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Question as to violence. As written, the combat rules focus on fatigue. Things which trigger the critical strike chart have to be voluntarily selected through the use of dice. If all combat inherently can rely on the use of only normal damage, which does NOT trigger any results on the Crit Strike table, are all players then inherently playing as pacifists since the rules only say you exhaust an enemy's fatigue, the end result of which is simply being incapacitated ... but still alive ...

Are there rules I am missing as to what causes Bleeding, Injury/Serious Injury that is NOT from the Critical Strike table? Are there things that involuntarily trigger the CS table?  

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ADDITION: I understand NPCs die when their fatigue is exhausted, and since NPCs don't list many minions, I assume unless a scenario-contributor or named persona is in the fight, everyone in a conflict scene is inherently a Minion? 

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I really, really don't think that swinging a weapon at another person bears any resemblance to "pacifism".

When you get into a fight, you're trying to hurt your opponent, but your opponent isn't just standing around – they're trying not to get hurt! In order to hurt that opponent, then, you've basically got two options: 

1) Use your skill or strength to create an opening that'll let you slip an attack past their defenses.

2) Wear them down until they're too tired to effectively defend.

The L5R game represents these two with: 

1) Spending Opportunities. 

2) Burning through your opponent's fatigue, until either they can't continue the fight or they just can't defend themselves. 

That's hardly Pacifism. That's just... you know... how you fight someone. 

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2 hours ago, ColdObiWan said:

I really, really don't think that swinging a weapon at another person bears any resemblance to "pacifism".

When you get into a fight, you're trying to hurt your opponent, but your opponent isn't just standing around – they're trying not to get hurt! In order to hurt that opponent, then, you've basically got two options: 

1) Use your skill or strength to create an opening that'll let you slip an attack past their defenses.

2) Wear them down until they're too tired to effectively defend.

The L5R game represents these two with: 

1) Spending Opportunities. 

2) Burning through your opponent's fatigue, until either they can't continue the fight or they just can't defend themselves. 

That's hardly Pacifism. That's just... you know... how you fight someone. 

Hello, I have meant this as a rules question and have posted to that space. Sorry if the issue comes across as odd.

The biggest conflict was that you cannot INVOLUNTARILY Crit. It is always a conscious choice you can just avoid. Then, you always Incapacitate your enemy. The game has no native damage system, the Critical Strike from opportunity die or Techniques has to be actively used, not the other way around where you might need to express restraint.

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Finishing Blow is an automatic Critical. Otherwise, you don't choose to inflict crits technically, unless you're spending opportunity to sneak a blow in - the other person is required by the rules to defend, unless they spend a Void point to take the blow. So it's less "you have to choose to crit" and more "the other guy has to choose to not be crit, except barring certain circumstances where they are not allowed to defend". If the target was not required to defend, you'd be making a blow to inflict a serious injury each time. 

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No pacifism here. If you go over your endurance you get the incapacitated condition, rendering you unable to defend yourself. If you decide to attack that enemy one more time it is an automatic critical strike and the target gains the unconscious condition. Sure, you could use an off-hand fist strike to get a rather weak deadliness. Even earth stance doesn't help, as it only helps against spending Opportunity to inflict a critical strike or conditions.

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Think of a fatigue as timer or as the narrative representation of a literature or film fights. Every "hit" is actually just a nick, a blow to the armour, last second parries, a shoulder check, a shove or in general some form of maneuvering the opponent to where you can perform the actual telling blow that is represented by the Critical Strike.

 

Check this one for an example:

You can see the fighters reeling, one nice example of a Blinded status condition being applied, but just one critical strike that would combine the hamstringing, the shoulder stab/bind and the dismemberment.

So, no, not pacifism.

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On 4/4/2019 at 10:21 PM, TheBlindSamurai said:

Hello, I have meant this as a rules question and have posted to that space. Sorry if the issue comes across as odd.

The biggest conflict was that you cannot INVOLUNTARILY Crit. It is always a conscious choice you can just avoid. Then, you always Incapacitate your enemy. The game has no native damage system, the Critical Strike from opportunity die or Techniques has to be actively used, not the other way around where you might need to express restraint.

Ah, I think I see. In L5R, "pulling your blow" is most closely modeled by the "roll-and-keep" system letting you choose which die you want to keep. Want to hit someone without completely cutting them down? Only keep enough successes to meet the TN, and no more. Choose not to spend the Opps for a Critical when you could. Don't strike them while they're Incapacitated (or, in a duel, when you could make a Finishing Blow). 

