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Togashi Monk Discussion

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5 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

And I am certain with a "faq" that they won't write down all kihos that work or doesn't work. They will give a general answer to clarify the rule in a simple way. And the only way to do that is making it work with all.

I think it more likely that either will say that they meant what they wrote, or say nothing because they already wrote what they meant.  

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59 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

I think it more likely that either will say that they meant what they wrote, or say nothing because they already wrote what they meant.  

Easy way out.

But what they wrote means different thing to three+ persons in this thread already.

And nobody can come up with anything that is fullproof.

But yeah, if they feel lazy, they might just answer that...

Basically flagging the bug as "will not fix".

Classic of the gaming industry.

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14 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Easy way out.

But what they wrote means different thing to three+ persons in this thread already.

And nobody can come up with anything that is fullproof.

But yeah, if they feel lazy, they might just answer that...

Basically flagging the bug as "will not fix".

Classic of the gaming industry.

I don't agree.  Saying "Yes, this ability only applies to kihos that specifically meet the written conditions" is not lazy.  What I think is most likely is that they will errata Water Fist to include "unarmed profile" language.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TheSapient said:

I don't agree.  Saying "Yes, this ability only applies to kihos that specifically meet the written conditions" is not lazy.  What I think is most likely is that they will errata Water Fist to include "unarmed profile" language.

Possible.

Lots of possibilities.

That water fist is in the school's starting kiho strongly hints that kiho that "affects your unarmed profiles" means, "affect" your attacks with unarmed profiles (punch, kick, bite etc) too.

But honestly, we just have no answer, because "affects your unarmed profiles" is, vague.

To be continued...

Edited by Avatar111

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Posted (edited)

@Ultimatecalibur

Don't get me wrong, good design does account for future interactions to the extent possible, but this is not what is being discussed here.  You are not talking about the design itself, but rather stating you are taking a strict interpretation of the current ruleset, based on content that has not been developed yet and may never be.  I would of course be on board with a solid design framework with the definition needed to be extensible in to the future; but again, that is not the crux of this discussion.

To be clear, I did not move the goalpost.  I actually said "fist", as it was more casual description of the interactions and I did not make the initial comparison; you did -

Quote

But some kata can not be performed with unarmed strikes and the ability to give a weapon both Durable and Razor-Edged can't be underestimated. Also a Katana has a superior range and you can also use Edgeless with Shuriken

You said unarmed strikes, and stated the Katana has a superior range, not me - I just corrected that statement.  At this point it is just nitpicking.

 

And since we're delving in to the extreme's here, as an example. a Togashi monk can obtain any number of titles that provide access to Kata's - Emerald Magistrate, from the core book, would provide access to Rank 1-2 Kata, including Soaring Slice, and as Edgeless Sword also effects Improvised Weapons a Togashi can just as easily get that "10 damage/10 deadliness weapon Range 1-3+".

Edgeless Sword, a rank 5 Kiho, is going to be powerful on any character with 5 ranks in [unarmed] and a 5 in their Void ring.  Yes, Sharpened Ki can adds to particular combos, but the crux you're are pointing out seems to me to factor more heavily on Edgeless Sword than Sharpened Ki. 

At the point you're getting a Rank 5 Kiho, with a 5 ranks in a skill, and 5 in a ring, other characters will have combos and techniques of similar power.  I will not pretend to state every character will end up with the exact same level of power in these exacts terms, and I believe that would be an unreasonable expectation.  However, as another quick example, an Isawa Elementalist, at Rank 4, 5 in Fire and 5 in Theology, use Fury of Osano-Wo at a range of 0-4 outside, use their school ability to drop the TN from 5 to 1, and do 5 (Fire Ring)+(3x bonus successes) to a target, and if that incapacitates them (extremely likely), it does a critical of severity 8 as well.  For 1 opp, you can also hit the target and all their buddies at 0-2 with a TN 3 meditation check, or become dazed and take 15 (3xFire Ring) Strife.  On top of all that, you also have the 1+ opp for increasing the severity of the crit, and the basic Fire Invocations 1+ opp to select additional targets in range.  With that die pool, it would be entirely reasonable for the character to be able to come away with 5 successes and 2 strife (so as not to backlash [which as @Avatar111 will tell you, makes this extremely hilarious if you do]), can become a 23 supernatural damage hit, that if it incapacitates you, also inflicts a severity 8 crit.  Any additional success/opp you get beyond that just expounds it.

In any case, I believe I will have to leave this here as @Avatar111 did - we will agree to disagree, as I really don't want to spend all my time picking apart corner cases at the extreme far end of the game, and treating them in isolation.  I respect that you and others have issues with Sharpened Ki, and have chosen to interpret the wording in a stricter sense for their game table.  Every table has to do what feels best for them to have fun, and I only submit this to the forums in an effort for the community to explore the perspectives beyond their own table, my own included.

