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Author Topic: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)  (Read 1553 times)

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Offline Flying Tengu

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2015, 10:28:54 PM »
No real opinion on that; I would be very, very surprised if maho use was ever a thing that my character did.

From a very minor aesthetics angle... perhaps 1d10/2, or 1d5?  I know we'll be doing our rolling online, but currently l5r only uses d10s, as far as I can remember.  Again, just a minor aesthetics thing.

Offline hellrazoromega

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2015, 04:39:23 AM »
Well, I did mess up in that it was supposed to be 1d4 and not 1d8, which kinda makes a difference.  Bear in mind that this rule (with the right die type) significantly reduces the average amount of taint gained on higher level maho spells.  For example, right now EVERY 5th level maho spell grants 4 taint.   And exposure rules will change as well, but nowhere near as significantly.
1d4 is far better than 1d8. I would be interested to see what the exposure rate increase will be, since that is far more likely for our characters to encounter (given the mission of the Owl). Just so long as it does not end up being as bad being a Paladin in Ravenloft, or in other words a game where the PCs are doomed from the get go. Personally, the only setting I really care for where the PCs are ultimately doomed is CoC (individuals is fine, just not the whole party).

I suppose that if in the case of exposure things are going to be randomized there should be some stat, bought or derived, which offers some--but not complete resistance. It could even be based on Insight Rank (which I assume is what you were referring to when you said powerful samurai in the maho example), or Void divided by 'X'.

Offline Annaamarth

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2015, 05:13:21 AM »
He said roll Ring- assuming it's the standard "maho" roll, insight rank already figures in as unkept dice.  To that end, an Insight 4 samurai with ring 3 would be rolling 7k3 versus a TN 5 to soak the taint from a rank 1 maho... and assuming the raises are applied retroactively in this case (not normally the case, but I read that as the intent here), would have a 60% chance of rolling 25 or better, and soaking all of the taint from the casting roll.  An insight rank 2 samurai with ring 4 is doing even better at 77%.  Assuming I haven't gone math-dumb in my dotage and sleep-deprived state, the first samurai has a 87% chance of walking out taint-free after the casting, while the second samurai has a 92+ percent chance of the same.

I don't see any reason you couldn't spend Void to boost this roll, but that's a GM call.  Of course, that's a good way to burn through your Void awfully quickly.



Offline HopeFox

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2015, 05:30:52 AM »
I do like the idea of maho being an actual worthwhile temptation, rather than a completely dumb decision. It's unlikely to be on the cards for Keitaro, though, unless and until things change a lot.

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2015, 05:36:02 AM »
HopeFox, haven't forgotten you, will respond to your character more later.  I do like him, though.

1d10/5 isn't a bad idea at all. 

Yeah, sorry about that Omega.  I was thinking 9 levels of spells (what major system does that...right?) instead of 5.  The exposure rules aren't bad at all, just slightly less predictable and adjusted by situation.  Taint shouldn't be predictable.  When you do encounter creatures, I don't want players safe in the knowledge that they can beat the DC with X on the roll.  I want you guessing, and a little scared.  Also, I want it to make sense.  Take 1 point of damage from an goblin?  Negligible chance.  Get injured by an oni to near fatal wounds?  Good luck, you'll need it.  Note that there are spells and advantages that help guard against it, not to mention high earth ring and void points.  I might even allow multiple void points to be spent on taint resistance.  My goal isn't to corrupt.  It is to make risk of corruption real, and the fear of it felt.  I feel the second goal is already accomplished.

Insight does not directly factor into it at all, though high insight generally means higher rings.  I want it to be easier to cast maho than to avoid the effects, because that does make sense.  And no, raises will have to be declared, adding to the risk vs reward factor.  Remember that EVERY maho spell, under the original rules grants taint.  I don't want it easy to avoid, just possible, just enough to say "I think I can get away with that."  Basically, it's to create the opposite effect as the exposure rule changes.  Feel that confidence creeping in?  That temptation becoming a bit stronger?  Good.  Why not give it a chance?  After all, nothing happens until a full rank of taint is acquired anyways. 

Undecided on Void for maho taint resistance rolls.  Have to do some math first.

Offline Flying Tengu

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2015, 06:31:25 PM »
Oh!  Actually, I just thought of one very important question.

What are the Owl clan colors?

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2015, 07:01:23 PM »
As long as that is where your focus is, we'll never advance as a culture.  ~grins~

If you look on the map, I went with my first idea for the outline, a somewhat light blue, metallic.  Seemed kind of a blend between Crab and Crane colors, which seemed fitting.  Open to something different.

Offline Flying Tengu

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2015, 08:54:44 PM »
Here's the character I've been working on: Reijiro (Matsu) Shiori!

Character Background
The traditions of the Lion go back for hundreds of years, back to the founding of the Empire.  Generation after generation followed them, and in doing so, honored those who came before.  How, then is a Lion supposed to behave, when those honored ancestors return, and bring war with them.

Matsu Shiori is just old enough to have experienced and to remember life before the War of the Spirits.  Her mother and father were both strict traditionalists, and taught Shiori well.  She was serious and studious, even as a child, and took her duties very serious.  A good Lion.  While she had some of the hot temper of her mother, it was tempered somewhat by the cool reserve of her Akodo father, giving her some foresight.  And, of course, she was taught to honor her ancestors.  This briefly became easier in the wake of tales of the Battle of Oblivion's Gate, in which the living and the honored dead fought side by side.  Little Shiori's imagination surged.  Would it be possible to ask ancient Akodo tacticians to expand on some of their treatises?  Could Ikoma bards tell tales from ancient battles that they had personally seen?  The possibilities were immense.

But then the Emperor issued his decree, ordering the ancestors to commit suicide.  And then they defied him.  And the War of Spirits began.

Most Lion supported the Emperor; Toturi, that is, not the returned Hantei.  Some did not.  This created quite a schism in the Lion, and in Shiori.  It was different to honor an ancestor that you knew was up and walking around.  It was strange to hear tactics lessons, where the teachings came from someone currently fighting the Emperor.  Shiori responded by clinging to tradition all the harder, doing her best to ignore the reports of traitorous spirits.

When encouraged to improvise, however, Shiori showed that she had a good deal of potential.  The needs of the war caused many Lion in training to take their Gempukku as early as possible.  At age fourteen, long of limb and having matured early, Shiori was attached to a patrol unit, far from the front.  As well as being fast, and as eager to serve as any Lion, her patrol leader found her to be impressively perceptive, and a good tactical thinker.  He reported such to her sensei.

With most of the unit as inexperienced as her, they were kept off the front lines for most of the war.  She only saw fighting at the end.  It was the most frightened Shiori had ever been in her life.  How did one stand up against legends?  But, of course, she did her duty.  Despite misgivings.  As always.

One of the more notable events for her personally, if not in the grand scheme of things, occurred on the eve of one of these large final battles.  Her patrol had traveled beyond enemy lines to gather vital information about the enemies' numbers and positioning.  But they were caught before they could make their way back to friendly territory, and had to undertake a fighting retreat.  When it became clear that they would be overrun, her friend and gunso, Matsu Sakurako, held a narrow pass alone, fighting against overwhelming odds to allow the rest of the unit to return with the information.  Shiori was deeply touched by the sacrifice.  After the battle, when Sakurako's remains were recovered, Shiori requested that she be allowed to return her daisho to her family.  The request was granted.  And so it was that Shiori presented her fallen friend's daisho to her husband, Matsu Keitaro.  Although she maintained her composure, it was difficult, especially when she saw Keitaro's reaction.  A samurai was supposed to maintain composure in the face of tragedy, but Shiori found that she really could not fault him.

After the war, she returned home.  Her sensei, meeting with her, asked him to demonstrate all she had learned.  When she was finished, he nodded.  "I am putting in a recommendation for you to join the newly created Reijiro family.  You will be accepted.  When the honor comes to you, I strongly suggest you take it."  All of Shiori's objections would not change his mind, nor would he offer explanation, merely saying that she would understand in time.

And so she joined the Reijiro.  But she does not yet understand.

Personality and Apperance
Personality:

Shiori is born of both Akodo and Matsu, and it clearly shows.  Her Matsu side has given her strength and fierceness; she will not hesitate to respond to what she perceives as an attack, on or off the battlefield.  Her Akodo side has given her the ability to think and give measured response, however; her tactical mind is often active, even when not fighting.  She still clings to traditions and formality as best she can, and someone meeting her for the first time will find her stiff, even prickly.  Those who get to know her a bit better may be surprised to find a sense of humor, perhaps even some softness.  But not much; the Matsu strength runs deep, after all, hiding secret passions.  Still, she will be true and loyal to those who earn her friendship.

