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Magnus Grendel

Animal Statlines

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Animal statlines - P.201 onwards:

  • A Boar has Martial 2, unlike A Wolf or Hawk, which has Martial Arts [Unarmed] 2.
    • The obvious advantage here is that the Boar therefore gets Tactics 2; which if any animal should get, should probably be a wolf pack.
    • I wholeheartedly accept that a boar should be scary. Boar hunting was an infamously deadly pastime for warriors throughout history (unless you're Obelix).
      • Nevertheless, a boar is Fire 4, Martial Arts [Unarmed] 2, with tusks that are damage 7 deadliness 7 - effectively deadliness 9 once it is (inevitably) enraged, hide analogous to ashigaru armour and cannot be incapacitated or knocked out. 
      • That feels scary, even by 'genuine monster' standards like the troll or oni. 
  • A Dog does not by default have any Martial Arts [Unarmed] skill, which even a domestic cat has. Given that the flavour text talks about Moto Clan warhounds....
    • Whilst Working Companion allows the dog to be given a skill rank of your choice to grant assistance on, it's specifically a trade skill
      • A warhound being able to assist on Martial Arts would make sense. 
      • Also, this apparently means I can get a dog to assist me with seafaring checks. 
  • Regardless of the riding rules, I suspect a Unicorn Warhorse should probably have Martial 1, because it would be better at kicking someone than a generic horse, and arguably would understand the battlefield well enough to rate an improved initiative were it ever to be encountered without its rider. 
  • The hawk has air 4, martial arts [unarmed] 2, which feels rather lethal when paired with damage 2, deadliness 5 talons. 
    • Given that they're not razor-sharp, it can afford to 'fish' for criticals and those criticals are extremely brutal, given that they're more dangerous than even a knife. 

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Just now, Franwax said:

Other advantage for the Boar: they can shoot a crossbow and meditate (hence are not half bad at dueling)... just kidding 

To an extent I don't actually mind the idea of modelling a boar hunt as a duel - the boar  standing off and scratching the dirt before charging, the samurai trying to time striking and getting out the way correctly - but yeah, I don't see a need for them to have the skill group rather than just the skill.

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Dang!... I was joking but this idea of boar duel is actually quite interesting! Besides, landing a finishing blow is probably the only way to actually kill the beast. (Seriously, cannot be incapacitated or unconscious when raging means the worst severity crit you can hope for is what... 9?)

Edited by Franwax

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56 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Dang!... I was joking but this idea of boar duel is actually quite interesting! Besides, landing a finishing blow is probably the only way to actually kill the beast. (Seriously, cannot be incapacitated or unconscious when raging means the worst severity crit you can hope for is what... 9?)

Pretty much. Note that this thing is an adversary-level opponent (which also means it has a void point!). There is a reason boar hunting is seen as a very impressive ability.

It doesn't ignore incapacitated or unconcious, it cannot receive the condition - meaning no critical bonus. 

You can kill it with a repeated Devastating Strike:

Quote

At the GM’s discretion, if a character would be assigned a second instance of a scar disadvantage due to recurring harm, the character is struck with a mortal blow. Instead of being assigned a new scar disadvantage, the character suffers the Dying (10 rounds) condition.

But you still need to last 10 rounds of combat after this point to do that!

More importantly, Martial 2 rather than Martial Arts [Unarmed] 2 also means the Boar has Fitness 2. Fire 4, Fitness 2 (average ~ 3 successes) with no critical bonus for Incapacitated or Unconcious means it's going to take some serious punishment to take this thing down!

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Yup, reached the same conclusion here. Maybe there’s matter for an other “Balance issues” thread on this sustaining fury feature. You think the boar is frightening? Try the troll!

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All the animals need some adjustments. The martial skill group is fine as most animals (especially predators) should have a few ranks in fitness, a combat skill, and tactics; and as the rules say the grouping is to make it easier for the gm so all the skills are not listed out.

Some of the animals also have the nature sub skill at a lesser rank than their survival skill. That seems a bit odd.

