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How do you get instant kill crits from a Katana?

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6 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

so, to end this discussion; and thank you very much all of you. being a magistrate/police in one own land you could probably wear armor as your on "duty" and responsible to protect (if you have the proper permission, but i expect "police" to have it) . but outside your land, or totally unknown/hostile territory (shadowland is an easy answer), one should not wear armor in public outside of some type of ceremony or "mission" (raiding a bandit tea house for example, again with the proper permission)

also, core book is really bad at explaining all that.

Magistrates' yoriki (investigators) only wear armor when giving judgements - they're not beat cops. They're detectives. The dōshin (beat cops) wear ashigaru armor. In no small part, because they usually are ashigaru. Bushi as dōshin are essentially thugs to keep other samurai in line. 

Question a samurai in armor, and you're saying, "I think you're guilty AND stupid enough to try to kill me." 

Magistrates themselves wearing armor are generally specifying who is to die, or showing up to make a statement... Or expecting someone to attempt suicide-by-cop.

 

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9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Strictly speaking, yes. If they do wear armour, they're pretty much saying it actually is war, or at least that the lord they're visiting can't be trusted not to break the tenuous peace. 

That said, if the VIP's status is high enough they can get away with a lot of things. It'd still be insulting, but the insulted lord might not be able to do a whole lot about it. If the Emperor chose to travel with a military escort nobody would tell him no (short of an actual coup).

Edit: to expand a bit - take into account that whatever a lord could/would do if a visiting dignitary insinuated he was incompetent or not to be trusted by bringing armed and armored bushi with him will have consequences too. Forcing them to surrender their weapons and armor could spark a war as well. On the other hand, bearing the insult with dignity and honor could earn the hosting lord some glory among his peers. It's politics and honor, so things are hardly cut and dried. As long as you're willing to accept the consequences, you can do anything you want.

Or to imply that you're guards are there to protect you from something they couldn't.

That's not necessarily the same as incompetence; if the Clan Champion is passing through the lands of minor vassal family Daimyo #32, then obviously the Clan Champion trusts their vassal's competence (because they could remove them from the office if they didn't).

However, whilst said minor family's mighty force of twenty-seven soldiers are enough to protect the valley from a couple of dozen bandits with pointy sticks, it would be unrealistic and unfair on the family to expect them to achieve anything against the kind of forces a serious assassination attempt on a Clan Champion would entail (other than an honourable death en masse).

Since the Clan Champion brought that threat to the vassal Daimyo's lands by being there, that's not precisely a failing on behalf of the local Lord.

10 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

ok so even on the road, travelling, you shouldn't wear armor. so no protection versus those bandits or whatever else. armor is strictly only for "war".

Which is also why 'Travelling Clothes' have a surprisingly decent protection value - the same as concealed armour plus durable to resist the first 'armour critical' without losing protection.

It should be noted that a ceremonial item is 'yours' and part of your status symbols. Wearing Laquered armour and your Daisho around town is going to get you some odd looks, but no-one is going to complain if you're travelling to a different part of the country and you have said items bagged up on your horse or being carried by your attendants. Having them with you is fine, because a Bushi who's not ready to fight if his lord were to order him to isn't doing his duty. It's actually putting them on that'll raise eyebrows in the wrong context.

Lacquered armour, for example, is wargear but also ceremonial. A Daimyo might have a guard or two in or around the court, and in lacquered plate, even in times of peace. Because they're who's 'keeping you safe' if you're a guest at that court. If you're one of that Daimyo's samurai and a bushi, you hold a delegated part of the responsibility to protect the region, so you probably do have an argument for wearing ceremonial armour. It's when you're a guest of someone else that it potentially becomes offensive.

