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Mirumoto School Ability

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On 12/21/2018 at 10:37 AM, Magnus Grendel said:
  • Katana of fire is your action.
    • Succeeding conjures a katana
    • If you have * on the check, you may conjure a pair of katana
    • If you have a second * on the check, you may immediately perform a free strike action with one of the new weapons
      • The strike action is a martial arts melee check.
        • If you have * on the check, you may immediately perform another free strike action with the other new weapon.

So far, so good.

  • The Katana is to all intents and purposes a 'real' weapon, so yes, you can use it to Trap or Ward with Way of the Dragon.
    • You cannot then select it in your turn to strike with.
  • When you set your stance, you may drop any number of weapons.
    • Katana of fire ceases to exist as soon as it leaves your grip.
  • If you want to conjure another one to strike with, you need to perform the Theology check again. You can create one blade with a check, and a second with an opportunity only on that check.
    • That said, if you can pass the check with **, you can 'dismiss' the existing blades, create two more, strike with one, heart of the dragon and strike with the other, and repeat ad infinitum, getting two strike attacks per turn whilst trapping or warding if you keep rolling * on your first strike action.

Is it an impressive trick? Yes. It's visually impressive and very powerful.

Is there a downside?

  • You'll need the Stolen Knowledge heritage - as you noted - which means your Mirumoto starts at -5 Honour - and you'll probably want to take the proffered rank of Theology at character creation or on the curriculum at Rank 3. Not a big impact on a Rank 6 character but potentially more of an issue earlier in the character's life.
  • Compared to someone playing human kitchen-aid blender with 'mundane' swords (who can strike just as quickly or ward & trap, but not both), you need to pass an extra TN1 Fire theology check with two opportunities every turn - not that hard for a rank 6 Twin Heavens Master but since you dismiss the old blades before making the check for the new ones, if you screw up the roll you're going to be unarmed for the turn, and/or stood in Dangerous Terrain.
  • You can only do this in Fire Stance, and added to that the conjured Katana both have the Wargear quality. That means you're making three fire stance checks per turn, adding an extra strife on each strike if you keep any. You're going to hit your composure very quickly!

Wargear only causes extra Strife to "another" character. You yourself are not suffering it from your own actions.

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20 minutes ago, WHW said:

Most combat NPCs also will sport a combat related Advantage, which matters quite a lot, depending on how the GM rules it - the Ward is not a Disadvantage per se, so it won't cancel out the Advantage; the strict reading would be that 4 rank Mirumoto Warding against Advantage-wielding foe would get to assign total of 6 rerolls spread over 2 effects (so you could overlap it and reroll 2 dice twice) - which should on average get you about 3 successes and an explosion. I can see a lot of GMs (and we do that for quickness sake) using the Advantage vs Disadvantage rules for it, making the final reroll 2 instead of 4 or 6, making the Advantage cancel 2 dice worth of rerolls as it would do with a Disadvantage. 
Either way, the ability isn't as oppressive as it looks on paper - it mostly leads to normalizing the results, so it can possibly save you from outlier blow out kept hand like full suite of explosions, but unless you are fighting against someone either incompetent or you are stacking TN debuffs (Air Stance, Wounds, Dazed), it wont really generate many misses. This is mostly a consequence of 2TN Strikes - good fighters will suffer from excess of successes, and will use them to protect their Explosions and will actually enjoy potential conversion of Successes to Opportunities. 
Ward might be quite effective if the NPCs start getting high TN special attacks similar to Heartpiercing Strike, but the trend currently seems to be giving NPCs powerful opportunity options, like that gaijin captains "Damage the opponent and then run away 2 range bands" ability, and non-checks special actions like "Get them Fools!" or Oni's bellow (which also are good ways to skip a turn to remove Dazed and play around Coiling Serpents). 
From our experience, the powerful part of Mirumoto was definitely the Trap ability, though in the end, we ended up feeling that Kakita was simply more practical due to being more proactive and enabling a lot of different tactics by pushing up certain weapon choices into really attractive stat setups. The defining Mirumoto power play is the Trap followed up by Heartpiercing Strike...which is cool, but you need to note that you are doing it with one-handed grip katana (so the TN you just reduced will be spent catching up to what a 2h crit would be anyway).  
Mirumoto is nice, but TBH in practice Kakita, Akodo and Shiba all felt more useful and versatile than the "please hit me so I can activate my special ability" Mirumoto. 

