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Kakita Onimaru

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1 hour ago, tenchi2a said:

In a small sense it does.

As a GM in a game I would not have the players even deal with the guards if it is a forgone conclusion.

Players in my experience are only concerned with encounters that are a challenge and give them XP.

If you have them roll against these guards that are so far below them that the challenge level gives no xp they are going to start wondering why you are even bothering.

While the guards are still there, in a sense they have cease to be an issues, so in most games no roll is needed, hence they vanishes altogether.

In a typical fighter-wizard-rogue-cleric party, it gets hard to tell what will be a foregone conclusion since everybody’s great at their own stuff but sucks at everyone else’s stuff. The DM knows what’s going to need a roll and what he can skip rolling out when the players have decided what they will do, not before.

And similar effects occur even with high-level NPCs, since they can’t all be renaissance men and women who are good at everything. If the PCs find a way of dealing with them using their own strengths versus the NPC’s weakness, they’ll have it easy - because mechanically, they’ll have a high bonus compared to the NPC’s. At low levels everyone has a low bonus, even if some are lower than others. 

If the “strong” PC has a +5 bonus for the relevant skill and the “weak” one has a +2, that d20 roll is going to be very swingy if the idea is that they both should be able to do something with that skill. If one has a +17 and the other a +5 on the other hand, the die roll probably  isn’t going to matter for one of them.

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2 hours ago, shosuko said:

An important thing to consider when looking at the swingy-ness of rnk is that it is only really swinging on the open-ended exploding roles.  The curve of odds is fairly stable without exploding, and factoring in explosions doesn't effect the stability of the lower end.  It only adds the chance for an extremely high roll.  I don't mind this type of swingyness because it can tempt a player to play with raises.

This is however also the part where compared rolls become really hard to predict.

Against a fixed TN RnK actually works pretty well but as soon as you look at compared rolls 2k2 can actually beat 6k4.

 

I think on reflection that what I perceive as swingy might be simply the fact that it is hard to archive a level of mastery in the game. (Or at least something that I perceive as mastery.)

Even high level character can struggle with fairly low TNs and on compare rolls the explosion mechanic can destroy every advantage you have by sheer dumb luck.

 

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29 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

In a typical fighter-wizard-rogue-cleric party, it gets hard to tell what will be a foregone conclusion since everybody’s great at their own stuff but sucks at everyone else’s stuff. The DM knows what’s going to need a roll and what he can skip rolling out when the players have decided what they will do, not before.

And similar effects occur even with high-level NPCs, since they can’t all be renaissance men and women who are good at everything. If the PCs find a way of dealing with them using their own strengths versus the NPC’s weakness, they’ll have it easy - because mechanically, they’ll have a high bonus compared to the NPC’s. At low levels everyone has a low bonus, even if some are lower than others. 

If the “strong” PC has a +5 bonus for the relevant skill and the “weak” one has a +2, that d20 roll is going to be very swingy if the idea is that they both should be able to do something with that skill. If one has a +17 and the other a +5 on the other hand, the die roll probably  isn’t going to matter for one of them.

You where the one that said the challenge was bellow the PC, but didn't go away.

I did not create the challenge or have the players stats to compare.

I was going by information provided by you.

My point stands if the challenge is below the players level most GM will skip it. Hence it vanishes.

If only one player will be challenged due to his low stats and not the uniqueness of the challenge (wizard, rouge, cleric challenges) , most DM will up the guards or drop the encounter.

 

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3 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

In a small sense it does.

As a GM in a game I would not have the players even deal with the guards if it is a forgone conclusion.

Players in my experience are only concerned with encounters that are a challenge and give them XP.

If you have them roll against these guards that are so far below them that the challenge level gives no xp they are going to start wondering why you are even bothering.

While the guards are still there, in a sense they have cease to be an issues, so in most games no roll is needed, hence they vanishes altogether.

Well, that's basically the whole TN0 argument in the beta, isn't it?

Yes, technically you could force the player to roll dice for the Emerald Champion crossing "swords" with a lame, half-blind four-year-old orphan with a twig, or you could let them narrate what they're going to do and focus on the moral side of it, and assume that their clearly ridiculously superior skill lets them shape the encounter however they want with pretty trivial ease.

1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

In a typical fighter-wizard-rogue-cleric party, it gets hard to tell what will be a foregone conclusion since everybody’s great at their own stuff but sucks at everyone else’s stuff. The DM knows what’s going to need a roll and what he can skip rolling out when the players have decided what they will do, not before.

Indeed. That's why I like a system which supports - and demands - everyone to be able to have a go at everything, and just excel in their own field rather not being able to contribute outside it.

