Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
FFG Max Brooke

Week 10 Update and Focus Topic (12/8/2017)

Recommended Posts

37 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

That means that even if you have a very high composure you have an absolute maximum of 6 turns (if you somehow have composure 20) and more realistically 4-5 turns, maybe even only 3 if you have a low composure or started the duel with strife before your opponent gets a face-breaking finishing blow on you and there's a pretty good chance you lose at that moment.

You have 1 less than that, as that automatic Strife will hit you before you get to act in the round.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One caveat on duel to the death and Center- it's a way of increasing your chances that  you have the opportunity, rather than the successes, stored so you can increase the crit from the Iaijutsu technique.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

One caveat on duel to the death and Center- it's a way of increasing your chances that  you have the opportunity, rather than the successes, stored so you can increase the crit from the Iaijutsu technique.  

That's actually the biggest thing I think AtoMaki is overlooking.  You only have a 30% chance of rolling a success on ring and skill dice.  If you are rolling 4 dice you're likely to get the success you need, and explosive success are actually pretty common - but opportunities are not.  Being able to reroll dice goes a long way to getting those opportunities locked in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, shosuko said:

Being able to reroll dice goes a long way to getting those opportunities locked in.

 

You gotta hit that 30% chance with Center too, and if you fluke it then you are at square one Opportunity-wise. If you trust yourself to get the Opportunity anyway, then why bother? You can trust yourself with Strike too. If it is a no-go then you can Strike again next turn and pretend that you are re-rolling all your dice. 

Then your opponent slices you up because you are sitting at TN 2 with a big "Hit me please!" sign over your head. Or if your opponent feels especially trollish about the whole duel then he will Predict you out of your best Ring, thus most likely nullifying any benefit you would receive from Center. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

You gotta hit that 30% chance with Center too, and if you fluke it then you are at square one Opportunity-wise. If you trust yourself to get the Opportunity anyway, then why bother? You can trust yourself with Strike too. If it is a no-go then you can Strike again next turn and pretend that you are re-rolling all your dice. 

Then your opponent slices you up because you are sitting at TN 2 with a big "Hit me please!" sign over your head. Or if your opponent feels especially trollish about the whole duel then he will Predict you out of your best Ring, thus most likely nullifying any benefit you would receive from Center. 

You continually act as if center does nothing to improve your roll.  Unfortunately narrative dice obfuscate the statistics so its hard to actually lay out the odds but surely you realize that you aren't just rolling the skill dice a round early, but are gaining extra chances to roll dice that don't come up with the desired results.

Taking center is essentially letting you roll your check, and then re-roll any skill dice to achieve a better result.

Sitting at a TN 2 can be risky but your opponent doesn't just need to hit that 2 tn...  Duels don't end because you lost a bit of fatigue, and some don't even end if you get a light crit.  

The system is still in beta and definitely needs more work - but your argument that you might as well strike twice instead of using center is kinda foolish.

Not that I don't value your feedback - I hope the developers watch your games closely because you love to tear apart the game mechanics and make a munchkin out of it all.  Scholar check - fail - opportunity spend to drop TN is better than Center stance for prepping a crit, and double predict is just insane - but neither of those cases invalidate the fact that Center does provide an advantage over blindly striking twice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Exarkfr said:

You have 1 less than that, as that automatic Strife will hit you before you get to act in the round.

Depends upon whether or not you take a calming breath, or have strife total reducing techniques... A calming breath can make the difference...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Franwax said:

Hey there. This weeks newsletter mentions a survey but I did not see any link... did I miss something?

I didn't get the link, but the text it's usually under is in the email...

And the email's L5R RPG banner links incorrectly to the LCG page. Somebody cut corners...

Edited by AK_Aramis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Depends upon whether or not you take a calming breath, or have strife total reducing techniques... A calming breath can make the difference...

It was not the point of my message.
You are quoting out of context of Magnus Grendel's message.

Every round, you suffer Strife, and THEN you get your turn.
Any strife management technique you use will happen after you have received the automatic strife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, shosuko said:

You continually act as if center does nothing to improve your roll. 

1

My problem is more like that Center does not improve enough. For all the risks you are taking and the opportunities you are giving up, you get some pretty meager returns. 

Note that I would be all for Center if you didn't have to discard Skill dice to put in that **** reserved dice. That would be nice and help the math a lot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Depends upon whether or not you take a calming breath, or have strife total reducing techniques... A calming breath can make the difference...

But so can the need to accept strife to succeed in a check, or any strife you might have had prior to the duel. In practice they probably cancel out.

Regardless, assuming you've got a hard limit of 3-4 rounds to 'win' before you take a finishing blow and 'lose' is a good rule of thumb.

