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deanstride

Messed up Utaku character build, how bad is it?

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Hello all!

Long story short, I'm playing an Utaku Battle Maiden and I recently realized I've focused my entire build on the wrong ring. I'm new to this game (and type of roleplay), and I kind of went about it haphazardly, not checking at all to see what kind of skills I would be getting from my curriculum. My idea was to make her centered around recovery and mobility to complement her heroic ability, so I foolishly upped my Water ring to 3, left all the rest at 2 and my Void ring at 1. My advantages and passion were also picked with that idea in mind -- Bishamon's Blessing, Travel and Paragon of Bushido: Compassion. The more I think about it now, the more I realize I've fundamentally misunderstood my school and this is a serious handicap. What do you think?

Thank you!

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7 hours ago, deanstride said:

Hello all!

Long story short, I'm playing an Utaku Battle Maiden and I recently realized I've focused my entire build on the wrong ring. I'm new to this game (and type of roleplay), and I kind of went about it haphazardly, not checking at all to see what kind of skills I would be getting from my curriculum. My idea was to make her centered around recovery and mobility to complement her heroic ability, so I foolishly upped my Water ring to 3, left all the rest at 2 and my Void ring at 1. My advantages and passion were also picked with that idea in mind -- Bishamon's Blessing, Travel and Paragon of Bushido: Compassion. The more I think about it now, the more I realize I've fundamentally misunderstood my school and this is a serious handicap. What do you think?

Thank you!

It does not matter at all. At 32221, you are still rank 1 with no ring increase. You have enough time to upgrade whatever you feel like.

Depending on how you play the game, it is also possible your advantages/disadvantages are not element/ring locked.

This question is very hard to answer because not two groups play the game the same way...
If you ask the question in a very strict and polished ruleset, D&D5e style, with simple hack and slash adventuring... I could answer you.


But this is L5R... and L5R is very high on void ring. Nothing is anything, everything can be something.

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8 hours ago, deanstride said:

The more I think about it now, the more I realize I've fundamentally misunderstood my school and this is a serious handicap. What do you think?

I wouldn't have said so. Being able to move is important to using Heroic Charge, and being able to fight effectively in Water Stance is a big part of being able to move a long way whilst attacking.

Let me put it another way: why do you think a high-water Utaku doesn't work? Fire speciality is probably better for 'shock' but water lets you keep fighting. It also lets you keep minor fatigue and strife hits in check, and makes you much more mobile. Water maneuver actions whilst mounted will let you outmanoeuvre anyone on an Utaku steed, with 3 bonus successes and the ability to spend 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to move a free range band on top means you can realistically cover 'bow range' in a single turn.

An Utaku Shiotome can deliver a truly eye-watering amount of damage on the charge with her sword. The key is picking Crossing Cut. It's not really on your school curriculum (well, it is, but not till rank 3) but it's well worth the out-of-school purchase at rank 2.

  • Crossing Cut allows you to attack with a sheathed Katana one-handed at range 1-2.
    • this is an increase on the standard range, which is always useful.
    • it causes damage based on the deadliness of the weapon - in a one-handed grip this is 5, more than the standard damage for a sword.
    • Razor-edged allows you to trade 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 for more damage by upping the deadliness of the weapon, meaning if you succeed, any result that's not a blank will contribute to damage.
    • Crossing Cut has the attack subtype, giving you 1 bonus success if you move 1 range band before using it.
    • Crossing Cut also has the movement subtype, giving you 3 bonus successes from your Utaku steed's water ring if you succeed.
    • You automatically have skilled assistance from your Utaku Steed whilst fighting from the saddle

 

8 hours ago, deanstride said:

Bishamon's Blessing, Travel and Paragon of Bushido: Compassion

  • Paragon of Compassion is a very Unicorn advantage to take; it is supposed to be the most important tenet of bushido to your clan.
  • Travel - depends on the game. But it's quite realistic you should be able to use that.
  • Bishamon's Blessing....it depends. There are relatively few game effects which require a check to recover from exhaustion, but it's a useful narrative tool for downtime scenes - if you're getting from A to B on a long journey, for example, you can 'force march' longer and harder than anyone else because you need to pause less, so...rerolls on the survival or fitness check.

