Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Titanium Mage

Stances and Invocations

Recommended Posts

There would be a slight problem in NOT taking a stance in a conflict round... even if you don’t intend to do anything, people may want to do something to you that requires a resistance roll 😛 It would be a bit gamely to select your ring only when that happens (and presumably take the one that has the TN discount for that particular effect if you know the rules well enough). 

The “can’t defend” clause in the incapacitated condition is quite clear to me: defending against damage is clearly defined as spending fatigue equal the the amount of damage that exceeds the target’s resistance. We shouldn’t read anything more into it, I think. But it does mean that an incapacitated character can still impose +1 TN on attacks targeting them, or pick Earth to avoid a double crit (small comfort but it’s better than the alternative). 

I could imagine a penalty on an unaware target saying that they cannot benefit from a stance bonus, but they should still pick a Ring to resist effects. 

Like I said the only thing that bothers me with Stance bonuses outside of conflicts is that only two of those are worthwhile and the other 3 will almost never be relevant. So why give such a premium to Fire and Void? Oh and allowing Fire Stance for initiative checks would be a bit busted: way to always be first!

Finally, it’s true that this will not fix the godlike power of “Water stance Stife flush”. High water characters are a pain to deal with! They can heal Strife AND fatigue every round with opportunities; even more when they’re above half their cap and spam Calming breaths for free. But hey, they won’t laugh when you crit their face with a ** ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

By RAW you have to assume a stance when making an invocation. You can make an invocation outside conflicts. So where does that leave us then?

Why do you have to assume a stance to make an invocation? Apologies if I'm missing something.

Ouside a conflict you use whatever ring is appropriate to the approach you are using - which in the case of a check for most techniques (invocations or not) is mandated by the technique. That's not the same as being in a stance, and critically doesn't convey the benefits of being in a stance if it's a void or fire invocation.

Being in a stance in a conflict scene locks you into that ring (and hence locks you out of any technique or skill use which requires a different one). 

 

12 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

I don't see how being in a stance "breaks" the system, why would you disallow it ?

Basically because some stance benefits 'work' in a non-conflict scene (fire, void) and some do not (water, air, earth). It doesn't break the system but it knocks the balance off between rings, especially on checks where bonus successes matter (like an investigation to determine how many clues/rumours/witnesses you pick up)

 

2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

You choose a stance when structured time starts, yes, but nothing that I can find says you can't use a stance in narrative time.

There's no rule flatly saying "you don't set a stance outside a conflict scene", but then I would argue there are no rules covering  your initiative value outside a conflict scene, either.  Actions, initiative and stances is what the structured time of conflict scenes are

5 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

That is like the ONLY way aside unmasking

Not quite true. Earth allows you to remove strife from an ally. 

But yes, managing strife in an extended narrative sequence is hard, and - I think - deliberately so.

Essentially, strife becomes the 'fatigue clock' which forces you to actually stop carrying out milimetre-detailed searches of each leaf, twig and peasant or trying the same check multiple times in a narrative scene 'because there must be another clue here somewhere', which shuts you down until you hit the end-of-scene recovery of half your composure (and/or the recovery of the rest if the next scene is a downtime one where you can go looking for your ninjo, enlightenment, or whatever)

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Why do you have to assume a stance to make an invocation? Apologies if I'm missing something.

I was going by the first reply in this thread, which says so. Apparently that might have to,be revisited though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

I was going by the first reply in this thread, which says so. Apparently that might have to,be revisited though.

Yes sorry, that would be my fault.. I somehow understood the question to be a request for confirmation that you could NOT cast an Air spell when you were in, say, Earth stance.

The answer applied to conflict contexts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

But yes, managing strife in an extended narrative sequence is hard, and - I think - deliberately so.

Essentially, strife becomes the 'fatigue clock' which forces you to actually stop carrying out milimetre-detailed searches of each leaf, twig and peasant or trying the same check multiple times in a narrative scene 'because there must be another clue here somewhere', which shuts you down until you hit the end-of-scene recovery of half your composure (and/or the recovery of the rest if the next scene is a downtime one where you can go looking for your ninjo, enlightenment, or whatever)

Unless you are a Water 3 Earth 3 Character that likes to spam his Water Ring in narrative mode.

