Post by katanageldar on Apr 7, 2017 18:23:49 GMT 10
I'm still fairly new to the system but often enough when I build a character I haven't started off with them well enough to make them effect e, and by then it's too late. This was the case with Yamada in Winter Court 5, I spent most of it lamenting I had made her water ring so low.
So what are your tips when making a character for a purpose? I'd appreciate some help.
Post by emeralddragon on Apr 8, 2017 6:32:07 GMT 10
*Theory Crafting minmax hat goes on*
One of the game design decisions in l5r is how balanced the game tries to make your character. Having one ring lower then the others is a bad idea almost universally, unless you don't want to go up insight ranks. In addition raising skills slowly but surely becomes inefficient compared to raising rings. At skill rank 4, unless you are going for a Mastery Bonus its inefficient to raise your skills higher.
Rank 5 skills are less insight/xp efficient then rank 8 in void, and rank 6 in any other ring.
Of course, Winter Court was a shorter game, and its not like you plan to raise multiple skills to rank 5, so OCCATIONALLY the +1k0 is worth it at rank 6, especially if it scores a mastery bonus.
Most of the time I question if rank 4 is worth it.
Other advice...rank 3 in all rings is just flat out good, and IMO worth more then rank 2 in any skill. A very common TN in game seems to be TN 15, and while 3k2 averages 15.305, 4k3 is a safe 21.910, so you should get more success then failures on both TN15 and TN20 rolls, even with bad luck. 4k2 is only 17.399...
So rings are better both for rolls and at least equal for xp....
So how do you make a specialist character....the Weakness disadvantage is your friend here. Forcefully lowering one of your traits mechanically, but letting you keep the insight, and in fact gaining you xp...if you want your character to be weak in one area and strong in another this is the best way to go.
In a high level game Elemental Blessing makes raising one ring cheaper. But you need to reach Ring level 4 before it pays for itself. Enlightened is the same for Void but requires Void 5 before it pays for itself....
Friend of the Elements gives you a free raise for a particular ring as well.
If you want to be good at a skill, and have very good dice luck, Great potential allows you to make raises for that skill up to your ranks in that skill. But given the cost of raises, and the advantages of having a high void (especially in a combat focused game) to keep you alive, this isn't exactly great.
Finally you have either stuff like Sage, Soul of Artistry, and the like that gives you bonuses to a skill type if you don't have the skill (Lore, Artisan, etc) to show a general knowledge...
Really, being good at X thing requires you to pick either a School or Advantage that improves said thing. With the use of Different Schools Advantage and multiple schools, there is SOME stuff you can do, but both are quite expensive, and unless the GM is kind to you, or you chose very carefully, a lot of techniques are dependent on School Rank...
Which means a Rank 2 Kakita Bushi Rank 2 Hida Bushi, is usually worse then a Rank 4 Kakita Bushi or a Rank 4 Hida Bushi.
The most IMPORTANT exception this is is Monks. Kiho is just great like that....but Monks are rather a special case in their own right.
Post by katanageldar on Apr 8, 2017 17:33:44 GMT 10
How much of a specialist my Utaku was at WC really came into view when I started training for the death duel. Even at Iaijutsu 5 (got it up that high during the game) as well as bonus to attack and Initative, I was completely outmatched in Iaijutsu and to some extent Kenjutsu. The fights I had with Karasu, by far the best duelist at court, I might as well have been wielding a willow switch in the first round. Second, third round I could do more but in a real fight there would have been wound penalties by then (as there were when we simulated the death duel).
The biggest mistake I made with her? Her low water ring. I should have made it higher, given her more damage and I would have been able to access better katas.
Hopefully in our home game which is much longer I'll learn better about building. Got a ronin there that's about to gain Kitsuki school. For the space game I do want to make a Hida who wields a huge rifle. Even with all the stuff we are adding for the setting, we will need to get the rings right,
Post by Ikoma Tamiyo on Apr 22, 2017 23:51:40 GMT 10
Hmm, emeralddragon's advice is good as a general principle for boosting your IR. Now, the water ring is the redheaded stepchild of L5R 4e in my experience. Damage is 'cheaper' to gain from other sources. The difference between strength 2 and 4 is 2k0, which is 4 damage on average. Unless you're playing on a grid and movement starts to matter the other rings simply have more to offer.
Being a 'heavy hitter' is much more a function of your school techniques and what weapons you get your simple attacks with and water ring/strength really isn't the determining factor.
Post by emeralddragon on Apr 24, 2017 3:19:51 GMT 10
I would agree here, unless your GM loves the hell out of Investigation/Perception. The Moto have the ability to keep more damage dice, certain clans get to add stuff like honour at the end of damage rolls, and if you really want to boost your damage you could carry a Tetsubo or one of the other heavy weapons rather then a Katana.
I would say flat out Void tends to be the best ring to raise....probably followed by Earth in a combat focused game, and air or fire in a court or investigation focused game depending on the character.
Post by Hida Tetsuko on Apr 24, 2017 17:07:59 GMT 10
So I made Tetsuko's strength 4, only because I could get the heavy assault rifle and needed strength 4 to use it (at least from Imperial Histories 2). I think this is the only one that I raised beyond my rings.
I'm also getting a much better understanding of the game as I just spent a long weekend explaining to people how their characters. In one game I had people from every clan at the table.
Hida Tetsuko, Hida Pragmatist, Chuubushi, Kuge, Gunso of Teitetsu Platoon, Survivor of Isawa's Shadow