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Hida Vedaru

Emerald Magistrate: Differences Between Adventure and Core Book Versions

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I'm curious why there are differences between the Core Books version of the Emerald Magistrate title and the once in the printed adventure Castle of the Emerald Champion, even after the errata document was released. 

I explained how titles worked to my players, expecting them to have to dump XP into the title advancement track before getting all of the benefits of the title. However reading ahead again in the story it seems as if they are just to be given the title at the end of the adventure without having to pay any experience for it? 

That alone could be something for narrative advancement, I suppose, but there are further differences. The story version also confers +1 skill point and an extra ability, Harsh Scrutiny, which does not appear in the errata for the Core Book. The core book version also bestows  +15 Status, as opposed to the +10 of the story version. 

So, questions: is it intended that the characters DO immediately gain all of the benefits of the Emerald Magistrate title without XP send for completing the Castle investigation? Which status bump is correct, +10 or +15 (only important, really, for minor clan samurai)? Should the Core Book version receive further errata to gain the Harsh Scrutiny ability?

Apologies if this is addressed elsewhere, but searching turned up nothing. Thanks!

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These titles, even if they are similar thematically and have the same name, are attained in very different ways - yes, the title in CotEC is a story award, the players don't need to spend XP towards it. I don't think they have to have the same mechanical benefits. Once Emerald Empire is out and I have a larger selection of titles to compare to I might be inclined to change either (or both), but for now I'm keeping things as they are.

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21 hours ago, Hida Vedaru said:

I'm curious why there are differences between the Core Books version of the Emerald Magistrate title and the once in the printed adventure Castle of the Emerald Champion, even after the errata document was released. 
 

A little speculation, based upon prior games: Castle was probably written when the beginner game was being written.

Evidence:

  • The counter mix in the BG includes some of CotEC's baddies.
    • They did similar with the Star Wars BG's.
  • It explains the expanded mechanics being different from final release mechanics.

 

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I keep seeing notes on rules being different between full rules and the starter set, but I haven't seen anyone mention that the starter set characters are not actually real "by the book" characters. Trying to compare the two doesn't seem super useful. One is intended to ease new players in, and the other is the full game. If you're not running starter scenarios with the starter game rules, I think you can pretty well ignore everything there.

The Emerald Magistrate rules variation seem pretty innocuous compared to lack of lethality on weapons, characters that do not have advantages/disadvantages fleshed out, and no starting techniques. I would assume the faster rate of progression is to make up for the lack of some of this...

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Player387247, this is worth considering, however this is not technically from the Beginner Set, but from the adventure following, which does introduce the full game ru
Thematically, the granting of the title without the experience spend does fit, as the other Samurai in the story complain about the PCs being rushed to their position. However the real rub is that the 'free' version of the title is not just different, nor is it simplified as a 'Beginner' title, but its strictly better than the version in the book, granting an extra power and a +1 skill boost. I just found that curious. 

The biggest question, really, is whether or not Harsh Scrutiny is supposed to be added to the book version. Its strange that the final form of the Title would be missing a powerful attribute like that. 

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On ‎11‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 8:50 AM, Hida Vedaru said:

The core book version also bestows  +15 Status, as opposed to the +10 of the story version. 

That, as you noted, is probably because the Starter Set characters are all major clan samurai; in A.N.Other version characters could include some putative minor clan (or even peasant-born, in a rise from the dirt campaign), who would notice the difference.

On ‎11‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 9:20 AM, Hida Vedaru said:

The biggest question, really, is whether or not Harsh Scrutiny is supposed to be added to the book version. Its strange that the final form of the Title would be missing a powerful attribute like that. 

On ‎11‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 7:55 PM, AK_Aramis said:

They have the title - they don't have the special abilities.

