Ronin Challenge


Samurai Discussion: Round 1

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Scarab Sages

Reads as never gona use this ability. Please replace with something that will be used. Anything really would work. Anything at all would be better really.


I think they REALLY want Ronin to be an NPC class, but even then, how often are they going to use the ability? It would have to be created specifically for groups with a Cavalier or Samurai.

Scarab Sages

Cartigan wrote:
I think they REALLY want Ronin to be an NPC class, but even then, how often are they going to use the ability? It would have to be created specifically for groups with a Cavalier or Samurai.

I disagree. All the other abilities are good. I think they just want every challenge to be different and special and just had a brain fart and/or believe there are a *lot* more cavaliers/samurai in published materials than there actually are. But regardless of any thoughts we put in the minds of writers, its not an NPC class.

Honestly just swipe the samurai's challenge and reprint it verbatim is fine with me. The one as written doesn't even make thematic sense for most ronin.


Matthew Trent wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
I think they REALLY want Ronin to be an NPC class, but even then, how often are they going to use the ability? It would have to be created specifically for groups with a Cavalier or Samurai.

I disagree. All the other abilities are good. I think they just want every challenge to be different and special and just had a brain fart and/or believe there are a *lot* more cavaliers/samurai in published materials than there actually are. But regardless of any thoughts we put in the minds of writers, its not an NPC class.

Honestly just swipe the samurai's challenge and reprint it verbatim is fine with me. The one as written doesn't even make thematic sense for most ronin.

It is the most "powerful" challenge, giving roughly twice the benefit of the others, at the cost of it being situational...

No, it really isn't good, it needs changed. And let's be honest a ronin/knight errant is perfect PC fodder.


any one have an idea of what to replace it with ?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Hey there all,

The design of the Ronin's challenge ability was a bit tricky. Since the ronin was without edicts (or able to define them for himself), we wanted his special challenge bonus to be a little bit more limited. Its an odd spot to be in. We wanted it to be lesser to some extent, since it was generally not desirable to be a Ronin, but still unique.

Since Ronin often seem to get into fights with other samurai it made sense for them to have a power to use against each other.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Only thought: What is the percentage of all encounters, from 1 to 20, that are going to be against Samurai or Cavaliers?


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

The design of the Ronin's challenge ability was a bit tricky. Since the ronin was without edicts (or able to define them for himself), we wanted his special challenge bonus to be a little bit more limited. Its an odd spot to be in. We wanted it to be lesser to some extent, since it was generally not desirable to be a Ronin, but still unique.

Since Ronin often seem to get into fights with other samurai it made sense for them to have a power to use against each other.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Flavor wise it makes sense.

Problem is though it completely relies upon a GM deliberately putting him up against other cavalier/samurai to even be useful.

All other 7/day kick a$$ abilities are EASY to meet

Smite- Common targets
Cavaliers- Targets conditions are easily met.
Ronin- completely up to GM- vs 7/day cavaliers?.....

Nothing wrong with being able to rock vs them, but what's the point of a 7/day signature ability that in most AP's would see very, little use.


Unless Ronin is meant to be an NPC choice. The ability is at least a better fit that way.


how about a list of things that a ronin could pick from in.that he could only then make challenges in defenses of
like
freedom
nature
community
women
kids
or maybe just agents a group of people a like
arcane casters
divine casters
thieves


I rather like the idea as Ronin being a Samurai "Order" instead of a broken Samurai.


Initial thought: maybe extend it to work against smites, judgements and... Well, are there other similar abilities around?

Liberty's Edge

You guys realize that there's nothing preventing a Ronin from making a normal challenge against non-Samurai/Cavalier enemies, right? It doesn't suddenly make Challenge useless, it just makes Challenge better in fewer situations than other orders make Challenge better. It's just better at making it better, to compensate.

And when you think about it, of course you'll get plenty of chances to use it. An eastern-flavored game is where you're most likely to play a Samurai, so of course there will always be other Samurai to fight, especially if you're a ronin.


Actually in an oriental setting the Ronin would see this quite often, as he would in a Camelot style campaign. It is like characters with special mounts in games where the GM runs dungeon after dungeon.

