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breaking blow

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what do we think of that kiho? isn't it just super easy to destroy any weapon or armor in the game with that? especially since it is a fire. meaning you can basically destroy the opponent's main weapon in every encounter?

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Yeah it does seem a bit problematic. If players are inclined to abuse the ability ill need to houserule some kind of restriction to how/when it works. Maybe honor loss. Or give Adversaries a way around it at additional fatigue cost or at least a check to resist. 

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It does, doesn't it? The basic version, anyway.

Quote

While this kihō is active, when you succeed at a Martial Arts [Unarmed] check against a target, choose one worn piece of armor or readied weapon in one target’s possession. It gains the Damaged quality (see page 240) unless the target chooses to receive 2 fatigue.

The 'burst effect' with bonus successes is that the effect can't be cancelled by taking fatigue, if I'm reading it right, though, and that might want looking at (upping Damaged to Destroyed seems a fair burst effect, but I think the Fatigue cost should increase but should probably not cease to be an option).

But for a 'normal' use it essentially translates to "+2 unarmed damage unless you're going to let me damage something you're using".

 

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It does, doesn't it? The basic version, anyway.

The 'burst effect' with bonus successes is that the effect can't be cancelled by taking fatigue, if I'm reading it right, though, and that might want looking at (upping Damaged to Destroyed seems a fair burst effect, but I think the Fatigue cost should increase but should probably not cease to be an option).

But for a 'normal' use it essentially translates to "+2 unarmed damage unless you're going to let me damage something you're using".

 

The "normal" use is fine. But you only use this Kiho for the burst. It is the burst which is totally busted.

Tn1 ability, fire stance, 4 bonus success = destroyed weapon of opponent without counter.

 

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Posted (edited)

If it works and you get the required successes, its pretty rough. Thing is, if the target has a second weapon or the weapon has Durable, it is almost suicide to waste your action on it.

Its one of those Kihos that, IMO, is best used in moderation. Have your players encounter it once or twice, shatter one of their weapons or armor to make a point, but I would not use it more.

If a player has it, and they just spam it for the lolz, you can always swamp them with superior numbers, people with backup weapons, or durable/unbreakable gear, then kill them, then tell them to make a character or a different school.

Its L5R. People can die. Players with abusive build gimmicks that just serve to annoy me tend to die more often than others ....

Where it is REALLY **** is if you want to go into PvP, as many posts on these forums always seem to assume. Yes, a breaking blow Togashi can just break all your stuff and laugh at you if you are a player character with no backup weapon, or no way to prevent it.

As I see it, its one of the "feast or famine" mechanics. L5R has a couple of those (like many modern RPG systems) to cater, I suppose, to the high-risk, high-reward players. If BB doesnt work, you wasted your action in a system where fights end usually with 2-3 attacks. If it works, you have completely changed the trajectory of the fight.

As a GM, I would not houserule it. If you break the ancestral katana of scorpion-san, his family is now going to send shinobi. If you fail to break the Lions no-dachi because you rolled badly, you will now be at the receiving end of a surprisingly dangerous (and spontaneously upgraded) Akodo trying to cut off your hands.

Also keep in mind that almost all samurai opponents carry a full daisho. You broke their katana? Well too bad Iaijutsu:crossing blade works with a wakizashi!

Edited by Kaiju

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9 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

If it works and you get the required successes, its pretty rough. Thing is, if the target has a second weapon or the weapon has Durable, it is almost suicide to waste your action on it.

Its one of those Kihos that, IMO, is best used in moderation. Have your players encounter it once or twice, shatter one of their weapons or armor to make a point, but I would not use it more.

If a player has it, and they just spam it for the lolz, you can always swamp them with superior numbers, people with backup weapons, or durable/unbreakable gear, then kill them, then tell them to make a character or a different school.

Its L5R. People can die. Players with abusive build gimmicks that just serve to annoy me tend to die more often than others ....

Where it is REALLY **** is if you want to go into PvP, as many posts on these forums always seem to assume. Yes, a breaking blow Togashi can just break all your stuff and laugh at you if you are a player character with no backup weapon, or no way to prevent it.

As I see it, its one of the "feast or famine" mechanics. L5R has a couple of those (like many modern RPG systems) to cater, I suppose, to the high-risk, high-reward players. If BB doesnt work, you wasted your action in a system where fights end usually with 2-3 attacks. If it works, you have completely changed the trajectory of the fight.

As a GM, I would not houserule it. If you break the ancestral katana of scorpion-san, his family is now going to send shinobi. If you fail to break the Lions no-dachi because you rolled badly, you will now be at the receiving end of a surprisingly dangerous (and spontaneously upgraded) Akodo trying to cut off your hands.

Also keep in mind that almost all samurai opponents carry a full daisho. You broke their katana? Well too bad Iaijutsu:crossing blade works with a wakizashi!

I do believe in the necessity to add narrative to situations and push consequences on actions. Absolutely.

But the monk can still break a lot of things without much effort. It is a rank 1 kata. Ok, send your shinobi at him... I mean, as a player I'd break the opponent's weapon all the time. Especially in the optic of playing a group fight with many players supporting each others.

Sure, sometimes as a GM you will have a counter to it. your npc had a wakizashi and crossing cut, because, your npc had a durable katana, because.

I just find it an extremely disruptive ability for such an easy TN and low rank. This is a game changing, spammable ability. No matter how you put it, as a GM you will have to deal with the fact that your npc main weapons can be broken instantly. And play around that fact in every skirmishes or what, build your whole campaign about shinobis being sent to kill that one monk PC who breaks katana every rounds?

