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Ultimatecalibur

Troubling mentality I've encountered

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I've started noticing a troubling mentality I have run into in various places when discussing the Custom Dice and new R&K system.

Various people seem to be spending opportunities in their head before they roll and then complain when they don't get the opportunities that they "needed" and then faulting the system for their "prespending." They are not rolling for a Strike and then spending the opportunities to enhance the success with whatever opportunities they keep (possibly into a Critical), but rolling for a "Critical" Strike and then complaining when they get enough successes to succeed on the Strike but not enough opportunities to get the Crit.

Anyone else noticing this sort of "prespending" mentality in those faulting the system?

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My players are embracing the prespending, and as several opportunities for various techniques absolutely require declaring something you cannot do without them - most notably, hitting at ranges beyond or inside the listed ones.

Prespending is, just like in Classic L5R, expected.

Unlike L5R, excess is useful. And, sometimes, unlike classic, you can change plans after the roll, because you can't make the goal.

And, if you blow the roll, unlike prior L5R, you can control how you fail to some degree.

If you need 3 Successes, and roll 2x Success+Strife and 2 blanks, keep one blank, suffer no strife, and fail gracefully.

If you need 3 successes and 3 opportunity, but get 3 opportunity and 2 opportunity + strife and 2 success plus strife on keep 3... keep 3 opp and no strife, and do whatever they allow to make the situation better for others.

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2 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

I've started noticing a troubling mentality I have run into in various places when discussing the Custom Dice and new R&K system.

Various people seem to be spending opportunities in their head before they roll and then complain when they don't get the opportunities that they "needed" and then faulting the system for their "prespending." They are not rolling for a Strike and then spending the opportunities to enhance the success with whatever opportunities they keep (possibly into a Critical), but rolling for a "Critical" Strike and then complaining when they get enough successes to succeed on the Strike but not enough opportunities to get the Crit.

Anyone else noticing this sort of "prespending" mentality in those faulting the system?

I'm not sure it's 'troubling' - unlike (say) depending on getting an explosive success, getting an opportunity is ~ the same difficulty as getting a success. That is, a plan which requires you to get [success][opportunity] on a check to work isn't massively harder than one which requires [success][success], so I don't mind someone's 'plan' relying on getting it.

I'm not sure I can understand the mind-set of "oh no, I caused fatigue but didn't land a critical" - unless you had a huge dice pool, this is the normal.

Being disappointed your razor-sharp sword didn't do a critical is annoying, but it's not like you have a right to expect every blow to be a critical by default.

That said there are certainly quite a few techniques where you will be planning on getting at least one opportunity when deciding to use it. A lot of invocations often really need at least one of their [opportunity] effects to trigger to matter (many of them have [opportunity] increase the range by 1, for example). If the target isn't in range by default, trying and hoping for success with opportunity isn't unreasonable but again, I don't see it as license to moan when the roll doesn't go your way....

4 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

If you need 3 successes and 3 opportunity, but get 3 opportunity and 2 opportunity + strife and 2 success plus strife on keep 3... keep 3 opp and no strife, and do whatever they allow to make the situation better for others.

This. The players had their first big intrigue scene last week, and someone fluffing a persuade action totally nevertheless allowed them to both reduce the TN of the next social skill check on the same target by one, and provide assistance to the next PC to attempt it (presumably 'creating an opening in the debate'). So, whilst they failed, the amount of extra bonus successes the next guy managed more than made up for the failure....

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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And don't forget: Water Opportunity, or 2 earth or 2 air or 2 void, allows being subtle. More is more so. That could use a more specific guideline, like the number of times being the required difficulty to notice, but there's no generic perception skill, so that's inobvious.

And it is a mindset shift. One I've had from other games, most notably John Wick's Houses of the Blooded and Blood and Honor, but also from Brute Squad. 

It helps to approach the roll as "I intend to do _A_" and after the roll, narrate "I do _A_", "I do _A_ and _B_", or "while failing to do _A_, I do _B_"...

Edited by AK_Aramis

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13 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

It helps to approach the roll as "I intend to do _A_" and after the roll, narrate "I do _A_", "I do _A_ and _B_", or "while failing to do _A_, I do _B_"...

If you slightly expand the statement and specify it as "I A the X" (and then "A and B" or not "A but B" or whatever) that pretty much covers the core mechanics in a sentance;

"I [approach] the [subject matter]" as a phrase is how I got the whole 'approaches/skill choice' concept over.

 

17 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

And don't forget: Water Opportunity, or 2 earth or 2 air or 2 void, allows being subtle. More is more so. That could use a more specific guideline, like the number of times being the required difficulty to notice, but there's no generic perception skill, so that's inobvious.