10 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

You gotta hit that 30% chance with Center too, and if you fluke it then you are at square one Opportunity-wise. If you trust yourself to get the Opportunity anyway, then why bother? You can trust yourself with Strike too. If it is a no-go then you can Strike again next turn and pretend that you are re-rolling all your dice. 

Then your opponent slices you up because you are sitting at TN 2 with a big "Hit me please!" sign over your head. Or if your opponent feels especially trollish about the whole duel then he will Predict you out of your best Ring, thus most likely nullifying any benefit you would receive from Center. 

 

10 hours ago, shosuko said:

You continually act as if center does nothing to improve your roll.  Unfortunately narrative dice obfuscate the statistics so its hard to actually lay out the odds but surely you realize that you aren't just rolling the skill dice a round early, but are gaining extra chances to roll dice that don't come up with the desired results.

Taking center is essentially letting you roll your check, and then re-roll any skill dice to achieve a better result.

Sitting at a TN 2 can be risky but your opponent doesn't just need to hit that 2 tn...  Duels don't end because you lost a bit of fatigue, and some don't even end if you get a light crit.  

This is the key thing. It depends on the nature of the duel.

Warrior's Duel

If all I need to do is incapacitate you (warrior's duel) then striking repeatedly is good; provided I can get 2 successes on each roll, I'll land 5+ fatigue with each swing*, incapacitate you, claim the win and retire for a refreshing cup of sake and a scandalously inappropriate evening with some easily impressed young ladies.

Assuming a pre-roll adds a success or two, all it's doing is giving me 1-2 extra points of fatigue. That's irrelevant compared to the extra damage a whole separate attack could do, and given that it'll take 2-3 good hits to incapacitate most opponents, I can't afford to waste actions on anything but striking. Short of a fire-stance explode-fest with something like an Otsuchi, or an endurance 6 courtier who's somehow ended up insulting a Crab samurai, a single-hit incapacitation is unlikely verging on impossible.

Duel To First Blood

I don't have to incapacitate you. If I need to inflict a bleeding critical, I need a severity 5+ critical after your fitness check. Which means landing a critical with a double-handed katana swing and ideally a bonus opportunity to up the severity by 1 - as then you'd need 3 successes on your fitness check to avoid being given the bleeding condition; hard enough that it'll probably stick, you'll bleed, and I can once again sidle off for sake & "celebrations".

The big change here is that not only is drawing blood in one hit possible, a single 'good' roll is much more useful than several 'bad' ones.

Landing that critical with a strike action will take 2 successes (to hit), 2 opportunities (to cause a critical) and 1 opportunity (to increase the critical severity). That's 5 specific results we're looking for on one roll; the more you can concentrate 'good stuff' into that one roll, the better.

The odds of getting all 5 naturally by just going swing/swing/swing is going to be low on each separate swing, meaning that the odds of landing a blow which draws blood before the finishing blow is irritatingly low - but it also means the odds of giving your opponent a 'free swing' resulting in them drawing blood is relatively low; it boils down to which has the better odds of landing the requisite results; 2 separate strikes without improvement or one 'improved' swing? Which is going to be different on a case-by-case basis.

What will help strike spam:

  • If you won't cause a bleeding critical, then try and fail the strike and keep a single opportunity. Assisting yourself is a bonus skill die and bonus kept die, which is a big deal.
  • If you have striking-as-air, you can potentially 'store' a good result from a failed strike without needing to centre (it will cost you an opportunity, though)
  • If you have a high ring rank for the ring you intend to strike with relative to your skill rank, you're talking about a lot of dice you'll only roll in the strike action, not the centre action. If those dice aren't being pre-rolled, you're not getting to cherry-pick and 'store' results so you get no benefit.
  • If you have a high enough combined ring/skill rank that you think you have a realistic chance of a 'natural' bleeding critical

What will help centre/strike

  • Because you're only making one check, not two, if you have multiple non-skill/ring bonuses (e.g. distinctions, Void Points, and once-per-scene or once-per-session techniques), you can dump them all into the same check on top of the 'pre-rolled' results.

 

I'm trying to work my way through the stats on the back of a spreadsheet without having to do every result longhand. It's making my head hurt....:ph34r:

 

 

* Caveat: this assumes your opponent turned up to a warrior's duel without wearing armour. Which is moderately stupid, but irrelevant to this particular argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Landing that critical with a strike action will take 2 successes (to hit), 2 opportunities (to cause a critical) and 1 opportunity (to increase the critical severity). That's 5 specific results we're looking for on one roll; the more you can concentrate 'good stuff' into that one roll, the better.

