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player4254778

Character progression and titles

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One of my group is playing a shugenja and has earned the emerald magistrate title.  They want to learn more earth invocations so want to use this title as a way of learning more invocations as they will only need to add half the experience each time they learn a new invocation.  As they are playing a Yogo wardmaster currently at rank 1 they have access to earth invocations as part of this class but will need to add the full XP if they learn them this way.  I can’t see anything stopping them doing this but it just feels wrong. I appreciate it is slowing their progression as a wardmaster  but it does not seem right that they can learn twice as many invocations by choosing to learn them through the magistrate title whilst ploughing all of their other experience into other skills via the wardmaster.  Are they able to do this?

Hopefully this makes sense 

Thanks for any clarification 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/17/2019 at 8:11 PM, player4254778 said:

One of my group is playing a shugenja and has earned the emerald magistrate title.  They want to learn more earth invocations so want to use this title as a way of learning more invocations as they will only need to add half the experience each time they learn a new invocation.  As they are playing a Yogo wardmaster currently at rank 1 they have access to earth invocations as part of this class but will need to add the full XP if they learn them this way.  I can’t see anything stopping them doing this but it just feels wrong. I appreciate it is slowing their progression as a wardmaster  but it does not seem right that they can learn twice as many invocations by choosing to learn them through the magistrate title whilst ploughing all of their other experience into other skills via the wardmaster.  Are they able to do this?

Hopefully this makes sense 

Thanks for any clarification 

Titles (and bonds) as progression are not the best design ever... It is either weird, boring/unfun or abusable.

But, just let it go... let your players do whatever shenanigan they want to do with their XP. Do no try to control them by restricting some parts of rules.
You either fully allow it, or fully not allow it.

For example, me, I do NOT play with titles and bonds, because I think they are garbage. I use my own version of titles, basically just handling special abilities, name tag, or status as "rewards" instead of tacking it to progression.

But if you want to play with Titles and Bonds, go all in, Let the players do whatever they want and do not start to control how they want to squeeze out of the system. Nothing will be overpowered, because it is an RPG so you can increase or decrease the challenges as you see fit.

My reason to not allow titles and bonds as written is because we think they are unfun and overly gimmicky. But lots of people are fine with them.

Edited by Avatar111

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I guess I'm a little uncertain why they're doing it that way. They can still purchase rank 1 earth invocations at rank 2, they just only contribute half xp to the next rank.

Are they just disinterested in the Emerald Magistrate curriculum? If so, they can absolutely do it that way. It just seems like a waste. Once they complete it they won't have privileged access to all of those Kata, only able to pick up Open Hand in rank 3. Again, if they don't have any interest in Trade Skills, Martial Arts, Fitness, Performance, Kata, or Shallow Waters, that's fine. But I'd think they'd find a few things in there that they would want.

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I'm not sure I follow. Or rather I think I do, but I think you're missing something.

Titles, Page 306:

"Each time a character purchases an advancement, the character may allocate the XP spent to completing their title (with full value for listed advancements and half value for non-listed advancements, as with a curriculum). XP allocated to a title does not count toward the character’s current school rank (and vice-versa)."

  • So yes, if I choose to allocate XP to the Emerald Magistrate title, it doesn't go on completing the Yogo Wardmaster School Rank 1 Curriculum
    • Theoretically I can 'delay' completing the School Rank indefinitely - if I keep acquiring new titles every time I complete one and never spend any XP on my school curriculum.
    • Obviously that requires a degree of GM collusion since you have to be awarded the new title, generally by an NPC.
  • Whilst Earth Invocations are on the Yogo Wardmaster School Rank 1 Curriculum, they are not on the Emerald Magistrate Title Curriculum, therefore I get 'half credit' for XP spent on them.

 

What I'm not sure is what you think you're gaining by doing so.

On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 1:11 AM, player4254778 said:

it does not seem right that they can learn twice as many invocations by choosing to learn them through the magistrate title

They're not limited to only buying earth invocations at rank 1. Yogo Wardmasters have free technique class access to Invocations, therefore they can buy Earth Invocations at any rank. The only difference is that they only get full XP credit for them for completing their school rank at rank 1, meaning you want to buy them in rank 1 to get your 3rd prepared ward via Mystical Script with as few spent XP as possible.

