My charmander uses firewhip...

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My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:27 am

Future space holder for awesome RPG discussion...

Cause of discussion...


Tail of the Fire Dragon

- Ring: Fire
- Mastery: 2
- Range: Personal
- Area: Self
- Duration: 4 rounds
- Raises: Duration (+1 round)

This spell invokes several Fire kami to form a whip-like tendril that extends from the caster's hand. The tendril of flame will not burn you, since the kami are grateful for the opportunity to burn others at your command. You may use this tendril to strike enemies as far as 30' away, extending it out and back with blinding speed. Your attack roll with the tendril is equal to your Agility + (twice your School Rank), keeping your Agility. The tendril has a DR equal to your Fire Ring.

Does this spell cause flame-based damage? or physical damage?

To me... flame causes fire damage... I'd also like to point out the flavor test, "Opportunity to burn other's at your command".

The conversation came to the point that arrows of ice would not hurt... But let's be honest, this is magic and if I summon ice arrows that strike you, it probably hurts because the point is that jagged shards of ice are flying hard enough to hurt you. If I summon an ice-storm up and stick you in it, it will hurt as you receive frost-bite. The only difference, and this is a big one is that water is not normally harmful, and neither is earth or air, until you focus it with magic. Case in point... or point in case as I prefer... XD


Bo of Water
- Ring: Water
- Mastery: 1
- Keywords: Craft
- Range: Personal or 20' (see below)
- Area: One created weapon
- Duration: 5 minutes
- Raises: Damage (+1k0), Duration(+5 minutes), Range (+5 feet)

You summon a staff of pure water, as rigid as the real thing despite its fluid nature. The weapon's default form is a bo, but one Raise can change its form to any other staff of your choosing. The weapon has DR 1k2. If you do not possess the Staves Skill, you may instead use your School Rank in its place. If you do possess the Staves Skill, using this weapon grants you one Free Raise that can only be used on the Knockdown Maneuver. This weapon disappears if it is lost from your hand. Instead of summoning the bo for yourself, you may cause it to appear in the hands of an ally within 20 feet. He is treated as the caster for all purposes of the spell, but he does not gain the Free Raise bonus.


Again, the text says it all, a staff of pure water, as rigid as the real thing despite its fluid nature. If I stick this in a fire, will the water kami replenish themselves and put out the fire? or will it turn to steam? I leave that up to GM position, but again... If I have the magical means to create a staff of water and strike you in the head with it... yes it's gonna hurt, like your face doing a face plant off a diving board onto a bo-staff sized strip of water. On the flip-side it's not gonna get you wet because the consistency of the staff is controlled by the spell, and as stated is "rigid despite its fluid nature".

What's important most of all here is that these are spells created from the Kami of their respective element. If I took a raise to allow the water-staff to stay in existence as water and be less rigid, so when I strike a person it collapses into water all over them... then I could do that. If I wanted to make a water staff of sake for X number of raises, I could in essence, do that.

Anyways that's where I stand on the issue, I just think it's foolish to think that objects, or weapons, made from the kami themselves fail to inherit their nature, and instead just cause X damage. Especially since I have the mission of being cool and taking down an archer 30 feet away with a flaming whip attack against his bow! Regardless, let's hear the other side of the discussion and let the DM choose Razz
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Aaronious on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:28 pm

I kinda think one more point needs to be made here, and it is pivotal:

That water bo does not just do 2k1 damage - you add your strength bonus to it. The damage done, mechanically, is ordinary bashing damage from a bo, whether it is made of water, wood, or negative particles from the planet Omsoc.

The whip functions mechanically the same way without any kind of bonus "fire damage" to the basic "whipping damage" DR listed as being equal to your fire ring (still have to hit, damage, reduction, etc.) so there is no reason why it should not also benefit from the strength bonus the way an air kusarigama (as an example that doesn't exist) would.

The issue here seems to be one of fluff vs. mechanics, and you have to divorce the two to get any kind of logical answer.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:31 pm

I'm still completely at a loss here. This isn't a question of mechanics, in fact many mechanics in DND play off the same idea. Example, ice knife, a spell that creates a knife of ice that can be thrown at the target. When it gets there is explodes causing ice damage. This is exactly the same, as it is a manifestation of a whip made of fire kami. Unlike a whip (which will never lash out 30 ft) though this thing is made of fire kami, and as such will strike the target and "BURN" them, this is straight out of the spell.

Let's look at any other fire spell, ALL fire spells suffer from armor reduction. The only spells in the game that I know of that suffer no reduction are those based around void and earth, because earth literally draws your earthly essence away from you lowering your rings, and void strikes at your existence.

For that same reason a lash made of flame is going to suffer reduction. The end result for me comes down to one simple line, right in the text of the spell... the whip, BURNS the target. It doesn't split their skin open as a whip would, it burns them, in fact whips are completely and absolutely ineffective versus armor for that reason, which is why whips were used as tripping tools unless they were tipped with sharp bits of metal. Fire, burns the target, thus the damage caused by the lash is just that, fire damage. Additionally the spell does not work just like a weapon, as your ability with it is based off your school rank as a Shugenja as opposed to any "Skill" with a whip. (School rank + Agility)/Agility. I would also have to state that the whip should not receive strength bonus... as it specifically says the tendril has a DR equal to your fire ring, which is what I was rolling the last time I used it. This is a spell-like effect and should be treated as such.

Air, like anything can also cut skin. Your yari is an example of surging air, focused into the shape of a yari. Take a pressure pump and spray air at your skin and it will push the skin inward causing a dimple. Magnify that effect 10 times over and you can split skin. Example: http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7501919888/m/57719167101 < pressurized air can cut the skin

The weapon created from air, acts exactly like the real thing, even though it's made completely out of surging air, as stated in the spell it's DR is equal to that of a YARI itself, and additionally you follow the rules for using it, unless you have no skill in it, in which case its based off Shugenja. The biggest difference here is that there are two spells in existence within the fire category that produce "weapons" persay... One summon's the weapon and allows you to raise the damage, duration, etc of the weapon, the other summons a whip that allows you to strike at a target at distance. One acts mechanically like a katana, in all aspects, while another simply allows you to strike at a target 30 feet away, which originally has no existing physical mechanic.

Lastly Fire and lightning are the only elements that cause direct damage by their very existence. IF I stand in fire, I will burn, if I stand in earth, I'll be friendly with the earth-worms. If anything the idea of standing in water for long periods of time emphasizes this point, as water will eventually make your skin melt away, which is why your skin prunes.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Aaronious on Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:42 pm

Okay, I'm not going to argue the point. I have a feeling that this is "unstoppable force/immovable object" time.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:29 pm

Aaronious wrote:Okay, I'm not going to argue the point. I have a feeling that this is "unstoppable force/immovable object" time.

Let's do this... Just give me a reason, why an item made of fire, would cause physical damage instead of fire damage. Because at the cusp of "mechanics" arguments of how things work and how we roll, etc, the real question is just that. Can I burn down a house with this, or not? Not based on mechanics or how you control it, or what you have to roll, does a whip formed of fire kami, cause fire damage?

Whether you add strength or not to the whip is up for discussion, as honestly, I don't care. IF you want to give me more damage on a spell-like effect that's fine with me, even more if I bless a guilty target. But let's at least get what we are discussing straight here... as it's in the spells description, exactly what the spell does.

I just find it hilarious to me that just a discussion I once had as a kid over Pokemon, if I was attacking a bulbasaur with this... it wouldn't be super effective, because it acts like a whip even if "Fire" and "Burn" are in the spells name and description respectively. Sounds like backward to me... Mechanics, flesh out the fluff, if you divorce the two then there is no game.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Aaronious on Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:39 pm

[quote="Moto Damasko"]Whether you add strength or not to the whip is up for discussion, as honestly, I don't care.

I had created a big, long dissertation to utterly destroy your posts so far, but to be honest I kinda like having you at the table without all the extra awkwardness of having a "winner" and a "loser" of an argument that doesn't mean anything in the end.

