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Pillowcase

Agasha Mystic School Ability Clarifications

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I thought I had a good grasp of the Agasha Mystic's School Ability, Elemental Transmutation, on my first read. Now that I'm actually making the character, I'm not too sure. I have a few questions for when the School Ability is being used.

A.  In any instance where stances aren't a factor, the ability is perfectly clear to me. When stances are a factor, how am I allowed to use the ring swap feature? Which one of these, if any, is correct?

  1. I'm in Water stance; I can use a non-Water invocation using my Water ring
  2. I'm in Water stance; I can use Water Invocation using one of my non-Water ring
  3. I'm in Water stance; I can use a non-Water using one of my non-Water ring

I assume only 1. works since stances lock you into a ring for checks, unless this is one of the exceptions.

B. The ability only specifies the ring swap feature "to make the check." Does this mean that other than the check itself (the roll), every thing else about the invocation that references a ring (deal damage = X ring, number of targets = X ring, etc.) stay as the original element? Or are those swapped to the new element as well, treating the entire invocation as "the check?"

C. This may or may not be dependent on or related to B. For the opportunity stipulation, my instincts say this is referring to the general invocation opportunities. How does this interact with the new opportunities unique to a specific spell, all of which are naturally labeled with the spell's original element? Because they are categorized as opportunities of the original element, they cannot be activated when using the ability?

Thanks in advance!

Agasha School.jpg

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Posted (edited)

1) is correct: In Water Stance, you can only make Water checks. Using your school ability, you can cast Armor of Earth as a Theology (Water) check, and your Water ring defines the Resistance, not your Earth ring (so answer 2 on B). You cannot spent opportunities to extend the duration for the whole scene, as that is an Earth Opportunity. But you can spend Opportunities to heal 1 Fatigue or 2 Strife, as those are Water opportunities.

To elaborate, the ring is replaced in all instances, except when it comes to Opportunities, as they are explicitely excepted.
 

Edited by Harzerkatze

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I'm not sure that's correct. 

I agree on 1) for A, but for B I wouldn't. The check is the check, the effect still references whatever ring it is written to reference. So you would still base the resistance off of your Earth ring, as that is not part of the check.

Ditto for opportunities. That does mean you lose out on some strong opportunities, but lets you cast difficult spells with your strongest ring, change the backlash (Path to Inner Peace with Fire backlash can be nice, say) and use some other oppos from among the generic ones.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all answers! It's really helped a lot.

Question A. is pretty clear cut now and just really relies on the core stance-check mechanic. It additionally clears up, for me, how the Agasha Mystic's Master Ability works and how it synergizes perfectly with the School Ability.

Question C. is similarly more straightforward. Now it makes sense as to why the opportunity caveat with the ability is addressed separately and differently from the ring swap feature.

I can see how question B. can go either way. Although now, I think it's highly dependent on how one views what is considered part of a "check." Is it just the roll or is it the entirety of the technique or action being used? And again, I can see it either way. References to checks in the book have examples for both, with wording that fixates on the check's success or failure (focusing on the roll) and wording that fixates on the check's capabilities, such as what it can or can't target (considering the entire action).

Edited by Pillowcase

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I disagree. The check is pretty clearly defined in the CRB on pages 22-25. Note that the result happens at the very end and there is no mention of anything other than bonus successes influencing the result of the check. Consider also that an action technique always separates the check (in the "activation" section) from the result (in the "effects" section). 

The Agasha ability only swaps out which ring you use to make the invocation with, which affects the opportunities you can pick - but nothing else about the technique is changed.

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You're right. I just found the section that breaks down what constitutes a technique's activation and effects. In particular, a check is listed as only one aspect that makes up an activation. Also, the "Effects" section further makes the distinction. All of this can be found on pages 173-174. 

Also on 174 is the section on "New Opportunities" that should clear up question C. if ever there was any doubt. 

Thanks again!

