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FFG_Sam Stewart

Beta Rules Update v2.0 and Preview Material

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7 hours ago, Soshi Nimue said:

Navigating at sea is very different than navigating by land.

 

Hey, hitting a target with a shuriken is very different than doing the same with the bow, yet... 

 

Also, one thing people seem to skim over with the Investigation Skill is that it would include all the Scholar approaches and even some Artisan, Social and Trade Approaches too. When you investigate, Survey is most likely your least used Approach because of the "blood on the wall" situation. You are going to use Analyze, Theorize, Sense, Innovate, Attune, Reason and Enlighten. Especially in Rokugan where getting the evidence is far from the end of a successful investigation. Similarly, despite having an Investigation Skill, nothing would prevent the player to use the Survey approach with any other Skill to "pseudo-investigate". 

Investigation (and to an extent Horsemanship and Stealth) should be represented because it is an essential in-setting Skill. It has a very tangible presence. There are important and center-stage people in Rokugan who possess this skill without any other specific expertise: the various magistrates. Heck, the example adventure makes the PCs into such people for crying out loud! Similarly, there is a whole Great Clan with Horsemanship as their quintessential thing, and while I know that FFG hates the Unicorn, it still feels insulting that Horsemanship was folded into Survival yet the Crane can choose between three special snowflake artisan skills. 

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30 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

When you investigate, Survey is most likely your least used Approach because of the "blood on the wall" situation.

Yes.

If the GM is supposed to give every useful info to the players in the description of the scene, there is no reason left to use Water.

It's all Air and Earth on those clues, and a Fire to tie it all  (examine the door, examine the blood spatters, question the witnesses and then come up with a theory)

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2 hours ago, Doji Meshou said:

Tangent re: Sherlock Holmes:

Surely the issue isn't "why do we need to take umpteen Skills to build Sherlock Holmes?" but "why does it take waaay more Skills to build Sherlock Holmes than almost any other single-focus mythical hero?"

My issue is why are people trying to build sherlock holmes in rokugan where evidence doesn't matter and nobody is sherlock holmes except for the kitsuki?

Also the kitsuki are automatically treated as having ranks in a relevant skill when it comes to investigating, no investment (outside of rank) required.  Basically most samurai wouldn't even know the significance of blood spatter or the color of mud on someone's sandals or whatnot because they just weren't trained in it, this is something unique to the kitsuki.

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25 minutes ago, The510 said:

My issue is why are people trying to build sherlock holmes in rokugan where evidence doesn't matter and nobody is sherlock holmes except for the kitsuki?

2

Because they can build Sinbad the Sailor in Rokugan despite only a Minor Clan having that stick... a Minor Clan who is even less numerous than the Kitsuki. 

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6 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Hey, hitting a target with a shuriken is very different than doing the same with the bow, yet... 

 

Also, one thing people seem to skim over with the Investigation Skill is that it would include all the Scholar approaches and even some Artisan, Social and Trade Approaches too. When you investigate, Survey is most likely your least used Approach because of the "blood on the wall" situation. You are going to use Analyze, Theorize, Sense, Innovate, Attune, Reason and Enlighten. Especially in Rokugan where getting the evidence is far from the end of a successful investigation. Similarly, despite having an Investigation Skill, nothing would prevent the player to use the Survey approach with any other Skill to "pseudo-investigate". 

Investigation (and to an extent Horsemanship and Stealth) should be represented because it is an essential in-setting Skill. It has a very tangible presence. There are important and center-stage people in Rokugan who possess this skill without any other specific expertise: the various magistrates. Heck, the example adventure makes the PCs into such people for crying out loud! Similarly, there is a whole Great Clan with Horsemanship as their quintessential thing, and while I know that FFG hates the Unicorn, it still feels insulting that Horsemanship was folded into Survival yet the Crane can choose between three special snowflake artisan skills. 

Much less difference then you would think.  Throwing can require strength, but both generally require a knowledge of distance and drop.  Not that I think the Martial Arts skills are so great.  I think the biggest issue here is that 1) YES the skill list needs improvement, I don't think this is being contested by anyone.  Yet 2) NO that doesn't mean investigation is a skill that is missing, or that other skills not being well done is an indication that The Art of Investigation is not a good concept.

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Because they can build Sinbad the Sailor in Rokugan despite only a Minor Clan having that stick... a Minor Clan who is even less numerous than the Kitsuki. 

They're probably not less numerous than the Kitsuki considering the size of the Dragon clan tbh. And the Mantis are hardly the only pirates. Feel like people don't seem to realize the Crane and Crab have large navies, and any clan is going to have people who know how to use at least some of the skills covered in Seafaring because there's still rivers and things.

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6 minutes ago, Soshi Nimue said:

Much less difference then you would think.  

 

Same stands for land- and sea-based surface navigation. You only need a good sense of direction and some grey matter. 

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the skill list needs improvement

You put it very mildly. 

