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Dueling Question?

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1 minute ago, Avatar111 said:

I think you meant; "it isn't great for Iaijutsu Duels"
Because for duels to the death, the current system is really good.

It falls flat in these areas; Iaijutsu Duels (hello earth stance).

It also have two actions, Predict and Center, that are nearly useless.

But, for duel to the death, with each opponent striking at each other, putting strife, healing strife, doing small critical hits and/or fatigue damage etc... IT will probably end up in a 2-3 rounds at maximum before one of the combatant is incapacitated or a finishing blow is triggered.
IMO duel to the death are very fun. 

I meant in terms of not being able to kill an opponent in one fell epic blow (in one round), as was easily achievable in previous editions, rather than extraordinary. Whether this was fun or not is debatable, but it was definitely tense!

And I agree, earth stance in a duel means it's a one on one skirmish for crying out loud. Maybe predict and center should be more like how channeling is used for shugenja, substituting result dice for when the strike or final blow inevitably comes.

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19 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

I meant in terms of not being able to kill an opponent in one fell epic blow (in one round), as was easily achievable in previous editions, rather than extraordinary. Whether this was fun or not is debatable, but it was definitely tense!

And I agree, earth stance in a duel means it's a one on one skirmish for crying out loud. Maybe predict and center should be more like how channeling is used for shugenja, substituting result dice for when the strike or final blow inevitably comes.

oh ok, I see what you mean. You are not strictly talking about iaijutsu duels or duels to the death, you are talking about a "one strike kill".

Well, a one strike kill is possible during a finishing blow, but the finishing blow probably won't be your first strike... Because, under the current rules, every time you can strike, you should strike; there is absolutely nothing better to do than strike.

How could "predict" or "center" be so that you'd rather use them instead of striking ? that is probably where you would find your answer...

In my houserule, I tried to change as little as possible from the core rules, and while I manage to avoid some of the issue of the core rules (counter earth stance turteling and make the predict mindgame more threatening), I indeed don't manage to create that "one strike" fantasy. Though, I make it easier to put strife on your opponent (revised Predict  and Center action) it isn't as reliable as what you intend (some kind of channeling?).


It would actually be difficult to balance; would going for the one strike kill always be the better option? or sometimes whacking at your opponent would be the better option? should both option be relatively balanced? ...It would require a major overhaul of the center action probably; making it much stronger (both defensively and offensively, and also able to bypass earth stance) so that a player strategy could be to "Center" and hope to win when he strike, despite his opponent whacking at him every turn. Designing it to be a high risk, high reward option.
As written, Center action is bad. simply, bad.

Edited by Avatar111

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4 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Because, under the current rules, every time you can strike, you should strike; there is absolutely nothing better to do than strike.

I'll need to read your house rules! I agree that simple changes are better than completely overhauling the system.

Yes, this to me is the unfortunate part of dueling that ruins the mind game element. I love the part about bidding for strife, but it's not enough.  Maybe there should be an assessment phase each round for learning about your opponent or using deception. There should also be some tangible bonus for not going on strike autopilot each round. Anything more really to distinguish duels from skirmishes in my opinion.

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33 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

would going for the one strike kill always be the better option? or sometimes whacking at your opponent would be the better option?

One way to do it is to remove the Strike action from the options of the duel 😛

Then, Center and Predict might become worthwhile, along with whatever social skills or shuji you have at hand to inflict or recover Strife along the way... all that leading up to one of the contestants becoming Compromised and eating up a high severity finishing blow.

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36 minutes ago, Franwax said:

One way to do it is to remove the Strike action from the options of the duel

Or instead of removing a viable strategy, penalize the use of "strike" when tabulating points due to the social stigma against brutalizing an elegant form of combat. I can see the Crane deducting more points for each use of "strike" during the duel compared with what Crab judges deem acceptable.

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9 hours ago, T_Kageyasu said:

I'll need to read your house rules! I agree that simple changes are better than completely overhauling the system.

Yes, this to me is the unfortunate part of dueling that ruins the mind game element. I love the part about bidding for strife, but it's not enough.  Maybe there should be an assessment phase each round for learning about your opponent or using deception. There should also be some tangible bonus for not going on strike autopilot each round. Anything more really to distinguish duels from skirmishes in my opinion.

