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Kyros Skyfall

Critical Strike for 2 opportunities

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I have issues with this rule point, about 3 things :

First(ly?) : as we discussed in the ''defense scaling'' topic, and as explained in the first update note, defense is now simbolized by resilience – wich is fine to me – BUT since you have the ability to spend 2 opportunities to inflict a critical hit to anyone, and that value not being modified by anything, your ''defense'' is not really well represented by your resilience.

Secondly : it create situations where you can take a critical wound without a single fatigue point, due to the armor; and that does'nt make any sense.

Thirdly : I don't think we need this opportunity spending option anyway : stances and katas gives way enough possibilities.

 

So I think we could try to abandon this option. I invite the GM to try not giving this option in one or two games and then report here the effects on play.

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9 minutes ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

Secondly : it create situations where you can take a critical wound without a single fatigue point, due to the armor; and that does'nt make any sense.

There are a lot of ways to critically damage the human body without "tiring" someone.

A "no damage" critical is for things like Concussions, nicking the Carotid or Femoral arteries, aggravating existing stress fractures such that a more serious break happens.

19 minutes ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

Thirdly : I don't think we need this opportunity spending option anyway : stances and katas gives way enough possibilities.

The Critical strike opportunity on the Strike action is the primary source of the games intended high lethality. The game is going to be a lot less lethal without it.

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Well if you're right about this, it means that every samurai in rokugan have exactly the same ability to defend themselves except when they take the aire stance (remember the ''strike like the air'' kata can only be used when you use your air to attack, so only in air stance), and that still is an issue. especially if the conceptors intended to represent defense by using resilience.

plus, I don't understand why is this option such a source of lethality : you just apply your base weapon's lethality on the strike, so you won't do much damage (bonus success don't apply to lethality when you use this option).

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primary source of the games intended high lethality

Which game is this?  The one that says on Page 169

Quote

Characters certainly can still die in skirmishes, but it usually takes a particularly deadly enemy or a concerted effort on the part of the GM to actually kill an individual PC rather than leaving the character temporarily incapacitated and permanently scarred.

?

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There are three components that reflect your ability to deal with incoming blows: 

- Your Resilence, which helps you deal with Fatigue; can be increased by getting better Water and Earth rings, and is augmented by Resistance.

- Your Fitness, which helps you deal with Critical Strikes; it scales both with your Ring and with Fitness skill. 

- Your "to be Hit" TN. It starts at 2, and generally doesn't scale naturally. It can be directly increased by adopting Air Stance (+1) and using Guard/Center actions, and indirectly by inflicting Injured Body Part condition, Dazed condition, forcing Cumbersome-weapon using foe to move, and getting into proper terrain.

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1 hour ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

Well if you're right about this, it means that every samurai in rokugan have exactly the same ability to defend themselves except when they take the aire stance (remember the ''strike like the air'' kata can only be used when you use your air to attack, so only in air stance), and that still is an issue. especially if the conceptors intended to represent defense by using resilience.

plus, I don't understand why is this option such a source of lethality : you just apply your base weapon's lethality on the strike, so you won't do much damage (bonus success don't apply to lethality when you use this option).

It's awful hard to inflict a lethal crit. Even with the biggest deadliness weapons, it takes (typically) 3 crits to kill. One Maimed, then the repeat maimed on same ring to sever, and one more maimed to produce a 12+ and kill.  Note that, if the 1st or 2nd hit makes them incapacitated, the 2nd can be high enough to kill with a tetsubo or Ōdachi, or even a 2-handed Katana. But that still requires they not blow the resist roll.

It took a Dark Moto 5 crits to kill a semi-suicidal SR1 courtier... and he was himself maimed.

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1 hour ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

Well if you're right about this, it means that every samurai in rokugan have exactly the same ability to defend themselves except when they take the aire stance (remember the ''strike like the air'' kata can only be used when you use your air to attack, so only in air stance), and that still is an issue. especially if the conceptors intended to represent defense by using resilience.

Air Stance is the Dodging stance (it now is +1 TN or +2 TN if rank 4+) and if you fail to dodge . Earth Stance is the resist Opportunity effects stance that requires you be beaten down to be hurt.

Striking as Air has also been changed and allows you to stockpile dice results for your next turn instead of boosting avoidance.

