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Moving before Clashes

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1 hour ago, T_Kageyasu said:

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.

Aren't there shuji that do exactly this?

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7 hours 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.

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.
 

5th is the first I'm aware of where issuing the challenge is a combat action.

Which makes it a special case.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

5th is the first I'm aware of where issuing the challenge is a combat action.

Which makes it a special case.

that is true.

I watched the interview with one of the designer, Max Brooke I think, and he mentioned "Thunderbolt Fantasy" as one of his inspiration (great show btw, strongly recommend!) and in that show, duels are less.. formal?
I just find that giving a freebie to shugenja by saying they cannot be challenged thru the challenge action such a boon, especially if they can keep raining fire on the enemies.
Hence why I am kind of dividing "ritualized duel" and "clash". I am very reticent in calling Clashes in skirmishes actual "duels". I do agree though, that for Ritualized Duels, the kamis cannot get involved and a Yojimbo will always be chosen to defend a shugenja or courtier.
I guess it depends on how you play the game, but in my game, the courtiers still "do something" during skirmishes. We don't play hack&slash, but yeah, courtiers sometimes find themselves in battles and they either use shuji to command the battle or tilt the opponents, or use a melee/range weapon themselves. If they are immune to the challenge (clash) action, it is a bit weird. And would probably mean that they themselves cannot issue challenges ? It becomes extremely difficult to draw the line. By letting everyone be challenged and/or challenge others, you make the game a bit more fantastic/heroic, but you don't break the system, a shugenja can totally defend himself in a clash (1 round at least) using a spell, and a courtier do have kata or a shuji to deal with the situation, or, their bushi friend can also use a challenge action themselves to "cut in".
edit: worst comes to worst, one round of duel is not that much more lethal than just having the bushi swing a you regularly during the skirmish.

but yet again, it really depends how you and your player play the game. I find allowing clashes to everyone makes for a more "thunderbolt fantasy" style of gameplay. I also find that courtiers and shugenja have reall good tools in this game to handle themselves in combat, or avoiding them altogether by using invocations or social manipulations.
I do put limits though, there will be honor/glory loss if you challenge a pacifist or obviously non-combattant character or a peasant with no martial skills.

It was a fun subject to discuss though.

Edited by Avatar111

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the ritualization (which isn't exactly ahisoric, tho' the L5R ramifications are far more applicable and better enforced) on the field was that inelligible targets could be challenged, but their Yojimbo would take that duel.

The historic reason was for (literally) the head-counting. If you'd been seen fighting a field-duel, and you lived, no one else got to claim to have captured the target. 

Likewise, heads of dead opponents were the major form of dead flesh that was allowed to be touched off the battlefield... so you could present them to your lord.

It was after the head display that you went and purified.

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On 3/10/2019 at 8:15 AM, Franwax said:

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 ;) 

Emerald Empire repeats this a few times as well. It just seems a bit too "because we say so" to me - the actual mechanics don't back this up. There are schools with both the courtier and bushi tags, which would be somewhat unnecessary if everyone's a little bit of a bushi. Some pure courtier schools like the Doji have nothing bushi-like in their curriculum, and one of the courtier schools I'd expect to be more martially inclined than most, the Bayushi, turned out to be less so than the Shosuro in this edition (though we'll get a Bayushi bushi school or title later on, I hope). There's a named courtier npc with zero ranks in the martial skill group in EE and the seasoned courtier in the CRB has no ranks in martial either (this entry also says "courtiers are also samurai, but they serve with words rather than blades") - in comparison, the loyal bushi has artisan 1, scholar 2 and social 1 (as I'd expect from any respectable samurai, no zeroes in any of the mental/cultural pursuits). 

 

On 3/10/2019 at 2:25 PM, 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. 

I have never suggested that artisans should be battling ashigaru in the first place. As you say, non-bushi should in most cases elect to stay out of a fight.

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On 3/10/2019 at 8:15 AM, Franwax said:

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 ;) 

Emerald Empire repeats this a few times as well. It just seems a bit too "because we say so" to me - the actual mechanics don't back this up. There are schools with both the courtier and bushi tags, which would be somewhat unnecessary if everyone's a little bit of a bushi. Some pure courtier schools like the Doji have nothing bushi-like in their curriculum, and one of the courtier schools I'd expect to be more martially inclined than most, the Bayushi, turned out to be less so than the Shosuro in this edition (though we'll get a Bayushi bushi school or title later on, I hope). There's a named courtier npc with zero ranks in the martial skill group in EE and the seasoned courtier in the CRB has no ranks in martial either (this entry also says "courtiers are also samurai, but they serve with words rather than blades") - in comparison, the loyal bushi has artisan 1, scholar 2 and social 1 (as I'd expect from any respectable samurai, no zeroes in any of the mental/cultural pursuits). 