Appearance:

Shiori is, in short lean and leggy, build much like the great cats from which her original clan takes its name.  She is a bit taller than the average Rokugani samurai-ko.  She is slender, her body just a little too muscular, and her feminine curves just a bit too developed to be called lithe.  Her face is surprisingly delicate, with defined cheekbones, cute nose, and tiny mouth, often lightly frowning.  Her hair is long, hanging to her waist, often in a long ponytail, mostly black, but with streaks of dark brown.  Her eyes, similarly, are deep brown, but with amber specks, visible in the right light.

Of special note is her manner of dress.  It is quite unusual for most of Rokugan, but can sometimes be seen among Matsu samurai-ko, combining their respect for tradition with their sometimes slightly aggressive disregard for propriety.  She dresses in a distinctly older style, from a less modest time.  The neck of her kimono is wider than most.  It hangs off of Shiori's shoulders, rather than her collarbone, exposing some of the pale golden skin of her neck and collar, and just begins to display the tops of her generous breasts.  Furthermore, it is slit in one side, to allow the Matsu warrior easier motion, but one can see the occasional flash of her shapely, well-toned leg.  This occasionally draws attention from both prudish and lecherous eyes.  Shiori has time for neither.
Character Sheet
Reijiro (Matsu) Shiori

School/Rank: Akodo Bushi 1
Insight: 129
XP:
Age: 19

Status:
Honor: 6.5
Glory: 1

Rings
Earth 2
-Stamina 2
-Willpower 2

Water 3
-Strength 3 (+1 from family)
-Perception 3 (+1 from School)

Fire 2
-Agility 3 (12)
-Intelligence 2

Air 2
-Reflexes 3 (12)
- Awareness 2

Void 2


Skills (* are school skills/emphasis)
*Battle (*Mass Combat) 2
*Defense: 1
*Kenjustu 3
*Kyujutsu 1
*Lore - History 1
*Sincerity 2
*Iaijutsu 1
Investigation 2
Hunting  1
Etiquette 1
Athletics 1
Games (go) - 1


Advantages:

Benten's Blessing (4)
Strength of the Earth (2)

Disadvantages:

Idealistic (-3)



Techniques

    Rank 1: The Way of The Lion
    - You may either ignore an opponent's TN bonus from armor or gain a Free Raise when attacking. You gain a +1k0 bonus on your first melee attack against an opponent in a skirmish, or against any opponent who has declared a Raise on an attack against you since your last turn.

----

Inventory:
Light Armour
Sturdy Clothing
Daisho
No-dachi
Fine courtly kimono

Travelling Pack:
Fan
Spare Kimono and sandals
Sake cup
Flint and tinder
Small tent
Miniature go set
Chopsticks
Cooking pot
Straw Cloak
Week's rations

Money:
4 koku
----

Initiative roll: 4k3

Primary Weapon: Nodachi

Armor: Light
TN bonus: +5
Reduction: 3
TN to be hit: 25 --> 20 (Ref) + 5 (Armour)

20 Questions
WHAT CLAN DOES YOUR CHARACTER BELONG TO?
Lion.  Wait, Owl now.

HOW WOULD OTHERS DESCRIBE YOUR CHARACTERfS APPEARANCE?
Beautiful, but fierce.  Much like a lion.  Both tend to be immediately evident upon seeing her.  She typically dresses in practical garments, but she was gifted one nice court kimono in her new clan colors by her old sensei.  It is in an older style, one which Shiori favors, not so much out of fashion, but distinctly from an earlier time.  The major difference between it and more modern kimonos is that fashion from the time favored a wider cut in the neck. 

IS YOUR CHARACTER A BUSHI, SHUGENJA, MONK, OR COURTIER?
Bushi.  It is, after all, the most vital duty a samurai can have.

WHAT FAMILY DOES YOUR CHARACTER BELONG TO?
Matsu.  Wait, Reijiro now.  She's still not used to that.

WHAT IS YOUR CHARACTERfS MAIN MOTIVATION?
Duty.  A Lion (even a former one) always does what is expected of her.  No matter how little it makes sense, or how many idiots she is surrounded by!  She clings to the iddea that doing her duty will eventually lead to everything sorting out.

WHO IS THE PERSON YOUR CHARACTER TRUSTS MOST?
Akodo Toshio, her sensei.  Even more than her parents, he taught her everything she knows, and made her into the woman she is now.  Her mother is a close second.  Third would be herself; by trusting in the tenents of Bushido, she believes that she will make the right decision.

WHAT IS YOUR CHARACTERfS GREATEST STRENGTH? GREATEST WEAKNESS?
Shiori's greatest strength is her conviction.  Her strong beliefs guide her in difficult times, and allow her to be decisive in confusing ones.  Her greatest weakness is that she is traditional to the point of being hidebound.  Unless forced to do otherwise, she is perfectly content to do things the way that they have always been done.

WHAT DOES YOUR CHARACTER THINK OF BUSHIDO?
Bushido is a light in the darkness, created by our glorious ancestors to guide our way.  If ever a decision is unclear, one should look to the tenents of Bushido for the proper course.

WHAT IS YOUR CHARACTERfS OPINION OF HER OWN CLAN?
Every clan has its purpose.  Well, except maybe the Scorpion; Shiori doesn't really think they do.  But the Lion best fulfill the most important duty of the samurai: to fight and die for the Empire.  And none display the traditional virtues of the samurai better than the Lion, either.  Truly, the Lion are the greatest clan.

The Lion have a tradition going back for generation after generation.  The Owl do not.  The other clans have gotten by without an Owl clan for more than a thousand years.  Shiori will serve them, but really, do they have a purpose?

IS YOUR CHARACTER MARRIED?
No.  If an advantageous marriage were proposed, Shiori would duitifully go along with it, of course.  For anything else... well, that's just not done, is it?!?!

DOES YOUR CHARACTER HAVE ANY PREJUDICES?
Haha.  Yeah she does!

Shugenja and courtiers should out of the battle.  Or at least behind a solid screen of bushi.  They can do little to help, and may distract a bushi who feels obligated to protect them.
The Scorpion clan serves no purpose.  The samurai of the Empire find the right decision through honor.  How can taking dishonorable action be the purpose of a samurai clan?
The Celestial Order is as it is for a reason.  The lower classes should be treated with kindness, but ultimately it is their duty to serve, just as it is the duty of samurai to serve those above them.  By the same logic, Ronin cannot be trusted, as they are not in their proper place.

TO WHOM DOES YOUR CHARACTER OWE THE MOST LOYALTY?
The obvious answer is Emperor, Clan, Family, in that order.  In truth, Shiori does recognize that personal loyalties are important, too.  She mostly feels that towards her aforementioned sensei and mother, but also towards her friends, especially those that she actively serves with.

WHAT ARE YOUR CHARACTERfS FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE THINGS?
Shiori really enjoys studying tactics, even if she doesn't have the most scholarly mind for it.  She also enjoys playing go, as she feels that it helps hone her tactics.  She'll barely admit to it, but she also enjoys some more leisurely activities; she likes to relax and watch the heavens, whether sun, moon, or stars from time to time.  She also won't admit to having a sense of humor, and enjoying a good joke, but she secretly does.

DOES YOUR CHARACTER HAVE ANY RECURRING MANNERISMS?
A disapproving frown.  Being judgemental.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERfS EMOTIONS?
Although Shiori has the potential to have a bit of a temper, she really only suffers from surges of irritation, released in a cutting remark.  She does sometimes feel warmth towards her friends.  Other emotions she does her best to repress; they aren't really appropriate for samurai.

HOW WOULD YOUR CHARACTER HANDLE A SUBORDINATEfS IMPROPER BEHAVIOR?
Disipline to exactly the amount prescribed in the Akodo leadership manuals she's read.  Perhaps a little on the light side for minor breaches, though; she has no issue with verbally correcting any behavior she objects to.

HOW WOULD YOUR CHARACTERfS PARENTS DESCRIBE HER?
"A good and dutiful daughter."  They weren't really that expressive, and really, that's pretty high praise from a Lion.

WHAT IS YOUR CHARACTERfS HIGHEST AMBITION?
Previously, it was to be a grand general for the Lion armies.  Now, in a minor clan, this has shifted somewhat.  She still hopes to eventually be a general, and, as long as she's dreaming, that the Owl army be a feared fighting force for its size.

HOW RELIGIOUS IS YOUR CHARACTER?
Eh, sorta.  She does her best, but she doesn't really know that much about religion; she just does what is expected of her.  Besides which, honoring one's ancestors definitely feels unusual now.

IF YOU COULD, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHARACTER?
Times change!  The old ways aren't always the best.  Also, it's ok to loosen up a bit.  You don't need to be on duty all the time.