1 hour ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

plus, I don't understand why is this option such a source of lethality : you just apply your base weapon's lethality on the strike, so you won't do much damage (bonus success don't apply to lethality when you use this option).

A few factors need to be remembered, a resent change in how the Razor-Edged trait on weapons directly allows opportunity to be converted straight to deadliness on those weapons, Striking as Fire gives even better returns (2 severity per opportunity) when Criting in Fire stance and you can benefit the next Crit after some with SaF used opportunities to boost the next Crit on the target. Enraged also increases crit severity by 2.

28 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Which game is this?  The one that says on Page 169

While it may not be as randomly lethal as previous editions it is far more lethal and crippling than other combat focused fantasy games.

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28 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

Air Stance is the Dodging stance (it now is +1 TN or +2 TN if rank 4+) and if you fail to dodge . Earth Stance is the resist Opportunity effects stance that requires you be beaten down to be hurt.

Striking as Air has also been changed and allows you to stockpile dice results for your next turn instead of boosting avoidance.

A few factors need to be remembered, a resent change in how the Razor-Edged trait on weapons directly allows opportunity to be converted straight to deadliness on those weapons, Striking as Fire gives even better returns (2 severity per opportunity) when Criting in Fire stance and you can benefit the next Crit after some with SaF used opportunities to boost the next Crit on the target. Enraged also increases crit severity by 2.

While it may not be as randomly lethal as previous editions it is far more lethal and crippling than other combat focused fantasy games.

I'd argue that WFRP 1 & 2, and Zweihander are equally as deadly; John Wick's Blood & Honor, his "other samurai game" is far more so...

In B&H, a katana hit is an autokill unless reduced, while other weapons must be raised to be lethal. That's "Rule of Cool" damage.  It's also far more narrativist an engine - rolls do not determine success/failure, but who gets to determine success/failure, and who gets to adjust the story-state. In B&H, a Iaijutsu duel is often not only lethal, but story state shaking.

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hummm, I guess you're right, this critical hit option seems to be primordial.  Though I don't understand why you consider the game very less lethal without it. after all when your fatigue match your resilience you fall (unless using some tricks like that ''warrior's resolve'' kata), and your adversaries are more likely gonna end you anyway.  (I understand that it is less lethal though, just not that less).

 

to me it still raises some questions about the armor and why it does'nt apply to critical hits (eventhough if it were, weapon's lethality should be a tiny bit raised to compensate).

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You'd be more likely to kill a D&D character than an L5R5E character.  At least there's a definable death point for that D&D character.  A Hida Bushi can literally pound you into paste with his tetsubo, and you will never die since his best critical hit under most conditions will be Severity 11.  Though I guess if he puts it away and uses his katana (two handed) to stir the pasty remains, he can inflict a 14 and the paste will die. Can paste make fitness checks? It's all so confusing, lol.

Edited by TheVeteranSergeant

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Also, consider that if this ** option to crit is removed, this will largely devalue the Earth stance! That’s one of the key interests of that stance: “you will not cripple me with a lucky blow”.

Now if the idea of Crit with zero physical damage bothers you, maybe requiring that some damage goes through the armor to take effect can be a middle ground. Kinda like the crit from the second Iaijutsu kata..

(Out of topic: let’s not compare lethality with D&D... it may be possible to die a bit more quickly in that game, but it’s also much easier to go back to life :P No wonder adventurers are such daredevils! They all know a Cleric friend who can raise them in a pinch!)

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58 minutes ago, Kyros Skyfall said:

hummm, I guess you're right, this critical hit option seems to be primordial.  Though I don't understand why you consider the game very less lethal without it. after all when your fatigue match your resilience you fall (unless using some tricks like that ''warrior's resolve'' kata), and your adversaries are more likely gonna end you anyway.  (I understand that it is less lethal though, just not that less).

 

to me it still raises some questions about the armor and why it does'nt apply to critical hits (eventhough if it were, weapon's lethality should be a tiny bit raised to compensate).

Actually, you don't fall at Resilience, but at Resilience + 10. At resilience, you just become unable to make skill rolls, and prone to bigger crits. 

Incapacitated still allows moving 2m, 4m in water stance. 

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I said before all the updates that i tought "I strike" every turn was the optimal action.