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  Okay, when talking about "Instant kills" do we really mean "instant" or do we mean "one-hit"? As has been mentioned, you can hit someone and cause them to die after 3 rounds or whatever without needing to spend quite as much opportunity as would be needed to actually kill them instantly.  As far as I know, dueling etiquette basically expects each participant to strike once, but after that a person should know and acknowledge when they're defeated, so a participant being mortally wounded is functionally the same as them being dead.  On the other hand, if fighting a Battle samurai are taught to fight until they can't fight anymore.  "Hagakure" says that, even if a Samurai's head should be cut off, that samurai should be able to make one last swing of the blade.  Similarly, Oni and goblins care little for dueling etiquette.. in these cases there's a huge difference between "dead in three rounds" and "dead now".  However the "One-hit kill" is mostly a dueling concept anyway.. on the battlefield you take as many attacks as you need.

  Now keep in mind I'm not a dueling expert.  I've been looking around because one of my players is a Kakita duelist and really love for him to be able to pull off some one-hit kills.  So it seems like the general concept is that, in a duel, you would need to use the generic strike action so you can spend two opportunity to crit (because Iaijutsu strikes don't normally have the option to crit). so you would need to get at least 2 successes to hit, and 2 oppurtunites to get the chance for a crit (but your opponent can't be in earth stance).  Your Katana has a 7 deadliness (because only a foolish Mirumoto would use one-handed grip in a duel), which means you need at least 5 additional opportunity just to get up to the 12 crit you would need in order to conceivably kill a person in one go, but that's assuming they completely fail their fitness check (but a Kakita duelist could subtract their school rank from the additional oppurtunities needed).

  I don't know how effective it would be, but given that a one-hit kill is unlikely on turn 1, duelists could theoretically make it more likely by using void stance on turn 1 and using focus.  On turn 2 this duelist would be able to replace some of their dice (even ring dice) with skill dice they kept from turn 1, which would somewhat increase the odds of getting the necessary oppurtunities to kill an opponent outright.  On the other hand, this might possibly mean taking an opponent's attack.  At any rate, unless the duel is PC against PC, it's kinda up to the GM to allow things to be fun for the players.  It might be mechanically "best" to fight in earth or fire stance all the time, but we know full well that isn't the intent.  As the GM, I've been having the stance of Opposing NPC's be based on their ring values and why they're fighting in the first place, not "what's mechanically best".  Because "surviving" is not the goal of a duel, it seems unlikely to me that the NPC would be using earth or air stances unless there's also something else going on.

  and while it's completely off-topic from where this thread started,

  Keep in mind that this is just from a fluff perspective.. I see nothing saying that a character wearing wargear will be ordered to commit seppuku or anything like that.. "wargear" mechanically just seems to add to intimidation type effects.  With that said, wearing "wargear" in many cases would be a breach of etiquette, but "ceremonial" should sort of over-ride that..  for instance lacquered armor is "Ceremonial, cumbersome, wargear".. this means that lacquered armor would generally raise some eyebrows, but it's still considered acceptable in certain non-combat situations.  I believe the Ruby Champion wears her armor to one of the dinner scenes for some reason, but she's in charge so it's basically up to her whether wearing the armor is okay.. this is just a way of letting everybody know that she's the Ruby Champion.. in fact, she's probably expected to wear the armor, even in court, whenever she's making official rulings.  At the same time, the Topaz Champion doesn't have any real duties, but since the armor is meant to be an honor to the winner of the championship , I could see people just expecting the Topaz Champion to wear the Topaz Champion armor to most important court events.

  There were some etiquette matters around whether Yojimbo wear armor or not, but I believe it essentially comes down to local Lord deciding whether they will allow ALL Yojimbo to wear armor, or NO Yojimbo to wear armor.  At the same time, if a Yojimbo's charge receives a death threat or has been attacked recently (even in another estate or whatever) the Yojimbo would probably be excused for wearing their armor..  after all, if it's a breach of etiquette, the person they're protecting is a courtier who should be able to smooth things over.

  Also, in Crab lands NOT wearing armor is a breach of etiquette.

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The Kakita player wants to be able to kill in a single stroke he's waiting for the Finishing Blow with Iaijutsu, which is deadliness x2 Crit (and that's 10, because you can only ready in a one-handed grip). Plus bonus success which is very easy since it's TN1 vs Compromised targets. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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5 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

The Kakita player wants to be able to kill in a single stroke he's waiting for the Finishing Blow, which is deadliness x2 Crit (and that's 10, because you can only ready in a one-handed grip). Plus bonus success which is very easy since it's TN1 vs Compromised targets. 

