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Soshi Nimue

Do we really need to track honor and glory?

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22 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

your quote from 4th also states it is external. It's an internal assessment of an external standard.

Bad form, pan.

 

Where do you get that ?

 

1 hour ago, tenchi2a said:

L5R rpg 4th ed Page 90 
Honor Primarily reflects how an individual samurai rates his personal ability to adhere to the tenets of Bushido and fulfill the duties assigned to him by his lord. While Honor is primarily internal, there is an external component to it as well, as a samurai's Honor greatly impacts how one carries himself and thus others perceive him.

So you are wrong on Honor not being internal.

Gory on the other hand is very much external. 

The paragraph only states that because of how the samurai feels about himself (internal) he can carry himself a certain way that others can notice. That is why this perception can be changes by the Perceived Honor advantage.

you really have to have a planet wide stretch of the imagination to get that in anyway is saying Honor is external. 

Edited by tenchi2a

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7 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

It is still dishonorable for a crab to be rude. A crab who is rude suffers an honor hit and a glory hit. Not as big a one as a dragon or crane, tho.

Likewise, a a Scorpion killing someone in the night is still being dishonorable, and still takes the honor hit - tho' a crab doing so would suffer twice as much, and a lion 4x as much.

Most Crab are honorable and relatively polite - but not overly formal.

Most Crane are not cowards, but a Crane suffers half what a dragon or lion would, and a fourth what a crab would, should they show fear.

This. Yes, society 'expects' a Scorpion clan bushi to be brave, honourable, and give their opponent a fair fight....but they're much less surprised than they would be with a Lion when he doesn't, and so he takes less of a hit to his personal reputation because it's largely attributed to the reputation of the clan.

Re internal vs external honour/glory:

The best check is the aforementioned "murder someone in the night".

P.183: Table 7–1: Bushidō Tenet: Gi (Righteousness)

Quote

Massive Breach - Honor equal to honor rank x 4  - Murdering someone of equal or higher status in cold blood (with or without anyone else knowing)

Assuming a 'default' Shosuro infiltrator (Honour 30), assassinating a Daimyo will cost you 12 points of Honour even if you never get caught and no-one else knows you did it.

Since you lose the honour no matter how carefully you cover your tracks to the point no-one else even knows it was a murder, it cannot be a primarily  external measure by society at large but must be your own object assessment of yourself.

I accept that said opinion of yourself is something others will then pick up on when interacting with you (that's essentially what the paragon of/scorn of traits are meant to represent, as I understand it).

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

even if you never get caught and no-one else knows you did it.

In a world where spirits, kami, ancestors, and other things are a reality, I would say there is always a witness to what you did. :P

 

But I wouldn't mind a "definitive" answer on that internal/external stuff about Honour.
It bothers me.

Edited by Exarkfr

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6 minutes ago, Exarkfr said:

But I wouldn't mind a "definitive" answer on that internal/external stuff about Honour.

It bothers me.

I have tried to explain it a few hours before. It really depends what you focus on, but tldr, it's an internal assessment of how you measure yourself against an external standard.

Wot I said:

Quote

 Honor is sometimes referred to as an “internal” measure, not in the sense that each person determines what they consider as honorable or not, but in the sense that each person “knows what they did”. You, yourself, know the motive of your actions, and barring some pathological-level denial, acting against Bushido will result in a Honor loss, whether anyone else knows about it or not. Bushido is still the (externally defined) gold standard here, and variations are marginal, depending on Clan tilts and biases, as AK explained. But even if you do not display any outward sign of your shortcomings, if you know you failed to uphold Bushido, your honor suffers. Conversely, it is conceivable that an apparently cowardly act done in good faith (obeying your lord’s order, with ulterior and more honorable motive...) does not cost honor - though it might cost Glory if witnessed. This is what the new mechanics for staking honor is for btw. 

