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Akodo Gitsu

Focus Stat?

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Well it's mostly initiative, but Initiative is a pretty big deal: if you hit first (especially if you can draw and hit in round one), you're ahead of your opponent. High Fire also helps with Endurance, so you're not too badly placed in the race to incapacitation. There is also a double initiative effect in duels where Focus is not only your base initiative score, but also the max Strife you can bid during staredown to increase that same initiative.

Focus is also sometimes used as a cumulative TN (in some intrigue objectives or mass battle objectives that require getting momentum points to match the target's focus attribute), but that's usually relevant for NPC... though if your PC ends up being a commander of a cohort in a mass battle, they will be more difficult to draw out or the likes.

I can imagine that the player feels frustrated at having - probably - lower composure (Air does not come into play in Composure and Endurance, so starting with 3 due to Clan/School selection makes the start of the game a bit harder). I imagine the character has Earth 2 at least? Just note that this should smooth over with progression - just 6 xp to buy a Ring at rank 2. Characters with a Void increase also have a similar issue. One piece of advice is just to play to your strength in the meantime: Air stance is actually pretty good early on, when requiring one extra success is a big deal. There are some great Shuji and opportunities uses in social situations (finding out about demeanor, strife level, advantages/disadvantages of your enemies...) and in combat situations (adding a kept die with opportunity on your next check is always pretty cool). Early katas are unimpressive though.

So Air 3 is not always easy to start with, but it does have its uses and it's still better than trying Void 3 at creation 😛

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exactly, Air 3 or Void 3 is starting the game on "hard mode" because it leaves you with low composure, endurance or both, if you start with Air 3 and Void 3!

after a few games it will smooth out, but early on, it is like playing a level 1 wizard in D&D.

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On 2/28/2019 at 5:35 PM, Akodo Gitsu said:

So i'm running a game and my crane player feels underpowered. He has high focus stat (3air/3fire) and I was wondering if focus affects anything other than just initiative. 

TMK Focus is just for initiative. Going first is sexy, especially in duels.

But there is a "Cost of Opportunity" for setting yourself up with an early advantage here. By being great at initiative I'm guessing that their Composure is probably hurting...that's a big deal and I assume this is why they feel underpowered. Being forced to unmask or eat a critical hit mid-scene usually sucks. The solution is build up their Earth and Water rings and/or choose techs that allow them to regain Composure. Is this your players grievance? Or is it something else that is bothering them?

As Franwax and Avatar noted, these are not usually the preferred rings (to be set at 3) at character creation. But there are also some excellent shuji for air and fire. The character should have the option to do some neat stuff...

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Fire 3 is ok really.. easy to leverage in agressive or passions play style, good opportunities and really cool Shuji (Fanning the Flames, Truth burns through lies...). And you’ll want a decent fire ring at rank 3 if you’re a bushi, if only for Heart piercing strike. But it’s easier with Earth or Water 3 as a second top ring. The difficulty really is with Air at first. 

In the long term, Air becomes very good even outside of social interactions: Thunderclap Strike is kickass af.. 

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Focus is used as a TN occasionally (when the character is expecting some action and watching for it).

EG: trying to pass off the poison whilst being searched.
Waiting for the suspected assassin - he's got to beat your focus instead of your vigilance... but only if the assassin is whom you're watching.
Poisoning your blade during a duel.

Focus is also used as a default for social extended checks needed momentum, but that's largely NPCs.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2019 at 9:57 PM, AK_Aramis said:

Focus is used as a TN occasionally (when the character is expecting some action and watching for it).

EG: trying to pass off the poison whilst being searched.
Waiting for the suspected assassin - he's got to beat your focus instead of your vigilance... but only if the assassin is whom you're watching.
Poisoning your blade during a duel.

Focus is also used as a default for social extended checks needed momentum, but that's largely NPCs.

 

True, but Air also contributes to vigilance, too, so high Air characters also tend to be high Vigilance. But yes, the other use for both initiative stats is to set the TN for some checks targeting you.

High focus and vigilance makes you a generally unappealing target for most checks in intrigue or narrative scenes unless your adversary can compromise you.

Focus is generally a TN for an opponent trying to pull a fast one on you. 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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59 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Focus is generally a TN for an opponent trying to pull a fast one on you

That would be more Vigilance, right? Focus, rather than a TN for a single roll, should be a target number for momentum points to reach over the course of several actions/rounds. As in the examples of Intrigue objectives or mass battle objectives.  Given the numbers you see in typical Focus stats, this seems more appropriate. 

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Thanks for all the replies! 

For reference he has Air3/Fire3/Earth2/Water1/Void1 (Composure6/Endurance10/Focus6/Vigilance2)

He's getting more of the hang of his character. He rocks duels. He is just fragile in skirmish. (I use the "only swords/bows and traveling clothes during peace time" rule)

We play a very true to form game where wearing armor into a court scene is generally ill-advised.

I also don't use the mass battles but instead do a "zoomed-in skirmish" that represents their immediate surroundings in the larger battle. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 10:06 PM, Void Crane said:

TMK Focus is just for initiative. Going first is sexy, especially in duels.

But there is a "Cost of Opportunity" for setting yourself up with an early advantage here. By being great at initiative I'm guessing that their Composure is probably hurting...that's a big deal and I assume this is why they feel underpowered. Being forced to unmask or eat a critical hit mid-scene usually sucks. The solution is build up their Earth and Water rings and/or choose techs that allow them to regain Composure. Is this your players grievance? Or is it something else that is bothering them?

As Franwax and Avatar noted, these are not usually the preferred rings (to be set at 3) at character creation. But there are also some excellent shuji for air and fire. The character should have the option to do some neat stuff...

Yeah the low composure is his main complaint

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Akodo Gitsu said:

Yeah the low composure is his main complaint

He cannot win duels with 6 composure. Lets be honest.

My Kakita player had the same stats, and his first XP gain went directly in water ring. (DO IT, 8 composure and water 2 is a bare minimum to handle skirmishes(mobility and composure) and duels(composure)

Also, Kakita start with only 1 in melee, which is atrocious. This is your next necessary XP spending.

But, Kakita is a slow burn, use him more as a weak social/bushi hybrid character for the 1st and early second rank with shuji like Cadence which are fun and a good array of social skills. And don't do deadly duels, just do bokken duels or use the challenge action at the right time in skirmishes to finish opponents (target low initiative or low composure characters)

He will start to become relevant during rank 2 with thunderclap, crossing cut, and a few melee increases.

He becomes absolutely deadly at rank 3 when he gets (and he will take it) heartpiercing strike.

Edited by Avatar111

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