I guess Harsh Scrutiny is in there as a 'compensation' for not getting the curriculum - which in and of itself could be very useful, offering privileged access to all rank 1-2 kata to characters who wouldn't normally get them.  (Not sure why Open Hand style is specifically called up as it's a rank 2 Kata)

 

Also, talking about abilities in that adventure, whilst looking up the two versions of the Magistrate title to compare, the search first dropped me on the NPC version of the generic Emerald Magistrate.

I want those abilities.....
 

Quote

 

Gear: Daishō, dining kimono, empty sake jug (soon to be filled).

NPC ABILITY: SIT DOWN, CHILD!

While making an Attack action check, the magistrate may spend * to knock their target down. Their target suffers 1 strife and the Prone condition (see page 15).

NPC ABILITY: THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE

While making an Attack action check, the magistrate may spend * to employ an especially impressive technique. If they do and the check is successful, their target suffers strife instead of damage. Should this make the opponent unmask, the attacker gains 4 glory.

 

 

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It's not a difference between the two version, but I noticed that in the CR Emerald Magistrate curriculum, "Open-Hand Style" is a rank 2 Kata, which makes it redundant with the "Rank 1-2 Kata" Tech Group.

I want to share the answer I received from Max Brooke. We'll have to wait for the next Errata iteration for a final judgement, but in the meantime, here's something to inspire anyone who needs a quick resolution.

Quote

<snip intro>

Open-Hand Style is indeed redundant with Rank 1–2 Kata here, so there isn't an error elsewhere you're missing. I can't say exactly what change will be made yet, but it's something we'll be taking a look at in the next Errata and FAQ update!

For right now, though, I think your idea of adding another Shūji technique is a good one. If you're the GM and you want to replace Open-Hand Style with a Shūji of your choice (Courtier's Resolve is always a good choice, because it's useful to basically everyone, but All Arts Are One would also be pretty good for an Emerald Magistrate), that's a solid option.

Alternately, it does work mechanically to treat the Emerald Magistrate as just having "one less" technique than it appears to. But that's not as much fun, so I'd probably do the former at my table instead.

<snip outro>

*Edited for readability

Edited by Agasha Kanetake

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On 12/5/2018 at 11:56 PM, Agasha Kanetake said:

I want to share the answer I received from Max Brooke. We'll have to wait for the next Errata iteration for a final judgement, but in the meantime, here's something to inspire anyone who needs a quick resolution.

Pardon me if I missed something, but when he says 'the former' in response, what's he referring to, exactly? I'm assuming he's talking about the specific question you asked.

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He's referring to the former (first) option of the two options he presented in the response: "replace Open-Hand Style with a Shūji of your choice".

The other (latter) option is "[treat] the Emerald Magistrate as just having "one less" technique".

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8 hours ago, MythicFox said:

Pardon me if I missed something, but when he says 'the former' in response, what's he referring to, exactly? I'm assuming he's talking about the specific question you asked.

From my reading of it, he's mentioning two possible options to solve this redundancy in his reply:

1) Replace it with something else of the GM's choice (for example, a shuji like Courtier's Resolve or All Arts Are One)

2) Just say that Emerald Magistrate has one less technique in their curriculum (which is less fun)

So "the former" would refer to "1) Replace it with something else of the GM's choice" as the option he would implement at his table.

 

<edit to add my question>

If it helps, here's the full question I sent them:

Quote

Hi,

In L5R Core Rulebook, page 305, in the Emeral Magistrate curriculum: One Technique listed is "Open-Hand Style", a rank 2 Kata according to page 180, which is already provided access through the "Rank 1-2 Kata" Tech Group.

Should another Technique be given access instead? Or should "Open-Hand Style" be of Rank 3 or higher? Or is the "Rank 1-2 Kata" line missing the "General" qualifier, as in "Rank 1-2 General Kata"?

If I may suggest, in case you decide to replace it with another Technique, to go for an additional courtier/shugenja friendly option!

Thanks,

 

Edited by Agasha Kanetake
To add the question I asked

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