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The Grand Falloon

How are your duels going?

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   I'm just curious about how folks' duels are working out in actual play.  There was a fair amount of discussion when the game first dropped about the best strategies and such, but i doubt most groups had had much chance to see how it really works at the table.  Have your players been playing the Staredown game, using Predict to try and push their opponents into Compromising?  Have they just been drawing steel and attacking, hoping to wear their opponents down before they Strife Out themselves?  And of course, have they died gloriously?

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For us, mostly exactly the same as if we were using skirmishes rules.

Nobody became compromised (but some players/npc had to basically accept to lose the duel becoming incapacitated because they had to manage their strife with water stance, which they thought was a better option than risking getting hit by a finishing blow)

1 npc lost by receiving a crit 5+, but thats because he used void to "no defend" otherwise he would have been incapacitated anyway.

Nobody used predict nor center.

Staredown phase works really well and biding for initiative is important especially in the 2nd round because after 2 attacks... Unless you have like 12+ endurence, you are down.

Otherwise, win ini, strike as much as you can, and iaijutsu technique is really good to attack fast with your best ring, otherwise you use water draw + strike.

Best rings (if you have iaijutsu tech);

Fire (its a killer) and Earth for sheer stats (composure and endurance).

without iaijutsu tech, water becomes almost mandatory.

 

edit; these are all rank 1 duels.

Edited by Avatar111

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The experience at my table was a little deviant:

For fresh/rank 1 characters hitting attacks is not that easy, even with your best ring, as most starting characters roll WBBB. Because of that Air stance had much, much better mileage than Earth.

Even finishing strikes are far from a guaranteed hit at the start (especially against Air stancers), unless you use Rising Blade. A lot of duels in my table were decided on finishing strikes and counter-finishing strikes and some of them missed.

I'm following the rules on Water stance quite literally: your second action cannot have a check, so no prepare + strike on first turn. This makes Iai cut key to win duels as you cannot attack on turn 1 on Iaijutsu duels without an Iai cut. It also seems to make duels more interesting.

My table is now getting at rank 2. The Mirumoto is now really far above the rest of characters for first strike/first blood/sparring duels since his school skill is really good, if not broken, in duels and his kit is excellent for a duelist: he has a Fire/Void/Earth build with both Iai cuts (he keeps Rising Blade ready to roll with the Wakizashi just in case the opponent strifes out) and Warrior's Resolve. The Ikoma was at the start a good duelist but he is falling behind because he also need to be a good courtier (his Giri) and is mostly spending his XP on that end. The Utaku, the other bushi in the group, is a Water/Earth monster and very strong on skirmishes even without the horse, but she sucks at duels (that doesn't involve her being mounted on her horse): she is too slow (3 Focus), has no Iai Cut (and will never get one) and her two good rings aren't that hot for duels because of really passive opportunities spends, though she at least has Warrior's Resolve.

The only Taryu-jiai we had was really dope. Fire invocations and their Burning condition are really good for winning (though that can be blocked with Earth). The weapon summoning invocations seems to be the most powerful of the bunch for starting characters since they are more damaging than the direct damage invocations at the start (also, Katana of fire can burn people even on a missed strike).

Most duels at my table were first strike during the topaz championship or friendly sparring. The only real duel we had was one the Mirumoto fought as the champion of the Doji after she was challenged, as part of her plan, by a ronin mercenary hired as muscle for a corrupt Otomo. The duel was to first blood, but the Mirumoto accidentally killed him, which put them in some hot water (unresolved as of right now).

Edited by omnicrone

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35 minutes ago, omnicrone said:

The experience at my table was a little deviant:

For fresh/rank 1 characters hitting attacks is not that easy, even with your best ring, as most starting characters roll WBBB. Because of that Air stance had much, much better mileage than Earth.

Even finishing strikes are far from a guaranteed hit at the start (especially against Air stancers), unless you use Rising Blade. A lot of duels in my table were decided on finishing strikes and counter-finishing strikes and some of them missed.

I'm following the rules on Water stance quite literally: your second action cannot have a check, so no prepare + strike on first turn. This makes Iai cut key to win duels as you cannot attack on turn 1 on Iaijutsu duels without an Iai cut. It also seems to make duels more interesting.

My table is now getting at rank 2. The Mirumoto is now really far above the rest of characters for first strike/first blood/sparring duels since his school skill is really good, if not broken, in duels and his kit is excellent for a duelist: he has a Fire/Void/Earth build with both Iai cuts (he keeps Rising Blade ready to roll with the Wakizashi just in case the opponent strifes out) and Warrior's Resolve. The Ikoma was at the start a good duelist but he is falling behind because he also need to be a good courtier (his Giri) and is mostly spending his XP on that end. The Utaku, the other bushi in the group, is a Water/Earth monster and very strong on skirmishes even without the horse, but she sucks at duels (that doesn't involve her being mounted on her horse): she is too slow (3 Focus), has no Iai Cut (and will never get one) and her two good rings aren't that hot for duels because of really passive opportunities spends, though she at least has Warrior's Resolve.

The only Taryu-jiai we had was really dope. Fire invocations and their Burning condition are really good for winning (though that can be blocked with Earth). The weapon summoning invocations seems to be the most powerful of the bunch for starting characters since they are more damaging than the direct damage invocations at the start (also, Katana of fire can burn people even on a missed strike).

Most duels at my table were first strike during the topaz championship or friendly sparring. The only real duel we had was one the Mirumoto fought as the champion of the Doji after she was challenged, as part of her plan, by a ronin mercenary hired as muscle for a corrupt Otomo. The duel was to first blood, but the Mirumoto accidentally killed him, which put them in some hot water (unresolved as of right now).

actually similar to my experience, aside that we were not missing as much. but we didn't have a mirumoto.

fire+earth + iaijutsu tech is devastating indeed...

you hard nerfed water though (maybe warranted but if you do it is mostly useless for duels now). i can understand mirumoto just destroying the opponent by winning initiative, iaijutsu fire strike, opponent draw, mirumoto again another fire strike... duel almost over :D

overall, it still ends up mostly like a skirmish. But i find it interesting that lots of your duels ended up in finishing blows, your players were really going all out "fire and keep those strife" i suppose.

 

 

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2 hours ago, omnicrone said:

I'm following the rules on Water stance quite literally: your second action cannot have a check, so no prepare + strike on first turn.

I wondered about the timing of that myself, so I asked Customer Service:

Quote

Hi [redacted],

The actions from Water stance can be performed in either order.

I hope that this helps!

--

Max Brooke

RPG & Miniatures Developer

 

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