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Masakiyo

Roleplaying vs. Roll Playing

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

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 is boring in term of gameplay (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.

But those are mechanical choices (roll play) rather than role-play choices

Edited by NeoSamurai

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, NeoSamurai said:

But those are mechanical choices (roll play) rather than role-play choices

They can be Role-Play choices (in the case of being compromised to succeed) but with mechanics attached to them, which, as a player, you have the choice or not to assume, always keeping you in a zone of comfort and control (mechanically).

The question is; is it fun?

Edit; in my experience, I like my roleplay sessions to have "oh shite!" moments. L5R doesnt have that, it is more heavy, controlled gameplay. You can create "oh shite" moments but they will be "intended" role-play wise.

 

 

Edited by Avatar111

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Lets take a very basic example;

D&D "natural 20s".

If you watched a D&D stream (critical role, or what not) you know that when a player roll a 20 you get the crowd cheering (also cheering when a 1 is rolled lol).

L5R doesn't have those "moments". Everything is a bit bland/controlled and doesn't make for a good show. Mostly. I guess I could be convinced otherwise, but doubt it.

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This is actually a great subject. How a ttrpg should be a platform to help tell stories instead of being a mechanical constraint to the story.

A lot of my woes with FFG L5R is mainly based on that; "Why doesn't the system fully assume it is first and foremost a narrative tool to be played smoothly and without hiccups and not a mechanical gearing that needs to be constantly oiled to avoid jamming?".

How come opportunities are not more based on creating FUN instead of being based on giving mechanical options like "hey, the spell you just cast with water stance can be done a +1 range because of the opportunity".

Does L5R gains something in being that mechanically tedious ? Aren't we in the age of ttrpg being streamed, being fun, being a show, being inclusive or "casual", being fast paced and wild and focusing on the story ? D&D 5e itself, and Matt Mercer, pushed that realisation into mainstream: A lot of the rules are not needed! If the rule is not used or barely used; dump it. And oh boy is L5R full of those.

It is in of itself a bit sad, considering that FFG just did a step in the good direction with Star Wars / Genesys and that it feels like they only took the tedious part of those systems to bring into L5R (the opportunity lists...) Even their advantages/disadvantages rules were scared of being a general system that wouldn't be too abusable but neither too tight. Instead, they have like a ring associated with it, checks, situations when basically the best way to enjoy these advantages would simply be to go with a versatile, creative use of them while keeping their mechanical benefits in a non-abusable space by using one general constraint or limit. ie: story points, like in genesys, could be used to "trigger" an advantage.

What keeps me thinking about it all is how I feel that some underlying elements of the L5R game seems to go into that direction, and it feels really good! But then, someone decided to slap some...tedious? mechanical options on top of it all. And for the most part, those mechanical options aren't well defined, or, overly tedious, or downright too gamey or abusable, so you end up with a lot of garbage floating around the gem that could be this core system. And that, is slightly disapointing. I am almost certain not many people enjoy these mechanical blurbs that make you look at the core book or tables all the time. But I could be wrong.
Anyway, hopefully (for me) FFG will design a product that is more in line with my tastes in the future. I feel this product, mechanically, isn't what a ttrpg should be in 2018-19. Narratively though, it is a hit. It is inclusive, modern in its approach of touchy subjects, and with a colorful setting.



 

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5 hours ago, NeoSamurai said:

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.

How does Earth stance influence intrigue encounters much? It blocks receiving conditions or critical strikes from spent opportunities, but there are very few things that would actually trigger this in an intrigue without escalating that to something else. ("Condition" is a defined game term.) Earth as a ring is still useful for boosting Composure, though the other stances have more substantial effects when you don't have to care about weapons. And in any case there's a lot of choice in both shuji and other ways to spend opportunity that will make selecting a stance quite meaningful. Or in a duel you can usually flush someone out of an uncomfortable stance by putting down the Predict action (unless it's Void). It's basically a rare counter but it's not unheard of to be used.