Dont go for fatigues, go for the kill or debuffs. Make your enemy roll fitness to escape your lethality.

It may be even better if you are a Kakita.

That said . I dont think straight out removing is the better option.

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8 hours ago, Mobiusllls said:

I said before all the updates that i tought "I strike" every turn was the optimal action.

and I kinda agree, that's the main problem now with this rule : it is an option so powerfull it is considered ''primordial''. many said it in this topic ''it is the main source of lethality'', and to me it devalues the fatigue mechanic and the other opportunity options on attack. Yes it makes the fight quicker, but it reduces the tactical options as well : just strike all the time and uses only high-lethality weapons, and that's it.

theres another point to this : it's the general way to defend against oportunities. Developers made clear they do not want to made the defense scale with levels, but maybe we can have a defense score against oportunities ? after all the jade champion will not likely fall for a feint from a debutant bushi, or get easely pined by a mere rank 2 with a yari.

since this is not exactly the main topic here I'm gonna continue this idea in the ''defense scaling'' post.

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10 hours ago, Franwax said:

Now if the idea of Crit with zero physical damage bothers you, maybe requiring that some damage goes through the armor to take effect can be a middle ground. Kinda like the crit from the second Iaijutsu kata..

I'm starting to wonder : would'nt it make sense that armor apply to lethality but not to damage? after all an armor (or even heavy clothes) is limitating in combat, it drains stamina to moove quickly wearing one, so it would make sense that is would not really help against fatigue. cutting one's hand off while he wears a wodden gauntlet however seems way harder.

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I’ve been toying with the same idea... though not seriously enough to think about all the mechanics that would have to be refactored to accommodate the change. Fitness roll would become redundant unless you significantly increase the base Deadliness values. And base damage should be fine tuned too - now they assume that you’ll have 2 resistance while in mere travelling clothes. That would be a major departure from the current system but it deserves a shot

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Crits are actually fairly weak for their cost. Remember, almost every non-resilence triggered crit will have pre-Fitness value of ~3 (for non katana weapons), ~5 (one handed katanas) or ~7 (2 handed katana). This is before the target gets to reduce the crit with Fitness roll, which scales naturally with both Ring and a Skill. A lot of crits will be softened to 1-4 range, which in turn generates a non-stackable condition, decided by targets Ring (accidentally or not, ring that is best at making Crits softer has also the least punishing and basically ignorable 1-4 crit result).  Add the fact that you are not spending your 2 opportunities on much more powerful effects like Striking as Earth or Striking as Air, AND the fact that you probably could have just keep more damage to make the opponent defeated quicker, and crits are generally a weaker choice than just damaging foes. Especially in a team fight, where each point you contribute towards damaging the enemy "stacks" with contributions of others, while multiple crits - especially if they fall into 1-4 range - don't "teamplay stack" very well. 

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On 11/10/2017 at 10:04 PM, Kyros Skyfall said:

when your fatigue match your resilience you fall

No, you don't.  You can still come back from incapacitation within the fight, you're just open to more severe injury and unable to hit back.  You still get to pick a stance and take non-check actions.  When fighting with low damage weapons and high resistance armour, this is certainly not the same as the end of the fight.

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16 minutes ago, WHW said:

One of the reasons why duels don't end at Incapacitation anymore is that a Water Stance combined with Warrior's Resolve allows you once-per-fight major comeback. 

Or you can just spend a Void Opportunity to ignore that condition until the end of your next turn any time. 

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Problem: You first need to make a check while that condition is on you. You become Incapacicated AFTER the initial crit is resolved, which is after your Fitness roll. So your first opportunity to do that is your second turn of Incapacication, after someone punched you and you had to Fitness away their crit. 

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4 hours ago, WHW said:

One of the reasons why duels don't end at Incapacitation anymore is that a Water Stance combined with Warrior's Resolve allows you once-per-fight major comeback. 

As of Update 2, Water Stance and catch your breath allows 2 fatigue per round, if you are where you aren't being target; Air allows 1 per turn, and increased TN. I didn't get a chance to try minions with it, but it should, combined with minions now benefitting from stances, make a minion group much more of a hassle. 

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Minions are removed from fight after receiving more Damage than their Resilence. They either die or not, depending on deadliness of your weapon, but they don't come back to fight another day. 

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