Edited by Magnus Grendel
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57 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

You where the one that said the challenge was bellow the PC, but didn't go away.

I did not create the challenge or have the players stats to compare.

I was going by information provided by you.

My point stands if the challenge is below the players level most GM will skip it. Hence it vanishes.

If only one player will be challenged due to his low stats and not the uniqueness of the challenge (wizard, rouge, cleric challenges) , most DM will up the guards or drop the encounter.

 

Sure, but you went to foregone conclusions. A bard making a performance still rolls to see how well he does even if it’s a given he’s going to do well, because that’s what the rules say he should do. That same bard charming a barmaid into a kiss and a cuddle on the other hand probably doesn’t need to roll. The PCs trying to sneak past the guards with a 20% chance of failure (the cleric’s armour is clanky, but the rogue will assist to make it easier) aren’t in a challenging encounter, but they can still fail and failure will have consequences, so a roll is in order. And so on.

And relevant to the original point, if a challenge is so easy that there’s no point in rolling then that’s precisely because of the flat bonus. If something can only fail on a critical failure (which are pretty rare to begin with), yup, that should get skipped. With R&K, 3k3 misses TN 10 8% of the time because it’s all dice and no bonus. 

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7 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Sure, but you went to foregone conclusions. A bard making a performance still rolls to see how well he does even if it’s a given he’s going to do well, because that’s what the rules say he should do. That same bard charming a barmaid into a kiss and a cuddle on the other hand probably doesn’t need to roll. The PCs trying to sneak past the guards with a 20% chance of failure (the cleric’s armour is clanky, but the rogue will assist to make it easier) aren’t in a challenging encounter, but they can still fail and failure will have consequences, so a roll is in order. And so on.

And relevant to the original point, if a challenge is so easy that there’s no point in rolling then that’s precisely because of the flat bonus. If something can only fail on a critical failure (which are pretty rare to begin with), yup, that should get skipped. With R&K, 3k3 misses TN 10 8% of the time because it’s all dice and no bonus. 

Fine, that was never my argument one way or the other.

I was just say as you agree there are times when a roll is not necessary to continue. 

So a roll becomes pointless and you don't have the player make it. Hence it vanishes.

Nothing more nothing less.

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I'm afraid I'm not cut out for the beta testing life. I'm happy to get a look at the product in progress, and some of the changes they've made have been for the better.

But I think to stay excited about the beta I would need to see some of the book as it is, with art and lovely page layouts. If ffg hasn't begun that part of production, a mock-up would be nice.

I will buy the finished product for sure, and all the suppliments.

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21 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

In a small sense it does.

As a GM in a game I would not have the players even deal with the guards if it is a forgone conclusion.

Players in my experience are only concerned with encounters that are a challenge and give them XP.

If you have them roll against these guards that are so far below them that the challenge level gives no xp they are going to start wondering why you are even bothering.

While the guards are still there, in a sense they have cease to be an issues, so in most games no roll is needed, hence they vanishes altogether.

Which makes your game unusual. Most of the D&D players I know want to defeat them for the XP, even tho' it's trivial. Now, town guards may be trivial (not in 5E, where a town guard can be a major hassle for even mid-levels — 6 to 10th — and where the adventures have the primary targets guarded by module-level appropriate guards, or by swarms of lower level, or both. And 10 kobolds can be a real threat in 5E for a party of 4x 5th levels — without having to go all Tucker on them. (If you don't know See Dragon #127.) My two favorite editions of D&D being Cyclopedia and 5E, I can say honestly that both keep the threat factor of guardsmen much longer than AD&D.

Now, Palladium players likely still waste them, but only to prevent dealing with them again on the way out, but not for the XP. 

In L5R, I've never had a player not see a guard as a threat, specifically because of the open ending.  That guard could, quite possibly, generate 100 points from a dagger hit worth 3k1... the odds are about 3/10,000,000,000... but it's possible. And that possibility, filtered through many players lack of grasp of statistics, means they realize it's possible and plan as if the odds are better. (Highest I've seen on a given "die kept" was 56. But the player had 3 over 30  on that roll, which started as 10k5.)

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38 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Which makes your game unusual. Most of the D&D players I know want to defeat them for the XP, even tho' it's trivial. Now, town guards may be trivial (not in 5E, where a town guard can be a major hassle for even mid-levels — 6 to 10th — and where the adventures have the primary targets guarded by module-level appropriate guards, or by swarms of lower level, or both. And 10 kobolds can be a real threat in 5E for a party of 4x 5th levels — without having to go all Tucker on them. (If you don't know See Dragon #127.) My two favorite editions of D&D being Cyclopedia and 5E, I can say honestly that both keep the threat factor of guardsmen much longer than AD&D.