 

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40 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

An Utaku Shiotome can deliver a truly eye-watering amount of damage on the charge with her sword. The key is picking Crossing Cut. It's not really on your school curriculum (well, it is, but not till rank 3) but it's well worth the out-of-school purchase at rank 2.

  • Crossing Cut allows you to attack with a sheathed Katana one-handed at range 1-2.
    • this is an increase on the standard range, which is always useful.
    • it causes damage based on the deadliness of the weapon - in a one-handed grip this is 5, more than the standard damage for a sword.
    • Razor-edged allows you to trade 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 for more damage by upping the deadliness of the weapon, meaning if you succeed, any result that's not a blank will contribute to damage.
    • Crossing Cut has the attack subtype, giving you 1 bonus success if you move 1 range band before using it.
    • Crossing Cut also has the movement subtype, giving you 3 bonus successes from your Utaku steed's water ring if you succeed.
    • You automatically have skilled assistance from your Utaku Steed whilst fighting from the saddle

 

 

Don't do this to us Magnus... Not that cheese that was definitely not intended.
I cry inside.
Knife = Best Utaku mounted weapon!

NOOOOoooo Magnus, NooooOOOO!

Edited by Avatar111

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2 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

It does not matter at all. At 32221, you are still rank 1 with no ring increase. You have enough time to upgrade whatever you feel like.

Depending on how you play the game, it is also possible your advantages/disadvantages are not element/ring locked.

This question is very hard to answer because not two groups play the game the same way...
If you ask the question in a very strict and polished ruleset, D&D5e style, with simple hack and slash adventuring... I could answer you.


But this is L5R... and L5R is very high on void ring. Nothing is anything, everything can be something.

Thank you for your response!

I figured I had a long game ahead of me and I could turn the ship around eventually, but I was wondering if I had dealt myself a bad hand to start with. Our GM is neither strict, nor polished, so that's good. He actually offered me a chance to recalibrate one ring. Would that help in any way?

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14 minutes ago, deanstride said:

Thank you for your response!

I figured I had a long game ahead of me and I could turn the ship around eventually, but I was wondering if I had dealt myself a bad hand to start with. Our GM is neither strict, nor polished, so that's good. He actually offered me a chance to recalibrate one ring. Would that help in any way?

Fine as is, you do not want any ring at 1 eventually, thats for sure.

Ok ok.. if you really want to powergame, the best setup is to start with 33211, because it cost less XP to raise the rings afterward to reach the same statline. But that is about it...
You can check what rings your techniques with special access are tied to, if you want to know which ring to get to 3 first (if you even want those techniques).

Otherwise the game is not an exercise in "tweaking" as the system will crumble if you start to do that (like the above example of using a Knife with Iaijutsu Crossing Cut as the best weapon attack for an utaku battle maiden while mounted).
And if everybody try to game the system like that... I can't guarantee your enjoyment of this game!
 

Edited by Avatar111

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I wouldn't have said so. Being able to move is important to using Heroic Charge, and being able to fight effectively in Water Stance is a big part of being able to move a long way whilst attacking.

Let me put it another way: why do you think a high-water Utaku doesn't work? Fire speciality is probably better for 'shock' but water lets you keep fighting. It also lets you keep minor fatigue and strife hits in check, and makes you much more mobile. Water maneuver actions whilst mounted will let you outmanoeuvre anyone on an Utaku steed, with 3 bonus successes and the ability to spend 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to move a free range band on top means you can realistically cover 'bow range' in a single turn.

An Utaku Shiotome can deliver a truly eye-watering amount of damage on the charge with her sword. The key is picking Crossing Cut. It's not really on your school curriculum (well, it is, but not till rank 3) but it's well worth the out-of-school purchase at rank 2.