To be honest, my houserules, despite being decently tuned at this point, do not prevent the strike spamming totally. So, if you are looking for that, they won't work for you.
What they do;

-Gives a way for a Iaijutsu Duelist to more reliably be able to land a crit by round 2. (which is in fantasy for Iaijutsu duels, and won't change anything for duels to the death).

-Adds a little more mindgames in the duels. The mindgame also take into account the Vigilance stat, which makes Air a bit more worthwhile for this type of duelist. (this tweak also makes it less interesting to just spam your one big ring and instead slightly infuse the idea of trying to understand how your opponent think you will fight)
 

Thats about it really. The core of the duel stays the same, striking is the way to go. But at least now, you can more reliably bypass the Earth stance if you wish so and Vigilance stat becomes the stat for mindgames (making all secondary stats useful) and making a duelist with high Air and Water a little more focused on mindgames than raw whacking, not to a point of being the best thing to do over the current core rules strategy, far from that. I'm not reworking the duel rules, I prefer to consider it "polishing".

Edited by Avatar111

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On 2/8/2019 at 6:27 PM, Avatar111 said:

lets get deeeeper into how the rules are badly written;

if i'm in fire stance in a duel, and i'm getting "crit" by my opponent.
i then roll my fitness/fire to resist the crit. i get 1 opportunity that i use to put 2 strifes on my opponent.
these 2 strife put my opponent over his composure so i then get a finishing blow.
does the finishing blow happen before i receive the critical strike ? or after ? and if it happen before, does the critical strike resume after i perform my finishing blow? even if my finishing blow downright kill my opponent in one shot (presumably)?

i know the answer, but i like to trick you guys. enjoy finding the answer in their messy rulebook!

So you get a critical strike from yor opponent and and when making the fittnes check you use Opportunity to Inflame another character in the scene with your presence, causing them to receive 2 strife. (Table 8-1, pag 329)

That strife puts your opponent Compromised so

Quote

"The first time their opponent becomes Compromised
or unmasks during a duel, a character may
immediately execute a finishing blow." (Finishing blow, pag 260)

So you "may" do inmediatly an attack action to inflict a critical strike agains your foe.

Quote

"If the character executing a finishing blow succeeds,
instead of dealing damage, the finishing blow
inflicts a critical strike with severity equal to two times
the deadliness of the weapon or Attack action used" (Finishing blow, pag 260)

This action is resolved before the resolution of the initial interrupted critical strike of your foe.

Quote

"...interrupting anything their target is doing
(including resolving a check of their own, in which case
the finishing blow resolves during Step 6 of the check,
after :Strife: symbols are resolved but before :Opportunity: is spent).
One finishing blow can even interrupt another!" (Finishing blow, pag 260)

This assuming any of your checks generate enough strife to get you Compromised. Otherwise your opponent interrupts your finishing blow and resolves it before yours.

Quote

"One finishing blow can even interrupt another" (Finishing blow, pag 260)

If the Duel was to first strike or first blood the duel ends here (unless the oponent is eager to loose honor)

Quote

If the duel’s objective is achieved by the finishing
blow, the duel ends immediately. (Finishing blow, pag 260)

If the combat was to death; Either if the opponent dies or not the original Critical strike resolves because was interruppted in the middle of the check. Whith the posibility of kill you too.

Quote

Otherwise, the duel picks up where it left off (including returning to resolving a check, if one was interrupted) (Finishing blow, pag 260) 

 

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wrong answer.

you cannot interrupt your own resist check. the critical is done already so you need to resist it and the resist is not something your target is doing.

"...interrupting anything their target is doing
(including resolving a check of their own, in which case
the finishing blow resolves during Step 6 of the check,
after :Strife: symbols are resolved but before :Opportunity: is spent).
One finishing blow can even interrupt another!" (Finishing blow, pag 260)

the target is not doing anything, you are resisting the hit. so you will have the possibility to do the finishing blow after you completed your resist check and taken the critical strike.

it also mentions "before :opportunity: is spent". which in that case, its your own opportunities, on your resist check, that put your opponent over his composure.

i'll give you points for trying though, this system is hard to grasp and this was a tricky question (that will happen in your game sessions if you have good players). 

