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Miwt

Use of 'Lady Doji's Decree' during a duel?

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Lady Doji's Decree (Crane) (Void) [Shuji Rank 2]
Activation: Once per game session as an action, you may make a Courtesy (Void) check targeting a number of characters up to your school rank. The TN of this check is equal to the vigilance of the character with the highest status among your targets. 
Effects: If you succeed, your targets cannot perform Attack actions targeting you. This effect persists for one round, plus additional rounds equal to your bonus successes, or until you perform an Attack action . 

New Opportunities 
Void 
*: Choose one additional target with status lower than your first target per * spent this way. 
Void * *: Your targets also cannot perform Scheme actions targeting you .

Apologies if these are dumb questions or if they has been asked before.

If Doji Ren is in a duel, and has higher initiative than his opponent Bayushi  Kyo, can he activate Lady Doji's Decree and prevent Kyo from trying to stab him?  If he gets 3 bonus successes, does this mean Kyo can't do anything to him for the next three rounds - not even Predict to try to make Ren strife out?  Ren would have ample time to Center himself and figure out the perfect strike.

If Ren strifes out, does Lady Doji's Decree prevent Kyo from making a Finishing Blow?

Is it actually dishonourable for Ren do this?  

 

Second question:

It seems like thematically, this technique can only be used on opponents who can hear and understand the technique user. 

If Ren does it in a room of deaf people, do they suffer the effect?  What if he uses it on a pack of boars (who are able to hear him)?  Do the deaf people stop attacking?  Do the boars?

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It's an action which doesn't specifically bar you from using it in a duel scene, so I don't see why not.

Narratively:

Propriety, grace, and eloquence were of great importance to the founder of the Crane Clan. With a word, she was said to defuse the most dangerous situations. Crane Clan courtiers follow in her footsteps, forcing bystanders to listen with a single striking comment.

Nothing about that strikes me as something you couldn't do to an opponent in a duel - that one pithy comment which undermines their confidence or shakes their certainty in their course of action. 

If you manage it correctly, you can indeed stop them performing attack actions until either the effect expires or you perform an attack action. 

Strike and Predict are both Attack actions (Predict is Scheme as well) and a finishing blow is also an attack action. So, yes. You've basically shut down your opponent until you take your swing.

16 minutes ago, Miwt said:

Is it actually dishonourable for Ren do this?  

I don't see why. You're not pinning them with magic or whatever, just psyching them out, exactly the same as using fire opportunities to cause them to lose composure and offer you an opening. Whilst the other player doesn't get to resist with an active roll, the fact that the TN is equal to their vigilance means they are 'resisting' because a better opponent is harder to do it to. 

 

18 minutes ago, Miwt said:

It seems like thematically, this technique can only be used on opponents who can hear and understand the technique user. 

If Ren does it in a room of deaf people, do they suffer the effect?  What if he uses it on a pack of boars (who are able to hear him)?  Do the deaf people stop attacking?  Do the boars?

This is a GM call based on circumstances. Since it requires the other party to halt and want to consider what's just been said, some sort of communication has to be possible. Deaf people are fine if you have a means to communicate in some way - what matters is the thought-provoking communication, the fact that it's sound is irrelevant (you don't have a 'magic voice'); theoretically it could be a written message conveyed by a messenger in a Mass Battle scene for example, causing one cohort not to attack for an hour or so.

Using it on beasts, on the other hand, is definitely pushing the intent. I guess the whole classic movie scene of a charging guard dog pulling up in front of you, dropping to its belly and rolling over to have its tummy tickled ("Dogs just like me") could be given as an example, but a wounded, rampaging wild boar is a different matter.

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Posted (edited)

We thought about that one a few months ago and the only answer I came up with is that this game is badly designed.

But, feel free to ask their customer support. (Though they might Lady's Doji decree your question)

That is how you do it;

Lady's doji decree, then voluntarily unmask (expose an opening) so the opponent cannot use his finishing blow anymore, use fan the flame the subsequent turns or just earth stance. See the GM flip the table.