Not a fan of D&D at all. Got into role-playing through Shadowrun.

But when I have played, it was normally 2nd or 3.5

This was a response to a comment about skilled players that where vastly Superior to low level guard.

As for the XP not sure how it works in 5th, but in 2nd/3.5 if the challenge level is to low you get no XP for the encounter. That was the fights that I ignore.

38 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Now, Palladium players likely still waste them, but only to prevent dealing with them again on the way out, but not for the XP. 

Never been a fan of Palladium. 

There is to much power-creep from one book to the next.

38 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

In L5R, I've never had a player not see a guard as a threat, specifically because of the open ending.  That guard could, quite possibly, generate 100 points from a dagger hit worth 3k1... the odds are about 3/10,000,000,000... but it's possible. And that possibility, filtered through many players lack of grasp of statistics, means they realize it's possible and plan as if the odds are better. (Highest I've seen on a given "die kept" was 56. But the player had 3 over 30  on that roll, which started as 10k5.)

This has more to do with how lethal the combat system is more then anything else.

Even rank 1 guards can take out a high level Samurai if they team-up on him/her.

In D&D the gap is more pronounced. 

A level 10 PC will wipe the floor with a group of Level 1 guards.

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Don't forget the setting : in Rokugan, killing a guard (samurai or heimin) be a major way to get yourself into trouble even outside the village. 

Random kills are not welcome in Rokugan : they might mess up the general karmic flow of the place (yorei and gakis galore) or will end up with the local Daimyo asking your lord for your seppuku (or for some other thing that will put your party in trouble). 

I generaly make sure that my players never try things "the easy way" by making them pay dearly whenever they do.

 

Edited by Dreamecho
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3 hours ago, Dreamecho said:

Don't forget the setting : in Rokugan, killing a guard (samurai or heimin) be a major way to get yourself into trouble even outside the village. 

Random kills are not welcome in Rokugan : they might mess up the general karmic flow of the place (yorei and gakis galore) or will end up with the local Daimyo asking your lord for your seppuku (or for some other thing that will put your party in trouble). 

I generaly make sure that my players never try things "the easy way" by making them pay dearly whenever they do.

 

Honestly though, that goes for pretty much any setting in any system I’ve ever played. Even in post-apocalyptic settings killing somebody’s nobody guard tends to have consequences. Random civilians might be something else, but then most GMs will still find a way for that to come back and bite you in the *** if they want (I know I certainly will).

That said, I never even said anything about killing these hypothetical guards. It’s an option, but my players certainly learned to look for non-combat (or at least less-lethal) approaches to dealing with a challenge. And those are much harder to set up so they are balanced around the top end of the players’ individual or collective abilities, especially at higher levels. It’s relatively easy to build NPCs that are neither pushovers nor TPKers. It’s a lot harder to predict all the possible ways the players might think of to deal with a situation.

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Of course,

Though what I meant is that Rokugan is by far one of the worse places to mess around with guards. You will often face worse than a simple arrest and execution.

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4 hours ago, Dreamecho said:

Don't forget the setting : in Rokugan, killing a guard (samurai or heimin) be a major way to get yourself into trouble even outside the village. 

2

Yeah, in the same vein you are in trouble if you throw a rotten tomato into the face of a policeman IRL. Murder in Rokugan is either a matter of honor (and thus beyond reproach) or is the rough equivalent of vandalism (and thus below serious repercussions) - you get maybe a really thin line between these two where the character can be truly condemned for their action but this tends to be a plot device (the ominous murder scene to start an investigation adventure) rather than something you run into spontaneously. 

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24 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Yeah, in the same vein you are in trouble if you throw a rotten tomato into the face of a policeman IRL. Murder in Rokugan is either a matter of honor (and thus beyond reproach) or is the rough equivalent of vandalism (and thus below serious repercussions) - you get maybe a really thin line between these two where the character can be truly condemned for their action but this tends to be a plot device (the ominous murder scene to start an investigation adventure) rather than something you run into spontaneously. 

I agree, killing some local heimin at random is technically permitted for samurai. You just accelerate the speed at which they'd reincarnate.

However this also means a complete fault regarding the virtue of compassion (for which any samurai would be at right to challenge you to a duel or explain to you how your ancestors are shamed by your actions) and a major breach of etiquetteif you are not owning the lands. Any Landlord can ask your personnal lord for serious consequences and your lord thus has to ask for your seppuku for his honor's sake. Even though you are technically beyond reach as a samurai, any local lord higher than you that estimates himself insulted by your actions can ask for your punishment. 

Also your actions don't just concern your own honor but also your family's reputation.

Aside from that, random murders get the kolat happy or can often end up with a problematic spirit messing up the area.