Like I said, one of my player NEVER have problem with strife, I'll repeat; NEVER

While the other 2 are basically always on edge, they saw the very noticeable problem and decided to invest all their first XP in raising their Water to 2 and 3 respectively.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Unless you are a Water 3 Earth 3 Character that likes to spam his Water Ring in narrative mode.

Like I said, one of my player NEVER have problem with strife, I'll repeat; NEVER

While the other 2 are basically always on edge, they saw the very noticeable problem and decided to invest all their first XP in raising their Water to 2 and 3 respectively.

 

Well it’s the player’s loss! Unmasking is so fun and can often allow avenues that would be otherwise off limits to a polite, level-headed samurai ;)

There is a Water 3 character at my table... but he’s an Ikoma and also has Fire 3: he does not miss an opportunity to put on Strife in order to trigger his school ability and wreck a NPC with a sharp tongued jab :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Well it’s the player’s loss! Unmasking is so fun and can often allow avenues that would be otherwise off limits to a polite, level-headed samurai ;)

There is a Water 3 character at my table... but he’s an Ikoma and also has Fire 3: he does not miss an opportunity to put on Strife in order to trigger his school ability and wreck a NPC with a sharp tongued jab :D 

do you take -5 glory or -5 honor when you unmask ? or they always do the "EZ option" of -1tn to your opponent ? obviously, with a -1tn next round, my players would always unmask too...

but the problem is deeper than that, it is not normal some characters have a hard time (which IS fun) managing strife while other characters just spam water all the time and totally negate one of the main mechanic of the game.

anyway, the more I play this game the more I realise how it is simply badly designed in so many cases. there are always "ways around the rule". ok, you are an unmasking machine? just use the "expose an opening -1tn" all the time, problem solved!

edit: removed a bit of my negativity, but still think the game is broken in so many ways.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think expose an opening reduces the TN of the next action against the character TO one, not by one... it is a bit harsher when opponents start having access to high TN / high consequence abilities... but I get your point. 

I am all for softening the blow on Unmasking consequence if the player makes it mean something. It is even supported by the rules to voluntarily take some Strife if you feel it would make sense for your character to do so... I see it a bit like playing to your disadvantages: it sucks to fail a roll, but you get a Void Point. It should be encouraged as long as it promotes good drama. But at this point, we’re flying 10,000 feet above the rules ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the game does smooth itself around end of rank 2, early rank 3.

When everybody have almost all rings at equal numbers and similar secondary stats.

We are not there yet, all our opinions are based on rank 1. And a 3 water 3 earth character can basically perform at full efficiency without ever coming close to compromising while the other character is about to blow a fuse after one or two checks.

Sure, unmasking... But I think we see it as a negative thing that you do because you have to, or, in rare cases that you do for story reason.

When unmasking becomes a bandaid mechanic because your character is low composure and took a passion that never sees play. You feel very weak compared to a high composure/water character with a spammable passion.

Basically both players are not playing the same game. And I feel one of those player is basically, breaking the intent of the game by totally disregarding the whole strife management gameplay.

Is that, normal?

Anyway, probably at later rank it smooth itself out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Basically because some stance benefits 'work' in a non-conflict scene (fire, void) and some do not (water, air, earth). It doesn't break the system but it knocks the balance off between rings, especially on checks where bonus successes matter (like an investigation to determine how many clues/rumours/witnesses you pick up)

Honestly, this is a bit of a red herring as well. The rings are not really set up to be symmetrical (Void stands out in particular) and I think most players agree they aren't all that well-balanced either. Is it "unfair" if only the Fire and Void stances give a benefit in non-conflict scenes? I guess it is. But is it more unfair than Earth and Water arguably being the most useful rings in terms of derived stats? I'd dispute that, especially since checks are arguably a lot less frequent during narrative scenes and investigations can often fairly easily be 'upgraded' to intrigue scenes. I suppose Air is the ugly little duckling again though, there is that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Maybe the game does smooth itself around end of rank 2, early rank 3.

Mid levels of competence tend to be best for balance in most RPG systems. At low levels, when characters are middling in a few things and poor in everything else, the "broken" options stand out and usually can't really be countered. At high levels the broken stuff is really broken. But at mid levels, if you try, you can probably find something useful to contribute in most situations because you don't have to suck in a lot of them anymore. I don't like judging a game based on how it plays at mid level, even if it's likely those are the levels you'll be playing at the most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Unless you are a Water 3 Earth 3 Character that likes to spam his Water Ring in narrative mode.