Though, honestly, at my table the other duellist just stops the duel and start laughing and say "tell me when you are ready to start again".

Edited by Avatar111

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2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

But, feel free to ask their customer support. (Though they might Lady's Doji decree your question)

Fine. I'm not convinced of the Zen-Like quality of FFG, so I'd wager on @Miwt's vigilance versus their void ring....and at best they just delay it for a few rounds. 🙂

2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Lady's doji decree, then voluntarily unmask (expose an opening) so the opponent cannot use his finishing blow anymore, use fan the flame the subsequent turns or just earth stance. See the GM flip the table.

Depends on the 'makes narrative sense' check (how strictly that is applied will vary on a GM-by-GM basis), but yes, if you can 'waste' your opponent's finishing blow during that period and resent your strife clock, it's an incredibly potent tool if you can rack up 2+ turns of not being attacked or schemed at (trading actions 1-for-1 is less useful, although it is a check and the TN-1 void opportunity is pretty snazzy.

2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Though, honestly, at my table the other duellist just stops the duel and start laughing and say "tell me when you are ready to start again".

"Stopping the duel" is arguably forfeiting, though.

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1 minute ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Depends on the 'makes narrative sense' check (how strictly that is applied will vary on a GM-by-GM basis), but yes, if you can 'waste' your opponent's finishing blow during that period and resent your strife clock, it's an incredibly potent tool if you can rack up 2+ turns of not being attacked or schemed at (trading actions 1-for-1 is less useful, although it is a check and the TN-1 void opportunity is pretty snazzy.

"Stopping the duel" is arguably forfeiting, though.

no way i'm allowing this cheese in my game, despite it being "as per the written rule". it is extremely anti climactic, borderline laughable, and clearly an abuse.
the other character being like "well, you clearly are not ready for the duel, so lets wait until you catch your breath and we will start again after" totally makes sense to me.

you can allow it though, but stuff like that comes up all the time in the game. I take a strong "no cheese approach" (especially if the character unmask by himself just to abuse the finishing blow rule and use the "expose and opening" because it have zero consequence), and my players understand that, otherwise we will just stop playing because if you play this game with rules as written it is absolute trash.

 

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4 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

no way i'm allowing this cheese in my game, despite it being "as per the written rule". it is extremely anti climactic, borderline laughable, and clearly an abuse.

To each their own.

I think it's a pretty apt way of giving a Crane courtier a decent chance in a duel, in a similar way to the Ikoma's school ability to layer you in strife, which is annoying in intrigues but devastating in duels. The crossover of social skills and martial skills is the main reason non-bushi samurai have a decent chance in 'important' duels (to the death or first blood rather than just first strike or incapacitation, where earth-heavy Bushi are likely to dominate)

2 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

especially if the character unmask by himself just to abuse the finishing blow rule and use the "expose and opening" because it have zero consequence

I would agree - I generally don't allow that anyway as a free option. 'Narrative sense' means you need an actual storyline reason to "unmask yourself", not just "I want to do it now whilst I'm not getting stabbed".

Which means realistically, you're 'buying' a turn or two of not being attacked provided you don't attack in turn, no more than that. How much benefit you get from that depends on the character and player, especially since a generally air-heavy crane is not going to be able to run out a strife clock on most opponents.

8 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

the other character being like "well, you clearly are not ready for the duel, so lets wait until you catch your breath and we will start again after" totally makes sense to me.

To me, it's no different from Cutting remark > Fire Sentiment check > Opportunities > Strife > Compromised > Finishing Blow, but instead of a quick 'drumbeat' of saying something that makes your opponent's blade wobble in rage, shame, whatever*, it's saying something to make them think or question themselves and buying a moment to prepare before they come at you. 