I think that's also the spirit of that quote from 4th ed. p.90

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11 hours ago, Franwax said:

Are the Scorpion any less efficient in their task than other clans due to their being less honorable?

1

It is not about task efficiency but being a group of at least nominally decent people. No backstabbing, shady conducts, or being unreliable and/or inconsistent. The only thing the Scorpion historically is not doing out of these is being unreliable. This does not prevent them from being good at what they are doing, but it certainly sets the morals in the clan. 

13 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

So, unbalanced character creation it is then.

High Honor is good when you try to sell yourself as a good guy, but it is also playing the game on Nintendo Hard Mode. Especially since people will not only know that you are a good guy but expect you to act like one. This might be quite counterproductive if you are trying to work with bad people. 

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7 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

It is not about task efficiency but being a group of at least nominally decent people. No backstabbing, shady conducts, or being unreliable and/or inconsistent. The only thing the Scorpion historically is not doing out of these is being unreliable. This does not prevent them from being good at what they are doing, but it certainly sets the morals in the clan.

I was referring to the proposal to link advantage-fueled re-rolled dice to a 1-to-5 honor Rank, with more honorable characters being able to re-roll many more dice than a shady Scorpion. If you extrapolate this to an entire clan, it would seem weird that they manage to hold their own against the Crane in court while having their hands tied in such a way. I'm ok to see some benefit to playing the "good guy", but it should not be a sledgehammer bonus. Small enough that a well organized group of pragmatic, loyal and competent people can overcome not having that bonus if they put their minds to it.

Then, I would also not be surprised to see some Scorpion-only shuji that exploit the difference in honor rank with your target... like the 4e Scorpion Instigator advanced school.

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21 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Conversely, it is conceivable that an apparently cowardly act done in good faith (obeying your lord’s order, with ulterior and more honorable motive...) does not cost honor

Hence why the 'motive' is often considered in the severity of breaches of honour: see Table 7–3,  Bushidō Tenet: Yu (Courage)

  1. Trifling  Breach, 1 Honour, Fleeing from battle (rather than being sent elsewhere to perform another task) at your lord’s order
  2. Minor Breach, Honor equal to honor rank, Fleeing from a lost battle to protect your lord’s interests
  3. Major Breach, Honor equal to honor rank x 2, Fleeing from battle purely to save your own skin

The actual act - "running like buggery" - is the same in each case, so you always lose some honor, but the magnitude of the loss varies (and, for that matter, not fleeing in (1) would almost certainly result in honour loss anyway under Bushidō Tenet: Chūgi (Duty and Loyalty) since you're at best misinterpreting and at worst actively disobeying a legal order from your lord.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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45 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

High Honor is good when you try to sell yourself as a good guy, but it is also playing the game on Nintendo Hard Mode. Especially since people will not only know that you are a good guy but expect you to act like one. This might be quite counterproductive if you are trying to work with bad people. 

Being dishonorable is equally counterproductive when trying to get honorable people to work with you. This cuts both ways. I get what you’re saying and there is certainly some truth to it, but it’s not nearly as clear-cut as you present it.

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3 hours ago, Franwax said:

I was referring to the proposal to link advantage-fueled re-rolled dice to a 1-to-5 honor Rank, with more honorable characters being able to re-roll many more dice than a shady Scorpion. If you extrapolate this to an entire clan, it would seem weird that they manage to hold their own against the Crane in court while having their hands tied in such a way. I'm ok to see some benefit to playing the "good guy", but it should not be a sledgehammer bonus. Small enough that a well organized group of pragmatic, loyal and competent people can overcome not having that bonus if they put their minds to it.

Well, bear in mind that the Virtue Advantage/Flaw disadvantges are rerolls in specific circumstances.

The only current examples of flaws are 'Disdain for Bushido Tenet', which is a disadvantage in a social check when trying to convince someone that you really, really attach importance to honesty and trustworthiness (for example).

Stepping outside game mechanics, you would expect the stereotypical scorpion making such an argument to be met with the response "yeah. Suuure."