Let's both not care.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:08 pm

[quote="Aaronious"]
Moto Damasko wrote:Whether you add strength or not to the whip is up for discussion, as honestly, I don't care.

I had created a big, long dissertation to utterly destroy your posts so far, but to be honest I kinda like having you at the table without all the extra awkwardness of having a "winner" and a "loser" of an argument that doesn't mean anything in the end.

Let's both not care.

It may not matter for an awkwardness stand-point, but the end result is not one of being a winner or a loser, it's important from a game mechanic stand-point as it is from a roleplay stand-point. Let's say we just got finished killing Big Boss 1 and we want to burn away all signs of the problem by burning down the geisha house we just killed him in. I commune with the spirits and summon oil calling upon both the water and the earth spirits, having it appear in 3-4 places around a building. I want to set those places on fire with strikes from my fire-lash. Can I? What about creatures that are weak versus fire? Things that regenerate unless burned for example? What about things that are immune to flame? Like the flaming yobanjin of the dark oracle of fire? Do they care if I lash them with a magical flaming wipe? or do they not because it's flame damage?

These are important parts of the roleplay... say I want to intimidate someone we are holding captive, I summon up a flaming whip and hold it near their face, does it give off heat? can I singe their skin simply by holding it near to their body for the round? Suddenly something as simple as "Does tail of the fire dragon cause fire damage?" becomes a rather important question for the game and the roleplay, which to me is more important than any combat benefit it may have gained or lost due to a "mechanic".

It's the little things that are important in an RPG, even the irony of Raijin's insults against us is not lost upon me or Gaipan, and they are important.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:12 pm

The L5R rpg does not have "elemental damage". The closest thing you have is the effect of jade vs the shadowlands. That's it.

This sort of thing is up to the GM and the group on a case-by-case basis. If the GM sees an opportunity for a flavorful interaction with a fire whip being made out of fire (such as lighting a forest on fire XD) then that's what happens. If the GM wants the whip to function like a normal whip for all intents and purposes, then that's what it is. The reason why this debate feels so fruitless for both sides is because there isn't a clear answer. Neither of you are wrong, neither of you are right. The RPG is intentionally vague on this point.

As I have discussed with Rich, the big difference between 4th edition DND and 4th edition L5R is that DND focuses almost entirely on mechanics, and leaves the fluff to the player, whereas in L5R, they focus almost entirely on fluff, and leave a lot of the mechanics to the player.

So, patrick, if you find a really cool, vivid, and interesting reason to have your fire whip do "fire" damage, then I'm not going to block it. But at the end of the day, in 99% of situations, it is essentially just a whip. Same with the bo of water.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:16 pm

Sleep wrote:The L5R rpg does not have "elemental damage". The closest thing you have is the effect of jade vs the shadowlands. That's it.

This sort of thing is up to the GM and the group on a case-by-case basis. If the GM sees an opportunity for a flavorful interaction with a fire whip being made out of fire (such as lighting a forest on fire XD) then that's what happens. If the GM wants the whip to function like a normal whip for all intents and purposes, then that's what it is. The reason why this debate feels so fruitless for both sides is because there isn't a clear answer. Neither of you are wrong, neither of you are right. The RPG is intentionally vague on this point.

As I have discussed with Rich, the big difference between 4th edition DND and 4th edition L5R is that DND focuses almost entirely on mechanics, and leaves the fluff to the player, whereas in L5R, they focus almost entirely on fluff, and leave a lot of the mechanics to the player.

So, patrick, if you find a really cool, vivid, and interesting reason to have your fire whip do "fire" damage, then I'm not going to block it. But at the end of the day, in 99% of situations, it is essentially just a whip. Same with the bo of water.

Which was my point =), because honestly I don't care, but when I pour sake onto your burn wounds while torturing you because my gods deem that to be kosher, I might care if someone says "You can't do that... those aren't burn wounds".
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Aaronious on Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:57 pm

Okay, I think your responses took this conversation out of the realm of battle and into a more encouraging one for me - I was getting a little hot under the collar.

FYI, I think you might be right about the strength bonus to damage. I noticed that all of the "weapon" spells have the craft keyword. In fact, they are the only spells with craft as a keyword. Guess what spell is missing that keyword?

On the flipside, I STILL think it should be a weapon for strength bonus purposes, and I don't think I would have to go very far to present my case. (Mind you, and not strictly on the basis of mechanics.)

It is a level-2 spell, so it should pack more utility than all of the other "weapon" spells, all of which are level-1. Also, it is fire-based, which is the offensive element, in terms of doing damage. Therefore it is only right that the spell list should have an extra weapon at a higher level than the others. Finally, Patrick, you are right that most fire spells have damage reduction, but NO other spell except the "weapon" spells requires a to-hit roll. In every other case, the casting roll effectively is the to-hit roll, so at the very least this spell is the red-headed stepchild of the "weapon" spells, and all it needs is a single keyword to have a permanent home in the "weapon" spells list.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:33 pm

Aaronious wrote:

On the flipside, I STILL think it should be a weapon for strength bonus purposes, and I don't think I would have to go very far to present my case. (Mind you, and not strictly on the basis of mechanics.)

It is a level-2 spell, so it should pack more utility than all of the other "weapon" spells, all of which are level-1. Also, it is fire-based, which is the offensive element, in terms of doing damage. Therefore it is only right that the spell list should have an extra weapon at a higher level than the others. Finally, Patrick, you are right that most fire spells have damage reduction, but NO other spell except the "weapon" spells requires a to-hit roll. In every other case, the casting roll effectively is the to-hit roll, so at the very least this spell is the red-headed stepchild of the "weapon" spells, and all it needs is a single keyword to have a permanent home in the "weapon" spells list.

In retrospect, I do not believe the fire whip would add strength to the roll, but the water Bo staff would. The water bo staff is creating a weapon that already exists in the game. It then gives you a specific DR of 1k2. In the description it says "created weapon". 1k2 kind of... sucks. In fact, it is IMPLIED that you will be adding your strength (otherwise, you would never be able to "keep" 2 dice). So the benefit of casting this spell later around rank 4-5 is that you should have a strength of 4-5 by then, so the DR will be 5-6k2, which while not great it isn't too bad for a melee shugenja. This fits in mechanically very well... chances are likely a shugenja who knows the Bo of Water spell is a water shugenja, and will be leveling up that ring to make casting spells of that element easier, stronger, and able to be raised. And the strength trait is in the "water" ring. So this makes sound sense.

The fire whip on the other end is a spell effect, not a "created weapon". Although it behaves very close to a weapon (as tim pointed out above very well), it is not in fact a weapon. It does not key off of any "whip" skill you have. In fact, the only reference to it being a whip is in a FLUFF description saying it is "whip-like tendril". I imagine a large rope-like strip of lava that can be willed to fly from your hand to any target within 30 feet. I don't imagine it would be "whipped" per se, acting more like a thin octopus leg, agile strong and fast, but fully controllable.

In regards to the damage, chances are likely that a shugenja casting this spell is a fire shugenja. They will be leveling up their fire ring to make casting spells of that element easier, stronger, and able to be raised. It would not make sense to add strength (a water trait) to a flat DR (such as 2k2 or 2k3 for a rank 2 spell) on a fire spell, since it is counterintuitive to how the shugenja is building his character. So, instead, they gave it a flat DR of "fire ring". Which means at insight rank 4-5 it should be doing 5k5 or 6k6 damage. This is MUCH more powerful than the Bo of Water, even WITH the strength being added to the Bo. The fact that it is much stronger at later levels justifies 2 points. 1) That it is a rank 2 spell, thus slightly harder to cast. 2) It should not have strength added to it, because it simply doesn't need it. It's plenty strong as it is.