  • Crossing Cut allows you to attack with a sheathed Katana one-handed at range 1-2.
    • this is an increase on the standard range, which is always useful.
    • it causes damage based on the deadliness of the weapon - in a one-handed grip this is 5, more than the standard damage for a sword.
    • Razor-edged allows you to trade 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 for more damage by upping the deadliness of the weapon, meaning if you succeed, any result that's not a blank will contribute to damage.
    • Crossing Cut has the attack subtype, giving you 1 bonus success if you move 1 range band before using it.
    • Crossing Cut also has the movement subtype, giving you 3 bonus successes from your Utaku steed's water ring if you succeed.
    • You automatically have skilled assistance from your Utaku Steed whilst fighting from the saddle

 

  • Paragon of Compassion is a very Unicorn advantage to take; it is supposed to be the most important tenet of bushido to your clan.
  • Travel - depends on the game. But it's quite realistic you should be able to use that.
  • Bishamon's Blessing....it depends. There are relatively few game effects which require a check to recover from exhaustion, but it's a useful narrative tool for downtime scenes - if you're getting from A to B on a long journey, for example, you can 'force march' longer and harder than anyone else because you need to pause less, so...rerolls on the survival or fitness check.

 

Thank you so much for the detailed reply!

That was my reasoning behind focusing on the Water ring, but since the school curriculum didn't offer any support for that ring, I assumed it was wrong to do so and mobility wasn't the central aspect of an Utaku but rather power.

About Paragon of Compassion, that was why I picked it as well. There was all this talk about this being their central tenet as you said, and I figured it would mesh well with my idea of the character. Travel was purely because it was the only passion that made sense for my character and it was also Water, so it clicked well. My GM says I could practically activate it all the time, since he rules that every time we go somewhere I can perform a check to interact with a "novel" thing, which could potentially be anything really.

My whole plan behind Bishamon's Blessing was to use it as you suggested, during downtime or in-between scenes so I can be active longer. I already used it in our prologue once to recover a lot of fatigue overnight. I'm not sure how our GM would consider this advantage but I could talk to him to see if he would consider recognizing all survival and fitness checks. My only concern is whether or not all survival and fitness checks regarding recovery of fatigue aren't all Water approaches.

Originally, my instinct was to go down an Earth-centric route and pick Indomitable Will + Famously Reliable, but then I got sidetracked and ended up here... Would you say one or both of those would have been better?

Lastly, I asked Avatar111 this as well, but if I were to redistribute my rings, how would you go about it?

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19 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

Fine as is, you do not want any ring at 1 eventually, thats for sure.

Ok ok.. if you really want to powergame, the best setup is to start with 33211, because it cost less XP to raise the rings afterward to reach the same statline. But that is about it...
You can check what rings your techniques with special access are tied to, if you want to know which ring to get to 3 first (if you even want those techniques).

Otherwise the game is not an exercise in "tweaking" as the system will crumble if you start to do that (like the above example of using a Knife with Iaijutsu Crossing Cut as the best weapon attack for an utaku battle maiden while mounted).
And if everybody try to game the system like that... I can't guarantee your enjoyment of this game!
 

Thank you for your suggestion! Would that be 3 Air, 3 Earth, 2 Fire, 1 Water, 1 Void? I don't intend to powergame, but I also don't want to be too far behind. As for the special access techniques:

  • Rank 1 is Lady Shinjo's Speed, which is associated with Void;
  • Rank 2 is Thunderclap Strike, which is associated with Air;
  • Rank 3 is Pillar of Calm, which is associated with Earth;
  • Rank 4 is Soul Sunder, which is associated with Void.

That would make Air, Earth and Void my main rings according to those.

Edited by deanstride

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7 minutes ago, deanstride said:

Thank you for your suggestion! I don't intend to powergame, but I also don't want to be too far behind. As for the special access techniques:

  • Rank 1 is Lady Shinjo's Speed, which is associated with Void;
  • Rank 2 is Thunderclap Strike, which is associated with Air;
  • Rank 3 is Pillar of Calm, which is associated with Earth;
  • Rank 4 is Soul Sunder, which is associated with Void.