I think the narrative ones are deliberately vague because what it actually means is a bit situational (compared to the much more structured 'conflict scene' rules). But yes, 'I am extra sneaky' is a useful opportunity to remember (it came up with one of our PCs last night quietly dispatching sentries).

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All I want to say is that I like everything in this topic. 

After the warming up to the system we also changed to "pre-spending" Opportunity and declaring "I do A and X" where A was the Success-related thing and X was an Opportunity-related thing. It made the resolution so much more diverse and rewarding (we really liked how you could get X despite failing A), it stuck around and is now the normal method of playing. 

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2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

My players are embracing the prespending, and as several opportunities for various techniques absolutely require declaring something you cannot do without them - most notably, hitting at ranges beyond or inside the listed ones.

Prespending is, just like in Classic L5R, expected.

Unlike L5R, excess is useful. And, sometimes, unlike classic, you can change plans after the roll, because you can't make the goal.

This is a bit different from what I'm talking about and is what I think is a much more better mentality than the problematic one I'm talking about.

I see quite a bit of difference between planning out how you want to spend the opportunities you roll with a willingness to attempting actions that may require opportunities to succeed and assuming that because you are rolling 4R4S you will get 2+ successes and 2+ opportunities.

2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'm not sure it's 'troubling' - unlike (say) depending on getting an explosive success, getting an opportunity is ~ the same difficulty as getting a success. That is, a plan which requires you to get [success][opportunity] on a check to work isn't massively harder than one which requires [success][success], so I don't mind someone's 'plan' relying on getting it.

Opportunities are rarer than successes (1 in 3 per die versus 1 in 2 and 7 in 12) but I agree fully with your sentiment here.

2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'm not sure I can understand the mind-set of "oh no, I caused fatigue but didn't land a critical" - unless you had a huge dice pool, this is the normal.

Being disappointed your razor-sharp sword didn't do a critical is annoying, but it's not like you have a right to expect every blow to be a critical by default.

This is the troubling mentality that I was referring to and was wondering if others were also noticing.

I'm now wondering if it might be a hold over from previous editions and players developing a play mentality around "I'm rolling XkY. The average is Z and the TN is Z-(5A) I call A raises and roll." That play mentality seems to get translated into "I'm rolling XRYS. The average is A successes and B opportunities and I keep X. I do an action with a TN of X-B, will use B opportunities. Rolling." which doesn't quite work and may cause frustration.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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36 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

This is a bit different from what I'm talking about and is what I think is a much more better mentality than the problematic one I'm talking about.

I see quite a bit of difference between planning out how you want to spend the opportunities you roll with a willingness to attempting actions that may require opportunities to succeed and assuming that because you are rolling 4R4S you will get 2+ successes and 2+ opportunities.

Opportunities are rarer than successes (1 in 3 per die versus 1 in 2 and 7 in 12) but I agree fully with your sentiment here.

This is the troubling mentality that I was referring to and was wondering if others were also noticing.

I'm now wondering if it might be a hold over from previous editions and players developing a play mentality around "I'm rolling XkY. The average is Z and the TN is Z-(5A) I call A raises and roll." That play mentality seems to get translated into "I'm rolling XRYS. The average is A successes and B opportunities and I keep X. I do an action with a TN of X-B, will use B opportunities. Rolling." which doesn't quite work and may cause frustration.

Players should (should as in, can be expected to) learn to be a bit more efficient with the risks they take. That’s what I see in old school d10 R&K, and this system is in some ways more reliable. With experience, they learn when they can push their luck and when they should play it safe.

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how about players say I am going to try and  do X  example" I am going to try and strike the dragon with my naginata while in fire stance" then they roll and get opportunities then  they narrate for the character

he gets 3 successes and 2 strife and 2 opportunities  "my naginata slices at the Dragon samurai he tries to dodge gets clipped and  I slice deep into him" (crit strike and +3damage)

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3 hours ago, Grodark said:

how about players say I am going to try and  do X  example" I am going to try and strike the dragon with my naginata while in fire stance" then they roll and get opportunities then  they narrate for the character

he gets 3 successes and 2 strife and 2 opportunities  "my naginata slices at the Dragon samurai he tries to dodge gets clipped and  I slice deep into him" (crit strike and +3damage)

That's essentially it; a key element is figuring out as a player what (narratively) happens, especially with opportunities - and especially especially when you failed but got a fistful of opportunity, which is "I swing and he deflects my blow but the impact staggers him, leaving him open for [next guy]'s blow to connect....." territory.

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