Jump to content
Masakiyo

Roleplaying vs. Roll Playing

Recommended Posts

  I've run the current edition for a group of 4 (in addition to some GMPC's, since I never actually get to play l5r)

  Honestly, don't over-think it.  The bolded portions are actual rules of the game, not just good Game-mastering or whatever.

   Remember that narration always comes before dice rolls in this game.  The players always chooses what stance/ring they're going to use and often they even have a choice of skills, but before they get their dice-pool together, they are supposed to narrate how they are using their ring and how the skill actually applies.  (so no role-playing means no dice-pool) The GM decides if their narration is appropriate and how it effects the TN.  In essence, the ring/skill is already a result of roleplaying, rather than being required for role-playing.  One could argue that in this game, poor role-playing can get in the way of mechanics.  Where the scene "slows down", it's more likely a result of the player/gm knowing the mechanics and trying to figure out how to narrate things to get the mechanics they desire, as opposed to knowing how to narrate things and trying to find the mechanics to make it work.  If things seem "too mechanical", it's probably because the GM isn't really enforcing the rules..  However a GM should also try to help the players tell the story of their characters and some leniency must be allowed.. finding the balance is possibly the hardest part of the game.

  Opportunities are easy.  You can use them to add details to the story.. and they are pretty well open to interpretation after that. As I've told @Avatar111 in the past, I believe that situations in which "Opportunities are better than success" are far more rare than most people realize, and are generally the result of the GM under-emphasizing success. We talked about 2 examples.. one in combat and one in social conflicts.  Many uses of opportunity in combat require a successful attack, but one use that doesn't is grappling/snaring. Using grappling/snaring, you can use several opportunities to give your opponent the "immobile" condition, but the only things "Immobile" does is make it so your target can't use move actions and can't switch stances.  This condition can't actually resolve a conflict.  It doesn't even make your opponent stop fighting for a turn.. and it only lasts one turn.  On the other hand, getting successes to incapacitate your opponent effectively takes them out of the fight and, if they're the only opponent, ends the conflict at least for the scene. In social situations, "fanning the flames" has similar issues.  It has interesting effects which are temporary, unpredictable, and don't actually end the conflict, but might draw it out. In actually resolving conflicts, success is king..  if success didn't make a meaningful difference to begin with, then the roll never should have been allowed. No roll means no opportunities so success/failure must matter in order to even have the chance for opportunities.

Finally (for now) Strife doesn't just come and go based on die-rolls..  it's pretty much what courtiers are based on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

  I've run the current edition for a group of 4 (in addition to some GMPC's, since I never actually get to play l5r)

  Honestly, don't over-think it.  The bolded portions are actual rules of the game, not just good Game-mastering or whatever.

   Remember that narration always comes before dice rolls in this game.  The players always chooses what stance/ring they're going to use and often they even have a choice of skills, but before they get their dice-pool together, they are supposed to narrate how they are using their ring and how the skill actually applies.  (so no role-playing means no dice-pool) The GM decides if their narration is appropriate and how it effects the TN.  In essence, the ring/skill is already a result of roleplaying, rather than being required for role-playing.  One could argue that in this game, poor role-playing can get in the way of mechanics.  Where the scene "slows down", it's more likely a result of the player/gm knowing the mechanics and trying to figure out how to narrate things to get the mechanics they desire, as opposed to knowing how to narrate things and trying to find the mechanics to make it work.  If things seem "too mechanical", it's probably because the GM isn't really enforcing the rules..  However a GM should also try to help the players tell the story of their characters and some leniency must be allowed.. finding the balance is possibly the hardest part of the game.

