Courtly Debate new rules

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Courtly Debate new rules  Empty Courtly Debate new rules

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:44 pm

The Courtly Debate system replaces the Courtly Battle system from the Way of the Daimyo rules. This system is used to represent debates and arguments about a variety of topics, ranging from 'Who will host Winter Court?' to 'What is the most important tenet of Bushido?' to 'Is sculpture fashionable this year?'. The goal of the debate is to persuade the court as a whole that your position is correct - the system does not change minds, but instead focuses on pursuading a crowd of people. The amount of time that a debate takes can vary hugely - a big topic like 'Who will the Imperial Heir marry?' could easily take multiple Winter Courts, while simple matters can be resolved in a few hours.

A debate is conducted between two or more factions, each with their own position. At the start of the debate, every side states its intent - the goal it seeks to achieve. Examples includes 'Winter Court will be held at Kyuden Kakika', 'Courtesy is the most important tenet' or 'Sculpture is not fashionable'. The intents of the factions should be opposed, but should also include some scope for compromise.

A debate consists of the following phases:

1) Determine support
2) Debate!
a) Declare action this round
b) Resolve each action
c) Reduce support
3) Resolution

Determine Support

At the start of a debate, all factions must determine how much Support they have amoung the crowd of witnesses. Support is based on the social standing of the character and their social abilities:

Support = Awareness + Courtier + [1/2 of the higher of Status and Glory, to a minimum of 1]

Support will therefore range from 5 (Awareness 2, Courtier 2, Status/Glory 1) to 20 (Awareness 5, Courtier 10, Status/Glory 10), with most competent courtiers having a Support of 10 to 13 (Awareness 3 to 4, Courtier 5 to 7, Status/Glory up to 4).


Declare Action
All factions declare their action this turn. Possible actions (relevant Skill/Stat in parentheses) include:
* Make an impassioned speech (Perform:Oratory/Awareness)
* Intimidate a key courtier into backing your side (Intimidation/Awareness or Strength)
* Draw on historical precedent (Lore:Law/Intelligence)
* Out-maneuver the other side verbally (Courtier/Awareness)
If there are more than two factions, each faction must declare who they are targeting.


All factions then roll the relevant dice pools for their action against fixed TNs. The TN varies with how hard the task would be; the following list provides guidance on how TNs will be set:
* Making an impassioned speech - TN 15 for simple arguments, Raises must be taken for more complex/contraversial positions
* Intimidating a courtier - TN = [Target's Willpower x 5] + [Target's Etiquette x 2] + Target's Honour
* Draw on historical precedent - TN 15 for widely accepted legal principles, Raises must be taken for obscure laws or novel interpretations
* Out-maneuver the other side - TN = [Target's Awareness x 5] + [Target's Courtier x 2]
Positions which are popular with the audience have lower TNs, as it's easier to get people to support non-contraversial positions. Exactly what positions will be popular or not will sometimes be obvious, but might need research beforehand at other times.

Reduce Support

If everyone failed at their rolls, each side loses 1 Support as the court grows bored with the argument at hand.
If anyone succeeded, the target side's Support is reduced, based on the margin of success. A succesful roll reduces the other sides Support by 2 + 1 per margin of 5 over the TN (round down, i.e. a margin of success of 13 gives a +2 bonus, not +3). E.g. if a Oratory roll had TN 20, and a character rolled a 33, they would reduce the other sides Support by 4 (2 basic plus 2 for a margin of 13 over the TN).
At this point, either side can concede. The other side can accept their withdrawal with as many or few conditions as they want, but both sides must agree to terminate the debate for it to end.


If, at the end of a round, either side's support is reduced to 0, the debate ends. The winner gains their stated intent, but may have to make concesssions, depending on how much support they lost:
Support was not reduced: No concessions
Support reduced by up to 25%: Minor concession
Support reduced by up to 50%: Moderate concession
Support reduced by up to 75%: Major concession
Support reduced by up to 99%: Massive concession
If both side's Support reaches 0 in the same round, the winner is the side with the highest Support (e.g. -1 Support beats -5 Support). If there's a tie, the side with the higher starting Support wins.
The winning side each gain 1 point of Glory, and may be awarded extra Glory depending on the subject, location and outcome of the debate.

Ambassador Station Features

The features of the Ambassador station have been converted to this new system, and are listed below.