OPINIONS ON THE OTHER CLANS"
Shiori's opinions on other clans generally focuses on the ways in which they diverge from the ideals of Bushido.  Or, rather, the ways in which they diverge from the Lion.  The Phoenix and the Dragon she both sees as focusing too much on matters besides warfare, the primary duty of the samurai.  The Unicorn and Crab are both respected for their strong military, but lack either the virtue or the strong ties to Rokugani tradition that make the best samurai.  Strangely, she admires the Crane the most.  They have both virtue and tradition, and they are powerful in every arena, which she admires tactically.  It is only their focus on artistry that she feels makes them fall behind.  The Mantis, lacking in the divine heritage of the great clans, also cause Shiori to think poorly of them.  At least, unlike the Scorpion, they have a purpose that she can understand, even if she doesn't entirely respect it.
Bonus Questions!
-Which tenets of Bushido are most important to your character?  Which tenets are least important?
Duty is by far the most important.  It is the reason for samurai.  Courage and honor are important as well, with sincerity just below those.  Shiori has some difficulties with courtesy sometimes, and she is rather utilitarian regarding compassion, which is probably missing the point.  She sees compassion more as a means to instill loyalty than as a virtue in itself.

-Does your character know of Shourido?  What does your character think of it?
Shiori is still in the process of improving her scholarly knowledge of Bushido, so she only knows of Shourido as a name, and as something bad.  If she learned some more details about it, she might find that some of the principles are hard to disagree with, namely perfection, determination, and will.  However, the lack of anything relating to duty will cause her to be inherently suspicious of Shourido, as she does feel that this is the most important virtue a samurai can possess.

-Was your character involved in the war of spirits?
Very much so!

-What did your character think of each side on the war of spirits?
Speaking about the other side, they had refused an explicit order from the Emperor.  This already speaks of a failure on their part.  However, Shiori had been raised from birth to revere her ancestors, a habit that she maintained even in the face of their hostility.  Even as they fought against the empire, she still admired them.

As for her own side, Shiori will only say that they supported the Emperor, and were therefore in the right.  Secretly, however, she wonders if the initial order that led to the war may have been a mistake.  How much could they have learned from working together with the returned spirits, if they had honored them instead of fighting them?  Now, she worries that the war has created too great a gap between the two sides.

-What did your character think of the treaty?
Shiori has decidedly mixed feelings about the recent treaty.  For the large part, she thinks it is a bad idea.  The spirits resisted an order from the Emperor, and fought a war against the rest of Rokugan, a war which ended up being the longest in Rokugan's history.  It is good that lives were saved by the end of the war, but it is a samurai's duty to fight and die, after all, and she was still alive.  Placing the defeated Hantei Ochukeo as the head of a new clan, a great clan no less, with all of the power that accompanies that, seems as though it could easily lead to new problems down the road, as he gathers influence, and builds up his armies again.  After all, his skill as a politician could not be understated.  Besides, he was supposed to be dead, his ordained time long passed.  It goes against the natural order, in which a generation passes its knowledge and responsibility to the next.

On the other hand, despite how firmly Shiori believes it to be a bad idea, she really wants it to work out.  She has never had the opportunity to converse with one of the returned ancestor spirits, and secretly hopes that she someday will have the chance to.  But... surely it's not worth thinking about; it's impossible.

-If given the chance what would your character change about Rokugan?
Unsurprisingly, Shiori longs for the days of old, the days that she has only studied in histories.  She feels that the Empire has changed too much since it's inception, and has gotten too far from its roots.  She would like to see the last few hundred years of history rolled back, although she does still feel that the defeat of Fu Leng and the Darkness are both good.  She would like to see, politically at least, things returned to back before the time of the Clan Wars.

She does also wonder if the Empire, if it lacked both internal conflict and existential threats, might be able to become more expansionistic.  Conquering a new land is a faraway dream of hers, but a dream nonetheless.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 08:13:49 PM by Flying Tengu »

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2015, 01:06:13 PM »
HopeFox: Sorry for the delay, but there wasn't anything that immediately stood out to me as an issue or as an inconsistency.  How long ago did his wife die?  Did his behavior while grieving cause him any loss of honor or glory?  Were the Lion glad to be rid of him?  I'd like to see what kind of advantages/disadvantages you are planning on.

Tengu: Did most of yours by Skype.  Would like to know more about her mentor and their relationship.

All: I did some more math.  So, I'll start by saying that my goal pertaining to maho was to slightly lower the average amount of taint per spell, but also make it more of a gamble.  Below you'll see the expected chance of hitting all the relevant DCs with each Ring.

Roll  10    15     20    25      30       35       40       45       50
3k3  91.6 66.5 36.6 18.1   8.3      3.5       1.5     0.6       0.2
4k4  98.7 90.2 69.1 43.5   24.2   12.4      5.9     2.7       1.2
5k5  99.9 98.0 89.6  71.5  48.9   29.9    16.7      8.7      4.3
6k6  100  99.7 97.4  89.4   73.5   53.4    35.0   21.0     11.8
7k7  100  100  99.5  97.0   89.4   75.3    57.2   39.6     25.2
8k8  100  100  99.9  99.3   96.7   89.6    77.0   60.5     43.7

A roll of 10 would be enough for a rank 1 maho spell to reduce the taint to 0 if the d10 came up as a 1 or 2.  A roll of 50 would be enough for a rank 5 maho spell to reduce the taint to 0 if the d10 came up as a 9 or 10.  You'll notice that a character casting a spell with a Ring of 8k8 will effectively receive 0 Taint from any Rank 1 or 2 spell, and is damn unlikely to receive any from Rank 4, and still under a 50% chance to receive any from Rank 5.  This is a bit more protected than I wished. 

So, here is the new proposal.  To determine Taint, roll a d10 and cut the result in half, rounding up.  Add twice the level of the maho spell.  Roll the Ring you used to cast the spell with a TN of 0.  For every successful Raise, subtract 1 from the result.  Raises must be declared prior to rolling. 

This means that a Rank 1 spell could bestow anywhere from 3-7 points of Taint before rolling.  It also means that you are all but guaranteed to remove two of them, with a 66.5% chance of removing 3.  Even a weaker character can walk away unscathed.  A Rank 5 spell bestows between 11-15 points of Taint before rolling, but there is a 60.5% of removing 9 of them.  Operating under the assumption that characters will look for spells featuring their highest Ring and that a Void Point will be spent, 1 point will be the average Taint from a Rank 1 spell cast by a Rank 1 character. 

The risk becomes much greater for those who take on more than they can handle, but the appeal of potentially casting a maho spell with no consequences should outweigh it.  Bear in mind that over half the samurai of Rokugan *could* cast a Rank 1 spell with no Taint and you see why maho use is so prominent among even the most knowledgeable (Crab and Phoenix).  You'll notice that for Rank 5 spells, there is no chance of such an outcome, but by that point most are too obsessed with the power to care (and those spells are fucking amazing).

Offline Annaamarth

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2015, 05:31:33 PM »
[Snip]
All: I did some more math.  So, I'll start by saying that my goal pertaining to maho was to slightly lower the average amount of taint per spell, but also make it more of a gamble.  Below you'll see the expected chance of hitting all the relevant DCs with each Ring.
[Snip math]
A roll of 10 would be enough for a rank 1 maho spell to reduce the taint to 0 if the d10 came up as a 1 or 2.  A roll of 50 would be enough for a rank 5 maho spell to reduce the taint to 0 if the d10 came up as a 9 or 10.  You'll notice that a character casting a spell with a Ring of 8k8 will effectively receive 0 Taint from any Rank 1 or 2 spell, and is damn unlikely to receive any from Rank 4, and still under a 50% chance to receive any from Rank 5.  This is a bit more protected than I wished.

[And more snip]

... So your concern is that when we get to Ring 8, we're more protected than you'd prefer.  For reference, it takes 240 exp to increase a non-void ring from 3 to 8, and I think would result in a horribly specialized character.  For reference, Iuchiban's highest ring is Earth 7.  A quick glance through Great Clans suggests that most famous characters of insight rank 5-7 have rings that peak in the 5-6 range, with some as low as fours (and Hida Kisada an... anomalous Earth 9).

Most samurai who delve into Maho do so out of a desire for quick, easy power, believing that they can avoid the Taint.  A rank 1 or 2 Maho provides only a single point of taint, and you cast several of these before ever showing as tainted- this is "the first one's always free" method of temptation.  This makes sense to me.

A rank 1 samurai casting a rank 2 spell at ring 3 under your method is now almost certain to only try to negate two points of taint (why try for three when there's a one-in-three chance of failing to mitigate anything?) now walks away with an average of 5 points of taint every time rather than 1.  This is going to result in a rapid rate of becoming Lost, which should discourage folks from being interested in such things to begin with.

What would make more sense to me would be 1d5-3+2x(Rank).  This would mean that a rank 1 Maho would cause 0-4 taint, and a Ring 3 would be able to reliably reduce that... but if the reduction roll happens before the given roll, then that ring 3 guy mitigates two each time, then 40% of the time they walk away with a point or two.  It takes ring 5 or 6 to reliably walk away from a Rank 1 Maho taint-free.