I like the Ronin's special it adds personality to the "Order?"

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Not a fan of the ronin's challenge. I like the rest of the abilities they get, but how many other cavaliers is a ronin going to run into during his career? Not bloody many. It's the equivalent of taking a favored enemy for a type that never shows up in game; a pretty well wasted class ability, unless the GM is particularly kind to you. And "cavalier" is a rather smaller subset than, say, "undead".

And what if the enemy cavalier considers the wizard in the party a greater threat and challenges him? Then the ronin just feels bad, is what.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Not a fan of the ronin's challenge. I like the rest of the abilities they get, but how many other cavaliers is a ronin going to run into during his career?

If all the samurai in the setting are cavaliers too? Probably more than you'd think.

Dark Archive

why not make it affect lawful characters? or marshal characters (doesn't really take that much to see ronin fighting inquisitors, fighters, paladins ect on a regular bases)


Shisumo wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Not a fan of the ronin's challenge. I like the rest of the abilities they get, but how many other cavaliers is a ronin going to run into during his career?
If all the samurai in the setting are cavaliers too? Probably more than you'd think.

In certain campaing would do perfectly fine, but I guess one should have the class flexible in his role.

Shadow Lodge

JRutterbush wrote:

You guys realize that there's nothing preventing a Ronin from making a normal challenge against non-Samurai/Cavalier enemies, right? It doesn't suddenly make Challenge useless, it just makes Challenge better in fewer situations than other orders make Challenge better. It's just better at making it better, to compensate.

And when you think about it, of course you'll get plenty of chances to use it. An eastern-flavored game is where you're most likely to play a Samurai, so of course there will always be other Samurai to fight, especially if you're a ronin.

This. This dude has it.

Guys, the Ronin Order still has the signature cavalier challenge, aka cavalier level as a bonus damage, it just has a special quality to it. In the right campaign, this is no weaker than the other cavalier orders and indeed, the Ronin Order is actually pretty powerful when compared to say, Order of the Sword which has even less use should you happen to play a campaign featuring a lot of dungeons. Are you brutal with your steed of war? Well, too bad, we are playing Second Darkness/Rise of the Runelords.

The Samurai alternative class is strong enough in regular play that Paizo can risk adding a very specific twist to one class ability.

By the way, I like the idea of a mountless cavalier archetype. Get to it.


I have to agree that I dislike the Ronin's challenge ability. It actually prevented be from choosing that order when making the Samurai I will be playing in an upcoming campaign.
The flavor of it is definitely solid. It makes sense that Ronin's should specialize in fighting the order they have denied.
It's a pretty big stretch to say it will come up frequently in gameplay, however. There is a very specific style of campaign that will allow this to be an important class ability, and any campaign outside of that will likely see it used so few times I could count it on one hand. The flavor may be strong, but what good is a great RP element if you never see it come up?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
austin thomas wrote:

how about a list of things that a ronin could pick from in.that he could only then make challenges in defenses of

like
freedom
nature
community
women
kids
or maybe just agents a group of people a like
arcane casters
divine casters
thieves

This is AN EXCELLENT idea. Although Ronin are "by nature" rebel/independent (for lack of a better word/concept) it does not immediately mean that they are dishonorable in all things. IMHO, the above idea is EXACTLY the flavor of a Ronin.


Besides samurai and cavaliers, lawful and/or noble/aristocratic fighters could be challenged?


NorthernOkie wrote:
austin thomas wrote:

how about a list of things that a ronin could pick from in.that he could only then make challenges in defenses of

like
freedom
nature
community
women
kids
or maybe just agents a group of people a like
arcane casters
divine casters
thieves
This is AN EXCELLENT idea. Although Ronin are "by nature" rebel/independent (for lack of a better word/concept) it does not immediately mean that they are dishonorable in all things. IMHO, the above idea is EXACTLY the flavor of a Ronin.