  Opportunities are easy.  You can use them to add details to the story.. and they are pretty well open to interpretation after that. As I've told @Avatar111 in the past, I believe that situations in which "Opportunities are better than success" are far more rare than most people realize, and are generally the result of the GM under-emphasizing success. We talked about 2 examples.. one in combat and one in social conflicts.  Many uses of opportunity in combat require a successful attack, but one use that doesn't is grappling/snaring. Using grappling/snaring, you can use several opportunities to give your opponent the "immobile" condition, but the only things "Immobile" does is make it so your target can't use move actions and can't switch stances.  This condition can't actually resolve a conflict.  It doesn't even make your opponent stop fighting for a turn.. and it only lasts one turn.  On the other hand, getting successes to incapacitate your opponent effectively takes them out of the fight and, if they're the only opponent, ends the conflict at least for the scene. In social situations, "fanning the flames" has similar issues.  It has interesting effects which are temporary, unpredictable, and don't actually end the conflict, but might draw it out. In actually resolving conflicts, success is king..  if success didn't make a meaningful difference to begin with, then the roll never should have been allowed. No roll means no opportunities so success/failure must matter in order to even have the chance for opportunities.

Finally (for now) Strife doesn't just come and go based on die-rolls..  it's pretty much what courtiers are based on.

the Immobile condition can resolve a conflict as much as any success. It depends what you wanted to do.
if the conflict was a thief running away, catching him is OK I guess.
But sure, you can make it a success to catch him. You do whatever you want, it is L5R!

But it doesn't matter, we decided to stop playing. We think this game is mechanically tedious. The setting is fun and more than amazing! But final conclusion we have after about 6 sessions is that the rules are garbage and make the game boring, slow, gamey and without highlight moments.

see ya.


 

Share this post


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

In actually resolving conflicts, success is king..  if success didn't make a meaningful difference to begin with, then the roll never should have been allowed.

In a conflict scene this should basically never be an issue though. In downtime or narrative scenes a lot can be done without touching your dice, but who takes actions without meaningful consequences in the middle of conflict?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

  if success didn't make a meaningful difference to begin with, then the roll never should have been allowed. No roll means no opportunities so success/failure must matter in order to even have the chance for opportunities.

Finally (for now) Strife doesn't just come and go based on die-rolls..  it's pretty much what courtiers are based on.

The number of bonus successes often matters little outside of combat.

Keeping the requisite amount of opportunity, however...

it's equivalent to the OldL5R declared raises... 

There are occasions, especially in duels, where failure at the task attempted (especially in fire stance) is immaterial, but the opportunity is very useful. For example declaring a strike in Fire, but keeping only opportunity to inflict strife upon the target.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

There are occasions, especially in duels, where failure at the task attempted (especially in fire stance) is immaterial, but the opportunity is very useful. For example declaring a strike in Fire, but keeping only opportunity to inflict strife upon the target.

I wouldn't say it's immaterial: success is definitely better than failure in this instance. Regardless, a failure with high opportunity might still be better than a success with low opportunity. 

Share this post


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

the Immobile condition can resolve a conflict as much as any success. It depends what you wanted to do.
if the conflict was a thief running away, catching him is OK I guess.
But sure, you can make it a success to catch him. You do whatever you want, it is L5R!

But it doesn't matter, we decided to stop playing. We think this game is mechanically tedious. The setting is fun and more than amazing! But final conclusion we have after about 6 sessions is that the rules are garbage and make the game boring, slow, gamey and without highlight moments.

see ya.


 

  Okay then.  @Avatar111 may not get much from this example (and I'm truly sorry to see you go), but for the benefit of other new players reading this..  Let's say the example conflict is trying to catch a thief that's running away.  The argument is that applying the immobile condition (through use of opportunity), ends the conflict just as well as incapacitating the thief (by using successes).  First of all, immobilizing the thief should involve catching up to the thief.. which is done by achieving success either on initiative or fitness, or both.  Secondly, the immobilized condition only stops the thief from moving..  Let's say the pursuer catches up to thief and immobilizes him..  the thief can then take his action to attack the pursuer and clear the immobilized effect. after a couple rounds of repeating this, the thief incapacitates the pursuer and finishes running away..  the pursuer never had a chance of permanently stopping the thief by immobilizing him.  Now it's possible to immobilize the thief until someone else gets there, by using snare for multiple rounds in a row.. but then the "someone else" still has to incapacitate the thief or the thief could still try to fight his way out.  So the conflict doesn't actually end until thief either escapes, or is incapacitated.