Level One Features

Iron Will: Does not exist anymore.
Ability: Matchmaking, Bureaucrat, Clergy, Explorer (2 points each): Instead of a bonus to Resolution Rolls, increase the damage you inflict by 1 when the topic matches the ability.
Service: Couriers (2 points). Before you go to court, pick a topic. If it is discussed, get +1k0 to all rolls in that debate.
Ability: Informant (1-5 points): Pick one other courtier per Duty Point spent. Get +1k0 to rolls which directly target them (e.g. the bonus applies to Intimidation rolls against them, but not to Perform: Poetry rolls).
Service: Favours (1 to 5 points): Increase your Support by 1 instead of engaging an enemy courtier.
Service: Theatrical Connections (3 points): You're a patron of the arts, giving you tickets to trade. Gain 3 points of Glory.
Service: Writs of Passage (1 point): You can grant travel papers for travel in your clans lands. Gives 1 point of Status.

Level Two Features

Ability: Rumourmonger (3 points): Increase the damage you inflict by 2 if your action could benefit from rumours.
Ability: Secrets (4 points): If you reveal the secret and win the debate, reduce the level of concessions you must make by two (e.g. if you lose half your Support, you do not have to concede anything). If you lose the debate, increase the level of concessions the other side makes by two levels (e.g. if they lose 50% of their support, they must make a massive concession).
Ally: Out-of-Clan Official (4 points): You're generally well-respected even outside of your clan. Gain +1k0 to all rolls that would not lose you Honour. If you ever gain ranks of Infamy, you lose this Feature.
Ally: Secretaries (2 points): Gain a bonus of +1k0 to all rolls in debates that allow time for research and communication to be useful (e.g. if a debate takes place over the course of Winter Court, this bonus applies).
Service: Unseen Ally (2 points): Can only be used once, counts as any Level One Ambassador Feature and stack if you already have that Feature.

Level Three Features

Ally: Imperial Connections: You have a link to the Imperial family. Gain +2 Support for your side and +1k0 to all debate rolls (4 point version; bonuses doubled for 8 points).
Ally: Yojimbo: You can call on a yojimbo to defend you, whose insight rank is equal to the points spent.

Converted courtier mechanics (Core Book, major clans only):

As a general rule, all Courtier techniques which work with Contested Rolls also work in Courtly Duels, as do all techniques which allow you to reroll if you fail.

Yasuki Courtier

All techniques function as written.

Doji Courtier

Rank 4: This technique can be used in Courtly Duels in place of the standard mechanics (i.e. you make a Contested Roll rather than versus a fixed TN). If you succeed, you reduce that faction's support by 2. If the target then does the 'dishonourable' deed, their Support is reduced by 1 for a minor breach, and 3 for a major breach.

Rank 5: This technique can also be used in place of the standard Courtly Duel mechanics. If you succeed, and the target follows your suggestion, either their faction loses 1 + (target's Status/2) points of support or your faction gains that much support, depending on whether or not you have neutralised a key opponent or brought a neutral party into play. This happens in in addition to the normal effects (depending on the precise details, you may reduce the opponent's support by a larger amount, or increase your own support by a larger amount.
Comment: This is used as a general mechanic for all 'gain an ally / remove someone from court' techniques. Numbers may need tweaking after experience with the basic system.

Kitsuki Investigator

All techniques function as written.

Ikoma Bard

All techniques function as written.

Yoritomo Courtier

All techniques function as written.

Asako Loremaster

Rank 4: If an opponent successfully tries to influence you, you can substitute your Intelligence into the formula used to calculate the TN and force them to re-roll.
Comment: I think this is mathematically equivalent to letting you re-roll an active defense...

Bayushi Courtier

Rank 4: Whenever someone you have blackmail targets you in a Courtly Duel, their dice cannot explode. If you target them, gain a Free Raise. If you spend a Void point, you can chose which Mental Trait is used to calculate your TN.
Comment: Not sure at all how to convert 'opponent's dice cannot explode when defending' into this system. Will almost certainly need revision.

Rank 5: This technique can be used instead of the standard Courtly Duel mechanics. If you succeed, reduce the opponent's support by 1 + (target's Status/2) in addition to the normal effects (depending on the precise details, you may reduce the opponent's support by a larger amount).

=== Ide Emissary ===

Rank 3: This technique can also be used in place of the standard Courtly Duel mechanics. If the use of this technique allows you to remove an opponent from the debate, or gain a voice in support of your position it affects support. Either increase your own support by 1 + (target's Status/2) or reduce their support by the same amount. This happens in in addition to the normal effects (depending on the precise details, you may reduce the opponent's support by a larger amount, or increase your own support by a larger amount.


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