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Kakita Onimaru

Are you enjoying this game?

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1 hour ago, Doji Namika said:

I am enjoying playing 5e. The core rules work wonderfully well.

There are issues though. The most glaring ones are in writing clearly, organization, examples and explaining RAI.

Approaches don't pose a problem, but I have found we are going more and more for the 7th Sea way of doing it. A good description trumps everything, so mostly fiction first and gm decides based on that, mostly following the player.

There were no real issues with character generation. We did move the heritage table to one of the first steps though, just after Clan & Family. Overall, with some starting xp doesn't seem more restrictive then 4e to me.

Turning strife into roleplay obviously requires buy-in from the players, as does any mechanic. My players have experience with taking cues from the more abstract, meta-mechanics and translating them into rp and using them to drive narrative, but I have some struggle more with this as others, stating it interferes with staying in character. I am playing with making giri/ninjo conflicts and disadvantages coming into play impact strife generation the most.

Makes it matter, and more dangerous when it's appropriate and turns it more concrete at the same time, as well as make it a non-issue when it does not.

It don't like the movement rules, so, they got replaced by a zone system. 

Void generation has been divorced from disadvantages and returned to the 'old' system. Sleep refills the pool and meditation and tea ceremony downtime actions restore 1. Don't mind the mechanic per se, but everyone at my table agreed it just didn't feel like void anymore and that that matters.

Duels don't really work for us. It's easy for them to drag and they are rarely exciting. They need some sort of clock, like every round lowers TN/increases DV/Lethality.

Katana breaking has been given the boot by overwhelming demand. Razor-sharp is just lost and that's it.

Spell casting mishaps are not working as intended.

Of course there are imbalances with techniques/kata's/... but that's expected.

Anyway, overall we definitely are having fun with this game :-)

Glade you are enjoying the game you created.

But this is a Beta of the core system that does not work fine if you have to house rule it.

The objective of a Beta is to find the issues with the game and fix them.

By changing the rule then telling FFG that their version works you are not helping anyone.

 

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4 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Glade you are enjoying the game you created.

But this is a Beta of the core system that does not work fine if you have to house rule it.

The objective of a Beta is to find the issues with the game and fix them.

By changing the rule then telling FFG that their version works you are not helping anyone.

 

I believe I indicated which parts are not working for me, so why the snark? The fact I also include which direction I'm looking to fix them for my table seems relevant as well. In fact, seems to fulfil your stated objective for this beta perfectly.

Yes, I said I'm enjoying what's there. Yes, I believe their core rules, meaning the dice mechanic, stats and task resolution work. No, I most certainly did not state that everything works in my opinion and if my use of the words 'core rules' made you think that I meant every and all systems included in the beta, well, I do not. 

I find it hard to believe that the context of my post did not make that abundantly clear, but hey, I admit it was written in haste.

 

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2 hours ago, Doji Namika said:

II find it hard to believe that the context of my post did not make that abundantly clear, but hey, I admit it was written in haste.

It wasn't.

It read as a ringing endorsement of the beta as houseruled, and looked like you might be reporting based upon the houseruled one.

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6 hours ago, Doji Namika said:

I believe I indicated which parts are not working for me, so why the snark? The fact I also include which direction I'm looking to fix them for my table seems relevant as well. In fact, seems to fulfil your stated objective for this beta perfectly.

Yes, I said I'm enjoying what's there. Yes, I believe their core rules, meaning the dice mechanic, stats and task resolution work. No, I most certainly did not state that everything works in my opinion and if my use of the words 'core rules' made you think that I meant every and all systems included in the beta, well, I do not. 

I find it hard to believe that the context of my post did not make that abundantly clear, but hey, I admit it was written in haste.

 

The problem with the post is, while probably not intentenal you pulled a bait and switch.

"I am enjoying playing 5e. The core rules work wonderfully well."

This gives a false impression that there is nothing wrong with the system.

To give you an Idea it like.

The car runs great. I have had no problems with it.

By the way the oil leak.

The tires are dry rotted.

needs a new fan belt.

Etc.

 

Edited by tenchi2a

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Only if you actually stop reading there. But yes, I should have used another term than 'core rules'. The basic rules? The core of the system?