That would make Air, Earth and Void my main rings according to those.

weird stuff for Battle Maiden. honestly, all is open to you. Thunderclap isn't "that hot", nor is Lady Shinjo's speed. check your starting techniques then?
Void eventually everybody raises it.

So yeah, you can do whatever you want. Choose ring for your RP.
want to be DPS ? fire
want to be Support + Flexible ? water
want to be Tanky ? earth
want to be Evasive and Social ? air
want to be Weird and Aware ? void

all good, check the adjectives for the approaches, and go with wha you feel.

Edited by Avatar111

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4 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Don't do this to us Magnus... Not that cheese that was definitely not intended.
I cry inside.
Knife = Best Utaku mounted weapon!

It's more a case that it was the only Movement plus Attack Kata I can see. I wouldn't be surprised to see a cavalry-charge kata come out with whatever unicorn-centric sourcebook we eventually get. And the knife i okay, I, guess, but ptly enough the scimitar is better...

2 hours ago, deanstride said:

That was my reasoning behind focusing on the Water ring, but since the school curriculum didn't offer any support for that ring, I assumed it was wrong to do so and mobility wasn't the central aspect of an Utaku but rather power.

Mobility is basically the core of Unicorn tactics. Hit and run is a key pillar of Utaku tactics - pile in, fight, fall back, calming breath, rinse and repeat.

2 hours ago, deanstride said:

I already used it in our prologue once to recover a lot of fatigue overnight.

It doesn't double mechanical fatigue recovery so much as narrative stuff - but with a high water ring you already regain 6 fatigue with a good night's sleep.

2 hours ago, deanstride said:

Thank you for your suggestion! Would that be 3 Air, 3 Earth, 2 Fire, 1 Water, 1 Void? I don't intend to powergame, but I also don't want to be too far behind. As for the special access techniques:

  • Rank 1 is Lady Shinjo's Speed, which is associated with Void;
  • Rank 2 is Thunderclap Strike, which is associated with Air;
  • Rank 3 is Pillar of Calm, which is associated with Earth;
  • Rank 4 is Soul Sunder, which is associated with Void.

That would make Air, Earth and Void my main rings according to those.

Don't fixate on those techniques. Yes, you get them early, but they're nice-to-haves. Lady Shinjo's speed doubles up your movement speed in narrative scenes, for example, but not in combat. And it only works if you're mounted. Which you will be but many of your compatriots may not be.

There is no real 'wrong' configuration of rings. The one thing which is generally a mistake is to sink too much into void early on, because it's more relevant when you either have lots of talents powered by void points or void-ring kata and shuji, which are largely high-rank stuff.

 

Equally, in any non-conflict scene, you will always wish you had a better balance of rings than you do.. Water, for example, is your awareness check and your ability to be charming.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Heck, I was planning to make a water ring centered battle maiden myself. I hope it’s good! 

Why is the knife such a big deal? It’s concealable, but if you use Iaijutsu then every razor edged weapon can be drawn and cut with. 

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23 minutes ago, AndyDay303 said:

Heck, I was planning to make a water ring centered battle maiden myself. I hope it’s good! 

Why is the knife such a big deal? It’s concealable, but if you use Iaijutsu then every razor edged weapon can be drawn and cut with. 

You can sheathe it back in the same action (concealable), so you can do it every turn while keeping your hands free.

And its just totally nutcase that a iaijutsu drawn knife with a charging horse does like 3 times the damage of a spear (that you cannot hold with one hand on a horse according to the rules) and that it can strike at range 1-2 (crossing cut). Since crossing cut is also a movement action, it gets the mounted bonuses...

