Pitfront Property

I will do game reports.  Mostly, they are V:TES games, but, occasionally, I might mention something of boardgames, report my RPG sessions from conventions, or whatever.  What I don’t really do is report sessions from my RPG home campaign play.

I’m not sure this is even that, however …

We started a new L5R campaign last night.  In theory, we alternate between my Gaki Mura campaign, this 20 Goblin Winter campaign, and HoR3 on Wednesday nights for the foreseeable future.

For those who are aware, 20 Goblin Winter is a recruiting drive by the Crab where ronin can be offered fealty if they slaughter enough monsters over the Winter.  So, obviously, we are all ronin.

True Ronin, in fact.  Starting (40xp) True Ronin.  Who have to buy everything, including food and jade.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Shadowlands adventure that intended for the PCs to be R-1, let alone starting characters.

So, because I find thinking and talking about games interesting, I threw out ideas on character creation.  Our GM had a bunch of suggestions and a few house rules, such as Touch of the Spirit Realms – Yume-do enabling someone to sleep back wounds and Void Points.  Wealthy was required to be able to afford any jade fingers, which is reasonable if you think of Wealthy just as personal savings.

I had a Watery concept for a character, as Hunting to find monsters and Investigation to notice monsters seemed useful, while Water 3 meant being able to run away faster than other PCs.  The character, of course, was Earth 3.  I changed my mind as the character would be too inept at skills and I just liked the idea of being Stealth-y, which meant a more Firey build.

Five PCs so far.  Zero have Earth 3.  Oh, sure, one has Earth 4 and is a big, giant knife cushion.  It’s just amusing how the rest of us decided that we’d rather be able to do things while we get Tainted and otherwise wrecked.

Actually, the mechanics are less of a problem than the party dynamic.  For one thing, starting XP is not as important in home play as it is in HoR.  In HoR, you get about a dozen mods a year, let’s say 15 opportunities for XP between conventions and mods.  That’s 60xp or so a year.  If you have more than one character, the number drops by how much you toss to your other character.  I think, in year 4, for my two characters, it’s about one third has gone to my alt.  Unlike HoR2, where my group was playing catch up and mods came fast in year 4, I’ve been close to caught up much of the campaign, which means months of not playing, so advancement feels tortoisey.

In a home game, play three weeks in a month, get 4xp or whatever, and can bump a Trait to 3 after a month.  Do that every other month and six months down the line have nearly double starting XP.

True Ronin do start 8xp behind standard PCs.  The 25xp only covers the 24xp it would take to buy the two Traits to 3 that a normal PC has (going to ignore the free 4xp for double stacked Traits or the free 6xp for Void 3) plus one of the seven skills that you would have gotten from a school.  Add in that schools get a free emphasis, and you get 8xp down.

Let’s say that’s two sessions of catch up.  Shrug.

Again, now that I’m more used to home play, just the whole concept of newb characters makes no sense to me.  The rapid advancement is far too much of a percentage increase in effectiveness.  I’m far more of a fan of having RPG characters be established competents and not the kids who become sovereigns.  This philosophy means starting with a lot more points, I used to think 60xp but now think 80xp is pretty much the floor, and reducing session XP to 3 (like my Saturday game) – 2xp/session just seems too frustrating for players as there are so many things to spend on and so many things are hideously expensive.

But, then, it’s a matter of how long you expect to play.  If you expect to play 40 sessions and stop, 80xp + 4xp/session seems fine as long as characters reaching R-5 is something you want to deal with.

Anyway, back to Trunin.  It’s going to be brutal trying to get to Earth 3.  Heavy Armor has a lot of issues given the importance of Stealth – most of us are running around in Ashigaru Armor, so high ATNs are rough.  That we have to pay for arrows means the REF 4, Earth 3 archer has a lot of problems … besides that Stealth is something everyone has to roll every day.

As an odd metagame, it’s interesting … oh, I completely dropped my thought on party dynamics and how that’s a problem.

The problem is that it’s easy to get Tainted and none of us have any Honor and we have very different goals.  One PC is just trying to die a good death.  It seems ludicrously easy for us to just abandon each other or whoever seems a liability.  Trying to justify why we wouldn’t just finish every Tainted PC is a bother.


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