Contrast at the Rank 5 level, where taint will be 1d5+7, or 8-12 points each time (as opposed to book standard 4).  In order to be able to mitigate that down to book-standard, you have to soak 6 points (for a roll of 2-6, average 4).  It takes ring 7-8 to be able to reliably soak it down just to a book-standard rate- and again, even Thunders typically don't have that.

Personally, I think if you were to through the randomization in there you'd make it more tempting by weighting it toward leniency... because eventually the Random Number Gods will get their pound of flesh with bad rolls.  It's only a matter of time.

Offline Summer

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2015, 05:48:29 PM »
Tentative Tonbo Yuu, a duelist that apparently holds prejudice against most of the people already mentioned. xD

History
Born to the minor clan of the Dragonfly, Tonbo Tsubame was a fairly bright child, filled with a love for her clan and family even from a young age, most of her free time spent reading and listening to historical tales of both. Still, not only did Tsubame's interest lie amongst her family, but it extended also towards the Dragon Clan which they indirectly served, each visitor seeking an audience leaving her filled with yet further curiosities; nobody was particularly surprised when Tsubame began vocally expressing an interest in entering Dragon lands, herself. Not at all discontent with their daughter's newfound focus – and further swayed by Tsubame's growing persuasive talents amidst the almost court-like environment – it was soon arranged for her to not only visit the Dragon lands, but to even reside there on the basis of training in one of their schools. Enamored by a particularly flashy demonstration of swordplay she hadn't seen before from visiting dignitaries, it was rather quickly determined that Tsubame would enter the Mirumoto Bushi school.

In the foreign land her family “guarded” from others, amidst people that were relatively free of thought yet often brimming with self-confidence and ability, Tsubame took to her studies in the sword with the same determination she had held for her own clan. Dilligent and capable, the girl flourished under the strict, enlightened tutelage of both teacher and peers, her life held to hard work that was punctuated with the fulfillment of progress.

That there was a war going on in the rest of the world while she was busy enjoying herself amidst the Dragon was lost on her for the longest time. Tsubame had been sent to the Dragon shortly before the war began and was thus spared the news; whilst dignitaries of all kinds were forced to stop within Dragonfly lands, Tsubame was blissfully swinging a sword at her leisure. As the war continued onward and more dignitaries were allowed through, as the atmosphere of even those within the Dragon grew more active, Tsubame eventually came across the information and yet showed little concern; that the Dragon was not moving meant that all would be fine, and the affairs that occurred beyond the boundary of the mountains did not hold her interest nearly as much as those within.

Still, though, Tsubame's life was not entirely without discord; as those around her aged and grew stronger for their efforts, her own stature seemed to have reached its peak several years too soon, and her diminutive size began to interfere in her capabilities for combat. Those she had bested before through both talent and hard work were now able to keep up with her simply through stature, and her own discinlinations towards violence further tempered the recognition and progress she made within the school. It was a period of frustration for Tsubame as others went on to succeed in their Gempukku whereas she was left behind. Discontentment led into yet more, and the dilligence and conviction she had demonstrated in her years since coming to the Dragon began to wane and falter.

It was during this time that Tsubame began to grow lax, using her free time not for self-improvement as she had once been driven, but in more leisurely activities to relieve herself of accumulated stress and tension. Though not prone to actively reserving religious affairs for the sake of other activities, her childhood among the Dragonfly did instill in her an appreciation all the same. Tsubame began to seek out and visit the monasteries, and occasionally she even managed to meet some of the elders of the Dragon clan, those who had long since retired. The initial few encounters had been a jarring experience for the self-assured Tsubame, their words and actions speaking of avenues she hadn't yet touched, demonstrating her self-afflicted folly and mollifying the touch of her talent-induced pride.

It was an enlightening experience for Tsubame, and her personality – which had grown subtly rigid and self-centered in her time of success – grew better for it. Able to admit to her own failings, the flaws that had prevented her continued advancement in her school began to ebb away, and it was not long after that she completed competency over the first teachings of her school at the age of fifteen. The Gempukku following her advancement was without difficulty, and – seeking to demonstrate and put to form the shedding of her conceit – she took on the name of “Yuu”, emphasizing its simplicity and unassuming meaning.

Since then, Yuu had advanced at a rather leisurely pace, greatly unhurried in purpose and destination, relatively content with her place and station. Practice of the sword – with slow, steady progress – was accompanied by visits to the monasteries and temples for reflection and meditation. It was here – as had been in the past – that she found herself challenged. In her self-contained interests in the Dragon and Dragonfly Clans – in cutting her attention off from the rest of Rokugan – it was mentioned that she was unable to understand what it was the Dragon actually represented, its underlying meaning and purpose.

It was not an inaccurate assessment, and so Yuu took a more active interest in the affairs of Rokugan, though she was soon made aware of a pressing issue; the relative isolation afforded by the mountains had allowed her to distance herself from the affairs of Rokugan as a whole, but it made it similarly difficult even when she sought otherwise. Woefully lacking in both connections and experience in learning of Rokugan affairs, Yuu sought permission for a musha shugyo, intending to finally leave the mountain to see the land for herself.

To Yuu's confusion, the musha shugyo was denied, and a counter-decision was made; if Yuu held such a desire to see the world and the aftereffects of the War of Spirits firsthand, her presence would be better served amongst The Owl, not only for the sake of her own growth but as a means to assist in its development.

Personality
Owing to her heritage, Yuu holds firm to her belief that open combat is meant to be a last resort and is not fond of unrestrained or meaningless violence but – owing to her training and the latter upbringing amongst the Dragon – she does not hesitate to put into action what she deems necessary, experiencing a lack of guilt or remorse in even killing if events lead her irrevocably to that path.

Yuu has come to be relatively relaxed and easygoing in most affairs, typically taking to things at a leisurely pace, both for the sake of her own preferences and to minimize the chance for mistakes. Cautious often to a fault, Yuu is slow to act when her hand is not deliberately forced, preferring instead to ponderously weigh options and potential consequences than to go with the first one presented as correct. It is rare that she does not have a smile upon her face, though it is as often a reflexive front as it is genuine.

Appearance
Yuu has managed to settle in at a height that is small even compared to the average Rokugani woman, nevermind the average samurai. Having focused her efforts more on speed and precision than unrelenting force, Yuu's body is lacking in overt definition, mildly toned and firmed but lacking in expressed musculature. Well-suited for her small frame, Yuu's bust is modest at best, though the rest of her body is well-curved to compensate, delicate-seeming shoulders leading into thinned waist and pronounced hips, serving to signify the maturity of her body despite her stature. Darkly black hair trail down to her rear, the tip of her ponytail lengthy enough to brush against the back of her thighs in walking. A pair of downturned eyes present themselves on her face, each holding to it a solid, dark brown coloration while the rest of her visage settles on the unassuming; a simple pair of lips settle near her rounded jaw while her low cheekbones are only subtly visible.

Clothing-wise, Yuu favors the simplistic, and her standard, knee-length kimono keeps itself reserved with a dark green coloration and a lack of ornamentation. A dark brown hakama covers the legs from view, while a similarly colored kataginu displays her mon, a large dragonfly encircled in gold on her back with the Tonbo and Mirumoto mon more reservedly on her front left and right, respectively.

Twenty Questions
=What clan does your character belong to?
Currently, The Dragonfly Clan and the Dragon Clan, in order of her own feelings on the matter.

=What family does your character belong to?
The Tonbo family.

=Is your character a bushi, a shugenja, or a courtier?
She's a Bushi with mild Courtier inclinations... a Courtushi? :p

=How would others describe your character's appearance?
Short of height and lacking much in build; likely not very well suited for the sword or combat. More than just a touch on the plain side.

=What is your character's primary motivation?
Sincerity, both to others and most importantly to the self. This manifests itself as a great deal of interest and duty in the affairs of her clan, the Dragonfly.

=Who is the person your character trusts the most in the world?
Herself. Though some may lie and yet more may be misled, one should always be able to count upon oneself when it comes to trust and honesty.

Other than herself, Yuu trusts the elders of the Dragon Clan for their insight and wisdom.

=What is your character's greatest strength and greatest weakness?
Yuu holds a great measure of flexibility, freely admitting (at least to herself) the mistakes she has made and making efforts to improve upon herself and change her mind when confronted with newfound truths. This lack of rigidity also serves to impede her, however; not only is it common for her to appear to lack commitment, but in many cases it is actually true.

=What does your character think of Bushido?
Bushido is a code that improves upon the growth of the self as well as those around you. Bushido is not only a code suitable for samurai, but the tenets are applicable and beneficial for humanity as a whole, but as a journey and as an end.