 

This isn't too hard to pull off with a single roll. A good duelist will roll something like 7k4 for attack, with an average result of 2.5 Successes, 1.12 Explosive Success, 2.3 Opportunities (+0.33 from the 1.12 Explosive Success), and 1.12 Blanks. At this point, the biggest problem is that you can only keep 4 dice. Voiding the roll for 5 kept dice will bring the average to almost exactly to the 5 needed results. 

Funnily enough, if you go Center to hunt for Explosive Successes, then you get a measly 0.48 Explosive Success per Center, with every other reserved and consequently used result actually decreasing the chance of getting Explosive Successes (via the removed Skill die that is -0.16 Explosive Success per die removed) while not doing anything to circumvent the limited kept dice problem. So you are doing a coin toss with each Center. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

This isn't too hard to pull off with a single roll. A good duelist will roll something like 7k4 for attack, with an average result of 2.5 Successes, 1.12 Explosive Success, 2.3 Opportunities (+0.33 from the 1.12 Explosive Success), and 1.12 Blanks. At this point, the biggest problem is that you can only keep 4 dice. Voiding the roll for 5 kept dice will bring the average to almost exactly to the 5 needed results. 

Agreed "with a good duellist" centre feels redundant, but how likely such a character is is dependent on the campaign setting. Ring 4, Skill range 3 is certainly doable for Veteran Samurai campaign characters, or Young Heroes with an aim for a 'decent' battlefield skill. For 'New Samurai' (0XP) it's going to be a bit aspirational.

I agree that the value of centre varies dramatically with the skill of the character; it's exactly like channeling for a shujenga - if you need to use the channeling mechanic for your TN1 and TN2 invocations, you're doing it wrong and should find a less challenging occupation....by comparison,  success x 2, opportunity x 3 is almost equivalent to a TN5 check, which it's not unreasonable in my experience to expect to have to channel for a turn to use effectively.

I think the big problems with centre, compared to the other means of reserving dice (channeling and striking-as-air), are two-fold:

  • Both can reserve ring dice as well as skill dice. If you got to roll your void ring's worth of ring dice and harvest results from them too, that would significantly increase the number of potential explosive successes
  • Both can be done reactively (in the case of striking-as-air, admittedly at the cost of other results). Centre is an action, so it doesn't feel right to strike then 'switch' retroactively to having centred, but the point remains that you are committing to doing nothing whilst a shujenga attempting a TN5 invocation will try...fail....and say "bugger, I'll channel those results, then", as well as potentially dropping an opportunity to provide assistance to themselves for their next check.
33 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Funnily enough, if you go Center to hunt for Explosive Successes, then you get a measly 0.48 Explosive Success per Center, with every other reserved and consequently used result actually decreasing the chance of getting Explosive Successes (via the removed Skill die that is -0.16 Explosive Success per die removed) while not doing anything to circumvent the limited kept dice problem. So you are doing a coin toss with each Center. 

I would suggest that you'd look to reserve explosive successes or success/opportunities, which are about as useful if the particular white rabbit you're chasing is success x 2, opportunity x 3.  I probably wouldn't keep plain successes or opportunities

The odds of getting either of those results on one die is 1/4, meaning you've got about a 58% chance of coming away with at least one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

potentially dropping an opportunity to provide assistance to themselves for their next check.

 

I pretty much agree with everything you say, but here I must note that you cannot provide Assistance to yourself in a duel unless you are doing Initiative shenanigans because the "next character" as the Opportunity specifies will be your opponent :) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I think the big problems with centre, compared to the other means of reserving dice (channeling and striking-as-air), are two-fold:

  • Both can reserve ring dice as well as skill dice. If you got to roll your void ring's worth of ring dice and harvest results from them too, that would significantly increase the number of potential explosive successes
  • Both can be done reactively (in the case of striking-as-air, admittedly at the cost of other results). Centre is an action, so it doesn't feel right to strike then 'switch' retroactively to having centred, but the point remains that you are committing to doing nothing whilst a shujenga attempting a TN5 invocation will try...fail....and say "bugger, I'll channel those results, then", as well as potentially dropping an opportunity to provide assistance to themselves for their next check.

One other advantage of Striking as Air is that you can use it to reserve a nice result AND use that same result to perform your chosen action during the current round. In fact, a [success+opportunity] result can be turned into a never-ending guaranteed success to all subsequent rolls that pays for itself! Cash in on the success, use the opp to reserve the die, and repeat next turn.

