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Geek and Sundry review of L5R 5

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challenging a rival to a duel without their lord’s permission.

Emphasis mine.

Had a roundabout with someone as to whether that was significant. I feel like now I'm not the only one who picked up on that.

Great review!

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49 minutes ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Emphasis mine.

Had a roundabout with someone as to whether that was significant. I feel like now I'm not the only one who picked up on that.

Great review!

It... has to be? Fighting in a duel means staking your honour, if not your life. The latter is not yours to stake, and the former affects your lord's honour.

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3 minutes ago, JBento said:

It... has to be? Fighting in a duel means staking your honour, if not your life. The latter is not yours to stake, and the former affects your lord's honour.

Another person took the position that the challenge was a consequence-free Unmasking, and you never had to actually fight the duel, just make the challenge.

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Just now, Hida Jitenno said:

Another person took the position that the challenge was a consequence-free Unmasking, and you never had to actually fight the duel, just make the challenge.

Yeah, not fighting the duel is... bad. Like, really bad. That's like a bunch Bushido tenets you're failing, right there, and that's not counting the political repercussions.

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1 minute ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Another person took the position that the challenge was a consequence-free Unmasking, and you never had to actually fight the duel, just make the challenge.

Challenging your opponent for a friendly sparring bout is legitimate. So is challenging them on the condition that you must ask for your lord's permission first. Depending on your GM's mood, you can even challenge your antagonist to a duel of children's card game. 

Tho exploiting Challenge of Honor is not as cool as Bending Principles by Leveraging Your Disadvantage - that one might cause your rulebook to spontaneously catch fire :D

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2 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Challenging your opponent for a friendly sparring bout is legitimate. So is challenging them on the condition that you must ask for your lord's permission first. Depending on your GM's mood, you can even challenge your antagonist to a duel of children's card game.

None of those sound like an Unmasking, though, and they're CERTAINLY not a duel (except on the second case, and you should most definitely not be issuing challenges on conditionals - if your opponent accepts on the spot, and then you go ask your lord - which you should do ASAP - and he says "no", you're screwed on so many bushido tenets it isn't even funny)

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6 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Challenging your opponent for a friendly sparring bout is legitimate.

The example is "demanding challenge by way of steel" for "indignities they can no longer bear". Your mileage may differ, but I don't know anyone who interprets that as a friendly sparring bout being legitimate.

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6 minutes ago, JBento said:

None of those sound like an Unmasking, though, and they're CERTAINLY not a duel (except on the second case, and you should most definitely not be issuing challenges on conditionals - if your opponent accepts on the spot, and then you go ask your lord - which you should do ASAP - and he says "no", you're screwed on so many bushido tenets it isn't even funny)

The sparring bout is listed as a duel and the Unmasking option specifically mentions that the duel can happen in a later time. 

And, of course, if you are worrying about your lord's permission then you are already in NoBushido Land. There is also an argument that accumulating Strife in the first place is dishonorable tbh. 

2 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

The example is "demanding challenge by way of steel" for "indignities they can no longer bear". Your mileage may differ, but I don't know anyone who interprets that as a friendly sparring bout being legitimate.

Why not? You gotta beat each other into a pulp either way, it is just about playing it safe. 

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2 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Why not? You gotta beat each other into a pulp either way, it is just about playing it safe. 

What's friendly about beating each other to a pulp? Or about unbearable dignities, for that matter? And, going back to Unmaskings, what's the narrative consequence of a friendly sparring bout?

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3 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

What's friendly about beating each other to a pulp? Or about unbearable dignities, for that matter? And, going back to Unmaskings, what's the narrative consequence of a friendly sparring bout?

Ask your local Crab. Ask your local Crane (or any other drama queen). I guess the last one is a trick question? 

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2 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

The sparring bout is listed as a duel and the Unmasking option specifically mentions that the duel can happen in a later time. 

And, of course, if you are worrying about your lord's permission then you are already in NoBushido Land. There is also an argument that accumulating Strife in the first place is dishonorable tbh.

The duel can happen at a later time, but it must happen as the earliest possible time, which will generally be at the challenged earliest convenience. You can't challenge someone and then go, "ooops, I forgot it was laundry day" and never show up again. A challenge is an attack on the challenged's honour, and they will not let that fly.

If you think your lord won't give you permission, then, no, you shouldn't be issuing challenges in the first place. That is, indeed, how it works if you don't want to breach a handful of Bushido tenets right off the bat, plus again later.

I don't know who'd argue that accumulating Strife is a Bushido breach - UNMASKING certainly is, which is why you take Honour/Glory hits when you do. "Being under stress" isn't a breach, and everyone expects you to, anyway. You're just supposed to NOT CRACK under it (in public, anyway, which is why if you manage to Unmask in private you should just lose Honour).