There's never a restriction on the number of earth invocations a Yogo Wardmaster can take, aside from being limited to technique ranks by their school rank (again, a reason to want to increase school rank!)

 

Now in the case of techniques with preferential access (the ones with a diamond), then yes, you can only buy them as part of that rank or title. But when you're buying something you don't normally have access to (such as your Scorpion Yogo Wardmaster buying the normally clan-specific Kata Lord Hida's Grip or Lord Shiba's Valour via the Emerald Magistrate title), then I would suggest you should be required to allocate the XP to whichever curriculum is giving you that preferential access, because you can only buy those techniques via that route.

 

 

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In theory, your players should try to complete their school ranks as fast as possible (while also increasing rings) to open up stronger techniques.

Titles are just never worth it aside if it opens up a gimmick for you (a very strong technique that you otherwise cannot take).

It is 99% of the time better to take half XP in your school curriculum than full XP in a title.

Plus, such a mess titles are... If you get the status only once "completed", it goes against the narrarive pace because you might become a Daimyo but only get the status in like 5 sessions...
But if you give status upon receiving the titles, then the character cannot gain another title until he finished his current one; against, goes against narrative as the player is held up from aquiring other titles/recognition in game because he mechanically didn't spend XP in a title he can or cannot give a damm about.

g.a.r.b.a.g.e.

same as for bonds;

both are holding back the narrative for no good reason whatsoever.
 

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3 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

If you get the status only once "completed", it goes against the narrarive pace because you might become a Daimyo but only get the status in like 5 sessions...

"When a character is assigned a title, their status might change based on the Status Award listed in the title" - whether you think the rules are good or not, it seems pretty clear that the status change is when the title is assigned, not when it's completed.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

"When a character is assigned a title, their status might change based on the Status Award listed in the title" - whether you think the rules are good or not, it seems pretty clear that the status change is when the title is assigned, not when it's completed.

 

both ways the rules are bad (hence the "but" in my original post).
you take the title, you gain the status, you never complete it because (insert a reason).
you are stuck with this title and cannot have a new title.

that is bad for the narrative of the game as it puts an XP cost on story consequences and choices. forcing players to "complete" titles for progression is not a good, nor a fun mechanic as it doesn't necessarily align with the story and is just a gimmicky progression system that also slows down your school rank.

all in all, it is a garbage progression system design.
who is going to take a cheesy title like "yoriki" and spend all that xp to finish it to go for a better title like emerald magistrate? like the whole progression with titles is just awfully badly designed.
your yoriki is becoming daimyo? WAIT he CANNOT because he didn't spend like 24xp in his yoriki title.
its just a mess... and if you start to mix Bonds in there... it becomes UGLY.

thats all I was saying ;) gotta see what trash design is for what it is.
this game is a narrative/story driven game. and titles and bonds for "xp" 100% goes against that very concept. making story progression related to XP. ok CHOOSE now, you want to become a daimyo, or you want to develop a bond with that other character? its all very much wtf that you need to pay XP to "buy" your story. and god forbid you all of a sudden lose a "title". what happens then?
rather not think about it.

the whole title/bonds thing should have been a side progression system totally unrelated to XP spendings and more akin to "magic items or bonuses". It would have been totally more flexible, fun, and less of a gimmick.

Edited by Avatar111

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On 8/18/2019 at 1:11 AM, player4254778 said:

One of my group is playing a shugenja and has earned the emerald magistrate title.  They want to learn more earth invocations so want to use this title as a way of learning more invocations as they will only need to add half the experience each time they learn a new invocation.  As they are playing a Yogo wardmaster currently at rank 1 they have access to earth invocations as part of this class but will need to add the full XP if they learn them this way.  I can’t see anything stopping them doing this but it just feels wrong. I appreciate it is slowing their progression as a wardmaster  but it does not seem right that they can learn twice as many invocations by choosing to learn them through the magistrate title whilst ploughing all of their other experience into other skills via the wardmaster.  Are they able to do this?