Now, is the Tail of the Fire dragon too powerful? No. In fact, it's pretty weak compared to how strong a min/maxed bushi can be. But it is versatile. It has a long range. It gets stronger "naturally" (meaning that if you are building a fire character, this spell "levels up" without you doing anything out of the ordinary. Unlike bushi who have to specifically spend points into their weapon skills and specific traits to get stronger). It gives the shugenja an option in the event that they only have one more fire spell to cast and need several turns of "utility" out of it.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:51 am

All the created weapons match their former forms... the bo staff is 1k2 and for unskilled users doubles armor of the opponent. The staff is not a amazing combat weapon but once you hit rank 5 and you get free raises, WTB knockdown attacks. The end result is a staff is a pacifists tool, walking stick and symbol of position. I just happen to like the jingling Razz
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My Charmander uses Fire Noodle: Why Shugenja suck, by the numbers

Post  Aaronious on Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:36 am

Okay, tonight kinda (really) ticked me off, because Shugenja suck so bad. However, I will use statistics to prove my points. My biggest issue is with that most frightening of spells, Tail of the Fire Dragon: It is never going to be scary.



To start off with, we will deal with Shugenja versus Archers versus Bushi.



Shugenja:

Cannot fight. Cannot roll good initiative. Cannot damage (even with spells, which we will get to later.) Cannot cause meaningful status effects, due to spells being so severely capped. CAN use out-of-combat spells, but how often do those have use? I would say our group is fairly fluffy, but we still hardly ever use spells outside of combat.



Archers (If you aren't Tsuruchi, you aren't a real Archer):

Cannot fight. CAN roll good initiative. Cannot damage. CAN cause meaningful status effects, since an arrow in the eye is not a wound that you can test to dispel. Cannot use spells, but then spells are not very useful.



Bushi:

CAN fight. CAN roll good initiative. CAN damage. CAN cause meaningful status effects. Cannot use spells, but then spells are not very useful.



So far, shuggies are losing. Let's look at details, using actual numbers:

Tonight, with bonuses for weapon mastery and school rank, a level 1 bushi (Spider) was rolling 10 dice to hit. No matter how many he was keeping, HE WAS ROLLING 10 DICE.

Tonight, with bonuses for weapon mastery and school rank, a level 2 Tsuruchi archer (are there any other kind of archers?) was rolling 10 dice to hit. No matter how many he was keeping, HE WAS ROLLING 10 DICE.

Tonight, with bonuses for weap- Wait, Shugenja don't get weapon bonuses for their spellcasting. So, only with bonuses for schoo- Wait, they don't have those, either. So, no matter how many dice we were keeping, we were not rolling many at all. No wonder we weren't able to do much damage.



From my Roll vs. Keep stats posted on Anthem's forums, we know that disparate roll/keep values are slightly lower than the mean in roll/keep dice. In other words, if you roll 10 and keep 2, it is the equivalent of rolling something around 5.9 and keeping all of them.



Now we are to the point of bringing out that wickedly scaling spell, Tail of the Fire Dragon. At Fire 3, it does 3k3 damage, which is equivalent to 6k2. That is not a scary number, when bushi were routinely dropping much higher numbers.



Oh, you say, but it ignores armor! Not really - it ignores reduction, but when Toku Jimi was doing his thing, he was still hitting equivalent damage values after reduction, and he was arguably the worst DPS bushi at the table tonight.



But it can be used from a distance! Really? 30 feet is nothing; two turns, and the enemy is ready to attack. I'm not really surprised that nobody did though, because the spell is so weak. Mikado could jump twice and be on me in a single round, and still have enough mojo that same turn to cut me down.



Well, but once you are to Fire 6, it is going to be doing a ton of damage! Really? It is the equivalent of 9k2, which level 1 bushi were capable of pumping out! This is a good jumping off point to study the XP math.



To reach Fire 6, one must spend 32+40+48 XP. That is a total of 120XP. How long will it take to get a character that much XP? And that is if you completely min/max your character's stats! A Bushi can have their weapon skill of choice at 10 for only 2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 XP, coming to 54 XP. Their damage is staged up using their strength, so they can boost that by another 3 points to 5 for only 12+16+20=48 points, leaving plenty for other abilities, including a 2-point boost to their Agility which can be free if they build correctly, and 28 points maximum! At worst, that is only 10 points more than a shugenja who boosts only his Fire ring and nothing else. At this point, the typical katana bushi will be hitting with 10K6 and damaging with 8K2, and that is before their bonuses from school and masteries. With the level-3 mastery, they are doing 9K2 base damage (assuming the use of a katana,) but one mastery in particular that needs to be factored in is the level-7 mastery for a katana, which makes all 9's and 10's on damage explode. Now, 9K2 normally equals something in the realm of 6k6, but with the extra chance of explosions (raised from 10% to 20%,) it becomes somewhat higher. I have posted the example rolls at the bottom of this post, but could not factor in the exploding 9's, so Kenjutsu should be even higher than it is. Also, these numbers can be staged up using feats like "Feint," or simply "Extra Damage," none of which the Flame Whip can use. (Please note that I have not included school abilities, since they vary wildly. None of them hurts, though, so the numbers can only get better.)



On the other hand, the fire whip still must hit, but since all points were dumped into Fire, the character's school rank is only 2, giving 10K4 to hit and 6K6 to wound. Again, the numbers are at the bottom.



Now, to use the fire whip, you must first make a casting roll which means that you have to make two rolls before ever doing damage. Further, for an average roll (TN 15 on 8K2,) you must also invest 3 turns before doing any damage at all. Of course, you can make the roll harder (TN20, still on 8K2,) for an investment of only 2 turns. Either way, you get to use the spell's effect a maximum of 3 times before it fades and you must expend the turns again. Well, but you can stage the damage up using raises! Umm, no. Not the way our group plays the spell. (Or maybe not the way Dakuwan was forced to use the spell, anyway.) Since it is not a weapon, you cannot stage damage up using raises (raises can only be used to extend the spell's duration, and that at a prohibitive rate of one raise per round. (This cost to raise is expecially brutal when you realize that the dice pool is still only 8K2.) Also, you cannot use school or mastery bonuses, since those do not exist for Shuggies casting spells.



Weapon attacks, on the other hand, require no preparatory turns and can be used every turn. With no extra casting rolls, and no limit to the number of attacks that can be used, and no 1-2 turn pause at the beginning of every 4-round set.



Tail of the Fire Dragon uses approximately 4 turns for every 3 attacks (with instant casting, but without turn raises,) does slightly LESS damage than an equivalent expenditure of XP for a bushi would produce, can be used a maximum number of times per combat equal to your Fire ring, and cannot even be used for the first round of combat (at a minimum.) Now tell me again, how is this such a scary non-weapon? Even as a weapon, it is still weaker than any other option at the table. It should be treated as a normal weapon, instead.



I guess it is a good thing we are not playing L5R for a little while, because I don't think that Shuggies and I are getting along.



Numbers breakdown (25 rolls each, as usual remove top and bottom 2 and round averages to xx.xx):

Kenjutsu:

To hit: 68,49,35,44,37,34,41,46,28,42,33,41,30,45,50,56,38,38,45,41,44,53,41,49,54

Remove 28,30,68,56

Average 42.86

Damage (My dice roller would not factor for exploding 9's, so the number is lower than it should be. Also, the first digit of the first result got deleted, but I think it was a 3.): 34,18,16,22,14,21,23,16,12,27,13,17,23,26,17,27,14,17,19,30,22,16,16,23,17

Remove 12,13,30,34

Average 19.57



Total damage over 4 rounds:

78.28



Fire Whip:

To hit: 26,42,32,44,24,42,30,32,26,34,29,31,26,30,40,35,48,33,36,43,38,27,38,28,23

Remove 23,24,44,48

Average 33.24

Damage: 47,29,29,29,39,38,40,32,21,43,52,38,50,26,28,36,60,45,43,33,54,34,43,35,25

Remove 21,25,54,60

Average: 37.57



Total damage over 4 rounds:

75.14



Again, please remember that this calculation did not take into account the exploding 9's, so the Kenjutsu damage model should be higher than it is; even without it, the Fire Whip causes less damage than the Kenjutsu, and I STILL haven't factored in school rank abilities or feats.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:40 am

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your grievances with the shugenja class in the L5R rpg. While I do understand that you feel somehow wronged or jipped (which I will explain is not due to the mechanics of the system, but instead due to choices made in your character creation) or that the shugenja class is worthless (which in my opinion, is GROSSLY incorrect, again supported by MY math that doesn't assume a bushi is dropping all their xp into just one attribute of rings and not leveling up the other thus not raising their insight thus not getting access to their KEY skills) I do feel a little hurt that you took this to a huge forum post in a very passive-aggressive and close-minded way. I hope that you forgive me responding in like kind.

