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Avatar111

Moving before Clashes

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6 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Yeah, if you challenge a foe with higher glory you gain glory.

My mind a actually got made up along the discussion.

As weird as it sound I didn't have a precise answer.. Nor an answer that I was happy with. Now I do! I think it is both fun, clear and balanced.

If your character totally cannot fight because he is a talker or whatever else, then he wouldn't find himself acting aggresively in a skirmish.

Why does the bushi should be the only "target" ?

My evil bad guy is a shugenja, and he challenge whomever he wants. Cast lightning bolts on then.

I probably run my game more like l5r the card game, or thunderbolt fantasy (the show) than real feudal japan. Priests have spells! Monks can kick down trees.

If you don't want or can't fight, you won't be in the skirmish anyway. You will be a "non combattant". Otherwise, all good.

A clash is only one round anyway, not much worst than just taking 1 attack in a skirmish.

Everybody fighting is fair game to attack. Not everybody fighting is fair game for a clash. IMO anyway.

That said, I don't think it's quite right to look at a clash as only one round. Aside from it possibly going longer to begin with, it allows a challenger to effectively hamper an opponent's ability to influence the fight, likely for more than one round (one of the sidebars goes into this). Tactically clashes can make a big difference, much bigger than merely getting someone to attack you instead of someone else.

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On 3/4/2019 at 8:37 AM, nameless ronin said:

This is a pretty common situation in movies with mass combat: the protagonist and the antagonist lock eyes across the battlefield, it's clear they're going to settle this, but they still fight off others as they make their way towards one another.  

Oh sure, let them hack away at the unfortunate minions that happen to trod in their war path. It's an adversary that should cause a loss of honor to their comrade, not a nameless ashigaru.

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40 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Everybody fighting is fair game to attack. Not everybody fighting is fair game for a clash. IMO anyway.

That said, I don't think it's quite right to look at a clash as only one round. Aside from it possibly going longer to begin with, it allows a challenger to effectively hamper an opponent's ability to influence the fight, likely for more than one round (one of the sidebars goes into this). Tactically clashes can make a big difference, much bigger than merely getting someone to attack you instead of someone else.

Honestly, in a skirmish, if the main bushi is there challenging minions... Lol.

Thats how it plays out, your main (strongest fighter) character challenge a strong character to take him out of the skirmish.

That is what the action is intended for. It is the "taunt" or "get agro" action of traditional fantasy rpg.

So challenge away, if you think you have the balls. It is a high risk high reward maneuvre.

Can a shugenja challenge a bushi and then cast a lighning bolt? Yes.

So there you go, you got your answer :)

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One point if fluff that might be of interest is that all samurai, regardless of their “job”, are supposed to be warriors in the service of their clan. This is a martial feudal society. Some may be more or less inclined to wielding big swords, but if they are taking an active role on the battlefield, they are most certainly combatants. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

Honestly, in a skirmish, if the main bushi is there challenging minions... Lol.

Thats how it plays out, your main (strongest fighter) character challenge a strong character to take him out of the skirmish.

That is what the action is intended for. It is the "taunt" or "get agro" action of traditional fantasy rpg.

So challenge away, if you think you have the balls. It is a high risk high reward maneuvre.

Can a shugenja challenge a bushi and then cast a lighning bolt? Yes.

So there you go, you got your answer :)

In a formal duel, certainly one to settle a matter of honor, the use of magic is not allowed. The whole premisse is that the most righteous duelist wins, so invoking the help of the kami is an absolute no-no. Granted, a battlefield skirmish is not the setting for a fomal duel but nonetheless if you're required to stake both honor and glory to be able to issue a challenge it seems to me that getting the kami involved is still a major faux pas. So can you? Sure. Will there be consequences? Magic eight ball says: signs point to yes. 

 

1 hour ago, Franwax said:

One point if fluff that might be of interest is that all samurai, regardless of their “job”, are supposed to be warriors in the service of their clan. This is a martial feudal society. Some may be more or less inclined to wielding big swords, but if they are taking an active role on the battlefield, they are most certainly combatants. 

Not quite true. Courtiers are warriors only on the "battlefield" of the court. Shugenja are priests first and foremost, and most of them are pacifists. Artisans are not expected to fight unless they took up martial training next to their artistic education. Yes, the Emerald Empire is a fairly martial society. No, that does not make everyone a warrior.

 

Side question: if you decline a challenge you must forfeit glory and all your allies with lower glory than you suffer strife - do you compare your glory to your allies' before or after forfeiting?