But otherwise, it's true that restraint in L5R is mostly modeled by "not getting involved in a conflict using giant razors to begin with". 

If I'm still misunderstanding, please let us know what you're trying to model; are you thinking of another RPG, or a particular trope in fiction?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/6/2019 at 7:53 PM, ColdObiWan said:

Ah, I think I see. In L5R, "pulling your blow" is most closely modeled by the "roll-and-keep" system letting you choose which die you want to keep. Want to hit someone without completely cutting them down? Only keep enough successes to meet the TN, and no more. Choose not to spend the Opps for a Critical when you could. Don't strike them while they're Incapacitated (or, in a duel, when you could make a Finishing Blow). 

This. "Incapacitating" someone could be a flurry of blows to leave them winded, bruised, and pinned up against a wall, but a major injury will only happen if you actively try to cause it. 

Spending ** on a successful strike, or striking whilst your target is incapcitated. Equally, your target gets a roll to mitigate the critical, so there's a world of difference between a double-handed katana blow with a couple of * spent on increasing the deadliness and an unaugmented blow from a blade spent single-handed. 

Remember your unarmed profile is always 'readied', so if you have an incapacitated opponent you can switch to a one-handed grip of your katana and use "punch", which has a nice, 'safe' low deadliness - you'll render an incapacitated foe unconcious (because any 'hit' whilst incapacitated does that) without the risk of them spontaneously losing extremities. Whether you narratively consider that punching or shifting grip and hitting them with the pommel of your sword is up to you.

On 4/5/2019 at 2:22 AM, TheBlindSamurai said:

Are there rules I am missing as to what causes Bleeding, Injury/Serious Injury that is NOT from the Critical Strike table?

There are odd special rules which can cause bleeding. Off the top of my head, Flowing Water Strike (a Kata) can give you the bleeding condition without needing to cause a critical or fatigue first, as can some NPC special abilities (like the Shark)

On 4/5/2019 at 2:43 AM, TheBlindSamurai said:

I understand NPCs die when their fatigue is exhausted, and since NPCs don't list many minions, I assume unless a scenario-contributor or named persona is in the fight, everyone in a conflict scene is inherently a Minion? 

Whether a character is a Minion or Adversary is for the GM to determine. Generally, if someone doesn't rate a 'name-tag' or isn't the opponent who the scene is fundamentally about, then yes, assume they're a minion. 

Also, note that Minions don't necessarily 'die' - they could be unconcious, dead, wounded to the point of incapacitation that's permenant for the purposes of the scene, whatever makes the most sense under the general heading of "not someone the PCs have to keep track of anymore".

On 4/5/2019 at 6:21 AM, TheBlindSamurai said:

The biggest conflict was that you cannot INVOLUNTARILY Crit.

Why, if you don't mind the question, do you see that as a conflict?

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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15 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Also, note that Minions don't necessarily 'die'

Unless you take the Ferocity disadvantage, then you definitely kill every minion you defeat automatically. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 8:37 PM, Suzume Chikahisa said:

Think of a fatigue as timer or as the narrative representation of a literature or film fights. Every "hit" is actually just a nick, a blow to the armour, last second parries, a shoulder check, a shove or in general some form of maneuvering the opponent to where you can perform the actual telling blow that is represented by the Critical Strike.

 

Not even that... it's a blow that you moved out of the way from or directed into parts of your armor. It never actually "hit" you, at worst, hitting your armor.

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23 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

Unless you take the Ferocity disadvantage, then you definitely kill every minion you defeat automatically. 

That's not what the rules on p309 say:

Quote

When a minion’s fatigue exceeds its endurance, it is simply defeated. A defeated minion is slain if the source of damage that defeated it is 7 or higher; otherwise, it is non-lethally dispatched.

I mean, you can kill defeated minions if desired regardless, but it certainly isn't automatic.

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On 4/5/2019 at 2:22 AM, TheBlindSamurai said:

Question as to violence. As written, the combat rules focus on fatigue. Things which trigger the critical strike chart have to be voluntarily selected through the use of dice. If all combat inherently can rely on the use of only normal damage, which does NOT trigger any results on the Crit Strike table, are all players then inherently playing as pacifists since the rules only say you exhaust an enemy's fatigue, the end result of which is simply being incapacitated ... but still alive ...

