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Shinjo Koetsu

Dueling Mechanic? Need help understanding.

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It sort of depends on the situation. A valid strategy is to delay a round or two and hope for your opponent to be compromised first to achieve the critical strike. Center still feels to be a bit of a weak action, but hopefully there will be some more kata or shuji that synergize with it. I still feel center should have been a TN 1 Meditation Void so that opportunities could be spent as part of it. If a character knows their opponent well, predict can be a dangerous action.

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One other thing to consider for Iaijutsu duels - the more formal form is draw, parry if need be, hit, swing to clean, and return to the saya. If the duel is in Crane or Imperial lands, taking a second strike is likely to hit that bottom line of the points table... automatic loss. The Dragon probably would allow one strike per weapon...

In Crab lands, sure, hack away...

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5 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

One other thing to consider for Iaijutsu duels - the more formal form is draw, parry if need be, hit, swing to clean, and return to the saya. If the duel is in Crane or Imperial lands, taking a second strike is likely to hit that bottom line of the points table... automatic loss. The Dragon probably would allow one strike per weapon...

In Crab lands, sure, hack away...

I think that's one element that gets overlooked, is that most traditional iaijutsu duels are a single swing.  And even if both parties happen to miss (i.e. inflict no damage or satisfy the first hit or first blood conditions), then the immediate matter at hand is still considered to be settled and honor satisfied.  Of course, that's not to say that such an outcome won't start a feud between the two duelists, and possibly even their respective family lines.

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How can you compromise someone faster?

Which i feel is the mechanic duel is missing as is.

Predict is not solid enough as a strife giving tool (if the other character wants to avoid your pick he can probably guess right most of the time).

And if you dont mind losing initiative, then you can conserve composure pretty good.

You can even strike with void or water to help woth the strife i think...

I really feel duels will just devolve in a strike fest while trying to manage your composure.

 

This game needs a second edition asap.

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3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

I really feel duels will just devolve in a strike fest while trying to manage your composure.

I'm working on a homebrew where Focus comes into play. The "short version" is (a) Sentiment roll during Assessment stage, where the loser chooses their stance first, and are locked into that stance for the duration of the duel, (b) multiple Mediation rolls during Focus stage, where failures cause your Focus to decrease by 1, and (c) free "Finishing Blow" strike against anyone that is Compromised or out of Focus. I'll post the final version after I've written up some test characters and see how it interacts with Stances and Opportunities.

I know that it won't be for anyone (after all, the current "dueling" rules are awesome for 1-on-1 combat), but it will be more similar to 4e.

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Interesting. I might homebrew something like a missed strike gives Strife(or attack action) Just to give a bit more of a drawback in striking all the time (but that wouldnt be used for clashes, that i feel should stay as is)

In mind duels, ritualized duels, are all about making your strike count. Not about just swinging wildly as i think the current system promote.

Edited by Avatar111

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15 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

as i understand duels, the designers seem to think that if you strike first it should be disadvantageous. but i don't really get it. i feel like you should always strike to eventually overcome their fatigue and get a crit, or get the 2 opportunity on a strike action and get the crit.

if you start to center, sure you might end up with a few good dice rolls when you finally decide to strike, but by that time the other character will have probably strike you twice already and chances are he will have a crit by then.

so basically, by doing all the shaenigans of "centering" etc you are gambling that the other character cannot crit you or incapacitate you until you start to strike, and at that point your strike kind of need to be a good one (and a crit) otherwise you just lost.

i feel the overall mechanic is very advantageous to someone who just strike all the time.

It depends on the goal. If you just need a critical (to first strike) or incapacitation (warrior's duel) then flail away. If you need to first blood, it becomes much harder to get a sufficient hit on a single roll.

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5 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

How can you compromise someone faster?

Which i feel is the mechanic duel is missing as is.

Predict is not solid enough as a strife giving tool (if the other character wants to avoid your pick he can probably guess right most of the time).

And if you dont mind losing initiative, then you can conserve composure pretty good.

You can even strike with void or water to help woth the strife i think...

I really feel duels will just devolve in a strike fest while trying to manage your composure.

 

This game needs a second edition asap.

As a big fan of 4e, I like the new system a lot. It feels like techniques allow so much more now. Its not roll, roll, roll... you have different actions, stuff to spend opportunities on, etc...

 

That said this duel system is a trainwreck. Doesnt make any sense to me... Strike, strike, strike fest.... As Koetsu Im working on a simpler, 3 stage system (assesment, staredown, strike) similar to the traditional iaijutsu duel from 4e.
 

The idea is initially having Focus based Initiative, allowing secret bid of strife to increase your initiative.

Then during assessment you can get info on your opponent: his strife level, composure, focus, knowledge of iaijutsu techniques, etc.