Brings "Yojimbo" and "Seven Samurai" to mind. Which is a good thing.


you know i was waiting for that i was about to edit*rice


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

The design of the Ronin's challenge ability was a bit tricky. Since the ronin was without edicts (or able to define them for himself), we wanted his special challenge bonus to be a little bit more limited. Its an odd spot to be in. We wanted it to be lesser to some extent, since it was generally not desirable to be a Ronin, but still unique.

Since Ronin often seem to get into fights with other samurai it made sense for them to have a power to use against each other.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

here's what i think on this.

Can it be changed so that anyone who challenges the ronin could be subject to the "rechallenege?" like someone in a bar calling him out or insulting his honor.
Seems like the ronin is prone to defending himself, and his honor as he's not part of a team.

So it shouldnt necessarily BE a person with the challenge ability it's self to issue a "challenge".

The beginning of kung fu panda comes to mind....
I see you like to chew! Why dont you chew on my fist!?
Fa Fa fooey!!

reword it to work in that sense.... i guess it might be hard to single out what constitutes the challenge, but as long as the Ronin can't initiate the challenge himself, it's less of a challenge and really an "answer"

I like the concept and feel. But even if a duelist says "i challenge you to a duel" or the BBEG calls him and/or his group out "meet me here at high noon, or the NPC hostage gets it" those things should still be considered a 'challenge' for the purposes of the ability.
Even if a gunfighter in the street singles out specifically the ronin.

"hey punk, yea you, go ahead, make my day..."
Bingo...challenge!

The Ronin's Answer should be defined as defending his honor or a questioning of his prowess. (yea in the right setting this would be done more by samurai than anything, but think thematically of the knight errant...less so)


Pendagast wrote:


here's what i think on this.
Can it be changed so that anyone who challenges the ronin could be subject to the "rechallenege?" like someone in a bar calling him out or insulting his honor.
Seems like the ronin is prone to defending himself, and his honor as he's not part of a team.

So it shouldnt necessarily BE a person with the challenge ability it's self to issue a "challenge".

The beginning of kung fu panda comes to mind....
I see you like to chew! Why dont you chew on my fist!?
Fa Fa fooey!!

reword it to work in that sense.... i guess it might be hard to single out what constitutes the challenge, but as long as the Ronin can't initiate the challenge himself, it's less of a challenge and really an "answer"

I like the concept and feel. But even if a duelist says "i challenge you to a duel" or the BBEG calls him and/or his group out "meet me here at high noon, or the NPC hostage gets it" those things should still be considered a 'challenge' for the purposes of the ability.
Even if a gunfighter in the street singles out specifically the ronin.

"hey punk, yea you, go ahead, make my day..."
Bingo...challenge!

The Ronin's Answer should be defined as defending his honor or a questioning of his prowess. (yea in the right setting this would be done more by samurai than anything, but think thematically of the knight errant...less so)

The biggest problem with your suggestion is that this is left up to gm discretion, I like the suggestion earlier with whenever you get hit with a challenge like ability i.e. Smite, Challenge, Judgement, rangers focus, then you tag on your suggestion. This gives the ability a little more variety but still limits it.

On a side not its no less useless (maby even more useful because the base ability still works) than playing a ranger with a favored enemy that you never fight... But at least you can pick the stuff you never wanna have to fight in the game lol.


So an NPC Samurai or Cavalier challenging the Ronin isn't solely up to the DM as well?

The Ronin cannot choose when his ability comes into play, it would also be up to the DM if someone chose to Smite, ranger enemy, or what have you, those enemies could do it to someone else in the party instead.

There is no difference, except with my suggestion, the enemy doesn't need a special ability to trigger the challenge.


Pendagast wrote:

So an NPC Samurai or Cavalier challenging the Ronin isn't solely up to the DM as well?

The Ronin cannot choose when his ability comes into play, it would also be up to the DM if someone chose to Smite, ranger enemy, or what have you, those enemies could do it to someone else in the party instead.

There is no difference, except with my suggestion, the enemy doesn't need a special ability to trigger the challenge.