Still, if I may be honest? If you missed what I meant when you read the sentence just after what you quoted and bolded, namely 'There are issues though.', followed by listing them, it is blindingly obvious that I did not give any false impressions that nothing is wrong, and to say I pulled a bait and switch is downright silly.

This would hardly be the only rpg I enjoy, and whose game engine works wonderfully well, and still has issues. In fact, L5R 4e is a good example. We (as in the fandom) have filled more than one forum with what we think does not work well and our fixes for them. So, lighten up and don't assume everyone is posting in bad faith. This place is overly negative as is.

 

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14 minutes ago, Doji Namika said:

This would hardly be the only rpg I enjoy, and whose game engine works wonderfully well, and still has issues. In fact, L5R 4e is a good example. We (as in the fandom) have filled more than one forum with what we think does not work well and our fixes for them. So, lighten up and don't assume everyone is posting in bad faith. This place is overly negative as is.

The big difference here is 4th edition is a finished produced.

Its not going to change so to fix it house-rules are necessary.

5th is a Beta, if there is an issues it can be fix before we get to the final produced stage.

House-ruling it doesn't help with that.

While I don't think I was snarky an in way, I am sorry for being so blunt.

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Overall: No

Things I like:

Custom Dice - I'm already familiar with the custom dice from Star Wars and Warhammer Fantasy. The mechanics are fine. The game is a little more boring since the numbers are more consistent but overall it is fine. (By consistent: Look at weapon damage. There is very little variance on damage when you connect with a weapon. In the D10 system, you could take 5 damage or 100 damage. Exploding D10s made things wonky. Currently, the Katana does 5 damage +- about 2.).

Experience - Suggestions for how much experience to provide is nice. Numbers are much kinder. Players don't need to save up ludicrous amounts of experience to get more powerful.

Techniques -  Implementing social attack rules and techniques is a good start. Warhammer Fantasy had this. However, implementation is still limited in scope. Making a pure courtier character will still feel underwhelming. Give some real teeth to the courtier please. Getting techniques on cards similar to the Warhammer Fantasy Action Cards would be amazing. Writing down all the mechanics for each technique on the character sheet is time consuming and easily forgotten.

Invocations - No more spell slots to keep track of. Thank the Kami! Channeling rules are fine, it makes powerful spells take longer to cast which my players were all fine with. Spiritual backlash is unneeded. It is another thing to remember. 

Things I do not like:

Honor/Glory/Status: Can this mechanic die already? I have been ignoring these three attributes for years and it has only helped our game progress. It is another mechanic that is unwieldy to use. Game Masters and players have enough statistics and mechanics to keep track of without needing a numerical way to ding or benefit players. Players know when they did something honorable/dishonorable, there is no need to pull out a pen and update a statistic every time a snide remark happens. 

Any Ring Any Skill: The idea is novel but implementation is awkward. Min/max players will always word their actions so they can use their highest ring on every roll. "I Look within myself to Attack, Defend, Play Go, Jump, Convince." THE SKILL SECTION IS 30 PAGES! Not exactly simplifying things.

Advantage and Disadvantage: Dozens of listed but mostly bland Advantages. You an reroll 2 dice when ______.  Another mechanic to keep track of on every dice roll. If players had to buy these with experience points they might come up more often. Given out for free they are easily forgotten. DMs have enough to think about without trying to memorize 5 Advantages/Disadvantages for every player.

Distinction / Passion/ Adversity/ Anxiety: Better memorize those 4 distinct mechanics. Also memorize if they cancel out or not. Hantei help us when the splat books come out and more are introduced. In Warhammer Fantasy you add a White die or a Black die, it was simple and awesome.

Derived statistics: Another thing to calculate. I get where the designers are coming from but it is not necessary. Player increases a Ring with experience points. Now the player has to increase two derived statistics. All of the derived statistics can be handled via another method. As it is, it's another thing players have to keep track of and update. Bookkeeping is not fun.

Unified Mechanics: I understand the concept. All scenes/encounters run with the same formula. The idea is to make the game simple. Real-world implementation has shown this not to be the case. The assessment phase can be removed almost entirely. It is unneeded in most situations. It should be rolled only when appropriate (player asks "Do I think I can beat this guy?"). Building a dice pool, rolling the dice pool, modifying the dice pool, and interpreting the dice pool take time. If each roll takes a significant amount of time, the amount of rolling needs to decrease. 