 

3 hours ago, AK_Aramis said:

The number of bonus successes often matters little outside of combat.

Keeping the requisite amount of opportunity, however...

it's equivalent to the OldL5R declared raises... 

There are occasions, especially in duels, where failure at the task attempted (especially in fire stance) is immaterial, but the opportunity is very useful. For example declaring a strike in Fire, but keeping only opportunity to inflict strife upon the target.

  I felt like opportunities were much like raises too..  I'm still not sure what to do with the "Bonus success" idea and I mostly only use them when the rules specifically say how they apply.

 

2 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I wouldn't say it's immaterial: success is definitely better than failure in this instance. Regardless, a failure with high opportunity might still be better than a success with low opportunity. 

  Yeah, duels mess with the dynamic a little, but it's not really the success v. opportunity aspect of the roll as much as the "strife causes a super auto-attack" issue.  I would point out that a finishing blow still requires a successful hit though, just on a different roll.   Also, when the players get Heart-piercing strike, successes on the initial attack becomes the more important again.  In some ways I find this very appropriate, as novice duelists will probably rely mostly on opportunity and their duels will probably take longer, but intermediate duelists rely more on technique and can end the duel very quickly.  I haven't really seen what a rank 4+ duelist can do yet.

Share this post


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

It depends what you wanted to do.

This. Sometimes a conflict is "one of us must die because I am a level-appropriate random encounter!" but in most meaningful skirmishes, either you or Hida-san are trying to achieve something - break in (or out), reach an objective, kill someone you're guarding, hold the line long enough for reinforcements to arrive, whatever. 

Killing the big lutz may be the most efficient way to do this but it's often not the only option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

  Okay then.  @Avatar111 may not get much from this example (and I'm truly sorry to see you go), but for the benefit of other new players reading this..  Let's say the example conflict is trying to catch a thief that's running away.  The argument is that applying the immobile condition (through use of opportunity), ends the conflict just as well as incapacitating the thief (by using successes).  First of all, immobilizing the thief should involve catching up to the thief.. which is done by achieving success either on initiative or fitness, or both.  Secondly, the immobilized condition only stops the thief from moving..  Let's say the pursuer catches up to thief and immobilizes him..  the thief can then take his action to attack the pursuer and clear the immobilized effect. after a couple rounds of repeating this, the thief incapacitates the pursuer and finishes running away..  the pursuer never had a chance of permanently stopping the thief by immobilizing him.  Now it's possible to immobilize the thief until someone else gets there, by using snare for multiple rounds in a row.. but then the "someone else" still has to incapacitate the thief or the thief could still try to fight his way out.  So the conflict doesn't actually end until thief either escapes, or is incapacitated.

 

  I felt like opportunities were much like raises too..  I'm still not sure what to do with the "Bonus success" idea and I mostly only use them when the rules specifically say how they apply.

 

  Yeah, duels mess with the dynamic a little, but it's not really the success v. opportunity aspect of the roll as much as the "strife causes a super auto-attack" issue.  I would point out that a finishing blow still requires a successful hit though, just on a different roll.   Also, when the players get Heart-piercing strike, successes on the initial attack becomes the more important again.  In some ways I find this very appropriate, as novice duelists will probably rely mostly on opportunity and their duels will probably take longer, but intermediate duelists rely more on technique and can end the duel very quickly.  I haven't really seen what a rank 4+ duelist can do yet.

As much as I admire your intention, unfortunately, the game is still garbage.

I hear people be like "wow! There is like social combat!"

LOL

Their "intrigue" conflict is actually so badly designed, useless and most of all BORING, that they didn't even bother using it in any of their published quest.

Same for the mass battle system.