Edited by Avatar111

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On 2/10/2019 at 4:26 AM, T_Kageyasu said:

And I agree, earth stance in a duel means it's a one on one skirmish for crying out loud. Maybe predict and center should be more like how channeling is used for shugenja, substituting result dice for when the strike or final blow inevitably comes.

Do Earth Stance and the Predict action not butt heads - if you stick to Earth Stance then you're going to get forced out of it, and a bunch of Strife on top just before the final attack happens?

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2 hours ago, gareth_lazelle said:

Do Earth Stance and the Predict action not butt heads - if you stick to Earth Stance then you're going to get forced out of it, and a bunch of Strife on top just before the final attack happens?

No! Be careful! You’ll summon Avatar ;)

But basically, the thinking goes that if you sit in Earth stance and your opponent takes the Predict action, as you suggest, then you will know for sure he wants to get you out of that stance... Predict is very predictable! So on you next turn, you just pick another stance and sneak a strike while your opponent just did nothing on their last turn (just Predict). You end up one strike ahead. 

Of course, now you’re not in Earth stance anymore so there is some value to that Predict action, but is it worth being one whole turn behind? Most of the times I’d say no, though there can be borderline cases. 

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You summoned the Avatar!! :D

lets consider a ritualised duel, with both of us with sheathed swords.

you win initiative. you predict. your sword is still not out; you cannot crit me next turn unless you use water next turn. so during my turn, I use water, predict water, and take my sword out; you are at a disadvantage.

so, that leaves you with ONE option, winning initiative, using water to take your sword out and predict me.

but... you left yourself open for me to take my weapon out and strike (and maybe crit you) if I have a decent water. or at the very least, heal some strife with water opportunity.

or, I can use any other ring and do a iaijutsu kata (if I have one) and dmg you and probably put some strife on you or do something else advantageous.


now is the next staredown phase. and if I win that initiative, your predict was for nothing as it worked on my last turn. so, you also have to win this initiative!! but I probably have a strife advantage.

 

so there you have it, your only way to use predict is to use water stance and predict and open yourself up to lose the duel right away if I have a decent water ring (or i use any other ring with an iaijutsu kata just to dmg you or use opportunities etc) and you have to win next staredown.
 

is the cost worth it? or would you rather just have a big earth ring, win initiative, and give me a earth iaijutsu kata in the teeth?

 

there is your answer.

*unsummons himself.

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2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

you win initiative. you predict. your sword is still not out; you cannot crit me next turn unless you use water next turn. so during my turn, I use water, predict water, and take my sword out; you are at a disadvantage.

Why predict as the first action? Exactly as you say, that puts you at a disadvantage, so you go for the ready weapon action (and if you're unarmed you couldn't make an effective finishing blow even if the opportunity arose),

You could begin with Water and do both but it isn't necessary, especially as next turn your foe will likely have at least three strife stacked up (from the staredown), making the +4 Strife from Predict all the nastier (and remember the prediction is secret - if Earth is awesome and the threat of me picking Earth is there then you almost can't risk picking earth, especially if your stress is already high - Prediction is a deterrent as much as anything else),

Earth certainly protects you from Strike + ** criticals (though for low level characters that takes some good rolling), but it won't protect you from a finishing blow triggered by excess Strife. Worth noting that low-level characters will struggle to make that roll without accruing strife, and if they've also been hit by a prediction then their blow could easily be interrupted by your finishing blow.

I'm meandering a little here, but I would perhaps suggest that Earth is strong early in the duel, where likely causes of critical are opportunities, but a lot weaker later on where Fatigue and Finishing Blow are far more likely to be the cause (then you'd just be better off not getting hit at all),

Also worth noting that when facing characters with "heart-piercing strike", Earth won't save you...

You might be better off in Air stance there. Indeed, I would argue that air is better all around - sure, earth totally protects from criticals, air "just" raises the threshold for criticals to 5 dice (three successes and two opportunities) making it harder to get Fatigue on me as well as reducing the odds of a crit (which will help further into the duel as fatigue starts to stack up).

