Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
UnitOmega

Courts of Stone, a new sourcebook

Recommended Posts

15 minutes ago, MonCalamariAgainstDrunkDriving said:

Maybe title abilities should just be techniques with an RP requirement (that can never be waived), adjusting cost as needed for their power level?

Edit: One possible issue here is that sometimes the curriculum feels like more of a reward than the title ability, if you get access to techniques you don't otherwise have access to.

You probably can discuss with your player and let them choose either the title ability or one of the technique in the curriculum.

As I've said, the "title ability" is no better than a technique. As far as i've seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

've been going super casual about it and just hand out Titles as "rewards". I ditch the whole title curriculum and Xp requirement.
I just redo the titles as: Status Gain + You gain one technique or ability from the curriculum (I either let them choose one in the curriculum or do a small list for them to choose from). In term of "balancing" this is basically giving them 3 free XP. And no, the title ability is never stronger than a technique.

In fairness, remember that the 'Beginner Game' version of the title is pretty much as you describe (which @Alisair Longreach might have used instead) - it's a one-stop drop of abilities and upgrades:

"The PCs each gain the Emerald Magistrate title. As a result of their training, each can gain +1 rank in any Scholar skill, +1 rank in any Social skill, or +1 rank in any Martial Arts skill. They all gain 10 Status. The title also confers the following new abilities:

Voice of Authority: Once per game session when making a Support or Scheme action check using a Social skill (Command, Courtesy, Games, or Performance), you may choose additional targets equal to your glory rank. You cannot choose any additional target with a vigilance higher than the highest among your initial targets.

Harsh Scrutiny: Once per session when performing an investigation, you may suffer 2 strife to count your vigilance as 1 higher."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

In fairness, remember that the 'Beginner Game' version of the title is pretty much as you describe (which @Alisair Longreach might have used instead) - it's a one-stop drop of abilities and upgrades:

"The PCs each gain the Emerald Magistrate title. As a result of their training, each can gain +1 rank in any Scholar skill, +1 rank in any Social skill, or +1 rank in any Martial Arts skill. They all gain 10 Status. The title also confers the following new abilities:

Voice of Authority: Once per game session when making a Support or Scheme action check using a Social skill (Command, Courtesy, Games, or Performance), you may choose additional targets equal to your glory rank. You cannot choose any additional target with a vigilance higher than the highest among your initial targets.

Harsh Scrutiny: Once per session when performing an investigation, you may suffer 2 strife to count your vigilance as 1 higher."

 

 

Yup, that is basically how titles should be designed. (edit: would need to be balanced according to the requirements of the title).

Bonds should work in a similar way. As it is you can spend like unlimited XP in giving yourself "bonds". totally ridiculous, especially when you will see the mechanics of it!
just make it a reward that goes up as the story goes, for very significant long term npc-pc relationships.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Scrivener Spills said:

wait, +1 in any skill.  not, skill you dont have?  so i could get a rank 4 free?

Which is why I dislike such mechanics. In a system with increasing cost, just giving out bonus skillpoints rewards stacking instead of spreading EXP, making characters one-trick-pony caricatures.

I personally think the way titles are done is pretty good. Wearing that title requires you to step up and show that you are worth it (thus spending XP to be a better Emerald Magistrate or whatever) until you are at a level where you can afford going back to your old ways, having adapted to your new position. Its not perfect, but along with Bonds I like how they go new ways here.

In comparison to other RPGs, I prefer it over "advanced classes", "prestige classes" or whatnot as these tend to supercede entirely what your character is/was, and he is now the new thing entirely. In L5R, he is still your old samurai, he just grew into a new role and position in the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

Which is why I dislike such mechanics. In a system with increasing cost, just giving out bonus skillpoints rewards stacking instead of spreading EXP, making characters one-trick-pony caricatures.

I personally think the way titles are done is pretty good. Wearing that title requires you to step up and show that you are worth it (thus spending XP to be a better Emerald Magistrate or whatever) until you are at a level where you can afford going back to your old ways, having adapted to your new position. Its not perfect, but along with Bonds I like how they go new ways here.