Bottomline, the game is like that, no way around it, it is mechanically very flimsy. You pick your fights and decide what to allow or not as a GM. And if you are cool with a knife crossing cut mounted utaku battle maiden super fighting style. So be it. I tried to patch as less as possible in my houserule for usability's sake. So I just mentioned that for the mounted bonus successes, it only works on maneuvre action checks (and not all movement action checks). I'd also allow to wield a yari with one hand on a horse. You know, it is everywhere in the drawings...

 

 

 

Edited by Avatar111

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1) In L5R, there is no such thing as a build that completely screws you over....you are ALWAYS going to be screwed over somewhere! You built a highly mobile character, so you are going to be weak in skirmishes that restrict that mobility, or in duels. One fun thing to remember, though: you still get to attack with Water Stance/approach. If you can describe what you are doing, the GM should allow it. 

2) You went thematic. That is very appropriate for L5R, especially for a newer player. In fact, generally speaking, I recommend it. There is plenty of time to play a war-like Phoenix Shugenja, a poetic Crab, or an honest Scorpion, but starting thematic is where you learn the roots of things, in my opinion.

3) You are just starting. Remember that you are generally considered to be a little past your gempukku, so are generally, probably 15 or 16 years old, unless the GM made some other ruling. So, you are still young, optimistic, and with plenty of room to grow. You basicly know how to do one thing well starting off. In your case, that is fight in a highly mobile style. You will learn more once you start getting practical experience(i.e., start the game and start spending the XP you gain). Look at it like that, and you will do just fine. Remember: you are NOT generally seasoned Samurai with years of experience to your Lord under your belt...you are, essentially, by our modern standards, just a kid with very adult responsibilities. 

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30 minutes ago, sakieh said:

1) In L5R, there is no such thing as a build that completely screws you over....you are ALWAYS going to be screwed over somewhere!

'cept if you take Air 1 / Earth 3 / Fire 1 / Water 3 / Void 2: you have everything covered and what you don't (like Focus for Initiative) you can Seize the Moment away.

Here note that I'm not a fan of Void 1 for a 0 XP starting character but otherwise Fire 2 instead of Void 2 is generally a safer bet. 

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22 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

'cept if you take Air 1 / Earth 3 / Fire 1 / Water 3 / Void 2: you have everything covered and what you don't (like Focus for Initiative) you can Seize the Moment away.

Here note that I'm not a fan of Void 1 for a 0 XP starting character but otherwise Fire 2 instead of Void 2 is generally a safer bet. 

Well, that is a good general build, though, and this might be a case of O5R thinking, is not Air the preferred approach for many Social contests? And Fire for many creative/crafting endeavors? So, would the character not be sort of deficient in those areas? 

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5 minutes ago, sakieh said:

Well, that is a good general build, though, and this might be a case of O5R thinking, is not Air the preferred approach for many Social contests? And Fire for many creative/crafting endeavors? So, would the character not be sort of deficient in those areas? 

No.  Every ring can be used for every type of contest, they just represent different ways of doing things.

Air is the preferred approach for cunning or deceptive contests.  If you go into your Social contest being forthright and relying upon precedent and that roomful of scrolls you memorised, that would be Earth.  Crafting is a bit different.  Air is good for improving stuff, Earth is good for restoring and repairing, Fire is best if you want to come up with something new, and Water for working from something existing.  So, if you just want to make your own variant of an existing thing, it would be water.

 

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17 minutes ago, sakieh said:

Well, that is a good general build, though, and this might be a case of O5R thinking, is not Air the preferred approach for many Social contests? And Fire for many creative/crafting endeavors? So, would the character not be sort of deficient in those areas? 

You can socialize or craft with anything. Crafting, in particular, is more of an Earth thing now but Void can handle it very well too. For socializing Con is a very weak Approach IMO, Enlighten (Void) is huge tho and Charm (Water) is pretty good too. Air for social and Fire for crafting is the O5R way. In 5R5 everything is good for everything, you can literally win a siege with massage if the players are creative enough (been there, done that). 