As for crit effects, I don't see how they're "chosen by the acting player". Sure, you suffer an effect that changes based on your current stance, but that's uniformly a disadvantage (with the usual "reroll 2 dice with a success" effect) or a Wounded condition. By absorbing that crit on whatever ring, you're getting hit with penalties on that ring down the line. Or if the target is in Earth stance, well...they're not getting some of the more offensive kata/opportunity options from other stances. It's a tradeoff - Earth is the most defensive but certainly not the most offensive.

More generally, I'm fine with players and PCs knowing the consequences of their actions by default. Just because those choices are transparent, doesn't mean that they can't be hard to choose between. (Context: If you have Monk in the FF5 Four Job Fiesta, how much grinding are you willing to put up with as opposed to cutting your losses and starting a new run/Job Fairing it away?)

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Posted (edited)

it just doesn't create excitement. like a grind. open the book, look at the tables, search through the list of opportunities for general/conflict/invocations etc, figure out what you will keep and drop, analyse the outcomes.

sure. if that is what you find fun.

edit; if FFG wants their RPG scene to blow up, with good streams and such, L5R doesn't bring that possiblity to the table. And the reason is, the gameplay suffers from dated issues that new RPGs are deliberately tring to avoid.

if you are looking for a heavy system that keeps the player's face in their book all the time, or having plenty of gaiming aids like cards, tables, managing and such. Then sure, L5R is a GREAT game.

Edited by Avatar111

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5 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Lets take a very basic example;

D&D "natural 20s".

If you watched a D&D stream (critical role, or what not) you know that when a player roll a 20 you get the crowd cheering (also cheering when a 1 is rolled lol).

L5R doesn't have those "moments". Everything is a bit bland/controlled and doesn't make for a good show. Mostly. I guess I could be convinced otherwise, but doubt it.

TRPG streams aren't quite the same medium as your average table, of course. They're known to punch things up, do some mild scripting, and jettison otherwise serviceable rules for the sake of the show. And that's fine on its own, but people do need to keep in mind that your table (or whoever's) isn't going to be broadcasting like Matt Mercer's. In fact a common criticism of Critical Role et al. is that people try out D&D 5E for generalized fantasy adventure, and then end up being disappointed/having to implement kludgy hacks/switching to a lighter system because the actual system is and has always been focused on the resource management skills of fantasy actuaries.

And to generalize this, the point of mechanics is to encourage a particular kind of play. As an example from L5R, acting within the purview of one Ring or another is supposed to be meaningful to show things about the setting and to offer that choice of "how does your character approach problems". We've always had the five Rings, and they were all supposed to do things, but in practice they were just some extra math ala D&D 3+ ability scores or Storyteller Abilities because the skills only went with one Ring or substat each. Hence 5E wanted to change things up so that you could choose any of the Rings for a situation, and that that was a meaningful choice (as opposed to only using Fire/Agility for an attack roll). So they took a notable cue here from Fate Accelerated, in which your Approach (one out of six) gave a bonus between +0 and +3 at chargen to do something. But the issue there is that you can end up with perverse outcomes, where players are encouraged to haggle their way into constantly using their best Approach. 5E's approach to dealing with this was to add more mechanical heft, implementing various choices for each stance between passives/opportunity spending/exclusive techniques. That's why we have the tables on pages 328-329,  to show how each Ring is distinct and useful in its own way and to encourage players to toy with them depending on the situation.

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1 minute ago, NFK said:

TRPG streams aren't quite the same medium as your average table, of course. They're known to punch things up, do some mild scripting, and jettison otherwise serviceable rules for the sake of the show. And that's fine on its own, but people do need to keep in mind that your table (or whoever's) isn't going to be broadcasting like Matt Mercer's. In fact a common criticism of Critical Role et al. is that people try out D&D 5E for generalized fantasy adventure, and then end up being disappointed/having to implement kludgy hacks/switching to a lighter system because the actual system is and has always been focused on the resource management skills of fantasy actuaries.