And their encounters? Pick a few of those generic npc and dump them in an empty area.

They know fock all what they are doing with how bad the game is. In the end, they design adventures with "make a check to succeed". Same as D&D....

So then why all their useless layers and tedious mechanics of garbage design even exist?

These are suppose to be professionals designing these games, in the case of l5r, I don't think we can say so.

Sure, we can defend it, a bit like some here are doing, but at the end of the day... Are the layers of mechanical garbage bringing more FUN to the table? Nope, they actually remove the fun.

Hence why we have to consider this game a failure in term of design.

Now, can you somehow make it work for you and your group and have a good time? Yes. But the game is not helping you to do so, quite the opposite in fact.

 

Edit; but hey, get the Shadowland book you'll have new ways to spend opportunities!

 

Garbage.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


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

 Yeah, duels mess with the dynamic a little, but it's not really the success v. opportunity aspect of the roll as much as the "strife causes a super auto-attack" issue.  I would point out that a finishing blow still requires a successful hit though, just on a different roll.   Also, when the players get Heart-piercing strike, successes on the initial attack becomes the more important again.  In some ways I find this very appropriate, as novice duelists will probably rely mostly on opportunity and their duels will probably take longer, but intermediate duelists rely more on technique and can end the duel very quickly.  I haven't really seen what a rank 4+ duelist can do yet.

Assistance can mess up the dynamic too. It's an easy justification for making a roll and if the total success is not in doubt you can choose to go for opportunity use instead (often to either get rid of strife with Water or to foist strife on someone else with Fire).

Now, obviously you can't always ignore success and go for opportunities. Nobody's saying that. But the fact that sometimes that's the better option isn't right. That's not good design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

Let's say the example conflict is trying to catch a thief that's running away. 

I Initiative with Water and use the general 2 OPP spending to establish that all the doors are locked and/or the only way out of the place is through me (or throw some funky terrain under his feet). The thief is now fugged. Alternatively, Initiative with Air and make the thief one-legged. Or Initiative with Earth and name my preparatory action as "setting a trap in the thief's path" or something. If the thief keeps trying I swear I will keep Air checking and turn him into a blind, mute, and deaf quadruple amputee! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I read all this, the more I appreciate the elegant simplicity of 1st edition AD&D's non-weapon and court proficiency system.  One roll and you're good to go.  In fact, though I'm still going through the Emerald Empire supplement, I may just use all the L5R material for our regular Labyrinth Lord/AD&D 1E game, incorporating the techniques and such as special abilities to add flavor to the core Oriental Adventures classes.  Back in the day I converted a couple 1st edition L5R adventures to AD&D and they actually worked fine.  My head is spinning with all these options. 

I'd still like to play a game or two of L5R RAW with more experienced folks to see if it's as complicated as it sounds, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Masakiyo said:

The more I read all this, the more I appreciate the elegant simplicity of 1st edition AD&D's non-weapon and court proficiency system.  One roll and you're good to go.  In fact, though I'm still going through the Emerald Empire supplement, I may just use all the L5R material for our regular Labyrinth Lord/AD&D 1E game, incorporating the techniques and such as special abilities to add flavor to the core Oriental Adventures classes.  Back in the day I converted a couple 1st edition L5R adventures to AD&D and they actually worked fine.  My head is spinning with all these options. 

I'd still like to play a game or two of L5R RAW with more experienced folks to see if it's as complicated as it sounds, however.

It ain't complicated, it is just tedious and badly designed.

It is failing at being a very good narrative game (which I feel it had more chance of being) because it slaps super crunchy (and most of the time awfully designed, or tedious, slow, fun breaking) mechanics on top of a narrative backbone.

The final result is a mish mash of ideas and concepts that don't gel together, a sluggish gameplay, and published adventures that don't even know how to deal with the system.

Pretty sad.