 

Incidentally, as an aside, anyone else think it's odd that a "first blood" duel ends on a 5+ crit when a katana specifically causes bleeding on a 3+ crit...

Edited by gareth_lazelle

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you don't strike in your first turn ? 
I will, with Earth Iaijutsu Kata (as you always should).

ok next turn, what do you do ? We have the same amount of strife and it is the staredown. You have your weapon out and me too and you took damage.

you win the initiative, i'm in earth stance.
you lose your turn to predict earth ? 

ok, I pick void and smack you with a strike again.


next turn ? lets hope you win that initiative.

try better. you don't know what you are doing padawan. Predict is CRAP. (so is Center btw).


REWIND;
ok you use Earth iaijutsu Kata in your first turn. good... good.

i do the same.

next turn, you predict ?

I use void and smack you if I want to play safe, or use water and heal some strife, or fire and put strife on you. You have less than 25% chance of your predict working.

so, I think you should just have strike instead of predicting. gosh, if you use fire you can dump 2strife on me with 1opp, with 3opp you can dump 2 strife + force me to take 2 more if I attack you during my next turn! screw predict mate.

 

Edited by Avatar111

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lovely topic guys. Especially as I am planning on rolling up two chars to write up a blog article on duelling in the next couple of weeks. If anyone has the time (and beleives they are an expert) can they message me some indication of how the characters in a duel to first strike/duel to death would tend to operate (not as in blow by blow but more in what they would bid/stance to aim for). I want the write up to be something reasonable that covers as many rules as possible but in ways people would act.

If anyones ok with it then I will probably throw a draft of the article to be validated before publishing...

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19 minutes ago, gareth_lazelle said:

Incidentally, as an aside, anyone else think it's odd that a "first blood" duel ends on a 5+ crit when a katana specifically causes bleeding on a 3+ crit...

yes it is weird. but we imagine that a small bleed is not enough, you need a delibitating gash!
weird because of the way it is written, but not game breaking mechanically wise.

Edited by Avatar111

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7 minutes ago, Matrim said:

lovely topic guys. Especially as I am planning on rolling up two chars to write up a blog article on duelling in the next couple of weeks. If anyone has the time (and beleives they are an expert) can they message me some indication of how the characters in a duel to first strike/duel to death would tend to operate (not as in blow by blow but more in what they would bid/stance to aim for). I want the write up to be something reasonable that covers as many rules as possible but in ways people would act.

If anyones ok with it then I will probably throw a draft of the article to be validated before publishing...

in a duel to the death, the system is really well done. it is always a game of high risk high reward; are you willing or not to risk taking a critical hit? how do you manage fatigue/strife?
they are quite epic.

obviously, you never use predict/center (both are absolute trash, binder fodder).

for a duel to first strike / first blood. it is a bit broken. the safest way to win those is to have a huge earth ring. Iai Kata in Earth stance, and then Strike in Earth stance all the subsequent turns. You have lot of composure and decent endurance, so you just grind your opponent down. If he doesn't use Earth stance himself, you use a void point and strike with Earth and go for the crit to win it, or Fire to have more chance of getting the 5+ severity if you have a decent fire ring.

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2 minutes ago, Matrim said:

Thanks..If the first strike is that un-nuanced I might not even bother with it..

well that is my opinion. i don't see any counter to my strategy aside "luck".

(or eventually at rank 3, heartpiercing strike, but that is a must have for any duellist and it changes the whole game.)

Edited by Avatar111

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45 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

you don't strike in your first turn ? 
I will, with Earth Iaijutsu Kata (as you always should).

ok next turn, what do you do ? We have the same amount of strife and it is the staredown. You have your weapon out and me too and you took damage.

you win the initiative, i'm in earth stance.
you lose your turn to predict earth ? 

ok, I pick void and smack you with a strike again.


next turn ? lets hope you win that initiative.

You are kind of creating straw men here,

The Iaijutsu kata are very good, but in all fairness not all characters have them, so sure, use them if you've got them of course.