NPCS: Messy. Please have each NPC stat block be self contained. As it is right now, I have to keep 5 pages bookmarked to play an NPC. NPC has Advantages and Disadvantages. I haven't memorized all 50 of those, have to look it up. Outburst type, have to look it up. Abilities, have to look up the mechanics for each of those. Gear, have to look up each of those.  Keep NPCs as simple as possible. DMs have enough going on without having to cross reference several pages while characters fight another human.

Character sheet: The character sheet is 8 pages if you use it in its entirety. Narrative mode, Conflict Mode x 3, 20 Questions x 4. Yes, you can probably skip the 20 questions pages however those questions all provide direct, mechanical bonuses to your character and are an integral part of creation. This skims down the character sheet to 4 entire pages!

Campaign Sheet: As a DM, I hate this page. I don't want to roll on the Ninjo or Giri wheel. I don't want to fill out all the boxes. Zero of my players want to watch me try to keep track of this thing. This is two pages of headache that get lost in a dozen other pages of notes I have trying to run this game. 

Too many mechanics: Advantage / Disadvantage. Assistance. Distiction/Passion/Adversity/Anxiety. Spiritual backlash. Strife. Initiative has sub-mechanics. Each stance has a mechanic. Each stances mechanic has a sub-mechanic depending on the type of scene. Everything has a mechanic. Re-read the above sections (and below). My main gripe is that there are way too many things to track. Players can barely keep track of their own Hit Points and Void Points. Making them manage strife, techniques, Advantages, Passion, Backstory, Motivation, Honor, etc mechanically is asking for too much. They are all good ideas but they don't need to be game mechanics. If it is a mechanic, it has to be very simple. D&D lets you roll one extra die. Warhammer lets you roll one extra die. I like it, my players like it. 

Things I am Neutral:

Strife system: Warhammer has Fatigue/Stress as well. It's not BAD but it's not necessary. The entire mechanic can be ignored without much impact on the game. Forcing characters to "outburst" is not fun. Players want to play, not feel like they are getting punished at every opportunity. Strife seems to be "another mechanic to keep track of." Players have too many things to keep track of already. The DM has too many things to keep track of as well. Having to flip to the book to find out what happens every time a player went over their strife threshold was annoying.

Opportunity: I like the idea. Implementation needs work. There are too many ways to use opportunity. Yes too many ways. If you generate opportunity, you can spend it: Make something up, Stance, Skill, Skill Group, School, Technique, Weapon, etc. Players either have to write all of these down and look through their SIX TO EIGHT PAGE CHARACTER SHEET or try to memorize all of this. 

Heritage Table has players rolling a D10 for results. I find that funny. I also find the heritage table completely unnecessary. Players are almost done with their character at this point. Roll to randomly receive some bonus you probably don't want. Players love to randomly receive -5 honor.

Game of 20 questions: I get that this is there to flesh out characters. However some people know what they want to make. There is no quick way to generate characters. Everyone has to answer the questions because there is a mechanical benefit to doing so. Also, during generation players will get to decide between +x Honor/Glory/Status and a Skill (A very specific skill. NO you can't change it). It's not very exciting to choose between two things you don't want. Let the players allocate skill points by default. 

Equipment: Equipment is bloated and unnecessary. Some weapons are clearly better than others. Special qualities are a mechanic that is not needed. Players now have to keep track of separate mechanics for their gear! Warhammer had a fairly simplified gear listing and 50% of the items were never used. There isn't much variance in weaponry (in terms of mechanics) so why devote several pages to it? Katana, Wakizashi, Bow, small weapon, big weapon. All the special mechanics should be self contained within the technique or skill. Needing to reference what "Snaring" is the first time someone throws a punch is not fun.

Mass Battle: I hardly ever use mass battle. In general, it is no fun for my players and no fun for me. Every now and again a player will min/max to be a battle master but in general, no one enjoys it. The mechanics are slow and the payoff is negligible. 

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On 11/17/2017 at 0:11 PM, Novacaine2 said:

I don't mind the game, it actually kind of cool from what I have seen and experience but until I see a complete core book and not just this beta I am withholding judgement. The big problem I have and this is a big one is the d6 and d12 custom dice. I dont mind the custom dice, it will actually most likely speed up the dice rolling part of the game. What I hate is the idea of d6s and d12s. I want a system that uses custom d10, full stop, no negotiation. Can we please crunch some numbers and just adjust for a d10 system the way God intended L5R RPG to be played? 

