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jakem72

Potential Advancement Oversight

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Hello! I'm curious about the advancement tables for Courtier schools. I have read the other thread that mentions redundancy so I won't go into that here.

What I'm curious about is the fact the Courtier schools don't get full credit for purchasing higher-tier techniques from particular elements as they go up in rank.

For example:

Ikoma Bards, at rank 1, progress at full advancement when they purchase rank 1 Fire Shuji. Cool.

When they get to rank 2, they progress at full advancement for rank 1-2 Water Shuji. Cool.

But they don't get full advancement, ever, for purchasing rank 2+ Fire Shuji. Uncool.

This follows for all the schools: if you get access to full advancement for an element at a certain rank, you don't get full advancement for the ranks past that it when you rank up.

It seems to me this is a problem: the school doesn't reward you for focusing on the higher-tier Shuji that make your school famous.

Read another way, the Ikoma are great at Inciting, shouldn't they get full advancement for the techniques for learning inciting Shuji (Fire)? The Bayushi are great at tricking, shouldn't they get full advancement for the techniques for learning tricking Shuji (Air)?

I'd understand if the school didn't give full advancement for "playing catch-up." So, for instance, at rank 2 in Ikoma Bard, you get full advancement for rank 2 fire shuji, and rank 1-2 water shuji, but wouldn't get full advancement for rank 1 fire shuji (you should already know it!)

But as it stands, if you want to focus on an element as a courtier, you're going to progress slowly through your school which doesn't really make sense to me. Am I overlooking something?

Edited by jakem72
clarity

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Ikoma get all Rank 1 Fire Shuji in their curriculum at Rank 1. They also start with Fanning the Flames. They have early access to Dazzling Performance at Rank 2, they have Rallying Cry at Rank 3, early access to Sear the Wound at Rank 4...

I believe, currently, all they are missing from their curriculum is Bravado and Lightning Raid, as far as Fire Shuji are concerned. Not too bad if they want to pick those up for a little less toward their next rank.

I was worried about this sort of thing at first too, but you really have to look at the whole curriculum, not just what Technique Groups you get at a particular level.

Edited by deraforia
Clarity

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This is the same for many schools. F. E. If I recall correctly (don't have the book on me) the Iuchi, traditionally water shugenja (I know there are no longer element affinities but the lore...) get rank 1 water invocations in their advancements during 1st rank. After that? Never. Why? Like many design decisions in this edition, who knows? I guess they are Earth shugenjas now, since they get most advancement options for earth invocations. 

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They're pretty evenly split as far as the curriculum goes. For Water you get Rank 1s in general and early access to Sympathetic Energies, then early access to Hands of the Tides at R2, then Ever-Changing Waves in R5. Earth they just get R1-2 and Rise, Earth, though they have a 2/3 Earth option for starting Invocations. The real oddball is the R1-4 Air but that doesn't necessarily mean they favor Earth more than Water. 

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It's kind of all over the place. Some curricula are straightforward (Hida Defender is all kata all the time), some switch elements every rank (Tattooed Order goes Fire Kiho + early access to one Earth Kiho, then Water Kiho + a kata, then Air Kiho + early Void Kiho, then Earth Kiho + another early Void Kiho, then Void Kiho (50% of which you might already have)), and others still switch both techniques and elements (Kitsuki Investigators); and then there's the flipping Shrine Keeper school.

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2 hours ago, deraforia said:

Ikoma get access to all rank 1 Fire Shuji at Rank 1. They also start with Fanning the Flames. They have early access to Dazzling Performance at Rank 2, they have Rallying Cry at Rank 3, early access to Sear the Wound at Rank 4...

I believe, currently, all they are missing is Bravado and Lightning Raid, as far as Fire Shuji are concerned. Not too bad if they want to pick those up for a little less toward their next rank.

I was worried about this sort of thing at first too, but you really have to look at the whole curriculum, not just what Technique Groups you get at a particular level.

This. If you look at the curriculum without taking into consideration Privileged Accesses and/or individual Techniques they seem odd, but taking it holistically, even odd ones like the Iuchi are actually really appropriate. We have to consider the fact that there aren't many techniques of a given element at higher ranks, which means most "Rank 1-3 Techniques" on a curriculum are actually "go back to study some Rank 1 of things that aren't our main focus and come back later".

What I am mostly fearing is when we finally get lot's of techniques on later splatbooks is if we are going to receive "updated/expanded curricula" for schools. I hope we do, but if we don't, well, we can houserule them I guess.

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1 hour ago, UnitOmega said:

They're pretty evenly split as far as the curriculum goes. For Water you get Rank 1s in general and early access to Sympathetic Energies, then early access to Hands of the Tides at R2, then Ever-Changing Waves in R5. Earth they just get R1-2 and Rise, Earth, though they have a 2/3 Earth option for starting Invocations. The real oddball is the R1-4 Air but that doesn't necessarily mean they favor Earth more than Water. 