Plus school rank, if it's a Kakita.

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5 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

The Kakita player wants to be able to kill in a single stroke he's waiting for the Finishing Blow with Iaijutsu, which is deadliness x2 Crit (and that's 10, because you can only ready in a one-handed grip). Plus bonus success which is very easy since it's TN1 vs Compromised targets. 

 

5 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Plus school rank, if it's a Kakita.

And 2 more if you are enraged...

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Killing blows (severity 12+) with a Katana are actually possible even outside of a finishing blow. 2 hands + two opponents both enraged (+4 severity) and few opps and you’re all set. What I have more trouble understanding is how come it’s so hard to crush a skull with a tetsubo 😛 Basically now way it happens on a conscious target. 

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6 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

The Kakita player wants to be able to kill in a single stroke he's waiting for the Finishing Blow with Iaijutsu, which is deadliness x2 Crit (and that's 10, because you can only ready in a one-handed grip). Plus bonus success which is very easy since it's TN1 vs Compromised targets. 

You know how it goes..

If kakita opponent is not waiting for that finishing blow (ie: a mirumoto) kakita just lost.

If the opponent is actually also waiting for a finishing blow it breaks the rule because the best way to win that duel is to basically use fire or water stance and do random checks just to manage strife.

And, another thing, even in a duel in which Kakita waits for a finishing blow. Don't use iaijutsu cut, just draw the katana. You get +2 deadliness. No reason to use iaijutsu cut. Unless the rule of the duel are "only one strike, needs to be an iaijutsu cut, and this is a duel to first blood"... Thats not working with current mechanic as you end up with a strife management duel (for bushis, most probably fire/water stance an a few shuji).

Duels by DESIGN are made to be like skirmishes, with a few exchanges of blows.

The fact that iaijutsu cuts dont crit strongly hint at that, unless you think they designed duels to make random checks in fire and water to manage strife as "the main gameplay".

Edited by Avatar111

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8 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

I've been looking around because one of my players is a Kakita duelist and really love for him to be able to pull off some one-hit kills.... 

Just curious, but at what rank?  L5R editions have typically been 'deadly' in the sense of PCs being at risk of dying in combat, but I don't think any of the edition have ever been designed to be 'action hero' or 'super hero' -like in the sense that starting PC's could one-shot well-armed thugs. If he's looking to do that right out of char gen, this might be at expectation management moment.
 

Quote

 

I see nothing saying that a character wearing wargear will be ordered to commit seppuku or anything like that.. "wargear" mechanically just seems to add to intimidation type effects.  With that said, wearing "wargear" in many cases would be a breach of etiquette, but "ceremonial" should sort of over-ride that.. 

 

To each table and GM his own. I personally like emphasizing the differentness of the L5R setting over more typical fantasy genres.  But if your players want something more 'chainmail,' that's up to them and you and you can certainly decide that in your Rokugan, wearing wargear in court or in a duel carries few or only minor plot consequences.

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

And, another thing, even in a duel in which Kakita waits for a finishing blow. Don't use iaijutsu cut, just draw the katana. You get +2 deadliness. No reason to use iaijutsu cut.

It previous editions, kakita and Iai techniques sometimes reflected an ability to do in skirmishes what people studied to be able to do in duels. I'm not sure what the designer's philosophy for the Iai katas was in this edition, but it might be the case that these kata's aren't specifically intended to be used *in* duels so much as allow a character well-versed in dueling to draw and attack in a single action in a skirmish. Thus, "weak to use in an Iai duel" may miss the point.  This could be a combat technique you learned *from* dueling practice, not a combat technique you learned *for* dueling. Because you studied Iai, in round 1 of a skirmish you're picking whatever stance you want, drawing, AND attacking, while all those callow barbarians who don't know squat about the finer points of dueling must draw but not strike, or are forced to use Water stance to keep up with your awesomeness.