=What is your character's opinion of her clan?
Yuu views highly of the Dragonfly Clan and shares many of her ideologies with it. Though she is a martial class amidst pacifists, she views her training in the sword an extension of this belief; through mastery of the blade, while one can cause injury, one can also prevent it, both for oneself and for others without regard for affiliation.

=Is your character married?
No, and despite the gentle prodding and efforts of her family to remedy this, none seems imminent.

=Does your character have any prejudices?
Through her study of history – especially involving her clan – Yuu has a mild prejudice against those of the Lion Clan; though she rarely allows it to impact her dealings with them, she has yet to have her prejudices tested and it is often at the back of her mind. They seem to characterize most of what is wrong with the world.

Furthermore, those who intentionally seek out bloodshed and loss of life when other avenues are laid open for them are lacking in understanding and compassion. Those inclined to draw the sword first and words far later are a danger to themselves, others, and progress.

=To whom does your character owe the most loyalty?
Herself. While the Emperor, sensei, or family members may change and go as the tide of life dictates, her own presence is the only assured constant and so she is loyal and sincere, honest with herself above others.

Beyond that, she places the most loyalty in the Dragon Clan Elders – owing to her great trust in them – followed by her Dragonfly Clan, followed by the Emperor.

=What are your character's favorite and least favorite things?
Leisurely activity – the opportunity to allow the thoughts to wander, or to pursue goals without hurry – is incredibly enjoyable, though Yuu often spends her time practicing her swordplay and – occasionally – gardening, cooking, or other such mild pursuits. She also enjoys cleaning and taking care of her daisho.

Hostile, open combat or bloodshed between Rokugani is disturbing both to take part in and to observe, and Yuu tries to refrain from it as she is able.

=Does your character have any recurring mannerisms?
When Yuu's attention is not fully engaged, she has the tendency to allow her mind to wander, head tilting with gaze turning slightly off to the side. Circumstances permitting, she'll also occasionally run her fingers along the tsuka of her katana or wakizashi.

=What about your character's emotions?
Yuu typically operates on various levels of contentment, often describing herself on a scale ranging from “very content” to “very discontent”, of which she is inclined to settled closer to the former. Yuu tends to keep at least a mild smile to her face regardless, though those who intentionally disregard reason for the sake of violence can cause her to lose composure.

=How would your character handle a subordinate's improper behavior?
Though it greatly depends on the nature of the improper behavior, Yuu tends to settle for “discipline” over “punishment”, often of a mixed physical and mental nature.

The most likely form of discipline would be in forcing a subordinate to spend several hours in seiza with a weighty object on their legs under the command that they think about what occurred, why, and how to prevent it in the future. This is to provide a source of discomfort while also enforcing and stimulating deeper thought as to their actions and the consequences that may arise from them. Very minor infractions will likely involve Yuu discussing things with them through the process itself (perhaps even without the weight, depending on if there had been any consequences), while greater infractions will force solitude on the other person.

For matters of great consequence – specifically if it involves the status or well-being of another – Yuu will often demand reparations be made to the offended party, typically through service of some kind or through the transferrence of punishment rights.

=How would your character's parents describe her?
A lovely and devoted child, though she likely would have been better-suited to taking the spiritual or diplomatic path as opposed to the martial one with her nature. A bit free-spirited and individualistic, which may get her in trouble with the rest of the world, but she seems to have a good head on her shoulders through and through; sending her to the Dragon was likely a good thing.

=What is your character's highest ambition?
To become so skilled beyond measure in the art of Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu that she'll never have to actually use it. That the prospect of her potentially getting involved in a clash of blows would push the situation more towards the realm of discussion than steel.

=How religious is your character?
Moderately religious. Yuu may often present thanks and prayers, though typically only when alone. During periods of leisure, it is also not unheard of for her to try to visit temples or ascetic orders to meditate and seek wisdom. Still, Yuu does not make it a large portion of her life and instead primarily observes it passively.

=How will your character die?
Likely at the end of a blade, unable to refuse a duel for something she firmly believes in despite knowing the other person is superior in combat. Even though her beliefs are malleable, the few she holds firm to and cherishes – such as the well-being of the Dragonfly Clan – will drive her to act, even knowingly in the face of death.

Character Sheet
Tonbo Yuu

School: Mirumoto Bushi 1
Insight: 135
XP: 0
Age: 19

=Status
Honor: 4.5
Glory: 1

Initiative roll: 4k3

Armor: Light
TN bonus: +5
Reduction: 3
TN to be hit: 25(27) --> 20 (Ref) + 5 (Armour) (+2 while dual wielding katana+wakizashi)

Primary Weapon: Katana and Wakizashi

=Rings
Earth 3
-Stamina 3 (+1 from school)
-Willpower 3 (12)

Water 2
-Strength 2
-Perception 2

Fire 2
-Agility 2
-Intelligence 2

Air 3
-Reflexes 3 (12)
-Awareness 3 (+1 from family)

Void 2


=Skills (* are school skills/emphasis)
*Defense 2
*Iaijutsu 3
*Kenjutsu (*Katana) 1
*Lore: Shugenja 1
*Lore: Theology 1
*Meditation 1
*Sincerity 1
Etiquette 2
Craft: Cooking 1
Lore: History 1
Courtier 1

=Advantages
-Benten's Blessing (4)
-Clear Thinker (2)
-Different School (5)
-Strength of the Earth (2)

=Disadvantages
-Ascetic (-3)
-Idealistic (-2)
-Small (-3)

=Techniques
Rank 1: Way of the Dragon
When wielding a katana in your main hand and a wakizashi in your off hand, you suffer no penalties of any kind for dual wielding, and you gain a bonus of your School Rank to your Armor TN (this is cumulative with the normal bonus for wielding two weapons). Additionally, when you are targeted with a spell, you may raise or lower the TN of that spell’s Spellcasting Roll by 5.

=Inventory
-Light Armour
-Daisho
-Sturdy Clothing
-Tanto
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 02:36:16 AM by Summer »

Offline hellrazoromega

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2015, 07:08:19 PM »
HopeFox: Sorry for the delay, but there wasn't anything that immediately stood out to me as an issue or as an inconsistency.  How long ago did his wife die?  Did his behavior while grieving cause him any loss of honor or glory?  Were the Lion glad to be rid of him?  I'd like to see what kind of advantages/disadvantages you are planning on.

Tengu: Did most of yours by Skype.  Would like to know more about her mentor and their relationship.

All: I did some more math.  So, I'll start by saying that my goal pertaining to maho was to slightly lower the average amount of taint per spell, but also make it more of a gamble.  Below you'll see the expected chance of hitting all the relevant DCs with each Ring.

Roll  10    15     20    25      30       35       40       45       50
3k3  91.6 66.5 36.6 18.1   8.3      3.5       1.5     0.6       0.2
4k4  98.7 90.2 69.1 43.5   24.2   12.4      5.9     2.7       1.2
5k5  99.9 98.0 89.6  71.5  48.9   29.9    16.7      8.7      4.3
6k6  100  99.7 97.4  89.4   73.5   53.4    35.0   21.0     11.8
7k7  100  100  99.5  97.0   89.4   75.3    57.2   39.6     25.2
8k8  100  100  99.9  99.3   96.7   89.6    77.0   60.5     43.7

A roll of 10 would be enough for a rank 1 maho spell to reduce the taint to 0 if the d10 came up as a 1 or 2.  A roll of 50 would be enough for a rank 5 maho spell to reduce the taint to 0 if the d10 came up as a 9 or 10.  You'll notice that a character casting a spell with a Ring of 8k8 will effectively receive 0 Taint from any Rank 1 or 2 spell, and is damn unlikely to receive any from Rank 4, and still under a 50% chance to receive any from Rank 5.  This is a bit more protected than I wished. 

So, here is the new proposal.  To determine Taint, roll a d10 and cut the result in half, rounding up.  Add twice the level of the maho spell.  Roll the Ring you used to cast the spell with a TN of 0.  For every successful Raise, subtract 1 from the result.  Raises must be declared prior to rolling. 

This means that a Rank 1 spell could bestow anywhere from 3-7 points of Taint before rolling.  It also means that you are all but guaranteed to remove two of them, with a 66.5% chance of removing 3.  Even a weaker character can walk away unscathed.  A Rank 5 spell bestows between 11-15 points of Taint before rolling, but there is a 60.5% of removing 9 of them.  Operating under the assumption that characters will look for spells featuring their highest Ring and that a Void Point will be spent, 1 point will be the average Taint from a Rank 1 spell cast by a Rank 1 character. 

The risk becomes much greater for those who take on more than they can handle, but the appeal of potentially casting a maho spell with no consequences should outweigh it.  Bear in mind that over half the samurai of Rokugan *could* cast a Rank 1 spell with no Taint and you see why maho use is so prominent among even the most knowledgeable (Crab and Phoenix).  You'll notice that for Rank 5 spells, there is no chance of such an outcome, but by that point most are too obsessed with the power to care (and those spells are fucking amazing).

