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L5R RPG - beta rules for new edition

 
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:11 am    Post subject: L5R RPG - beta rules for new edition Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So these are wandering around now on DriveThru for free.

I stalled out on pages 11 to 12, when it attempted to explain the dice.

Its a roll and keep target number system with speciality dice, some of which (Ring, ie attribute dice) are d6s and the skill dice are d12s. Because, presumably, fuck you. Dice faces are as follows-
d6
blank
success
success and strife
explosive success and strife
opportunity
opportunity and strife

d12
blank
blank
success
success
success and opportunity
success and strife
success and strife
explosive success
explosive success and srife
opportunity
opportunity
opportunity

So, blanks are presumably failures.

Explosive success is... go to step 6 on page 14. Unsurprisingly this is 'roll another die' surprisingly, this can be kept or not, beyond your normal kept dice.

Opportunity is... not success, but you might do or notice something unrelated.

Strife is... blah, blah samurai drama, something something upswell of emotion.

Average Target Number (and by target number they mean success threshold) is 2, but goes up to 8.

So you keep according to your ring value, but you only have to keep one, so if the strife thing is a problem, you can just discard those.

There are 3 full pages of bullshit steps and adjustments that may or may not apply to the dice rolls, so clearly this is a very clean and simple system.


---
Character creation.... sucks
All rings start at 1, all skills start at 0. Nothing can be raised above 3 at character creation
There are a bunch of derived stats based on ring combos. Presumably, given this game's history, one or more of these is going to be a god stat, probably focus which governs initiative and reaction, and is fire+air.


Clans add a ring point and a skill point (fixed by clan)
Families (by clan) add a ring and 2 skills (fixed by family)
School adds 2 ring points, and 5 skills (you actually get to choose skills... from a list set by school), and you get a mix of fixed and choice of 2-3 abilities depending on if you're a sam, shugenja or courtier, and shugenja also get a couple rituals). Also school abilities and starting gear.

Blah, blah, lots of flavor text on duty, honor and glory. If you give a shit, you can get some bonus glory and honor, or you can get some free skill ranks.


Blah, blah more flavor text that may somehow affect your mandatory advantages and disadvantages or you can customize them.

Then a random (d10) chart for random +/- to glory, honor and/or status and a randomized skill.

Then you get to describe how your character should die. Seriously, step 20 of Character creation is:
20. How should your character die?


Not sure I want to bother with skimming any more. The dice system and its active fuckery with probability is pretty much a turn off. The static character creation system doesn't help.

Ah, no. One more thing. Starting characters have a total of 4 ring increases, which may or may not overlap some (to the cap of 3). So they're functionally equivalent to the soldier or bandit minions. Fantastic. At least they're better than peasants. Slightly.


Last edited by Voss on Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: L5R RPG - beta rules for new edition Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

Then you get to describe how your character should die. Seriously, step 20 of Character creation is:
20. How should your character die?


This might involve some cooperation with the DM.

Seriously, with so much random character generation going on, this is the only sure thing here.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:44 am    Post subject: Re: L5R RPG - beta rules for new edition Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JonSetanta wrote:
Voss wrote:

Then you get to describe how your character should die. Seriously, step 20 of Character creation is:
20. How should your character die?


This might involve some cooperation with the DM.

Seriously, with so much random character generation going on, this is the only sure thing here.


What? Most of it isn't random. Barring a random modifier to your social totals (which don't matter, because if you use them you only use the 10s digit) and a single skill rank, nothing is random. Most things are fixed.

Character creation actually has the opposite problem. Every last character from <Clan><Family><School> is going to be nigh identical except for a single technique and a handful of skills.


Last edited by Voss on Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't give a care if they changed up the 'game of 20 questions' to include a morbid question. The true bushi lives with death in his heart and so forth, it's a pretty good rp prompt for the setting. My question is: do shugenja still get a double digit's worth of spells each day while everybody else gets a single digit of skill tricks?
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Rubick
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

When I heard about new L5R, I was like yeah! I hope they drop roll and keep. Because even though roll and keep feels 'neat' , 95% of players I meet will never understand the probabilities behind it unless I print some charts out.

It looks like they went the complete opposite direction of my hopes and dreams.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

To short answer your question: no. Nobody gets double digits of anything.
The longer version: shuggies get 5 techniques starting out, bushi get 2.
but 2 of those are downtime only rituals.


The real answer to your question:

everybody gets a school ability. And techniques from different categories (Kata, kiho, rituals, shuji, invocations).

I was wrong before, schools don't necessarily get 5 skill ranks- some only get 3 or 4.
And not all schools are represented at all (dragon doesn't have bushi or shuggies, just monks and courtiers), but apparently that is a beta thing.

But in general...

Bushi get a fixed technique and a choice of 2 techniques
Courtiers get a fixed technique and a single choice of 2 or 3 techniques
Monks get 3 of 5 listed Kiho, and a Shuji
Shuggies get eh.. 3 techniques and 2 rituals

(the crab school gets two invocations and a kata, while the phoenix get 3 invocations and the unicorn gets 2 invocations (choice of 2 of 3) and a shuji (1 of 2)

So Courtiers & Bushi get 2 techniques (regardless of what they're called), monks get 4 and shuggies get 5. So not double digits, but pretty obviously more.


