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RMDanks

Rank 2 Kaiu Engineer Auto-Crit?

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Am I reading this right?

Masterful Builder says: once per scene, when making a check to use an item you personally crafted, you may add a number of kept <ring dice> set to * results equal to your school rank.

Kept dice are decided after rolled dice. So, if wielding a weapon they crafted themselves, they can wait until they roll enough successes to hit, then make it an automatic crit.

Might they be the best iajutsu duelists then? Especially when combined with the right distinctions, like Quick Reflexes.

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I don't want to rehash the new dueling mechanics completely again, but I'll make a few comments:

First, there are no iaijutsu duels in the same sense as in previous editions. Even what's called "iaijutsu duels" in this edition in practice almost always comes down to an exchange of blows - not necessarily hits, as only crits are actual hits, but definitely swings. Being the fastest 'on the draw' has very little effect on the outcome of the duel.

Second, Earth stance prevents critical hits based on spending opportunities.

Third, critical hits can have their severity reduced - and you need a severity of 5 or higher to win an iaijutsu duel to first strike/blood.

Winning an iai duel in 5th is rarely done by using opportunities to get a critical hit. Incapacitation or strife infliction to compromise your opponent are the more common ways to achieve victory.

So, is Masterful Builder helpful? Absolutely. Is it more helpful in this context than Way of the Phoenix, Way of the Dragon or even Way of the Lion (just mentioning a few, these are not necessarily the best dueling school abilities either)? That's doubtful to say the least. And in terms of curriculum (picking up Martial Arts [melee]/Fitness/an iaijutsu cut) the Kaiu Engineer school is not the most efficient for increasing school rank by making duel-related advancements.

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23 minutes ago, RMDanks said:

I defer to your experience in the matter.

But, curious, how does Way of the Phoenix help in a duel? Doesn’t it allow you to reduce your allies’ strife?

You're your own ally, so you can reduce your own strife. Reducing strife allows you to fight harder/longer without becoming compromised.

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12 minutes ago, RMDanks said:

So, does that apply to Honest Assessment (Earth Shuji)? 

By the rules as written, literally interpreted, yes. And by the same rules Honest Assessment can be used on literally anyone anywhere, without needing to interact with them or even being able to see or hear them.

At my table: no. 😛 

edit for fairness: by the book, common sense and GM discretion should be applied to shuji (p. 214). So my comment here is definitely meant to be tongue in cheek. ;) 

Edited by nameless ronin

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Devil's Advocate: Being honest with yourself in a moment before attempting something important is likely just as rare as someone being direct with their words. (Maybe...sort of...)

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The common sense/GM discretion thingy matters a lot for shuji. Strictly speaking you can use Honest Assessment multiple times per scene to affect multiple disadvantages of the same character (which makes the opportunity option largely pointless) and you can even try again as often as you want until you succeed (or the scene catches up with you). Definitely one of the sections in the book where GM adjudication makes a big difference. 

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44 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

By the rules as written, literally interpreted, yes. And by the same rules Honest Assessment can be used on literally anyone anywhere, without needing to interact with them or even being able to see or hear them.

At my table: no. 😛 

edit for fairness: by the book, common sense and GM discretion should be applied to shuji (p. 214). So my comment here is definitely meant to be tongue in cheek. ;) 

there are requirements to Scheme actions. p.253.

you need to be able to communicate with the target.

blame it on the awful editing ;) 

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20 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

The common sense/GM discretion thingy matters a lot for shuji. Strictly speaking you can use Honest Assessment multiple times per scene to affect multiple disadvantages of the same character (which makes the opportunity option largely pointless) and you can even try again as often as you want until you succeed (or the scene catches up with you). Definitely one of the sections in the book where GM adjudication makes a big difference. 

you still need to know the disadvantages.

also, yes, you can use it multiple times per scenes, but in an intrigue conflict, time is of the essence (if it is well designed). and if an intrigue "starts" its probably a new scene (and not a continuation of the narrative scene prior to it).

you are becoming more jaded than me :D

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26 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

there are requirements to Scheme actions. p.253.