Share this post


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

The more I read all this, the more I appreciate the elegant simplicity of 1st edition AD&D's non-weapon and court proficiency system.  One roll and you're good to go.  In fact, though I'm still going through the Emerald Empire supplement, I may just use all the L5R material for our regular Labyrinth Lord/AD&D 1E game, incorporating the techniques and such as special abilities to add flavor to the core Oriental Adventures classes.  Back in the day I converted a couple 1st edition L5R adventures to AD&D and they actually worked fine.  My head is spinning with all these options. 

I'd still like to play a game or two of L5R RAW with more experienced folks to see if it's as complicated as it sounds, however.

I only played AD+D 1E decades ago and dont remember it being particularly good, but you can transfer a lot of stuff over as long as you find a way to do the whole honor/glory/status thing well. I really like the Strife mechanic, but I like narraitve dice over numerical dice systems in general, so your mileage might vary.

I like 5th edition the most of all L5R editions. I think it hits the best sweet spot between creativity and interesting tactical mechanics. It also doesnt have the hard-to-control spiky dice mechanics of the last editions. Its best if your GM is quick to think and assertive in his rulings, because as others have said with much more drama purely RAW there are weird situations that need adjucating, but I think it sells the whole samurai fantasy really well.

Additionally, I love the art style and design of FFGs products so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the art and design too and many of the techniques and skills seem pretty cool and would be easy to port over.  Oriental Adventures has an honor system, though it's very much up to the DM/GM how much they really want it to affect the game.  I've already thought of ways I could combine the D&D proficiencies with strife/opportunity dice to retain that aspect of L5R.  The main thing is that my main group of players are all intimately familiar with 1st edition AD&D whereas this looks to involve a fairly steep learning curve.  As I said, if I can play a few times first, my feelings may change.  I like the setting and supplements enough to want to use them.  ****, the castle maps alone are great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Assistance can mess up the dynamic too. It's an easy justification for making a roll and if the total success is not in doubt you can choose to go for opportunity use instead (often to either get rid of strife with Water or to foist strife on someone else with Fire).

Now, obviously you can't always ignore success and go for opportunities. Nobody's saying that. But the fact that sometimes that's the better option isn't right. That's not good design.

  I wouldn't say that assistance messes up the dynamic too much.  It's still only one player making the roll, so that initial roll still has to be justified. the player is getting extra dice, which also has to be justified through role-playing (or the possibility thereof).  Of course opportunities will be easier to get, and therefor easier to use. I think GM's have to be watchful of the assistance mechanic, but I don't think it's innately broken.

  I'm also thinking that the problem with successes and opportunities isn't really about whether it's better to succeed or better to spend opportunities. the problem is what happens when you either don't get enough successes, or you get too many successes.. any number of successes other than the TN is basically worthless (usually), whereas there's always a use for opportunities no matter how many or how few you roll.  FFG should probably take a break from coming up with example opportunities, and start coming up with some "example alternate successes".

 

13 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

what ?
you mean , courtiers having less composure than bushi (hello air ring that all courtiers are so fond of)? or less ways to inflict strife than bushi ? (fire opportunity being their ONLY way).

how is it what courtiers are based on ?

get on with the program dude, think logically.

edit: again, I admire your intention, how you see this game is how it SHOULD work, but the designers focked it up, real bad. The moment they left the concept phase and started to put numbers and interactions on rules, they screwed up like amateurs.

 Dude, you're getting seriously ridiculous and your "facts" are just flat out wrong.  First, composure is based entirely on how characters prioritize their rings. Second, not all courtiers are air based..  I know the Ikoma has Fire+ water and the Shinjo has earth+fire. (and if composure were earth + air, I imagine the Hiruma would be the highest composure characters.) I haven't really counted up how many ways each role has to inflict strife, but considering that Katas and Shuji are the techniques in common of both bushi and courtiers (except for soshi who have invocations instead of Kata), you'd almost have to just be looking at school abilities..  again, the Ikoma school ability certainly inflicts strife, so saying fire opportunity is the only way is wrong.