 

Here you go. Custom D10 Homebrew. I too do not understand the reason behind using d6s and d12s, so I did something about it. Enjoy! :)

 

Ring Die (Insert Color Die Here)

1

Blank

2

Blank

3

Opportunity

4

Opportunity

5

Opportunity / Strife

6

Opportunity / Strife

7

Success / Strife

8

Success

9

Explosive Success / Strife

10

Explosive Success / Strife

 

Skill Die (Insert Color Die Here)

1

Blank

2

Opportunity

3

Opportunity

4

Opportunity

5

Success / Opportunity

6

Success / Strife

7

Success

8

Success

9

Explosive Success / Strife

10

Explosive Success

 

 

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I don’t know... the different dice allow for what I assume to have been some very fine tuning by the design team. Skill dice have only marginally better success rate vs Ring dice (7/12 vs 1/2) but they have half the amount of Strife. You cannot get the exact same ratios with only D10s. 

In BlindSamurai’s version, Skill dice are comparatively much better vs Ring dice. 6/10 vs 4/10 successes, and 2/10 vs 5/10 Strife. Both have the same occurrence of explosive successes, like the official dice do, but these chances are better with D10s : 1/5 instead of 1/6.

Overall, this might give more or less successes depending on the skill level. Given how sensitive the system is to TNs variations, this might end up being quite disruptive. 

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I think at this point I may be done playing with the beta.  I kinda had "the talk" with my group tonight to see what they all thought of it, and mostly the feedback has been that this system is tougher to role play with compared to L5R 1st ed that we've all played.

The rings and skills being so top level and vague makes it tough for players to decide what they want to do.  The concept is that vague, top level stats and skills free the players to be creative.  I feel it has the opposite effect of stiffing direction.  Stats and skills serve as a way for a player to build how their character acts.  When they are trying to decide on an action to do they don't look at a skill list seeded with ideas, rather they see an abstract list of concepts meaning they still have to decide what they are doing...  This creates a layer of uncertainty in nearly EVERY skill check.  Players who are new to rpg suffer this more as they don't have a base knowledge of previous experience to drive their character with.

The techniques put a very high burden of knowledge on players.  Previous L5R games used raises to determine any extra effects.  This was great because it gave players the flexibility to augment any action on the spot in any way they, and their GM agreed on.  If they decided it might be advantageous to complete a task quickly they can opt for it.  The flexibility of raises allowed a player to personalize any action.  In the beta this is reversed.  Once you think you are free to become creative with the top level approach system, you find the highly solidified opportunity costs then backpedal your creativity.  No you can't say you're completing this faster, not without rolling those opportunities after the fact!  Do you have Striking as Water?  No?  then you can't get creative and try to bypass your opponents armor!

The game tries to start out saying you can do anything - and then it immediately yanks that back with a multiple-page character sheet including a page or more of techniques to shuffle through...

There is also a great dissonance between the approach system used for skills and the combat system.  When we have approaches we have some vague concept of what each element brings to the table.  Are you creating a new item?  Are your repairing one?  Are you innovating a new dance?  Are you trying to bait your opponent into revealing a disadvantage?  Then you get to combat and its basically which ring is highest and / or which stance bonus do you want?  These completely fail to even attempt to describe fighting...  Using stats / skills to craft, or negotiate should not be so different from using stats / skills to fight.

In the end I think the game tries to do something that is just... not going to work.  A player is typically going to know what they want their character to be good at, or what they want their character to know.  Having physical and mental stats with specific skills makes sense.  I can ask a player if their character is more strong, or more agile.  Are they are more perceptive, or more intelligent.  Players recognize these things.  When I say "does your character recall details well, or do they analyze details well" a player might get this... but then "recall details well" includes that they are patient, can repair things, and fight defensively...  and the player gets lost again...

Raises vs opportunities and narrowly defined stats / skills vs vague approaches hit the same wall.  A player knows the details of their character, and may decide the nuance of their actions on the fly - this system gets it backwards assuming the design of the character is nuanced, and that the ability to embellish on actions should be defined...

