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Yoriki for Starting Characters?

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I'm thinking of having the starting characters in a new campaign all become yoriki for a magistrate after the first story arc. It's unlikely that they'll even be rank 2 by this time, but the Yoriki title gives them access to any kata of ranks 1-3.

Will it break something to give rank one characters access to any 1-3 kata like that? I know it's only for 24 exp, but still...

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I'd first overlooked this was possible, but I don't think it's a major problem. Higher rank kata come with higher TNs, so a PC who gets such a kata without first increasing the corresponding skill and/or ring will get to use it with a pretty significant risk of failure. I'll be looking at the lists of kata to see if I can find something that might be out of order, but I doubt I'll find anything gamebreaking. I expect something like an iaijutsu cut might be taken early since they have a very specific application for instance - that won't be a huge issue though.

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5 hours ago, RMDanks said:

I'm thinking of having the starting characters in a new campaign all become yoriki for a magistrate after the first story arc. It's unlikely that they'll even be rank 2 by this time, but the Yoriki title gives them access to any kata of ranks 1-3.

Will it break something to give rank one characters access to any 1-3 kata like that? I know it's only for 24 exp, but still...

Are you interested in them being yoriki narratively, or mainly for the advancement table?

You can always say that yorki must prove themselves before they receive special training. That way, they narratively have the title, but don’t get the table until it’s appropriate. 

You could also give them some starting XP to buy up to rank 2 and be the right rank for the table.  

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17 minutes ago, sidescroller said:

Are you interested in them being yoriki narratively, or mainly for the advancement table?

You can always say that yorki must prove themselves before they receive special training. That way, they narratively have the title, but don’t get the table until it’s appropriate. 

^ this! they can be "deputized" and get the title without having the Title (in mechanical terms)

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Thanks for the advice. I’m going to have the invitation to become Yoriki extended, but they’ll be doing grunt work that won’t earn them anything special (no title mechanic) for at least a full adventure, which should get them to rank 2 before they can start to seriously invest in the title.

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4 hours ago, RMDanks said:

Thanks for the advice. I’m going to have the invitation to become Yoriki extended, but they’ll be doing grunt work that won’t earn them anything special (no title mechanic) for at least a full adventure, which should get them to rank 2 before they can start to seriously invest in the title.

I don't think it's all that beneficial to start investing in the title before rank 2 or preferably 3 anyway. Maybe the odd tech or something, but other than that you're probably better off looking at your school first and foremost.

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On 2/24/2019 at 4:26 AM, nameless ronin said:

I don't think it's all that beneficial to start investing in the title before rank 2 or preferably 3 anyway. Maybe the odd tech or something, but other than that you're probably better off looking at your school first and foremost.

As a general rule...I do agree. BUT there are exceptions. And while it's not that great to start hunting for the Title's benefit before Rank 2/3 ... spending 3 xp on a technique slows your school advancement down by a whole 1xp.

A Title's curriculum can be great for picking some stuff up. Battle in the Mind is a Rank 3 power that some GMs might not find appropriate for a Rank 1 character. Requires being in Void, but doesn't require a TN to activate. That is uncommon. Most require a TN 3 or 4 roll. Also lots of Rank 2 powers that are cool ... Iron Forrest, Tactical Assessment, Iaijutsu...

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4 hours ago, Void Crane said:

As a general rule...I do agree. BUT there are exceptions. And while it's not that great to start hunting for the Title's benefit before Rank 2/3 ... spending 3 xp on a technique slows your school advancement down by a whole 1xp.

How does that work? If you spend 3 XP on a title, that's 3 XP you could have spent on your school. What am I not getting?

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I'm tempted to say that you need to be of the proper rank to get a technique. even if the title mentions "rank 1-3 techniques", if you are only rank 1 in your school I wouldn't give access to rank 3 techniques.

Maybe if there was a little diamond after it...

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19 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Maybe if there was a little diamond after it...

That's the thing... for the Yoriki title, there is a little diamond shape in from of Rank 1-3 kata, which by other precedents would mean that you can get rank 3 katas even if you work on the title during your main school's rank 1. I don't like that and would not let it happen, but why put that diamond shape here?! Especially when other titles, like Gunso, include Rank 1-4 Kata without that diamond shape (which is fine).

I get, in the Yoriki's case, that this is also here to allow schools who usually do not have access to Katas to diversify... But the waving properties of that diamond symbol seem too far reaching to me. For specific techniques, it might still fly, but for entire technique categories, there is no foreseeing what might happen. Two ways to handle that: either declare that, in titles, the diamond symbol does not remove the rank requirement (but does remove all others); or set a prerequisite school rank to start working on each title.