Then comes staredown/focus phase, were you can do different actions here: staredown to inflict strife on your opponent (in hopes of compromising him and thus making it difficult to connect a succesful strike), increase your initiative even more by centering (void related), or predict/guess your opponent's stance like the action from the actual system.

Finally initative is revealed and strikes come... There's a lot of mind games... predict or staredown can make your opponent compromised.

I just have an initial draft. Need to roll some chars and test it. An alternative would be an opposed roll instead of using initiative.

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1 hour ago, Shosur0 said:

That said this duel system is a trainwreck. Doesnt make any sense to me... Strike, strike, strike fest.... As Koetsu Im working on a simpler, 3 stage system (assesment, staredown, strike) similar to the traditional iaijutsu duel from 4e.

You are assuming that this duel system is designed to mimic only one type of duel (Iaijutsu) and that is why it doesn't make sense to you. The system is designed to handle Sumo matches, Kendo matches with bokken, battlefield duels with weapons already drawn, spell duels, clashes between dutiful yojimbo and ninja assassins, cavalry jousts and other 1 on 1 battles in addition to Iaijutsu duels. It is actually fairly easy to use the dueling rules from things such a debates and Sadane contests.

The "traditional" 4e 3 step duel is a way to quickly resolve one-strike Iaijutsu duels rather than a method of resolving cinematic duels, but it heavily favored those with bigger numbers rather than differing tactics.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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I'm not really up to make duels for complex tactics and mind games. The Yugioh references would be unreal, if you know what I mean. 

I would rather work towards making duels more tense, but that would require a lot more than fiddling with just the duel mechanics :unsure:

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7 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

How can you compromise someone faster?

Which i feel is the mechanic duel is missing as is.

Predict is not solid enough as a strife giving tool (if the other character wants to avoid your pick he can probably guess right most of the time).

And if you dont mind losing initiative, then you can conserve composure pretty good.

You can even strike with void or water to help woth the strife i think...

I really feel duels will just devolve in a strike fest while trying to manage your composure.

 

This game needs a second edition asap.

The best PC is going to be 20 composure. That's the flat maximum possible within the PC experience rules.

round 1 is 1, round 2 is 2, round 3 is 3, round 4 is four, round 5 is 5.

In round six, assuming they managed ZERO additional strife, he's compromised. Duel over. (He'd have to be dueling an inhuman to have lost). If he did a calming breath every round, he can go to 

But strife isn't the only thing...

  • Stirring the Embers: round 1, "How's that ___?" (insert name of disadvantage, which now applies until end of scene - IE, end of duel or longer)
  • Ebb & Flow: flip his advantage... 
  • Touchstone of courage targeting yourself - increase your own composure. If you get 2 opp, recover Earth in Opp

Ways to inflict strife — not all of the direct —

  • Fire stance opportunity spends.
  • If you know he knows cadence, Use cadence (2 opp) and subtlety (1-2 opp) to make an insult that they need to respond to... but that no one else spots. Cost you a bit of honor, but if he doesn't respond, he takes an honor and strife hit
  • Rallying cry - "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." You just forced them to keep a die with a strife. Merry freaking gift-giving-holiday.
  • Stonewall Tactics + one opp: force them to target you or take a +1 TN. Since only the strike option targets you... either they shūji you or they strike, or they need an extra kept.

Note that just because a duel is two people doesn't mean others cannot be involved - many of the techniques can be gotten away with by bystanders. A public duel in Crane & Lion lands may call for silence — and for different reasons — but Scorpion the jibes and jeers will be pointed and just barely loud enough for the contestants to hear. and Crab, it's feverish crowd of cheers and jeers. I've no good read on the phoenix, but the Dragon probably do a bunch of koans all throughout, ones aimed at inflaming or calming the duelists.

Just because it's a duel doesn't mean the others must have no turns nor place in the duel - but if they do, they had better keep it careful. And they also take strife... for being so intently focused that they are participating. If they draw a weapon, or make an obvious social attack targeting the duelist directly, that's an honor and glory hit. Targeting the crowd, coercing a crowd member, or especially, a spouse or lord, to intervene - dishonoring their person, and themselves... or worse, ordering a concession mid-duel.

Perhaps I should change my avatar to a scorpion...

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All that are really good observation.

Hopefully, all the techniques etc can make the option of striking not as good as I think it is.

I mean if a samurai have a good melee skill and a good ring to use for the roll, the probability of getting a success and two opportunity are quite high.

I really hope i'm wrong about the "strike all the time = best way to win".

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Actually, the maximum composure is 23. A Mantis can get a +3 boost to composure and endurance with his boast until the end of a scene. So he can stand up, challenge someone to a duel and boast about how he's going to whoop the other guy's behind. It gives the Mantis a very nice dueling technique, as they can rely on having effectively 1.5 extra earth.