And to generalize this, the point of mechanics is to encourage a particular kind of play. As an example from L5R, acting within the purview of one Ring or another is supposed to be meaningful to show things about the setting and to offer that choice of "how does your character approach problems". We've always had the five Rings, and they were all supposed to do things, but in practice they were just some extra math ala D&D 3+ ability scores or Storyteller Abilities because the skills only went with one Ring or substat each. Hence 5E wanted to change things up so that you could choose any of the Rings for a situation, and that that was a meaningful choice (as opposed to only using Fire/Agility for an attack roll). So they took a notable cue here from Fate Accelerated, in which your Approach (one out of six) gave a bonus between +0 and +3 at chargen to do something. But the issue there is that you can end up with perverse outcomes, where players are encouraged to haggle their way into constantly using their best Approach. 5E's approach to dealing with this was to add more mechanical heft, implementing various choices for each stance between passives/opportunity spending/exclusive techniques. That's why we have the tables on pages 328-329,  to show how each Ring is distinct and useful in its own way and to encourage players to toy with them depending on the situation.

how can you even think d&d 5e is less elegant and fastpaced/smooth than L5R ? all I've seen is people trying to figure out how to use opportunities and remembering bonus opportunity here, and TN change from last turn, and lots of tedious details (mostly all due to the opportunities) while having to keep their face hidden in their core book to figure all that out.

yes, rings are distinct and all useful. the stance effects and techniques and adjectives are enough to sell that. like I've said many time, the system ain't only bad! it just have a lot of major things that keeps it from being a hit. And it doesn't feel like they learned that much from star wars/genesys. Actually, they regressed on many points.
 

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5 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

"TRPG streams aren't quite the same medium as your average table"

oh, they will become. and to not design a system with that playstyle/trend in mind is an absolute design mistake.

Now you are just off into "prophecy" territory. Also  there is no major RPG system out right now that is good for streaming. They all make the design mistakes. Its just good GMs and streamers covering those weaknesses. The target audience for SALES is still the gaming group looking for a specific experience. 

Also, regarding your natural 20 argument: I ve had as many really cool moments by explosive successes paired with cool samurai-y situations as I ve had big crits with battleaxes. For that matter, at a steady 5%, natural 20s arent cool its just people buying into the nostalgia.

If you want to see a cool system for big random moments of WHOA, play Deadlands. Its so incredibly superior in that regard to any DnD or Shadowrun, its not even in the same league!

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

Now you are just off into "prophecy" territory. Also  there is no major RPG system out right now that is good for streaming. They all make the design mistakes. Its just good GMs and streamers covering those weaknesses. The target audience for SALES is still the gaming group looking for a specific experience. 

Also, regarding your natural 20 argument: I ve had as many really cool moments by explosive successes paired with cool samurai-y situations as I ve had big crits with battleaxes. For that matter, at a steady 5%, natural 20s arent cool its just people buying into the nostalgia.

If you want to see a cool system for big random moments of WHOA, play Deadlands. Its so incredibly superior in that regard to any DnD or Shadowrun, its not even in the same league!

what do you think about how opportunities are mechanically complicated and gamey ?

edit: will check deadland. i've honestly heard amazing thing about the savage land system.
 

Edited by Avatar111

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32 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

what do you think about how opportunities are mechanically complicated and gamey ?

edit: will check deadland. i've honestly heard amazing thing about the savage land system.
 

They aren't? It's another subsystem to learn, but it's not lengthy and is a lot better than having to make something up each time without guidelines. If you still want something that's more loose then there are some results for that.

I've heard better things about the mechanics side of SW Deadlands than the old one but watch out for cultural appropriation and/or Confereate apologia in the setting.

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32 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

what do you think about how opportunities are mechanically complicated and gamey ?

edit: will check deadland. i've honestly heard amazing thing about the savage land system.
 

I prefer Star Wars RPG dice system to L5R because its further away from numericals (I think numerical dice are too 20th century by now) but both are very similar in their opportunity/advantage system. I think both systems are the infancy stages of multi-axis check resolution systems that we havent seen a fully matured system of yet. Too many tables for too many options to pick from. Personally, I think aside from triggering weapon effects, a small handful of generic effects would suffice, but I understand the desire to have more options by players. I would probably put one or two Opportunity spends on enemies instead of weapons/players. For example one of my opponents has "spend 2 opportunity either in water or fire to damage its horns. Once the horns are destroyed, he cant use his gore attack". Same goes for manipulating environment by it - i think there is too little of that, and too much crunchy mechanic use. But that is easy to fix, and in fact at least implied to be intended in the rules text.