 

8 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

I Initiative with Water and use the general 2 OPP spending to establish that all the doors are locked and/or the only way out of the place is through me (or throw some funky terrain under his feet). The thief is now fugged. Alternatively, Initiative with Air and make the thief one-legged. Or Initiative with Earth and name my preparatory action as "setting a trap in the thief's path" or something. If the thief keeps trying I swear I will keep Air checking and turn him into a blind, mute, and deaf quadruple amputee! 

  All the doors are locked..  the thief jumps out a window.  The only way out is through you, so the thief kills you and moves on.  you set a trap in his path, the thief jumps over it. You make the thief a blind, mute, deaf, quadruple amputee..  but if you're just going for opportunity and he just goes for success, he still wins the conflict.. how are you gonna explain that to your lord?

 

7 hours ago, Masakiyo said:

The more I read all this, the more I appreciate the elegant simplicity of 1st edition AD&D's non-weapon and court proficiency system.  One roll and you're good to go.  In fact, though I'm still going through the Emerald Empire supplement, I may just use all the L5R material for our regular Labyrinth Lord/AD&D 1E game, incorporating the techniques and such as special abilities to add flavor to the core Oriental Adventures classes.  Back in the day I converted a couple 1st edition L5R adventures to AD&D and they actually worked fine.  My head is spinning with all these options. 

I'd still like to play a game or two of L5R RAW with more experienced folks to see if it's as complicated as it sounds, however.

  Ecch.  Not many game systems worse than AD&D in my opinion.. that might have something to do with the fact that my GM's cheated and I never had a character level more than twice, but honestly how can you justify "save or die" when the character is off in another corner of the room minding his own business? You don't know how many times I've heard "The rogue opens the chest.  The bard on the other side of the room dies."  I often wonder if I was really the only person to fail the roll, or was I just the only person to be honest about failing roles in AD&D.  Really though, what I was going to say is that you shouldn't let the rules dissuade you.  They're actually so simple that people seem to want them to be more complex than they are.  You decide on a course of action.  make a roll and see if you got enough successes to achieve your goal.  If you do, you succeed. If you don't you fail.  Strife exists as a role-playing aid and to keep players from getting 42 successes on their stealth rolls (So the GM can still say that tasks are impossible).  Opportunities exist to remind the GM's that they should be out to help tell the characters' stories, not just to be "the evil GM" and see how many times he can kill all the PC's or to see whether he can make the players cry. but honestly the whole point is to have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

  All the doors are locked..  the thief jumps out a window.  The only way out is through you, so the thief kills you and moves on.  you set a trap in his path, the thief jumps over it. You make the thief a blind, mute, deaf, quadruple amputee..  but if you're just going for opportunity and he just goes for success, he still wins the conflict.. how are you gonna explain that to your lord?

C'mon man, that was just a joke :lol:!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

  I wouldn't say that assistance messes up the dynamic too much.  It's still only one player making the roll, so that initial roll still has to be justified. the player is getting extra dice, which also has to be justified through role-playing (or the possibility thereof).  Of course opportunities will be easier to get, and therefor easier to use. I think GM's have to be watchful of the assistance mechanic, but I don't think it's innately broken.

  I'm also thinking that the problem with successes and opportunities isn't really about whether it's better to succeed or better to spend opportunities. the problem is what happens when you either don't get enough successes, or you get too many successes.. any number of successes other than the TN is basically worthless (usually), whereas there's always a use for opportunities no matter how many or how few you roll.  FFG should probably take a break from coming up with example opportunities, and start coming up with some "example alternate successes".

 

 Dude, you're getting seriously ridiculous and your "facts" are just flat out wrong.  First, composure is based entirely on how characters prioritize their rings. Second, not all courtiers are air based..  I know the Ikoma has Fire+ water and the Shinjo has earth+fire. (and if composure were earth + air, I imagine the Hiruma would be the highest composure characters.) I haven't really counted up how many ways each role has to inflict strife, but considering that Katas and Shuji are the techniques in common of both bushi and courtiers (except for soshi who have invocations instead of Kata), you'd almost have to just be looking at school abilities..  again, the Ikoma school ability certainly inflicts strife, so saying fire opportunity is the only way is wrong.