well, i'd rather have mirumoto ability than kakita. it is definitely better for duels and general skirmish use, but honestly, i'm not houseruling either. they are what they are.

the only change we made was to make the mirumoto ability not usable with bare hands. its just not thematic and gives an edge to mirumoto in situations in which we feel he shouldn't have it, like when unarmed fighting or using only one weapon etc.

otherwise, mechanically, everybody seems to agree that it isn't too oppressive. though still very strong.

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On 12/22/2018 at 3:19 PM, Avatar111 said:

well, i'd rather have mirumoto ability than kakita. it is definitely better for duels and general skirmish use, but honestly, i'm not houseruling either. they are what they are.

The kakita one is better than it looks, but annoyingly NOT in a duel.

Because it works off any trigger which causes you to inflict a critical strike, it can be used in a skirmish with a bow. Kakita make surprisingly effective archers.

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Kakita are great all around, yeah. They make for great magistrates and yoriki - the title ability of Yoriki is legit terryfing in hands of Kakita, as they have quite easy time critting you into a Wound and then just reverting you back into the wounded stance with Open Palm Style. They also are great unarmed fighters, as their unarmed attacks are one of the only that have legit threat behind them in form of Crits. 
They also make quite good heavy weapons users, as heavy weapons normally suffer from the fact that they are easily turned off by spending a Void to transfer their hit into a crit - Kakita make it a really bad idea, as either way you are pucked. 
If the 7-8 Crit band was better and less reliant on narrative consequences for immediate benefits, they would be a real terror. 

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51 minutes ago, WHW said:

Kakita are great all around, yeah. They make for great magistrates and yoriki - the title ability of Yoriki is legit terryfing in hands of Kakita, as they have quite easy time critting you into a Wound and then just reverting you back into the wounded stance with Open Palm Style. They also are great unarmed fighters, as their unarmed attacks are one of the only that have legit threat behind them in form of Crits. 
They also make quite good heavy weapons users, as heavy weapons normally suffer from the fact that they are easily turned off by spending a Void to transfer their hit into a crit - Kakita make it a really bad idea, as either way you are pucked. 
If the 7-8 Crit band was better and less reliant on narrative consequences for immediate benefits, they would be a real terror. 

so sad that a Kakita is a beast at unarmed fighting and a so-so duelist...

and the Yoriki title ability is absolutely BUSTED as written, makes snaring weapons like the Butterfly Sword (which is also a BUSTED weapon, way too strong, just compare it to a Dao and laugh considering it is basically almost a shorter Dao...) absurdly broken especially with coiling strike technique.
anyway, already fixed in my game, Yokiri ability only gives opportunities to activate the snaring condition.

probably because each products is worked on by different designers and they don't bother reading or understanding carefully the previous material... but it is so unfortunate that it feels like this product doesn't have anybody to "control" it and hold it together (rule-wise that is).

Edited by Avatar111

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Posted (edited)

Mirumoto School Ability should not be usable with open hand and I would also simply remove Trap for 2 reasons: Ward alone is close to other School abilities in usability (situational but effective) and in previous edition Mirumoto Niten school's strength was in defense allowed by wielding two weapons. Trap makes high rank Attack Techniques trivial to use, which further ruins the game's already wobbly combat balance.

Edited for example: Heartpiercing Strike -kata is TN 2 Martial Arts (Fire)-check at Rank 2, when Mirumoto have access to it.

Edited by Mirac

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32 minutes ago, Mirac said:

Mirumoto School Ability should not be usable with open hand and I would also simply remove Trap for 2 reasons: Ward alone is close to other School abilities in usability (situational but effective) and in previous edition Mirumoto Niten school's strength was in defense allowed by wielding two weapons. Trap makes high rank Attack Techniques trivial to use, which further ruins the game's already wobbly combat balance.