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On ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 7:32 PM, Magnus Grendel said:

It's more a case that it was the only Movement plus Attack Kata I can see. I wouldn't be surprised to see a cavalry-charge kata come out with whatever unicorn-centric sourcebook we eventually get. And the knife i okay, I, guess, but ptly enough the scimitar is better...

Looking through the core book again, a probably better example for a 'shock cavalry' technique is Heartpiercing Strike.

That's also Attack and Movement, the severity of the resulting critical strike is increased by bonus successes (so the fire stance 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 bonus and your Utaku Steed's air ring will both contribute), and it has an 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 spend to move a range band before the strike lands. If you move 2 range bands and successfully hit, that's a severity 10 critical strike even before counting any 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 or surplus 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8, 1521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc, or 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 (which still count with most classic Utaku weapons since both a scimitar and a naginata are razor-sharp and can spend 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to increase deadliness).

It's risky, because Heartpiercing Strike is TN4 and disorients you if you miss, but if you hit you're pretty much going to turn most targets to a fine mist.

Which, since we're talking about a headlong charge with all the strength of a Shiotome elite and the weight of an Utaku destrier behind it, is pretty appropriate, frankly.

 

  • Flowing Water Strike is also Attack and Movement, but since it doesn't use bonus successes for anything, it's less relevant.
  • Pin the Fan is also Attack and Movement, but it's also Rank 5. By the time you get Rank 5 kata.....you're already terrifying pretty much regardless of what path you've gone down.
    • It will make for a terrifying mounted archer, though, with a horsebow firing a flesh-ripper arrow causing 12 damage whilst mounted and moving plus any bonus successes you actually roll, and 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 giving you a deadliness 18 critical strike if you incapacitate the target with that shot.
      • "Nailed to the !!?"%$!ing wall" doesn't begin to cover it. That's in the same league as siege ballista designed to kill giant oni storming the Kaiu Wall.
    • As with Heartpiercing Strike, it's not an easy shot (because the TN is the target's vigilance and most serious adversaries you need to be worried about by the time you're rank 5 have a vigilance of at least 3), but do bear in mind that a compromised target's vigilance does drop to 1. Pin the Fan pairs well with Pelting Hail style for that reason to try and throw lots of 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 at an opponent to generate an opening for Pin the Fan if you're trying to build a super-cavalry-archer.

 

Paired Attack and Movement subtypes also pops up in Mass Battles:

  • Lightning Raid is one, with bonus successes adding panic to the enemy army.
  • The basic Assault action is one, with bonus successes adding attrition, (and Lightning Raid can 'chain' into an Assault for the cost of 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 - funnily enough) and for a samurai cavalry cohort also causes panic equal to your ranks in survival  (which as the 'horsemanship' skill is likely to be high for Unicorn characters).
    • Apparently being charged by a massed formation of elite heavy cavalry led by a Shiotome commander hurts a lot and is very scary. Who knew?
Edited by Magnus Grendel

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5 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Looking through the core book again, a probably better example for a 'shock cavalry' technique is Heartpiercing Strike.

That's also Attack and Movement, the severity of the resulting critical strike is increased by bonus successes (so the fire stance 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 bonus and your Utaku Steed's air ring will both contribute), and it has an 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 spend to move a range band before the strike lands. If you move 2 range bands and successfully hit, that's a severity 10 critical strike even before counting any 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 or surplus 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8, 1521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc, or 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 (which still count with most classic Utaku weapons since both a scimitar and a naginata are razor-sharp and can spend 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to increase deadliness).

It's risky, because Heartpiercing Strike is TN4 and disorients you if you miss, but if you hit you're pretty much going to turn most targets to a fine mist.

Which, since we're talking about a headlong charge with all the strength of a Shiotome elite and the weight of an Utaku destrier behind it, is pretty appropriate, frankly.

