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TheSapient

Meditation and strife

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2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'd be hesitant to call it unmasking but if the player essentially said they were going to go into the forest and rage-attack the trees rather than show a tic in their 'perfect' expression in court, and basically said "hit me with whatever consquences you think appropriate" I'd at least consider it as a one-off.

Nothing I suggested would be anything more than narrative consequences. In the case of the rage slashing a tree, perhaps the player has to find a smith who can repair it discreetly, and won’t ask too many questions. Maybe they have to sweet talk a clan member who they’ve previously taken issue with. I don’t know, what ever the player thinks is interesting really. I may never apply any of these suggestions. I was just bored at work and brainstorming.

Edited by Mark It Zero

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17 hours ago, omnicrone said:

There are many in the book: Tea, Enlightenment, Armament (maintenance on your and companion's weapons or fletching), Animal Bond (excellent for Unicorns with their horses). Some custom is like enjoying nature as above, Journaling, Pilgrimage (visiting different shrines and praying on them) which is one of the passions on my table, Cooking... there are many possibilities

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

The party is just single-city-based for the foreseeable future of the game, so I was having some trouble being inventive with it all.

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57 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

The party is just single-city-based for the foreseeable future of the game, so I was having some trouble being inventive with it all.

Stories is a great passion for almost any setting.  If appropriate for a given character, the idea of ending the day regaling friends of strangers with the exploits of the Thunders or some new poem is very thematic.

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3 hours ago, Mark It Zero said:

Easy there killer, it’s just a game.

No, there is a line, and this is crossing it. If you want a narrative consequence for Unmasking alone in the woods, then you simply tell the player wandering around the woods for a good shout is a downtime activity. Having random Kami curse the character is not a narrative consequence, it is the GM picking on the player (aka "Wickism"). It is not a game. 

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19 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

No, there is a line, and this is crossing it. If you want a narrative consequence for Unmasking alone in the woods, then you simply tell the player wandering around the woods for a good shout is a downtime activity. Having random Kami curse the character is not a narrative consequence, it is the GM picking on the player (aka "Wickism"). It is not a game. 

I really don't understand the objection here.  Having spirits notice your behavior, and their view of you being colored by it, is hardly some huge burden wildly inconsistent with the rest of the game.  

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5 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

I really don't understand the objection here.  Having spirits notice your behavior, and their view of you being colored by it, is hardly some huge burden wildly inconsistent with the rest of the game.  

Thanks for picking up what I’m putting down! It’s meant to be a purely narrative thing, completely approved by the player, and ultimately just a way to push the story forward really.

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1 hour ago, TheSapient said:

Stories is a great passion for almost any setting.  If appropriate for a given character, the idea of ending the day regaling friends of strangers with the exploits of the Thunders or some new poem is very thematic.

I don't disagree with that, but "Stories" is a different passion than "Travel."

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34 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

No, there is a line, and this is crossing it. If you want a narrative consequence for Unmasking alone in the woods, then you simply tell the player wandering around the woods for a good shout is a downtime activity. Having random Kami curse the character is not a narrative consequence, it is the GM picking on the player (aka "Wickism"). It is not a game. 

Whatever you say dude. We are clearly in different wavelengths.

Edited by Mark It Zero

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51 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

No, there is a line, and this is crossing it. If you want a narrative consequence for Unmasking alone in the woods, then you simply tell the player wandering around the woods for a good shout is a downtime activity. Having random Kami curse the character is not a narrative consequence, it is the GM picking on the player (aka "Wickism"). It is not a game. 

I am not familiar with this term, but it sounds like it has its origin in some horror stories that would be fun to read. Though I doubt it can beat the Worst DM Ever(TM) storyline, in the spirit of Halloween, link please?

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4 minutes ago, JBento said:

I am not familiar with this term, but it sounds like it has its origin in some horror stories that would be fun to read. Though I doubt it can beat the Worst DM Ever(TM) storyline, in the spirit of Halloween, link please?

Here, from the Wick Himself. You should read it in a dark room while there is a storm outside, for maximum effect.