Quote

Unless the rule of the duel are "only one strike, needs to be an iaijutsu cut, and this is a duel to first blood"... Thats not working with current mechanic as you end up with a strife management duel (for bushis, most probably fire/water stance an a few shuji).

Duels by DESIGN are made to be like skirmishes, with a few exchanges of blows.

Well, we've disagreed about this before so I won't rehash.  Suffice to say that in some tables' Rokugans (but clearly not yours), YES in fact duels by design are NOT intended to be like skirmishes but rather one strike strife management affairs.

Edited by easl

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17 minutes ago, easl said:

YES in fact duels by design are NOT intended to be like skirmishes but rather one strike strife management affairs.

I fail to see how the rule design and gameplay makes it enjoyable to do this kind of duel.

Im not saying this isnt what it SHOULD be.

Though, you have a point, if the Iaijutsu cuts are not meant to be used/good for one strike duels, then once your sword is drawn you can crit. Right.

Also, what happens if one opponent attack but miss?? The other guy can pimp himself for a few round and then attack since the other guy already attacked and thus cant attack no more?

Your concept is not supported by the rules. You can narratively skew it so it works, but that would basically be "houseruling".

 

Edited by Avatar111

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Well, taking the example of "poking people with shuji" - if you're using Unique Actions in Fire Stance to try and compromise your opponent, you aren't going to have your blade drawn without an iai technique (or deliver a swift kick to the groin as your "finishing blow", I guess....).

The Ikoma Bard is not a bad duellist for this reason - you can use a unique action check (provided you can agree with your GM something meaningful to try and do) to drop Dazed on your opponent with Fanning The Flames (which makes them attacking you in the next turn unlikely), and drop 2 strife on them. If you think that's pushing them close to the edge, following that up with Heart of the Lion with Agitate is pretty awesome, dropping 2, 4 or even more strife on them and removing it from you at the same time.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I fail to see how the rule design and gameplay makes it enjoyable to do this kind of duel.

 

Yes I accept that it's not enjoyable to you. I have no problem with tables using the 'warrior's duel' concept because they find it more fun.  We disagree on whether the former Iai duels should be like that, obviously; I see the setting's background and fluff as playing an important part in how they are conducted, while as you've said in other posts, you're not as interested in the fluff as you are the powergaming type mechanics. It's all good, guy...we're just different.

I pinged in here only because your caps use made it seem like you were asserting your personal preference as being a fact about the game world.  I don't hold your opinion, and having been involved with L5R since 2nd edition, I also don't personally opine that it's a fact of the game world that Iai duels are intended to be skirmish-like exchanges of blows. They are intended to be very different.  Google "l5r challenge focus strike" if you don't believe me. There is loads of both printed and electronic material published by both designers and fans about how dueling is expected to be a single strike affair, different from skirmishing.

[edit] Interesting aside, but this disagreement plays out somewhat *in the game world* too, with the Crab and Unicorn clans being more inclined to fight in their own styles (at least when dueling amongst themselves), and the Crane being the most inclined to insist on dueling being it's own special thing.  If you don't like the dueling mechanic, one way to get around it is to play a brash crab who sleeps and eats in his armor, or a unicon who considers any "real duel" of honor to require two people galloping at each other on horseback.

 

Edited by easl

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4 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Well, taking the example of "poking people with shuji" - if you're using Unique Actions in Fire Stance to try and compromise your opponent, you aren't going to have your blade drawn without an iai technique (or deliver a swift kick to the groin as your "finishing blow", I guess....).

The Ikoma Bard is not a bad duellist for this reason - you can use a unique action check (provided you can agree with your GM something meaningful to try and do) to drop Dazed on your opponent with Fanning The Flames (which makes them attacking you in the next turn unlikely), and drop 2 strife on them. If you think that's pushing them close to the edge, following that up with Heart of the Lion with Agitate is pretty awesome, dropping 2, 4 or even more strife on them and removing it from you at the same time.