You are correct that the fire whip is a bad spell. But you are failing to take a few things into consideration that do NOT make shugenja worthless. Lets look at the description of "tail of the fire dragon".

TAIL OF THE FIRE DRAGON
c Ring/Mastery: Fire 2
c Range: Personal
c Area of Effect: Self
c Duration: 4 rounds
c Raises: Duration (+1 round)
This spell invokes several Fire kami to form a whip-like
tendril that extends from the caster’s hand. The tendril of
fl ame will not burn you, since the kami are grateful for the
opportunity to burn others at your command. You may use
this tendril to strike enemies as far as 30’ away, extending it
out and back with blinding speed. Your attack roll with the
tendril is equal to your Agility + (twice your School Rank),
keeping your Agility. The tendril has a DR equal to your
Fire Ring.


Agility is a fire ring stat. Lets say insight rank 4. Lets say that you have taken spellcraft to 5, 4 other skills at 1, and a specific skill that you use out-of-combat (IE investigation, athletics, etc)at 7. That would be 16 insight. Then, you have all of the rest of your insight will come from your rings. Insight rank 4 is 200. So lets say that you have a 7 in fire (because it is your primary element, that's why you are using a fire damage spell right?). That's 70 influence. Then you take 5 in earth (because you want to be beefy) that brings us up to 120 influence. Still rank one. Then you take 3 in air (for better initiative and utility), a 2 in water and void (dump stats). That would be 190. Add the 16 from skills puts you at 206, rank 4 shugenja.

So again, your stats are fire- 7, 5 earth, 3 air, 2 water, 2 void.

Your initiative is 7k3.

Your health is 25 -> 35 -> 45 -> 55 -> 65 -> 75 -> 85 -> 95.

your base tn is 20 (before defense stance, which puts it at 23). Thats in cloth robes.

You cast tail of the fire dragon. It is a rank two spell, with a TN of 15. To make that roll, you will be rolling 7(your ring) + 4 (your rank) +1 (Spellcraft of 5) keep 7 (your ring). So 10(12)k8(7). TO HIT A TN OF 15. You take one raise (+5) to make the TN 20 so that it is instant cast. Then, is 4 rounds not enough for you? lets say you need 3 more rounds? That puts the TN at 35. Which is very comparable to what a bushi has to deal with (mikara had an air ring of 5 as a rank 5 bushi, and with her armor had a TN of 40).

So you roll it and summon your fire whip.

Next turn, you move the max distance from the nearest threat (exactly 10 squares) and whip them with your fire tendril. Your attack roll is 10(11)k7. This is pretty much on par with a bushi. But it may be a little worse, and if so that is understandable (since you are a SHUGENJA). Still, 10k7 on ANY roll isn't anything to mock. Anyways. So you roll your "to hit". This is NOT a weapon roll. This is still an extension of the spell. This is a special case made by the spell that lets you "attack" which is clearly defined within the terms of the spell (as I have copy+pasted above). Then you roll your damage. YOUR RANGED 30' DAMAGE. SEVEN KEEP SEVEN. 7k7. Your smallest possible damage from that roll is 7. And that goes through armor. It's TRUE DAMAGE. Your largest (non exploding) hit is 7 nines, or 63 damage. Assuming that some will explode, that will increase the damage of course. But it's 7k7. You didn't have to blow void points. You didn't have to use up special encounter powers. You didn't have to take a dip in honor, or go into full attack stance and lower your tn. You get NONE of the penalties of an attack other than having to make a physical attack roll. You get to do this EVERY. ROUND. until the spell dissipates. Remember, a katana swings for a lot, but only ever keeps 2. They can only raise that keep with a void point or with very specific class skills (which usually means they sacrifice other things). That 2keep means that their damage is very "swingy" whereas yours is very consistant. I mean, Mikara (rank 5 hare bushi) wasn't one shotting people. It would be nearly impossible for her to do 60 (2 kept dice explode 3 times each) damage on an ability, and a shugenja a WHOLE RANK LOWER can do that without a SINGLE explosion.

Now, again, tail of the fire dragon is a BAD spell. Because it MAKES you attack vs their TN. You are a spellcaster, why are you summoning something like that when you have something like:

THE FIRES FROM WITHIN
c Ring/Mastery: Fire 2
c Range: 100’
c Area of Effect: One target
c Duration: Instantaneous
c Raises: Target (+1 target per two Raises)
Probably the most widely known and recognized offensive
spell in the element of Fire, this prayer has been in use by
Rokugani shugenja since the very earliest days of the Empire.
You summon Fire kami to form an orb of fl ame that hovers in
your palm for a moment before streaking toward the target.
The sphere gains momentum and size until it hits its target,
making it quite spectacular visually. The spell has a DR equal
to your Fire Ring.


Okay. So THIS spell. ONE HUNDRED RANGE. That is 33 squares. It is rank two, so it has a TN of 15. Again you roll a 10(12)k8(7) to hit a TN of FIFTEEN. One raise to 20 makes it instant. And two raises (putting it at 30, EVEN LESS THAN THE FIRE WHIP'S TN THAT AS WE DISCUSSED IS VERY EASY TO HIT) makes it hit a SECOND TARGET. It does 7k7 at this 33 square range to TWO DIFFERENT targets. Explain to me how any bushi can hope to compare with that. Mikara had to jump 15 feet, (it doesn't scale. it is always 15 feet... or 5 tiles), ATTACK someone, and then jump another 15 to attack again. So if you are far enough back where she can't reach you (for example, like you were in last nights battle) she would NOT be able to reach you. And you would have flung TWO 7k7's at ANY TWO TARGETS WITHIN 100'. Assuming you roll all 5's (average dice roll on a d10?), that is 35x2=70 damage. EVERY. TURN. Also, again, this doesn't ever check the opponents TN. You could cast this without the raise to target mikara all alone for just TWENTY TN. She had a TN of 40 that the bushi had to deal with, but you could TOTALLY IGNORE THAT TN and just hit a 20. And by the time you WERE Mikara's level (rank 5) it would be totally possible to be at 8-9 fire ring, doing 9k9 damage every turn at a TN of 20 to ANY target, whether they be kami or bandit spud, is pretty good methinks. They can't dodge it. They can't deflect it. They can't "prepare" for it by taking a higher air ring. It. Will. Always. Hit. at 20 TN. At a 9 fire ring, you'd be rolling a 15k9 for that spellcast roll, which would be 10k10+2. TO HIT A 20.

Now, assuming you actually DID want to make a weapon that you could do weapon maneuvers with (such as raises for damage), you could summon a KATANA OF FIRE. Here's the spell. PLEASE compare the spell text to Tail of the Fire Dragon's spell text. Notice how this one is specifically creating a weapon.

KATANA OF FIRE
c Ring/Mastery: Fire 1 (Battle, Craft)
c Range: Personal or 20’ (see below)
c Area of Effect: One created weapon
c Duration: 5 minutes
c Raises: Damage (+1k0), Duration (+5 minutes), Range
(+5 feet)
You summon a blade of pure fire, blazing like the soul of an
honorable warrior. The weapon’s default form is a katana,
but one Raise can change its form to any other sword of your
choosing. The katana has a DR of 2k2. When wielding this
weapon, you may use your School Rank in place of your Kenjutsu
Skill if you wish. If you do possess the Kenjutsu Skill,
you add your Honor Rank to all damage rolls made with this
weapon. The katana of fire disappears if it is lost from your
hand. Instead of summoning the katana for yourself, you may
cause it to appear in the hands of an ally within 20 feet. He is
treated as the caster for all purposes of the spell, but does not
gain the Honor boost to damage.