 

  • Flowing Water Strike is also Attack and Movement, but since it doesn't use bonus successes for anything, it's less relevant.
  • Pin the Fan is also Attack and Movement, but it's also Rank 5. By the time you get Rank 5 kata.....you're already terrifying pretty much regardless of what path you've gone down.
    • It will make for a terrifying mounted archer, though, with a horsebow firing a flesh-ripper arrow causing 12 damage whilst mounted and moving plus any bonus successes you actually roll, and 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 giving you a deadliness 18 critical strike if you incapacitate the target with that shot.
      • "Nailed to the !!?"%$!ing wall" doesn't begin to cover it. That's in the same league as siege ballista designed to kill giant oni storming the Kaiu Wall.
    • As with Heartpiercing Strike, it's not an easy shot (because the TN is the target's vigilance and most serious adversaries you need to be worried about by the time you're rank 5 have a vigilance of at least 3), but do bear in mind that a compromised target's vigilance does drop to 1. Pin the Fan pairs well with Pelting Hail style for that reason to try and throw lots of 1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0 at an opponent to generate an opening for Pin the Fan if you're trying to build a super-cavalry-archer.

 

Paired Attack and Movement subtypes also pops up in Mass Battles:

  • Lightning Raid is one, with bonus successes adding panic to the enemy army.
  • The basic Assault action is one, with bonus successes adding attrition, (and Lightning Raid can 'chain' into an Assault for the cost of 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 - funnily enough) and for a samurai cavalry cohort also causes panic equal to your ranks in survival  (which as the 'horsemanship' skill is likely to be high for Unicorn characters).
    • Apparently being charged by a massed formation of elite heavy cavalry led by a Shiotome commander hurts a lot and is very scary. Who knew?

The Mounted rule that add bonuses on Movement action already kind of backfired in the corebook (and I have not checked weird interactions with shuji and invocations too! Or even sourcebooks)

It is definitely a problematic rule that does not allow a good evolution of the game if they always have to think that a movement action can be heavily enhanced by being mounted.

I personally threw it under my "armchair general houserule authority" for a revision. But sure, "some" of the techniques will make sense for it. Just, not many. It also make mounts a must for mass Combat almost to the point of breaking this sub system.

But then again, so many flaws in the rules... that they cannot be all patched at this point... I just found Mounted Combat a general enough category of potential problems that I decided to include it in the fix.

 

 

Edited by Avatar111

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

(and I have not checked weird interactions with shuji and invocations too! Or even sourcebooks)

In the core book, Crossing Cut, Heartpiercing Strike,  Flowing Water Strike, Pin The Fan and Lighting Raid, as well as the Assault mass battle action, are the only generic techniques with the "Attack and Move" subtype pairing, but Flowing Water Strike doesn't count bonus success for any reason

Strike With No Thought (the Kakita Duellist School Mastery Ability) also has it, as does The Final Silence (the Shosuro Infiltrator School School Mastery Ability) but again the latter doesn't count bonus successes, so you don't have to wrap your brain around the concept of ninja cavalry sneaking up to stab you in the back.

 

Movement and Support is a bit more of a problem because quite a few Kiho use that subtype pairing, and obviously bonus successes are generally counted to trigger burst effects.

  • Grasp The Earth Dragon
  • Riding The Clouds
  • Way Of The Willow
  • The Body Is An Anvil
  • Ki Protection
  • Ride The Water Dragon
  • Way Of The Seafoam

And a few other techniques

  • Dance Of The Seasons Invocation
  • Slippery Maneuvers Shuji
  • Removing the Burning condition from an ally
  • The Reinforce mass battle action (although this is the only one of the four which counts bonus successes for anything)

 

In other sourcebooks:

  • Using a shield of whatever variety (and tonfa) defensively is generally a movement and support action (featuring various items in Mantis Clan, Courts of Stone, and Shadowlands) but it's not an action requiring a check.
  • Attack and Move:
    • Fiend's Retreat Maho in Shadowlands (though bonus successes are irrelevant)
    • Pole Vault and Slicing Wind Kick Kata in Courts of Stone
    • Also Silent Elimination and What's Yours Is Mine Ninjitsu in Courts of Stone but again bonus successes don't matter)

 

Obviously quite a few NPC abilities are Attack and Move (like the Shark's Blood In The Water) but that's not going to be an issue with mounted combat unless your skirmish scene devolves into a weird meme.