That doesn't stop you being effective, even effective as a courtier. Provided you allow for the fact that everyone will assume you're a lying toe-rag and act accordingly. For example, inverting your disadvantage - deceiving someone by in no obscure terms the whole unvarnished truth, knowing people will assume you're lying.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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3 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

@Franwax Oh, I see. To be honest, I don't support the current Advantage/Disadvantage link-up either. Being honorable should be its own reward or at least confer much more esoteric bonuses than dice re-rolls. 

Speaking from my own homebrewed edition of L5R point of view, I've being considering linking Combat Maneuvers (and Social Maneuvers, and other stuff) to Honor Rank (and to Glory and Status Rank as well in Social Maneuvers). For example, having a very low Honor score would allow you to use maneuvers like kicking dirt on you opponent's eyes, something that medium Honor characters would have to spend Honor and make more Raises to do and high Honor characters wouldn't even have the option.

On the other hand, high Honor characters would be able to ignore a certain amount of Wound Penalties automatically, medium Honor characters would have to spend Void or make an Honor Roll to do so and low Honor characters wouldn't be able to access this capability.

Whatever the actual mechanics are in the FFG L5R, I can only see Honor/Glory/Status becoming truly important to the game (to the game, not to the setting) with more conspicuous mechanics like these.

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17 hours ago, Franwax said:

That’s weird in the setting itself, though. Are the Scorpion any less efficient in their task than other clans due to their being less honorable? I don’t think so. Quite the contrary in fact. But giving a hefty mechanical bonus tied to honor would clash with that reality. Some virtue advantages or matching disadvantages work well because they’re not that great to begin with, and advantages can be inverted. You still get some benefit for being a paragon of bushido but that’s not a game changing bonus. 

No, the Scorpion are not less efficient in their task because they're less honourable. They are *more* efficient (indeed, can only fulfill their role) because they have accepted that they will do dishonourable (by the definitions of Bushido) things. Being more willing to be decietful and "fight dirty", they are freed from some of the constraints of Bushido which limit and restrict other Clans. They do not accrue as many of the advantages that a reputation for adhering to Bushido would gain them, but their advantages lie elsewhere: in freedom of action. 

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1 hour ago, Battleruss said:

No, the Scorpion are not less efficient in their task because they're less honourable. They are *more* efficient (indeed, can only fulfill their role) because they have accepted that they will do dishonourable (by the definitions of Bushido) things. Being more willing to be decietful and "fight dirty", they are freed from some of the constraints of Bushido which limit and restrict other Clans. They do not accrue as many of the advantages that a reputation for adhering to Bushido would gain them, but their advantages lie elsewhere: in freedom of action. 

That was kind of my point, yes.. So mechanical advantages linked to a high honor should not be overwhelming otherwise, this extra efficiency would be hard to pull off.

Seeing benefits to low honor would be a thing too, as Saito hinted at. Note that there is actually one such benefit at the moment (small one, but nonetheless): Honor breaks initiative ties, with the lower Honor character striking first ;)

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My thoughts on honour:

in respect to the Shosuro: A Shosuro who murders a daimyo knows that they are a piece of crap for murdering the daimyo. They knew they would be a piece of crap for murdering the daimyo when they got the order to commit the murder. They went ahead and murdered the daimyo and admitted it and knowingly became a true piece of crap because they were told to. Honour is nothing to the Scorpion. Duty and Loyalty are everything to them because the individual is a true and simply servant to the master. The Scorpion Champion knew why that daimyo had to die, you can sure count on that. The Shosuro doesn't need to know why. Good will be done by becoming a piece of crap, and so it is done as requested. Honour actually works a little differently for some clans.