Edited by nameless ronin

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Yes, the Emerald Empire is a fairly martial society. No, that does not make everyone a warrior

There’s actually ample suggestion that they are, Lore wise. Wearing a wakizashi is a symbol of one’s station as a samurai in that samurai are broadly speaking the warrior caste. It is very theoretical and symbolic of course, and this has evolved over the centuries into various ways to serve one’s lord (in the courts or on the battlefield), but even courtiers are expected to lay down their lives in the line of duty. Again, there is theory and practice..

side answer: I’d consider the glory before the decrease 

Edited by Franwax

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25 minutes ago, Franwax said:

There’s actually ample suggestion that they are, Lore wise. Wearing a wakizashi is a symbol of one’s station as a samurai in that samurai are broadly speaking the warrior caste.

I'm really not sure what that ample suggestion would be, to be honest. The wakizashi is the symbol of the samurai as a social caste as well as the "soul" of the bearer, to be used for seppuku if it came to that. The symbol of the samurai as warriors is the katana.

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19 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

I'm really not sure what that ample suggestion would be, to be honest. The wakizashi is the symbol of the samurai as a social caste as well as the "soul" of the bearer, to be used for seppuku if it came to that. The symbol of the samurai as warriors is the katana.

Just limiting myself to the intro of this edition’s corebook: page 7 equates the code of Bushido to the “way of the warrior” (which it is, literally); page 9 reads at one point “the way of the samurai is the way of the warrior”... I mean, it’s a recurring theme: samurai are warriors at heart. Some take this meaning less literally than others, but if you meet one on a battlefield, you’d be forgiven to assume they’re here to fight ;) 

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Forgive the sharp juxtaposition back to the topic of movement in battle, but it would seem that this game asks the players for more fluidity in handling the transition between combat scenarios.

A mass battle, the rounds of which can take hours, feature epic momentary clashes or duels interspersed during the ongoing conflict. Combatants don't just teleport all over the battlefield (but it might look that way if you're only interested in snapshots). I think the same tempo could be effective for running clashes and skirmishes, or even intrigue scenes as long as everyone at the table is fine with the pacing of events. I think the game might excel at staying in cinematic mode, rather than rolling dice for the minutiae between scenes of interest. Granted the minutiae is vitally important if it determines whether your character loses an arm to an oni, but not so important if it kills the momentum of the game describing rounds of movement getting to an opponent you just challenged from across the battlefield.

As always, it's up to the GM to set the pace, and know that it's ok to jump to the good parts.

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7 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Not quite true. Courtiers are warriors only on the "battlefield" of the court. Shugenja are priests first and foremost, and most of them are pacifists. Artisans are not expected to fight unless they took up martial training next to their artistic education. Yes, the Emerald Empire is a fairly martial society. No, that does not make everyone a warrior.

1

I'm fairly sure that battling ashigaru but walking away from the fight when the bushi shows up because you are supposed to be a peaceful artisan is considered BS even by the admittedly high Rokugani standards. Here note that I'm not 100% certain about this, because Rokugan can be a very weird place, but getting actively involved in a fight to the point where you are an eligible target for a Clash should be a warrior thing and not a courtier/priest/artisan thing. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

I'm fairly sure that battling ashigaru but walking away from the fight when the bushi shows up because you are supposed to be a peaceful artisan is considered BS even by the admittedly high Rokugani standards. Here note that I'm not 100% certain about this, because Rokugan can be a very weird place, but getting actively involved in a fight to the point where you are an eligible target for a Clash should be a warrior thing and not a courtier/priest/artisan thing.  

Good point, there should probably be more emphasis on the importance of sizing up enemies both martially and politically in this game. Sure, if an artisan wields a sword and dons armor they shouldn't claim to be a non-combatant when Hida or Matsu show up... but then again, would Hida or Matsu debase themselves by quarreling with an unworthy combatant?

"Agasha san, did you misplaced your paint brush this morning? I believe I saw one safely to the side of this battlefield"

Edited by T_Kageyasu
missing snark

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Posted (edited)

I don't know how the "priest" would not be getting actively involved in the skirmish when more than half the spells in the books are meant to kill people :D
He can even summon fire katana for *** sake!!

But hey, you play your Rokugan like you want, I am totally for; you are in the skirmish and you actively beat up people ? you are a potential target for a challenge. and everybody can also throw those challenge, a shugenja can challenge a bushi.
there are no "rules" in a clash, you can have a 2 handed axe, you can have a plate armor, you can have spells or shuji; whatever.

and winning a clash, doesn't give anything aside strifing the opposing side!
so all honor/glory gains or loses are strictly based upon the conception of the bushido tennets; if you start throwing challenges at a non-combattant with his head between his leg during a skirmish; it is an honor/glory loss.
but if the courtier is on the field, throwing shujis to command the fight, and shooting arrows left and right, dang right hes going to get challenged to a clash.

edit: the instant someone actively starts to participate in a skirmish/mass battle, be it commanding from back line, shooting arrows, throwing metero showers or what not; it is fair game to challenge them to a clash.

you guys clearly don't understand the power of shugenjas in this game, if they are "immune" to being challenged on top of it ? WHY ?
the Iuchi shugenja basically have ranks in MARTIAL weapon as much as Kakita at character's creation!

anyway, yo do you.