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5 minutes ago, Franwax said:

That's the thing... for the Yoriki title, there is a little diamond shape in from of Rank 1-3 kata, which by other precedents would mean that you can get rank 3 katas even if you work on the title during your main school's rank 1. I don't like that and would not let it happen, but why put that diamond shape here?! Especially when other titles, like Gunso, include Rank 1-4 Kata without that diamond shape (which is fine).

I get, in the Yoriki's case, that this is also here to allow schools who usually do not have access to Katas to diversify... But the waving properties of that diamond symbol seem too far reaching to me. For specific techniques, it might still fly, but for entire technique categories, there is no foreseeing what might happen. Two ways to handle that: either declare that, in titles, the diamond symbol does not remove the rank requirement (but does remove all others); or set a prerequisite school rank to start working on each title.

lots of issues with the titles in general. I think Yoriki is like giving more status than the emerald magistrate from the core book...

and lets not mention the ability of the Yoriki that can be used to trigger critical hits (or whatever else you feel like).

I am not touching the titles with a ten foot pole yet, it is badly designed and I didn't get to revise them yet.

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4 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I think Yoriki is like giving more status than the emerald magistrate from the core book...

Not quite... the EM gives +15 (to a maximum of 40); while the Yoriki gives +5 (to a minimum of 35). So it's technically more but you won't end up with more than +5 vs if you were to become Yoriki (unless you already had over 40 status...).

I think titles are cool, and I want to use them, but I'll be very cautious.

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2 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Not quite... the EM gives +15 (to a maximum of 40); while the Yoriki gives +5 (to a minimum of 35). So it's technically more but you won't end up with more than +5 vs if you were to become Yoriki (unless you already had over 40 status...).

I think titles are cool, and I want to use them, but I'll be very cautious.

so if you are Crane, or Lion, with 35 status and you become a Yoriki, you go to 40 status.

same character, instead become an Emerald Magistrate? goes to 40 also...

if that character had blessed lineage, so hes at 45 already, then yoriki is BETTER than emerald magistrate for status.

 

its busted.

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18 minutes ago, Franwax said:

That's the thing... for the Yoriki title, there is a little diamond shape in from of Rank 1-3 kata, which by other precedents would mean that you can get rank 3 katas even if you work on the title during your main school's rank 1. I don't like that and would not let it happen, but why put that diamond shape here?! Especially when other titles, like Gunso, include Rank 1-4 Kata without that diamond shape (which is fine).

I get, in the Yoriki's case, that this is also here to allow schools who usually do not have access to Katas to diversify... But the waving properties of that diamond symbol seem too far reaching to me. For specific techniques, it might still fly, but for entire technique categories, there is no foreseeing what might happen. Two ways to handle that: either declare that, in titles, the diamond symbol does not remove the rank requirement (but does remove all others); or set a prerequisite school rank to start working on each title.

I didn't think they were completely like curricula at first, but I presume the devs want them to be like curricula as much as possible. Hence, since the title doesn't give access to full tehnique groups any tech access is privileged access.

The issue with titles and schools is that they don't necessarily have anything to do with one another. Should it matter whether you are a rank 2 or a rank 3 courtier (with no kata access in his school curriculum) before your title instructors are willing to teach you a certain kata? And given the flexibility in terms of how you choose to fill your school curriculum, is school rank even a plausible prerequisite?

I'm leaving it as is for now, but if I did want to houserule this I'd use skill rank and/or possibly ring rank as prerequisite. Rank 3 kata? Need three ranks of the appropriate martial art, and maybe rank 2 in the corresponding ring. Kiho/invocations? Theology rank equal to or higher than the tech rank required, maybe a ring requirement equal to tech rank minus 1. Shuji have all sorts of associated skills, but same principle. Same for rituals and ninjutsu and maho and anything else we might get in future sourcebooks.

 

19 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

so if you are Crane, or Lion, with 35 status and you become a Yoriki, you go to 40 status.

same character, instead become an Emerald Magistrate? goes to 40 also...

if that character had blessed lineage, so hes at 45 already, then yoriki is BETTER than emerald magistrate for status.

 

its busted.

 As far as I can tell, this is because being a magistrate is an official position while being a yoriki is more like being granted a certain authority but it's not really recognized as a true rank of position. Regardless, I add the "to a maximum of 40" rule to the yoriki title as well as a houserule.