Hopefully this makes sense 

Thanks for any clarification 

Thanks for the replies guys.  I will just let them do what they want with the XP as suggested.  Perhaps my issue (and it is my issue) is that I am not a power gamer, my friend is much more this way inclined.  He would probably say he is just maximising his characters potential, though!  I just never considered that someone would use a title to basically learn up to 15 extra invocations effectively using the title to gain an extra rank to use predominantly on extra spells.  Thanks for the input, anyway.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, player4254778 said:

Thanks for the replies guys.  I will just let them do what they want with the XP as suggested.  Perhaps my issue (and it is my issue) is that I am not a power gamer, my friend is much more this way inclined.  He would probably say he is just maximising his characters potential, though!  I just never considered that someone would use a title to basically learn up to 15 extra invocations effectively using the title to gain an extra rank to use predominantly on extra spells.  Thanks for the input, anyway.

 

but why...
he can take the extra spell the next rank too...

the title is totally useless and just slows down his progression. he is not powergaming, he is weakgaming.

Edited by Avatar111

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14 minutes ago, player4254778 said:

Thanks for the replies guys.  I will just let them do what they want with the XP as suggested.  Perhaps my issue (and it is my issue) is that I am not a power gamer, my friend is much more this way inclined.  He would probably say he is just maximising his characters potential, though!  I just never considered that someone would use a title to basically learn up to 15 extra invocations effectively using the title to gain an extra rank to use predominantly on extra spells.  Thanks for the input, anyway.

 

Yeah, there's a misunderstanding somewhere. If the intent is to power game, he's failing.

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Obviously I am not viewing this in the same way as some of you are.  I have never played L5R before apart from under D20 rules, so this is all new to me in this format, so may take me a while to get my head around things!  Deraforia & Avatar, why do you see this as weak gaming?  I totally understand that by putting XP into the Emerald Magistrate he is slowing down his wardmaster progression, if this what you are saying.  Perhaps as this is new to me I am looking at it all wrong, but what I see is someone who can learn 15 spells via the title (as he appears to have little interest in the other aspects of it), then use the 20xp required to advance in the wardmaster school without having to use any of this for spells so can increase rings or other rank 1 criteria.  When I have read other posts on here it seems to suggest Shugenja are really powerful, I can only assume this is due to the invocations they can learn.  So ultimately, even if it does slow progression down a little doesn’t having access to even more invocations make them even more powerful, hence why I referenced power gaming?  Thanks again for taking time to reply to my newbie confusion!

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11 minutes ago, player4254778 said:

Obviously I am not viewing this in the same way as some of you are.  I have never played L5R before apart from under D20 rules, so this is all new to me in this format, so may take me a while to get my head around things!  Deraforia & Avatar, why do you see this as weak gaming?  I totally understand that by putting XP into the Emerald Magistrate he is slowing down his wardmaster progression, if this what you are saying.  Perhaps as this is new to me I am looking at it all wrong, but what I see is someone who can learn 15 spells via the title (as he appears to have little interest in the other aspects of it), then use the 20xp required to advance in the wardmaster school without having to use any of this for spells so can increase rings or other rank 1 criteria.  When I have read other posts on here it seems to suggest Shugenja are really powerful, I can only assume this is due to the invocations they can learn.  So ultimately, even if it does slow progression down a little doesn’t having access to even more invocations make them even more powerful, hence why I referenced power gaming?  Thanks again for taking time to reply to my newbie confusion!

He doesnt need the title to do that.

Just progress your rank, when you are next rank get the invocations you want at half xp cost toward rank 3 if you really want those lower level ones.

What do you think is the purpose of putting half xp toward title instead of half or full xp toward rank?

Answer: none.

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Posted (edited)

Because he doesn't need to stay at rank 1 to learn rank 1 invocations.

ETA: And rising in rank faster means he gets access to better invocations. It also allows him to prepare more invocations.

Edited by deraforia

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Is it possible I could be giving too much XP then, as he seems to be progressing reasonably quickly through rank 1 wardmaster whilst still having XP to put towards his invocations via the Emerald Magistrate title?  I have tried to follow the core rules guidelines on this of 1XP per hour of game play, plus I have given a few extra points for completing a task, or good ideas etc, so did not think this was excessive.  Ultimately though I am not going to be stopping him doing what he wants with his XP, so will just have to see how it goes and tailor challenges accordingly.  My only other RPG experience is D20, and it just feels that advancement in this system, particularly in the number of spells you can learn and certainly in the amount you can cast at rank 1 is much greater.  In combat situations it just appears that you can keep casting invocations, or have I misunderstood this?