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4 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Ask your local Crab. Ask your local Crane (or any other drama queen). I guess the last one is a trick question? 

I don't ask questions to trick people. I can tell when someone dodges a question though. ;) 

Crab don't beat eachother to a pulp as part of a friendly sparring bout. Accidents do happen, but depriving your lord of an able-bodied samurai just because you couldn't control yourself while sparring is a no-no. And being a drama queen has nothing to do with unbearable indignities.

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44 minutes ago, JBento said:

The duel can happen at a later time, but it must happen as the earliest possible time, which will generally be at the challenged earliest convenience. You can't challenge someone and then go, "ooops, I forgot it was laundry day" and never show up again. A challenge is an attack on the challenged's honour, and they will not let that fly.

If you think your lord won't give you permission, then, no, you shouldn't be issuing challenges in the first place. That is, indeed, how it works if you don't want to breach a handful of Bushido tenets right off the bat, plus again later.

I don't know who'd argue that accumulating Strife is a Bushido breach - UNMASKING certainly is, which is why you take Honour/Glory hits when you do. "Being under stress" isn't a breach, and everyone expects you to, anyway. You're just supposed to NOT CRACK under it (in public, anyway, which is why if you manage to Unmask in private you should just lose Honour).

And as with most things a samurai does, unmasking can be both dishonorable and honorable. Having a fit and challenging another samurai to a duel for mistreating peasants from another lord is dishonorable in a lot of ways, but also is an uphold of compassion. If you are an Unicorn you might even get a net positive in honor by doing something like this, since what you are upholding is something you value

Edited by omnicrone

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28 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Crab don't beat eachother to a pulp as part of a friendly sparring bout. Accidents do happen, but depriving your lord of an able-bodied samurai just because you couldn't control yourself while sparring is a no-no. And being a drama queen has nothing to do with unbearable indignities.

Geez, I was not thinking about breaking bones and all that. You only have to deplete their Fatigue - as pulpy as it can get when it comes to game mechanics. The sparring bout ends and everyone is back to action, the participants can maybe even find some sort of mutual respect or wind it out in the solace of the dojo. 

Similarly, 'unbearable indignities' can cover a great deal of things. Not everyone is a Crane with their lives set to 500% DRAMA. A hot day can be an unbearable indignity. Not having a good sleep can be an unbearable indignity. Shedding blood over any of these is the kind of escalation I wouldn't treat as an Unmasking - the character is actually getting riled here rather than venting steam. 

I was asking whether you were just referring back to the previous argument with Unmasking consequences. I mean, yeah, what can possibly happen during a friendly sparring bout :rolleyes:? These things are not known for being eventless (for one reason or another)...

35 minutes ago, JBento said:

"Being under stress" isn't a breach, and everyone expects you to, anyway. 

Hiding your true emotions is a kind of dishonesty and can be seen as a cowardly act. This in turn does not reflect too well on the samurai in question. What the Bushido demands is modesty and not denial, it has a pretty harsh take on the latter. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Geez, I was not thinking about breaking bones and all that. You only have to deplete their Fatigue - as pulpy as it can get when it comes to game mechanics. The sparring bout ends and everyone is back to action, the participants can maybe even find some sort of mutual respect or wind it out in the solace of the dojo. 

Similarly, 'unbearable indignities' can cover a great deal of things. Not everyone is a Crane with their lives set to 500% DRAMA. A hot day can be an unbearable indignity. Not having a good sleep can be an unbearable indignity. Shedding blood over any of these is the kind of escalation I wouldn't treat as an Unmasking - the character is actually getting riled here rather than venting steam. 

I was asking whether you were just referring back to the previous argument with Unmasking consequences. I mean, yeah, what can possibly happen during a friendly sparring bout :rolleyes:? These things are not known for being eventless (for one reason or another)...

As pulpy as it gets according to game mechanics, to me, seems to be explained in table 6-6: Results of Critical Strikes by Severity.

We have a different idea about indignities, or possibly about satisfaction.  Are you suggesting challenging someone to get satisfaction for the day being hot is a sensible course of action?

What possibly might happen is immaterial. What actually happens, that's a consequence. edit: also, the sparring bout is not the unmasking. If it is even to be considered that, the challenge is. 

Edited by nameless ronin

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I'm pretty sure that friendly duels with hidden motives ("this dude was pissing me off, I guess I asked him to a friendly sparring bout at heart I just wanted to estabilish dominance and beat him up") are one of things that are expected to happen with that Unmasking. I personally consider all manner of "oh, really? You are so sure? Let's make a bet, then" challenges also a valid form of unmasking. 

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36 minutes ago, WHW said:

I'm pretty sure that friendly duels with hidden motives ("this dude was pissing me off, I guess I asked him to a friendly sparring bout at heart I just wanted to estabilish dominance and beat him up") are one of things that are expected to happen with that Unmasking. I personally consider all manner of "oh, really? You are so sure? Let's make a bet, then" challenges also a valid form of unmasking. 