I'm not planning on casting spells so I am not worried about that. I may have comments on house rules for exposure---depending on how they look.

Anyway here is a tentative sheet at 45 xp
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 07:48:33 PM by hellrazoromega »

Offline Flying Tengu

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2015, 09:45:31 PM »
Tentative Tonbo Yuu, a duelist that apparently holds prejudice against most of the people already mentioned. xD

Yeah... Shiori is totally going to reinforce those prejudices!

Offline Annaamarth

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2015, 01:50:12 AM »
Hellrazoromega: It's not that it's likely to matter much to me, or anyone at all necessarily, it's that I like things to appear consistent in my (totally biased and judgement) perspective.

The Contrary drawback?  I have that.  Me, the player, Annaamarth.  Opinions everywhere- but I do try to recognize biases and correct opinions as required.  For example, [statement of political perspective previously held, then changed, here].

... What, you didn't really think I was going to start talking politics?

Sorry about my silence re: character n stuff here, we're doing the PM dance right now.

Offline HopeFox

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2015, 03:39:44 AM »
HopeFox: Sorry for the delay, but there wasn't anything that immediately stood out to me as an issue or as an inconsistency.  How long ago did his wife die?  Did his behavior while grieving cause him any loss of honor or glory?  Were the Lion glad to be rid of him?  I'd like to see what kind of advantages/disadvantages you are planning on.

I figure she died about a year ago. Aside from a rather shameful loss of face when he first got the news (which, fortunately, only one other adult witnessed), he hasn't done anything especially shameful in his grief - the problem is more that he wasn't doing anything at all beyond the base expectations of duty, after the war ended. Any Glory he gained during the war would have been whittled away by his apathy afterwards, so he'd have the Glory of one of those do-nothing samurai we were talking about earlier. Honour would be standard Matsu bushi average - he's still driven by bushido, but what he lacks is hope.

The Lion didn't want to get rid of him as such - they wanted the old him back. They realised they weren't going to get it while he was surrounded by other Matsu, so sending him to join the Owl meant a net gain for the Empire and no real loss for them.

I'm considering Paragon of Bushido (Duty), because devotion to his friends and his lieges is a big deal for him, and maybe something to reflect aptitude in mass combat. I'll take a look at my books when I get home and see what fits.

Edit: Probably Tactician, and, of course, Lost Love goes without saying...
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 06:42:59 AM by HopeFox »

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2015, 07:04:41 AM »
... So your concern is that when we get to Ring 8, we're more protected than you'd prefer.  For reference, it takes 240 exp to increase a non-void ring from 3 to 8, and I think would result in a horribly specialized character.  For reference, Iuchiban's highest ring is Earth 7.  A quick glance through Great Clans suggests that most famous characters of insight rank 5-7 have rings that peak in the 5-6 range, with some as low as fours (and Hida Kisada an... anomalous Earth 9).

The 8k8 includes a Void Point that can be spent on the roll, so only a ring of 7, which is doable.

A rank 1 samurai casting a rank 2 spell at ring 3 under your method is now almost certain to only try to negate two points of taint (why try for three when there's a one-in-three chance of failing to mitigate anything?) now walks away with an average of 5 points of taint every time rather than 1.  This is going to result in a rapid rate of becoming Lost, which should discourage folks from being interested in such things to begin with.

Yes, a rank 1 samurai casting a more powerful spell (remember, a rank 2 maho is as powerful as rank 3 normal) without bothering to spend a void point to protect himself is going to be consumed.  And he should be.  He is a fool.  Also, casting a spell like that at rank 1 would have major effects considering what type of opponents he'd have at that level.  A big cost for a big reward. 

However, you didn't consider the other way around, a Rank 2 character casting a rank 1 maho spell.  Ring of 4, plus a Void point.  That char has a 71% chance of gaining 0 taint, which isn't bad.  Playing it safe, still just looking at 1 point.  Rank 3-4, and a rank 1 maho spell has no taint cost almost every time!  I see your point, but given that you didn't account for stronger chars casting lower spells (which was part of the point) or Void Points (which means 1 point less of Taint per spell), I'm just not convinced.

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2015, 05:09:24 PM »
All right, everyone, last 12 hour shift this week is tonight.  I want to thank everyone for their 20 Question answers thus far.  I will be giving you all a small list of additional questions as well.  Thus far, the most common flaws are Small, Idealistic, and Contrary.  I'll give small a pass, as I feel that's more an aesthetic choice.  Idealistic does, at least, offer a straightforward mechanical drawback.  That leaves Contrary.  It's a flaw that I don't feel the characters possessing it really embrace.  I could be wrong, but the combination of popularity, a lack of mechanical penalty, and a seeming inconsistency as to what it means has me concerned that it's being a little abused.

Offline Summer

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2015, 06:11:12 PM »
Yay. \o/

Small also has a very large mechanical penalty on my character, as well, since she's a Bushi that's dealing 1k1 less damage and already doesn't have a lot of strength; it's cutting out a large chunk of her damage. It's interesting on a mechanics-meets-roleplay level, too, since by story she's talented, but by both story and mechanics she has a flaw that renders those talents less than meaningful.

In regards to Idealistic, I'll admit that it's less core to my character than it probably should be and I should toss it out. Could go Touch of the Void if you'd like for it to be less popular; it can mechanically represent the source of her "talent" and be explained by the highly spiritual nature of her original Clan / the emphasis placed on meditation within the Dragon.

Alternatively, I could just age my character two years... though now I'm leaning towards Touch of the Void, if it's not opposed. Seems better suited, though with my inexperience I'm unfamiliar with exactly how much of a drawback it is in practice.

Offline Chulanowa

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2015, 07:08:27 PM »
oof, did I slack off and miss out? ><

Offline Flying Tengu

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2015, 07:42:33 PM »
Yay. \o/

Small also has a very large mechanical penalty on my character, as well, since she's a Bushi that's dealing 1k1 less damage and already doesn't have a lot of strength; it's cutting out a large chunk of her damage. It's interesting on a mechanics-meets-roleplay level, too, since by story she's talented, but by both story and mechanics she has a flaw that renders those talents less than meaningful.

In regards to Idealistic, I'll admit that it's less core to my character than it probably should be and I should toss it out. Could go Touch of the Void if you'd like for it to be less popular; it can mechanically represent the source of her "talent" and be explained by the highly spiritual nature of her original Clan / the emphasis placed on meditation within the Dragon.

Alternatively, I could just age my character two years... though now I'm leaning towards Touch of the Void, if it's not opposed. Seems better suited, though with my inexperience I'm unfamiliar with exactly how much of a drawback it is in practice.

You're only going to be losing 1k0 from those damage rolls, since your weapon will add to your rolled dice.  On the other hand, depending on how much distance tracking will be done in combat, the movement penalty is actually pretty nasty.  It's always depressing to realize that it'll take three turns just to reach the jerks shooting arrows at you.  At least you have the 3 earth to soak a few of those arrows while you're slowly closing in!

Touch of the Void... well, a lot of the time it works out to not really be a penalty, since you can spend the void when you're not doing anything anyway.  On the other hand, in my experience, the most common usage for void is defensively in combat, usually the -10 damage, when you unexpectedly take a hit that would give you wound penalties.  It's pretty nasty, there.

...

For myself, eh, if you're not feeling the Contrary, I'll just cut it and shave 3 points; should be easy enough.  I couldn't really find anything else I wanted to take.  At least this way, Shiori will be able to hold her tongue in front of higher status people.

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2015, 09:50:14 PM »
oof, did I slack off and miss out? ><

It isn't closed for recruiting yet, but you are behind and I am looking for active participation from players.

Offline kckolbeTopic starter

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2015, 12:24:35 AM »
Some more questions for everyone.

Which tenets of Bushido are most important to your character?  Which tenets are least important?

Does your character know of Shourido?  What does your character think of it? 

Was your character involved in the war of spirits? 

What did your character think of each side on the war of spirits?

What did your character think of the treaty?

If given the chance what would your character change about Rokugan?

Offline Annaamarth

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #47 on: July 23, 2015, 04:46:18 AM »
Meaningless rambling regarding Taint mechanics
I'm not sure where the 71% comes from, but I will examine this direction- because you're right, I didn't really account for strong characters using weaker maho, though part of the draw is also supposed to be weaker characters using stronger maho- a quick path to power, as it were.

