why not add another opportunity technique which duplicates the old effect of Striking-As-Air. 
      • Call it some variation on the Unicorn Clan words "One cannot capture the wind.”
      • Make Striking-As-Air a prerequisite
      • Make a higher school rank a prerequisite (3? 4?)
      • If that feels like short-changing an Air-focused Bushi, give it a powerful second ** opportunity as well, maybe allowing a move if someone attacks you and misses, or giving a bonus relative to the range of the attack.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Remember that most defence in this game is passively given via Resistance, Resilience and the reduction of critical effects via the Ring/Fitness save.  The increased TN to hit is in addition to those other endurance mechanisms and multiplies the net effect.

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3 hours ago, WHW said:

If I wanted high-level characters to get more defense, I think I would rather give them either a way to shed Fatigue or straight up add a scaling "School Rank" component to Resilience. 

Agreed. Renaming "Wounds" to "fatigue" seems like the sort of change to make if they represent avoiding hits, as well as bearing through them. 

Plus, courtier schools could buff composure, while bushi and monks buff resilience. Dunno about shugenja though. (Ninjas wouldn't buff anything because there are no ninjas what are you talking about). 

Though personally I'd prefer raising resilience to shedding fatigue; I'm not a fan of healing abilities that work mid-combat. Might create a similar problem to the 4e void spend to prevent 10 wounds. Tactically potent, but just dragged out combats. 

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On 11/6/2017 at 10:36 PM, Teveshszat said:

the planned defeat of the antagonist in a story arc.

Why even play?  I don't think I'll ever understand this particular attitude to running RPGs, but each to their own I suppose.

2 hours ago, sidescroller said:

I'm not a fan of healing abilities that work mid-combat.

I think there's a place for it, but I strongly agree with the sentiment.  Combat needs to accelerate towards conclusion and climax.  If you drag it out to the point you're testing your players' endurance instead of the characters' then something has gone horribly wrong.

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10 hours ago, GaGrin said:

Why even play?  I don't think I'll ever understand this particular attitude to running RPGs, but each to their own I suppose.

Because it is still fun. It is not like everything before was a straight line of victories withou struggles. Most of the time the final boss is the one you never were abel to beat and therefore the one did horrible things to you and the rest of your group.
A good example is practically most final story bosses in an RPG videogame. Some have really great fights, no not you Yu Yevon,  but all a large pushg overs that pratically have  no chance at all against you.
Even the last bosses in the Dark Souls series are not that big of a deal if you look back at what you fought before them. 
The thing that all these have in common is that the fight in it self is a rewards for the sucessfull struggle that came before it and is there to give you one last point of satifactions as you shove your sword through the heart of
the enemy  you never had a chance to win against until now and that put you through so much misery. Btw one reason why mayn people loath the fact that Kujia is not the final boss in Final Fantasy 9. 
 

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Hey, whatever works for your group.  Though honestly, if you want full control over the direction of a story, you'd be better off just roleplaying (not with a game system).

IMO the entire point of having a randomised element is to force unexpected complications for everyone, in such a way that you cannot have a pre-determined endpoint. Your players at the table can do anything that their imagination and sense of play ambition will allow them to.  If they want to be shogun... they can be.  Or, more likely, they can try and fail to be.

In contrast CRPGs aren't remotely the same kind of beasts; they can't react to you so they have to be predetermined even if they have branching choices.

But this is super off topic.

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One way you could change Air stance so that it still reduces the chance of hitting without reducing the efficacy of the hit as much, is to change it to: "When another character makes Scheme or Attack action checks that target you, they must cancel a number of rolled dice showing successes equal to half your school rank."

By manipulating the die pool rather than the target number the attacker isn't locked out of keeping opportunities or bonus successes.

Also this way the TNs won't outgrow the number of kept dice, so someone with sufficient skill but without a high Ring value still has a chance of hitting.

Since attacker can drop successes with Strife rather than being forced to keep them in order to succeed, this version of Air stance is far less punitive to the attacker.

It's not quite as simple as the version in the update, but it shouldn't be too onerous to implement.

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2 hours ago, Moribund said:

One way you could change Air stance so that it still reduces the chance of hitting without reducing the efficacy of the hit as much, is to change it to: "When another character makes Scheme or Attack action checks that target you, they must cancel a number of rolled dice showing successes equal to half your school rank."

By manipulating the die pool rather than the target number the attacker isn't locked out of keeping opportunities or bonus successes.

Also this way the TNs won't outgrow the number of kept dice, so someone with sufficient skill but without a high Ring value still has a chance of hitting.

Since attacker can drop successes with Strife rather than being forced to keep them in order to succeed, this version of Air stance is far less punitive to the attacker.