I do agree with the mechanical part is up to the gm, but when you get into the role playing aspect of a person in a bar standing up and saying "I challenge you" or someone in a bar attacking your character out right. the first is easy for the player to make an argument that they get the bonus, but in the second instance the gm could say you don't get the bonus because it isn't a challenge its just a fight. I could see the open ended version you suggested not working because then a GM would just be sure to never say the words "I Challenge you" to the ronin, and if you say the words dont have to be said, then the player could argue that they are challenged when they walk into a room in a dungeon and get attacked by some goblins.

Im just Weary of anything in the rulebook that says Its up to the GM. While I understand that the whole Only works against challenges thing is up to the GM its not a discretion thing its the gm choosing not to put a certain npc in the game. (and personally in that scenario you should find a new gm because a gm that doesnt cater to a player every once in a while is just a bad gm)


Kenjishinomouri wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

So an NPC Samurai or Cavalier challenging the Ronin isn't solely up to the DM as well?

The Ronin cannot choose when his ability comes into play, it would also be up to the DM if someone chose to Smite, ranger enemy, or what have you, those enemies could do it to someone else in the party instead.

There is no difference, except with my suggestion, the enemy doesn't need a special ability to trigger the challenge.

I do agree with the mechanical part is up to the gm, but when you get into the role playing aspect of a person in a bar standing up and saying "I challenge you" or someone in a bar attacking your character out right. the first is easy for the player to make an argument that they get the bonus, but in the second instance the gm could say you don't get the bonus because it isn't a challenge its just a fight. I could see the open ended version you suggested not working because then a GM would just be sure to never say the words "I Challenge you" to the ronin, and if you say the words dont have to be said, then the player could argue that they are challenged when they walk into a room in a dungeon and get attacked by some goblins.

Im just Weary of anything in the rulebook that says Its up to the GM. While I understand that the whole Only works against challenges thing is up to the GM its not a discretion thing its the gm choosing not to put a certain npc in the game. (and personally in that scenario you should find a new gm because a gm that doesnt cater to a player every once in a while is just a bad gm)

goblins is plurual and wouldnt work, challenges are a one on one fight.

If for whatever reason the goblin chieftan took up the idea that he was going to attack the ronin with orders to the other goblins, you guys take the rest, this one is mine!
That should be enough to qualify as a challenge, none one should have to say 'challenge'.
I see you like to chew, why dont you chew on my fist...isnt saying challenge either, but then again it is.

While the ronin can't call out the goblin chieftan to use his ability, the goblin can certainly call him out.

The Gm would simply say, you feel this goblin has it out personally for you, or "this goblin is challenging you"
that Is directly catering to the PC.

I think declaring judgement would work as well, but how many enemy inquisitors is a ronin going to face? Less than he would samurai.
PCs are very unlikely to get smited.
Maybe the ranger enemy bonus would be the most likely if there were alot of human hunters (or elf or whatever out there) but that also is a rareity in rangers, and that ability would likely work against multiple members of the party and not the ronin specifically so therefore would be against the theme of the challenge.

If the GM doesnt give the ability for the Ronin to use his power, then dont play with the GM anymore, if the GM cant tell a player no, your power doesnt work in this case, dont allow the player at your table anymore.

AS it stands the GM still has all the power (you could never see another cav or samurai your whole adventuring career, or he could just challenge someone else in your party,,,still entirely up to the DM)


Pendagast wrote:

goblins is plurual and wouldnt work, challenges are a one on one fight.
If for whatever reason the goblin chieftan took up the idea that he was going to attack the ronin with orders to the other goblins, you guys take the rest, this one is mine!
That should be enough to qualify as a challenge, none one should have to say 'challenge'.

Ok so in this same scenario the goblins Chieftain says nothing the other goblins attack the other pcs and the chieftain heads strait at the ronin,They knew the attack was coming and planned it ahead of time. So this same scenario taken differently and the Ronin no longer gets his challenge bonus against the goblin.


Kenjishinomouri wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

goblins is plurual and wouldnt work, challenges are a one on one fight.
If for whatever reason the goblin chieftan took up the idea that he was going to attack the ronin with orders to the other goblins, you guys take the rest, this one is mine!
That should be enough to qualify as a challenge, none one should have to say 'challenge'.