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, player4254778 said:

Is it possible I could be giving too much XP then, as he seems to be progressing reasonably quickly through rank 1 wardmaster whilst still having XP to put towards his invocations via the Emerald Magistrate title?  I have tried to follow the core rules guidelines on this of 1XP per hour of game play, plus I have given a few extra points for completing a task, or good ideas etc, so did not think this was excessive.  Ultimately though I am not going to be stopping him doing what he wants with his XP, so will just have to see how it goes and tailor challenges accordingly.  My only other RPG experience is D20, and it just feels that advancement in this system, particularly in the number of spells you can learn and certainly in the amount you can cast at rank 1 is much greater.  In combat situations it just appears that you can keep casting invocations, or have I misunderstood this?

True, progression is fast. But you should adjust xp how you see fit.

About combats, this game is not really, or at least, not only, a combat game. Sure they are there, but if you play this game mostly or almost exclusively for combats or with combat being the usual way to resolve conflicts, you might find it slightly redundant or spammy or imbalanced or imprecise sooner than later.

There is so much more to explore to this game than combat, some characters are actually not meant for combat at all. For a more varied and tactical "combat rpg" I would not recommend this game.

Hopefully you are able to see what this game can offer aside fights! Check the published adventure Winter's Embrace to help you learn about the intricacies of the setting, there is basically no fight (or maybe a small one) in it and that is all.

It says a lot.

Edited by Avatar111

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I actually do have the Winters Embrace module, but not had a chance to play it through yet.  I’m aware that the game should not really be run as a combat based affair, though my players do enjoy combat, so I am trying to keep a balance so we are all happy.  This system has a much better feel to than running it as D20, and I really like the different scenarios the roll and keep dice system allows, even if I do sometimes wish I could think of some better uses for opportunity than the generic tables provide, as I don’t want to keep using the same things over and over.  I’m glad  you agree that progression is fast, at least this makes me feel I may have got this about right.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, player4254778 said:

 In combat situations it just appears that you can keep casting invocations, or have I misunderstood this?

No, that's correct. It's not like D&D where you only have a number of spell 'slots' per day or session or whatever.

Non-conflict scenes, you're limited to using an invocation once per scene, but in a conflict if you want to keep flinging the same invocation, go right ahead. The only restriction is importune invocations (the rules for using invocations you don't actually 'know'), which is emphatically restricted and a lot harder than normal.

Most invocations aren't that amazing compared to the better kiho or kata of similar ranks; very few rank 1 invocations are that devastating compared to the default option of inserting a pointy bit of metal into your opponent. They advantage of supernatural damage (which bypasses most 'mundane' armour) makes them a touch better, but you're also not risking spiritual backlash and your shujenga spontaneously exploding, whilst a bushi can use the strife in fire stance to inflict unholy amounts of damage with bonus successes.

10 hours ago, player4254778 said:

When I have read other posts on here it seems to suggest Shugenja are really powerful, I can only assume this is due to the invocations they can learn.  So ultimately, even if it does slow progression down a little doesn’t having access to even more invocations make them even more powerful, hence why I referenced power gaming?


Having lots of different invocations doesn't help specifically, though. It's like a bushi going "I've got a katana! and a wakizashi! and a naginata! and a jitte! and a no-dachi! I'm an awesome swordsman!" and somehow not noticing that what they haven't done is actually got a ring rank or martial arts skill to use any of them effectively (okay, the allusion breaks down because they don't 'buy' their swords with XP, but you get the idea).

Having 2-3 useful conflict techniques is probably enough. If you desperately need a situation-specific invocation, importune invocations are available. What's important is having those techniques and the ring rank and the theology skill and (being a yogo!) the composition skill to use them effectively. Spending XP buying all the rank 1 invocations and nothing else and thinking this somehow makes you an awesome shujenga is heading straight for disappointment when you encounter an enemy and can't use any of your dozen techniques effectively because they all need bonus successes or opportunities to work properly.