In respect to the internal / external discussion: It is said that of the seven tenets of Bushido, 6 refer to how a samurai deals with others, while one refers to how a samurai deals with themselves. Duty, Compassion, Courage, Honesty, Sincerity and Courtesy all deal with the external world, while it is honour that a samurai sleeps with when he is alone.
In contrast, (and I know this will be an unpopular reference, but I liked it a lot,) Shourido of the lost has 6 tenets that refer to the self and only one that refers to others. Insight, Perfection, Strength, Determination, KNowledge and Will refer to the honing of the self, while Control refers to ones surroundings. It's perfect samurai satanism.
Anyway, this is all an interesting conflict because it's philosphical. Samurai themselves sit around and have discussions like we're having with each other. At least they do in the games that I play. It could be said that without a Crab following his Duty, there is no Empire - and that without a Crane upholding Courtesy, there is no Empire worth saving.
Honour has always been a tricky subject in L5R, I think, because honour is a tricky subject. A debate about honour coming up in game is great. I always try to steer out-of-character discussions about honour in-game as quickly as I can, and it has 100% of the time been interesting and fun for everyone.

In respect to keywords being given by honour loss / gain instead of advantages / disadvantages; Here's how I see that going: 
Player > says something brash or insulting in court
Me > "You get the Offensive keyword."
Player > "No I gain honour for being very honest. I get the Honest keyword."
Game > falls apart faster that real life social situations with people like that
or, 
Player > steals a bunch from a warlord
Me > "You get bandit. Wait the guy you stole from can't oppress some peasants anymore, you get hero. I dunno. Crap."

Things I love about previous editions dealing with honour: Roll Intelligence / Bushido to find out what someone's honour is. Now you can trust / not trust them as you see fit. If you know about Bushido, you can spot people not following it and come down on them for it. Opens the way for Advantages like Perceived Honour, and bluffing other people who are trying to manipulate the system.


 

Edited by GhostSanta

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13 hours ago, Battleruss said:

No, the Scorpion are not less efficient in their task because they're less honourable. They are *more* efficient (indeed, can only fulfill their role) because they have accepted that they will do dishonourable (by the definitions of Bushido) things. Being more willing to be decietful and "fight dirty", they are freed from some of the constraints of Bushido which limit and restrict other Clans. They do not accrue as many of the advantages that a reputation for adhering to Bushido would gain them, but their advantages lie elsewhere: in freedom of action. 

And yet, many scorpion players have been able to maintain rather decent honor scores by excelling at other virtues than Righteousness or Honor. 
A Everyone expects a scorpion's word to be worthless, but it's not. They just are willing to sacrifice their word in trade for doing duty.

And they suffer less for making that trade.

Many actions will trigger a gain in one category, and a loss in another. Those overlaps are what make it possible to be a basically honorable Scorpion, and still assassinate. Or a crab to be blunt and crude when needed.

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7 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

Many actions will trigger a gain in one category, and a loss in another. Those overlaps are what make it possible to be a basically honorable Scorpion, and still assassinate. Or a crab to be blunt and crude when needed.

Exactly so. Few acts are one-dimensional.

See the examples above - the situation where your lord orders you to 'take the surviving cavalry and get them away from the battlefield' or some such, you're losing honour either way - either you lose honour because you fled the battle, or you lose honour because you disobeyed your lord.

There isn't necessarily an easy answer* to this sort of situation.

 

Many actions that really matter will trigger multiple results on the tables.

  • Acting to stop your lord from doing something deeply dishonourable  & Refusing an order from your lord to protect their interests
  • Choosing to believe someone of equal or higher status despite having evidence to the contrary & Lying to preserve someone’s feelings or protect someone
  • Asking to be relieved of a duty from your lord & Retiring honorably from a position you are no longer capable of fulfilling properly

etc, etc.

 

The scorpion assassin may be murdering someone of higher status in cold blood, BUT, if he's doing so to stop them from doing something treasonous which would dishonour the entire city/clan/province (Acting to stop your lord from doing something deeply dishonourable), or accepting he's going to be an outcast for the rest of his life for doing it but doing it because it needs to be done (Giving up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance your personal interest or glory to complete a task for your lord), then the system allows some 'payback'.