-----------------------------

On a side note - I tried duels today - why would you ever NOT use center stance?  TN 1 for 2+ tn to be hit, and you can guess a ring - if you guess what your opponent uses they get +3 strife...  Compare this to Provoke in which you have to hit a TN 3 just to decrease the TN to hit them by 1, and that's it - no further effect...  Is there any reason not to simply spam center stance, and whoever guessed better on what "approach" their opponent might spam center with gets to trigger a Finishing Blow?  I mean, unless you go first and just attack your opponent immediately - which might not win any type of duel - the center approach seems WAY too good.

Edited by Soshi Nimue

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On 11/20/2017 at 6:30 PM, Nitenman said:

I thought at first that strife mechanic was annoying me because it removed player agency to force drama. But I think in the end it annoys me more because it makes the mechanics focus on small break of On manifestation like outburst that I find not much interesting. Drama isn't how you react to an event but what lead to the event. 

I don't find exciting drama in the expression of daily struggle, that make you build on stress until you have a small outburst and then, hop until the next one. Interesting drama is a stoic samurai's long term hunt against the killer of his lord ending in him being powerless to take action due to a rogukani cultural specificity. Maybe then he should have an outburst, a proper one. Not because the dice said so, but because the player is pretty pissed off. 

Maybe a game in the game about loss of On could be interesting, practiced by courtier, where loss of face in public would actually matter. 

Just reading through, and this hit me like a sledgehammer.

The entire strife system - so essential to this game that it's worked in to the physical dice - will affect different PCs wildly differently.

Example A - 3 Crab bushi are sitting in a bar in the Crab lands in a Crab campaign. The Crab are known for breaches of etiquette and not caring about social customs. The dice give you fifty-thousand outburts nd literally no one will ever care.

Example B - A prominent Crane courtier in winter court. The dice give you a single slip of etiquette and you can accidentally get an entire clan banished, families murdered, wars started, etc etc etc...

That's rough, man. The dice have a thing that can kill your courtiers. It kind of makes it necessary for every court school to have a strife mitigating ability on top of everything else that they do.

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Anyway, just checking in this week.

Game so far - Not enjoying it. 
It has many positive qualities and some rules and systems that I'm straight up going to adapt in to 4th ed for future campaigns. I like the idea of Ninjo and Giri a lot, just not as they are implemented here. I like the ideas about where skill and trait advances come from during character creation, and a lot of the 20 questions I found enjoyable and useful. Even the career advancement tables (which helped to ruin 40k RPGs for me) work quite well here, because your characters would be literally in school learning specific things to graduate so it makes sense.
The problem is the entire system. Approaches based on bizarre semi-open-ended keywords turns immediately in to a quagmire. There are too few skills / ring / approaches to adequately describe the infinite types of things you can do in a game run by imagination. Almost every actions the players took wound up being shoehorned in to a skill / ring keyword that vaguely fit. The nightmarish layout of the book didn't help to mitigate this. The strife system could be interesting if it wasn't worked in to every single roll for anything. Duels didn't get past 2 rounds, as (in a duel to the first blood) after four successful katana strikes our players were too embarrassed to continue the slapfight their characters somehow gotten involved in.

TO BE HONEST: I've run this for a good handful of people. Most of us came in open minded and excited for a new edition of L5R, one of our absolute all-time favourite games. Some came in pre-grumpy, but willing to give it a shot. All of us left muttering / exclaiming about how the system is unwieldy and the design is arcane and unplayable.

Even as a standalone system I've got little reason to seek this out and play it. After checking out the pdf cheatsheets that AK_Aramis benevolently put together I realized that I have very little interest in a RPG with this much micro-managing. As an L5R system...

I love L5R to death, and I love a lot of FFG games, but nah. There's so much better out there, and while this game has some great ideas so much would have to change to make it worth investing in.

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49 minutes ago, GhostSanta said:

Just reading through, and this hit me like a sledgehammer.

The entire strife system - so essential to this game that it's worked in to the physical dice - will affect different PCs wildly differently.

Example A - 3 Crab bushi are sitting in a bar in the Crab lands in a Crab campaign. The Crab are known for breaches of etiquette and not caring about social customs. The dice give you fifty-thousand outburts nd literally no one will ever care.

Example B - A prominent Crane courtier in winter court. The dice give you a single slip of etiquette and you can accidentally get an entire clan banished, families murdered, wars started, etc etc etc...