34 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

I really don't understand the objection here.  Having spirits notice your behavior, and their view of you being colored by it, is hardly some huge burden wildly inconsistent with the rest of the game.  

It is not about the act being inconsistent (tho, one can argue that spirits bullying a rando in a forest is pretty strange even by Rokugani standards) but it being invoked just to undercut the player. It has no other purpose. It is not a consequence, it is a punishment. 

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30 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Here, from the Wick Himself. You should read it in a dark room while there is a storm outside, for maximum effect.

It is not about the act being inconsistent (tho, one can argue that spirits bullying a rando in a forest is pretty strange even by Rokugani standards) but it being invoked just to undercut the player. It has no other purpose. It is not a consequence, it is a punishment. 

Hmm.  I didn't see anything about the spirits bullying anyone.  Just that they would feel disdain.   Now, I don't know the setting well enough to know if the local spirits would care about the sort of cultural breach that comes with unmasking.  But I see nothing at all wrong with a table agreeing that spirits would find such a display disagreeable, and would form opinions just like any other NPC.  Nor do I have a problem with a prayer being the appropriate apology to these spirits.  

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14 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

But I see nothing at all wrong with a table agreeing that spirits would find such a display disagreeable, and would form opinions just like any other NPC. 

The problem is that as per the original scenario, the player specifically went to the forest to avoid this kind of trouble. So at the bare minimum that player is going to be against some random spirits jumping at his character for no real reason. 

18 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

 Now, I don't know the setting well enough to know if the local spirits would care about the sort of cultural breach that comes with unmasking. 

In short, if they did, then Rokugan would look quite differently ;)

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1 minute ago, AtoMaki said:

The problem is that as per the original scenario, the player specifically went to the forest to avoid this kind of trouble. So at the bare minimum that player is going to be against some random spirits jumping at his character for no real reason. 

In short, if they did, then Rokugan would look quite differently ;)

Well, I think all the talk of "cursing", "bullying", and "jumping at" are reading things into the original idea that were not there.  There is a big gap between an NPC spirit thinking an unmasked human lacks dignity and that same spirit actively trying to harm said human.

If I personally see a stranger screaming and punching trees, I'm not going to attack him.  But I'm also going to have a predisposition if that same person later asks me for something.   And I say this from a culture that is far more tolerant of such behavior.

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Well, so I think the issue is kind of a "getting something for free". The point of unmasking (vs just whittling your Strife down some other way) is that your social facade slips which can have both positive and negative consequences, but removes all strife. A player should not easily be able to go "and I go into the forest where no one can hear me". You're not supposed to be able "avoid this kind of trouble", in that sense. Also if you leave a scene to go unmask, your strife probably should naturally degrade so you're no-longer compromised and can't unmask - but that may be besides the discussion. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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the sole reason why I said that comment about going in the wood was because I wanted to say that strife should eventually go away by itself after many hours of doing nothing. otherwise, player would cheese it off.

but, i really admire you guys bringing this benign example of cheese in a totally other realm.

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3 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

You're not supposed to be able "avoid this kind of trouble", in that sense. 

Oh, you are. Nothing says that Unmasking must be a big deal. If it happens to fizzle out, then that's your Unmasking. If someone specifically goes out to their way to contain an Unmasking, then the GM shouldn't double down on the character - the effort is its own consequence, in a way, everything goes on exactly as should, no need for BS spirits/shinobi/whatever messing with the character. 

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4 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Oh, you are. Nothing says that Unmasking must be a big deal. If it happens to fizzle out, then that's your Unmasking. If someone specifically goes out to their way to contain an Unmasking, then the GM shouldn't double down on the character - the effort is its own consequence, in a way, everything goes on exactly as should, no need for BS spirits/shinobi/whatever messing with the character. 

I submit that the fact that by the rules, you can only Unmask during a scene and that, still according to the rules, an Unmasking should have narrative consequences suggests that an Unmasking is supposed to be significant. Not always hugely so, certainly, but at least to a meaningful extent. And again, the game is supposed to be about Strife. The entire system is built around it. How is that supposed to work if Unmaskings, and thus Strife removal, aren't supposed to have consequences?