Edited for example: Heartpiercing Strike -kata is TN 2 Martial Arts (Fire)-check at Rank 2, when Mirumoto have access to it.

Open-hand is a definite no-no, I agree! and this is how I houseruled it also. Otherwise it is too versatile even if you don't have a good initiative or don't have your "two weapons" out.

 

For the TN reduction, it still cost you 2 deadliness (because wielding katana in 1hand) which is a 2 success cost(or opportunities with razor edge) with Heart Piercing Strike.
You also need someone to actually attack you for the technique to be used as a "counter attack". Meaning you still took the first hit.
Not making any excuses, the Mirumoto technique is still very strong, but I am not certain it needs to be nerfed on top of the open hand nerf.
I could be convinced it needs to be though! I generally try to balance things for rank 1 to 3 as after that, the game goes into total nutcase territories and balance just isn't a thing anymore.

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I seriously doubt the idea was "the Mirumoto can catch blades with their bare hands."
It's a school that's taught to use each of their hands independently in combat, which most clan traditions don't do (being too busy two-handing them). As such, it's not really much of a stretch to imagine a Mirumoto stepping into someone's reach and grabbing their hand to manipulate them. :P

Hard-limiting the ability to "katana + wakizashi" is also hard to justify IMO. There's nothing about the Niten form that can't be applied to a different weapon set. Twin kodachi, Katana + fan, etc. Don't fall into the same trap that 4th Edition did of "these are the only reasonable weapons you should ever expect to use, because of reasons." ;)

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

I seriously doubt the idea was "the Mirumoto can catch blades with their bare hands."
It's a school that's taught to use each of their hands independently in combat, which most clan traditions don't do (being too busy two-handing them). As such, it's not really much of a stretch to imagine a Mirumoto stepping into someone's reach and grabbing their hand to manipulate them. :P

Hard-limiting the ability to "katana + wakizashi" is also hard to justify IMO. There's nothing about the Niten form that can't be applied to a different weapon set. Twin kodachi, Katana + fan, etc. Don't fall into the same trap that 4th Edition did of "these are the only reasonable weapons you should ever expect to use, because of reasons." ;)

They are two-weapon masters. Not one-hand weapon and one hand free (like all the other guys out there?).

And mechanically, it is just very weird that even in a fully unarmed combat, the Mirumoto is using their Niten technique and are the best unarmed fighter out there by default of having, well, 2 hands.

(daisho only is a limitation that is not necessary, and that I also don't do, but thematically, the dragon school teaches users to use the daisho, not 2 clubs or 2 kama... But yeah, leave them that versatility of being the best "two-weapon" fighters out there, it is allright.)

But you do you in then end. No houserule is for everyone.

Edited by Avatar111

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6 hours ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

Hard-limiting the ability to "katana + wakizashi" is also hard to justify IMO. There's nothing about the Niten form that can't be applied to a different weapon set. Twin kodachi, Katana + fan, etc. Don't fall into the same trap that 4th Edition did of "these are the only reasonable weapons you should ever expect to use, because of reasons." ;)

Also an argument against limiting it: there's been plenty of hints that the Katana and Wakizashi didn't exist at the Dawn of the Empire (e.g. Kakita's son, who made the Emperor's sword, being stunned to learn that steel can be folded). So Mirumoto may not even have had those weapons when developing Niten.

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10 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

And mechanically, it is just very weird that even in a fully unarmed combat, the Mirumoto is using their Niten technique and are the best unarmed fighter out there by default of having, well, 2 hands.

The hands are weapons, after all (they got stats and everything ;) ) and they're specifically taught trapping and guarding techniques that no other school teaches because no other school is utilizing an offhand the same way.
To each their own though!

(I'd argue Kakita are much better in fully unarmed combat, btw.)

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5 hours ago, Bayushi Tsubaki said:

The hands are weapons, after all (they got stats and everything ;) ) and they're specifically taught trapping and guarding techniques that no other school teaches because no other school is utilizing an offhand the same way.
To each their own though!

(I'd argue Kakita are much better in fully unarmed combat, btw.)

Yeah, Kakita can increase the deadliness of their bites.

Because you know, at the dawn of the empire...

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