Note that you can never score a crit with Iaijutsu kata through opportunities - only through other game effects (Iaijutsu kata are actions and do not have an "opportunity" crit option, they don't inherit the crit option from the strike action) - so earth doesn't help you at all on turn one (unless I picked water and did it the hard way, but I'm less likely to do that if you have Earth Stance, right?)... Air helps, fire helps, not earth (though its benefits do carry across into turn two of course),

So arguably we're on an even footing on turn two (unless you're the better duelist, but then in that case I'm screwed anyway),

 

Turn two? Maybe I pick water and strike/predict, it depends upon circumstances and how close I think you are to your composure - it's very situational.

 

Look, I'm not pushing it as the be-all-and-end-all, but I think it has its uses, it can force a foe into void (what! earth didn't help you there either) which is somewhat passive, rather than an actively helpful stance,

Quote

(so is Center btw).

Centre is interesting - it has the potential to be very powerful but only in very narrow circumstances, I think it's more about ending a duel than anything else, it works will with techniques like the aforementioned "heart-piercing strike", and with water stance the two combo up nicely, but I think mostly it's going to be for when you want to ensure that your final strike does as much damage as possible, i.e.: it's a fight to first blood but you're out to kill or whatever ("Oh! I killed him, my bad")

*edit: centre doesn't pair with HPS like that at all, you need to do it on separate turns - my mistake

I'd certainly agree that it isn't useful most of the time,

Edited by gareth_lazelle

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5 hours ago, Franwax said:

But basically, the thinking goes that if you sit in Earth stance and your opponent takes the Predict action, as you suggest, then you will know for sure he wants to get you out of that stance... Predict is very predictable! So on you next turn, you just pick another stance and sneak a strike while your opponent just did nothing on their last turn (just Predict). You end up one strike ahead.

Yeah, but knowing that you think I selected Earth, I'm now free to guess a different stance, meaning that either my odds of picking your stance have improved, or you got forced into Void, which is fairly passive compared with the other stances - it's a bit like the shell game (you have to honour the threat or risk being slapped, but I don't have to follow through on it),

You can also use water to avoid being one strike behind if you so wish,

Plus, well, Fatigue isn't the only source of criticals, and not all criticals care about you being one strike behind (finishing blow being the obvious one),

It ain't going to win every duel (or even many duels), but I think it has its uses, and while I do agree that earth is very strong, I don't think it is the be-all and end-all of duels (especially as its strength is a weakness when it comes to prediction),

Edited by gareth_lazelle

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6 minutes ago, gareth_lazelle said:

You are kind of creating straw men here,

The Iaijutsu kata are very good, but in all fairness not all characters have them, so sure, use them if you've got them of course.

Note that you can never score a crit with Iaijutsu kata through opportunities - only through other game effects (Iaijutsu kata do not have an "opportunity" crit option) - so earth doesn't help you at all on turn one (unless I picked water and did it the hard way, but I'm less likely to do that if you have Earth Stance, right?)... Air helps, fire helps, not earth (though its benefits do carry across into turn two of course),

So arguably we're on an even footing on turn two (unless you're the better duelist, but then in that case I'm screwed anyway),

 

Turn two? Maybe I pick water and strike/predict, it depends upon circumstances and how close I think you are to your composure - it's very situational.

 

Look, I'm not pushing it as the be-all-and-end-all, but I think it has its uses, it can force a foe into void (what! earth didn't help you there either) which is somewhat passive, rather than an actively helpful stance,

Centre is interesting - it has the potential to be very powerful but only in very narrow circumstances, I think it's more about ending a duel than anything else, it works will with techniques like the aforementioned "heart-piercing strike", and with water stance the two combo up nicely, but I think mostly it's going to be for when you want to ensure that your final strike does as much damage as possible, i.e.: it's a fight to first blood but you're out to kill or whatever ("Oh! I killed him, my bad")

I'd certainly agree that it isn't useful most of the time,

you don't have to use earth, you can always take the risk not to use it. but if you have a big earth ring, why not?

my opinion is that you are no iaijutsu duelist without an iaijutsu kata. but sure, if one character have it, and no the other; big advantage.