Like I said, one of my player NEVER have problem with strife, I'll repeat; NEVER

While the other 2 are basically always on edge, they saw the very noticeable problem and decided to invest all their first XP in raising their Water to 2 and 3 respectively.

Which depends very much on what you're doing, and what the story is requiring you to do.

Narrative scenes, unlike conflict scenes, are the ones where you have to work to convince the GM that/if a realistic way to use a given elemental approach exists (so that [1] you are allowed to use the ring in question and [2] you don't get set a ridiculously high TN) as opposed to a conflict scene's "I use Water."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Which depends very much on what you're doing, and what the story is requiring you to do.

Narrative scenes, unlike conflict scenes, are the ones where you have to work to convince the GM that/if a realistic way to use a given elemental approach exists (so that [1] you are allowed to use the ring in question and [2] you don't get set a ridiculously high TN) as opposed to a conflict scene's "I use Water."

"I use Charm"

"I use Shift"

same thing. it does limit your reoleplay options though, and eventually you will want to use another ring, but then you get back on water spamming to clean up all the strife.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

but then you get back on water spamming to clean up all the strife.

Again, only if there's a reason to do so. 

It's been far more a case that players haven't been able to use a.n.other ring of choice than they have in games I've played, but then I think, given the descriptions people have made, that I'm (a) stricter at mandating approaches in narrative scenes and (b) tend to throw more checks into narrative scenes than a lot of the other GMs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Again, only if there's a reason to do so. 

It's been far more a case that players haven't been able to use a.n.other ring of choice than they have in games I've played, but then I think, given the descriptions people have made, that I'm (a) stricter at mandating approaches in narrative scenes and (b) tend to throw more checks into narrative scenes than a lot of the other GMs. 

the way I play (good or bad, dunno yet) is that I play my narrative scenes in a "structured" way. basically, each player have 1 action (or pass) then the narrative moves forward a bit and they have another action "round".
I feel that if I give them too many checks, it makes opportunity spamming even stronger, but I could be wrong.

I also want to make each action/check very impactful so that they have hard decisions to make.

I am relatively strict on approaches, using demeanors etc.

but the final answer is probably that yes, water is immune to compromising, and that after a few sessions all the players have an "ok" water ring (can't ditch water like you "can" ditch other rings even if it isn't optimal).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

"I use Charm"

"I use Shift"

 

These won't work because you must proactively justify the Approach because it is the GM who determines what Approach is being used. So the player can only say "I shift a force to work for me or against my opponent" or "I charm them to develop positive feelings towards me" then the GM says "OK, you use Shift" or "OK, you use Charm". You gotta do this, because "I use shift" and "I use charm" are technically Feint (or Overwhelm) and Trick (or Incite) respectively. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

These won't work because you must proactively justify the Approach because it is the GM who determines what Approach is being used. So the player can only say "I shift a force to work for me or against my opponent" or "I charm them to develop positive feelings towards me" then the GM says "OK, you use Shift" or "OK, you use Charm". You gotta do this, because "I use shift" and "I use charm" are technically Feint (or Overwhelm) and Trick (or Incite) respectively. 

just butter up what you do so it fits with the ring/skill you want to use. this is not difficult. what I wrote is just for simplification, in actual play the player will do a "charm" roleplay.

jeez.... bottom line is, if the player wants to roll a water check, he can do it with barely any effort (sure he is restricted in the type of action he can take) but that's about it, as long as he does something in line with water ring adjectives, as a GM you can argue once in a while if it really doesn't make sense and propose something else but you are not going to play for them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but its ok, my low composure player just took a spammable passion to remove 3 strife on demand.
the game is screwed up, I get it now, it is a game of "the GM needs to put limits everywhere otherwise the system falls apart".
it gets tedious to GM this game, the rules work against a well oiled playstyle and always bug down to "interpretation" for stuff that is actually quite game changing (like removing 3 strife, which is the core mechanic of the dice system).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point 1 - I think you're doing way too many checks on narrative scenes. Most things don't really need a check, or can be subsumed into a single check. "I interrogate this guy" is one check, not one check every time you ask them anything.