So, this is a spell that also has the "craft" keyword. The effect is that it "creates one weapon". It lasts 5 minutes, so it can be used as a weapon realistically through any encounter. Notice how bad that weapon is. It has a DR of 2k2 and would require you to have the kenjutsu skill to use. If you don't have kenjutsu, then you can use your school rank. The reason for this is because it is a weapon, so you get to do weapon things with it (such as use maneuvers). It is balanced just like any bushi weapon. Now lets do the math on this... lets say again that you are rank 4 with a 7 in fire. That would be 4 (school rank in place of kenjutsu skill) + 7 (agility) keep 7 (agility). SURPRISE, it's 10k7 again. Now, for the damage: 2k2. You have a 2 in water (so 2 str) which gives you a roll of 4k2. Bad. All of the sudden tail of the fire dragon is looking MUCH better huh? Now, if you wanted, you could take Kenjutsu as a shugenja, and put the 7 points that a bushi puts into it to get the same bonus's as a bushi. So your attack roll would then be 7 (kenjutsu) + 7 (agility) keep 7(agility) = 14k7 or 10k9 (converted). That's to hit. Your damage rank would still be 4k2 + your honor rank. Better, but still pretty bad.

Now, lets assume that you took some raises for damage when creating the katana. It is a rank 1 spell, so the TN is 10. You are rolling 10k8 (same as all above) for the spellcasting roll. TO HIT A TEN. Each raise is +1k0 damage... so lets put the spell at 35 TN (same as tail of the fire dragon). That is 5 raises. Which is 5k0 on the damage roll. So now the katana would be doing 9k2 damage. If you used up a void point (which everyone can if they are using a katana) you could increase that damage roll by 1k1... getting 10k3. Very similar to what a bushi would be rolling. Seriously, this is pretty much as good as a bushi can get. A FEW outliers get higher (such as a moto on horseback or a daigatsu actively gaining taint which will VERY QUICKLY cause him to be kicked from the group/killed/etc). You can perform feints or disarms or called shots same as a bushi with your 9k2 weapon, remembering that your attack roll is 10k9. Please note that 9k2 is more damage than Sanjo was doing (8k2), Jimen was doing (8k2) mikara was doing (7k3 w/out the ability to void point because it wasn't a katana) or many others.

And of course, to take this course would only cost you the extra exp of 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 to get your kenjutsu up. That's it. 28xp and you essentially become the same as your standard bushi. But on top of that, you also have this amazing bevy of spells at your disposal! AND AGAIN, THAT'S WITH A BAD SPELL SUCH AS KATANA OF FIRE.

Shugenja are crazy powerful. They scale MUCH better than bushi. Bushi are left with very weak weapons that don't scale well at all and forced to dump points into skills AND rings to be useful. A shugenja ONLY has to dump into rings once they get spellcraft to 5, and in addition don't have to level up to get access to their abilities. They just get MORE options when they rank up, whereas many bushi dont hit their stride until rank 4-5. In the meantime, Every single combat for them is run up, feint, and attack. That's it. Nothing flashy, nothing long range, and definitely nothing within the damage range of a similarly ranked shugenja.

Now, yes, shugenja are a little weaker if they spread themselves too thin at early levels by taking too many fluff skills or by not focusing on one ring to level up. They are also going to be weaker if they focus on air or water (primarily non-combat and control spells) instead of fire or earth (primarily buff and damage spells). That is a choice you can make. But keep in mind that the L5R rpg is designed for you to make choices like that, where if you dont want to be worth anything in combat you can (I mean, look at all the courtier/artisan schools. They have essentially 0 use in battle, no spells, and no ability to wage combat).

To sum everything up, Tail of the Fire Dragon is not a weapon, because it is too strong. It doesn't get the advantage of being a weapon because it scales automatically (whereas weapons dont). It is also at range. Again, it's still pretty bad compared to other options you have, but it is an option if you want it for fluff. But if you DO decide to take the spell as your primary source of damage, you need to build your character to take advantage of it.

And finally, fires of purity (or in this case lightning of purity Razz) doesn't work on ranged weapons. Even if you COULD argue that Tail of the Fire Dragon gets access to maneuvers, it still wouldn't be able to effect it because the "attack" created by the spell-effect of the Tail of the Fire Dragon spell is ranged.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this, I would appreciate you contacting me via PM instead of turning this into an internet argument that really has no place on the forums.

~ Sleep.

P.S. Much of this conversation is just a repeat of my post just 2 posts up (please scroll up or read the quoted text). In this post I explain that Tail of the Fire Dragon is NOT a weapon, does not get the bonuses weapons get (such as adding STR to its roll), and that it is pretty bad compared to the damage possible from a min/maxed bushi. This is all still true and applicable. It is simply a mediocre spell. Furthermore, these questions (and the answers) that I posted were after our FIRST session with me as DM. I thought I made myself perfectly clear with the explanation, and thus if ANYONES feelings were hurt by any sort of confusion to do with this, I apologize. But I DO implore you to go back and read my previous posts. I made a call. In our campaign that was how we were treating it. Period. I was honestly a little hurt that both you and patrick essentially derailed my session and totally sabotaged any fun that the group was having by getting VERY nasty with each other over something I had already cleared up earlier. I know that I will no longer be the DM for the group after last night, but that's not an excuse to disrespect me (or the other players who were VERY put off by the argument). We as a playgroup need to respect the DM (and work WITH him, not fight amongst ourselves) so that we can continue moving forward and having FUN. By being very clear with my statements I thought that I was preventing this issue from coming up again. Again, I cannot stress this enough, If I was in any way confusing about the mechanics of that spell, I apologize. But fighting each other with very nasty tones as well as making posts like this on the forum in such a manner is just uncalled for. Please try to email your DM if you have problems or questions about how a session was run.

Sleep on JUNE 29th wrote:In retrospect, I do not believe the fire whip would add strength to the
roll, but the water Bo staff would. The water bo staff is creating a
weapon that already exists in the game. It then gives you a specific DR
of 1k2. In the description it says "created weapon". 1k2 kind of...
sucks. In fact, it is IMPLIED that you will be adding your strength
(otherwise, you would never be able to "keep" 2 dice). So the benefit
of casting this spell later around rank 4-5 is that you should have a
strength of 4-5 by then, so the DR will be 5-6k2, which while not great
it isn't too bad for a melee shugenja. This fits in mechanically very
well... chances are likely a shugenja who knows the Bo of Water spell is
a water shugenja, and will be leveling up that ring to make casting
spells of that element easier, stronger, and able to be raised. And the
strength trait is in the "water" ring. So this makes sound sense.

The
fire whip on the other end is a spell effect, not a "created weapon".
Although it behaves very close to a weapon (as tim pointed out above
very well), it is not in fact a weapon. It does not key off of any
"whip" skill you have. In fact, the only reference to it being a whip
is in a FLUFF description saying it is "whip-like tendril". I imagine a
large rope-like strip of lava that can be willed to fly from your hand
to any target within 30 feet. I don't imagine it would be "whipped" per
se, acting more like a thin octopus leg, agile strong and fast, but
fully controllable.

In regards to the damage, chances are likely
that a shugenja casting this spell is a fire shugenja. They will be
leveling up their fire ring to make casting spells of that element
easier, stronger, and able to be raised. It would not make sense to add
strength (a water trait) to a flat DR (such as 2k2 or 2k3 for a rank 2
spell) on a fire spell, since it is counterintuitive to how the shugenja
is building his character. So, instead, they gave it a flat DR of
"fire ring". Which means at insight rank 4-5 it should be doing 5k5 or
6k6 damage. This is MUCH more powerful than the Bo of Water, even WITH
the strength being added to the Bo. The fact that it is much stronger
at later levels justifies 2 points. 1) That it is a rank 2 spell, thus
slightly harder to cast. 2) It should not have strength added to it,
because it simply doesn't need it. It's plenty strong as it is.