Edited by Avatar111

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

Good point, there should probably be more emphasis on the importance of sizing up enemies both martially and politically in this game. Sure, if an artisan wields a sword and dons armor they shouldn't claim to be a non-combatant when Hida or Matsu show up... but then again, would Hida or Matsu debase themselves by quarreling with an unworthy combatant?

The Hida already murderise goblins, which are lower in the scale than anything not of Jigoku, so "bashing the artisan who thinks he can fight" in the face until their teeth are in the back of their head isn't an issue. Samurai kill peasantry all the time. They wouldn't debase themselves into CHALLENGING them, because that would be saying that the artisan is their equal, but they have no issue murderising them. That's not a tale they'll be recounting, of course, because artisans aren't real challenges. If the artisan turns out to be a real challenge they CERTAINLY aren't recounting it, because that would be basically saying "I had trouble killing an artisan" and they'd never hear the end of it. That's disadvantage material right there.

Edited by JBento

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1 minute ago, JBento said:

The Hida already murderise goblins, which are lower in the scale than anything not of Jigoku, so "bashing the artisan who thinks he can fight" in the face until their teeth are in the back of their head isn't an issue. Samurai kill peasantry all the time. They wouldn't debase themselves into CHALLENGING them, because that would be saying that the artisan is their equal, but they have no issue murderising them.

oh sure, challenging a "peasant" is a show of weakness.

we are talking about shugenja with fireballs and courtier with combat shuji and bows.

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basically, to limit the challenge action to targeting "bushi" is an absolute misconception. L5R never had this restriction. Nor in the card game, nor in the RPG.

sure, for a ritualized duel, with the blade, Crane style, in a court, to prove a point, you can only use the katana and robes.
but we are talking about a clash in the middle of a skirmish that have absolutely nothing at stake and is basically just a show of strenght between 2 heroes.

the courtier is totally allowed to "shuji his way out of it" and the shugenja is totally allowed to "summon a fire katana" and the crab is totally allowed to have his "tetsubo and plate armor" and the mantis is totally allowed to have his bow in a clash.
 

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2 minutes ago, JBento said:

The Hida already murderise goblins, which are lower in the scale than anything not of Jigoku, so "bashing the artisan who thinks he can fight" in the face until their teeth are in the back of their head isn't an issue. Samurai kill peasantry all the time. They wouldn't debase themselves into CHALLENGING them, because that would be saying that the artisan is their equal, but they have no issue murderising them.

Yes, this is more a question of honor and glory than anything else. There's no glory to be found in killing peasants or goblins (depending on their effective numbers), or bashing an artisan to pulp. An honorable samurai would let an inferior opponent retreat, but stand up to them if they persisted.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

oh sure, challenging a "peasant" is a show of weakness.

we are talking about shugenja with fireballs and courtier with combat shuji and bows.

If you're an active participant in the confrontation then you can certainly be challenged.

If the shugenja has a yojimbo, then the challenge probably defaults to the yojimbo if the shugenja accepts. Note that the shugenja is supposed to not do anything (or have anything done to them) while the challenge is underway, and if the yojimbo gets killed the shugenja is supposed to withdraw from the fight - the yojimbo takes their place in the challenge, but they're basically an extension of the shugenja.

If the courtier is shooting people in the face, they're basically a bushi, and they can get challenged as a bushi. If they're shuji'ing around, then they're enemy leaders and can be challenged, though in that case they can probably defer the challenge to their bodyguard, like a shugenja.

 

Note that if the courtier is LITERALLY "shuji'ing his way out of it", as in, the only thing they've done is use shuji to not get ganked and go away, challenging them is a no-no as far as H/G goes.

Edited by JBento

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, JBento said:

If you're an active participant in the confrontation then you can certainly be challenged.

If the shugenja has a yojimbo, then the challenge probably defaults to the yojimbo if the shugenja accepts. Note that the shugenja is supposed to not do anything (or have anything done to them) while the challenge is underway, and if the yojimbo gets killed the shugenja is supposed to withdraw from the fight - the yojimbo takes their place in the challenge, but they're basically an extension of the shugenja.