 

 

 

 

* in this case there was. It was: 'Don't lose the battle in the first place'.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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2 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Exactly so. Few acts are one-dimensional.

See the examples above - the situation where your lord orders you to 'take the surviving cavalry and get them away from the battlefield' or some such, you're losing honour either way - either you lose honour because you fled the battle, or you lose honour because you disobeyed your lord.

Many actions that really matter will trigger multiple results on the tables.

  • Acting to stop your lord from doing something deeply dishonourable  & Refusing an order from your lord to protect their interests
  • Choosing to believe someone of equal or higher status despite having evidence to the contrary & Lying to preserve someone’s feelings or protect someone
  • Asking to be relieved of a duty from your lord & Retiring honorably from a position you are no longer capable of fulfilling properly

etc, etc.

 

There isn't necessarily an easy answer* to this sort of situation.

 

 

* in this case there was. It was: 'Don't lose the battle in the first place'.

The *correct* answer, assuming you’re going for a deeply honorable character, is the one that loses the least honor in total - or preferably the one that gains the most. :P

I’m not saying it’s easy, but in the end your actions have a single, total honor result. If fleeing the battle on your lord’s actions is the most honorable action, that’s what you do even if fleeing the battle itself is dishonorable.

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4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Exactly so. Few acts are one-dimensional.

See the examples above - the situation where your lord orders you to 'take the surviving cavalry and get them away from the battlefield' or some such, you're losing honour either way - either you lose honour because you fled the battle, or you lose honour because you disobeyed your lord.

Specifically,  that's either a 1 or 3  honor point gain, depending upon your feelings, and a 1 point loss. If you agree it's right, it's 1 point, total wash. if you openly disagree but obey anyway, 3 point gain, so net +2.

4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Many actions that really matter will trigger multiple results on the tables.

  • Acting to stop your lord from doing something deeply dishonourable  & Refusing an order from your lord to protect their interests
  • Choosing to believe someone of equal or higher status despite having evidence to the contrary & Lying to preserve someone’s feelings or protect someone
  • Asking to be relieved of a duty from your lord & Retiring honorably from a position you are no longer capable of fulfilling properly
  • Meiyo +3 and -HR×4. unless you're crab or scorpion, this one is "obey your lord"
  • Chugi +1 and Gi -1 = net 0 except for certain clans
  • Chugi -1 and Gi +6 = net gain for any clan.
4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

BUT, if he's doing so to stop them from doing something treasonous which would dishonour the entire city/clan/province (Acting to stop your lord from doing something deeply dishonourable), or accepting he's going to be an outcast for the rest of his life for doing it but doing it because it needs to be done (Giving up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance your personal interest or glory to complete a task for your lord), then the system allows some 'payback'.

yup. Scorpion loses  –2× to 3×HR for the murder, because the –4× to –6× HR is halved for being scorpion , by rank of target, vs –4×HR for disobeying. For typical starting, that's –6 to –9 on  righteousness, vs –12 on duty. 

4 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

BUT, if he's doing so to stop them from doing something treasonous which would dishonour the entire city/clan/province (Acting to stop your lord from doing something deeply dishonourable), or accepting he's going to be an outcast for the rest of his life for doing it but doing it because it needs to be done (Giving up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance your personal interest or glory to complete a task for your lord), then the system allows some 'payback'.

Acting to stop someone from major dishonor (you'd not be assassinating your own lord) +6 honor, and risk of getting caught resulting in execution, not quite worth the +9, so +6 honor... then that +6 for duty is doubled. So, even if the individual isn't significantly higher, iven the 5E tables... +12 for duty, –6 to –9 on Murder, 

Net, it's a gain for the Scorpion.

For a non-scorpion...