Now,
is the Tail of the Fire dragon too powerful? No. In fact, it's pretty
weak compared to how strong a min/maxed bushi can be. But it is
versatile. It has a long range. It gets stronger "naturally" (meaning
that if you are building a fire character, this spell "levels up"
without you doing anything out of the ordinary. Unlike bushi who have
to specifically spend points into their weapon skills and specific
traits to get stronger). It gives the shugenja an option in the event
that they only have one more fire spell to cast and need several turns
of "utility" out of it.

_____________________________
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:59 am

Also, in regards to patrick having done raises on it before, it wasn't preferential treatment or anything (I think anyone can attest that if anyone is hard on patrick I am). It was just bad gming in my part. Patrick has an advantage that was very similar to one that anthony had that lets him choose a ring and get a free raise on any roll that uses that ring. When I asked him about this specifically ( I believe it was during the battle at the fishing village) he had mentioned the advantage and I just assumed that he was using it for a raise on the spell itself (I hadn't looked into the details of tail of the dragon's raises... and I trusted patrick since he sounded like he had done his homework on it, especially after we had just had this conversation on this very forum post). This is my fault that I allowed him to get what amounted to possibly 2-3 1k0 raises on attacks with the fire whip over 3-4 sessions. I know that this was patricks confusion and for that I do apologize, it was lazy of me and I should have checked the spell when I first asked where the raise was coming from.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:07 pm

I'm just still absolutely fucking confused by what the hell you guys are talking about in regards to weapons... YOU MAKE AN ATTACK ROLL. By making an attack roll you can perform raises as you see fit. No where in any of the literature does it say "When you make an attack roll utilizing a weapon you can perform a raise".

The discussion of whether a firewhip is a weapon or not was not the original content of this thread, it was whether a fire whip causes fucking fire damage (which we have accepted to be true because it ignites oil). IT'S RIGHT THERE, SCROLL UP.

Lastly you know what, honestly, if the fucking rules are so bad that we are bitching and moaning over whether something can perform raises on an attack roll, look in the goddamn book, it's right there under attack roll raises.

You are right, the fire-whip isn't a weapon listed in the book, it's a creation of the spell, just like the bo of water which has its own goddamn abilities as well but has a DR equal to that of a standard bo-staff, but is not listed in the book as a weapon. In both goddamn cases you perform an attack role, additionally in both goddamn cases you can find precedent on the forum to utilize raises.

Lastly the firewhip is a good spell, it's the definition of a EFFICIENT spell. It's a spell that essentially lets you throw your fire-ring in damage at an opponent each turn FOR THE COST OF A SPELL. Feel free to burn all your spell slots each turn in a meaningless attempt to match it in damage for the cost. It's an alternative spell, and after playing with it for 3-4 sessions and doing more damage than some of the bushi katana wielders did, it's fine its a choice and I enjoyed using it. Also, gaipan could hit just fine, in fact gaipan got two free raises to knockdown maneuvers so he could easily trip any of the guys we ran into. I could hit them just fine, in fact if gaipan was using a real weapon (not a staff reserved for monks and shugenjas) he could easily fuck your shit up, but that's not my character.

But you know what, fuck it, Gaipan got eaten by an oni so that solves any regard I have for this goddamn discussion. Read the book, figure it out for yourselves, and lets move on, if and when we ever come back I'm playing fucking imra, so we have a hard to hit leader who all I have to do with is occasionally roll to swing a sword and the rest of his skills are just social. Hate arguing over mechanics in the middle of a game, if it's a question bring it up after the game instead of us wasting our damn time.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:26 pm

Moto Damasko wrote:I'm just still absolutely fucking confused by what the hell you guys are talking about in regards to weapons... YOU MAKE AN ATTACK ROLL. By making an attack roll you can perform raises as you see fit. No where in any of the literature does it say "When you make an attack roll utilizing a weapon you can perform a raise".

The maneuvers section does mention weapons specifically in many of their descriptions. BUT the section also says that it is up to the GM. And I, as the GM, made the call that the fire tendril is NOT a weapon, and does not get any bonuses of BEING a weapon (which IMHO includes the ability to use the maneuvers). What I am saying is that the important piece is that this was a call that was made 2 months ago and shouldn't have been brought back up.

The discussion of whether a firewhip is a weapon or not was not the original content of this thread, it was whether a fire whip causes fucking fire damage (which we have accepted to be true because it ignites oil). IT'S RIGHT THERE, SCROLL UP.

That was the original point yes, but as we discussed the logistics of it, it involved into a discussion where I made a very clear point about the difference between the bo of water and the tail of the fire dragon spells, SPECIFICALLY about their description. If they are both supposed to have the same benefits of being weapons for the sake of doing maneuvers then why is one SPECIFICALLY described as being a weapon and the other isn't? Why make that distinction? It's a possibility that this is a casualty of the muddiness of the L5R system (which was also discussed earlier in the thread) which is why I made the call that it was NOT a weapon and that's how we would be treating it. Rolling your fire ring as a DR and having the ability to (for example) do the extra attack maneuver and attack TWICE at THIRTY FEET FOR 9k9 or 10k10 late game damage would be too strong for the spell. Also, explain a feint (an action that implies that your movements hide which direction the attack is coming from) or a disarm (which would then cause the damage to only be 2k1 and you wouldn't add strength... OH WAIT YOU ALREADY DONT because that isn't what is explained in the spell which we AGREED UPON). It is VERY clear in the wording of the maneuvers that they cannot be used for spell effects. Which the tail of the fire dragon is. It is not a weapon, as is very clearly detailed in the difference in the wording. If they had intended it to be a weapon, they would have given it weapon properties, a weapon dr, and put the weapon keyword (and the "craft" keyword) into the description of the spell.

Lastly you know what, honestly, if the fucking rules are so bad that we are bitching and moaning over whether something can perform raises on an attack roll, look in the goddamn book, it's right there under attack roll raises.
First of all... calm down. No reason for the language dude. Secondly, this sentence makes no sense. "If the rules are so bad, read the rules."

You are right, the fire-whip isn't a weapon listed in the book, it's a creation of the spell, just like the bo of water which has its own goddamn abilities as well but has a DR equal to that of a standard bo-staff, but is not listed in the book as a weapon. In both goddamn cases you perform an attack role, additionally in both goddamn cases you can find precedent on the forum to utilize raises.
You are missing the point. It is NOT "just like" the bo of water. Read the Bo of Water spell description. It IS SPECIFICALLY a created weapon. Which is why you get to do raises and maneuvers.

Lastly the firewhip is a good spell, it's the definition of a EFFICIENT spell. It's a spell that essentially lets you throw your fire-ring in damage at an opponent each turn FOR THE COST OF A SPELL. Feel free to burn all your spell slots each turn in a meaningless attempt to match it in damage for the cost. It's an alternative spell, and after playing with it for 3-4 sessions and doing more damage than some of the bushi katana wielders did, it's fine its a choice and I enjoyed using it. Also, gaipan could hit just fine, in fact gaipan got two free raises to knockdown maneuvers so he could easily trip any of the guys we ran into. I could hit them just fine, in fact if gaipan was using a real weapon (not a staff reserved for monks and shugenjas) he could easily fuck your shit up, but that's not my character.
again retreading what I have already said. It is in fact a BAD spell, but my defense is that it is MUCH better than tim made it out to sound. It does not need additional raises from maneuvers or other sources to be good or effective. It scales perfectly fine alone. I also made the point that the strength of the spell is that you can use it with your last fire spell of the day and still get "bang for your buck" for several turns afterwards. So thank you for agreeing with me on that point. As far as "burning all your spell slots each turn to match it in damage for the cost", I posted another spell that is the same master level, also fire, that is strictly better. The ONLY benefit is that the tendril stays more than one turn. Let me ask you though, how often did using up your spell slots actually come into importance in our campaign?