I do the same for Unmasks, too. Some situation have a specific unmask (example: During a game of Go, if you unmask you tableflip because the opponent NPC is a really annoying dude) that happens, so players may elect to stay compromised to keep it together, rather than (for example) give in and follow the sirens song.

Deadlands Classic (best version IMO) uses poker cards, chips and dice in a combination that produces a lot of tight "who gets to draw first" wild west moments. Love it for that. The system itself is horribly outdated, but creates tons of memorable "oh ****" moments in all directions, including character deaths (and then standing back up, undead).

I think L5R as it is can greatly benefit from a similar approach (by the GM) as Exalted and its stunt system. Create unique ideas, trigger them through generic game mechanics, and dont be afraid of sometimes just letting that chandelier hang untouched because nobody wanted to spend the opportunities to swing from it. It WAS an option!

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

I prefer Star Wars RPG dice system to L5R because its further away from numericals (I think numerical dice are too 20th century by now) but both are very similar in their opportunity/advantage system. I think both systems are the infancy stages of multi-axis check resolution systems that we havent seen a fully matured system of yet. Too many tables for too many options to pick from. Personally, I think aside from triggering weapon effects, a small handful of generic effects would suffice, but I understand the desire to have more options by players. I would probably put one or two Opportunity spends on enemies instead of weapons/players. For example one of my opponents has "spend 2 opportunity either in water or fire to damage its horns. Once the horns are destroyed, he cant use his gore attack". Same goes for manipulating environment by it - i think there is too little of that, and too much crunchy mechanic use. But that is easy to fix, and in fact at least implied to be intended in the rules text.

I do the same for Unmasks, too. Some situation have a specific unmask (example: During a game of Go, if you unmask you tableflip because the opponent NPC is a really annoying dude) that happens, so players may elect to stay compromised to keep it together, rather than (for example) give in and follow the sirens song.

Deadlands Classic (best version IMO) uses poker cards, chips and dice in a combination that produces a lot of tight "who gets to draw first" wild west moments. Love it for that. The system itself is horribly outdated, but creates tons of memorable "oh ****" moments in all directions, including character deaths (and then standing back up, undead).

I think L5R as it is can greatly benefit from a similar approach (by the GM) as Exalted and its stunt system. Create unique ideas, trigger them through generic game mechanics, and dont be afraid of sometimes just letting that chandelier hang untouched because nobody wanted to spend the opportunities to swing from it. It WAS an option!

that is a helll of a post sir.

yes, Star Wars felt in its infancy stage (but was/is really good as a first draft!) and maybe I was hoping for L5R to take the concept further, in a cleanier way, which I feel it didn't.
anyway, overall, despite my deplorable attitude, I enjoy the hobby as many others here.

edit: helll

Edited by Avatar111

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25 minutes ago, NFK said:

I've heard better things about the mechanics side of SW Deadlands than the old one but watch out for cultural appropriation and/or Confereate apologia in the setting.

mechanics interests me mostly here, for the setting, it is hard to complain about L5R, it is quite solid and presented in a modern fashion.

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

what do you think about how opportunities are mechanically complicated and gamey ?

 

This has just not been our experience at all.  In fact, the suggested uses for opportunities are "examples", so you can suggest ideas appropriate to the Ring and events.  My Monk often wants to know more about the current state of the universe when he is in Void.  We'll often want to remember some relevant location or person when in Earth.  At my table, opportunities are tools for storytelling, even when they are used for mechanical advantage.  If someone reduces a TN because they have attuned themselves to an item, that is a reason for roleplaying.  

