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Goken91

Character creation and rings

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The book says that you can't raise a ring above 3 during character creation and that if a choice would do so to pick a different ring instead.  Does that mean you can still make the choice that would normally raise the ring above 3 but pick a different ring or you have to make a different choice?

For example, if I'm making a Kuni Purifier even choosing Void as the Kuni family ring it maxes the Earth ring. So could I not choose that they stand out at their school through thoroughness, patience, or calm or could I choose that (for narrative purposes) and just essentially get a free ring increase of my choice? 

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On 10/3/2019 at 8:21 PM, Goken91 said:

Does that mean you can still make the choice that would normally raise the ring above 3 but pick a different ring or you have to make a different choice?

correct, take the choice, pick a ring to raise instead. (a good story reason for it helps.  my unicorn could have had a 4 earth. instead, i added to water, to make it also a 3, becasue he spent time as a child on board ship a lot. )

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1 hour ago, Tenebrae said:

Could someone please offer a reason why/why not? Because I see no immediate reason why Aatar111's answer would be correct.

Core rulebook, page 41, under Limits on Skills and Rings:

"You cannot raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation. If a choice would result in a ring rising above rank 3 during character creation, then you must choose a different ring to increase instead, as long as that ring would also not be increased above rank 3."

So in the example in the OP, if you choose to stand out in the Kuni Purifier school by your extreme thoroughness, the increase that would go toward Earth instead has to go somewhere else. You still get your characterization, but another ring has to increase instead.

I will say, Question 4 is a weird one to choose a ring you already have at 3, since you can already choose any ring. Moreover, the question is how you stand out in your school. I don't think any Kuni stands out by being patient, thorough, or calm. By RAW, though, it works.

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They only have to stand out in their school, relative to the other students. So they still aren't paragons of patience to other Rokugani...

And the important bit about the rule working like this is, as you correctly point out, deraforia, that you can pick any characterization without losing a ring increase.

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5 hours ago, deraforia said:

Core rulebook, page 41, under Limits on Skills and Rings:

"You cannot raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation. If a choice would result in a ring rising above rank 3 during character creation, then you must choose a different ring to increase instead, as long as that ring would also not be increased above rank 3."

<snip>

I will say, Question 4 is a weird one to choose a ring you already have at 3, since you can already choose any ring. Moreover, the question is how you stand out in your school. I don't think any Kuni stands out by being patient, thorough, or calm. By RAW, though, it works.

I'm aware of that text (though I still thank you for quoting it).

However, nothing there says that you can.  "You cannot raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation." Could be read as "You should actively avoid any choice that would raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation", at which point "If a choice would result in a ring rising above rank 3 during character creation, then you must choose a different ring to increase instead, as long as that ring would also not be increased above rank 3." becomes future proofing.

And as you mention, it makes Q4 seem odd.

 

Now, I'm not really contesting that what appears to be the common wisdom that you can indeed make such a choice is valid. My problem is with the "No problem" part of the the post I quoted above. Because, I don't really think it is that cleanly cut and dried.

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1 hour ago, Tenebrae said:

I'm aware of that text (though I still thank you for quoting it).

However, nothing there says that you can.  "You cannot raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation." Could be read as "You should actively avoid any choice that would raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation", at which point "If a choice would result in a ring rising above rank 3 during character creation, then you must choose a different ring to increase instead, as long as that ring would also not be increased above rank 3." becomes future proofing.

And as you mention, it makes Q4 seem odd.

 

Now, I'm not really contesting that what appears to be the common wisdom that you can indeed make such a choice is valid. My problem is with the "No problem" part of the the post I quoted above. Because, I don't really think it is that cleanly cut and dried.

Honestly dude. Play it how you want, it really doesn't change much.

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2 hours ago, Tenebrae said:

I'm aware of that text (though I still thank you for quoting it).

However, nothing there says that you can.  "You cannot raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation." Could be read as "You should actively avoid any choice that would raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation", at which point "If a choice would result in a ring rising above rank 3 during character creation, then you must choose a different ring to increase instead, as long as that ring would also not be increased above rank 3." becomes future proofing.

And as you mention, it makes Q4 seem odd.

 

Now, I'm not really contesting that what appears to be the common wisdom that you can indeed make such a choice is valid. My problem is with the "No problem" part of the the post I quoted above. Because, I don't really think it is that cleanly cut and dried.

Let's change it up a bit, then. Still using Crab Clan, Kuni family, and Purifier, but this time in Q2 we choose Earth. That brings Earth up to 3 before we get into the choice for School. With Purifier, there is no choice, Earth is a required increase. With my interpretation of the rules, you simply pick another ring to increase. How would you handle it? Can the player not choose the Purifier or any school with an Earth increase? Or would you make them retroactively change their choice in Q2? That would be more limiting than I think the developers intended.

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2 minutes ago, deraforia said:

Let's change it up a bit, then. Still using Crab Clan, Kuni family, and Purifier, but this time in Q2 we choose Earth. That brings Earth up to 3 before we get into the choice for School. With Purifier, there is no choice, Earth is a required increase. With my interpretation of the rules, you simply pick another ring to increase. How would you handle it? Can the player not choose the Purifier or any school with an Earth increase? Or would you make them retroactively change their choice in Q2? That would be more limiting than I think the developers intended.

You overthink.

Whenever a choice you make gives you the opportunity to raise a ring you already have at 3, you can change the increase for whatever other ring you want while keeping the same choice.

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9 hours ago, Tenebrae said:

However, nothing there says that you can. 