 

  All the doors are locked..  the thief jumps out a window.  The only way out is through you, so the thief kills you and moves on.  you set a trap in his path, the thief jumps over it. You make the thief a blind, mute, deaf, quadruple amputee..  but if you're just going for opportunity and he just goes for success, he still wins the conflict.. how are you gonna explain that to your lord?

 

  Ecch.  Not many game systems worse than AD&D in my opinion.. that might have something to do with the fact that my GM's cheated and I never had a character level more than twice, but honestly how can you justify "save or die" when the character is off in another corner of the room minding his own business? You don't know how many times I've heard "The rogue opens the chest.  The bard on the other side of the room dies."  I often wonder if I was really the only person to fail the roll, or was I just the only person to be honest about failing roles in AD&D.  Really though, what I was going to say is that you shouldn't let the rules dissuade you.  They're actually so simple that people seem to want them to be more complex than they are.  You decide on a course of action.  make a roll and see if you got enough successes to achieve your goal.  If you do, you succeed. If you don't you fail.  Strife exists as a role-playing aid and to keep players from getting 42 successes on their stealth rolls (So the GM can still say that tasks are impossible).  Opportunities exist to remind the GM's that they should be out to help tell the characters' stories, not just to be "the evil GM" and see how many times he can kill all the PC's or to see whether he can make the players cry. but honestly the whole point is to have fun.

Not being ridiculous.

You said strife is a courtier thing.

It is not.

Most of them have air ring at character creation, air is the ring that less interact with strife.

Also, shuji are what courtiers mostly do, and yet none of them deal with strife in an offensive way.

Sure Ikoma bard ability is good for strife, doesn't make it a courtier thing! Ikoma is also one of the best duelist, at this point I think we can just call the ability; strong.

I know what you mean though, when I started playing and doing my houserule I also had that idea that strife should have been a courtier thing. But it is not.

And about "fun".

Sure, it is the main goal!! But I think this game is anti-fun. Mostly.

The setting itself helps the game staying fun but the mechanics themselves are a chore and not that fun, basically, the mechanical parts of the game are a negative for the product. Or "garbage game design" if you want it more bluntly.

Edited by Avatar111

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

considering that Katas and Shuji are the techniques in common of both bushi and courtiers (except for soshi who have invocations instead of Kata), you'd almost have to just be looking at school abilities..  again, the Ikoma school ability certainly inflicts strife, so saying fire opportunity is the only way is wrong.

It is the primary one, though. I agree that school abilities are the main distinction between the schools (yes, different curriculum but - ninjutsu and invocations aside - most people get access to most techniques sooner or later)

Strife feels to me a resource management game in most settings; it's just as relevant for bushi as for courtiers - Bushi have generally higher composure but in a stereotypical battlefield campaign are in situations where bonus successes tend to matter more often (pushing them to keep results they might otherwise discard) and generally have less opportunity to pop out for a refreshing tea ceremony. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Strife feels to me a resource management game in most settings;

This is my take on it too, and I think as a resourcing mechanic, Strife is actually pretty darn good. Its problems are all tied to the (IMO) forced dramatic aspect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

This is my take on it too, and I think as a resourcing mechanic, Strife is actually pretty darn good. Its problems are all tied to the (IMO) forced dramatic aspect. 

it could, strife as a concept is cool.

not sure how I like how passions can become very gamey because of it, nor how water seems to nullify it. But lets say it is acceptable.

also, it does create weirdness in duels as it can become the main purpose of the duel (finishing blow being borderline busted) to "strife out" your opponents but barely no good tools exist for that aside spending "fire opportunities", but lets not get into that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