That's rough, man. The dice have a thing that can kill your courtiers. It kind of makes it necessary for every court school to have a strife mitigating ability on top of everything else that they do.

That’s my problem with the narrative part of this supposedly narrative system as well. It just doesn’t work when you consider Rokugan as the background, with not only different character roles but also different paths of life (not everybody values Glory equally and not everybody holds to honor) and deliberately very different clans. This game would work a lot better in a unified setting where all samurai are expected to chase honor, status and glory equally, but then it wouldn’t be L5R. More than anything else, and that includes the R&K system, the setting is what makes this game L5R to me - as it should, rooted as it is in the card game that pitted different clans against each other and built an entire history around the outcomes. That core identity precludes building in a central aspiration that all player characters share, and without that there is no central narrative. Without central narrative, the whole giri-ninjo dichotomy and all the associated mechanics fall flat.

Edited by nameless ronin

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51 minutes ago, GhostSanta said:


It has many positive qualities and some rules and systems that I'm straight up going to adapt in to 4th ed for future campaigns. I like the idea of Ninjo and Giri a lot, just not as they are implemented here. I like the ideas about where skill and trait advances come from during character creation, and a lot of the 20 questions I found enjoyable and useful. Even the career advancement tables (which helped to ruin 40k RPGs for me) work quite well here, because your characters would be literally in school learning specific things to graduate so it makes sense.
 

I have to disagree on this point. Samurais don't go to school in order to "graduate" with a specific set of skills. The "schools" have also much more of an idea of prestige. They won't train you in their specific teachings because you show much promise in some elements (except in the more advanced stuff like Kenshinzen, Kensai, Doji innocent or Bitter lies swordsman for instance), but because you have the standings to go to said school and would probably bolster the schools reputation (senseis will go all "XXX trained here"). There IS a small and notable difference which is that even if you are not 100% on set with the school you can receive the teachings not because you could be worthy but because you could make a fine representative.

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25 minutes ago, Dreamecho said:

I have to disagree on this point. Samurais don't go to school in order to "graduate" with a specific set of skills. The "schools" have also much more of an idea of prestige. They won't train you in their specific teachings because you show much promise in some elements (except in the more advanced stuff like Kenshinzen, Kensai, Doji innocent or Bitter lies swordsman for instance), but because you have the standings to go to said school and would probably bolster the schools reputation (senseis will go all "XXX trained here"). There IS a small and notable difference which is that even if you are not 100% on set with the school you can receive the teachings not because you could be worthy but because you could make a fine representative.

I like that view that you're presenting, but I also imagine that there's a training aspect. I like to imagine that Hida bushi would have to stand firm while being struck with training staffs a certain number of times, or thrusting their hands into the hot sand without flinching, etc. Failure to do so would be a failure in advancing within the school.

While schools definitely have the "I am Samurai So-And-So and I've trained in the Kenshinzen style at the Kakita Dueling Academy Under Sensei (X) who trained Kakita Master (Y), so you would be wise to beware my style," I feel like for sure the sensei would work the pupils hard and make sure that they know the required material and can perform the strikes perfectly without bringing embarrassment to the school.

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2 hours ago, GhostSanta said:

I like that view that you're presenting, but I also imagine that there's a training aspect. I like to imagine that Hida bushi would have to stand firm while being struck with training staffs a certain number of times, or thrusting their hands into the hot sand without flinching, etc. Failure to do so would be a failure in advancing within the school.

While schools definitely have the "I am Samurai So-And-So and I've trained in the Kenshinzen style at the Kakita Dueling Academy Under Sensei (X) who trained Kakita Master (Y), so you would be wise to beware my style," I feel like for sure the sensei would work the pupils hard and make sure that they know the required material and can perform the strikes perfectly without bringing embarrassment to the school.

There is a training aspect, but it kicks in when a samurai steps in the dojo to prep for that new technique he has been looking forward to. 

Previous iteration from the game distinguished between advancing rank and learning the new school rank technique. You'd need to be rep rank 2 in order to get the right to learn some new technique, whether it is advancing in your school or beeing allowed rank one in some other new school. You'd be allowed to step in and learn the tech. 