It's not quite as simple as the version in the update, but it shouldn't be too onerous to implement.

My big concern is that we already have multiple manipulations happening.

  1. Initial pool selection
  2. TN selection (which essentially is "ignore the first (TN–1) successes")
  3. Void +r1 +k1?
  4. Help +(r1 or s1) +k1
  5. Distinction reroll 2d
  6. Keep selection
  7. Adversity reroll
  8. apply new face based upon technique or prior opportunity spends

(Passion and anxiety don't manipulate the active task; they only manipulate strife gains)

Cancelling rolled successes, mathematically is doing two things; it's essentially raising the difficulty by half as much, but also negating the rolled strife, as well as introducing another dice manipulation type.

TN manipulation is already present in many techniques, and this would be more suited for many of those, which would have cascading effects on complexity and success/failure rates.

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7 hours ago, GaGrin said:

Hey, whatever works for your group.  Though honestly, if you want full control over the direction of a story, you'd be better off just roleplaying (not with a game system).

IMO the entire point of having a randomised element is to force unexpected complications for everyone, in such a way that you cannot have a pre-determined endpoint. Your players at the table can do anything that their imagination and sense of play ambition will allow them to.  If they want to be shogun... they can be.  Or, more likely, they can try and fail to be.

Isn´t that what people allways tend to critize when talking about role vs roll playing?  What you describe is that the dicerolls matter more than the roleplaying and storytelling and that the dice shape the story.
As far as I understand narrative focuesed systems don´t want that they want a story telling exp where the player and GM are telling a story in a colaborative effort so that dice have less impact.
And for me Roleplaying is more than roiling dice as the interaciton with the world, the exploration of the world and its inhabitants and ofcourse the tale I want to tell inside of this world and watch how
this interacts with the tales my friends at the table want to tell is far more important than dice to me.
And a game system is important for this as it give clear lines for what is possible in context of the world and what not.  It also prevents a GM from behaving abitarily and making stuff up on a whim.

For your example if a pllayer wants to be shogun and it was  agreeded on such a high level of campaign before the game started than I don´´t see why the player should not should get there
after a extended struggle and character arc.

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I like the suggestion that - instead of raising the TN that the Air Stance simply blocks explosive success.  I feel this would put it in proper power balance with the rest of the stances.

On 11/6/2017 at 2:57 PM, Teveshszat said:

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.

idk - I wouldn't consider the game complete if the rules for duels, skirmishes, and intrigues weren't equally applicable in pvp as in pve.  More so in this game where Rokugan challenges the players to become divided by clan loyalties, giri, and ninjo.  If there were two players who were at an impasse, being able to settle it via a duel would be most appropriate.  In this way both have protected their honor by refusing to yield their priorities while also joining together on the route of the victor.

Also - I'm scheming pretty hard in the game I'm running to turn the final climactic scene into a duel between 2 of the players.  idk if I'll be able to pull it off, but I'm charting a course to turn two of them into righteous villains who are the only obstacles in each other's way of solving the campaign according to their tenants.  It would be a pity if the game through out pvp making this climactic scene a blunder :\

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20 minutes ago, Soshi Nimue said:

I like the suggestion that - instead of raising the TN that the Air Stance simply blocks explosive success.  I feel this would put it in proper power balance with the rest of the stances.

idk - I wouldn't consider the game complete if the rules for duels, skirmishes, and intrigues weren't equally applicable in pvp as in pve.  More so in this game where Rokugan challenges the players to become divided by clan loyalties, giri, and ninjo.  If there were two players who were at an impasse, being able to settle it via a duel would be most appropriate.  In this way both have protected their honor by refusing to yield their priorities while also joining together on the route of the victor.

Also - I'm scheming pretty hard in the game I'm running to turn the final climactic scene into a duel between 2 of the players.  idk if I'll be able to pull it off, but I'm charting a course to turn two of them into righteous villains who are the only obstacles in each other's way of solving the campaign according to their tenants.  It would be a pity if the game through out pvp making this climactic scene a blunder :\

The question is : What is the intended play style of the game. And the answer here is clearly not PVP.
The result is that the design team does not balance the abilities arround the idea of PVP. 

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9 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

The question is : What is the intended play style of the game. And the answer here is clearly not PVP.
The result is that the design team does not balance the abilities arround the idea of PVP. 

I'm going to have to disagree, having your opponent as a samurai is super common in my experience. The core mechanics for samurai vs samurai combat need to work properly and having a second hand waved set of rules for 'non PC samurai' is super underwhelming.