 

 

use water the first round, draw your weapon, and use a performance water unique action to send a charming look to your opponent and hopefully remove 2 strife in the process. great opening :P 

and yeah, what you mention are all legit techniques to win a duel "with only one strike"... a bit cheesy, but that is how it goes. Though, it is QUITE CLEAR the system wasn't meant to support that kind of duels lol.

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13 minutes ago, easl said:

Yes I accept that it's not enjoyable to you. I have no problem with tables using the 'warrior's duel' concept because they find it more fun.  We disagree on whether the former Iai duels should be like that, obviously; I see the setting's background and fluff as playing an important part in how they are conducted, while as you've said in other posts, you're not as interested in the fluff as you are the powergaming type mechanics. It's all good, guy...we're just different.

I pinged in here only because your caps use made it seem like you were asserting your personal preference as being a fact about the game world.  I don't hold your opinion, and having been involved with L5R since 2nd edition, I also don't personally opine that it's a fact of the game world that Iai duels are intended to be skirmish-like exchanges of blows. They are intended to be very different.  Google "l5r challenge focus strike" if you don't believe me. There is loads of both printed and electronic material published by both designers and fans about how dueling is expected to be a single strike affair, different from skirmishing.

ok. you dont get it again.

 

i'm OK with (read:i LIKE), one strike duels. again: I UNDERSTAND that narratively one strike duels are fitting with the setting. I LOVE THAT.

 i'm just saying the rules don't really support them.

i don't want no warrior's duel or whatever, where did you take that from ? where am i powergaming here ?? i'm only trying to find a SOLUTION to how you can win a duel with only 1 strike if Iai cuts don't crit and if the mechanics to manage or inflict strife if used in a duel context are just WEIRD. sure, you roll a Fire check to give 2 strife to your opponent and make him have to gain 2 more strife if he attacks you (thats 3 opp) easy, since you dont even NEED TO SUCCEED on your Fire check.. there are tons of weird ways like that, is that what you want your 1 strike duel to come down to, using opportunities on random checks to deal strife ???

 

please stop saying i'm like this or like that. you really don't understand me. i'm not arguing that all duels should be skirmishes jeez. i'm saying the rules do not support one strike duels in a nice, flavorful, fluid way.

 

Edited by Avatar111

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34 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

i'm only trying to find a SOLUTION to how you can win a duel with only 1 strike if Iai cuts don't crit and if the mechanics to manage or inflict strife if used in a duel context are just WEIRD.

Force your opponent to compromise first, which forces them to start a finishing blow, which allows you to interrupt with your own. That's how you're supposed to win a duel with only one strike.  

Quote

Also, what happens if one opponent attack but miss?? The other guy can pimp himself for a few round and then attack since the other guy already attacked and thus cant attack no more?

Yes exactly.

And this makes utterly no sense from a 'win the fight' perspective, right? Why in the kami's name would anyone just stand there and let the other guy hit them at their leisure? But what separates legal dueling from illegal murder is exactly this: both participants showing that they were willing to honorably follow the rules, even if and when it likely meant their death.  And this happened in real life. In real, honest-to-God pistol duels, if you shot first and missed, you were fully expected to stand there and let the other guy take their best shot.  To run, or grab another gun, or charge at the guy and engage with fists before he had his chance to shoot was dishonorable.  L5R somewhat reflects that sort of culture; death before dishonor. I'll kill myself or let this guy kill me before I'll break the dueling rules handed down by the Emperor.  You're a samurai. A servant of the Emperor, your clan, and your family. You're expected to take the hit in order to maintain their honor. You're not just some wandering bandit selfishly thinking only of their own survival (unless, of course, you're playing a selfish bandit who thinks foremost of their own survival...also a perfectly valid way to play :).

Now again, not every player wants to play that sort of game. And not every character *in* the game thinks that way either. You can certainly play a more pragmatic bushi or more scoundrel shoot-greedo-first type of character if you want. They fit in the setting. But yes, to answer your question: the other guy *can* pimp himself up for a few rounds and then strike you, and that's exactly how it can work. That's a feature, not a bug.  And the plot and story tension doesn't come from wondering if you can duck that blow, it comes from wondering if your opponent will choose to kill you or not given that opportunity.