Edited by Ikiry0

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13 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

I really hope i'm wrong about the "strike all the time = best way to win".

Well, not even the bestest speshul taktik evör will work if your opponent shows up with Ring 4+ / Skills 3+ and rip you a new hole Turn 1 before you can do anything. 

EDIT: I have some core book info trickling in, and I must say, if your opponent has a downtime activity to prepare for the duel and a good Void + Melee combo then he is going to erase your meager existence from this cruel world with his first strike. That Void SUPERDUPERESERVE Opp is absolutely insane!  

Edited by AtoMaki

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Well, not even the bestest speshul taktik evör will work if your opponent shows up with Ring 4+ / Skills 3+ and rip you a new hole Turn 1 before you can do anything. 

EDIT: I have some core book info trickling in, and I must say, if your opponent has a downtime activity to prepare for the duel and a good Void + Melee combo then he is going to erase your meager existence from this cruel world with his first strike. That Void SUPERDUPERESERVE Opp is absolutely insane!  

yeah I agree with you (if i understand you correctly), thats what i have so far:

initiative VOID (reduce TN of next check by 1) (but you probably could use another option, like FIRE for strife etc)

first turn, melee Strike FIRE (go all in, if you have an iaijutsu cut technique + give strife to opponent with opportunities)

if you dont have a iaijutsu technique it gets a bit trickier and depends on your other techniques etc, but you most probably need to go water stance because you want to strike... because the other options are so trashy.

SO, the idea is basically to strike as quick and hard as possible. which i'm ok with. it is all fine and dandy. AND it makes the staredown phase really important because at some point you might have no choice to win that initiative. Making initiative itself one of the most important factor in the duel for higher rank characters.

here is my "issue";

BUT then the designers put some actions like "center" and "predict" which in my opinion are totally useless. I'm trying to be convinced of otherwise. Because both center and predict don't have rolls associated with them, you lose the opportunity to use, well, opportunities. That is on top of the actions themselves being so weak. I really don't understand why they do exist. Maybe if these actions would not even exist I would think that duels would be better lol!

Edited by Avatar111

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5 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

BUT then the designers put some actions like "center" and "predict" which imo are totally useless. 

To be acutely honest here, I would gladly give up half the Strife-reducing options in the game if nuCenter was a general action available in all conflict types :(

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1 minute ago, AtoMaki said:

To be acutely honest here, I would gladly give up half the Strife-reducing options in the game if nuCenter was a general action available in all conflict types :(

in a duel, you think that using center is good ? you don't get to use opportunities for 1 full turn, and you are stuck in void stance ? is it worth it ? compared to the other options ?

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I think nuCenter in skirmish and intrigue would be great. You can skip a turn and let your buddies take some fighting while you reserve some sweet Skill Dice for future use. With a good nuCenter roll you can completely negate all your crappy Ring Dice results and have all your kept dice to be Skill Dice. And that's really good, especially if you are powering up for the Mother of All Critical Strikes. 

Of course, this isn't an option in a duel because if you skip a turn then your opponent will likely do bad things with you, but that's why I lament the exclusiveness of nuCenter. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

I think nuCenter in skirmish and intrigue would be great. You can skip a turn and let your buddies take some fighting while you reserve some sweet Skill Dice for future use. With a good nuCenter roll you can completely negate all your crappy Ring Dice results and have all your kept dice to be Skill Dice. And that's really good, especially if you are powering up for the Mother of All Critical Strikes. 

Of course, this isn't an option in a duel because if you skip a turn then your opponent will likely do bad things with you, but that's why I lament the exclusiveness of nuCenter. 

ok got ya.

yeah Center is abusable if available outside of duels. I wouldnt go there :)

But in duels, i think its weak. definitely not as weak as predict though, which is a total gamble NOT in your favor.

Maybe predict should be automatic/extra action for both players during staredown. basically you get one predict action per turn when you set your stance. And, you should be able to predict void stance too.

For Center... i'd leave it as is for now, maybe it gets really funky when you have like 4 skill rank and/or if you want to gamble on that one shot kill cocky play.

And missed strikes(or attacks) should lower your duel points. maybe -2 per missed (whiffed) attacks.

These 2 littles changes could fix a lot of issues I have have with current dueling. Basically making the "predict" mindgame mandatory (because I think it is fun, force the players to adapt and not always use the same pattern, and a good way to trigger finishing blows which are super cinematic) and by making strikes a little bit less tempting to throw all the time. Just a little bit but it can create some pressure on you if you miss a strike.

Edited by Avatar111

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The problem with Center isn't that the oponent will do bad stuff to you, it's that it's void stance. If you don't already have the initiative, your opponent can prevent it by predicting void. 