And most of the starter katas are kinda bad (the Strike as <ring> line). They just let you attack with different rings, and keep opportunities to get an associated buff. But generally if you're keeping those opportunities, you aren't keeping successes, so... yeah. And given your ring max is 3 starting out, you're only keeping 3 dice, so you're trading actually hitting your opponent for some defensive bonus

Shugenja basically do invocations and rituals. Invocations are weird, but can be channeled over multiple rounds (though weirdly, they can be channeled over infinite rounds in combat, but only 1 round outside of combat).
They do a wide variety of effects. Enough that it's difficult to sum them up, but a fair amount of juggling status bullshit, particularly knocking people on their ass.

Rituals are downtime only, and also do a variety of things.

Courtiers do what is supposedly social combat with shuji, but most seem to just buff or debuff combat stuff, or weird shit, like seeing the maker in an object, and thus getting metagame knowledge of their Ring values.

Oh, yes. Ninja also get 2 techniques, but there is a sidebar on how they totally don't exist, but shinobi do, but the only thing it applies to is the scorpion school that is definitely tagged ninja, and nothing at all is tagged shinobi, so... yeah. I'm not sure why that distinction exists at all in the beta, since the sidebar goes on to explain that while ninja don't exist, shinobi are banned.

Quote:
I don't give a care if they changed up the 'game of 20 questions' to include a morbid question. The true bushi lives with death in his heart and so forth, it's a pretty good rp prompt for the setting

It's cutesy, sure. But honestly death is going to come from a bad die roll, because 'deadliness' is a weapon rating and 'critical hit severity' is a thing.


Last edited by Voss on Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Lokey
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It wouldn't be L5R RPG without the sidebar rants.

I didn't think it could get clunkier, yet here we are. Will have to track down their example resolutions.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lokey wrote:
It wouldn't be L5R RPG without the sidebar rants.

I didn't think it could get clunkier, yet here we are. Will have to track down their example resolutions.


Examples? Heh. Your optimism is perhaps unwarranted.
There are a few bits on how to deal with advantages and disadvantages and how to shove them all into step goddamn 4 of a single roll (and you have 2 of each, so this step is a 4 step process in and of itself), and how to make new ones, but that seems to be it.

Clunky pretty well defines it. 'Making a Check' is two and a half pages, and advocates frequent pausing for GM cocksucking, including but not limited to:
using a different Ring than normal, using a different skill, and making a case for applying your adv/disadvs. Which happens after you roll the dice, but can retroactively cause you to reroll dice during that step (which is in the example on how to use advantages) Bash

Also included is a big sidebar on how your dice might be fucked with: rerolls, modification (switching dice types around for... reasons that aren't explained), altering (just straight up changing the face of the die), reserving (saving for later, which means not using it now... and since you're only keeping three as a starting character, this means undermining the initial action), and negating (a specific result, but not necessarily all results on that face)


Last edited by Voss on Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:48 pm; edited 3 times in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Average Target Number (and by target number they mean success threshold) is 2, but goes up to 8.


That's the kind of clueless difficulty inflation I expect from an L5R edition. Dice provide success roughly half the time (3/6 successes on the d6, and 7/12 successes on the d12). It's a roll and keep system. Not only would you need to roll like 14 dice to have a decent chance of getting 8 hits, but you would literally need to be allowed to keep 8 dice for that to even possibly be a thing.

-Frank
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

And it isn't really a thing. You keep your Ring value, Rings are 1-5, 6 is superhuman and 'not normally' reachable by PCs.

Explosive successes allow for rolling and keeping additional dice, but this is obviously unreliable.

Spending a void point allows you to roll and keep an additional die.

Assistance is pretty much the only way- you get to roll an additional and keep a die per assisting character.

So in theory a starting character with <Ring> 3 + <Skill> 3 + spending a Void + 4 friends can roll 11 dice and keep 8. And maybe get more shit for leveraging everyone's advantages and disadvantages into the roll (a lot of which allow 2 dice to be rerolled)

---

The other way to do it is to lower the TN. I'm not honestly sure how to do this most of the time. But finding a bullshit excuse to roll Void checks seems to be a fairly reliable way- every Opportunity result on a Void check lets you lower your next TN by one, but you have to name the Ring in advance- but nothing stops you from farming Void checks to set this up- Intentionally failing them to (try to) get opportunity results.


------
Opportunity and Strife are also really weird. Strife seems to be just bad, so there is no reason to keep those dice (you don't have to keep your max). Except for one d12 result, opportunity results cost you successes, and extra successes are better- for example, on attacks, damage is <weapon damage rating>+ bonus successes, so keeping opportunities instead of successes means not killing people.

----
Going back to advantages for a second.... these are fucking stupid. Most are reroll 2 dice on <specific checks> + flavor bullshit. And the flavor bullshit is fucking awful, because it has weird implications:
Keen Balance, for example, lets you reroll dice on checks to avoid being knocked down or getting seasick. But it also lets you move across treacherous terrain, so long as nobody is opposing or hindering you, you do not fall.

