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New GM. What's broken or OP?

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So, in your scenario, this isn't a duel?

Zatoichi

There are no judges or verbally announced terms. There was a challenge (by them meeting on the road) and the terms are quite understood without the necessity of being spoken out loud (two men enter, one man leaves).

And moving aside our discussion of what counts as a conflict duel or not in the game. Let's discuss the fact that range bands don't matter in a duel.
If  I have a Shiba Bushi armed with a Naginata fighting an unarmed Ise Zumi, no matter how hard the Shiba Bushi tries to make sure the Ise Zumi wont be able to close in on her, somehow the monk will still be able to hit her.

Granted, this was a discussion that began about range bands and how they are broken and I'm pointing out that the one scenario where range bands should be actually useful (duels), they don't matter.
Of course, my group decided that it was silly for range bands don't matter in duels and ignored this part of the book, but since we are discussing the book per se, I think it's valid point out that yes, in this case. Range bands don't work as they should.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Diogo Salazar said:

So, in your scenario, this isn't a duel?

Zatoichi

There are no judges or verbally announced terms. There was a challenge (by them meeting on the road) and the terms are quite understood without the necessity of being spoken out loud (two men enter, one man leaves).

And moving aside our discussion of what counts as a conflict duel or not in the game. Let's discuss the fact that range bands don't matter in a duel.
If  I have a Shiba Bushi armed with a Naginata fighting an unarmed Ise Zumi, no matter how hard the Shiba Bushi tries to make sure the Ise Zumi wont be able to close in on her, somehow the monk will still be able to hit her.

Granted, this was a discussion that began about range bands and how they are broken and I'm pointing out that the one scenario where range bands should be actually useful (duels), they don't matter.
Of course, my group decided that it was silly for range bands don't matter in duels and ignored this part of the book, but since we are discussing the book per se, I think it's valid point out that yes, in this case. Range bands don't work as they should.

Call it what you want but the video looks awfully like a skirmish. I see no reason why you couldn't throw in various techniques from a duel in a skirmish (some Crane always fight using quick draw, even during mass battle). Regardless, I'm glad your table worked out when range bands work and when they don't.

On second thought, maybe these street thugs are dueling:

 

Edited by T_Kageyasu
dueling example

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12 hours ago, Diogo Salazar said:

So, in your scenario, this isn't a duel?

I would almost certainly play it as a duel rather than a two-person skirmish because it's about the 'feel' of the fight - the tension is the more important element than repeatedly swinging attacks at one another.

12 hours ago, Diogo Salazar said:

Let's discuss the fact that range bands don't matter in a duel.
If  I have a Shiba Bushi armed with a Naginata fighting an unarmed Ise Zumi, no matter how hard the Shiba Bushi tries to make sure the Ise Zumi wont be able to close in on her, somehow the monk will still be able to hit her.

Granted, this was a discussion that began about range bands and how they are broken and I'm pointing out that the one scenario where range bands should be actually useful (duels), they don't matter.

I don't find range bands too bad in skirmishes, to be honest. We played the game in a pretty loose narrative fashion even before game night became an online affair, so using grids and overly precise range would have felt wierd.

Removing ranges from duels was (obviously) a deliberate choice. I get the argument about 'getting past the weapon', but the problem is a mechanical one ruining a narrative one; a duel has a very strict time limit before the usually-duel-ending Finishing blow. Stuff like Iron Forest Style which is appropriate and sensible in a skirmish basically makes a duel "I have a polearm, I win" because you can't take the time to play clever tricks to counter it, there aren't multiple opponents so the limitation becomes irrelevant, and your opponent can't afford to spend multiple turns trying to pass a TN4 check.

If you do this, then the goal becomes to have your once-per-duel finishing blow opportunity come up whilst your opponent is out of range and not allowed to attack you, which (to me) also feels like playing the system.

I think this is why I'm often a fan of one-roll duels. By all means add a TN increase to the Ise Zumi's check to account for your greater reach, but then the Ise Zumi probably has dirty tricks of their own that you'll have to contend with.

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https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/dfb78427-9705-4f5a-88ac-5f9ab54d7c8c/d5c0fie-48edb55c-a6ee-4668-ae7e-3c44d4a9ab8f.jpg/v1/fill/w_1000,h_750,q_75,strp/shifting_terrain___l5r_by_aaronmiller_d5c0fie-fullview.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3siaGVpZ2h0IjoiPD03NTAiLCJwYXRoIjoiXC9mXC9kZmI3ODQyNy05NzA1LTRmNWEtODhhYy01ZjlhYjU0ZDdjOGNcL2Q1YzBmaWUtNDhlZGI1NWMtYTZlZS00NjY4LWFlN2UtM2M0NGQ0YTlhYjhmLmpwZyIsIndpZHRoIjoiPD0xMDAwIn1dXSwiYXVkIjpbInVybjpzZXJ2aWNlOmltYWdlLm9wZXJhdGlvbnMiXX0.pz8RNQtX73xLXqDamK79zAC6nZTE36HkHx9Sevb6bGs

5 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I think this is why I'm often a fan of one-roll duels. By all means add a TN increase to the Ise Zumi's check to account for your greater reach, but then the Ise Zumi probably has dirty tricks of their own that you'll have to contend with.

This image came to mind 😂

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7 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I would almost certainly play it as a duel rather than a two-person skirmish because it's about the 'feel' of the fight - the tension is the more important element than repeatedly swinging attacks at one another.