 

Edited by Worloch

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3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Possible.

Lots of possibilities.

That water fist is in the school's starting kiho strongly hints that kiho that "affects your unarmed profiles" means, "affect" your attacks with unarmed profiles (punch, kick, bite etc) too.

But honestly, we just have no answer, because "affects your unarmed profiles" is, vague.

To be continued...

I don't think "affects your unarmed profiles" is all that vague. Because of that, I think this particular wording is a deliberate design choice and the Taoist ability is not meant to be useable with anything and everything involving unarmed attacks.

That said, that leaves us with FFG likely having shot themselves in the foot with the Water Fist wording. Which, if true (meaning Taoists should be able to use it with a weapon in a one-handed grip), is something they should have picked up on before the Shadowlands book was even finalized: if you're creating a new ability that you want to reference a set of pre-existing techniques, I'd expect you to doublecheck those after all. Whether they missed it or not, I doubt it will get addressed now. I suspect FFG is fine with letting GMs interpret/houserule as they see fit, rather than bother with ruleset maintenance for something that isn't so broken it makes the game or even just the school unplayable. It's not like a lot of effort has been poured into the faq/errata doc so far.

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9 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

It's not like a lot of effort has been poured into the faq/errata doc so far.

Shadowlands is the first book after the CRB that has enough new rules, equipment, systems and other mechanical crunch that a FAQ and errata update makes sense. In comparison EE was mostly fluff. This might be part of why the pdf for the book is delayed.

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For what it's worth, interpreting the Sharpened Ki ability to rule out something like Water Fist would not even occur to me and seems indicative of a Pathfinder rules lawyer mindset (no offense intended-- but this doesn't strike me as the right game for people who prefer that style of roleplaying).

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I think most people agree that under the circumstances, Sharpened Ki should apply to Water Fist, just there's a slight editing error which was missed in ability wording so that if you go for just "do what the rules say" Water Fist's description doesn't line up with Sharpened Ki. That Sharpened Ki is written a specific way should indicate some limitations to what it overlaps with - as mentioned before if they wanted it to be more all-encompassing it could be written with much less specific language. 

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42 minutes ago, UnitOmega said:

I think most people agree that under the circumstances, Sharpened Ki should apply to Water Fist, just there's a slight editing error which was missed in ability wording so that if you go for just "do what the rules say" Water Fist's description doesn't line up with Sharpened Ki. That Sharpened Ki is written a specific way should indicate some limitations to what it overlaps with - as mentioned before if they wanted it to be more all-encompassing it could be written with much less specific language. 

I mean that it seems like you have to get pretty legalistic to interpret it, even as written, not to apply to a kiho that "adds X damage to an attack using a punch or kick", but does apply to something worded as "adds X damage to your punch or kick unarmed attack profile."  Again, maybe it's because I "grew up" with RPGs that didn't place as heavy an emphasis on strict mechanics and carefully-consistent rules wording in anticipation of rules-lawyering.

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Posted (edited)

I mean, I've never played pathfinder a day in my life, so you're impression is wrong either way. 

But language is language. It says "affect unarmed profiles", not necessarily, unarmed attacks or any other way. If it meant to be more obvious the wording could be more obvious, just say "which affect (or apply) to unarmed attacks" vs a profile and then there's no confusion over say, Death Touch, which what it says is "when you make a punch or kick attack" it can be defended (but otherwise don't change the statistical qualities of your punch or kick, so as a reader I gather it doesn't affect the "profile" because that's not what the profile refers to). I don't think it's rules-lawyering so much as just "the rule says X, so do X". Shoot, there was a game I was listening to which had this exact phrasing some where I and I can't remember which. "Do what the rules say to do, don't do what they don't say to do". Like, if it said specifically "kiho which affect kicks" then it says to only apply when something keys off a kick, if there was a kiho which only applied to a punch, then that's pretty unambiguous. 

The issue with water fist is Sharpened Ki is written to apply a specific way, so there are several unambiguous kihos it works with, as discussed. Water Fist is not among them, because it has a slightly different wording. But based on the fact that the school starts with it, and all the other [Element] Fist kihos do work, if you just do a casual read I think basically everyone has said that it should apply - so an error has been made somewhere. Either the school should not give you Water Fist to start because it doesn't work with the ability, or Water Fist or Sharpened Ki need to be reworded to explicitly work together, or a developed needs to comment "yes, even though it's written in specific language, Sharpened Ki is meant to apply to all those thing" in an FAQ. I don't think the latter is intended because the language choice seems pretty clear usually (see the Asahina ability and consistent keywords in Invocations), but if they say what they meant then they made an unambiguous statement. Otherwise it's RAW vs RAI, we can assume what the developers intended, but the rule can still be written "wrong" which causes confusion, like for all the people buying these books who don't go on the forums. 