As written, that suggests anyone who doesn't have this advantage does fall. No check, just fall.

Large Stature is even more stupid. You can reach high shelves and hit your head a lot. Yes, really. Also you can reroll dice to hold things up, like heavy objects or to build a house frame.

This system seems is made of WTF, and has bizarre exclusivity and cocksucking requriements on almost every page.


Last edited by Voss on Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:18 am; edited 3 times in total
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RelentlessImp
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Why is it that systems with specialty dice are always mechanically stupid? Is it because they feel they have to have gimmick dice to stand out in today's RPG market and thus have to shoehorn them into their system somehow?
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Maybe they just figure they'll get more out of selling dice than books. FFG certainly seems obsessed with the damn things.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RelentlessImp wrote:
Why is it that systems with specialty dice are always mechanically stupid? Is it because they feel they have to have gimmick dice to stand out in today's RPG market and thus have to shoehorn them into their system somehow?


There's very little you can do with specialty dice that you can't do with normal dice. And there's literally nothing you can do with specialty dice that you can't do with normal dice and a chart.

There are of course reasons to have special dice. For example, you might want to have dice that give out directions. Or you might want to have dice that gave different probabilities of different results (like how in Shadowrun each die is worth zero hits 2/3 of the time and worth one hit 1/3 of the time), and it is genuinely slightly faster to count the literal faces than it is to do some kind of conversion. But in general, the first thing a game designer should do is to figure out how to test their mechanics with regular dice they already had.

Which means that the vast majority of the time, when you see an RPG with specialty dice, what you're looking at is someone who didn't actually ever test their mechanics. Otherwise they'd just tell you to use D6s like SR or D10s like WW and tell you what the different numbers mean.

-Frank
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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Despite it being in "Beta", is there anything that can be done to save this game's Resolution System? Sounds like if they lower the TN's, increase "dice kept", clean up the fiat & silly crap (being big =hit ceiling) replaced with examples adding to what ability can do, and make Level-ups happen often it might be salvageable?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aryxbez wrote:
Despite it being in "Beta", is there anything that can be done to save this game's Resolution System? Sounds like if they lower the TN's, increase "dice kept", clean up the fiat & silly crap (being big =hit ceiling) replaced with examples adding to what ability can do, and make Level-ups happen often it might be salvageable?


Not really, no. It's very difficult to make Roll and Keep be a thing that works at all, and it's very obviously incompatible with a system where you count hits rather than obtain a total. If you're just counting dice that come up success, you aren't really doing a Roll and Keep at all, you're just doing SR5 style Limits. And those were beyond awful.

Roll and Keep is attractive from a game design standpoint because it allows people to get better in different ways. Adding a die to the rolled pile makes your average total go up but does not affect your minimum or maximum result. Adding a die to the kept pile makes your minimum and maximum rise and increases your average as well. Both increases are inherently limited in the sense that if you add enough rolled dice you will eventually already be keeping maximum dice with nothing to exchange the new dice for even if you roll well on them, and if you add enough kept dice you will eventually be adding minimum dice. So that's kind of neat. It allows you to talk about things like consistency versus power and all those other things that give game designers a boner.

But there are some real big caveats to that. There's a very narrow range where any of that shit is actually true. Specifically, for extra rolled dice to give you the kind of bonus you want where you swap out a new die for your lowest old die on a regular basis, you need to be keeping a number of dice which are quite similar to the number of sides on the dice. For extra kept dice to be giving you the kinds of diminishing returns you want where the last die you added is a shit die, you need to be keeping a number of dice quite similar to the number of dice rolled.

And obviously, if the only meanignful outputs of a die are 0 or 1, all that is fucking meaningless because kept dice don't "diminish" they are literally fucking useless once you run out of rolled hits.

So in summation, To Court The King is a really cool dice game, and I like playing it a lot. But the mechanics do not easily fit into the needs of an RPG and I've never been able to make it work and I've never heard of anyone else being able to make it work either. The numerical constraints are just too heavy.

-Frank
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G‚tFromKI
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
Also included is a big sidebar on how your dice might be fucked with: rerolls [...]

WTF ? Why would anyone include a reroll mechanic in a roll&keep system (instead of simply rolling more dice) ?
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Voss
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I suspect they couldn't think of a way to make the mandatory advantages/disadvantages mean something. So many of those reroll things at you.

Last edited by Voss on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Advantages and Disadvantages sound like a good idea but the actual implementation cannot help but be awful.

No one likes rolling dice for no reason, and at the same time not rolling dice at all is not really playing a game so much as telling a story. Having the dice be able to output tangential setbacks and advances allows the dice to be something you still roll for a reason even when the main outcome is not particularly in doubt.

The problem of course is that the number of potential story branches is untennably large. What's the difference between one drawback and two drawbacks when kicking in a door? What's the difference between one advance and four advances while gathering information in a pub?

It's just too much work for the MC to do. Even if the probabilities on these fucking dice weren't completely bugfuck insane, it would still be too much work to try to play.

-Frank
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Daragosa
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Too bad to hear that about To Court The King. I was looking forward to getting into it.
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