Are there rules I am missing as to what causes Bleeding, Injury/Serious Injury that is NOT from the Critical Strike table? Are there things that involuntarily trigger the CS table?  

You can kind of leave a lot of this for the player to decide,

I say that because this really depends upon the character - how severe is his or her pacifism?

Will they fight in self-defense? In the defense of others? In defense of the defenseless? Never? Will they use non-lethal weapons only?

This is an interesting question for the player because it will in part determine the flow of Void points from this disadvantage - the more severe their pacifism the more void points they get, and the more Strife they will get,

So it's kind of self-limiting.

From your perspective, I'd consider looking at the deadliness of weapons - low deadliness weapons may or may not be acceptable to the player, but it is a good starting point, certainly I would consider weapons incapable of doing anything other than wrecking up armour okay in many cases, but would still have to think carefully about the situation - attacking an incapacitated enemy should be a problem,

But really, leave it to the player - they'll figure out their characters ethics, and if they make the Disadvantage too weak then they suffer through lack of void, so they are encouraged to find a middle-ground.

---

It's one of the cooler aspects of the way L5R handles disadvantages - sure, you can take anything you want - want a physical disability in a court game? Fine, but you won't get many VP for it,

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41 minutes ago, gareth_lazelle said:

That's not what the rules on p309 say:

I mean, you can kill defeated minions if desired regardless, but it certainly isn't automatic.

In this case, the relevant entry is on page 133, under the Ferocity anxiety that begins on the previous page:

Quote

When you defeat a minion NPC, the minion is always killed, even if you would prefer to incapacitate them.

This would override the normal rules for defeating minions.

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It is good to remember that Adversaries can recover from Incapacitated quite quickly, unless they are rendered Unconscious. Why would a proud enemy samurai quit fighting, if they can spend few moments to catch their breath and resume?

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On 4/9/2019 at 8:06 AM, gareth_lazelle said:

It's one of the cooler aspects of the way L5R handles disadvantages - sure, you can take anything you want - want a physical disability in a court game? Fine, but you won't get many VP for it,

This. Equally, the fact that the mechanic is always identical means that creating a 'custom' advantage or disadvantage is a snap; the only balancing act is how often it'll come up in the game being run - which is, by and large, at the control of the GM. 

1 hour ago, Mirac said:

It is good to remember that Adversaries can recover from Incapacitated quite quickly, unless they are rendered Unconscious. Why would a proud enemy samurai quit fighting, if they can spend few moments to catch their breath and resume?

An adversary probably wouldn't - unless their duty demands they escape to [do whatever it is the game plot demands they should be doing], or they are surrendering because they accept they've been honourably beaten (a nominated champion for each side has fought and they respect the result). That also assumes they can secure a few turns of calming breaths to recover. 

Minions, on the other hand, can be assumed to be made of much less stern stuff, and pass out, surrender, or flee as appropriate when overwhelmed. 

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On 4/16/2019 at 3:06 AM, Mirac said:

It is good to remember that Adversaries can recover from Incapacitated quite quickly, unless they are rendered Unconscious. Why would a proud enemy samurai quit fighting, if they can spend few moments to catch their breath and resume?

   This.  "Incapacitated" and "Unconscious" are bad names for the conditions.  I would have named them something more like "Shaken" and "Incapacitated" (to steal from Savage Worlds).

  "Incapacitated" implies that you're done.  You're defeated.  You can't do jack squat without a sudden heroic surge of energy.  According to RAW, that's not the case at all.  You're still in the fight, you're just in a very bad position.  However, if you can manage a few seconds to take a breather, you're right back in there, no problem.  So, shaken.

   Now, when you take that next hit while Shaken, now you're in trouble.  Sure, Unconscious works, I guess, but it's so... undramatic.  Besides, you can spend a Void point to throw off the condition.  Kinda silly to be knocked out, then suddenly wake up and fight.  To me, this works better as Incapacitated.  You fought to exhaustion, and then took a nasty slice across the midsection.  You're alive, but collapse to your knees.  Now you're probably screwed, though if you're just barely over your Endurance, and have a Void Point, you might be able to lure in an overconfident enemy (good luck with that).

   Even if you're definitely out of the fight, you get to go out like a badass.  Deliver your death poem, make a threat, or compliment your enemy before he takes your head.  These are all much cooler than being run through while you lie "Unconscious."

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