Come to think of it, Center could be turned into a martial channeling; only during duels, when attempting an attack action, you can instead elect to reserve any number of dice and not resolve the roll just yet. It feels a bit retroactive, but not any more so than a Shugenja starting an invocation and in the middle of it choosing to push it for one more round...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We kinda had a similar Center-like action in mind for our revised beta: the Focus action. It is effectively a Support Action that requires a TN 1 Meditation check - each Extra Success is converted into a reserved Ring die showing a raw Success, while Opportunity can be spent to reserve a Ring die showing a raw Opportunity or to reserve a Skill die showing Success+Opportunity for two Opportunities (both can be taken multiple times). Then you can add your reserved dice to any consequent check in any way you want, without discarding dice in your pool, up until you use up all of 'em, Focus again, or the scene ends. There are also special Opportunity options for boosting Initiative (+2 for 1 Opp, no stacking), boosting TN-to-be-checked (+1 for 2 Opps, affects only the very next check targeting you, no stacking), and finally dumping a single point of Strife on your opponent for 1 Opp (no stacking either). The negative side of things is that you can't reserve Explosive Success with Focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

[...], but here I must note that you cannot provide Assistance to yourself in a duel unless you are doing Initiative shenanigans because the "next character" as the Opportunity specifies will be your opponent :) .

I'd say it's more because the rules for Assistance state:
"There are a number of ways that one character can provide assistance on another’s check [...]
During Step 3: Assemble and Roll Dice Pool, if a character making a check receives assistance from one or more others,[...]"

Don't think you count as "another".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess Center might make sense if you don't possess duel-applicable Advantages, don't have a good Ring, are in a duel to first blood, your opponent is not competent enough to pose a threat over course of two turns, and you don't have Striking as Air. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, WHW said:

I guess Center might make sense if you don't possess duel-applicable Advantages, don't have a good Ring, are in a duel to first blood, your opponent is not competent enough to pose a threat over course of two turns, and you don't have Striking as Air. 

Exactly. Like channeling, it's a very useful tool if you're not good enough to pull off a five-result-hit reliably. If you were to run a Topaz Tournament with 0XP 'new samurai' genpuku characters, then getting a five-result success in the iaijutsu round* at the end is unlikely without a centre action, so anyone who doesn't have a 'proper' iaijutsu technique is going to be best off with Void/Centre, Water/Ready Weapon/Strike.

 

* If it's to first blood. Which it probably isn't, now I think about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem with 1st rank 0xp characters doing Iaijutsu to first blood is that they literally don't have any access to Iaijutsu. Only way you can emulate it ATM is Water Stance free draw :{.  At which point the correct reaction to opponent centering themselves is to go Water with free Predict set to remove Water Stance from the option pool. If you are going first, Water with Predict Water also is a **** move in 0xp Iaijutsu duels.

Important difference between Channeling and Focus is that Spell TNs are inflated and there is Really Bad Thing When You Keep 3 Strife, while attack TNs are relatively low, so they are not comparable 1:1. Channeling also lets you roll your entire dicepool, which is probably twice as big as the Center pool.

Edited by WHW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the beta game I am running we did the Topaz Championship. For the iaijustu part of the tournament I had the players and NPCs go to First Strike, not First Blood since they are young and injury wasn't the goal. Rising Blade was useful for one of the NPCs in that they only needed to achieve 3 successes to make a Critical Hit, rather than need 2 successes and 2 opportunities as well. The big advantage for Rising Blade is that opportunities can all be spent to increase severity. Rising Blade can also be used as a Finishing Blow. Severity is still double deadliness plus bonus successes.  Honestly, I think to First Blood should be resolved by inflicting the Bleeding condition. I find it wrong that you can inflict Bleeding on a character at Severity 3 with a razor edge weapon, but not count as drawing blood. That is a house rule that I have used.

One of the mistakes I was making was thinking the first round stance was set by your assessment check. That made Void to Water not something I saw. Making water a preferred duelist stance does seem odd to me, regardless of that mistake and I saw a lot of water stance chosen for the drawing capability. I think the restriction against drawing during the assessment check should be dropped. Consider succeeding on the assessment check a proper way to draw in a duel, iaijustu or otherwise. Time is supposed to be a little fluid so the quick draw part doesn't need to perfectly match up to when you strike. If iaijutsu needs to feel more like iaijutsu, there probably needs be more changes for that specifically other than not drawing your weapon right away.  It still feels natural for water stance fueling a Provoke plus Strike set of actions. 

Currently the center action does feel a little lackluster. I am fine with Striking as Air being better, it is a technique after all, but I feel like center should have a little more oomph. If ring dice could be rolled and reserved, that would go a long way to improving it. If it was a Void+Meditation TN1 check, allowing any kept or unkept dice to be reserved that would be interesting, in that you could build up using a different ring and skill than your attack. Plus making it a check allows the spending of opportunities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...