 

On 3/10/2019 at 2:25 PM, 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. 

I have never suggested that artisans should be battling ashigaru in the first place. As you say, non-bushi should in most cases elect to stay out of a fight.

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Posted (edited)

staying out of a fight is all good, no point in throwing a "clash" at someone who's not in the skirmish, basically.

but a "courtier" tag shouldn't make you immune to clashes. you might be worst at melee and kata than a bushi, but you can still train them.
also, you probably have shuji that can become.. quite handy in (or before) a clash.

you cannot just say "because it is a courtier you cannot clash with him/her/it".
you might be able to say "because that person is not participating in the skirmish in no way whatsoever, then challenging him/her/it is not in accordance with bushido".

I still feel that in most cases, simply allowing a clash between everybody (samurai) is just a cleaner answer. In this game it isn't like a shugenja or courtier cannot handle a ONE round clash, it is basically very similar to just getting a regular skirmish hit unless they are able to compromise you (which is a bit of an abuse if you know the composure of the opponent and jump in with a fire opport, but hey, they still have the option of refusing and losing a few glory points... if they sit on 1 or 2 strife point from compromising)
we won't be able to save the design at this point, we just have to make the best we can with it...
and finishing blows are a bit too deadly overall, compared to everything else in the game, the "x2" is nutcase for how easy they are to get, it is basically a guaranteed maim, which make duelling almost impossible if you plan of having your character more than a few sessions with all his limbs.
 

Edited by Avatar111

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1 minute ago, Avatar111 said:

you cannot just say "because it is a courtier you cannot clash with him/her/it".
you might be able to say "because that person is not participating in the skirmish in no way whatsoever, then challenging him/her/it is not in accordance with bushido".

I still feel that in most cases, simply allowing a clash between everybody (samurai) is just a cleaner answer. In this game it isn't like a shugenja or courtier cannot handle a ONE round clash, it is basically very similar to just getting a regular skirmish hit unless they are able to compromise you.
 

That second sentence is exactly what I'm saying. I'm also saying that a courtier doesn't have to be a warrior, and if he isn't then it's to be expected he won't rush into a fight if he doesn't have to.

As for allowing a clash, I'm not saying you can't challenge a non-combattant - you can do what you want, as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences. I'm saying that 1) it should probably cost you honor and glory to do so, 2) the non-combattant refusing shouldn't cost him anything, and 3) a non-combattant getting killed in a "clash" shouldn't cause his allies to suffer more strife than him getting killed in a regular skirmish round.

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1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

I have never suggested that artisans should be battling ashigaru in the first place. As you say, non-bushi should in most cases elect to stay out of a fight.

Then it is not an issue because if you are not in the Conflict Scene then you cannot be targeted for a Clash. 

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2 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Then it is not an issue because if you are not in the Conflict Scene then you cannot be targeted for a Clash. 

A party, among which a pacifist courtier, gets ambushed. A fight ensues. Is the courtier not in the scene?

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21 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

A party, among which a pacifist courtier, gets ambushed. A fight ensues. Is the courtier not in the scene?

is the courtier diving for cover and crying ?
or is he taking his bow out ?

 

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24 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

What if he is? Would that take him out of the scene and/or make him safe from attack?

Yeah, I think it would, if he really doesn't take any offensive action or action to threatened the opponent.

Then again, case by case basis. Though I'd rather take the "can be challenged" opinon by default.

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1 minute ago, Avatar111 said:

Yeah, I think it would, if he really doesn't take any offensive action or action to threatened the opponent.

Then again, case by case basis. Though I'd rather take the "can be challenged" opinon by default.

Well, he's presumably still there. So he'd be out of the scene unless he did something offensive? What about if an opponent wanted to attack him? What if he wanted to do something non-threatening, like compose a poem or draw a picture? What if he wanted to try and run away, and the ambushers don't want to let him? Did he even get an initiative check when combat started? If not, how does that work when he decides to get involved/someone decides to get him involved?

It seems utterly strange to me that someone who is physically present in the middle of a group of fighters would not be part of the same scene as those fighters, just because he's not actively participating in the fight at the time.

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3 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Well, he's presumably still there. So he'd be out of the scene unless he did something offensive? What about if an opponent wanted to attack him? What if he wanted to do something non-threatening, like compose a poem or draw a picture? What if he wanted to try and run away, and the ambushers don't want to let him? Did he even get an initiative check when combat started? If not, how does that work when he decides to get involved/someone decides to get him involved?