Point 2 - I'm not even sure how you would spam passions. Even if you take, like, passion "discuss weaponry" and are travelling with someone who ALSO likes weaponry, you can't spam that. Did you spend the whole otherwise uneventful journey talking weaponry? Cool, dump 3 Strife. You don't dump 3 Strife for talking about Lord Akodo's favourite katana and another 3 Strife for talking about how that spiffy head barding of Utaku steeds can REALLY spear a guy through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, JBento said:

Point 1 - I think you're doing way too many checks on narrative scenes. Most things don't really need a check, or can be subsumed into a single check. "I interrogate this guy" is one check, not one check every time you ask them anything.

Point 2 - I'm not even sure how you would spam passions. Even if you take, like, passion "discuss weaponry" and are travelling with someone who ALSO likes weaponry, you can't spam that. Did you spend the whole otherwise uneventful journey talking weaponry? Cool, dump 3 Strife. You don't dump 3 Strife for talking about Lord Akodo's favourite katana and another 3 Strife for talking about how that spiffy head barding of Utaku steeds can REALLY spear a guy through.

Point 1 - as I 've said before, I run narrative scenes in a "structured way", basically almost making no checks (each player gets 1 action then the narrative moves forward, then there is another round of 1 action per player).

Point 2 - using the Playfulness plassion, my player is basically doing jokes to everybody while doing Fire Shuji. Not hard to pull off if you are a witty player.
edit; compared to my player with a Tea passion that he almost can never use.
So in the end, we have to nerf Playfulness and buff Tea. basically coming down again to "interpret and adjust the rules" cause they are so bad.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Avatar111 said:

Point 1 - as I 've said before, I run narrative scenes in a "structured way", basically almost making no checks (each player gets 1 action then the narrative moves forward, then there is another round of 1 action per player).

Point 2 - using the Playfulness plassion, my player is basically doing jokes to everybody while doing Fire Shuji. Not hard to pull off if you are a witty player.

Playfulness only works on folks of lower status, which may or may not be an issue (I mean, you still dump Strife on folks of higher status, but you're dumping H/G as well). And you don't dump 3 Strife EVERY TIME you make a joke - you dump 3 Strife for spending a considerable part of the scene in joking banter. One joke? No Strife dump. Most of your participation in the scene involved some sort of funny comment? Dump 3 Strife... for the entire scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, JBento said:

Most of your participation in the scene involved some sort of funny comment? Dump 3 Strife... for the entire scene.

that is a nice interpretation, basically nerfing it to "once per scene". but this is not as the rule mentions.

edit: which again bugs down to "how do you interpret this because the rule design is trash?"

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I run narrative scenes in a "structured way", basically almost making no checks (each player gets 1 action then the narrative moves forward, then there is another round of 1 action per player).

It also depends how many such rounds are in a "scene"... at the end of the scene everyone drops strife down to half their composure. If PCs roll so many checks that they end up Compromised all the time (except for the Water monster), maybe split the scene into several smaller ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Franwax said:

It also depends how many such rounds are in a "scene"... at the end of the scene everyone drops strife down to half their composure. If PCs roll so many checks that they end up Compromised all the time (except for the Water monster), maybe split the scene into several smaller ones?

a player not using water opportunity or spammable passion, with 6 composure, will get almost compromised after 2 or 3 checks (and will probably have to drop some dice of those checks if he rolled too much strife).

The water character can probably go for a dozen checks without feeling it, and if he have a spammable passion, it is more that 12.

I try to make the scenes about 5 active rolls per player (not including resists, if there are). In average.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

just butter up what you do so it fits with the ring/skill you want to use. this is not difficult. what I wrote is just for simplification, in actual play the player will do a "charm" roleplay.

 

My point is that at the very worst, the player must give a description of the character's action, they can't get away with only stating the action. 

8 minutes ago, JBento said:

Playfulness only works on folks of lower status, which may or may not be an issue 

 

The Strife dumping part works on everyone, you only get the narrative advantage against someone of lower or equal status. You also get to remove Strife each time you make a check, not just any random time you fire off a quip or something and the check must be made to quip it can't really serve any other purpose. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...