One of the big vibes I'm getting is that much of the design was actually afraid/angry at the Court side/non-combat side of the setting (to include the importance of duels) and the deadliness that can occur outside of that environment.  Hence the choices like establishing Social Conflicts, Honor loss as a credit card element, the emphasis of Earth Stance importance and how death has to be on purpose--almost like a huge system mechanics safety net which is weird with all the other GM dependence issues I'm seeing.

maybe the Court books will change that perception, but the fact that so much effort has been made to remove the teeth from non-combat situations or at least so that Earth heavy characters (i.e. bushi and Shugenja--jeebus I just realized how Earth shugenja can "own" a Court environement) are "immune" to social situations is a real indicator on design intentions.

Edited by NeoSamurai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, NeoSamurai said:

One of the big vibes I'm getting is that much of the design was actually afraid/angry at the Court side/non-combat side of the setting (to include the importance of duels) and the deadliness that can occur outside of that environment.  Hence the choices like establishing Social Conflicts, Honor loss as a credit card element, the emphasis of Earth Stance importance and how death has to be on purpose--almost like a huge system mechanics safety net which is weird with all the other GM dependence issues I'm seeing.

maybe the Court books will change that perception, but the fact that so much effort has been made to remove the teeth from non-combat situations or at least so that Earth heavy characters (i.e. bushi and Shugenja--jeebus I just realized how Earth shugenja can "own" a Court environement) are "immune" to social situations is a real indicator on design intentions.

I don't think I understand what you are trying to say.

Too deadly? Not deadly enough? Or something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

I don't think I understand what you are trying to say.

Too deadly? Not deadly enough? Or something else?

More like there's too much insulation of the characters from the players' actions/mistakes and the environment unless it's regular combat situations. 

Earth Stance effectively creates an immunity largely to intrigue encounters and and resolving them (duel contests).  The combat heavy clans have the potential for being better courtiers which is against fluff because of that (especially with Water and Earth informing Composure).

Crits have to be chosen by the acting player--so there's no real consequences for the PC unless they want to deal with it but that's one of those decisions that should have been made before the weapons come out.

The Honor as a credit card (i.e. knowing on the front end rather than the back end) is a bit more I can understand with "gotcha" style GMing--but combined with everything else it makes me think of it as a little too much of a protection.

The game talks about being about choice and consequences, but design very much makes that intent an illusion.= and that largely favors the combat elements of play.

 

 



 

 

Edited by NeoSamurai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Somewhat agree.

Earth stance; yes, it is a boring stance. It should probably be like air stance (+1 opp to activate a critical strike or condition that is activated with opps).

Choices? Hmmm, depends. Definitely the roll and keep mixed with opportunities in the lot gives a LOT of choices, sometimes maybe too many actually. As you will only suffer consequences if you basically choose to (or really want to succeed on a check) which in term of gameplay is a bit bland  (no surprises, a bit stale at the table) but there definitely are choices! The slight issue that can cause the 'not so fun' part is that you often choose the consquence too;

Do you want to succeed and be compromised? Is, for example, choice. Is it a fun one? As you basically know the outcomes before commiting? Debatable. I prefer to throw players in situations and let them figure ways out of it rather than letting them create their own situations. Because in l5r, the player is basically like "ok, GM, I chose to fail this check (to use opportunities or what not), what is it you will do to punish my failure?

It creates a really weird vibe at the table that feels a lot like players vs gm, instead of the more "oh shite! A triumph/despair moment!" And the just go with it. Basically the nature of the system doesn't create surprises and on the fly moment, it is all calculated and heavy. Not my preference, but can't say it is bad design, just not my style for "fun".

Earth stance, no excuse, it is a major problem of the ruleset (not fun and very on/off radical design, which is bad for a ttrpg I think). You can basically decide to sit out of a conflict and maybe not win it, but suffer no consequence (condition, crit, unmask) for doing so. It is defensive, sure, and it doesn't make you succeed at things.. but it is boring.

Edited by Avatar111

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.


×
×
  • Create New...