It seems utterly strange to me that someone who is physically present in the middle of a group of fighters would not be part of the same scene as those fighters, just because he's not actively participating in the fight at the time.

So what is your call?

Everyone is challengeable, and if they have a yojimbo they can cut in using the challenge action?

Which is as per "raw".

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

So what is your call?

Everyone is challengeable, and if they have a yojimbo they can cut in using the challenge action?

Which is as per "raw".

Everyone is challengeable, yes, although I'd change the glory/honor context from mechanically set to dictated by setting norms and I'd get rid of the strife part (or possibly make everybody suffer strife when an ally is defeated, regardless of whether that was part of a clash or just during the skirmish). You want to challenge an aging invalid or a defenseless child? Go right ahead. It'll cost you a ton of honor and glory, but you can.

Edited by nameless ronin

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5 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

the actual mechanics don't back this up. There are schools with both the courtier and bushi tags, which would be somewhat unnecessary if everyone's a little bit of a bushi

I never said every samurai were “bushi”, nor did I claim mechanical backing to that; only that “fluff wise”, members of the samurai caste bear some expectations to be “warriors”. This is by no means an obligation for all of them to even know how to fight but more a social and cultural expectation. 

I don’t think we disagree on the consequence in terms of who is challengeable and who is considered to be a “combatant” in a scene; I was just pointing out fluff that is repeated at length in the books that could support allowing courtiers to be the target of a challenge action. 

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

Everyone is challengeable, yes, although I'd change the glory/honor context from mechanically set to dictated by setting norms and I'd get rid of the strife part (or possibly make everybody suffer strife when an ally is defeated, regardless of whether that was part of a clash or just during the skirmish). You want to challenge an aging invalid or a defenseless child? Go right ahead. It'll cost you a ton of honor and glory, but you can.

there is no glory/honor gain or loss from clashes (unless you decide to give, impose one).
you do Stake some, but no mention of gaining or losing any. (though I agree with you, you need to consider the gains/loses depending on the situation).

for the strife if you win/decline... dunno, can be fun?

Edited by Avatar111

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Franwax said:

I never said every samurai were “bushi”, nor did I claim mechanical backing to that; only that “fluff wise”, members of the samurai caste bear some expectations to be “warriors”. This is by no means an obligation for all of them to even know how to fight but more a social and cultural expectation. 

I don’t think we disagree on the consequence in terms of who is challengeable and who is considered to be a “combatant” in a scene; I was just pointing out fluff that is repeated at length in the books that could support allowing courtiers to be the target of a challenge action. 

The thing is that everything becomes very vague at this point. By the rules, everybody and anybody can be the target of a challenge action - including courtiers and artisans without martial prowess whatsoever. Still by the rules, if these samurai refuse the challenge they forfeit glory. Glory essentially represents recognition that you perform the duties your lord expects of you to his satisfaction. Does that mean that you, a pacifist artisan with a high glory rank because your art is renowned and brings fame to your lord, are not performing the duties your lord expects of you when you refuse a challenge? That seems harsh. I hope standing up to the attack without defending against it at least counts as not refusing the challenge then.

 

53 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

there is no glory/honor gain or loss from clashes (unless you decide to give, impose one).
you do Stake some, but no mentioned of gaining or losing any. (though I agree with you, you need to ocnsider the gains/loses depending on the situation).

for the strife if you win/decline... dunno, can be fun, I'll check further.

There is a glory loss if you refuse, and the target loses his stake if he makes an Attack or Scheme action before the clash. I think these should be situational measures, not absolute ones. 

Edited by nameless ronin

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7 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

A party, among which a pacifist courtier, gets ambushed. A fight ensues. Is the courtier not in the scene?

Likely. Or at least not involved (no Initiative check, no actions, etc). If he chooses to get involved then he is free game tho.  

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Likely. Or at least not involved (no Initiative check, no actions, etc). If he chooses to get involved then he is free game tho.  

How's that work, when characters by RAW roll initiative before deciding what to do? And what if someone else decides to involve them?

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1 hour ago, nameless ronin said:

How's that work, when characters by RAW roll initiative before deciding what to do? And what if someone else decides to involve them?

Case by case basis. As a GM you have a decent "knowledge" of your player so your NPC should not challenge your courtier player who's basically making it clear he is out of there!

In the case an NPC courtier is in the scene, yeah just say he will not be rolling initiative and will not take part in the conflict before rolling initiative, or he dives for cover before the fight errupts, whatever. As a GM you can narrate such things.

There are no definitive answer. My only point in all of this is that a courtier/shugenja trait should not make you immune to the challenge action in skirmishes if you are throwing fireballs around or shooting everyone with pelting arrow kata.

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