I would agree that they are complicated in the sense that effective use requires imagination and dedication to your storytelling.  But I don't think they are all that mechanically complicated.  There shouldn't even be much analysis paralysis.  What is your character trying to accomplish?  Are you trying to hit as hard as you can?  Take the bonus success.  Are you showing off?  Use the opportunity to make your swing extra fancy.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, NFK said:

More generally, I'm fine with players and PCs knowing the consequences of their actions by default. Just because those choices are transparent, doesn't mean that they can't be hard to choose between. (Context: If you have Monk in the FF5 Four Job Fiesta, how much grinding are you willing to put up with as opposed to cutting your losses and starting a new run/Job Fairing it away?)

the problem at that point isn't the transparency but the hedonistic calculus and the numbers game. specifically, if a player is offered a beneficial consequence over a negative consequence, they're more than likely to choose the positive choice--unless there's an added gain (goal, bennie, perk, etc.) that could be gained by taking the negative option.  unfortunately the only mechanic in the setting to provide that option is the Disadvantages which are highly conditional and offer a poor reward (due to the ease of how it can be removed and how easy it is to avoid) with Strife management. 

As it stands, Honor, Glory and Status are a bit more of a resource trait to spend rather than something to guard.

 

2 hours ago, NFK said:

I've heard better things about the mechanics side of SW Deadlands than the old one but watch out for cultural appropriation and/or Confereate apologia in the setting.

Fyi, Savage Worlds as a rules set is completely independent of the Deadlands setting and any baggage (Flash Gordan, RIFTS, East Texas U, Hellfrost, etc). ^_^

Edited by NeoSamurai

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

This has just not been our experience at all.  In fact, the suggested uses for opportunities are "examples", so you can suggest ideas appropriate to the Ring and events.  My Monk often wants to know more about the current state of the universe when he is in Void.  We'll often want to remember some relevant location or person when in Earth.  At my table, opportunities are tools for storytelling, even when they are used for mechanical advantage.  If someone reduces a TN because they have attuned themselves to an item, that is a reason for roleplaying.  

I would agree that they are complicated in the sense that effective use requires imagination and dedication to your storytelling.  But I don't think they are all that mechanically complicated.  There shouldn't even be much analysis paralysis.  What is your character trying to accomplish?  Are you trying to hit as hard as you can?  Take the bonus success.  Are you showing off?  Use the opportunity to make your swing extra fancy.

ultimately I think I would like a more, clean, version of L5R. With a lot of those "examples" removed and just keep a very concise and logical set of options to use for opportunities (mechanically) on top of a narrative effect per ring, which they already have. Also, obviously, no opportunities on resist checks (It is mindblowing that is even a thing)
same with advantages/disadvantages. I think the game would work better with a cleaner way of inserting them into the checks but also giving them a general way of controlling their spamminess (story/void points or what not). Sure you can play as such (and I honestly think most people do), then why all the complicated detail in the rules ? is it really serviceable for a lot of players ?

The system doesn't assume its narrative cleanliness, it just have a lot of rules here and there than makes the whole thing, weirdly crunchy, in the wrong area.

what is your experience playing the game? using void points to "flip" advantages and such, many opportunity options (more added in shadowland book!), using your disadvantages to regain void points and all that mechanic, isn't something (at least in my experience) that plays smoothly. It becomes very gamey if you put some thoughts into it, but most podcasts or streams I saw of the game just totally never use those "rules".

the whole system is clogged by a lot of those options, rules, that are not working in a seamless way and are detrimental to the general enjoyment of the game. I think the "bloated" or "tedious" adjectives are good ways to define the issue.

edit: anyway, all this discussion is just for fun, because the book is already printed, and they won't all of a sudden do a revised edition. (even if I am even more despicable than I already am)
So, all the complaining in the world doesn't change anything. For me, it is just about having a discussion about my favorite hobby.

Edited by Avatar111

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18 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

what is your experience playing the game? using void points to "flip" advantages and such, many opportunity options (more added in shadowland book!), using your disadvantages to regain void points and all that mechanic, isn't something (at least in my experience) that plays smoothly. It becomes very gamey if you put some thoughts into it, but most podcasts or streams I saw of the game just totally never use those "rules".

I think it could become gamey if the players and GM are trying to maximize the mechanics to "win".  Use of void points is smooth.  We regain them when we regain them.  If people are actively trying to use the mechanics to regain them, well that might not be fun.  For example, a character who needs to enter a stable for story-related reasons, but animals hate her, a void point might be in her future.  If she runs to villages to encounter stables to get void points, I don't want to be at that table.  The GM too will just award the benefit and penalties of simply roleplaying a losing fight with a disadvantage, even if no roll is made.  