Starting Crane, Crab, Lion, or Unicorn loses –4× to –6× HR for the murder or –4× HR for disobedience. Might be a wash, but thanks to the risk, +6 points, and if they're about to perform some major dishonor, another +6... so, an HR 3 or lower taking out a lower station individual is a wash, 

Starting Phoenix loses –8× to –12× HR on the murder, vs –6 on duty, and recoups maybe 6 (not doing dishonor) or 18 (doing major dishonor) ...  Yeah, Phoenix won't, unless he has no desire for honor.

Starting Dragon, the duty regain is halved...  so loses 4× to 6× HR for the murder, vs losing 2× HR for disobeying. ANd the recovery is halved, too, for obedience +3, and if they are doing a great dishonor, +9. So, target is lower rank, about to do major dishonor, and your lord orders, it's a wash; anything less drastic, you're going down, but disobedience is still worse for even higher status, but only if they're about to do great dishonor.

The mods aren't "You can do X freely"... they only modify the edge cases most of the time.

 

 

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@AK_AramisThanks for that!

Nice to see the 'clan modifiers' actually do have the effect it feels like they should...

15 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I’m not saying it’s easy, but in the end your actions have a single, total honor result. If fleeing the battle on your lord’s actions is the most honorable action, that’s what you do even if fleeing the battle itself is dishonorable.

Agreed. But this is where as @GhostSanta points out, both in and out of character it's entirely appropriate for the game to sometimes break down into a mini-ethics-101 class, because figuring out the most honourable (or at least, least dishonourable) course of action isn't always easy. 

Does course of action X really qualify for the 'acting in your lord's best interests despite his orders' bonus? Or are you just doing what you think is right because you think you know better than him? At what point does 'giving honest testimony' become just being insulting?

Etc, etc.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

@AK_AramisThanks for that!

Nice to see the 'clan modifiers' actually do have the effect it feels like they should...

Agreed. But this is where as @GhostSanta points out, both in and out of character it's entirely appropriate for the game to sometimes break down into a mini-ethics-101 class, because figuring out the most honourable (or at least, least dishonourable) course of action isn't always easy. 

Does course of action X really qualify for the 'acting in your lord's best interests despite his orders' bonus? Or are you just doing what you think is right because you think you know better than him? At what point does 'giving honest testimony' become just being insulting?

Etc, etc.

 

 

One of the things I love most in L5R is that you can actually say this stuff in game. 

Lord - "You must do something horrible in order to do what I've said."
Samurai - "Lord-sama, my honourable samurai heart will not all me to commit such discompassionate acts, however, I have a sworn duty to follow your orders. I tell you in honesty that I am conflicted, my Lord."

Then, it's up to your samurai to decide which tenet of bushido wins the day to preserve honour, and deal with the consequences of the tenet he failed. Boom, samurai drama with no gimmickdice rolled.

You can even ask your samurai friends in the party! 
Samurai 1 - "My lord demands I kill the innocent to further his personal non-clan related ends."
Samurai 2 - "You cannot, such an act would violate bushido!"
Samurai 3 - "You cannot refuse, such an act would violate bushido!"
And everybody is right and now it's just personal interpretations of the code. WHICH I LIVE FOR IN THE FRIGGING GAMES.


(I also love that characters can say stuff in-game like "MY RANK 3 MATSU BERZERKER TECHNICQUE IS UNDEFEATABLE!" and the scream THE LIONS' CHAAAAARGE as you run at them. I can't tell you how bad I love a Crane standing on a bridge not allowing anyone to pass unless they can "defeat my One Strike Two Cuts technique.")

Also, when running a game or playing as a PC, there is no way that I'm going to consult 14 tables and start comparing integers after any action that might be morale-related. The tables are an interesting reference, but really I'm just going to try to justify a questionable action (or ask the PC to justify it) and award or deduct what we think is appropriate honour. All said and done if you did a thing that was kind of messed up, lose some honour unless you can make it right your code in your head or your actions.

Edited by GhostSanta

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