Ok so in this same scenario the goblins Chieftain says nothing the other goblins attack the other pcs and the chieftain heads strait at the ronin,They knew the attack was coming and planned it ahead of time. So this same scenario taken differently and the Ronin no longer gets his challenge bonus against the goblin.

yep pretty much, thats just a group fight.


the more i look at this on the screen the more it bugs me,

at higher levels you get the challenge 3 or 4 times a day, what an unlucky ronin, hes going to get picked on by samurai three times a day??

if a single use is unlikely, 3 uses or more a day is NEVER going to happen.

Signature class ability is gimped, its not gonna work.

The ronin PC has to have the ability to choose when it happens in order to use it.

I think if the PC ronin feels hunted, presecuted, Dishonored, or His personal edicts are threatened he can choose to have his challange come into effect.

So it woulnt work against the dragon (unless the dragon had burnt a village he had sworn to protect and he was exacting revenge)

but the chew on my fist guy, the samurai looking to bring him to justice, or someone calling him a coward or whatever, would qualify for his use.


Pendagast wrote:

the more i look at this on the screen the more it bugs me,

at higher levels you get the challenge 3 or 4 times a day, what an unlucky ronin, hes going to get picked on by samurai three times a day??

if a single use is unlikely, 3 uses or more a day is NEVER going to happen.

Signature class ability is gimped, its not gonna work.

The ronin PC has to have the ability to choose when it happens in order to use it.

I think if the PC ronin feels hunted, presecuted, Dishonored, or His personal edicts are threatened he can choose to have his challange come into effect.

So it woulnt work against the dragon (unless the dragon had burnt a village he had sworn to protect and he was exacting revenge)

but the chew on my fist guy, the samurai looking to bring him to justice, or someone calling him a coward or whatever, would qualify for his use.

He does still have the ability to challenge people and add his lvl to damage just like any other samurai/Cavalier the difference is he only gets the super buff which is twice as good as any other order bonus is when he is challenged by ,in the original ability, a samurai/cavalier.

Also to go along with that the ronin does get two abilities every time he gets an order ability instead of the single ability that the other orders get.

Scarab Sages

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

Since Ronin often seem to get into fights with other samurai it made sense for them to have a power to use against each other.

Thoughts?

I thought I was clear. The ability is trash. It reads: don't write this down you will never use it.

It says: Don't play a ronin in PFS.

Its just very very bad. Yes you still challenge for bonus damage, but thats what every samurai does.

Also I dispute that ronin necessarily get in fights with other samurai/cavaliers. In L5R to name one setting, most samurai don't even consider ronin to be worthy of a duel and they often find themselves defending peasants from monsters that the haughty clan samurai are too busy feuding to deal with.

What every other cavalier/ronin gets is an active ability that they control how to use somewhat akin to a personal bardsong. What ronins get is countersong. Which while okay in the once in a campaign time it comes up, is not something that they get to control how to use.

It should be an active ability to be on par with other orders. This is not an NPC order. This is not an order that is defined to be worse than other samurai, though it currently is.


Matthew Trent wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

Since Ronin often seem to get into fights with other samurai it made sense for them to have a power to use against each other.

Thoughts?

I thought I was clear. The ability is trash. It reads: don't write this down you will never use it.

It says: Don't play a ronin in PFS.

Its just very very bad. Yes you still challenge for bonus damage, but thats what every samurai does.

Also I dispute that ronin necessarily get in fights with other samurai/cavaliers. In L5R to name one setting, most samurai don't even consider ronin to be worthy of a duel and they often find themselves defending peasants from monsters that the haughty clan samurai are too busy feuding to deal with.

What every other cavalier/ronin gets is an active ability that they control how to use somewhat akin to a personal bardsong. What ronins get is countersong. Which while okay in the once in a campaign time it comes up, is not something that they get to control how to use.

It should be an active ability to be on par with other orders. This is not an NPC order. This is not an order that is defined to be worse than other samurai, though it currently is.

+1


Why not change the bonus? since each challenge power is supposed to be unique make Ronin scarier, maybe?

Any opponent you challenge is considered shaken by the ronin.
At level 10 the opponent is also considered flat footed by the ronin


Ardenup wrote:

Why not change the bonus? since each challenge power is supposed to be unique make Ronin scarier, maybe?

