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Tabris2k

Assistance is broken in narrative scenes?

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Ok, I started playing last week with a new group, and did only the Prelude part of A Ronin's Path.

Thing is, the moment my players learnt about the assistance rule, they made every check with assistance, succeding at ease with TN 4 rolls. This is narrative, so no action required, just "I'm gonna help him"

I mean, one check was TN 4 (fire), and the player rolled 3 (Fire ring) + 1 for assistance Ring Dice and 1 + 2 for assistance Skill dice. Then, one of them applied his advantage (with 4 people doing the check, almost always there's an advantage). Oddly enough, assistance doesn't let you apply disadvantages. Narratively, they said that one of them was doing the heavy talk, and the others just asserting what he said, so made sense for me. After all, if 4 people are trying to convince you of something, it's going to be more effective than just one person (something like peer presure)

So, 4 Ring Dice + 3 Skill Dice, rerolling two of them, keeping 6, and sharing the Strife, the roll was pretty easy. So imagine all the TN 1, 2 or 3, rolls.

Middle of the session, I decided to apply disadvantages to assistance. After, if you have Irrepresible Flirtation and are trying to help your friend using Courtesy with a woman, you're gonna slip and say something innapropiate.

But I don't like to change the rules so much. Is there something  I'm missing, or is really assistance so broken (for me) during narrative?

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My group read it that only the advantages and disadvantages of the person rolling were used. 

Assisting is a mixed bag. You need it as a gm and player to make the messed up TN and Opp combos the game often requires, then you can make some high numbers in a lot of places. 

Im cool with the narrative assist and like that a wink or nod can be the moral support a character needs in such a stoic setting. 

If a change has to be made to assisting, I would make it each character assisting grants one rolled ring die. If the assisting character has the skill being used for the roll, then that die is a kept die. Would have Sub skills and skills count as each other for this. 

That change is simple and keeps Npc squads functional. 

Edited by jmoschner
Forgot words

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OK first big note for ya it's not for narrative scenes it's for down time activities and Conflicts.

so it's not  for everything and I do not think you can assist someone casting a spell unless you are a shugenja and have that spell just cause you know how to do a ritual with Theology skill dose not make you a spell caster the kami will not  hear you or care about your words.

now Assisting someone in Combat is a support action I believe like distracting the guard while the ninja comes up behind him and stabs him in the back(you honor less dogs doing that shame)

how would you assist someone in a duel with out interfering in a most dishonorable maner

now in an intrigue scene having one voice and others supporting that with  words of agreement I can see easy enough as well as mass battles everyone putting their heads together over a strategist session to plan it out

and things like helping someone make a sword or collaborate on a letter to your lords during  down time is easy enough.

but narrative scenes  specifically not mentioned in the description of Assistance.

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8 minutes ago, Grodark said:

how would you assist someone in a duel with out interfering in a most dishonorable maner

  • Pace back and forth just within the field of view of the opponent but behind the ally's field of view. 
  • Openly wager against them in their earshot.
  • Convince their non-second allies to wager against them.

All are good for trivial hits.

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The key thing about assistance is it's not just a 'oh, we can always apply it.' It's definitely situational and it's not unreasonable for a GM to ask the players how they would be helping someone do something. Why would 3 bushi be able to make an Invocation work better? 

I've found it has been clutch for my PC's in some cases and fitting, but it's not a bonus they have on all rolls they make by any stretch.

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8 hours ago, Prost said:

The key thing about assistance is it's not just a 'oh, we can always apply it.' It's definitely situational and it's not unreasonable for a GM to ask the players how they would be helping someone do something. Why would 3 bushi be able to make an Invocation work better? 

I've found it has been clutch for my PC's in some cases and fitting, but it's not a bonus they have on all rolls they make by any stretch.

This.

It's not "I assist them" because the response is "by doing what, exactly?" and if the GM doesn't think that's going to help enough to qualify as assistance, it doesn't.

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16 hours ago, Grodark said:

OK first big note for ya it's not for narrative scenes it's for down time activities and Conflicts.

Huh. Pulling the quote from the book (p. 15):

Quote

There are a number of ways that one character can provide assistance on another’s check (such as those described in Downtime Activities, on page 151, and in Con- flict Scenes, on page 151), but the effect is always the same. 

That's an ambiguous sentence. It's kinda unclear whether the antecedent of "those" is "ways" or "checks"

If the antecedent is "checks", the text sort of implies that assistance can't be used in narrative scenes, but doesn't explicitly forbid it because of the leniency of "such as".  I wonder what the RAI is. 

If the antecedent is "ways"... then something is missing, because p. 151 doesn't say anything about assistance. 

(While writing, I wrote "than" instead of "then". Wouldn't that be an ironic mistake to make in this post :rolleyes:)

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30 minutes ago, sidescroller said:

Huh. Pulling the quote from the book (p. 15):

That's an ambiguous sentence. It's kinda unclear whether the antecedent of "those" is "ways" or "checks"

If the antecedent is "checks", the text sort of implies that assistance can't be used in narrative scenes, but doesn't explicitly forbid it because of the leniency of "such as".  I wonder what the RAI is. 

If the antecedent is "ways"... then something is missing, because p. 151 doesn't say anything about assistance. 

(While writing, I wrote "than" instead of "then". Wouldn't that be an ironic mistake to make in this post :rolleyes:)

If the antecedent is “ways”, the sentence between parentheses should preferably be placed immediately after it too. It’s confusing otherwise.

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2 hours ago, sidescroller said:

It's kinda unclear whether the antecedent of "those" is "ways" or "checks"

It's "check", not "checks".
Given that "those" is plural, it can only refer to "ways", and not "check".

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22 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Those is plural because it refers to multiple things on p. 151. 

:huh:

The sentence is about ways to assist others.
Why would the parenthesis not be referencing the subject ?

Over-analysing this is only causing me strife...

Edited by Exarkfr

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1 hour ago, Exarkfr said:

:huh:

The sentence is about ways to assist others.
Why would the parenthesis not be referencing the subject ?

Over-analysing this is only causing me strife...

“Such as those described in...” is about the things being described. The sentence could just as easily have been “like those described in” or even “for instance, those described in”. “Those” refers to whatever’s described, and since there are at least two instances of something being described it has to be plural.

But it’s pretty much moot. As @sidescroller pointed out, p. 151 doesn’t describe ways to assist but does describe checks. “Those” has to refer to checks, or there’s a mistake with the page number, or that sentence makes no sense.

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