EDIT: BTW the easy solution to this specific problem is to crack open the feedback mail and ask FFG a question "Hey does Water Fist work with Sharpened Ki even though the way it's written right now it kind of doesn't look like it does?". Maybe somebody who actually owns a copy should. On the forums all you're gonna get is the endless debates of the front-end consumer. 

Also, double edit: And actually, double checking it for myself, the current wording of water fist is "using a [punch or kick] unarmed profile", so that is much less ambiguous depending on how you want to interpret "affects". So I think the real FAQ question is "does 'unarmed profile' just account for actions which say they apply when you punch or kick, not 'affect the profile' with that particular wording" - i/e Death Touch, Way of the Falling Star, etc. 

Edited by UnitOmega

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31 minutes ago, tamdrik said:

I mean that it seems like you have to get pretty legalistic to interpret it, even as written, not to apply to a kiho that "adds X damage to an attack using a punch or kick", but does apply to something worded as "adds X damage to your punch or kick unarmed attack profile."  Again, maybe it's because I "grew up" with RPGs that didn't place as heavy an emphasis on strict mechanics and carefully-consistent rules wording in anticipation of rules-lawyering.

The point @UnitOmega makes is that Sharpened Ki is worded in a pretty legalistic way. Which is totally fine, because being carefully-consistent with rules wordings doesn't just serve to prevent ruleslawyering - it also makes it easier to write concise and, dare I say it, elegant rulesets (I don't think FFG really accomplished this with L5R). 

Using the "unarmed profiles" phrasing lets the designers create an ability that applies to a subset of kiho without having to list them (which would be bad, lists are inelegant design) and express a design intent for the ability not to apply willy-nilly to any and all kiho involving unarmed attacks.  

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2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Using the "unarmed profiles" phrasing lets the designers create an ability that applies to a subset of kiho without having to list them (which would be bad, lists are inelegant design) and express a design intent for the ability not to apply willy-nilly to any and all kiho involving unarmed attacks.  

thing is, I think it does though. I am really convinced Sharpened Ki works with Death Touch.

"affect" is just such a vague word without any rule backing it up, placed as the main word in an ability that is meant to affect many kihos... its tricky.

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3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

thing is, I think it does though. I am really convinced Sharpened Ki works with Death Touch.

"affect" is just such a vague word without any rule backing it up, placed as the main word in an ability that is meant to affect many kihos... its tricky.

I think the hyper-strict interpretation would effectively limit any applicable kiho to those that modify damage/DLS, range, or predefined qualities.  Otherwise, you'd get tortured wording like, "Modify your punch and kick unarmed profiles such that they have the quality of ignoring an amount of your target's physical resistance up to two times your Water Ring."  I don't see a lot of evidence that FFG went to great lengths to make sure to cover their semantic bases as unambiguously as possible, readability be damned. 

I wonder if FFG thought they were being "more precise and consistent" by liberal use of the legalistic-sounding term "unarmed [attack] profile" to mean either--depending on context-- the stat blocks of your unarmed "weapons" or your unarmed "weapons" themselves (punches, kicks, and sometimes bites).  "Profile" generically in L5R seems to basically mean the description of something's characteristics, which is presented in a concise standard format.  So I don't think it's at all unreasonable to interpret wording like "any kiho that affects your unarmed attack profiles" to "any kiho that affects your punches, kicks, and/or bites" (i.e., "willy-nilly to any and all kiho that affect unarmed attacks").  This has the added advantage of just making more intuitive sense and probably making everyone involved at the table happier, without causing any obvious absurdities or breaking the game.

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4 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

thing is, I think it does though. I am really convinced Sharpened Ki works with Death Touch.

"affect" is just such a vague word without any rule backing it up, placed as the main word in an ability that is meant to affect many kihos... its tricky.

As written, I don't think it does. Whether it should is another question (I don't think it'd be gamebreaking if it did, so RAW aside houserule away if you want). If it was intended to, It's another case of FFG needing to tighten up their language.

I don't think "affect" is all that vague either. Does the text of the kiho state it does something to attacks, or does it say it does something to unarmed profiles? That's all there's to it.

 

44 minutes ago, tamdrik said:

 I don't see a lot of evidence that FFG went to great lengths to make sure to cover their semantic bases as unambiguously as possible, readability be damned. 

They really didn't, or they did a very poor job.