It should be extremely unusual for someone with a status of 25 or lower to be appointed as Emerald Magistrate as well, Rokugan being a meritocracy in large part. Just about every Emerald Magistrate should be at status 40 (or higher via other means than his magistrate position).

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2 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

I didn't think they were completely like curricula at first, but I presume the devs want them to be like curricula as much as possible. Hence, since the title doesn't give access to full tehnique groups any tech access is privileged access.

The issue with titles and schools is that they don't necessarily have anything to do with one another. Should it matter whether you are a rank 2 or a rank 3 courtier (with no kata access in his school curriculum) before your title instructors are willing to teach you a certain kata? And given the flexibility in terms of how you choose to fill your school curriculum, is school rank even a plausible prerequisite?

I'm leaving it as is for now, but if I did want to houserule this I'd use skill rank and/or possibly ring rank as prerequisite. Rank 3 kata? Need three ranks of the appropriate martial art, and maybe rank 2 in the corresponding ring. Kiho/invocations? Theology rank equal to or higher than the tech rank required, maybe a ring requirement equal to tech rank minus 1. Shuji have all sorts of associated skills, but same principle. Same for rituals and ninjutsu and maho and anything else we might get in future sourcebooks.

 

 As far as I can tell, this is because being a magistrate is an official position while being a yoriki is more like being granted a certain authority but it's not really recognized as a true rank of position. Regardless, I add the "to a maximum of 40" rule to the yoriki title as well as a houserule.

It should be extremely unusual for someone with a status of 25 or lower to be appointed as Emerald Magistrate as well, Rokugan being a meritocracy in large part. Just about every Emerald Magistrate should be at status 40 (or higher via other means than his magistrate position).

maybe if emerald magistrate wrote "40 minimum" it would fix the status thing. all titles in EE are "minimum" anyway. and, emerald magistrate is a pretty big deal... In the scorpion novella, Yojiro is an emerald magistrate and they mention hes equal in status to the chief imperial magistrate of Ryoko Owari.

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14 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

maybe if emerald magistrate wrote "40 minimum" it would fix the status thing. all titles in EE are "minimum" anyway. and, emerald magistrate is a pretty big deal... In the scorpion novella, Yojiro is an emerald magistrate and they mention hes equal in status to the chief imperial magistrate of Ryoko Owari.

An average Great Clan samurai has a status between 30 and 39. He should not suddenly potentially outrank a city governor or vassal family daimyo when he gets appointed as Emerald Magistrate. The maximum is fine, it's where it's missing that we have a potential problem. A position should elevate your status to a rank suitable for that position, not elevate it to a theoretically unlimited rank that isn't based on anything concrete. Status isn't purely cumulative.

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1 minute ago, nameless ronin said:

An average Great Clan samurai has a status between 30 and 39. He should not suddenly potentially outrank a city governor or vassal family daimyo when he gets appointed as Emerald Magistrate. The maximum is fine, it's where it's missing that we have a potential problem. A position should elevate your status to a rank suitable for that position, not elevate it to a theoretically unlimited rank that isn't based on anything concrete. Status isn't purely cumulative.

so you'd prefer to put "maximum" to everything ? instead of minimum ?

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Just now, Avatar111 said:

so you'd prefer to put "maximum" to everything ? instead of minimum ?

Have both, where appropriate. But yes, have a maximum associated with every title. If you're a Great Clan Champion and are only outranked by a dozen or so people in all of the Empire, how would getting a lowly title increase your status?

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8 hours ago, Void Crane said:

spending 3 xp on a technique slows your school advancement down by a whole 1xp.

3 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

How does that work? If you spend 3 XP on a title, that's 3 XP you could have spent on your school. What am I not getting?

I don't think that it's explicitly stated that receiving "privileged access" means you also have to learn it through that specific curiculum. Therefore, I feel that Void Crane would just say he has privileged access from the title, but would still spend XP as part of his school, which would then be "out of curriculum", hence the lost of 1 XP only. Personally, I think it makes much more sense as well that using privileged access also means you need to spend the XP in the curriculum that gives you that privileged access in the first place.

2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

I am not touching the titles with a ten foot pole yet, it is badly designed and I didn't get to revise them yet.