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You are insane when it comes to DATA lol :D

Anyway, well enough "possible cheese" for it to warrant a fix. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was honestly just a typo that should have been "maneuvre" and not "movement". But hey... hard to take anything for granted, they do are a bit weak when it comes to mechanical design, either because of lack of skill, or lack of allowed time to design things.

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Ultimately I agree it can be a problem.

I don't mind it applying to non-manoeuvre movement actions as a general principle, and I've studied enough historical battles to understand that having your general's messengers and captains mounted and able to be seen clearly and around their command quickly is probably a big enough deal to justify getting a horse for your cohort commanders being almost mandatory, but I don't want "I'm on a horse" to be a crucial part of being a monk when they're exactly who shouldn't be using them.

 

I'd just go with the approach that the bonus successes from being mounted are the equivalent of being assisted; they apply if you can credibly explain to the GM why being mounted helps, and debate any caveats the GM wants to impose. So, for example, if you tried them at a game I was running:

Heartpiercing strike with a Naginata whilst mounted? Fine. That makes complete sense to me, as noted; the damage you can do will be massively increased with the weight of your horse at full gallop behind you.

Pole Vault? You know what? Okay. I'll let you have that one. Vaulting off your horse into a mid-air spear strike is such a cool mental image that I've no problem with this, and the speed of your horse will contribute to the impact. BUT after using this kata, you're obviously no longer on your horse. So I hope you didn't miss and waste those bonus successes!(especially since Pole Vault is another of those katas which actively punishes you if you screw up the check)

Riding The Clouds? Just 'No'. If a Kiho could affect another character, it would have said so in the techniques description. Since it doesn't, you can't use it to make your bloody horse fly.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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1 minute ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Ultimately I agree it can be a problem.

I don't mind it applying to non-manoeuvre movement actions as a general principle, and I've studied enough historical battles to understand that having your general's messengers and captains mounted and able to be seen clearly and around their command quickly is probably a big enough deal to justify getting a horse for your cohort commanders being almost mandatory, but I don't want "I'm on a horse" to be a crucial part of being a monk when they're exactly who shouldn't be using them.

 

I'd just go with the approach that the bonus successes from being mounted are the equivalent of being assisted; they apply if you can credibly explain to the GM why being mounted helps, and debate any caveats the GM wants to impose. So, for example, if you tried them at a game I was running:

Heartpiercing strike with a Naginata whilst mounted? Fine. That makes complete sense to me, as noted; the damage you can do will be massively increased with the weight of your horse at full gallop behind you.

Pole Vault? You know what? Okay. I'll let you have that one. Vaulting off your horse into a mid-air spear strike is such a cool mental image that I've no problem with this, and the speed of your horse will contribute to the impact. BUT after using this kata, you're obviously no longer on your horse. So I hope you didn't miss and waste those bonus successes!(especially since Pole Vault is another of those katas which actively punishes you if you screw up the check)

Riding The Clouds? Just 'No'. If a Kiho could affect another character, it would have said so in the techniques description. Since it doesn't, you can't use it to make your bloody horse fly.

On the fly ruling is a necessity in this system, for most of the time they write rules, it can be broken somewhere :D feelsbad.
Like, you are probably holding that naginata on horseback with one hand? (no need to answer...).

At the end of the day though, yeah, I agree with you. going with what makes sense is the best, if you have the players for it, that understand that maybe that "Riding the Clouds" doesn't make sense on a horse, and you guys can both agree without halting the game. It is ok. Still, that type of intervention must happen waaaaay too many times in this game, which is probably why I don't think its got a bright future aside from a very niche community. Sad though, because there was potential in there, and the visual, and the lore, is awesome.

anyway, enough rant for today. lets find a positive thread to chill in!

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