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MamoruK

Deadliness and crit clarification

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So from reading the rules and rereading them I had come to the conclusion that when you inflict multiple crits. So as far as I understand it when you inflict a critcal injury the recipient rolls Fitness reduces it from 5 down to 3.

person receives another crit with deadliness 5 only reduces it by 1 receiving 4. this compounds onto the 3 they had before making the total 7.

is this correct because it's the only one that makes sense as to how you would be able to potentially kill someone during a fight outside of a coup de gras.

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Well nothing is written that would indicate this... but what does happen is that if you get two severity 3-4 crits on the same ring in a row, your light wound is upgraded to severe. It’s still another severity 4, but it’s effect is aggravated by the presence of a previous wound. Another wound on a severely wounded ring becomes a permanent scar disadvantage (as if they had suffered a severity 8 crit and failed to resist).  

Likewise, there is a sidebar that explains that when two instances of scar disadvantages are stacked, the GM can change the second one into the condition Dying (5 rounds).

Finally, do note that crits on unconscious characters have a severity increased by 10, so that’s another way to kill a PC. 

But all in all, it’s quite hard to kill a PC or Adversary outside of a finishing blow in a duel or clash. 

EDIT: another potential killing blow involves two enraged opponents, and two handed Katana strikes. Enraged increases the severity of crits received AND inflicted by 2, so if both fighters have it, all crits get a +4! Two handed grip on a Katana has a base 7, and opportunities on a razor edged weapon can further increase it. So 7+4+ say 2 from two opps = 13, which is “Agonizing death” : Dying (3 rounds)

Edited by Franwax

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Well said Franwax. In a technical sense the critical hits are independent, but the critical conditions can compound injuries.

As a side note, if you want a more grisly gaming experience there's an option to increase all deadliness ratings by 2 (which should be mandatory/standard in the realm of slaughter).

As another side note, I hope the new Shadowlands book includes more options for punishing any foolish mortal who enters the foyer of jigoku. Here's hoping for an updated critical table that includes oni specific options like "swallow whole"

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I’ll admit it does not help that the rules needed to understand that are scattered between the critical table, some sidebars and the various conditions (Unconscious, lightly wounded, severely wounded...). 

One other deadly thing to consider is the bleeding condition. Hit an incapacitated and bleeding target to force a Fitness roll and watch as they hesitate between failing the roll and keeping Strife to succeed, which will cause them to take damage from bleeding, which in turn will translate into a potentially very high crit. 

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simplest way is to put someone incapacitated and then double crit them. that will do the trick most of the time.

and if you want to play a deadlier game, your "enemies" should be able to use 2opps to crit if they use their basic attack action (strike). and they should attack incapacitated PC (they really should anyway, otherwise they will heal themselves and comeback and all was for nothing).

also, use the challenge action on them when they are in bad spot, they will lose glory, or they do the duel and risk taking heavy dmg from a finishing blow. (your adversary need at least 10honor and 5glory to "stake" to do that. No rule mention that you cannot challenge a shugenja or courtier, and if their "yojimbo" come in to take the clash for them, the shugenja or courtier will lose honor...[yup, the system is screwed up like that if you don't houserule it] so challenge those shugenjas and courtiers all day with your ronins or whomever have at least 10honor 5glory)

or double crit them when incapacitated (regular strike + 2 opp for a crit. since they cannot defend because they are incapacitated they will take a crit from the dmg, fall uncouncious, and take the second crit and blow up to pieces, unless they take earth stance.

i personally added a bit of deadliness to the combat by tweaking the critical hit chart (slightly) but as core, aside some weird instance when people heal a severe wound because their finger got chopped of, or damaged their armor because they bled, if you are an aggressive GM, your PC can be threaten solidly. do not just "let the player be because hes incapacitated" NO incapacitated = time to finish them! put the pressure on the other players to come save them.

Edited by Avatar111

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to be fair though, I think 90% of the questions people ask about this game is how the dmg/deadliness/crit system work... it is just so badly written and edited lol !

thing they don't know is that understanding that cryptic design is only the tip of the iceberg, once you get that under your belt you can start to try to understand all the other weirdly explained and mildly unclear/unbalanced designs!

its got LOTS of depth, so much depth you might just lose yourself and will have to put the boundaries where you feel they should be.