predict is never good. especially in Iai duel with no armor. you are wasting a turn doing nothing, no opportunities, nothing, for something that can be hard countered by void stance, that barely deals more strife than fire stance opportunity, and won't stop me from striking you (and possible putting you incapacitated or crit you).

center is absolute garbage. you put yourself in void stance and roll your skill dice (hopefully you have 3+ skill otherwise it is even worst). when you could have instead strike? and/or put strife on me? and/or heal strife from yourself? even with void, you could strike me and lower your TN by 1 on your next action and potentially raise your initiative too!

if you win ini, and center (to do hps next turn), you open yourself to taking a crit to the teeth. because if you have HPS, the other guy is rank 3 too probably and will crit you quite easily.
but YES HPS is in itself a game change. I won't argue with that.

also, the center strategy suffer sfrom the same issue as the predict strategy, you need to win the next staredown, otherwise you basically took 2 turns of the opponent striking you.

i'm not saying it "ultimately will never work".
but, the BEST way is to earth stance and strike all the time, and use water and/or fire if needed (if you have them) in the right situations.
no idea guarantees a win, there is luck involved. but predict and center are lowering your chance to win. basically.

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17 minutes ago, gareth_lazelle said:

Yeah, but knowing that you think I selected Earth, I'm now free to guess a different stance, meaning that either my odds of picking your stance have improved, or you got forced into Void, which is fairly passive compared with the other stances - it's a bit like the shell game (you have to honour the threat or risk being slapped, but I don't have to follow through on it),

You can also use water to avoid being one strike behind if you so wish,

Plus, well, Fatigue isn't the only source of criticals, and not all criticals care about you being one strike behind (finishing blow being the obvious one),

It ain't going to win every duel (or even many duels), but I think it has its uses, and while I do agree that earth is very strong, I don't think it is the be-all and end-all of duels (especially as its strength is a weakness when it comes to prediction),

you lost a turn to get a 25% chance of predicting me. it CAN work though.

you could also always use air stance every turn and try to win like that. it "CAN" work too.

also, Earth just makes the first strike/blood duel go to "incapacitated" because you cannot crit otherwise. Plus, the earth player have good composure AND endurance.
and unless you use earth yourself, can always get the crit himself.
it isn't an "i win" button... but it is way too overpowered, and, unfun.

and yes, if you don't have to use earth stance (because the opponent didn't draw yet and have low water) then you can risk not using it.

DISCLAIMER: we are talking about first strike/blood duels.
duels to the death are amazing and no stance is absurdely advantaged. (though predict and center are still quite bad).

Edited by Avatar111

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1 minute ago, Avatar111 said:

you don't have to use earth, you can always take the risk not to use it. but if you have a big earth ring, why not?

Well sure, but not every character has a big earth ring,

If you started with a high earth then sure, you'd have all the more incentive to do exactly that,

Quote

my opinion is that you are no iaijutsu duelist without an iaijutsu kata. but sure, if one character have it, and no the other; big advantage.

It isn't just duelists that get into duels,

And duels aren't just there for duelists,

And not all duels begin with sheathed weapons (see also duels during skirmishes and mass battles for example),

But sure, if you regularly duel in a formal setting, then investing in one or the other iaijutsu kata is pretty much a no-brainer, I'll grant you that happily,

Quote

also, the center strategy suffer sfrom the same issue as the predict strategy, you need to win the next staredown, otherwise you basically took 2 turns of the opponent striking you.

All of your points on Center are correct, I think,

My point was that center is not usually about winning the duel, it's about supercharging a single action, and consequently it is as powerful as that action is, perhaps more useful for Taryu-Jiai duels, because invocations have a lot of powerful opportunities, or for finishing blows if you want to leave a foe crippled.

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5 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

you lost a turn to get a 25% chance of predicting me. it CAN work though.

Even that presumes no other knowledge - if I know your ring scores I can make better odds than that (or accept the risk of you attacking with a weak ring),

Quote

also, Earth just makes the first strike/blood duel go to "incapacitated" because you cannot crit otherwise.

Not true,

Earth just prevents criticals from opportunities,

The crit from Finishing blow (for example) is not an opportunity - earth cannot prevent it,

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