Opportunities have not been a problem.  People have some defaults for their common Rings, and we keep a cheat sheet on the table.  That sheet is easy to use, as once you look down to Ring and circumstance, there are very few options.  Also, remember you can just add an Ring-appropriate adjective to your action with an opportunity, altering the path of the story.

I think the biggest danger of being too gamey is the possibility of players trying to always use their best Ring(s), even when they make little sense.  "I'm going to recall what suspicious people look like while I scan the crowd for potential assassins using Earth."  Nope.  At our table, we do try to describe first what we are doing, and take the proper Ring after.  Of course, people will still gravitate towards strong Ring approaches, but I see that as a positive, as it represents the nature of your character and the choices they would make.

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

ultimately I think I would like a more, clean, version of L5R. With a lot of those "examples" removed and just keep a very concise and logical set of options to use for opportunities (mechanically) on top of a narrative effect per ring, which they already have. Also, obviously, no opportunities on resist checks (It is mindblowing that is even a thing)
same with advantages/disadvantages. I think the game would work better with a cleaner way of inserting them into the checks but also giving them a general way of controlling their spamminess (story/void points or what not). Sure you can play as such (and I honestly think most people do), then why all the complicated detail in the rules ? is it really serviceable for a lot of players ?

The system doesn't assume its narrative cleanliness, it just have a lot of rules here and there than makes the whole thing, weirdly crunchy, in the wrong area.

what is your experience playing the game? using void points to "flip" advantages and such, many opportunity options (more added in shadowland book!), using your disadvantages to regain void points and all that mechanic, isn't something (at least in my experience) that plays smoothly. It becomes very gamey if you put some thoughts into it, but most podcasts or streams I saw of the game just totally never use those "rules".

the whole system is clogged by a lot of those options, rules, that are not working in a seamless way and are detrimental to the general enjoyment of the game. I think the "bloated" or "tedious" adjectives are good ways to define the issue.

edit: anyway, all this discussion is just for fun, because the book is already printed, and they won't all of a sudden do a revised edition. (even if I am even more despicable than I already am)
So, all the complaining in the world doesn't change anything. For me, it is just about having a discussion about my favorite hobby.

  I actually agree that there are too many "example opportunities".  Considering that opportunities are supposed to be very free-form, I feel like having too many "examples" actually causes people to start limiting themselves to those examples.  I like each ring having the adjectives that can be "activated" using opportunities.  I like each stance having an attached opportunity or two.. After that, I feel like there should be more examples of bonus/shortfall successes, and fewer examples of opportunity.

  Other than that though, I feel like saying opportunities slow down the game misses the point.  You don't have to go through books and charts to figure out how to spend opportunities, because there is always the option to make something up for them.  I also think that many of those "examples" are just there so players can say "well the book says I can do this." when faced with a GM who doesn't want to let the players do anything.

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9 hours ago, TheSapient said:

I think the biggest danger of being too gamey is the possibility of players trying to always use their best Ring(s), even when they make little sense.  "I'm going to recall what suspicious people look like while I scan the crowd for potential assassins using Earth."  Nope. 

That's a pretty poor attempt at using Recall. At our table it would be "I try to spot the assassins by recalling what my sensei taught me about recognizing assassins." This is gonna be a fairly high TN tho. 

In my experience, this "always use the highest Ring" thing can be a source of some very creative and diverse roleplaying as players try their best to fit their favorite Approaches into the situation rather than go with the most obvious method. So when the party enters a room it isn't about Survey spam until they find the clue but the Fire character tries to Theorize, the Air character tries to Analyze, the Void character tries to Sense, etc. 

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

That's a pretty poor attempt at using Recall. At our table it would be "I try to spot the assassins by recalling what my sensei taught me about recognizing assassins." This is gonna be a fairly high TN tho. 