Any opponent you challenge is considered shaken by the ronin.
At level 10 the opponent is also considered flat footed by the ronin

IMHO the bonus versus a cavalier/samurai is so situational that should be considered just a nice thing in addition (but I'd keep it because of the flavour).

I wouldn't add fear effects to the challenge neither. Is your proposal supposed to have a save?


I'm saying forget the vs samarai thing. Too situational.

The shaken thing was an example of a different boost


somebody help me out here, im missing where the ronin get two order abilities instead of one.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Matthew Trent wrote:

I thought I was clear. The ability is trash. It reads: don't write this down you will never use it.

It says: Don't play a ronin in PFS.

Its just very very bad. Yes you still challenge for bonus damage, but thats what every samurai does.

Also I dispute that ronin necessarily get in fights with other samurai/cavaliers. In L5R to name one setting, most samurai don't even consider ronin to be worthy of a duel and they often find themselves defending peasants from monsters that the haughty clan samurai are too busy feuding to deal with.

What every other cavalier/ronin gets is an active ability that they control how to use somewhat akin to a personal bardsong. What ronins get is countersong. Which while okay in the once in a campaign time it comes up, is not something that they get to control how to use.

It should be an active ability to be on par with other orders. This is not an NPC order. This is not an order that is defined to be worse than other samurai, though it currently is.

It seems that some folk just don't get the point of the ronin. It wasn't really something you wanted to be. I guess I should probably be a bit more clear on that. There is a reason you can jump to this order for free, unlike the others that take dedication. The order's powers suffer for that, but it seems that few understand that tradeoff. An interesting note.

As one last note, the tone here could use a bit of work. I get your point, but being insulting really just makes my job harder.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


In old Japan, becoming Ronin meant one of four things:

1. You voluntarily left your province without your lord's permission.

2. Your lord asked you to leave his service - usually for doing something to bring him dishonor.

3. The Empire/Shogunate reduced or removed your province from existence, not through any fault of your own, usually tax reasons.

4. Your father was a ronin.

The idea of ronin, being a less than honorable samurai only applies in #2, but sometimes it wasn't even dishonor that brought this about. At the end of the Sengoku period (1520 - 1600), a century of war ended, and a time of peace came about. Suddenly many daimyo had hundreds of samurai they nolonger need nor could afford. So they were turned out, essentially becoming unemployed. Suddenly Japan was filled with 50,000 unemployed samurai, many of whom became Kabuki-mono 'crazy ones', former samurai who dressed in wild colors, wild hairstyles, and were basically bandits preying on all towns and villages.

Being a dishonorable samurai was a fairly rare thing, in most cases the above mentioned state of unemployment or those other reasons was why you are ronin.


The gimped Challenge ability does hurt the Ronin as a viable choice for players. and just because the Player loses out on the quest experience inevitably gained when having to switch Orders isn't really a good reason for the situational ability. Now if the Ronin had a static Challenge boost and an extra slightly weaker bonus (maybe half strength?) when rebutting the Challenge of another Cavalier or Samurai then it would probably help this issue greatly while retaining the flavor the designers were going for.


I think Jason´s point about the no-entry-time/requirements is interesting.

Ronin are essentially about having no status... Whether or not that is the result of their personal ´dishonorable acts´ (or situations they didn´t choose), having ´no status´ is not something 99% of people desire, in fact is almost something of shame/embarassment. Ronin are themselves social outcasts to a large extent, so regardless of Class Abilities, you are choosing a ´weaker´ option, just like Races like Goblins are ´weaker´ choices.

So I see a character who wants to persist in remaining a Ronin as taking a very specific tack towards the ruling social system, i.e. CHOOSING conflict with other Samurai/Cavaliers as representatives of that order. And if that is the dynamic you´re playing in, the Ronin abilty works just great. If it´s not, there´s no reason you shouldn´t gravitate towards any of the other orders available - Which allow selfish or society-unencumbered behavior and have broader use to their Order abilities . I would agree that this could be more clearly pointed out, of course.