If you do something because of a hidden motive, it's not an Unmasking. You Unmask because of inner turmoil, mechanically represented by being Compromised.

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10 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Are you suggesting challenging someone to get satisfaction for the day being hot is a sensible course of action?

See, you are getting it. Not everything demands a huge dramatic display. The day is hot, you are sweating like a horse, and that Scorpion dude just can't shut up. He is not even talking to you, but he is loud, and each time your voice bounces off your body, you can feel the drops of sweat vibrating. So you jump up with a "You have a lot of spare energy today Scorpion-kun, let's waste it down in the dojo, with a friendly sparring bout!" The Scorpion flops back to his place, quieted and embarrassed, maybe waves at you signing that his planned dinner is not a bokken in the face, you get a few sensible chuckles for your effort, and the world moves on. The Scorpion remains silent for the rest of the scene, you can swear that the day became colder, and you feel great after putting that annoying Scorpion to his place. Well, maybe your next tea will taste funny, or an attendant will hand you a message about a Mysterious Person being up to a sparring bout with you, but it is just being the consequence you get for making a scene. 

Nobody gets hurt, you get your ten-seconds spotlight, unbearable indignities make you challenge an antagonist on the scene, you get your consequences - good and ill, Unmasking as it should be. It just kinda 'meh'-s out because making a bigger deal out of the day being hot definitely wouldn't fit the scene. 

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14 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Geez, I was not thinking about breaking bones and all that. You only have to deplete their Fatigue - as pulpy as it can get when it comes to game mechanics. The sparring bout ends and everyone is back to action, the participants can maybe even find some sort of mutual respect or wind it out in the solace of the dojo. 

I've no problem with a challenge being a sparring bout with Bokken. I'd just observe that if a challenge is due to a challenge of honour unmasking, it's probably not all that "friendly" and the idea of hitting them in the face with a weighty piece of bamboo is probably feeling mighty tempting...

1 hour ago, JBento said:

You DO realise that that Scorpion is taking a Glory hit, at the very least, right?

Definitely. Because they've been challenged, and apparently backed down.

And yes, that's a perfectly fine unmasking.

The key point there is the issue of a perfectly valid, but...I guess inappropriately motivated?...challenge is the unmasking. Having done so, it's entirely up to the Scorpion how they wish to respond; back down, take up the challenge, call in Bayushi Bloodyhellthatguysmassive as a 'champion', complain about your behaviour to their 'associates' in the Daimyo's court, or whatever they see fit to do.

As long as you're fine with those possible consequences down the line, there's nothing wrong with the challenge itself.

 

 

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3 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

See, you are getting it. Not everything demands a huge dramatic display. The day is hot, you are sweating like a horse, and that Scorpion dude just can't shut up. He is not even talking to you, but he is loud, and each time your voice bounces off your body, you can feel the drops of sweat vibrating. So you jump up with a "You have a lot of spare energy today Scorpion-kun, let's waste it down in the dojo, with a friendly sparring bout!" The Scorpion flops back to his place, quieted and embarrassed, maybe waves at you signing that his planned dinner is not a bokken in the face, you get a few sensible chuckles for your effort, and the world moves on. The Scorpion remains silent for the rest of the scene, you can swear that the day became colder, and you feel great after putting that annoying Scorpion to his place. Well, maybe your next tea will taste funny, or an attendant will hand you a message about a Mysterious Person being up to a sparring bout with you, but it is just being the consequence you get for making a scene. 

Nobody gets hurt, you get your ten-seconds spotlight, unbearable indignities make you challenge an antagonist on the scene, you get your consequences - good and ill, Unmasking as it should be. It just kinda 'meh'-s out because making a bigger deal out of the day being hot definitely wouldn't fit the scene. 

So you're not challenging him because the day is hot. It's because he's getting on your last nerve. Also, bokken are not steel.

Edited by nameless ronin

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Remember these scenes in cinema where two rivals  are putting on a friendly front and agreeing for a joyous little competition/bet, being so sweet and nice to each other that their teeth are about to crack, air is vibrating and cracking from electricity from their poorly concealed ALPHA EGO CLASH!, and pretty much everyone seeing it know that under the thin facade of friendly words all there really is is the desire to one up each other?
"Great, they are at it again..."

This is the sort of stuff I can imagine as a viable "DUEL!!" Unmasking. And TBH from this moment on I'm happily extending it to all sort of contests, starting with "I CAN DRINK YOU UNDER THE TABLE, YOU GIMP", through "Naked steel, now, behind the dojo, gimp", ending at "How about a little bet? If I win, your yoriki will work for me for a week, if I lose, well, your choice".
I think it really, really reinforces the competitive nature inherent in the Bushi and Samurai job description. 

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