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2 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

And again, the game is supposed to be about Strife. The entire system is built around it.

Pelting Hail Style OP

Air Ring bad

Earth Ring too good

Courtiers no composure

Edited by Avatar111

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Just now, nameless ronin said:

And this means Unmaskings are A-OK as insignificant, nobody-cares affairs?

when out of a scene, during a downtime, in the wood. yeah. kind of.

after being shot arrows at though ? much more scary than fighting an Oni.

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Just now, Avatar111 said:

when out of a scene, during a downtime, in the wood. yeah. kind of.

after being shot arrows at though ? much more scary than fighting an Oni.

if they're not part of a scene, they're not Unmaskings. Them's the rules.

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"When a character unmasks, they remove all of their strife. Then, the player roleplays the way in which their character lets their facade fall, and the GM determines any narrative and mechanical consequences this has. Players and GMs can look to the examples of unmasking in this section for inspiration, or invent their own to fit the scene and the character."

And then basically details how your emotional exposure can be a detriment but provide new opportunities. At no point does it make any mention you can "fizzle" an unmasking, it's a DRAMATIC reveal of pure emotion. Basically, you shouldn't contain an unmasking at all - and now I think it IS relevant to this conversation, I'm pretty sure if you leave a scene to go "unmask in private" you've technically ended a scene and reduce your strife to half Composure automatically. If you want to then narrate a kind of downtime where you relieve the rest of your strife, that's not really unmasking, and can just be you working on your strife in your own way. Or perhaps running out of the scene to let go of your emotions IS your unmasking, at which point the social consequences already happened. Either way, you've kind of bypassed the "point" of unmasking - which should be a big deal you can only do it once per scene. If you want to let players blow off strife off-screen (basically doing the classic "okay I leave the narrative for a bit and come back later" trick) you can extend this to clearing some strife, but that's not really the unmasking mechanic. 

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Also slightly unrelated, but the specific hypothetical here consistently reminds me of a scene in Game of Thrones ("You've ruined your sword" for those who know what I mean). That doesn't really have any long-reaching narrative or probably even mechanical repercussions (though obviously in context, you could say an item was Damaged), but it is a very powerful narrative scene where a character left to go deal with his emotions in private (and also it stopped being private, because two characters dealing with grief together was better than both of them in the woods alone), and also kind of sets forward some future plot points. 

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3 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

"When a character unmasks, they remove all of their strife. Then, the player roleplays the way in which their character lets their facade fall, and the GM determines any narrative and mechanical consequences this has. Players and GMs can look to the examples of unmasking in this section for inspiration, or invent their own to fit the scene and the character."

And then basically details how your emotional exposure can be a detriment but provide new opportunities. At no point does it make any mention you can "fizzle" an unmasking, it's a DRAMATIC reveal of pure emotion. Basically, you shouldn't contain an unmasking at all - and now I think it IS relevant to this conversation, I'm pretty sure if you leave a scene to go "unmask in private" you've technically ended a scene and reduce your strife to half Composure automatically. If you want to then narrate a kind of downtime where you relieve the rest of your strife, that's not really unmasking, and can just be you working on your strife in your own way. Or perhaps running out of the scene to let go of your emotions IS your unmasking, at which point the social consequences already happened. Either way, you've kind of bypassed the "point" of unmasking - which should be a big deal you can only do it once per scene. If you want to let players blow off strife off-screen (basically doing the classic "okay I leave the narrative for a bit and come back later" trick) you can extend this to clearing some strife, but that's not really the unmasking mechanic. 

All of this is perfect.

But what if the scene is the character alone in the forest, gaining strife as he tries to compose a poem or something.  He can unmask then, with only the forest kami as witnesses.  I don't think it unreasonable for them to look down on him in the narrative.  Mechanically, I think it would be reasonable to increase the TN for him to then request aid for his effort from the kami.

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