It's a double-blind bluffing game. Plus possibly prevent another stance with the initiative roll. 

So, do you

  • strike, with a fair chance of no critical §
  • Predict, to ensure they don't center
  • predict, to prevent their high ring
  • center to improve chance of hit, but committing to void

Which is an issue you need to pick based upon what you think your opponent will do.

Striking without the kata: On a ring of 2, you have to have 2 explosives... you can do it with either of the following kept: X$ X$ → A A;  X$ A→X$→A.
on ring 3: _ X$ X$ → A A; X$ X$ A → A _; S X$ A →A;  A A X$ → S.

Until you hit a ring of 4, a strike is a crapshoot without an applicable distinction. Or having centered. Or both. (remembering that you can apply a distinction to a Center roll

The math of reserved dice isn't pretty, but it MUCH increases the odds.

At @AtoMaki - one of the techniques allows reserving dice outside duels...  but only for one turn and in Air stance: Striking as Air.  So if you get lucky...

Also, keep in mind that a player can, even in duel, use a scholar approach to analyze the opponent's form. Whether the GM allows a -1 TN or a +1 success or a +1 opportunity, or a knowledge of a ring or skill or advantage/disadvantage is up to the GM... but it's certainly appropriate.

I'll also say this: I prefer this system to the ever-increasing raises of 3E. It's not faster than 3E, but it is a whole lot more interesting, especially if the others are providing unskilled help by cheering. (or applying shūgi)

 

 

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6 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

The problem with Center isn't that the oponent will do bad stuff to you, it's that it's void stance. If you don't already have the initiative, your opponent can prevent it by predicting void. 

It's a double-blind bluffing game. Plus possibly prevent another stance with the initiative roll. 

So, do you

  • strike, with a fair chance of no critical §
  • Predict, to ensure they don't center
  • predict, to prevent their high ring
  • center to improve chance of hit, but committing to void

Which is an issue you need to pick based upon what you think your opponent will do.

Striking without the kata: On a ring of 2, you have to have 2 explosives... you can do it with either of the following kept: X$ X$ → A A;  X$ A→X$→A.
on ring 3: _ X$ X$ → A A; X$ X$ A → A _; S X$ A →A;  A A X$ → S.

Until you hit a ring of 4, a strike is a crapshoot without an applicable distinction. Or having centered. Or both. (remembering that you can apply a distinction to a Center roll

The math of reserved dice isn't pretty, but it MUCH increases the odds.

At @AtoMaki - one of the techniques allows reserving dice outside duels...  but only for one turn and in Air stance: Striking as Air.  So if you get lucky...

Also, keep in mind that a player can, even in duel, use a scholar approach to analyze the opponent's form. Whether the GM allows a -1 TN or a +1 success or a +1 opportunity, or a knowledge of a ring or skill or advantage/disadvantage is up to the GM... but it's certainly appropriate.

I'll also say this: I prefer this system to the ever-increasing raises of 3E. It's not faster than 3E, but it is a whole lot more interesting, especially if the others are providing unskilled help by cheering. (or applying shūgi)

 

 

you cannot predict void, as written you can only predict; air,earth,fire,water.

predict as written is 100% trash/useless.

the question is, do you prefer to strike twice, or center and strike ? debatable i agree. but predict always suck.

there you go. read my tweaks to duels, that is how they should play out.

Edited by Avatar111

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7 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

At @AtoMaki - one of the techniques allows reserving dice outside duels...  but only for one turn and in Air stance: Striking as Air.  So if you get lucky...

Striking as Air is like the old Center so it is trash without being tied to Air. 

2 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

you cannot predict void, as written you can only predict; air,earth,fire,water.

Geeeehheeeee... good to know!

Edited by AtoMaki

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3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

predict as written is 100% trash/useless.

the question is, do you prefer to strike twice, or center and strike ? debatable i agree. but predict always suck.

No, it doesn't suck. It is useful when you want to prevent your opponent from taking a certain stance. Earth, Water, Fire and Air all have different benefits and cause different problems in different duels. The 4 Strife is a bonus not the primary purpose.

  • You can predict Air to make your actions easier to perform.
  • If you know an opponents high ring you can prevent them from using it.

  • You can make an opponent without Iaijutsu Cut waste a turn readying their weapon by locking them out of Water.

  • You lock your opponent out of Earth if you think you can get the successes and opportunities for an Air Crit Strike.

  • You can use predict to lock your opponent away from stance based techniques such as Heartpiercing Strike, Flowing Water Strike and Crimson Leaves Strike.

The new dueling system is very tactical and discounting the various tools can easily lead to a defeat.

Edited by Ultimatecalibur

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