If the courtier is shooting people in the face, they're basically a bushi, and they can get challenged as a bushi. If they're shuji'ing around, then they're enemy leaders and can be challenged, though in that case they can probably defer the challenge to their bodyguard, like a shugenja.

exactly.

sure, you can have a "yojimbo". an old bushi general probably can have a yojimbo too at this point. tactically, why would he accept to be challenged by a low rank scorpion who might try to poison him?
so "risks" are not worth to take.
in a CLASH a yojimbo is represented by the "interrupting a clash" action, which a "bodyguard" can take.

obviously, in a ritualized duel, with something at stake, then the challenged person is expected to suffer the same fate as the challenge dictated; to the death, or to prove a point etc.
but a CLASH in the middle of a skirmish doesn't have anything at stake, which is a huge difference in concept.

Edited by Avatar111

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6 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

basically, to limit the challenge action to targeting "bushi" is an absolute misconception. L5R never had this restriction. Nor in the card game, nor in the RPG.

I agree, but think of battles in L5R more akin to chess where any pawn can challenge a bishop, and if the knight steps in to silence the threat there might be a small honor loss, but losing the game is far worse for everyone.

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3 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

exactly.

sure, you can have a "yojimbo". an old bushi general probably can have a yojimbo too at this point. tactically, why would he accept to be challenged by a low rank scorpion who might try to poison him?
so "risks" are not worth to take.
in a CLASH a yojimbo is represented by the "interrupting a clash" action, which a "bodyguard" can take.

obviously, in a ritualized duel, with something at stake, then the challenged person is expected to suffer the same fate as the challenge dictated; to the death, or to prove a point etc.
but a CLASH in the middle of a skirmish doesn't have anything at stake, which is a huge difference in concept.

There's ALWAYS something at stake - H/G are very big deals. Refusing a challenge because "fighting is risky" fails Courage and (probably) Honour - you've already set yourself up as a combatant by being, well, a combatant, so now you can't weasel out without being, well, a weasel.

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2 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

I agree, but think of battles in L5R more akin to chess where any pawn can challenge a bishop, and if the knight steps in to silence the threat there might be a small honor loss, but losing the game is far worse for everyone.

It's actually worse than "losing the game" - if you start saying "the rules of the game don't matter" you're screwed if you get caught. And if you're a shugenja or a monk, you are, by definition, always caught, because the kami and the universe are always watching.

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24 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

Good point, there should probably be more emphasis on the importance of sizing up enemies both martially and politically in this game. Sure, if an artisan wields a sword and dons armor they shouldn't claim to be a non-combatant when Hida or Matsu show up... but then again, would Hida or Matsu debase themselves by quarreling with an unworthy combatant?

Anyone who is up to fight the Hida or Matsu by sticking around them IS a worthy combatant by the merit of actually sticking around. I reckon it is a Courtesy thing: even the lowliest Ashigaru is a warrior, so they deserve that much respect. 

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Posted (edited)

there is a big difference between a ritualized duel with something at stake, rules, jury... and a "clash" that have no rule, nothing at stake except winning the skirmish/war, no rules for gear and fighting style and spells aside honor and that basically can be stopped by either side after 1 round.

we need to differentiate both things. one is a "honor duel" between 2 souls (so no kami involved there!) the other is merely a "clash in a skirmish" that can have hundreds of different situations (could be two archers challenging each other from range 5 away,,,and shooting arrows)

Edited by Avatar111

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Anyone who is up to fight the Hida or Matsu by sticking around them IS a worthy combatant by the merit of actually sticking around. I reckon it is a Courtesy thing: even the lowliest Ashigaru is a warrior, so they deserve that much respect. 

Certainly, and their hubris of combat superiority might lead to their downfall at the hands of a nameless farmer. In this game anyone can gank anyone, but status should matter. To my point, it would be nice if there was a quick way of assessing threats between combatants (politically, socially, pugilistically) that contributed to gains and losses of honor and glory. Maybe the average difference in status is staked by the challenger, which is converted into gains or losses of glory if victorious. So high status combatants would never formally challenge lessers (without loss) but have no problems with less formally hacking them to pieces during the course of battle. They might answer challenges, but not gain anything for it, aside from proving themselves.

Edited by T_Kageyasu
clarity

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, T_Kageyasu said:

To my point, it would be nice if there was a quick way of assessing threats between combatants (politically, socially, pugilistically) that contributed to gains and losses of honor and glory. 

 

Oddly enough, in the Beta, there was an Assessment Stage instead of a basic initiative check at the start of each combat that served exactly this purpose. No idea why it met the cutting floor, it was a pretty neat feature... 

Edited by AtoMaki

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