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NO that doesn't mean investigation is a skill that is missing

Hilariously enough, it isn't missing. Sentiment is the Investigation Skill, you just can't apply it to situations, only people. So again, what's the big deal? Why can't we have the real Investigation Skill? "Because we want to reinvent the wheel" is not an applicable reason, mind you. 

9 minutes ago, llamaman88 said:

And the Mantis are hardly the only pirates.

1

Neither are the Kitsuki the only investigators. Your average magistrate does some sort of evidence collection and legit investigation work, they are just using the results for the wrong conclusions. 

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@AtoMaki Navigating by land and by sea are quite different.  Reading winds and currents, stars, storms, knowing how to sail into the wind, all of the knots you ONLY know if you're sailing, what buoyancy you can expect from any object...  These are very different.

The problem with a "notice" skill is that it belies the fact that being observant isn't a skill as much as it is a sense.  If you are wanting to investigate anything illegal than water + Government covers it by the book.  Water can easily be considered "the investigation ring" and you can combine it with practically any field to gain a good investigation result.  A Sherlock Holmes character would have a high Water and a myriad of skills representing his knowledge of different subjects allowing him to make sense of the things he perceives.  Is that mud on a boot?  Yes, but why does that matter?  He noticed it (water) but doesn't put it into context that this mud is a thick type of clay found at quarries (labor).

The approach system puts things together - and the GM just needs to write the stories accordingly.  If the player can't put something into context (or the context is obvious) then why are you rolling to notice it anyway?  Just give them the clue they can't understand.

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2 minutes ago, Soshi Nimue said:

@AtoMaki Navigating by land and by sea are quite different.  Reading winds and currents, stars, storms, knowing how to sail into the wind, all of the knots you ONLY know if you're sailing, what buoyancy you can expect from any object...  These are very different.

 

We are still at Survival + Subsist to read the winds/currents/stars/storms then Labor + Innovate for the physical stuff. As you said, the Approaches are all there, you just gotta use 'em like you mean it. 

And as I said earlier, Water makes for a poor Investigation Ring because its Approach (Survey) has fairly little to do with actual investigation. You pretty much have to use every Ring, or at least multiple Approaches from different Rings to get the job done. Water + Government won't turn up a lot on illegal activities, only make it certain that there are indeed illegal activities by allowing you to successfully Survey it. The Approaches are actually fine as they are in this case. They just need a Skill for a common reference so that completely irrelevant activities don't overlap in the same Skill (like checking through government papers and rolling up a criminal syndicate in a city). 

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8 hours ago, Doji Meshou said:

Tangent re: Sherlock Holmes:

Surely the issue isn't "why do we need to take umpteen Skills to build Sherlock Holmes?" but "why does it take waaay more Skills to build Sherlock Holmes than almost any other single-focus mythical hero?"

Sherlock: all rings 5.
All investigation skills 2. all others 1. 
Distinctions: Excellent Vision. Eye for details. Tobacco expert.
adversities: heroine addict, arrogant
passions: tobacco, Mysteries
Anxieties: being alone, collateral victims

If using the Elementary version:
Remove heroine addict, add anxiety: recovering heroine addict, romance and adversity: Sex addict.

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11 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Sherlock: all rings 5.
All investigation skills 2. all others 1. 
Distinctions: Excellent Vision. Eye for details. Tobacco expert.
adversities: heroine addict, arrogant
passions: tobacco, Mysteries
Anxieties: being alone, collateral victims

If using the Elementary version:
Remove heroine addict, add anxiety: recovering heroine addict, romance and adversity: Sex addict.

He was also a competent musician, at least, the original version, he wrote his own partitions and they weren't described as bad.

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1 hour ago, defendi said:

Classic Sherlock was a cocaine addict. He was only in an opium den in that one story, and he claimed he never used. Since he admitted to using cocaine I don't see any reason to doubt him. :)

My knowledge of "Classic" is mostly second-hand; different film adaptations have alternated between cocaine and heroine. Either way, the mechanics are the same.

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2 hours ago, defendi said:

Classic Sherlock was a cocaine addict. He was only in an opium den in that one story, and he claimed he never used. Since he admitted to using cocaine I don't see any reason to doubt him. :)

I have the clearest memory of Holmes frying poppy seeds for their oil in one of his shorts, but I honestly can't remember which one.

ANYWAY that's a distinction without a chemical difference (although a perfectly good cultural one at the time).

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1 hour ago, Doji Meshou said:

I have the clearest memory of Holmes frying poppy seeds for their oil in one of his shorts, but I honestly can't remember which one.

ANYWAY that's a distinction without a chemical difference (although a perfectly good cultural one at the time).

Yeah...but he also uses himself as a guinea pig sooo..

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Note to devs, if you're still reading this:

If you DO intend that everything is noticed automatically, or only via the ring, and that skill is ONLY interpretation and never notice, that needs to be more explicitly stated. This is the huge sticking point with my players. It still might be, but at least they might understand that position.