In comparison to other RPGs, I prefer it over "advanced classes", "prestige classes" or whatnot as these tend to supercede entirely what your character is/was, and he is now the new thing entirely. In L5R, he is still your old samurai, he just grew into a new role and position in the world.

the day you spend like 24xp to finish the Yoriki title is a sad day indeed. I think you should just refuse the title and aim for more, like emerald magistrate right off the bat ;)
the day you spend 20xp on a bond is almost sadder.

while not totally garbage, the way it is handled is pretty bad. the +X skill from the beginner's game was bad too though.. definitely should not be the reward.

and by giving the title + ability as a reward, your old samurai is even still more your old samurai! and doesn't take a progression halt because he got a title, which is "maybe ok" for very prestigious titles, but lots of them are just too mundane to be worth anything if you require the as much XP as a full school rank.

anyway, we will not know until much later when some groups are higher ranks and got a feel for what is is spending 36xp in a title and 20xp in a bond and be more than one rank behind the guy who just did his school rank.





 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

anyway, we will not know until much later when some groups are higher ranks and got a feel for what is is spending 36xp in a title and 20xp in a bond and be more than one rank behind the guy who just did his school rank.

To an extent that already exists: it's not inherently different to the idea of someone who bought only their school curriculum advances versus someone who took ring ranks, generic techniques and off-curriculum skills.

The former will have their school rank go up at twice the rate of the latter. Which buggers up the conflict rank system but that's a rough guide at the best of times. I'm not sure how much impact it has on relative effectiveness, aside from (generally speaking) the latter character will be less of a cookie-cutter one-trick pony than the latter.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that the game balance of FFGs 15r game is loose and fuzzy just like their Star Wars game. If a party has equal XP it doesn't really matter if a PC for example is School Rank 4 but have no Titles and Ring upgrades vs the PC who is School rank 2 with two completed Titles vs. the PC who also is School rank 2 with no Titles but three Rings at rank 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Alisair Longreach said:

I find that the game balance of FFGs 15r game is loose and fuzzy just like their Star Wars game. If a party has equal XP it doesn't really matter if a PC for example is School Rank 4 but have no Titles and Ring upgrades vs the PC who is School rank 2 with two completed Titles vs. the PC who also is School rank 2 with no Titles but three Rings at rank 4.

True, balance is not that much of a problem. It mostly is all about rings (I think there is a huge difference between ring 2 and 4).

For titles and bonds I think its just that I don't find them fun.. or even rewarding to pursue. Especially bonds which makes me cringe that they requires XP (cost a lot too, and the mechanic is very impactful in the weirdest ways), but also lower end titles like "gunzo" which imo is just a waste of time to have to spend 24+ xp just for that when in my mind the game should revolve around more important things for 24xp.

But, if we see it in the grand scheme of things, the game basically throws all kinds of options everywhere and probably every group will only take the parts they want, or interpret it how they want;

Advantages/Disadvantages is an obvious example. No two group will play it exactly the same way. How spammable? How easy to trigger? It is all unwritten rules that the group needs to "agree to".

Same goes for opportunities. I know I only use a very short list of available options (first half of p.328), and I know I am very generous when it comes to the 2 opps to change the narrative or yhr opp+ to add narrative flavor as per the p.28 details.

But then again, you could decide to play with about 10 opportunity tables for all kinds of situations if your group enjoys that kinds of crunch...

So at the end of the day, not enjoying how titles and bonds are managed is not even something that "breaks" the game. To me, it is just an overly long and tedious progression system that simply doesn't need to exist when it can be just given as narrative/story elements.

I go casual about it, I handle it as rewards, as a set of predetermined, xp free, buff. Your player becomes a Gunzo? Raise the status a bit (doesn't even need to be the full 5), give them one technique or ability. Done deal. I just don't like the the necessity to ditch 24xp in there for such an unimportant thing. But maybe that is because I play campaigns that goes much faster, and I don't have more than one or maybe two sessions for "gunzo" gameplay. Two sessions later a lot of things changed. Sooner than later (rank3+) my players will be high in the foodchain, crossing sword with daimyo and such. Which seems to be the intended rythm as the game if you look at the published adventures (emerald champion after gempukku, killing and oni at rank 2, getting invited to the winter court, possibility to duel toshimoko).