I DO think that Paladin/Anti-Paladin Smite should be treated as the equivalent of Challenge... They are essentially Cavaliers of the Cosmic Righteousness/Foulness Orders. If you have a society run by a theocracy or divine/profane regime (more so than Cheliax, I´m saying embodiment of divine forces not just opportunistic copycats), you´d expect the noble warrior class to be (Anti)Paladins to a large degree. Doing so also gives a bit more use-value to this Ronin Challenge ability. One could even extend it to Clerics using Channel Smite, but at least allowing Paladin Smite to qualify is low-hangin fruit.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:

I thought I was clear. The ability is trash. It reads: don't write this down you will never use it.

It says: Don't play a ronin in PFS.

Its just very very bad. Yes you still challenge for bonus damage, but thats what every samurai does.

Also I dispute that ronin necessarily get in fights with other samurai/cavaliers. In L5R to name one setting, most samurai don't even consider ronin to be worthy of a duel and they often find themselves defending peasants from monsters that the haughty clan samurai are too busy feuding to deal with.

What every other cavalier/ronin gets is an active ability that they control how to use somewhat akin to a personal bardsong. What ronins get is countersong. Which while okay in the once in a campaign time it comes up, is not something that they get to control how to use.

It should be an active ability to be on par with other orders. This is not an NPC order. This is not an order that is defined to be worse than other samurai, though it currently is.

It seems that some folk just don't get the point of the ronin. It was really something you wanted to be. I guess I should probably be a bit more clear on that. There is a reason you can jump to this order for free, unlike the others that take dedication. The order's powers suffer for that, but it seems that few understand that tradeoff. An interesting note.

As one last note, the tone here could use a bit of work. I get your point, but being insulting really just makes my job harder.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

some ronin (according to play test write up) choose to be masterless, i think this is what i would play, just because it gives me the best freedom for adventuring while keeping samurai flavor.

the only thing i dont like is an answer to a challenge from samurai/cavaliers.

I think Jason, you might be stuck to one of your own taboos, ie making the pathfinder ronin too tied to historical ronin.

If the Ronin is (essentially) an orderless samurai in pathfinder, a sell sword, a free agent, I just wonder why pathfinder samurai would be after him, in order for this ability to EVER take effect?

So he does have to have SOMEthing for a challenge. And it should be weaker to trade of being basically edictless.

I like the idea of him being really tough to beat if samurai came after him, but there should be something about him that would make the pathfinder samurai DO that.
That is to say there would have to be a "wanted poster" out for all ronin, as a class feature, some kind of renown-ness or infamy. (which is coll, I'll take a written mechanic for being 'wanted'. I think it should come with some bonus to intimidate/bluff tho.

Right now i dont see that happening unless it is game/back history specific.


fallenknight663 wrote:
and just because the Player loses out on the quest experience inevitably gained when having to switch Orders isn't really a good reason for the situational ability

So for ´reasonable´ characters, who don´t prioritize conflict with the social order over their apparent personal power, Ronin isn´t something you remain as.

Still, that doesn´t mean it has value. It means it´s a TRANSITIONAL Order, when they are forced to turn against their previous Order, before they can join another one. It is the ´faceless´ Order, hated for no particular reason, while other Orders may be hated but for their specific acts and interests.

If you just want to act in accordance with self-interested opportunism, loyalty to friends vs. society, mercenary-ism, etc, other Orders are clearly compatable with that, so those aren´t reasons to be a Ronin... The reason is because you are in conflict with the social order represented by the dominant Cavalier/Samurai Orders of the region, but have NO other specific ´status´/affiliation (which the other Orders have). Now if rather than allying with an alternate order, you remain in the ´status-less´ state inherently/latently in conflict with all other Orders (by not being one of them), you´d expect to run into conflict with other Samurai/Cavaliers (incl. other Ronin), for which the Order ability works fine.