 

46 minutes ago, tamdrik said:

I wonder if FFG thought they were being "more precise and consistent" by liberal use of the legalistic-sounding term "unarmed [attack] profile" to mean either--depending on context-- the stat blocks of your unarmed "weapons" or your unarmed "weapons" themselves (punches, kicks, and sometimes bites).  "Profile" generically in L5R seems to basically mean the description of something's characteristics, which is presented in a concise standard format.  So I don't think it's at all unreasonable to interpret wording like "any kiho that affects your unarmed attack profiles" to "any kiho that affects your punches, kicks, and/or bites" (i.e., "willy-nilly to any and all kiho that affect unarmed attacks").  This has the added advantage of just making more intuitive sense and probably making everyone involved at the table happier, without causing any obvious absurdities or breaking the game.

It's not a legalistic sounding term. It's a defined game term (what you attack with if you don't use a weapon). The use of this term is what's legalistic.

I'd like to point out there's no mention of "unarmed attack profiles", only "unarmed profiles"; let's please not muddy the issue. As far as I know there's no other mention of profiles in the rules either, so there's no real point in speculating what "profile" would generically mean. There is no generic use of the term, only a single specific one. Actual weapons don't have a profile. 

This is the crux of the matter: if the text refers to unarmed profiles it is not referring to attacks and vice versa. Very specifically, this means Sharpened Ki does not refer to attacks, unarmed or otherwise. Thus, kiho that affect attacks are not eligible for use with a weapon in a one-handed grip through the Taoist ability. Kiho that affect unarmed profiles are.

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5 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

It's not a legalistic sounding term. It's a defined game term (what you attack with if you don't use a weapon). The use of this term is what's legalistic.

I'd like to point out there's no mention of "unarmed attack profiles", only "unarmed profiles"; let's please not muddy the issue. As far as I know there's no other mention of profiles in the rules either, so there's no real point in speculating what "profile" would generically mean. There is no generic use of the term, only a single specific one. Actual weapons don't have a profile. 

This is the crux of the matter: if the text refers to unarmed profiles it is not referring to attacks and vice versa. Very specifically, this means Sharpened Ki does not refer to attacks, unarmed or otherwise. Thus, kiho that affect attacks are not eligible for use with a weapon in a one-handed grip through the Taoist ability. Kiho that affect unarmed profiles are.

Er, no, there are plenty of uses of "profile" that don't refer to unarmed attacks.  The first use of the word "profile" is actually referring to the "Humble Peasant profile", and weapons have profiles, too (e.g., "An improvised weapon uses the most similar weapon profile (often a club or a knife)...").  And I use the wording "unarmed [attack] profile" (with brackets) because it is sometimes phrased that way ("unarmed attack profile" vs. "unarmed profile") in the book.  If you want to suggest that's a wholly separate and distinct thing from "unarmed profile", then I don't even really know what to say to that.

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Yeah, the ambiguity it turns out is in what they meant by "affect", as in both "triggered by use" and "altering", but yes there is apparently a distinction there, just Sharpened Ki is not using it. I guess in this case the strictest definition would be "alters the profile"? 

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Posted (edited)

Somewhat ironically, I also emailed on this and received the same response:

Quote

Rules Question:
Query with regards to the Sharpened Ki school ability of the Taoist Blade school recently published in the Shadowlands supplement.

Can you please clarify the intent of which Kiho would be affected by the Sharpened Ki ability, as it pertains to Kiho that affect specific unarmed attack's, such as Kick and Punch, but do not explicitly state "unarmed attack profiles"?

Secondarily, based on the intent as clarified above, could you please indicate whether the school ability would work for the following published Kiho (yes it works, or not it does not): Earthen Fist, Air Fist, Flame Fist, Water Fist, Way of the Edgeless Sword, Breaking Blow, Way of the Falling Star, Freezing the Lifeblood, Death Touch

Thank you in advance.

 

Response:

Good question!

 

Sharpened Ki works for kihō that "affect your unarmed attack profiles"—this includes the kiho that alter those profiles in some way (e.g. Flame Fist) as well as the ones that explicitly trigger when you use an unarmed profile (e.g. Water Fist, Way of the Falling Star).

 

Thus, it works for:

Earthen Fist, Air Fist, Flame Fist, Way of the Falling Star, Freezing the Lifeblood, Water Fist, Death Touch, Way of the Edgeless Sword.

 

I hope that this helps!

--
Max Brooke
RPG & Miniatures Developer

Little funny to me that he missed Water Fist in the explicit list, but he did cover it in the first part.

Edited by Worloch
clarification

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23 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

So the enhancement effect of Death Touch is basically useless for the Togashi Monk, but quite good for the Taoist Blade.

Well, there is the corner case for the Togashi, with Rank 6 Mastery ability, that would allow them to combo it with something like Earthen Fist, or Way of the Edgeless Sword, but in general, yes.

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2 minutes ago, Worloch said:

Well, there is the corner case for the Togashi, with Rank 6 Mastery ability, that would allow them to combo it with something like Earthen Fist, or Way of the Edgeless Sword, but in general, yes.

Sure.  It makes me wonder if Death Touch was written with Taoist Blade in mind.  

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