Narratively speaking look at Shiba Tsukune or Doji Kuwanan they trained in different schools (lion for both) due to favors obtained by their parents. They weren't in because they were better. They were allowed in because it was deemed honorable to have them train at said school.

Asking to get the tech through a specific set of skills seems odd  lorewise. You enter the dojo then train. Not train then enter the dojo. Adapting this rulewise would enable for more character customisation (which I feel deeply lacking in this game so far).

Again schools like Kenshinzen (and others) are meant to be elite so they a sure to put in a barrier in order to prevent random dudes from trying to learn from them. In those cases the honor is more like to be a training session with one of the school members in exchange for some favor. For instance : crane courtier needs X, they manage to obtain it at court from one of the lion's courtiers but in return the courtier wishes to have some form of training for his yojimbo about to go into a trial by duel with a phenix. You'd just get a simple training sessions to prep but not a whole school graduation. If you'd wish to become a Kenshinzen and learn from them you'd need to be able to defeat a Kenshinzen in a regular Iaijutsu duel.

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28 minutes ago, Dreamecho said:

Previous iteration from the game distinguished between advancing rank and learning the new school rank technique. You'd need to be rep rank 2 in order to get the right to learn some new technique, whether it is advancing in your school or beeing allowed rank one in some other new school. You'd be allowed to step in and learn the tech. 

But, by training and increase of school rank, you get access to higher level techniques.
And some schools teach you some techniques sooner than others.

28 minutes ago, Dreamecho said:

Asking to get the tech through a specific set of skills seems odd  lorewise. You enter the dojo then train. Not train then enter the dojo. Adapting this rulewise would enable for more character customisation (which I feel deeply lacking in this game so far).

What you write down on your character progression sheet is what you were taught by the sensei.
And, when you have mastered those lessons, your are allowed to the next rank.

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2 hours ago, Exarkfr said:

But, by training and increase of school rank, you get access to higher level techniques.
And some schools teach you some techniques sooner than others.

You seem to be putting to much into this.

In 4th ed Insight rank and School rank are two different things.

Don't take this the wrong way even highly experienced players forget the difference sometimes.

Insight rank is your overall experience level. A combination of the skills, knowledge and abilities that you have gathered over the course of your life.

School rank is the level of mastery you have achieved with the schools technique.

Yes for rank one this includes the basic skills the Dojo teaches, but later levels show how far you have come in learning the school technique.

The separation is important as you can advance in Insight rank and not advance in School rank. Here are three examples.

1. A Ronin can have an Insight rank of 3, and only have a School rank of 1 as he either has no teacher to teach the next School rank or the school has no other rank.

2. A clan Samurai can have a Insight rank of 3, and only have a School rank of 2 because he has not had time to return to his clan and learn the next rank.

3. A clan Samurai can have a Insight rank of 3, and only have a School rank of 2 because his 1st, 2nd, or 3rd rank was in another school. Like some of the above examples he/she attended another clans school as a political favor and then returned to his/her own clans school.

There are no core schools that require you to learn any preset skills/advantages/abilities to learn the next schools technique and advance in School rank. You only have to show that you have achieved a high enough understanding of the world around you to grasp the next level of advancement.

Quote

What you write down on your character progression sheet is what you were taught by the sensei.
And, when you have mastered those lessons, your are allowed to the next rank.

There are some major issues with how you are reading this and how FFG is portraying advancement.

1. In the Beta you are not taught this by your sensei, these are the skills you gain on your own.

2. There are no core schools in Rokugan that require you to have predetermined skills and abilities to advance.

3. Advancement in Rokugan is about having a greater understanding of the world around you, not following a predetermined training regiment.

Overall this shows FFG lack of any understanding of the IP that they have chosen to create a game for.

All I have seen from this game is FFG trying to dictated how you play not only the game but you character.

Down to take these skills or you will not be allowed to advance, because these are the skills we think you should have.

They seem to think that only they know the best way to play L5R and the game is geared to force you to play that way.

 

 

Edited by tenchi2a

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39 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

Overall this shows FFG lack of any understanding of the IP that they have chosen to create a game for.

All I have seen from this game is FFG trying to dictated how you play not only the game but you character.

Down to take these skills or you will not be allowed to advance, because these are the skills we think you should have.

They seem to think that only they know the best way to play L5R and the game is geared to force you to play that way.

It is sadly the feeling this game is giving me (and my players). 