Again, pointing out that it is GENERALLY a transitional Order would be a good idea, IMHO.
A Samurai/Cavalier who just quit their Order probably does have some RP conflicts with their previous associates/etc, which can fit well with the Ronin for a bit. If you don´t plan on grinding on with that dynamic for your entire career, you find another Order.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:


It seems that some folk just don't get the point of the ronin. It wasn't really something you wanted to be. I guess I should probably be a bit more clear on that. There is a reason you can jump to this order for free, unlike the others that take dedication. The order's powers suffer for that, but it seems that few understand that tradeoff. An interesting note.

As one last note, the tone here could use a bit of work. I get your point, but being insulting really just makes my job harder.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

You might be missing out on the option that a player may want to begin play as a Ronin, in which case the lack of having to make a transition is none existent.

Quandary wrote:


If you just want to act in accordance with self-interested opportunism, loyalty to friends vs. society, mercenary-ism, etc, other Orders are clearly compatable with that, so those aren´t reasons to be a Ronin... The reason is because you are in conflict with the social order represented by the dominant Cavalier/Samurai Orders of the region, but have NO other specific ´status´/affiliation (which the other Orders have). Now if rather than allying with an alternate order, you remain in the ´status-less´ state inherently/latently in conflict with all other Orders (by not being one of them), you´d expect to run into conflict with other Samurai/Cavaliers (incl. other Ronin), for which the Order ability works fine.

Again, pointing out that it is GENERALLY a transitional Order would be a good idea, IMHO.
A Samurai/Cavalier who just quit their Order probably does have some RP conflicts with their previous associates/etc, which can fit well with the Ronin for a bit. If you don´t plan on grinding on with that dynamic for your entire career, you find another Order.

Now Quandary here has probably made the single best statement in defense of the Ronin as it exists now. As a transitional Order it would help an errant Cavalier or Samurai survive against his former comrades-in-arms, but the romanticized idea of a lone Ronin working free from an established order working towards goals in keeping with their own ideals and convictions is probably just a part of our hobby as the disgraced knight and failed samurai. So if a player is going for such an unbound character in their game, should they really be punished for their choice?


should we punish the concept of the self taught samurai?

not every samurai could count on having someone to teach them, there are some who taught themselves through personal experience. like Miyomoto Masashi for Example. he taught himself by dueling other samurai.

i beleive that a ronin should at least be mechanically equal to all other samurai.

and less situational

and we should have stats for the Nodachi. i like my Nodachi wielding Ronin and used to have to build them with the fighter because that worthless complete warrior class focused too much on Daisho TWF.

i beleive a Nodachi should use the stats of a greatsword for the purpose of the playtest. and that the katana should have been a longsword.

i also really don't like the whole idea of feat taxing a martial class because they want an oriental version of an existing martial weapon.

Scarab Sages

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

It seems that some folk just don't get the point of the ronin. It wasn't really something you wanted to be. I guess I should probably be a bit more clear on that. There is a reason you can jump to this order for free, unlike the others that take dedication. The order's powers suffer for that, but it seems that few understand that trade off. An interesting note.

As one last note, the tone here could use a bit of work. I get your point, but being insulting really just makes my job harder.

I think you're building a lot of setting into your rules that seems unnecessary, and the setting you're building on doesn't even seem to be Galrion.

If that no time to get ronin benefits is holding the order back then I suggest that it needs to go.

A note on tone: a spade is a spade and a squeaky wheel gets grease.


Sorry, but i don't think that just because you took an alignment restriction or other "Roleplaying Penalty", that you should be entitled you to a mechanical bonus, nor should removing that penalty force you to weaken that class. Gary Gygax made that mistake a lot in first edition. i just won't explain why.

i beleive that just because a Ronin gets to choose thier edicts and gets the ability package without waiting for it, that it doesn't mean they should be penalized for it. it's the above philosophy applied in reverse. a predertimined honor code should not make you suddenly better than the guy who gets to make his own optional code.

look at how many DM's i knew that handwaived the Year and a Day rule for familiars.


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what's the ability package they don't have to wait for?

Again, musashi was a real world samurai in a setting full of samurai, dueling other samurai would make the ronin ability really really good.

There also were no goblins, ogres, dragons and what not.

Against other samurai and higher level ronin is going to be scary.

We are not looking for real world ronin or samurai but playable ones.

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