 

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2 hours ago, Franwax said:

Yup, reached the same conclusion here. Maybe there’s matter for an other “Balance issues” thread on this sustaining fury feature. You think the boar is frightening? Try the troll!

[Reads]

Ouch...

Yeah - Sustaining Fury, Fire 4/Martial 2, Armour 4, a Fire/Martial advantage, a Reach 2 weapon.... he's going to take a lot of putting down. At least Shadowlands Creature gives you a way to bypass the armour.

I may have to. 

Sending the PCs on a 'monster hunt' might be good, and a Troll is scary enough that it'll take some fighting, and tough enough that it can realistically survive a narrative 'escape' (fall off a cliff into a waterfall being a classic example) to require them to face it a couple of times.

A lone troll menacing a district would make for an impressive hunt - survival to track it, maybe a brief intrigue to interrogate the villagers, possibly with one of the participants being a maho-tsukai who's in some way called this thing near - possibly even a third party whose relative has been turned into it?

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6 hours ago, Franwax said:

Yup, reached the same conclusion here. Maybe there’s matter for an other “Balance issues” thread on this sustaining fury feature. You think the boar is frightening? Try the troll!

I am genuinely more scared of the boar than the troll. The boar has significantly less resilience but sustaining fury severely mitigates how much difference that makes (even given that they both have it), in the context of how you'll encounter them the lower composure of the boar is actually an asset. Trolls have better damage resistance but one that's negated by the sacred quality on weapons (not to speak of all the other things that shadowlands creature enables). The boar also has superior mental stats.

Then we get to the tusks: if the dm allowed players to strip the tusks and use them after killing the boar (which I personally think is something someone should reasonably be able to do) then they'd be the best weapon in the game. They have the damage of a crossbow and the deadliness of a two-handed katana. When compared to something similar they have over twice the damage and over thrice the deadliness of a wolf's bite or more damage and a lot more deadliness than the claws of an oni. When I think about what these are I feel like 5,3 (like a yari but range 0) seems like a more a reasonable line (or 5,5 if you want them to be really dangerous).

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To be fair in a world where magic is real it is totaly possible that even the animals can have skills like meditate assome of them could for example have developed conciousness and/or a felling for the world and elements surrounding them.
There is a whole spiritual realm of animals that havs all kinds of concious/semi concious animals in it. So while it is odd froma  real life point of view themeditating Lotus boar fits perfectly into the L5r world.

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11 hours ago, Teveshszat said:

To be fair in a world where magic is real it is totaly possible that even the animals can have skills like meditate assome of them could for example have developed conciousness and/or a felling for the world and elements surrounding them.
There is a whole spiritual realm of animals that havs all kinds of concious/semi concious animals in it. So while it is odd froma  real life point of view themeditating Lotus boar fits perfectly into the L5r world.

That's probably the bit I mind least; it's more a case that it gets meditation & tactics from the fact it has the block skill Martial 2.

I just found it rather odd that a Boar gets Tactics 2 and a Wolfpack doesn't, than any toys-out-of-pram objection to the Boar having it in the first place.

13 hours ago, Norgrath said:

Then we get to the tusks: if the dm allowed players to strip the tusks and use them after killing the boar (which I personally think is something someone should reasonably be able to do) then they'd be the best weapon in the game. They have the damage of a crossbow and the deadliness of a two-handed katana. When compared to something similar they have over twice the damage and over thrice the deadliness of a wolf's bite or more damage and a lot more deadliness than the claws of an oni. When I think about what these are I feel like 5,3 (like a yari but range 0) seems like a more a reasonable line (or 5,5 if you want them to be really dangerous).

Yes and no.

Whilst I have no problem in theory with someone looting the corpses as standard RPG murderhobo approach, I would be very hesitant to allow anyone to take a weapon with the natural trait and expect to keep the stats unmodified.