Edited by easl

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38 minutes ago, easl said:

Just curious, but at what rank?  L5R editions have typically been 'deadly' in the sense of PCs being at risk of dying in combat, but I don't think any of the edition have ever been designed to be 'action hero' or 'super hero' -like in the sense that starting PC's could one-shot well-armed thugs. If he's looking to do that right out of char gen, this might be at expectation management moment.
 

To each table and GM his own. I personally like emphasizing the differentness of the L5R setting over more typical fantasy genres.  But if your players want something more 'chainmail,' that's up to them and you and you can certainly decide that in your Rokugan, wearing wargear in court or in a duel carries few or only minor plot consequences.

  Don't blame my player.  The player himself hasn't really said anything about it at this point.  I was talking about what I think would make the game more fun for my player, and I'm mostly talking about a duel situation in which the opponent may be "equally skilled", but is also unarmored.  Part of my issue is that I also have a Mirumoto duelist in the party, and I want to make sure the players both feel like their schools (and characters) are unique and effective.  I don't really care if the Mirumoto takes multiple attacks to kill in a duel, because attacking a lot is kind of that player's thing, but I'd like for the Kakita to occasionally be able to take his time and then be able to make that "one sublime strike".   Keep in mind, I'm talking about killing with one attack, but it might take several rounds to set up..  in this case the Kakita needs to be reasonably able to whether a few rounds of incoming attacks while setting up for his strike.  Also, I want to have hints of the potential at rank 1, but I don't think the one-hit kill needs to come any earlier than rank 3.. and even at this rank I'd be willing to accept "technically dead" over "instant kill".. in other words Mortally wounding an opponent in a duel, which causes them to concede so they can spend their remaining moments with their family or whatever. At rank 5 a one-hit instant kill in a duel would be cool.

  On the equipment, I don't see my view on armor as being "like D&D" in any way.  I'm not saying that someone can just wear their Lacquered armor to dinner because they feel like it (although crabs are certainly known for this).  What I'm saying is that there are rules.  What I'm saying is that, like everything else in Rokugan, there is etiquette to be followed and it's nothing simple like "You can wear your armor to war, but no place else"..  that's just too easy for Rokugan. Basically we need to make sure that "wargear" and "ceremonial" both have significance in the setting.

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2 minutes ago, easl said:

Force your opponent to compromise first, which forces them to start a finishing blow, which allows you to interrupt with your own. That's how you're supposed to win a duel with only one strike.  

how would you do that exactly ? in mechanical terms ? how would the "best duelist" make one opponent strife out first ? (and don't mention predict since someone can just stand in void and let the strife counter goes up). also, it totally make the staredown mechanic irrelevant because a finishing blow interrupts everything so initiative is meaningless and you don't want to bid any strife.

i undertsand you want it to work narratively. but rule wise... its failed.

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41 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

use water the first round, draw your weapon, and use a performance water unique action to send a charming look to your opponent and hopefully remove 2 strife in the process. great opening :P 

Likely to be a partial waste (since one hopes you didn't go into a duel full of strife) as you're probably only carrying the one strife from that round's staredown - you're not going to have bid any strife that round if all you're planning to do is flirt.

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Just now, Magnus Grendel said:

Likely to be a partial waste (since one hopes you didn't go into a duel full of strife) as you're probably only carrying the one strife from that round's staredown - you're not going to have bid any strife that round if all you're planning to do is flirt.

but your weapon is out, and if the opponent played first, you might have more strife to clean up. detail though, lets not get into playing out how a duel like "that" would work out :D 

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Just now, Avatar111 said:

also, it totally make the staredown mechanic irrelevant because a finishing blow interrupts everything so initiative is meaningless and you don't want to bid any strife.

It does. If you're planning to win via finishing blow, initiative doesn't matter and strife is the enemy.

If you think you can drop an actual critical-causing strike, though, you may need to land it before your opponent gets to pull a dirty trick (either stabbing you first, or using Fanning The Flames to Daze you, or switching to Air Stance or Earth Stance to bugger up your attack), or if you want (in a nasty duel) to hit a particular ring twice in a row before your opponent can switch stance. Then, initiative order (not necessarily 'going first') becomes more important.