But you know what, fuck it, Gaipan got eaten by an oni so that solves any regard I have for this goddamn discussion. Read the book, figure it out for yourselves, and lets move on, if and when we ever come back I'm playing fucking imra, so we have a hard to hit leader who all I have to do with is occasionally roll to swing a sword and the rest of his skills are just social. Hate arguing over mechanics in the middle of a game, if it's a question bring it up after the game instead of us wasting our damn time.

Now you are just sounding like a mad LoL player. "read the book, figure it out for yourselves, and lets move on" is the most passive-aggressive counter-argument to this discussion that is possible. The very reason for the points made in this post is that the book and the rules are muddy, convoluted, and UNCLEAR on these points. So it is up to the gm to decide. And I made that decision. Now, again, regarding you getting raises to your fire whip, I thought those were built into the SPELL, not that you were performing the extra damage MANEUVER, and I have already apologized to you for misleading you that it worked that way during play. And again, I do not see the point of your argument, because

1) This worked out to your advantage. You did more damage a few times.

2) Tim MISSED the only attack he made with the fire whip last night. So the point of whether or not he could have done any raises or gotten any benefits (which as I stated he could not because by rank 3, his fire ring SHOULD be 4 or 5 if he is using that spell, and 5k5 at 30' foot range is powerful enough for a spell that lasts 4 turns for the powerlevel for our group) is a moot point. He missed. Done deal.

If we do come back to the L5R system and the new GM does decide that the tendril will behave as a weapon, that is their decision to make. I will not agree with that take on the rules, but I can also understand that due to the muddiness and unclarity of the rules, it COULD go either way. So I will respect their decision, and not burst into a very nasty verbal argument during a session that is all about everyone having FUN. I would appreciate it if you did the same.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:57 pm

Sleep it's not passive aggressive, it's me making a statement that I honestly don't care. Gaipan is a concept, and as a concept he has failed because rules have suddenly, as in this session, become an issue. Thus, Gaipan will not be played again, and if we do come back to this system I won't be utilizing him. It's not rage, it's not me being mad, it's me moving on. I'm looking forward to more enjoyable things than whip of the fire dragon.

I will say one thing though, I will not be arguing over game mechanics in the new campaign, if we have a question during the game, we play it as it is written, not an interpretation. The interpretations ruin games and we are bigger than arguing over mechanics to try and balance shit out. If we have a problem we save it till after the game and go to a source and seek the answer online. If we can't find an answer then we can discuss, but I'm distinctly tired of having to stop mid-game to discuss mechanics and argue over them.

Now let's move on.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:23 pm

Moto Damasko wrote:Sleep it's not passive aggressive, it's me making a statement that I honestly don't care. Gaipan is a concept, and as a concept he has failed because rules have suddenly become an issue. Thus, Gaipan will not be played again, and if we do come back to this system I won't be utilizing him. It's not rage, it's not me being mad, it's me moving on. So if that's it, I'm gonna look forward to more enjoyable things than dealing with this relatively pointless discussion.

Uhm... The following quote from you is not that "you dont care". This is not how people talk when they "don't care".

But you know what, fuck it, Gaipan got eaten by an oni so that solves any regard I have for this goddamn discussion.

You just need to calm down. Again, the cause for this conversation is that the rules are NOT clear. Interpretation is REQUIRED. It's not something that we have an option about. You simply think that by taking YOUR interpretation is the same as what the book is stating. Which is your OPINION.. your INTERPRETATION. That is literally the definition of interpretation.

Furthermore, I was not the one who brought this up during the game. It was you and tim. It was also you and tim that got into the first heated discussion about the water vs fire elements of the weapon (during a session as well). I appreciate you saying that you wont be bringing up further issues during the middle of a game. Lets hope that stays true. But don't act as if you weren't part of last nights argument. Whenever the DM has to tell both players to calm down and lower their voices due to the negativity is a BAD thing. And I felt somewhat embarassed I had to do it last night.

And finally, You are butthurt that tail of the fire dragon isn't as good as you thought it was, but yet, you still argue that it's better than any other spell you could cast, and then you argue that Gaipan is essentially a FAILED character due to it. Dude, we spent a LOT of time before this campaign house-ruling awesome deathpriest abilities for you. How many times did you use them? Twice. in the entire campaign. Once on a bear... which was meh. Once last night, which was AWESOME. Imagine all those times you were trying to hamfistedly force your character to do something that you hadn't built him for (summon oil, waste turns summoning and then attacking with a fire whip) when you could have been dispensing the judgement of the deathlords and being the character that you BUILT him to be. A buffer/debuffer that is mostly about utility with a SMALL amount of damage output. I feel that Gaipan's abilities would have allowed his character to be a success had they actually been used. The team shouldn't have needed you to be doing dps... you had a toku bushi, a daigatsu bushi, and a phoenix shugenja who should have been worrying about the damage. Then, the group had you and the tsuruchi to disable and debuff the opponents and add small suplemental dps. Granted. this didn't work out since the phoenix shugenja took way too much fluff skills and spells to be an effective dps character (which is fine as long as you dont go into combat complaining that your tail of the fire dragon isn't good enough because you didn't invest your points in your fire ring) and because we had a few sessions where we were missing some key PC's. But I always balanced that by making the encounters weaker or giving you an NPC to do the damage.

Gaipan's best battles, IMHO, were the battle for the forge (feeding Sanjo those extra attacks was AWESOME and totally in character), and the final battle where you finally used a blessing of the death god to significantly weaken someone, as well as feeding extra attacks into the daigatsu bushi. In the meantime, you attempted a knockdown (also a fluffy action that fits Gaipans character) and while it wasn't successful, still was flavorful and in character.


Last edited by Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:29 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:27 pm

You can call me butthurt all you want but it's just insulting and not true. If you must know the reason why I even said anything was because it was part of the character. It was Gaipan's trick, part of his deal, it was written into his fluff before I even began playing him, it's one of his techniques, it's part of his design and it was the reason I took the touched by the fire kami. So yes, it was part of the character. It's just bad that we are arguing over rules simply because, it should have been a statement of "Go ahead" not "Well it's not a weapon". Rules are important, but they are not more important than stopping the flow of a game. I'll be online if you wish to discuss... Just looking forward to playing a new campaign, rather than bitching about an argument that shouldn't of occurred.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:59 pm

Moto Damasko wrote:You can call me butthurt all you want but it's just insulting and not true. If you must know the reason why I even said anything was because it was part of the character. It was Gaipan's trick, part of his deal, it was written into his fluff before I even began playing him, it's one of his techniques, it's part of his design and it was the reason I took the touched by the fire kami. So yes, it was part of the character. It's just bad that we are arguing over rules simply because, it should have been a statement of "Go ahead" not "Well it's not a weapon". Rules are important, but they are not more important than stopping the flow of a game. I'll be online if you wish to discuss... Just looking forward to playing a new campaign, rather than bitching about an argument that shouldn't of occurred.

First of all, taking an advantage JUST for ONE spell is a huge waste. You set yourself up for disappointment if that is the case.

Secondly, going back and actually reading that advantage, it only gives the free raise on trait rolls. Here's the advantage: (emphasis mine)

FRIEND OF THE ELEMENTS [SPIRITUAL] (4
POINTS)
The spirits of a certain Element swirl about you at all times,
lending their aid when possible even though you are likely
unaware of their presence. Choose a Ring when this Advantage
is purchased. Whenever you make a Trait Roll with
either Trait associated with that Ring, you gain a Free Raise.
Shugenja characters may purchase this Advantage for 3
points.