I think that titles would have greatly benefited from having much more elaborate rules:

  • variable amount of ranks that fit the lore and allow progression once you're "inside it"
  • variable XP amount required to complete each rank
  • with variable number of stuff each rank gives access to depending on how strict or large the training is expected (no need to have 6+ items each rank, 2 to 4 items would have been enough if said ranks take 10 to 20 XP to achieve)
  • maybe even variable specific pre-requisites to begin each rank
  • variable "rewards" at the end of each rank, with a sense of progression in status and responsibilities inside your title
  • title names that match the progression (Apprentice Emerald Magistrate, EM, Senior EM, EM Sensei)*

This would have allowed for much more variety in what they give access to, prevented allowing some techniques to be purchased far too soon, allowed for more granular progression. One of the great downside of titles as they are currently is the feel that they require quite large amounts of XP (30+ in some cases) to apparently "become it", without anything to progress through once "you're it".

 

* This would also be nice to have for all schools... what do they call each other as they progress through their school? "Hello Kakita-sama! Congratulations on becoming a Rank 4 Kakita Duelist! Do you remember me? I'm Kakita-san, I was in that class in which you assisted Kakita-sensei to teach us this iaijutsu technique. I improved a lot, thanks to your help. Now I'm just about to become a Rank 2 Kakita Duelist!"

Edited by Agasha Kanetake

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5 minutes ago, Agasha Kanetake said:

I don't think that it's explicitly stated that receiving "privileged access" means you also have to learn it through that specific curiculum. Therefore, I feel that Void Crane would just say he has privileged access from the title, but would still spend XP as part of his school, which would then be "out of curriculum", hence the lost of 1 XP only. Personally, I think it makes much more sense as well that using privileged access also means you need to spend the XP in the curriculum that gives you that privileged access in the first place.

"XP allocated to a title does not count toward the character's current school rank (and vice-versa)". P. 305 of the core rulebook.

 

8 minutes ago, Agasha Kanetake said:

what do they call each other as they progress through their school? "Hello Kakita-sama! Congratulations on becoming a Rank 4 Kakita Duelist! Do you remember me? I'm Kakita-san, I was in that class in which you assisted Kakita-sensei to teach us this iaijutsu technique. I improved a lot, thanks to your help. Now I'm just about to become a Rank 2 Kakita Duelist!"

"School rank" is metagame information. It doesn't exist in the game, and can't be referred to. I'm sure there are terms to indicate someone's progress (like a dan in martial arts?) but they probably differ between schools and clans.

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21 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

How does that work? If you spend 3 XP on a title, that's 3 XP you could have spent on your school. What am I not getting?

Sorry. Just realized I had conflated buying something off the school curriculum with buying something for a title. You are correct its the full xp to one or the other. Still 3xp is essentially one shortish adventure.  If there is something good that completes your build there is no reason IMO to wait to grab it.

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5 hours ago, Void Crane said:

Sorry. Just realized I had conflated buying something off the school curriculum with buying something for a title. You are correct its the full xp to one or the other. Still 3xp is essentially one shortish adventure.  If there is something good that completes your build there is no reason IMO to wait to grab it.

It's not a ton of XP, absolutely, but that kind of cuts both ways. I think that in many cases you want to get to SR 2 or 3 asap because it means access to a bunch of significant tech though, and many school abilities only really pick up steam once you get a couple of school ranks under your belt. Tech access through SR can be circumvented via a title if the one you go after gives the applicable privileged access, but there's nu substitute for school rank. Also, investing in skills and rings that are key for your build is likely to get you to SR 2 pretty fast and higher rank techs are going to be unreliable until you've made those investments.

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23 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

"XP allocated to a title does not count toward the character's current school rank (and vice-versa)". P. 305 of the core rulebook.

I fully understand this rule that you have to allocate it in only one curriculum. But it doesn't explicitly mean that this allocation has to be in the same curriculum in which you get privileged access. (But I agree common sense will usually lead you to such a conclusion, without even considering anything else.) Something like what Void Crane suggested has been discussed at least once in the past. My memory might play tricks on me, but I think it was someone suggesting a Kaito could extend the window to buy invocations by allocating some of those invocation purchases to their title.

Edited by Agasha Kanetake

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5 minutes ago, Agasha Kanetake said:

I fully understand this rule that you have to allocate it in only one curriculum. But it doesn't explicitly mean that this allocation has to be in the same curriculum in which you get privileged access. (But I agree common sense will usually lead you to such a conclusion, without even considering anything else.) Something like what Void Crane suggested has been discussed at least once in the past. My memory might play tricks on me, but I think it was someone suggesting a Kaito could extend the window to buy invocations by allocating some of those invocation purchases to their title.

I'm definitely going with the interpretation that if you buy an advancement you only have access to through a title you have to spend the xp towards that title (and same for your school, obviously) myself, but I get that that's kind of a houserule. But my comment was that it's not very effective to invest in a title before getting your school rank to 2-3. I think that remains true either way.

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