 

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5 minutes ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

I'd like for the Kakita to occasionally be able to take his time and then be able to make that "one sublime strike".   Keep in mind, I'm talking about killing with one attack, but it might take several rounds to set up..  in this case the Kakita needs to be reasonably able to whether a few rounds of incoming attacks while setting up for his strike.  Also, I want to have hints of the potential at rank 1, but I don't think the one-hit kill needs to come any earlier than rank 3.

Ah. Well, with this edition's down-playing of unique school techniques, I'm not aware of any kakita-specific abilities that can let your guy set up that strike. But kata and maneuvers that let him roll dice one round and reserve some results for the attack next round would simulate that. Going Air stance for the +1 TN and using Striking as Air, for example.  Not sure mechanically it will give the 'bang for the buck' it should, but in theory, this would be a mechanical way of representing 'I avoid his blows while focusing on replying with a single, perfect strike.' 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It does. If you're planning to win via finishing blow, initiative doesn't matter and strife is the enemy.

it is a bit unfortunate that the whole staredown and strife bidding mechanic is out of the window in a one strike duel. since i feel this is one of the coolest rule of duels.

it also tells us that the rules as written are not meant to handle one strike duels "very well".

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18 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

it is a bit unfortunate that the whole staredown and strife bidding mechanic is out of the window in a one strike duel. since i feel this is one of the coolest rule of duels.

it also tells us that the rules as written are not meant to handle one strike duels "very well".

No. It means that if you plan on winning via finishing blow, initiative order doesn't matter. That's not quite the same thing.

 

My thoughts - basically, in any duel you boil down to one of three options to win, each with their strength, weaknesses and prerequisites, and different approaches will suit both different duellists and different duel objectives:

  • Incapacitation
    • Good for 'to incapacitation' and 'to defeat'
    • What some people in the beta referred to as 'potato-sack-samurai'
    • Draw your weapon and whale on your opponent as hard as possible as often as possible, incapacitate them, then (if victory requires a critical of some kind) continue thumping them into unconsciousness and beyond.
    • Suits low endurance opponents (most courtier archetypes lack Earth ring) or any duel where you can use heavier armour and weapons if you have them
    • Initiative is important, but almost entirely focused on going first and being one step ahead of your opponent in the damage race.
    • Fire Stance is good for those lovely bonus successes if you're prepared to trade strife for you for fatigue for your opponent, otherwise take whichever stance messes your opponent up more.
  • Attack Action Critical Strike
    • Good for 'to first strike' and 'to first blood'
    • Access to Heartpiercing strike is amazing
    • Initiative Order is very important - not just "who goes first" but potentially manipulating the order to hit an opponent in a specific stance or get two turns back-to-back
    • Landing two successes and ** in one check is key
      • Air stance (with its *: Add a kept die set to * to your next martial check) is a useful option for the assessment check
    • Iaijutsu techniques aren't much use since they don't inflict critical strikes unless your opponent is unable to defend.
    • If you have a minimum severity requirement (first blood) then a small change to critical severity becomes rather important - Way of the Crane or Way of the Crab
    • Probably the one strategy where Predict really matters as it can avoid your opponent being in bloody earth stance at the crucial moment.
  • Finishing Blow
    • Good for 'to the death' & 'to first blood'
    • Initiative is largely irrelevant
    • Unnecessary strife is the enemy
    • Iaijutsu techniques allow you to get a 'free draw action' in any stance - useful for a bit of action economy if you want to stay in fire stance
    • Primarily a game of strife management
      • Suits High Composure characters (or low composure opponents)
      • Unique actions to manage combatant's strife is the order of the day
        • Shuji such as Fanning The Flames, and any applicable Passions (Provocation) or School Abilities (Heart of the Lion) are especially useful, as are any enemy anxieties you can exploit
        • Fire and Water Stance are key
      • Missing the finishing blow is obviously a pretty big deal! Seize the Moment is definitely justified here.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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