 

1 hour ago, player4254778 said:

even if I do sometimes wish I could think of some better uses for opportunity than the generic tables provide, as I don’t want to keep using the same things over and over.

That's one thing you can expect to see in the sourcebooks. It's certainly something fleshed out in the Star Wars RPG sourcebooks for a similar mechanic, and Shadowlands for example included a trio of tables for spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 - one for spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 in the Shadowlands (or other heavily tainted environments), one for spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 when targeting tainted opponents, and one for spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 when you have a Shadowlands Taint disadvantage yourself.

If you want to get the beginner game, there are a few slightly different examples of 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 there (but obviously for simplified rules), and in the old beta rules. The latter has a table for spending 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 during mass battles, which is quite cool. Have a care since some of them aren't too balanced given how the rules have changed, but they're interesting inspiration.

As your players get more experienced, you should probably need less mechanical 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 options anyway; as they learn more techniques, they will generally have their own abilities they'll want to spend 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to activate.

9 hours ago, player4254778 said:

plus I have given a few extra points for completing a task, or good ideas etc, so did not think this was excessive.

My only observation; bonus XP is the one thing I think you should be fairly stingy with in the system. With a new technique only costing very few XP, a bonus XP point can be a much bigger deal than in other systems. For that matter, if you have an NPC ally with Expert In The Dojo or a similar rule (like Agasha Sumiko) giving a single bonus XP point can translate to that PC getting a whole extra skill rank.

I'd generally recommend giving players pretty much identical XP handouts, and recommend preferentially using the social attributes as rewards; I personally think glory and honour should be much more mobile stats (both up and down!) than most players I see seem to use them as.

Changing status is hard (let's not repeat the titles debate; simply agree there aren't many options to increase status) but honour and glory is pretty easy to 'win' if you try to do the right thing and don't screw up too apocalyptically doing it.

If only that wasn't a high bar for most RPG groups...

8 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Hopefully you are able to see what this game can offer aside fights! Check the published adventure Winter's Embrace to help you learn about the intricacies of the setting, there is basically no fight (or maybe a small one) in it and that is all.

And even that's a formal court duel, I believe.

But yes, it's remarkable (and says good things about the setting) that "you've been invited to court" is only slightly less terrifying to a wised-up player than the phrase "meanwhile, the other greater oni..."

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Posted (edited)

Generic options for opportunities are enough.

I even think it should have been less, but "wider" options!! (I really like the one that let you alter the narrative for exemple).

But when it comes down to "you get 10% discount on your next trade" I just start laughing.

Opportunity table should be concise, precise, versatile and well thought of. While some parts of p.328 are pretty decent (especially the general table), it starts to get pretty stupidely crunchy once you get into the martial table, and absolutely disgusting when you get on p.329 and anything in the sourcebook. This was also a design mistake imo. As, breaking the flow of a live rpg/story session around a table to start to find a ridiculous bonus to keep track off is borderline insane, and straight up unfun. On top of that, you have all technique opportunities (Which is really nice. That is exactly how you should "expend" your opportunity table, and not by adding more random tables in sourcebooks).
No reason "brain time" should be used to crunch numbers in that game, you should focus on the narrative.

For status gains/loses, I for one prefer games in which the PC can be movers and shakers. Why can't you be the son of a Daimyo from the get go? To me, L5R feels at its best when the PC are "big" (like, unique characters in the card game). After that, if a PC hunts for "status" then obviously I will also give the gaijin/ronin who have no status a pretty awesome link to the story that isn't "status".

but thats just me. I do not need Titles and Bonds, they just hinder imagination, story, and twists of fate.

Edited by Avatar111

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...but thats just me. I do not need Titles and Bonds that can be "bought" with XP, they just hinder imagination, story, and twists of fate.

Its like finding a magic item in D&D but then your DM tells you "that'll be 500xp for you to use it!"

Or: "hey, you are now the lord of that region", "but that'll be 1500xp, and until you pay it up, you cannot acquire other titles." God forbid the title was not "sergent in the army" or something else a bit noobish like that, what a downer it would have been.