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2 hours ago, Franwax said:

But all in all, it’s quite hard to kill a PC or Adversary outside of a finishing blow in a duel or clash

Recovering from high rank critical conditions isn't exactly a cakewalk either. Sure it's harder to outright drop dead outside of finishing blows, but Path to Inner Peace isn't fixing everything like it did in previous editions. Medicine checks are challenging and invoke the proper historical understanding medical technology, with the consequences of failure pretty dire, or hilarious depending on which side of the GM screen you are on.

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2 hours ago, T_Kageyasu said:

Recovering from high rank critical conditions isn't exactly a cakewalk either. Sure it's harder to outright drop dead outside of finishing blows, but Path to Inner Peace isn't fixing everything like it did in previous editions. Medicine checks are challenging and invoke the proper historical understanding medical technology, with the consequences of failure pretty dire, or hilarious depending on which side of the GM screen you are on.

That's quite right. It's not exactly super-lethal for PC, but it's quite punishing in terms of injuries and quite easy to become permanently maimed, amputated, or what have you.

Healing from wounds take time, though you could argue that rules for assistance can come into play and make the check significantly easier (even if the "medic" fails their downtime action roll to heal a wound level, they can just say "I spend the next week tending to my comrade's wounds, which gives them assistance on their roll").

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5 hours ago, T_Kageyasu said:

As a side note, if you want a more grisly gaming experience there's an option to increase all deadliness ratings by 2 (which should be mandatory/standard in the realm of slaughter).

It increases Deadliness by 4 and, uh, after grinding through a campaign with that rule in the game, I can tell that it has a certain hilarity factor as characters go full Black Knight on each other ("Hah! It's just an arm! I can still fight!"). 

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

It increases Deadliness by 4 and, uh, after grinding through a campaign with that rule in the game, I can tell that it has a certain hilarity factor as characters go full Black Knight on each other ("Hah! It's just an arm! I can still fight!"). 

Thanks for the correction! Yeah, it wasn't an endorsement, since things can escalate quickly but it could be worse: you could also gain fatigue while losing one's limbs!

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12 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

It increases Deadliness by 4 and, uh, after grinding through a campaign with that rule in the game, I can tell that it has a certain hilarity factor as characters go full Black Knight on each other ("Hah! It's just an arm! I can still fight!"). 

Yeah, weird optional rule. At rank 2 or 3 at max, a focused melee character can almost crit at will. Deadlier crits just makes it senseless, you stick in earth stance or you lose an arm every round.

Especially since there no real improvement of defense in the game (aside fitness skill, which is mandatory for any campaign that have combats).

But I feel the designers screwed up a bit when designing the conditions (bleeding, wounded and dying, especially). They have weird loopholes in the way they stack and affect the outcome of combats. I fixed it a bit in my houserule, making it more linear (and I also use the optional rule of giving dying condition if the character already had a scar disadvantage).
L5R system is one where you don't die easily, but in which your character becomes miserable because he is basically maimed everywhere.

 

Edited by Avatar111

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On 2/16/2019 at 6:01 PM, MamoruK said:

So from reading the rules and rereading them I had come to the conclusion that when you inflict multiple crits. So as far as I understand it when you inflict a critcal injury the recipient rolls Fitness reduces it from 5 down to 3.

person receives another crit with deadliness 5 only reduces it by 1 receiving 4. this compounds onto the 3 they had before making the total 7.

is this correct because it's the only one that makes sense as to how you would be able to potentially kill someone during a fight outside of a coup de gras.

No. That's how it works in FFG's 40K line. (now oop)

A similar thing happens, tho'.

in all levels, the ring hit is the ring used for the resistance roll; in conflicts this is always the last stance chosen.

3-4 is light wound - one per ring. -  repeat removes light and makes it severe.
5-6 is severe wound - one per ring - repeat becomes a maiming blow and removing Severe Wound
7-8 is permanent injury...  add one of the two specified distinctions for your ring. If you have both already or repeat in the same conflict, gain dying 5 or, at the GMs choice, gain a maiming blow
9-11 is maiming blow... add one of the specified distinctions. If you repeat, GM's call whether you gain the other specified for your ring or gain the Dying 5.