So, I'll use a specific example, using the (1d5-3+2xRank) taint gain idea I put forward- I have a School Rank 4 character with highest ring 4.  I cast a rank 2 spell, and I spend a void point to soak the taint.  I'm now rolling 5k5 to soak 1d5+1 taint- so TN30 (at a 49% chance of success) to be guaranteed to be taint free- I won't take those odds, or even the 71% chance to soak 5 points, so I'll aim to soak four.  That still means that 40% of the time I walk away with a point or two of taint- and there's still a 10% chance of failing to soak four, which means that I'm likely to eat the whole 1d5+1 at some point, if I use Maho too often.

Same example, using your 1d5+2xRank- that same character is now rolling 5k5 to soak 1d5+3 taint.  If I want to be guaranteed to soak it all, I have to roll TN 40- a 17% chance of that, so no.  Even if I soak 4 points of taint as in the previous example, I'm leaving with an average of 2 points of taint every time.  That's a rank 4 character suffering a higher-than-book-standard rate of taint gain from a spell two ranks lower.

If I have a specialist character with Ring 5 at rank 4, then yeah, the odds improve- but not a great deal.  The ~90% threshhold that I'd want to aim for now soaks 5 points of taint instead of 4, which mean that I'll occasionally get a point of taint from that rank 2 spell in my setup (except for that 10% of the time that I fail the soak roll), or I'll usually get 1-3 points of taint from a rank 2 spell, except for that ten percent of the time that the taint of Jigoku invades my body.

Now let's look at a rank 1 character casting a rank 5 maho spell.  This is a thing that can happen, which is (again) part of why Maho is supposed to be seductive.  Let's say it's a favoured ring at rank 3, so rolling 4k4 (with Void) to soak either 1d5+7 or 1d5+10.  Core would have him take four points of taint and call it good.  With my system, he walks away with 5-9 points- that's a lot- and with your system he walks away with 8-12 points.  An average of an entire taint rank at a single go.

I understand not wanting to make Maho safe- even the weaker Maho for high powered characters.  This is probably why the game just throws out flat values.

So, here's a different idea (just brainstorming here)- use the soak mechanic you have, each Maho spell causes Taint at a rate of (Maho rank) rolled d5s, keeping one die.  5's explode.  This means that a rank 1 Maho spell has an 80% chance of being 4 or less points of taint (not too hard to soak), but a 20% chance of being 6-11+ or more points of taint (equal odds 6, 7,8,9,11+, which values are much harder to soak).  A rank 5 Maho spell will probably be seven points (unsoaked) or less- but there's a 18.5% chance of it being 11 points or more (interestingly, the odds here are weighted slightly towards the higher values, with a 3.9% chance of seeing a 16+, descending to a 3.5% chance of seeing 11).  This, to me, exemplifies the seductive nature of Maho- no matter what rank Maho, you're only soaking one (exploding) d5.  The odds of the Taint being manageable are really good... except for when you roll those four 5's in a row.  Then you're screwed. Low risk, but very high stakes.

For informational purposes, have some links and a thing to copy.
I used the Troll dice roller to examine the odds, along with the Lynks L5R probability site.  If you want to examine the (Rank)k1 in d5's method of Taint calcs, go to the Troll site and copy the following into the dialog box- then click on "calculate probabilities."  That will show you the calcs for 5k1 in d5s- if you want to change the number of unkept dice, just change the 5 next to the # sign to however many dice you want to do- I looked at 1 die, 2 dice and 5 dice, mostly.

\ Taint roll

sum (largest 1 5#(sum accumulate x := d5 while x=5))

Koseru Maseko
20 Questions
1. Yeah, I'm an... Owl?  Is that what we are?  I need to get used to that.  I guess that's breaking my previous trend of "things with shells."  You know, Scorpion, Mantis, Crab... sorry, bad joke.
2. Does this clan even have any families?  Who's in charge around here anyway?  Am I still a Koseru?  Could someone explain this to me, I wasn't paying attention.
3. Well, I ain't no courtier.  Seriously though, spirits may not be the best conversationalists, but if you give 'em a chance they aren't so bad.
4. Describe me?  I dunno.  Lean and mean?  Naw, I try not to be mean, but lean and friendly don't come off the tongue so well. (Average height, slender and compactly built, but whipcord muscles suggest surprising strength)
5. "Primary motivator?"  We're using big words today, huh?  Look, I just like to understand things and people and such.
6. Who do I trust most in the world?  Captain Kobe- a big Yoritomo Bushi running one of their ships.  I crewed for him awhile, kept the wind at our backs and the rain off us.  He was big and mean as piss, but he had his crew's back.  I haven't seen him in... damn, three, four years now?
7. Look, I'm Shugenja. Spirits don't think like you an' I, an' I try to pick up a little bit of that from them.  I think sideways, I look for new answers, and I think that's my strength.  Unfortunately, most Rokugani don't really go for creativity, you know?
8. Bushido- the way to enlightenment, right?  Well, a way anyway.  Seems like a good way to at least keep everybody from making things worse.
9. The Scorpion?  Yeah, we come from a Kami, so we have a divine right to exist, assholes.  It don't matter that you don't like us.  *Sticks out tongue.*  Oh, you think we spend too much time plotting?  Yeah, pay attention to the Daidoji.  Or Hida Kisada.  Or the Unicorn.  Or Toturi- sorry, Emperor Toturi.  Welcome to Rokugan, plots happen.  Deal with it.
10. Married?  Naw.  I was betrothed to Kuni Batouno a bunch o' years back- even spent some time with him down in Crab lands.  Oh you never heard of him?  That's 'cause an Oni ate him while I watched, so thanks so much for bringing it up.

...Anyway, I guess the Clan decided that tithing me off was more politically expedient than trying to arrange a new engagement, so here I am.  Woo.
11. Look, you can hate the Scorpion for plotting and keeping secrets, but you know who you really ought to watch?  The Crane and the Phoenix.  The Crane, they control a lot of Jade, right?  So rather than giving it to the Crab so they can do their thing on the Wall, they make fucking statues.  Statues.  Then they sell whatever's left to the Crab at absurd prices.  And the Phoenix, well... they know things, alright?  They study things they really ought to stay away from, then they don't tell people what they figured out.  That's like, the worst sort of secret-keeping.

But, man... Statues.
12.  I guess I serve the Owl Daimyo?  Maybe the local Magistrate?  I dunno, who's in charge around here?
13. Look, if I'm not learning something, I wanna be doing something.  I like exploring, meeting new people, meeting new spirits, sake, parties, opium, archery...  What, Shugenja can't use a bow?  Now, court's just boring.  Politics?  Boring, except for when it's all going wrong.
14. Sometimes I notice I bite my lip.  I've also noticed that I like to be under things or over things- I climb around a lot.
15. Yeah, I get that "proper" samurai are unfeeling statues, but that's like, not me.  Not Mantis either.  Not really Scorpion, I guess, but I don't hide it like most of them do.  I just like people, I guess, an' I like being happy?  Yeah, sure, some things get me mad- like that Crane greed.  Look, maybe it's weird hearing a Scorpion taught by Mantis complain about greediness, but if that's all you know about the Scorpion or the Mantis, then you ought to pay closer attention.  Or, you know what, don't.
16. Look, my subordinate blows me off? Tie a rope 'round his ankle and throw him over the front of the ship, if I'm feeling nice.  We ain't aboard ship?  Fuckin' gut 'im like a fish.  Now, I ain't gonna hold it against 'im if it's an honest mistake- that's how we learn, right?  But you best be followin' orders.
17. Yeah, the parents.  They think I'm weird.  Not courtly enough, not subtle enough, too obvious.  I think they don't think I'm a good spy either.  I won't say they're disappointed, but I think they'd've rather I was sent to the Soshi rather than the Yoritomo.  Whatever.
18. What do I want?  To live well, have fun, and learn everything I can about everything I can.
19. Yeah, I say my prayers- that's kind of the point, yeah?  I stop at the shrines I pass, I honor my ancestors.
20. Hopefully, I die trying to turn an Oni inside-out.  Or in bed, surrounded by several virile and attractive companions, and maybe loving family.  Either-or.
Bonus Questions
Which tenets of Bushido are most important to your character?  Which tenets are least important?
-Loyalty is the most important tenet of Bushido.  You gotta follow orders, so that the people who can see the big picture can handle the big picture stuff.  We can worry about the little picture stuff down here at the bottom, yeah?  Just remember- loyalty goes both ways.

Sincerity though- well, what's the point?  If you're being honest about what you're doing and honest with yourself, isn't that being sincere too?  Seems to me that sincerity is all about controlling the truth.  I don't know, it just feels redundant to me, like it falls under honesty and duty and all that.

Does your character know of Shourido?  What does your character think of it? 
-... Yeah, okay, I know about it.  It's interesting, a different way of looking at things, right?  I mean, Bushido's important, but doesn't Strength help you back up having that Courage?  Doesn't Will help you resolve your Duty?  Won't Knowledge and Insight help you understand your Duty, so you can... I don't know, do it better?  I mean, some of those monks seem a little crazy, but they make some good points.