It'd be the equivalent of chopping off someone's leg and expecting to use it with the 'kick' statline (damage 3, deadliness 2) rather than as a blunt improvised weapon (damage 2, deadliness 2). 

Not that I wouldn't let them keep the tusks, but I would expect their stats to be somewhat lower when no longer attached to a rampaging wild boar.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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8 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It'd be the equivalent of chopping off someone's leg and expecting to use it with the 'kick' statline (damage 3, deadliness 2) rather than as a blunt improvised weapon (damage 2, deadliness 2). 

I don't think that comparison quite holds: an amputated leg can no longer take advantage of muscles in the same way while a tusk, if thrust into someone with the same force as a board could accomplish (which I feel should be a matter for dice pools) should do just as much damage regardless of being attached to the boar.

Not that this is important: I just made that comment to illustrate how absurd the statline is.

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29 minutes ago, WHW said:

Nit-pick:

Hawk is a minion. Thus, it should only use Opportunities listed in it's NPC stat block. This means that Crits are off the table for it.

 

Nit-pick of the nit-pick:

Quote

The GM may waive this at their discretion under special circumstances, but it often helps conflicts run more smoothly.

GMs are likely to waive the opportunity restrictions if the Hawk is controlled by a player and taken via an advantage.

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13 hours ago, WHW said:

Nit-pick:

Hawk is a minion. Thus, it should only use Opportunities listed in it's NPC stat block. This means that Crits are off the table for it.

Well noted. I shall keep that in mind - and that does indeed make it  a lot less scary as the only thing it can do with opportunities is fly off at speed.

We're using the 'pet monkey' option for a Mantis Clan character - using if appropriate the statline for a small dog and using the 'working companion' to let it assist with seafaring checks. 

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16 hours ago, Norgrath said:

I don't think that comparison quite holds: an amputated leg can no longer take advantage of muscles in the same way while a tusk, if thrust into someone with the same force as a board could accomplish (which I feel should be a matter for dice pools) should do just as much damage regardless of being attached to the boar.

Not sure.. the tusks damage has a lot to do with the sheer mass and momentum of the boar that’s behind them (at least that’s what Newton tells me). Some specimens would weight in excess of 300kg! A human wielding them won’t have the same muscle power either... but as you say it’s not really the point. The stats do seem a bit over the top. 

Also, I had to smile at the notion of beating one’s enemies with their own severed limbs :P

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9 hours ago, Franwax said:

Also, I had to smile at the notion of beating one’s enemies with their own severed limbs :P

I've had players do that in several games. But never in L5R. (Most memorable was in WFRP 1E + RoC... chaos worshiping PC did unarmed attack and critted, ripping a limb off, then another ripping the other off, held them up, cried, "Two Arms, my friends, two arms!" And finally killed the target with his own clawed arm.)

Given the lack of severing crits in L5R5b so far... perhaps that could be a benefit of Razor Edged... on a maimed, it severs the limb, instead.

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15 hours ago, WHW said:

Aren't "Lost XYZ" maiming wounds basically that?

It takes two maiming wounds at present - as no sane player is going to take the lost first, and it's the victim's choice. 

Edited by AK_Aramis

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On 11/9/2017 at 7:30 PM, AK_Aramis said:

It takes two maiming wounds at present - as no sane player is going to take the lost first, and it's the victim's choice. 

Air stance does let you override this with an opportunity, but it's rather *-hungry:

“In a conflict, if this the next time you inflict a critical strike this turn, you choose which condition or disadvantage within the critical strike’s severity is applied (instead of it being determined by the ring used to resist it).”

On 11/8/2017 at 8:50 PM, AK_Aramis said:

I've had players do that in several games. But never in L5R. (Most memorable was in WFRP 1E + RoC... chaos worshiping PC did unarmed attack and critted, ripping a limb off, then another ripping the other off, held them up, cried, "Two Arms, my friends, two arms!" And finally killed the target with his own clawed arm.)

Our group has a sizeable track record in Deathwatch and Black Crusade (especially) of "beating that ****** to death with another ******"

 

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