I don't find range bands too bad in skirmishes, to be honest. We played the game in a pretty loose narrative fashion even before game night became an online affair, so using grids and overly precise range would have felt wierd.

Removing ranges from duels was (obviously) a deliberate choice. I get the argument about 'getting past the weapon', but the problem is a mechanical one ruining a narrative one; a duel has a very strict time limit before the usually-duel-ending Finishing blow. Stuff like Iron Forest Style which is appropriate and sensible in a skirmish basically makes a duel "I have a polearm, I win" because you can't take the time to play clever tricks to counter it, there aren't multiple opponents so the limitation becomes irrelevant, and your opponent can't afford to spend multiple turns trying to pass a TN4 check.

If you do this, then the goal becomes to have your once-per-duel finishing blow opportunity come up whilst your opponent is out of range and not allowed to attack you, which (to me) also feels like playing the system.

I think this is why I'm often a fan of one-roll duels. By all means add a TN increase to the Ise Zumi's check to account for your greater reach, but then the Ise Zumi probably has dirty tricks of their own that you'll have to contend with.

I can understand the sentiment, but to me, that feels like, don't bring a knife to a polearm fight. Of course, lots of katas can make or break a duel if you don't have the proper counters (if any exist). But to me, the narrative gets ruined because if somehow I dueled someone with a longer reach weapon, no matter how hard I try to make my opponent out of reach, they will still strike me. 

I can also understand the sentiment of one-roll duels but I would be happier if they offered guidelines to what circumstances increased/reduced the TN or offered re-rolls (and of how many), instead of dumping that into the GM's lap and let him do some esoteric math that may or may not seem fair to the players.

Let's say, a Kakita Bushi Rank2 is fighting an unarmed Togashi Ise Zumi of Rank 3 by the shores of a lake. 

The Kakita Bushi has the relevants tricks: Iaijutsu Cut: Crossing Blade, Iaijutsu Cut: Rising Blade, Striking as Air, Thunderclap Strike.
The Togashi Ise Zumi has: Death Touch, Earthen Fist, Grasp the Earth Dragon, Way of the Earthquake.

The Kakita describes his strategy as such: He will use the elusiveness of the Air Stance to feint strikes to look for an opportunity to position himself in a such a way that he will throw the Togashi Monk into the lake with Thunderclap Strike.
The Togashi Ise Zumi goes like this: He will use Earth Stance to brush the Kakita aside until the Kakita is close enough for him to deal a Death Touch to humble (!!!) the Kakita Bushi.

There are honestly so many variables here that it feels better to actually roll the duel as is, instead of doing a one-roll duel.

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2 minutes ago, Diogo Salazar said:

I can also understand the sentiment of one-roll duels but I would be happier if they offered guidelines to what circumstances increased/reduced the TN or offered re-rolls (and of how many), instead of dumping that into the GM's lap and let him do some esoteric math that may or may not seem fair to the players

I'd definitely agree on that. I know the sort of decisions I've personally made but if one-time duels are supposed to be a thing (and actively recommended for 'Story-First' groups, as per p.286 of the core book), it'd be nice to have some 'official' guidance. The fact that a one-time duel defaults to the finishing blow effect is a pain in the fundament for duels to first blood, for example.

Again, yes, obviously I can overrule that with house rules. That's not the point.

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11 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'd definitely agree on that. I know the sort of decisions I've personally made but if one-time duels are supposed to be a thing (and actively recommended for 'Story-First' groups, as per p.286 of the core book), it'd be nice to have some 'official' guidance. The fact that a one-time duel defaults to the finishing blow effect is a pain in the fundament for duels to first blood, for example.

Again, yes, obviously I can overrule that with house rules. That's not the point.

Yes, that part bothers me to no end. So, it's a duel to first blood. No problem if I cut off their head in a single strike, it technically qualifies as first blood.
This is the kind of move that cruel samurai use as an excuse to kill samurai for minor reasons that could have been solved with first blood or incapacitation.

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The game really wants you to use narrative TN adjustments and similar effects - and is indeed sorely lacking in guidance for it. That's cool for creative GMs and tables with good communication and a lot of creativity, but it is not great if you want the rules nailed down.

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21 hours ago, Diogo Salazar said:

No problem if I cut off their head in a single strike, it technically qualifies as first blood.
This is the kind of move that cruel samurai use as an excuse to kill samurai for minor reasons that could have been solved with first blood or incapacitation.

Makes me think of the GW Kharn novel.

"You killed him. Remember?’

Ruokh’s eye twitched. ‘That was a fair fight,’ he growled.

‘It was to first blood,’ said Dreagher.

‘I only hit him once,’ said Ruokh.

‘You decapitated him.’

‘There was a lot of first blood,’ admitted Ruokh."

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On 7/9/2020 at 6:14 AM, Magnus Grendel said:

The fact that a one-time duel defaults to the finishing blow effect is a pain in the fundament for duels to first blood, for example.

Make the increased Deadliness of a finishing blow optional. Problem solved. If you use that increased Deadliness, it's pretty obvious to everyone that you were striking to kill. That also solves the issue with Deceitful Strike, which is that there's no mechanical "trying to kill" vs "not trying to kill".

Unless that increased Deadliness becomes optional or you add some houserules to the Iaijutsu techniques, it's basically impossible to have an Iaijutsu duel to first blood.

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