A lot of freedom has been sucked out of the game. Previous editions were not perfect (by a long shot), but they were flexible and allowed to create with and around the rules instead of withstanding what the game throws at you.

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9 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

You seem to be putting to much into this.

In fact, I'm not putting anything into this. Just looking at it with a new pair of eyes, not burdened by previous editions I never played.

9 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Don't take this the wrong way

Too late. Offense already taken... at myself, for failing to convey my message (**** foreign languages :().
Challenge was issued, and duel happened this morning.
Sadly, it ended with a draw.

 

All I was trying to say was: look at the tables from the other way.
Instead of just taking them as requirements for next level, consider them as way to track what you have learnt that will lead you to better understanding of the next step.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Doesn't mean I don't have issues with them. Namely: planning.
If you learn something that is not on the table at this level but at a later level, it should count for later.

 

By the way, p44 "Advancing your school (it explains FFG's view on what a school is) and the "Real-World Experience versus School Secrets" box address some of the points you raise with Insight vs School.
Though they are a RP solution to a mechanical problem.

 

YMMV, as they say.

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Just got done running a game and I think I need a Covenant video showing me exactly how to play this. Although we got the basics of making checks down just fine I am still confused about how conflicts work actually. What are the mechanical benefits of assessment, stances and approaches? Do I have to go through a whole process of a 'battle screen' to convince someone to tell me something or is it just a simple check? Opportunities are kind of cool but at the same time confusing. If some one wants to do something outside of a typical opportunity action, what are the guidelines for costing it? I was just left kind of confused. I get that this is a beta test and not a learn to play set but that scenario was a few too many things all at once.

I will say that some of my confusion is simply from the beta rules not highlighting the important bits. Like, lets keyword and bold the ever loving kami out of the word Panic and Attrition. Take a cue from Eclipse Phase and Ars Magica, have 2-4 index pages of nothing but all the tables from earlier on in the rules.

 

BETA SPOILERS AHEAD

For instance in the rhetoric fight on the wall with the monk, it seems awful one sided. Everyone just threw the reasons out there and got to 16 way faster than the monk could possibly attempt to chase. Was it supposed to be one person arguing and everyone else only 'contributes'? That seems like it would be equally broken since that person is still rolling a ton of dice albeit suffering a lot of strife.

For mass battles I'm still unsure of what you're supposed to do. Is it just abstracted and everyone just does their one action regardless of where they are in the scene? Or is each person in a unit and they move around a map like in a strategy game?

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On 11/26/2017 at 6:28 AM, GhostSanta said:

Just reading through, and this hit me like a sledgehammer.

The entire strife system - so essential to this game that it's worked in to the physical dice - will affect different PCs wildly differently.

Example A - 3 Crab bushi are sitting in a bar in the Crab lands in a Crab campaign. The Crab are known for breaches of etiquette and not caring about social customs. The dice give you fifty-thousand outburts nd literally no one will ever care.

Example B - A prominent Crane courtier in winter court. The dice give you a single slip of etiquette and you can accidentally get an entire clan banished, families murdered, wars started, etc etc etc...

That's rough, man. The dice have a thing that can kill your courtiers. It kind of makes it necessary for every court school to have a strife mitigating ability on top of everything else that they do.

The Crab Bushi are still affected... they can be rude and lose less, but still loses honor and/or glory for it; but show a sign of cowardice, and they suffer more than the crane courtier.

Meanwhile, the Crane can reveal one of their relevant disads to the crowd as an outburst. This hurts in a different way. It may often reduce the honor and glory loss to zero, but at the same time, makes everything harder, since the opponents can now target those.

Plus, the current update says to make it hurt. If it doesn't hurt, it's not an unmask.
 

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56 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

The Crab Bushi are still affected... they can be rude and lose less, but still loses honor and/or glory for it; but show a sign of cowardice, and they suffer more than the crane courtier.

Meanwhile, the Crane can reveal one of their relevant disads to the crowd as an outburst. This hurts in a different way. It may often reduce the honor and glory loss to zero, but at the same time, makes everything harder, since the opponents can now target those.

Plus, the current update says to make it hurt. If it doesn't hurt, it's not an unmask.
 

Simple question: how is a GM supposed to make it hurt for characters who don’t much care (if at all) for honor or glory?

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