Was your character involved in the war of spirits? 
-Not directly, no.  I was down in Crab lands, dealing with... stuff.

What did your character think of each side on the war of spirits?
-Look, the dead are supposed to be dead.  Moved on, right?  Coming back at Oblivion's Gate was good and all, but then they needed to go back home.  That's what this kharmic wheel is all about, right?  So, who the fuck thought a civil war between a long-dead Hantei and the current Emperor was a good idea?  Oh yeah, a batshit crazy Hantei.  Yeah, how many Samurai died because he forgot that his line had ended?  How many burnt fields, and how many dead heimin, hinin- even eta?  Yeah, screw that guy.  Oh, I'm sorry, he's supposed to be an honored ancestor?  Well, he waived that right when he started a war.

What did your character think of the treaty?
-Well, at least the fighting's stopped.  Mostly.

If given the chance what would your character change about Rokugan?
-Starvation and disease suck- those should stop being a thing, and everyone could die in battle or of old age.  Or everybody could be just a little less uptight about everything?  That'd be good too.
Other stuff
Primary Motivator- Understanding, to pursue knowledge and experience

Core traits
Emotional disposition- Joyful
Emotional stability- Labile
Outlook- Optimistic
Integrity- Pragmatic, but perhaps unreliable
Impulsiveness- Spontaneous
Boldness- Daring
Flexibility- Adaptable and open-minded.
Comportment- Agreeable, but perhaps crude.  Not terribly cultured.
Interactivity- Engaging
Disclosure- Cagy
Conformity- Freethinking
Sexuality
Orientation- Bisexual
Libido- Healthy, leaning towards lascivious
Expressiveness- Flirtatious
Style- Crude
Openness to experience- Moderate
Promiscuousness- Generally low, but noncommital.
Religion
Shugenja and adherent to Rokugani faith.
Tolerant and curious when faced with alternative beliefs.
Occasionally expresses beliefs.
Never attempts to convert others- the idea of a nonbeliever would be mostly confusing to her.
Attitude towards spirits summoned- humble.
Character Sheet
As a habit, I only make this public if the GM tells me to-
 or players dislike the fact that I'm keeping secrets.  I
also won't ask "what ring are you" or "what's your
insight rank?"

I'm not including a comprehensive history yet, because A) It's late and I don't feel like typing more, B) I'm still hashing it out and I want to make sure it's consistent to the character, C) I don't feel like typing more, it's late.

Offline HopeFox

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2015, 06:53:17 AM »
Which tenets of Bushido are most important to your character?  Which tenets are least important?

Duty above all! That is the purpose of a samurai's existence.

Courtesy is only important to my liege, sensei, family, wife, Emperor, and the others to whom I owe loyalty and service. That is not to say that I will go out of my way to be rude to others, but what have they done for me, that I must bide my tongue to preserve their feelings?

Quote
Does your character know of Shourido?  What does your character think of it?

(I didn't think Shourido was known yet, before the spread of the Spider Clan, but if Keitaro had heard of it...)

As a means of self-improvement, supposing one ignores its origins? It is well enough. Strength and Knowledge and Perfection are useful things. But they are only tools, in the same way that skill with the sword is a tool. What matters is a samurai's behaviour, the choices he makes. Shourido does not tell you what is right, only what is useful. The only true guide to a samurai's behaviour is Bushido.

Quote
Was your character involved in the war of spirits? 

Indeed - the war was already in full fury when Keitaro finished his gempukku, and he went to fight early and often. He spent more time away from the front lines once he was married and caring for a daughter and an estate, though, leaving his wife to be the full-time warrior. After she died, he fought the spirits without pause or mercy.

Quote
What did your character think of each side on the war of spirits?

One side was the side of the Emperor. The other was not.

Of course, one cannot blame Ochukeo's soldiers for following the commands of their liege. They did their duty (for a traitor to the Empire), as I did mine (for the Son of Heaven).

Quote
What did your character think of the treaty?

It is beyond shameful that anyone who dares to call himself "samurai" would dictate terms to the Emperor, but the might of the traitor's armies forced the Emperor's hand. It is our duty to abide by the Emperor's agreement. The Stag Clan will be shown the respect and courtesy that their new status affords them, and not a single grain more.

Quote
If given the chance what would your character change about Rokugan?

No Stag Clan. More land in the hands of those who understand their value and how to defend them (i.e. the Lion).

Offline Summer

Re: L5R: Two Dead Emperors (Slight AU)
« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2015, 07:12:47 AM »
You're only going to be losing 1k0 from those damage rolls, since your weapon will add to your rolled dice.  On the other hand, depending on how much distance tracking will be done in combat, the movement penalty is actually pretty nasty.  It's always depressing to realize that it'll take three turns just to reach the jerks shooting arrows at you.  At least you have the 3 earth to soak a few of those arrows while you're slowly closing in!

Oh, you're right on the 1k0. I didn't even have the 1k1 on my character sheet, so I'm not entirely sure how I was under the impression it was 1k1. Still, I plan to keep Yuu's strength quite low unless, story-wise, she would be pushed into training it into something manageable (and even then, likely minimal); she's just naturally ill-suited towards power.

Really, though, it seems like Short is just a more restrictive version of Bishamon's curse (with the movement penalties on top of reduced damage roll) unless I'm missing something. I had considered getting Bishamon's curse on top of being small, but felt that likely didn't fit thematically and was too mechanically indulgent.

Quote
Touch of the Void... well, a lot of the time it works out to not really be a penalty, since you can spend the void when you're not doing anything anyway.  On the other hand, in my experience, the most common usage for void is defensively in combat, usually the -10 damage, when you unexpectedly take a hit that would give you wound penalties.  It's pretty nasty, there.

That's why I was hesitant to take it. It definitely seemed like it was more of a benefit then a penalty, but it makes sense story-wise and seems like it can actually be *quite* dangerous, so I'll go ahead and pick it up if there's no qualms with it and drop idealistic. Will put an extra point in Meditation and increase my age by one, to twenty (which is slightly better suited to the timeline of the war and being sent to the Dragon before it started).

Bonus Questions
=Which tenets of Bushido are most important to your character?  Which tenets are least important?
The tenets of Bushido, in order of importance as it relates to Yuu:

Sincerity | Honesty: Be truthful in words and be truthful in action, not only to yourself but to those around you. Deception is absolutely a last resort; what good is a future borne from the back of unstable falsehoods?

Honor: The measure of adherence to Bushido itself, the code is only as strong and unshakeable as the honor of the one maintaining it.

Courtesy | Compassion: Those of power should be gracious to those without, be it of the mind or of the body. One should not provoke hostilities with words any more than with swords, and what good is strength if utilized solely for the self?

Courage (Conviction): The ability to adhere to one's beliefs and purpose no matter the hardships that come to challenge them and to face them without faltering.

Duty (Loyalty): While duty can be important, it can be maligned against those who adhere to it too strongly. If one allows another to determine their path without question, without falter, so, too, can the other principles of Bushido and all that is good be undermined.

Conventional Courage and Duty are seen as the "least important", with Duty actually being seen as problematic.

=Does your character know of Shourido?  What does your character think of it?

Perhaps vaguely. She could theoretically understand its appeal to a very slight degree, but would find it unnerving and cannot imagine a person that follows it.

Incidentally, if she knew more of it, it's not entirely unlikely that she might take it up. Even in her current code of Bushido, "Courage" is twisted into something closer to Determination, and "Duty" is seen largely disfavorable, leaving her weak to such concepts as Will. Though she more or less behaves in a largely selfless manner, her thoughts and interests are actually on the self-focused side.

Exposure to Shourido -- depending on the circumstances -- might be dangerous.

=Was your character involved in the war of spirits?

Not at all. She lived a relatively sheltered life in the mountains where the war did not really touch, especially as the Dragon Clan itself did not participate too actively in the war itself.

=What did your character think of each side on the war of spirits?

It is war, and war is rarely good. It was a failure to reconcile for both sides, so much so that blood had to be shed. Considering one side of the war was made up largely of people that were supposed to have passed on, it's also a war that should have never occurred in the first place.

=What did your character think of the treaty?

Largely indifferent but optimistic, as she doesn't fully understand its ramifications but is pleased that the fighting finally came to an end. Still, though, to give the formation of a Major Clan to someone who so willingly exposed its fangs is... concerning. There seems to be a lot of changes to take place and it remains to be seen if those changes are for the better instead of a result of misplaced impetus.

=If given the chance what would your character change about Rokugan?

The more aggressive, combat-oriented ideologies should be soothed and settled into something more productive. The Shadowlands being rendered inert would go a long way towards that -- as the Crab are combat-focused at the present out of necessity, and it likely spills from there -- but there are deep-seated problems elsewhere, such as seen in the Lion.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 07:17:09 AM by Summer »