I strongly disagree. Because the next sentence is "If a choice would[...], then you must choose a different ring to increase instead",  which to me, rather clearly says that you can make the choice but you can't apply it to that ring.

Otherwise, it should be "If a choice were to raise a ring beyond 3, another option must be chosen." Instead, we got the explanation that if a choice were to raise a ring beyond 3, we have to choose a different ring, which also may not rise beyond 3. Seems pretty cut-and-dried to me.

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And I have now been provided what I asked for:

19 hours ago, Tenebrae said:

Could someone please offer a reason why/why not?

"A reason why/why not?"

I'm still not entirely convinced, but since I tend towards letting people do what they like, I'll like follow common wisdom.
It just makes a lot of other elements designed into the 20 questions feel ... odd.

Edited by Tenebrae
Additional content.

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12 hours ago, Myrion said:

Why do you feel it makes things odd?

It makes the 'choice' of ring from family into a false choice about 50% of the time, and feels like it devalues question 4.

12 hours ago, Myrion said:

To me, it makes it so that I needn't worry about mechanics while answering the 20Qs, and it'll all work out anyway.

That's a valid PoV, certainly.

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I understand your point on question 4 but I'm not sure what you mean by false choice for the ring increase from the family. Is it because those choices would always lead to a "choose a ring, any ring" situation? (Effectively turning the choice into "Ring 1 or Any-Ring-but-Ring-2")

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2 hours ago, Myrion said:

I understand your point on question 4 but I'm not sure what you mean by false choice for the ring increase from the family. Is it because those choices would always lead to a "choose a ring, any ring" situation? (Effectively turning the choice into "Ring 1 or Any-Ring-but-Ring-2")

But to be "any choice" it means your ring is already at 3 during the question 4.

Meaning that it kind of make sense anyway that you take that slight personality trait (only RP choice anyway) since to have the option to choose another ring it means your character, for a starting character, pretty much have this personality for having this ring maxed out already. No matter what you end up choosing as your increase for the 4th question, the personality trait is justified.

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Personally, I like how Paper Blossoms (character creation software) handles it.. go through the 20 questions as one does and at the end resolve issues such as rings or ranks being too high. That way players like Tenebrae can honestly answer every question, and rely on maintenance at the end to fix whatever isn't allowed for starting characters.

If someone really wants that 4 earth early on, advanced starting xp will get you most of the way there anyway.

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On 10/14/2019 at 12:33 PM, Myrion said:

I understand your point on question 4 but I'm not sure what you mean by false choice for the ring increase from the family. Is it because those choices would always lead to a "choose a ring, any ring" situation? (Effectively turning the choice into "Ring 1 or Any-Ring-but-Ring-2")

Essentially, yes. Assuming I'm correctly understanding your question. :)

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Honestly I think they tried way too hard to mechanically incorporate clans, family, etc which made the chargen process more difficult than it had to be. You could probably replace the entire sequence with "Rings start at 1. Add five points. Don't go above 3 in any ring" and that would've been just fine, balance-wise...and a lot easier on new players.

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21 hours ago, Myrion said:

I strongly disagree. In my experience, character creation has been very helpful in introducing players to the world and their characters and, especially with the 20Q worksheet, is not difficult at all.

with the right GM, that can introduce the setting and set the tone properly, that is the strong point of L5R.

mechanical "rules" (and I personally think they are badly designed) are not what this game is about.

the 20q really helps to put the focus on what is important for roleplaying, choices, world building. the 20q is one of the best thing about this game.

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 2:48 AM, Myrion said:

I strongly disagree. In my experience, character creation has been very helpful in introducing players to the world and their characters and, especially with the 20Q worksheet, is not difficult at all.

That's a fair criticism. I've been following L5R since second edition, and I guess I was thinking of it more from the perspective of an experienced player who doesn't need an introduction to the world, vs. someone for whom that is helpful.

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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 4:51 AM, Avatar111 said:

the 20q really helps to put the focus on what is important for roleplaying, choices, world building. the 20q is one of the best thing about this game.

I would agree. A character creation process which gives a samurai a 'potted backstory' and some motivations/emotional flaws is really good. The only game I think that's comparable (and I accept that one probably does go too far) is Traveller, which literally generates you a biography from the age of 18 (and, in some cases, includes the rather amusing possibility of dying during character creation!).

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49 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I would agree. A character creation process which gives a samurai a 'potted backstory' and some motivations/emotional flaws is really good. The only game I think that's comparable (and I accept that one probably does go too far) is Traveller, which literally generates you a biography from the age of 18 (and, in some cases, includes the rather amusing possibility of dying during character creation!).

IIRC, Cyberpunk 2020 had that feature as well.

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2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I would agree. A character creation process which gives a samurai a 'potted backstory' and some motivations/emotional flaws is really good. The only game I think that's comparable (and I accept that one probably does go too far) is Traveller, which literally generates you a biography from the age of 18 (and, in some cases, includes the rather amusing possibility of dying during character creation!).

It isn't like there is a lot of Random in there too, it is basically spending time to force you to build a character. The mechanical benefits of such choices are basically dependent on the GM anyway (how much the GM agrees to let you use advantages etc).

So it is all good! Having to build a character should be a major thing in an TTRPG game, especially a narrative TTRPG.

The less this game gets into mechanical bug down, the better it is. Unfortunately, FFG being FFG, they had to cram all kind of unclear, kind of tedious, unpolished and weirdly flexible rules in there because, I guess, some people really do enjoy that.

Edited by Avatar111

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