But, if any group finds the titles, bonds, opportunity tables interesting, by all mean go on. Have your players spend 24xp in being a real good gunzo while not increasing rings and school rank. I guess it depends on your group's flow and how close in duties they all are. If a group plays 3-4 sessions of travel and random secondary encounters before arriving at any climax in the story, I can understand.

Titles and bonds as currently handled just don't suit my flow, which is more like a tv show speed with, actually, zero. Yes, zero random encounter unrelated to the main story in an important way. I'm way too old to waste a session playing hack and slash on a few goblins on my way to town.

 

 

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Titles and bonds as currently handled just don't suit my flow, which is more like a tv show speed with, actually, zero. Yes, zero random encounter unrelated to the main story in an important way. I'm way too old to waste a session playing hack and slash on a few goblins on my way to town.

To be honest, I agree. I would generally avoid a random encounter - that's not to say I wouldn't put in a "one episode" or "two episode" sub-plot; especially if it gave a specific character a chance to show off a comparatively obscure skill (depending on the setting, stuff like aesthetics or survival, for example), but I've never been a fan of "Suddenly, Orcs! Kill them because they have fangs and level-appropriate quantities of gold pieces!".

Even if the PCs get set on by random thugs in a sleazy town, the gang or at least their boss is likely to show up again later on in this or a subsequent adventure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

To be honest, I agree. I would generally avoid a random encounter - that's not to say I wouldn't put in a "one episode" or "two episode" sub-plot; especially if it gave a specific character a chance to show off a comparatively obscure skill (depending on the setting, stuff like aesthetics or survival, for example), but I've never been a fan of "Suddenly, Orcs! Kill them because they have fangs and level-appropriate quantities of gold pieces!".

Even if the PCs get set on by random thugs in a sleazy town, the gang or at least their boss is likely to show up again later on in this or a subsequent adventure.

"you notice that there is no chair in this room".

"the peasant smack you with a chair for 2 fatigues! WHAM"

"oh, wait, do you have armor on?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

just finished the palace adventure, the GM felt that no ability off the bat was weird.  he gave us all the harsh scrutiny technique off the bat, and we get the other when we finish the title xp. 

Looking at the curriculum, it really is going to be , to me, a matter of ekeing it out as long as possible to get the kata and special techniques before i've spent enough on skills to close it out. 

 

To clarify though, even if the skills match, you have to choose if purchases go to school OR title?  you can't use towards both?  

Edited by Scrivener Spills

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Scrivener Spills said:

Looking at the curriculum, it really is going to be , to me, a matter of ekeing it out as long as possible to get the kata and special techniques before i've spent enough on skills to close it out. 

 

To clarify though, even if the skills match, you have to choose if purchases go to school OR title?  you can't use towards both?  

yeah, if the title gives you access to thing that you CANNOT take with your school, then it is worth it, for that alone. doubt you're going to ditch 30+ xp in there though... just get the 1 or 2 technique you really want (that you CANNOT take with your school).

you are better to buy a technique out of school curriculum and put 1/2 xp toward school rank than full xp toward a title ability... 1/2 xp toward school rank is still 2xp (instead of 3).

So all the skills in the title curriculum, no reason to take them, just take them out of your school for 1/2 xp toward your school.



and to clarify, the purchase goes to one or the other, not both.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh, didn't realize the title xp rules were in the core book, just found it.  Hmm.   it doesn't say, it says every time you purchase, choose where it goes, but...  imo, an ability you only get to buy because of school or title, should only be able to be applied there, imo.  Otherwise, like you said, I could, as a shugenja, buy all the katas and apply them to school at half as needed to not close off the title access to katas?  