I should also mention that peace in rokugan is something quite precarious. Wars have been declared by much less than visiting other clan's lands and acting random.

 

Even if it's not a major plotpoint, I will go straight into this occasion to give my players a good sight of the mess they've made. 

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This is still leagues below, say, D&D where randomly killing people will literally cast you out from the grander society because Detect Evil is a thing. 

In L5R, the worst you can get for wanton murder is angst, but this is L5R, so angst is an expected and completely normal outcome. Then ping-pong a little Honor and maybe Glory. Heck, you can probably push the envelope and get away with a massacre relatively easily. 

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Depends a lot on situations.

I've had PC become ronin for making local peasants suffer on other clan's holds. I've also have a seppukus for instigating revolts in karmicaly disturbed places (the whole place actualy ended up with a gaki of slaughter landing in the village during the revolt and making  finishing what his name implied, village was pretty much a wreck).

 

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4 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Which L5R is that?  Real L5R, wantonly murdering peasants is a good way to get executed or being commanded to commit seppuku for disgracing your lord.  A samurai might outrank the peasants in the celestial order, but who he doesn't outrank is the guy who owns all those peasants.

The problem is there are two major approaches to L5R in general I'm seeing.

  1. No-consequences psycho-samurai KTAATTS - aka Murder-hobo style.
  2. Social structures matter samurai drama.

Only one is intended.

There are subtleties in each, and different members of the teams have taken different approaches to the second... As have players

  • There have always been those who want to play non-supported character types. 
  • There have always been those who see Scorpion as outside the honor system, too

Both are wrong-headed, and this edition, like 2nd and 3rd, allows scorpion more leeway by making the crimes cost them less honor and duty gain them more. Or, when cross-type, duty failure costs them more, and doing the legal and virtuous avoidance of murder gains them less.

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2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

this edition, like 2nd and 3rd, allows scorpion more leeway by making the crimes cost them less honor and duty gain them more

Which is still silly. Samurai should be exactly as honourable as they act (according to the code of Bushido spread and valued empire-wide) no matter their clan of origin or how any given clan values specific tenets.

Glory and other clans' perceptions should be where differences come into play.

2 hours ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Real L5R, wantonly murdering peasants is a good way to get executed or being commanded to commit seppuku for disgracing your lord.  A samurai might outrank the peasants in the celestial order, but who he doesn't outrank is the guy who owns all those peasants.

It's a good way to be disgraced when your lord has to foot the bill, but you'd have to do something extreme beyond "just" murdering peasants to be executed or forced to seppuku. Unless they're your clan's peasants, that other lord doesn't have the authority to have you killed without a fight.

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13 hours ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Real L5R, wantonly murdering peasants is a good way to get executed or being commanded to commit seppuku for disgracing your lord.  A samurai might outrank the peasants in the celestial order, but who he doesn't outrank is the guy who owns all those peasants.

 

It is a possibility, of course, like how you can get a death sentence if you throw a rotten tomato into the face of a policeman in the wrong country, but you have to kill a lot of peasants in a very wrong place to escalate things to this point. Like, in order to even answer for murdering a peasant, you need the whole act to get traction in the first place, then piss off the local lord well enough that he will care (at which point chances are high that they are pissed for reasons other than the dead peasant(s)), then give the local lord the influence to deliver the matter to your lord or some higher authority, then have your lord or the higher authority bother with the whole thing. Note that at this point, you are only answering for the murder but you are not condemned for it in any way or form. This gets considerably more interesting if the guy who owns the killed peasants does not outrank you or some similar shenanigans occur that puts the murderer on the higher ground. 

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39 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

It is a possibility, of course, like how you can get a death sentence if you throw a rotten tomato into the face of a policeman in the wrong country, but you have to kill a lot of peasants in a very wrong place to escalate things to this point. Like, in order to even answer for murdering a peasant, you need the whole act to get traction in the first place, then piss off the local lord well enough that he will care (at which point chances are high that they are pissed for reasons other than the dead peasant(s)), then give the local lord the influence to deliver the matter to your lord or some higher authority, then have your lord or the higher authority bother with the whole thing. Note that at this point, you are only answering for the murder but you are not condemned for it in any way or form. This gets considerably more interesting if the guy who owns the killed peasants does not outrank you or some similar shenanigans occur that puts the murderer on the higher ground. 

That’s because it’s more akin to theft or property destruction than to murder from a Rokugani point of view, though in real life you usually can’t argue that you stole or destroyed something because it annoyed or disrespected you. Which samurai will bring up as the reason for killing a peasant in Rokugan, and it will be considered valid as long as another samurai doesn’t testify to the contrary.

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