 

* Your mother was a hamster and.....you know the rest. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

To each their own.

I think it's a pretty apt way of giving a Crane courtier a decent chance in a duel, in a similar way to the Ikoma's school ability to layer you in strife, which is annoying in intrigues but devastating in duels. The crossover of social skills and martial skills is the main reason non-bushi samurai have a decent chance in 'important' duels (to the death or first blood rather than just first strike or incapacitation, where earth-heavy Bushi are likely to dominate)

I would agree - I generally don't allow that anyway as a free option. 'Narrative sense' means you need an actual storyline reason to "unmask yourself", not just "I want to do it now whilst I'm not getting stabbed".

Which means realistically, you're 'buying' a turn or two of not being attacked provided you don't attack in turn, no more than that. How much benefit you get from that depends on the character and player, especially since a generally air-heavy crane is not going to be able to run out a strife clock on most opponents.

To me, it's no different from Cutting remark > Fire Sentiment check > Opportunities > Strife > Compromised > Finishing Blow, but instead of a quick 'drumbeat' of saying something that makes your opponent's blade wobble in rage, shame, whatever*, it's saying something to make them think or question themselves and buying a moment to prepare before they come at you. 

 

* Your mother was a hamster and.....you know the rest. 

if you disallow the finishing blow abuse by self unmasking, then sure. it works... still pathetic.
the other character have no options though at this point, can't even use a scheme action. so what is he doing? throwing unique actions that the GM doesn't consider as sheme actions just to get opportunities? skipping his turn?
what the *** is he suppose to do to make a check ? Obviously he would fkin stop the duel and be like "yo dawg, this is BS" and it is an NPC so he take the honor loss cause he doesn't give a flyin ***. And if the player says "I win the duel", then a big fkin rank 5 come in and challenge your PC and one shot him chop him in bite size pieces and throw the character sheet into the paper shredder.

and the Ikoma ability is also absolute garbage of design. like most of this game. no point in doing a bushi then, just pick a broken ability like ikoma and build it as a duelist. not like you cant...

anyway, my head is starting to hurt. this game is just a mess and a joke of a design. i think i'll just stop playing instead of complaining about it. no point, it is just TOO broken.

if your players want to force allow the cheese in this game, you will have the most stupid gaming experience ever, as the game isn't well designed enough to be even remotely cheese proof.

Edited by Avatar111

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3 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

the other character have no options though at this point, can't even use a scheme action

Provided the Crane passed a Courtesy [Void] Check, with a TN of your Vigilance (theoretically as low as 1 but normally 2-3), with at least two * in addition to the successes needed to pass. 

Assuming that a character can just do that on spec seems to me a bit over-optimistic, certainly if they're planning on making it last more than a single turn. 

7 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

so what is he doing? throwing unique actions that the GM doesn't consider as shuji just to get opportunities? skipping his turn?

Depends what you have available. Even if you have absolutely nothing else to do, you can always fall back on centre (which is basically 'skip your turn' but might nevertheless leave you with a success/opportunity or explosive success in your kit bag for later). 

If you've got a better composure than the crane (not unlikely) then calming breath or Warriors/Courtiers resolve is an option.

Prepare, if you've not already drawn your blade (normally if you can you'd draw your blade with an Iaijutsu Cut technique to land some fatigue on your opponent and/or pick up a few opportunities).

Unique actions, as you say - you might not be able to use scheme actions but not all shuji are scheme or attack and a unique action is generally neither.

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2 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Provided the Crane passed a Courtesy [Void] Check, with a TN of your Vigilance (theoretically as low as 1 but normally 2-3), with at least two * in addition to the successes needed to pass. 

Assuming that a character can just do that on spec seems to me a bit over-optimistic, certainly if they're planning on making it last more than a single turn. 

Depends what you have available. Even if you have absolutely nothing else to do, you can always fall back on centre (which is basically 'skip your turn' but might nevertheless leave you with a success/opportunity or explosive success in your kit bag for later). 