Activation.jpg

New Opportunities.jpg

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Oh, one more thing: If you switch to Void, you don't get any invocation opportunities, since there aren't any for Void (the generic ones still apply). If you're not concerned about that, it can still be worthwhile, because there's also no Void backlash - so you can go ahead and keep all the strife symbols you want!

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Good catch. Didn't really think much about using Void. However, is that how it would really work in terms of spiritual backlash?

I thought spiritual backlash happened based specifically on kept strife symbols and not on actual strife received. Based on this, Void stance and the generic use for opportunity to remove strife gained from a check should be unable to prevent backlash from activating, correct?

Backlash also specifies of the invocation's element, not ring used, is what determines the additional backlash effect, on top of the generic 3 fatigue penalty. Since this school ability only alters the check and usable opportunity, the invocation you cast will still have an element in Void stance, right?

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Yes, that is how it would work. You've switched the element out, so now you get the opportunities from that element and the backlash from that element. It can, f.ex. also be worthwhile to cast Path to Inner Peace using Fire and intentionally taking the backlash to affect multiple targets.

Void doesn't prevent the backlash based on any interaction with the strife symbols, it does it by not having a backlash written. So you trigger Void backlash, and the effect is "null". The 3 fatigue might still happen, though, that's true.

And yeah, it's about the symbols, not strife received, so the stance effect and strife-reducing oppos wouldn't help.

The school ability works by changing the ring you use, so instead of Theology (Fire) it's Theology (Void) for example. That makes it a Void check, not a Fire check, and so the opportunities you get are any Void opportunities you have access to and which can trigger off a Scholar skill or an invocation. There are no Void invocation opportunities, but there are generic Void opportunities (and there might be some from techs) and these you can use. Similarly, because it is now a Void check, you'd use Void backlash.

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Posted (edited)

Possibly, but the preview didn't mention Void invocations, instead giving Void a new technique type, called inversions.

So I guess we'll see - but I expect no Void invocations or backlash.

Edited by Myrion

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Posted (edited)

What? Yes, of course Ishiken, but they'll be using Inversions.

Did you even read the preview?

"the game’s first inversions (a new kind of technique used by ishiken and Void wielders)."

Edited by Myrion
Fixed grammar

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I had read it back in February when it was announced, I had had the impression that there would be Ishiken (by which I understood Void invocations). I might have internally interpreted this way and missed this Inversion part. I mean, I for one, don't like when new books introduce whole new stuff for something that is introduced on the core book. I this case, a new category of techniques.

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That's an entirely different topic, but it never made sense that ishiken simply were the same as everyone else. They didn't implore the kami, after all.

So a separate type of technique is more in line with the lore anyway.

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I guess we could spend pages and pages discussing about what the lore and the mechanics mean to each other and we will always find examples to support whatever is our argument.

Case in point, the Ujik Diviner can use Invocations, even though they don't plead the kami for their blessings. I just find a wasted opportunity to not finally offer void invocations or at least a table with possible Void backlashes, because, if we go by the lore, whatever Kaede did to save Toturi, YOU CAN BET YOUR SET OF MUSCLES USED TO SIT THAT THERE WAS A BACKLASH.

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8 hours ago, Myrion said:

That's an entirely different topic, but it never made sense that ishiken simply were the same as everyone else. They didn't implore the kami, after all.

So a separate type of technique is more in line with the lore anyway.

It's also much easier to make them 'not available to normal Shugenja' that way.

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After some consideration, I think void spells were kind of a squeeze in previous rules.  There had to be a special rule to say that only 1 kind of people could us them, even though they were technically spells.  In a system where there are multiple types of technique from the get go, adding a new technique type seems like a better solution than making special rules around an existing technique type.

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12 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

After some consideration, I think void spells were kind of a squeeze in previous rules.  There had to be a special rule to say that only 1 kind of people could us them, even though they were technically spells.  In a system where there are multiple types of technique from the get go, adding a new technique type seems like a better solution than making special rules around an existing technique type.

That's almost exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you for writing it out so much more clearly. :)

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