They get Earth 1-5 again in Rank 5. But nvm... The thing is I'm in the process of moving my game to 5e (when I finish my actual campaign) but I'm already tweaking and talking to my players. My Iuchi shugenja player was kinda confused with this. 

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49 minutes ago, omnicrone said:

This. If you look at the curriculum without taking into consideration Privileged Accesses and/or individual Techniques they seem odd, but taking it holistically, even odd ones like the Iuchi are actually really appropriate. We have to consider the fact that there aren't many techniques of a given element at higher ranks, which means most "Rank 1-3 Techniques" on a curriculum are actually "go back to study some Rank 1 of things that aren't our main focus and come back later".

It depends a bit on the curriculum though. Looking at the Hida Defender (probably a somewhat extreme example, admittedly), they can spend 21, 36, 21, 18 and 12 XP on techs from the curriculum at school ranks 1 through 5 respectively. That means if they put 60 xp towards the right skills, they don't need to spend any xp whatsoever outside their curriculum (disregarding rings for a sec, since they never count). Now, nobody is actually going to do that. It wouldn't be all that great either (ranged kata? Pssshhh). However, it shows that for some schools the incentive to go outside the school's focus other than for rings is quite a lot less than for others.

edit: and that's with only the core book techniques. As/if more techniques become available through supplement sourcebooks it will become easier to minimize extracurricular credit.

Edited by nameless ronin

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49 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

kjgHDCM.png

That's shuji, good samurai

Oki, as I said, im out of home and dont have the book on me. Recalled they had earth stuff again in rank 5. Stil, this focus on earth makes no sense to me.

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5 hours ago, deraforia said:

Ikoma get access to all rank 1 Fire Shuji at Rank 1. They also start with Fanning the Flames. They have early access to Dazzling Performance at Rank 2, they have Rallying Cry at Rank 3, early access to Sear the Wound at Rank 4...

I believe, currently, all they are missing is Bravado and Lightning Raid, as far as Fire Shuji are concerned. Not too bad if they want to pick those up for a little less toward their next rank.

I was worried about this sort of thing at first too, but you really have to look at the whole curriculum, not just what Technique Groups you get at a particular level.

Ikoma get access to ALL rank 1 shūji that aren't clan restricted at rank 1. They only count the fire ones at full value when counting school XP, with other rings' shūji counting half.

We need to stop thinking of the curricular abilities as "access to..." and more as "full credit for..." except when it is marked with the funky symbol.

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10 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

We need to stop thinking of the curricular abilities as "access to..." and more as "full credit for..." except when it is marked with the funky symbol.

It's a good point, but I was careful with my wording in the OP to mention "full advancement" because I realize this. I think the point still stands: why don't the courtier schools award full advancement to types of techniques their school and ring are known for?

I'm not currently playing a game, but I would houserule that if you get full advancement for an elemental Shuji group, you get full advancement for that element's Shuji if it's from your same rank.

That way, when more techniques are released, the school doesn't need to be revised each time to account for the new techniques.

Ikoma Bards: Good at inciting. Get full advancement for purchasing Fire Shuji at the same rank of their school.
Bayushi Courtiers: Good at tricking. Get full advancement for purchasing Air Shuji at the same rank of their school.

.... and so on. 

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6 minutes ago, jakem72 said:

It's a good point, but I was careful with my wording in the OP to mention "full advancement" because I realize this. I think the point still stands: why don't the courtier schools award full advancement to types of techniques their school and ring are known for?

I'm not currently playing a game, but I would houserule that if you get full advancement for an elemental Shuji group, you get full advancement for that element's Shuji if it's from your same rank.

That way, when more techniques are released, the school doesn't need to be revised each time to account for the new techniques.

Ikoma Bards: Good at inciting. Get full advancement for purchasing Fire Shuji at the same rank of their school.
Bayushi Courtiers: Good at tricking. Get full advancement for purchasing Air Shuji at the same rank of their school.

.... and so on. 

at the end of the day... you need to take a balanced approach to rings in this edition. sure, have "one" very high ring maybe, but don't have anything too low (aside air that can be low without too much impact)

your bayushi courtier with 6 composure is a joke. so he will need NEED to take lots of earth and water, if he doesn't want to stay a joke. though maybe your bayushi doesnt give a flying *** about unmasking and losing honor/glory all the time, so there is that...

but if you want an honorable/glorious samurai, you will need earth/water.

Edited by Avatar111

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26 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

at the end of the day... you need to take a balanced approach to rings in this edition. sure, have "one" very high ring maybe, but don't have anything too low (aside air that can be low without too much impact)

your bayushi courtier with 6 composure is a joke. so he will need NEED to take lots of earth and water, if he doesn't want to stay a joke. though maybe your bayushi doesnt give a flying *** about unmasking and losing honor/glory all the time, so there is that...

but if you want an honorable/glorious samurai, you will need earth/water.

I have no issue with being balanced, I'm suggesting that it doesn't make sense that the Shuji your school is famous for don't award you full advancement when you purchase more advanced techniques.