A trait roll is very uncommon. The most common are willpower trait rolls to remove certain effects or resist things. A trait roll is when you roll and keep the amount equal to that trait. Such as a trait roll for agility and you have a 3 in agility would be 3k3. Trait rolls are by definition in the book NOT skill rolls. Here's the definition (from page 79 of the core roolbook):

TRAIT ROLLS
Trait Rolls are far less common than Skill Rolls. They represent
situations when the characters in question are attempting
to complete a task based solely on their innate abilities, either
mental or physical, without any benefi t from training. This is
more commonly a factor for physical tasks, such as holding
one’s breath or holding onto a moving wagon. Trait Rolls for
mental tasks are less common, but might include attempting
to focus one’s attention on a subject being observed for a long
period of time, or memorize a lot of material very quickly. To
make a Trait Roll, a character rolls and keeps dice equal to his
Rank in that Trait.


So there you go. To be fair, anthony has this same advantage (he just chose air) and I was letting him get free raises on his skill rolls as well. So we have been playing completely wrong with this advantage, and it is much worse than originally thought. It is the very definition of a "trap" advantage (how often do you WANT to do a raise on a trait roll?). In the event that we go back to the L5R campaign and use any of these characters again I would definitely let you and anthony replace this advantage with another or remove it alltogether for the exp since we had been playing it completely wrong.

In regards to you feeling insulted that I said you were butthurt... dude, the tone in which you are posting is one of incredible dissatisfaction and hurt. You feel completely wronged to the point that the entire core of your character is a complete failure due to ONE advantage not working with ONE spell (of which you have what... 10?). You are sore about it. You are throwing a fit. Calm down and conduct your posts in a more constructive way without slinging profanity and taking passive aggressive stances such as "Oh, I didn't get what I wanted so fuck it, my character was eaten by an oni, so now I dont care about this goddamn disccusion". Also, as a DM, I'm not going to just say "go ahead" to anything just to move the game forward. We had discussed this issue at length before, I had made it clear in june (nearly 2 months ago to the day) that it was not a weapon and does not confer weapon bonuses. When a player casts the spell in my session and then start making the claim that it does, AFTER I had made it perfectly clear that it didn't, that is an insult to me as the DM and undermining the very nature of the DM. A facilitator for the rules. Someone who can make the call. And my call was that it didn't. End of story. I hope that you guys (both tim and patrick) show Rich much more respect as DM than you showed me last session.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:06 pm

Sleep wrote:
Moto Damasko wrote:You can call me butthurt all you want but it's just insulting and not true. If you must know the reason why I even said anything was because it was part of the character. It was Gaipan's trick, part of his deal, it was written into his fluff before I even began playing him, it's one of his techniques, it's part of his design and it was the reason I took the touched by the fire kami. So yes, it was part of the character. It's just bad that we are arguing over rules simply because, it should have been a statement of "Go ahead" not "Well it's not a weapon". Rules are important, but they are not more important than stopping the flow of a game. I'll be online if you wish to discuss... Just looking forward to playing a new campaign, rather than bitching about an argument that shouldn't of occurred.

First of all, taking an advantage JUST for ONE spell is a huge waste. You set yourself up for disappointment if that is the case.

Secondly, going back and actually reading that advantage, it only gives the free raise on trait rolls. Here's the advantage: (emphasis mine)

FRIEND OF THE ELEMENTS [SPIRITUAL] (4
POINTS)
The spirits of a certain Element swirl about you at all times,
lending their aid when possible even though you are likely
unaware of their presence. Choose a Ring when this Advantage
is purchased. Whenever you make a Trait Roll with
either Trait associated with that Ring, you gain a Free Raise.
Shugenja characters may purchase this Advantage for 3
points.


A trait roll is very uncommon. The most common are willpower trait rolls to remove certain effects or resist things. A trait roll is when you roll and keep the amount equal to that trait. Such as a trait roll for agility and you have a 3 in agility would be 3k3. Trait rolls are by definition in the book NOT skill rolls. Here's the definition (from page 79 of the core roolbook):

TRAIT ROLLS
Trait Rolls are far less common than Skill Rolls. They represent
situations when the characters in question are attempting
to complete a task based solely on their innate abilities, either
mental or physical, without any benefi t from training. This is
more commonly a factor for physical tasks, such as holding
one’s breath or holding onto a moving wagon. Trait Rolls for
mental tasks are less common, but might include attempting
to focus one’s attention on a subject being observed for a long
period of time, or memorize a lot of material very quickly. To
make a Trait Roll, a character rolls and keeps dice equal to his
Rank in that Trait.


So there you go. To be fair, anthony has this same advantage (he just chose air) and I was letting him get free raises on his skill rolls as well. So we have been playing completely wrong with this advantage, and it is much worse than originally thought. It is the very definition of a "trap" advantage (how often do you WANT to do a raise on a trait roll?). In the event that we go back to the L5R campaign and use any of these characters again I would definitely let you and anthony replace this advantage with another or remove it alltogether for the exp since we had been playing it completely wrong.

In regards to you feeling insulted that I said you were butthurt... dude, the tone in which you are posting is one of incredible dissatisfaction and hurt. You feel completely wronged to the point that the entire core of your character is a complete failure due to ONE advantage not working with ONE spell (of which you have what... 10?). You are sore about it. You are throwing a fit. Calm down and conduct your posts in a more constructive way without slinging profanity and taking passive aggressive stances such as "Oh, I didn't get what I wanted so fuck it, my character was eaten by an oni, so now I dont care about this goddamn disccusion". Also, as a DM, I'm not going to just say "go ahead" to anything just to move the game forward. We had discussed this issue at length before, I had made it clear in june (nearly 2 months ago to the day) that it was not a weapon and does not confer weapon bonuses. When a player casts the spell in my session and then start making the claim that it does, AFTER I had made it perfectly clear that it didn't, that is an insult to me as the DM and undermining the very nature of the DM. A facilitator for the rules. Someone who can make the call. And my call was that it didn't. End of story. I hope that you guys (both tim and patrick) show Rich much more respect as DM than you showed me last session.

Really? Either message me and discuss it in a fashion that doesn't result in internet road rage or end the discussion. Really, you are so far off its laughable.
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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:09 pm

Moto Damasko wrote:
Really? Either message me and discuss it in a fashion that doesn't result in internet road rage or end the discussion. Really, you are so far off its laughable.

To what are you implying? You are the one who is taking everything personally.

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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Moto Damasko on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:14 pm

Sleep wrote:
Moto Damasko wrote:
Really? Either message me and discuss it in a fashion that doesn't result in internet road rage or end the discussion. Really, you are so far off its laughable.

To what are you implying? You are the one who is taking everything personally.

Lol, Really? Boy the internet has special powers ... More mad that we even appear to be at each other's throats when in truth we aren't, it's actually kinda funny to me.



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Re: My charmander uses firewhip...

Post  Sleep on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:17 pm

lets take the specifics out of it. Here is the core of the discussion=

"It is unclear in the rulebook how something happens mechanically. Lets start a thread." - You guys.

"I see both points, I give it some thought and make a call. I am the GM, and that's what we are going with." - me.

~2 months pass~

*in the middle of a session* "Remember that unclear rulebook thing you made a call on? Well now I want to argue it again" - you guys.

"No. I made a call on it. calm down guys. Just move on." - me

~later that night~

"Wahhh my character class is too weak" - tim

"Wahhh my entire character is a failure and I'm no longer interested in every playing him ever again because one advantage didn't work with one spell the way I thought it would" - Patrick

"Wtf guys, I made this clear 2 months ago. If there were still issues it should have been brought up then. Bringing it up and arguing in the middle of a session about something I already made a call on is disrespectful towards me as the DM" - Me

----------------------
I've said my peace. I'm not hurt PERSONALLY. But, our group needs to get better at accepting the decisions the DM makes so that the session can move forward. THAT is what I mean by "disrespecting the DM". I don't mean that you guys personally attacked me or anything. Patrick, you have already said that you will not do that agian. Awesome. Done deal. Nobody's feeling are hurt.

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