In my experience, this "always use the highest Ring" thing can be a source of some very creative and diverse roleplaying as players try their best to fit their favorite Approaches into the situation rather than go with the most obvious method. So when the party enters a room it isn't about Survey spam until they find the clue but the Fire character tries to Theorize, the Air character tries to Analyze, the Void character tries to Sense, etc. 

I tend to agree here.

The rings approaches are very narrative and open, and they require thinking/roleplaying, but I don't feel it is tedious or OP, its not like you need to look at hundred tables. It actually plays quick and smooth, and really, just don't be toooo picky about approaches, see it as a RP thing a little bit more. It is fine.

The only way to "break" that is basically to rush to get Void to 5 and only use Void. So if a player goes this route, you might have to tighten the belt a bit. Otherwise, let it flow, let the players use their better ring if the approach is kinda possible (increase or lower TN a bit depending on rings, usually by 1, to keep the sense of diversity).

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5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

That's a pretty poor attempt at using Recall. At our table it would be "I try to spot the assassins by recalling what my sensei taught me about recognizing assassins." This is gonna be a fairly high TN tho. 

In my experience, this "always use the highest Ring" thing can be a source of some very creative and diverse roleplaying as players try their best to fit their favorite Approaches into the situation rather than go with the most obvious method. So when the party enters a room it isn't about Survey spam until they find the clue but the Fire character tries to Theorize, the Air character tries to Analyze, the Void character tries to Sense, etc. 

I agree, though "always" using the highest Ring is not something I've seen, nor do I think it would be fun.  People are not that narrow.  Tending towards the highest rings is what I see and enjoy.  I can imagine players who always try to maximize every roll not enjoying the system as much.  

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On 4/5/2019 at 1:24 PM, Avatar111 said:

If you watched a D&D stream (critical role, or what not) you know that when a player roll a 20 you get the crowd cheering (also cheering when a 1 is rolled lol).

L5R doesn't have those "moments". Everything is a bit bland/controlled and doesn't make for a good show. Mostly. I guess I could be convinced otherwise, but doubt it.

I find 'chained' explosive successes do come up every so often. 2-3 chained explodes on the trot is in the same order of probability as a natural twenty and in my experience usually distorts the game to the same extent if it comes up unexpectedly. 

On 4/5/2019 at 8:20 PM, Kaiju said:

I prefer Star Wars RPG dice system to L5R because its further away from numericals (I think numerical dice are too 20th century by now) but both are very similar in their opportunity/advantage system. I think both systems are the infancy stages of multi-axis check resolution systems that we havent seen a fully matured system of yet. Too many tables for too many options to pick from. Personally, I think aside from triggering weapon effects, a small handful of generic effects would suffice, but I understand the desire to have more options by players. I would probably put one or two Opportunity spends on enemies instead of weapons/players. For example one of my opponents has "spend 2 opportunity either in water or fire to damage its horns. Once the horns are destroyed, he cant use his gore attack". Same goes for manipulating environment by it - i think there is too little of that, and too much crunchy mechanic use. But that is easy to fix, and in fact at least implied to be intended in the rules text.

This. The idea that only opportunity spends in the book are allowed is often a problem with both L5R and GeneSys/SWRPG. The problem is that many techniques/talents add opportunity spend options, so if you don't limit the players more or less to the ones they've 'bought' access to, what's the point in those techniques.

The idea of opportunity spends tied to an opponent is a very nice one, though. I may have to plagiarise 'be inspired by' that. 

On 4/6/2019 at 8:20 AM, AtoMaki said:

That's a pretty poor attempt at using Recall. At our table it would be "I try to spot the assassins by recalling what my sensei taught me about recognizing assassins." This is gonna be a fairly high TN tho. 

In my experience, this "always use the highest Ring" thing can be a source of some very creative and diverse roleplaying as players try their best to fit their favorite Approaches into the situation rather than go with the most obvious method. So when the party enters a room it isn't about Survey spam until they find the clue but the Fire character tries to Theorize, the Air character tries to Analyze, the Void character tries to Sense, etc. 

That's fair enough; if it's credible that such a lesson has been given to recall. As you say the GM has a second 'handle' to manage excessive attempted abuse by modifying the TN.

A degree of flexibility is sensible.

 

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