So when your rank 3 Bayushi Courtier wants to purchase a rank 3 Air Shuji that was released in a subsequent book, they can do so with full advancement. As written, they'd be able to do that with the rank 3 Water Shuji, but not Air or Fire.

Furthermore, balance is built into the system with the limit that you can't advance your Rings beyond your lowest ring + Void, so either your theoretical Bayushi is ALSO super spiritual or well balanced.

Edited by jakem72
providing a counterexample

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45 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

Ikoma get access to ALL rank 1 shūji that aren't clan restricted at rank 1. They only count the fire ones at full value when counting school XP, with other rings' shūji counting half.

We need to stop thinking of the curricular abilities as "access to..." and more as "full credit for..." except when it is marked with the funky symbol.

Yeah, I knew when I wrote that it was going to be taken the wrong way, I was just pressed for time and didn't have a chance to fix it.

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10 minutes ago, jakem72 said:

I have no issue with being balanced, I'm suggesting that it doesn't make sense that the Shuji your school is famous for don't award you full advancement when you purchase more advanced techniques.

So when your rank 3 Bayushi Courtier wants to purchase a rank 3 Air Shuji that was released in a subsequent book, they can do so with full advancement. They'll be able to do that with the rank 3 Water Shuji, but not Air or Fire.

Furthermore, balance is built into the system with the limit that you can't advance your Rings beyond your lowest ring + Void, so either your theoretical Bayushi is ALSO super spiritual or well balanced.

oh you will not be super spiritual. Air ring main with Void and Fire as second best ? recipe for disaster.

 

you can still get whatever you want without full advancement. doesn't make a big difference really... but the Senseis are smarter, they know Bayushi needs water, so they teach him that. it is common sense wisdom.

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10 hours ago, jakem72 said:

Furthermore, balance is built into the system with the limit that you can't advance your Rings beyond your lowest ring + Void, so either your theoretical Bayushi is ALSO super spiritual or well balanced.

Since your Rings cap out at 5, an Air 2 + Void 3 setup will fill up all your Ring advancement needs. Tho, at high levels, I would advise for Void 4, so Air 1 is a way to go too. 

10 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

oh you will not be super spiritual. Air ring main with Void and Fire as second best ? recipe for disaster.

Oh man, that's the Shadowman build, it is no joke :ph34r:!

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Since your Rings cap out at 5, an Air 2 + Void 3 setup will fill up all your Ring advancement needs. Tho, at high levels, I would advise for Void 4, so Air 1 is a way to go too. 

Oh man, that's the Shadowman build, it is no joke :ph34r:!

Lol, OK, if you want to make a shinobi that basically strike once and then disappear. The air/fire/void build can work.

But for a player character? Lets say it is playing the game on "very difficult" mode!

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i think water is the best courtier's ring overall. at least for an honorable courtier.

problem with an air/fire courtier is that he's basically just about to unmask every round because of extra low composure and no way to remove strife (no shuji like earth does, no opp spending like water have)... air/fire is going to lose honor/glory easily if he stays around too long. i still think air and fire are good rings for courtiers (air especially to know status/motives/demeanour etc makes it almost a must for initiative or first turn), but i wouldn't pair them with each other as air/fire builds only works for ninjas really, people who don't care about unmasking, that hit strong/swiftly in a surprise attack or from the shadow, and that don't overstay their welcomes (basically, ninjas... sneak attacks etc) if you want to be a prominent figure in court, take center stage, and withstand longer sessions and a few attacks directed at you, water is the best by far.

Edited by Avatar111

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Remember that the Momentum Points needed to win a Persuade Intrigue goal use Focus as a base. Air/Fire Courtier might be in risk of Unmasking (making them vulnerable to Discredit goal), but they definitely are hard to outdebate and persuade. Fire 3 Air 3 starts you with 6 Focus, which is 6 successful persuasion checks to crack, minus 1 per two bonus successes - and getting bonus successes against Air Stance is a pain in the ***. 
High Composure Earth Water person might be hard to discredit, but with Air 1/Fire 1 start, you get Focus of 2. That's 2 checks, or 1 with two bonus successes. 

 

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11 minutes ago, WHW said:

Remember that the Momentum Points needed to win a Persuade Intrigue goal use Focus as a base. Air/Fire Courtier might be in risk of Unmasking (making them vulnerable to Discredit goal), but they definitely are hard to outdebate and persuade. Fire 3 Air 3 starts you with 6 Focus, which is 6 successful persuasion checks to crack, minus 1 per two bonus successes - and getting bonus successes against Air Stance is a pain in the ***. 
High Composure Earth Water person might be hard to discredit, but with Air 1/Fire 1 start, you get Focus of 2. That's 2 checks, or 1 with two bonus successes. 

 

How do you differentiate between discrediting and losing an argument?

Basically, you can be dicredited, lose honor/glory but win the argument?

Hmm.. yeah. Wont live long in court but that can make sacrifice for victory something they can do. Not sure it is a good long term option for PCs though. Maybe.

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