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7 hours ago, defendi said:

If you DO intend that everything is noticed automatically, or only via the ring, and that skill is ONLY interpretation and never notice, that needs to be more explicitly stated.

If this was the intent, wouldn't the 2.0 update where they list appropriate skills for searching for objects and clues be invalid?

For example, if players are supposed to notice an unusual bonsai in a shrine, the GM will likely suggest Aesthetics + Water (since it's a bonsai), but the Shugenja may prefer to use Theology + Water instead (since it's in a shrine). If there's no obvious skill, the one based on where they are is the one to use.

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The argument they are making in this thread is that there is no roll to SEE the bonzai. The player notices it automatically. They make a skill check to understand that what they are seeing deserves special notice, which is a seperate thing, and that's why there's no general perception skill.

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2 hours ago, defendi said:

The argument they are making in this thread is that there is no roll to SEE the bonzai. The player notices it automatically. They make a skill check to understand that what they are seeing deserves special notice, which is a seperate thing, and that's why there's no general perception skill.

Perhaps Perceive should be added as an approach.

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5 hours ago, defendi said:

The argument they are making in this thread is that there is no roll to SEE the bonzai. The player notices it automatically. They make a skill check to understand that what they are seeing deserves special notice, which is a seperate thing, and that's why there's no general perception skill.

The problems start when the bonsai is hidden so the characters can only perceive it if they make a conscious effort (they search the shrine). Success depends on the character's ability to find stuff. It is an ability unrelated to his knowledge of shrines and theology, because if you are good at finding stuff, then you are good at it in a shrine and a castle too. Note that this is an acquired ability (Skill) and not an aptitude (Ring) - you can be generally obvious to your surroundings and terrible at noticing (you have low Water/Survey), but you might be able to use a different Approach to do the search, like doing a throughout search (Earth/Recall), try to "be the room" (Void/Sense), second-guess the location (Air/Analyze), or ask the question of "Where would I be if I was a bonsai?" (Fire/Theorize). 

On the other hand, you can be an expert on a specific subject (Theology) and use Water/Survey to find the bonsai. It is just a different approach to the problem at hand and will have different narrative outcomes. 

There is also the scenario when the character doesn't know specifically what he is looking for and where he can find it. Looking for a starting clue/lead when investigating a crime, rolling up an obscure rumor, looking for a hideout or other super-secret places, things like that. In these cases, expertise in various unrelated topics will be largely meaningless - you are either good at investigating or not. 

2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Perhaps Perceive should be added as an approach.

It already is, but called Survey. 

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8 hours ago, defendi said:

The argument they are making in this thread is that there is no roll to SEE the bonzai.

If it's supposed to be obvious, that won't need a roll. It's really up to the GM whether something is intended to be obvious. If you walk up to town, you don't need a Labor+Water roll to find the gate.

It is unintuitive to be using a skill named Labor to find things, but that's the way it's written. Players can use other skills, if they can justify it, but few of them make much sense.

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7 hours ago, ubik2 said:

If it's supposed to be obvious, that won't need a roll. It's really up to the GM whether something is intended to be obvious. If you walk up to town, you don't need a Labor+Water roll to find the gate.

It is unintuitive to be using a skill named Labor to find things, but that's the way it's written. Players can use other skills, if they can justify it, but few of them make much sense.

exactly. we need a perception skill.

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On 10/11/2017 at 4:21 AM, Franwax said:

One other thing I’ve been pondering, on Investigation. Thing is, if we wrap it all up under a single skill, we will have:

1) every character sorely needing that skill if they don’t want to sit on their hands during investigation scenes, and/or

2) this one guy who maxed out that single skill outshine everyone else in those same scenes, whatever the context

By spreading the action across several skills, each PC will potentially have an area of expertise that will let them contribute significantly, and in their own way, to the investigation. Everyone in the party can be in on the fun and do something useful. 

Now if someone does chose to introduce a scholar skill for Investigation (which would be perfectly fine if that’s what suits their table), I’d recommend making the TN a bit higher for the “general purpose sleuthing” than for a more specific skill (if any other would make sense). This would somewhat mitigate issue #2 above. 

Agreed. There are problems with the skill list. In my opinion the lack of a dedicated Search/Spot/Investigation skill is not one one of them considering  how broad (in general) the current skill list is supposed to be.

 

And it's not like the concept of pairing Perception (or whatever Trait you wanted to consider) with any skill is new to L5R. No group I know of hardlinked traits to skills in such inflexible manner, particularly groups that started playing in 1st Edition when new skill kept getting introduced in the Clan splats...

 

For me to roll Perception+Kenjutsu was a perfectly fine way to get clues from a body as was Perception+Anatomy, Perception+Ichi-Miru, Perception+Authopsy or Perception+Investigation.

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