you need to be able to communicate with the target.

blame it on the awful editing ;) 

Support action (same requirement though). And you can communicate by letter (range of shuji sidebar, p. 215). You can literally write a letter to the Emperor with instructions on when to read it, and thus negate a known disadvantage of his at a critical moment from a thousand miles away by taking five minutes to pen together something open and honest, possibly years in advance and without knowing the exact situation it will be used for. Heck, you could write an entire collection of letters for all your comrades and have them speed-read those at the start of a scene - actually, at the start of every scene. Maybe it's just a really moving haiku. Heck, you can use Honest Assessment posthumously if you prepare for it. And maybe if a letter works shouldn't someone be able to memorize it and recall it at a moment's notice to gain the effect? 

 

24 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

you still need to know the disadvantages.

also, yes, you can use it multiple times per scenes, but in an intrigue conflict, time is of the essence (if it is well designed). and if an intrigue "starts" its probably a new scene (and not a continuation of the narrative scene prior to it).

you are becoming more jaded than me :D

I don't know that I'd call it jaded. I don't like unnecessarily open rules, but if what there is is solid then at least I can make some snap judgement when necessary and move on. I have a bigger issue with mechanics that just don't work properly (hello dueling rules) or that are arbitrary or overly gamey ((dis)advantages for instance). I can certainly live with shuji. 

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25 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Support action (same requirement though). And you can communicate by letter (range of shuji sidebar, p. 215). You can literally write a letter to the Emperor with instructions on when to read it, and thus negate a known disadvantage of his at a critical moment from a thousand miles away by taking five minutes to pen together something open and honest, possibly years in advance and without knowing the exact situation it will be used for. Heck, you could write an entire collection of letters for all your comrades and have them speed-read those at the start of a scene - actually, at the start of every scene. Maybe it's just a really moving haiku. Heck, you can use Honest Assessment posthumously if you prepare for it. And maybe if a letter works shouldn't someone be able to memorize it and recall it at a moment's notice to gain the effect? 

 

I don't know that I'd call it jaded. I don't like unnecessarily open rules, but if what there is is solid then at least I can make some snap judgement when necessary and move on. I have a bigger issue with mechanics that just don't work properly (hello dueling rules) or that are arbitrary or overly gamey ((dis)advantages for instance). I can certainly live with shuji. 

your written letter example is a bit exaggerated, it is at the GM's discretion... I think these should work only in very specific cases that fits the story.

that aside! yes, the whole rule system is not tested and revised enough. lots of stuff can become "gamey". we agree. and the sidebars all over the place and bad editing became a problem more than once "I remember seeing something about this... but WHERE?" is a question that comes up very often.

the rules are also not thought of and simply "thrown" on the paper a lot of the time.

just last game I got a slight bug with the "challenge" action in skirmish. it can be done at range 0-5 but then doesn't specify how both characters get into striking distance of each other. in some encounter designs this can really be WEIRD. like; where does the clash happen ??I need to come up with a way to handle that because my duellist will spam this thing just to move, unhindered, right to the target he wants, all the time (unless I refuse the challenge I guess...) does the GM choose the location of the clash ? how does that thing work ?? when can you make the judgement that the characters cannot reach each others ? when this game allows flying ???

for everything this game does right, it does something amateurish. it feels like a rushed product a bit.

anyway, I still want to play it, it is fun, but i'm slightly ticked off at either the publisher for forcing the deadline or the designers for their incompetency when it comes to details.

Edited by Avatar111

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14 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

"I remember seeing something about this... but WHERE?" is a question that comes up very often.

The index aggravates me. It's terrible, and a proper index is just a matter of someone doing a bit of non-creative work for a few hours.

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I encountered the same thing with Star Wars. The rulings are all over the place, stated so many times in different ways, and each leaving just a little something out, that it’s impossible to find anything.

Took me forever to learn how to play that game.

I wish these mechanics were open source or licensed somehow. A dedicated indie designer would whip them into shape pretty well.

But, same, this game is my new jam. I’m loving it.

Edited by RMDanks

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