Or: "hey, that NPC is now willing to go all out for you, if you pay 750xp, otherwise it'll just stay a basic NPC."

like, seriously? who thought a system like that could be any fun?


rant over. I threw all of that trash in the garbage :D

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Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate I have deviated a little from my initial question, but really interesting to read your responses.  I think what I can take from this is that I wish I had not used the title, but what is done is done and I need to adapt to it and not worry about how the xp is spent.  As Avatar 111 said it won’t be over balanced as I can just scale challenges appropriately anyway.  Also I will rethink offering bonus xp as mentioned, and as opportunity is likely to be used more often to increase effects of techniques etc, the generic tables should give enough variation.  Cheers guys.

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Wait.. I think i get whats going on. 


Player4254778 , your player isn't PAYING half xp for them, is he?  You're not giving him the invocations for 2 xp each? or 1, if you're rounding down.  He's PAYING 3 xp each, right? but only putting half of that xp towards his title completion?

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Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate I have deviated a little from my initial question, but really interesting to read your responses.  I think what I can take from this is that I wish I had not used the title, but what is done is done and I need to adapt to it and not worry about how the xp is spent.  As Avatar 111 said it won’t be over balanced as I can just scale challenges appropriately anyway.  Also I will rethink offering bonus xp as mentioned, and as opportunity is likely to be used more often to increase effects of techniques etc, the generic tables should give enough variation.  Cheers guys.  

 

8 hours ago, Scrivener Spills said:

Wait.. I think i get whats going on. 


Player4254778 , your player isn't PAYING half xp for them, is he?  You're not giving him the invocations for 2 xp each? or 1, if you're rounding down.  He's PAYING 3 xp each, right? but only putting half of that xp towards his title completion?

Scrivener - sorry, for some reason I can’t post a reply, only add to this.   He is paying 3 but putting 2 towards the Xp count which is why I thought this may be power gaming when I originally posted.  Every time he wants to learn an invocation he learns it via the title not his school so he will learn more invocations as less Xp goes to the count.  I fully understand this will slow his progression to the wardmaster, but anytime he puts xp to the title it will do this.  As avatar said you can adjust the challenges, so even if he advances slower I just set challenges accordingly.  All I could see initially was that he would eventually be a level 6 wardmaster but with more spell access as he had used the title exclusively for this.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, player4254778 said:

 All I could see initially was that he would eventually be a level 6 wardmaster but with more spell access as he had used the title exclusively for this.

Yes, with a but.

If I reach School Rank 'slowly' - because almost  all of my XP has been sunk into titles or bonds then at a given school rank I have far more....everything....than a player at the same rank who's 'rushed' through their school curriculum by buying stuff straight from and only from the school curriculum. As an obvious example, they won't have increased their starting rings. But comparing a rank 1 to rank 1 character is pointless in this case; compare a 50XP character to a 50XP character.

 

Assuming we've both spend the same amount of XP at any given point in time, the 'slow learner' who doesn't spend XP 'in school' will have higher rings, title abilities, and weird and wonderful out-of-school (low rank) techniques. The 'quick learner' on the other hand will have a narrower selection of techniques and skills which are supposed to complement the school's focus, and will have achieved a higher school rank with the same XP, meaning they can buy higher tier techniques the 'slow learner' can't take, their school ability is more powerful, and they get to their school mastery ability much faster.

Which is better? That pretty much depends on a specific build.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Which is better? That pretty much depends on a specific build.

Strictly in "power" term, the character who only take abilities in his school curriculum (and rings, obviously) is better.

It is possible that you take one or two out of school technique to complement your build, but titles and bonds are absurdly gimmicky and ripe for some weird abuses to unlock specific broken abilities only. They are an aberration in the system.

 

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Well, if to some, the only benefit of a title or bond is the status improvement, shouldn't investment  increase status further? In game terms it's the difference between a mediocre yojimbo and an excellent one (ie. guard of a more influential NPC).

I'll completely agree that collecting/diversifying/hoarding skills and techniques at any rank means constraining access to higher rank abilities. That will backfire against your supposed "power gamer" when they are challenged by a peer with equivalent XP who focused on their studies.

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