Also, its really weird that rank 1 - 2 katas are listed, and then a rank two kata, open-hand style, as its own item, even though there is no other limitation.  hmm. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Scrivener Spills said:

Ahh, didn't realize the title xp rules were in the core book, just found it.  Hmm.   it doesn't say, it says every time you purchase, choose where it goes, but...  imo, an ability you only get to buy because of school or title, should only be able to be applied there, imo.  Otherwise, like you said, I could, as a shugenja, buy all the katas and apply them to school at half as needed to not close off the title access to katas?  

Also, its really weird that rank 1 - 2 katas are listed, and then a rank two kata, open-hand style, as its own item, even though there is no other limitation.  hmm. 

it is written somewhere that every XP spent in the Title does not count toward your school rank.
so you CANNOT buy a technique that is only available in your Title and put any amount of XP toward your school, it all needs to go toward the title.
thing is, you are better served in getting a technique OUT OF SCHOOL CURRICULUM and get the +2xp toward your school rank, instead of putting 3xp toward a title and 0xp toward your school rank.

so for ALL skills, you should always buy them with your school rank.
and for most techniques, aside the one your school really doesn't allow you access to, you should also buy with school rank.

unless you want the title ability, but to be fair, these things are total garbage (in almost all cases) compared to what you get with upgrading a school rank and opening up access to higher level techniques.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Each time a character purchases an advancement, the character may allocate the XP spent to completing their title (with full value for listed advancements and half value for non-listed advancements, as with a curriculum). XP allocated to a title does not count toward the character’s current school rank (and vice-versa).

Excellent point on skills, although one of the benefits of closing out a title is to then start a new one.  Which makes sense, you can't be given a new title until you've proven yourself in the first one you were given. Agreed, the ability seems a bit, enh, for the xp expenditure to get there. if i were running a game, I would think that i would at least also award some glory and status for completing a title. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Scrivener Spills said:

Excellent point on skills, although one of the benefits of closing out a title is to then start a new one.  Which makes sense, you can't be given a new title until you've proven yourself in the first one you were given. Agreed, the ability seems a bit, enh, for the xp expenditure to get there. if i were running a game, I would think that i would at least also award some glory and status for completing a title. 

I am thinking many people will just houserule in some way or another the titles. Simply not fun as is unless you are trying to do some kind of Munchkin Build with some mechanical shenanigans.

But just getting a bushi-like title for your, well, bushi, is stale and feels punishing to put that much XP toward a small ability.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/8/2019 at 12:46 AM, player3906560 said:

Wayland Games is saying the 26th of July is when they're expecting more stock to arrive, but I don't know if that's additional stock or just to fill their own backlog.

My pre-order is now showing the book in stock at Wayland Games. However the book is not shown 'in stock' in their catalogue. So I guess they only received the pre-ordered quantities, at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got the book, and I was amazed how much Shiro Kitsuki had changed from earlier fluff. Diplomatic center of Dragon clan has changed to hive of inter-dojo rivalry where visitors are rarely admitted. Strange change, since it always made sense to have the courtier-family of isolationist clan host visitors at their castle just outside mountains of main Dragon lands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2019 at 3:21 PM, Kaiju said:

Which is why I dislike such mechanics. In a system with increasing cost, just giving out bonus skillpoints rewards stacking instead of spreading EXP, making characters one-trick-pony caricatures.

I personally think the way titles are done is pretty good. Wearing that title requires you to step up and show that you are worth it (thus spending XP to be a better Emerald Magistrate or whatever) until you are at a level where you can afford going back to your old ways, having adapted to your new position. Its not perfect, but along with Bonds I like how they go new ways here.

In comparison to other RPGs, I prefer it over "advanced classes", "prestige classes" or whatnot as these tend to supercede entirely what your character is/was, and he is now the new thing entirely. In L5R, he is still your old samurai, he just grew into a new role and position in the world.

Backing up to this, we just completed the Palace adventure in my game and became Magistrates.  I used the skill for Rank 3 Theology.  Our Dragon Duelist spent xp to get melee 3, and then used the free skill for 4.  cheese, but yeah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...