12+ is dying... just a matter of how long.

If incapacitated before the crit, any crit (even armor damage) knocks one out, too.

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4 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

you don't "die" in this game, your character just become so scarred, crippled, amputated, disfigured that he/she decides to call it a life and retire.

You don't normally die in one fight... but death has come real close (lucky roll on the resist) several times. to my players. Also, resist rolls take the TN penalty from the ring's wounds... 

And, if the GM wants a deadlier game, he can be rigid about "Second Scar in Ring is death",  Or grab the knob from page 288, twist it to maximum, and increase all deadliness by 4, kill anyone still bleeding at end of scene, and use the festering wounds rule.

It's very easy to have a deadly rokugan in 5E RAW - if you're willing to use the grit-adjustment-tools provided, and don't houserule the danger away...

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21 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

You don't normally die in one fight... but death has come real close (lucky roll on the resist) several times. to my players. Also, resist rolls take the TN penalty from the ring's wounds... 

And, if the GM wants a deadlier game, he can be rigid about "Second Scar in Ring is death",  Or grab the knob from page 288, twist it to maximum, and increase all deadliness by 4, kill anyone still bleeding at end of scene, and use the festering wounds rule.

It's very easy to have a deadly rokugan in 5E RAW - if you're willing to use the grit-adjustment-tools provided, and don't houserule the danger away...

Mostly agreed. Second scar ring applies dying condition; yes! use it.  It doesn't change the fact that your dude will be maimed all over before he dies though.

the +4 deadliness is a big no-no though, really bad design. it is game breaking and everybody will stand in earth stance all the time or lose an arm every fight at rank 2-3+ (and the black knight effect will be even more true than per Raw).

I'm not "Against" the system on Raw, But it isn't deadly, it is just that you will lose body parts very easily (is that considered "deadly"? maybe actually). Waaaay before you "die" you will probably have maiming and permanent injuries on over half your rings. That is just what it is. Hard to go against those hard facts. I'd actually prefer a bit more "dying condition" in the game and a bit less "maiming" if you really want my opinion (you probably don't though). So overall, I don't hate raw but it is far from perfect (despite my few houserules on it) the critical effect table and conditions are not the highlight of that game in term of design.
 

Edited by Avatar111

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32 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

You don't normally die in one fight... but death has come real close (lucky roll on the resist) several times. to my players.

that probably mean they lost an arm if they got lucky on the resit to "not die".

how is that contradicting my point of view ? that people are chopped up to bits before dying ?

in the houserule department we could use your brain to help us improve the system! join the rebels! stop being brainwashed by the RAW empire!

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

the +4 deadliness is a big no-no though, really bad design. it is game breaking and everybody will stand in earth stance all the time or lose an arm every fight at rank 2-3+ (and the black knight effect will be even more true than per Raw).

I see the Monty Python reference sprinkled about here, but I'm really thinking "Kill Bill" for the less silly bloodbath scenes. Spiked ball on a chain should be deadliness 3, or 7 (in "Kill Bill" mode).

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

You will probably have maiming and permanent injuries on over half your rings.

I think it’s more likely to get the second scar in one of your two main rings than to have scars spread out over 3+ rings. When you get a scar in that main ring, after you heal the wound, you’ll probably go back to using that ring, because disadvantage or not, it’s still your strongest... and here comes that big critical strike!!

But overall, I do agree that those damage rules are more crippling than deadly. 

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1 hour ago, T_Kageyasu said:

I see the Monty Python reference sprinkled about here, but I'm really thinking "Kill Bill" for the less silly bloodbath scenes. Spiked ball on a chain should be deadliness 3, or 7 (in "Kill Bill" mode).

get ready for a wall of text:

 

Who would be insane enough to not play a big earth ring character in "kill bill" mode ? Uma Thurman super water stance won't help her when one lucky hit from a random ronin with a 2h katana will chop off her leg.