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Just now, rcuhljr said:

I'm going to have to disagree, having your opponent as a samurai is super common in my experience. The core mechanics for samurai vs samurai combat need to work properly and having a second hand waved set of rules for 'non PC samurai' is super underwhelming.

They do because you build the opposing samurai with the npc adversery rules. The game does not intend that you build opponents with player rules thats clear as day if you look at what players can do. It also is clearly not a pvp focused system as all the rules want you to build
npcs/opponent with different rules than you build PCs with.
This is not a PVP system and therefore it is not balanced arround it.
I agree that this is not the best way to go for a game like L5r but thats what they want to do with it.

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2 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

They do because you build the opposing samurai with the npc adversery rules. The game does not intend that you build opponents with player rules thats clear as day if you look at what players can do. It also is clearly not a pvp focused system as all the rules want you to build
npcs/opponent with different rules than you build PCs with.
This is not a PVP system and therefore it is not balanced arround it.
I agree that this is not the best way to go for a game like L5r but thats what they want to do with it.

Fair, let me re-state. I don't like the direction it's going with minions, adversaries, and other minutia. I like when everything follows the same set of rules and consistency is maintained. I don't want everyone to have to know 3-4 different sets of rules to play the game and to have to inform my players what 'type' of enemy they're competing against each time. It seems like a large portion of the rules are built around it so it's unlikely to change, but it's not something I'm a fan of.

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Just now, rcuhljr said:

Fair, let me re-state. I don't like the direction it's going with minions, adversaries, and other minutia. I like when everything follows the same set of rules and consistency is maintained. I don't want everyone to have to know 3-4 different sets of rules to play the game and to have to inform my players what 'type' of enemy they're competing against each time. It seems like a large portion of the rules are built around it so it's unlikely to change, but it's not something I'm a fan of.

Fair enough.

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46 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

The question is : What is the intended play style of the game. And the answer here is clearly not PVP.
The result is that the design team does not balance the abilities arround the idea of PVP. 

I don't think that's clear at all - neither in the text, nor in most of the mechanics. I think you're suffering confirmation bias, and seeing what you expect because it fits your playstyle.

 

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3 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

I don't think that's clear at all - neither in the text, nor in most of the mechanics. I think you're suffering confirmation bias, and seeing what you expect because it fits your playstyle.

 

than go and prove it. Because without providing prove what your thoughts will be nothing more than that your thoughts and with that will stay non relevant for this discussion.

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Just now, Teveshszat said:

than go and prove it. Because without providing prove what your thoughts will be nothing more than that your thoughts and with that will stay non relevant for this discussion.

None of the techniques specify NPC. Not a one. They specify characters, or creatures, or places.

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2 hours ago, Teveshszat said:

What you describe is that the dicerolls matter more than the roleplaying and storytelling and that the dice shape the story.

We could probably debate endlessly on this subject, but I prescribe to agency-first play.  That's literally all I was saying.  If you have an ending in mind before the game begins you are robbing yourself as the GM of the experience of discovering where the game goes as well as creating prescribed success for the players and robbing them of their freedom of play.  I'm not making an absolute statement here, obviously you can and will play how you want.  It just seems from my perspective like you're missing the best bit.

1 hour ago, rcuhljr said:

The core mechanics for samurai vs samurai combat need to work properly ...

This is actually part of the problem.  Even if one accepts the notion that the game is designed to be purely PvE (which is a whole other argument, but lets ignore that) the Players will look that their own abilities and expect certain things to be true -both fictionally and mechanically- based off the mechanical implications of their own ability.  If the NPC rules differ this doesn't just make things strange for the GM, it directly affects player decision making and the comprehension of the fictional space.

If you give the PCs different rules you are setting them apart defacto in the fiction as well.

This might well be what you want.  If one wants a story of The Chosen going off to face down the Great Evil (yadda-yadda) then sure, the PCs aren't people of the world, they're forces moving through it.  For any other theme or style of play, this is disruptive to verisimilitude.  Of course, one can work around this and it has advantages, but the downsides are real and pervasive.

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Air Stance and Striking as Air have both been adjusted in the 2.0 update.

In the Air Stance section, replace the “Effects” cell with the following: “Increase the TN of Attack and Scheme action checks targeting you by 1 If your school rank is 4 or higher, increase the TN by 2 instead.”

p. 109, Striking as Air: Ignore the contents of the “Description” field (to be rewritten for new mechanics at a future date). In the “Activation” field, replace the second paragraph with the following: “Reserve 1 of your kept or dropped dice, plus one additional die per ** spent this way. When making a check with the same skill before the end of your next turn, you may roll 1 fewer Ring die per reserved Ring die and 1 fewer Skill die per reserved Skill die, then add the reserved dice to your roll.”

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