 

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34 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

Thing is, if the target has a second weapon or the weapon has Durable, it is almost suicide to waste your action on it.

As an observation - you're not wasting your action. (Well, you are to activate the Kiho, I guess)

The effect triggers when you succeed at a martial arts check - it's not an action in and of itself, you damage an item as a side effect of punching them.

I would agree about second weapons, though - whilst it may not be on their character sheet, you can default to the assumption most bushi will be carrying their daisho.

48 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

The "normal" use is fine. But you only use this Kiho for the burst. It is the burst which is totally busted.

Tn1 ability, fire stance, 4 bonus success = destroyed weapon of opponent without counter.

Which was my comment - sorry, I may not have been clear.

The basic effect is fine. Upgrading the basic effect from "take 2 fatigue or it's damaged" to "take 2 fatigue or it's destroyed" (or even a higher amount of fatigue) doesn't seem so bad.

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A normal punch without any other Kiho support (which you cant do, because you cant stack a Kiho on top of Breaking Blow. Most unarmed damage is only good because of Kihos) is almost certainly not going to hurt anyone of comparable rank/fighting ability. So if BB doesnt actually do what its supposed to do even a single round, I imagine you are normally pretty screwed.

@Avatar111 If a player like you, who finds such a thing and then spams it all day, is in a group of likeminded people who enjoy these things, then I all assume the GM just spams the hardcounter cheese to that strategy as well. At that point we are talking about things like infinite stats kobold sorcerers, bag full of rats to trigger cleave attacks, and similar RAW combos. I would say breaking blow is only a problem if that player abuses it, and everyone else tries to play more normally. 

I would wish for a RPG system that has no cheesy loopholes, no weird interactions or spammable things. It just doesnt exist, or it only happens in systems so minimalistic I dont care for playing them. 

I find Breaking Blow to be a weirdly strong kiho for what it does, with weirdly little defense, but its easy to work around and just kill the character if you dont like him in a fight that is built around his one-trick-pony strategy.

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2 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

@Avatar111 If a player like you, who finds such a thing and then spams it all day, is in a group of likeminded people who enjoy these things, then I all assume the GM just spams the hardcounter cheese to that strategy as well. At that point we are talking about things like infinite stats kobold sorcerers, bag full of rats to trigger cleave attacks, and similar RAW combos. I would say breaking blow is only a problem if that player abuses it, and everyone else tries to play more normally. 

Well, it is my rank 1 kiho. Not like I have that many by then probably. Of course I will use it. I don't think it is "cheese", its just the way my monk do things, its one of his 2-3 techniques, he break weapons. Not like I made a "cheese combo of a bag full of rat to trigger cleave attacks". Big difference!

 

3 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

I find Breaking Blow to be a weirdly strong kiho for what it does, with weirdly little defense, but its easy to work around and just kill the character if you dont like him in a fight that is built around his one-trick-pony strategy.

probably easier to just slightly nerf the kiho in a logicaly way that even the player would agree with. case is, the thing is busted. now, do you deal with it by sending shinobis and killing the PC? or with a houserule? Or just accept that all your adversaries will lose their armor or weapon within 1 or 2 rounds? 

the choices are many! like what a good rpg should be ;)

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Well if it causes problems for your GM, of course house-ruling is an option. My group has a togashi monk who uses it, and it simply hasnt been a problem worth house ruling. He broke a handful of ronin weapons or bandit stuff, the occasional door, but he stopped doing it because wakizashis exist, he doesnt do any actual damage towards ending the fight with it, and it only disarms one of his opponents. Most fights were against superior numbers of weaker opponents. 

If I had to houserule it because I wanted to bring in a lot of one-weapon specialists where the encounter falls apart when their weapons break, and for some reason I dont want to go with durable, I would probably houserule a simple fix: You cannot breaking-blow items that people currently are wielding. It even makes sense realistically: its almost impossible to target a sword, spear or knife that is constantly moving with enough force to do anything to it, whereas "Body is Anvil" services the "shattering the weapon on defense" fantasy.

I would still allow it to damage armor. It has to have SOME combat utility.

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29 minutes ago, Kaiju said:

Well if it causes problems for your GM, of course house-ruling is an option. My group has a togashi monk who uses it, and it simply hasnt been a problem worth house ruling. He broke a handful of ronin weapons or bandit stuff, the occasional door, but he stopped doing it because wakizashis exist, he doesnt do any actual damage towards ending the fight with it, and it only disarms one of his opponents. Most fights were against superior numbers of weaker opponents. 

If I had to houserule it because I wanted to bring in a lot of one-weapon specialists where the encounter falls apart when their weapons break, and for some reason I dont want to go with durable, I would probably houserule a simple fix: You cannot breaking-blow items that people currently are wielding. It even makes sense realistically: its almost impossible to target a sword, spear or knife that is constantly moving with enough force to do anything to it, whereas "Body is Anvil" services the "shattering the weapon on defense" fantasy.

I would still allow it to damage armor. It has to have SOME combat utility.

yeah, if the monk starts to challenge opponents and break their weapon it is weird.

allowing armor is fair, it basically is one turn to remove their phys defense. still very effin strong. but fair.
its the weapon breaking that just feels so cheap.
and yeah, against multiple weaker opponent, it isn't an issue at all. its more an issue for climactic fights.

thx for the insight.

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