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TheBlindSamurai

Pacifism and Violence

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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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Posted (edited)

Falling.

There are several techniques that (can) inflict conditions, Bleeding being among those.

Also, I'd say that not being able to defend against damage is involuntary, and it results in a crit.

 

More to the point, I don't really get what you mean by "inherently playing as pacifists". Players can choose not to inflict critical hits, yes, but they can also choose to keep inflicting damage past the point where their opponent can defend against it or use one of several mechanics to trigger a crit without first exhausting their opponent's fatigue reserves. It's a choice, and nothing pushes the players towards the pacifist option over the lethal one.

Honestly, going non-lethal is arguably the harder choice to make. Incapacitating someone without inflicting crits is not an easy thing to do.

Edited by nameless ronin

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

Honestly, going non-lethal is arguably the harder choice to make. Incapacitating someone without inflicting crits is not an easy thing to do.

Actually, that is the game's default mode. You just don't use opportunity die. A basic attack just winds the opponent, until they collapse. Nothing triggers from the Crit Table, they don't take injury, they don't even bleed. You then just tie up or arrest your enemies while they're in the Incapacitated state. That state just says they can't make Checks, but that state is distinct from being Unconscious. You can incapacitate somebody with a Katana, the only thing to do is just not use Opportunity die.

In fact, I actually want to know how somebody can ever, without seeking to do so, ever make a check from the Crit Table for deadliness. Unless you spent actively select to use Op. Die from a Strike, you physically CANNOT kill an opponent before you have the chance to incapacitate them first.

EDIT: There is always the option to have an NPC not defend with fatigue and take a Critical Strike instead, but that is a GM issue and not something the player has control over.

Edited by TheBlindSamurai

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I have an idea as a homebrew rule to enforce deadliness so a player has to WANT to seek techniques that immobilize or to disarm opponents and that is, once a Character is incapacitated, they are in the Bleeding and Injured state if they were not in one of those states before the blow that pushed their fatigue past their endurance. At least in this manner even incapacitating foes is still dangerous and players need to find and use weapons with Snaring or techniques such as Crimson Leaves Strike or Breath of the Wind, anything to incapacitate and immobilize. Or, to use Coiling Serpent Style.

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5 hours ago, TheBlindSamurai said:

I have an idea as a homebrew rule to enforce deadliness so a player has to WANT to seek techniques that immobilize or to disarm opponents and that is, once a Character is incapacitated, they are in the Bleeding and Injured state if they were not in one of those states before the blow that pushed their fatigue past their endurance. At least in this manner even incapacitating foes is still dangerous and players need to find and use weapons with Snaring or techniques such as Crimson Leaves Strike or Breath of the Wind, anything to incapacitate and immobilize. Or, to use Coiling Serpent Style.

Incapacitate the opponent, then punch them.

Your punch will just break their armor (because, good rules) and they will fall unconscious.

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Minions are defeated once incapacitated, and if the attack that put them over dealt at least 7 damage, they are dead. Most of the time you'll need to spend bonus points to get that level of damage, but a tetsubo or an otsuchi could simply be a death sentence against an unarmored foe.

Adversaries act like PCs, which means they can calming breath their fatigue back inside their endurance. Once incapacitated, you will need to work fast to restrain them, or risk letting them get away or even attack you again. Any further attacks against an incapacitated foe will be critical strikes, so there's definitely danger of death.

Duels can very easily turn deadly even if you don't want them to. A finishing blow with a katana in a two-handed grip, if it does not get reduced by the fitness roll, is an agonizing death.

I rather like that PCs have to work to get the kill. It gives the player choice, and gives important Adversaries a better chance to turn up again later, seeking revenge.

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Posted (edited)

A "choice" ?

To kill an adversary you need to hit them while they are incapacitated, then they fall unconscious, then, the next turn, you hit them again while they are unconscious to kill them.

While it does give a choice, it is terribly anti-climactic in many circumstances.

 

Edited by Avatar111

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12 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Incapacitate the opponent, then punch them.

Your punch will just break their armor (because, good rules) and they will fall unconscious.

Break their armor?

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59 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

Break their armor?

Yes, Critical strike with severity reduced to 0-2 damage the armor, RAW... but I tend to overlook this if it's too ludicrous.

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22 hours ago, TheBlindSamurai said:

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

Maybe best to see it this way. As written, combat works like this: attackers TRY to do harm onto their adversaries (say, by swinging a 4 foot long razor blade in their general direction) but they usually do not manage to do any real damage as long as said adversary has enough resource to defend themselves (it's exactly that: you take Fatigue to "Defend" against damage).

The double opportunity crit is just an exception to the rule, some nice shortcut you can chose to take or not and sometimes just cannot even take because your opponent is in Earth stance. Or you can chose to use them on another effect (e.g. striking as Water to make sure your Katana does not break on the big Dark Moto's plated armor...). That does not make you a pacifist.

Finally, the target of the attack can make that choice for you by spending a Void Point and choose not to Defend... the strike you executed is exactly the same, but it's your opponent's choice to sacrifice limb in favor of being able to fight another round that causes an actual wound to take place. So your attack was not, inherently, "harmless" to begin with.

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