Already, lost duels will chop off your arm most of the time unless the opponent decides not to succeed on his finishing blow because "he wants to be nice" (which is how we play because otherwise it just becomes not enjoyable to get maimed every time you lose a duel. Sure the first time you're like "wow thats cool" but after 4-5 duels it gets old real fast. As a GM I have to put weak opponents for the duellist player because if I put a balanced 50/50 opponent, that means there is a very high chance my player loses a part of his body. So I'd rather say the duellists have honor and will purposefully miss their finishing blow in a showy way - like, the blade at 1" from the face type stuff-, and hope my player will say "ok I lost GG". IF he really wants to keep fighting though I will give him an honor penalty and let my NPC explode or get maimed. Same, if I put a low honor scum, my player knows better than to duel these guys, unless necessary I guess. Also if it is a duel to the death.. then, well... so be it. Maimed or not, one of the duellist won't survive this.)

I'm OK with some chopped stuff in my "samurai drama rpg", but in this game, its a bit too much. A maimed body part should happen a few time per campaign, at most. No clue who would be insane enough to play at +4 deadliness unless they are making a one shot game or an ultra low combat campaign. You do realise this is auto-kill if you lose a duel to a finishing blow ? And a random body part will fly off if you face against opponents using Katana and do not stick to earth stance?

Anyway, the whole critical/condition system have a cool factor initially but gets old very quickly. You are a Fire Duellist ? Well I'm sorry to tell you there is about 95% chance that you get a maimed arm (if not a lost arm) within the first 2-3 sessions if you duel with a real blade. It is pretty shaky. Not "broken", but shallow.

Outside of Duels and "Kill Bill Mode" it IS kind of hard to achieve severity 7+ criticals though. Doable, but not as likely. It mostly just happen if someone strike+crit an incapacitated opponent.

Anyway, since I'm an houserule maniac, I wouldn't put it behind me of tweaking the critical/condition rules more than I already have.

Edited by Avatar111

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10 hours ago, T_Kageyasu said:

I see the Monty Python reference sprinkled about here, but I'm really thinking "Kill Bill" for the less silly bloodbath scenes. Spiked ball on a chain should be deadliness 3, or 7 (in "Kill Bill" mode).

Kill Bill is no good because one doesn't get to kill their opponents only chop off their limbs or cause similar crippling injury that, by in-game mechanics, does not truly impair the victim's ability to fight. You can have both arms and both legs cut off and still use your Bite attack (technically without any penalty) to mess up someone. 

8 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

No clue who would be insane enough to play at +4 deadliness unless they are making a one shot game or an ultra low combat campaign.

+4 Deadliness is only exciting for School Rank 1-2. After that it is more like a Hope Spot against opponents who can reliably soak 5-6 severity. 

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36 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

+4 Deadliness is only exciting for School Rank 1-2. After that it is more like a Hope Spot against opponents who can reliably soak 5-6 severity. 

A 2h katana is 7deadliness, 11 in kill bill mode, 17 if you were incapacitated and they double crit you and, 22 in a finishing blow?

This ain't hope spot! This is almost guaranteed chopped part if you take one of the 2 ways to kill someone; duel finishing blow or double crit on incapacitated.

The main difference is that kill bill mode will chop of parts a lot on regular critical hits too. You won't reliably hit 5-6 resist. Well, at least, not more than the opponent will crit you at 11 Minimum deadliness. One time you don't resist 5? Chopped part.

Edited by Avatar111

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7 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

A 2h katana is 7deadliness, 11 in kill bill mode

Yeah, that's not a whole lot if you think about it. With just a -5 soak, your chances to kill your target is rather slim unless you Heartpiercing Strike them. 

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19 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Yeah, that's not a whole lot if you think about it. With just a -5 soak, your chances to kill your target is rather slim unless you Heartpiercing Strike them. 

Not that slim. You still need 5 soak! And that's if they don't use razor edged, or double crit you at +10 while incapacitated, or a finishing blow.

At those ranks people will crit almost every round too.

What would be the sweet spot for you to make it fun/threatning and avoid the black knight effect?

Edited by Avatar111

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6 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Not that slim. You still need 5 soak!

You can pull 5 soak with 6k3. At Rank 3+ the soak rolls will be closer to 8(/9)k4(/5) that can pull 7-8 soak - or even more in Fire Stance. 

24 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

What would be the sweet spot for you to make it fun/threatning and avoid the black knight effect?

My preference is "deadly as all ****" because you should absolutely feel like your character is living 2 feet from death in this game. But I think most people wouldn't like that very much :D

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