If you've got a better composure than the crane (not unlikely) then calming breath or Warriors/Courtiers resolve is an option.

Prepare, if you've not already drawn your blade (normally if you can you'd draw your blade with an Iaijutsu Cut technique to land some fatigue on your opponent and/or pick up a few opportunities).

Unique actions, as you say - you might not be able to use scheme actions but not all shuji are scheme or attack and a unique action is generally neither.

i guess if you remove the "one finishing blow attempt" only, then it is fine.
I just can't stand behind the cheese that the technique basically makes you immune to finishing blows.

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6 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I just can't stand behind the cheese that the technique basically makes you immune to finishing blows.

Agreed. And I would probably be quick to stop someone from trying to use it in that fashion.

Fortunately, since it's a void shuji, you can't end up "accidentally" taking enough strife to trigger a finishing blow on the shuji check itself.

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

The crossover of social skills and martial skills is the main reason non-bushi samurai have a decent chance in 'important' duels (to the death or first blood rather than just first strike or incapacitation, where earth-heavy Bushi are likely to dominate)

Which begs the question if they should. Having a champion fight for them is the normal, socially-approved, way non-bushi samurai have a decent chance in a duel.

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6 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Which begs the question if they should. Having a champion fight for them is the normal, socially-approved, way non-bushi samurai have a decent chance in a duel.

This. No need to find ways for Courtiers to be competitive duelists - they have no business fighting a duel themselves in the first place! And if they have no other choice, it is normal that things should be harder for them against someone whose very job description is to cut down people on demand 😛

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Thanks for the in depth discussion! I think that if one of my players tried this because he was a flimsy courtier who couldn't get a yojimbo to step up for him, and didn't want to be chopped up by a bushi who outmatched him martially, I'd allow it once for a creative idea... But if it looked like he was going to make a habit of it, I'd put a stop to it pretty hard. I don't really want the duel paradigm in my Rokugan to devolve into courtiers decreeing each other back and forth, and I am sure that in-game the masters at the Kakita Academy would have some issue with their lovely sport getting loopholed into a really boring activity. 

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2 hours ago, Miwt said:

Thanks for the in depth discussion! I think that if one of my players tried this because he was a flimsy courtier who couldn't get a yojimbo to step up for him, and didn't want to be chopped up by a bushi who outmatched him martially, I'd allow it once for a creative idea... But if it looked like he was going to make a habit of it, I'd put a stop to it pretty hard. I don't really want the duel paradigm in my Rokugan to devolve into courtiers decreeing each other back and forth, and I am sure that in-game the masters at the Kakita Academy would have some issue with their lovely sport getting loopholed into a really boring activity. 

Kakita are bad at duelling, they need to use all the tricks they can.

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4 hours ago, Miwt said:

Thanks for the in depth discussion! I think that if one of my players tried this because he was a flimsy courtier who couldn't get a yojimbo to step up for him, and didn't want to be chopped up by a bushi who outmatched him martially, I'd allow it once for a creative idea... But if it looked like he was going to make a habit of it, I'd put a stop to it pretty hard. I don't really want the duel paradigm in my Rokugan to devolve into courtiers decreeing each other back and forth, and I am sure that in-game the masters at the Kakita Academy would have some issue with their lovely sport getting loopholed into a really boring activity. 

I know 5th ed hasn't quite explained all the social rules for honor duels, but the challenged party has the right to decide the time and place and that time can be up to a year after the challenge. If a courtier knows he might have trouble finding a suitable champion right away, he can simply take his time. 

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8 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I know 5th ed hasn't quite explained all the social rules for honor duels, but the challenged party has the right to decide the time and place and that time can be up to a year after the challenge. If a courtier knows he might have trouble finding a suitable champion right away, he can simply take his time. 

There's also the issue of needing one's Lord's permission outside of the battlefield.

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