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Opinions on (the idea of) Half-Castes?

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  • Opinions on (the idea of) Half-Castes?

    On the one hand, the idea of half-Castes is super cool, because it sort of emphasizes the metaphysical state of the Exalted as mortal gods, and having their own slice of the God-Blooded pie adds a layer of mysticism to them.

    On the other hand, the whole "only Dragon-Blooded pass on their Exaltations" thing loses some of its luster when the half-Castes can get their parents' Charms without their Exaltations, just a lot less efficiently.

    Also, this may not hold up in 3e, but in 2e half-Castes had trouble fitting into heroic mortal groups since Celestial Exalted Charms are typically a fair bit better than god Charms, Raksha Charms, arcanoi, and Terrestrial Martial Arts Charms...

    Where do your opinions lie regarding half-Caste heroic mortals?

  • #2
    Half-Castes work just fine when they're mechanically just god-bloods with exalt-themed spirit charms.

    Puts them well below Dragon-Bloods (none of this "non-Exalts with Solar Charms" tomfoolery), but still gives them room to shine.

    God-bloods in 2e are still well above heroic mortals, though, and you probably shouldn't toss them into heroic mortal groups without everyone being okay with that.

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    • #3
      The default assumption for Ex3 regarding God-Blooded and others* is that while a god's or Exalt's child is going to be exceptional in some way, it won't be by having its parent splat's Charms copy-pasted into its stat-block.






      ____________
      *Please be careful slinging around "the HC-word," since it has its roots in a racist slur.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
        The default assumption for Ex3 regarding God-Blooded and others* is that while a god's or Exalt's child is going to be exceptional in some way, it won't be by having its parent splat's Charms copy-pasted into its stat-block.
        On the one hand, this makes perfect sense.

        On the other hand, god damn did I have some fun times using Sidereal Half-Castes in the past. You could end up with some weird shit.


        "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
          *Please be careful slinging around "the HC-word," since it has its roots in a racist slur.
          Oh, dear. My sincerest apologies, I had no idea; I was simply using the term the text did.

          ... Though... I'm also having immense difficulty wrapping my head around it, to be honest. I just thought it came from the Exalts themselves being organized into subgroups called Castes...? I'd ask if Half-Exalt is a better term, but that's so far beyond confusing that I wouldn't consider it. Likewise with Exalt-Blooded, though applying that on a specific case isn't as bad... Like Solar-Blooded, or Infernal-Blooded.

          Or, if using that one variant rule, Dragon-Blooded-Blooded.

          Well, anyway, enough tangenting my own thread I guess.

          I actually quite like the idea of "Exalt-themed spirit charms." Seems much more reasonable than just throwing their parents' charms at them.

          To answer the bit about God-Blooded in general being stronger than heroic mortals in 2e... All depends, as far as I understand it. My only experience with the God-Blooded in a direct playing experience was in a mostly God-Blooded game with my character as the sole heroic mortal. But she still kept up thanks to Awakened Essence and Terrestrial Martial Arts. So my perspective is likely quite skewed in that area.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Remedy View Post
            Oh, dear. My sincerest apologies, I had no idea; I was simply using the term the text did.
            No worries - it is a bit of an obscure term, and it's entirely possible that even the Exalted writers back then didn't realize its etymology.

            That said, I like "-Born" or "-Blessed." Sun-Blessed, Moon-Blessed, Star-Born, et cetera. Rolls off the tongue pretty nicely. As for the non-Dragon-Blooded children of Realm Dragon-Blooded, you could just call them Dynasts.

            Don't necessarily think of it as inheriting part of the parent's Exaltation or whatever; rather, consider that it's the nature of Essence to pervade Creation, and in doing so, bring about changes.

            You don't have a half-Solar, you have a child who was steeped in sunlight-Essence from the time he was conceived in his mother's womb. Of course that can bring about changes - so can living in an Earth-aspected demesne, or surviving an explosion in an alchemist's laboratory, or engaging in the ritual consumption of a Lunar's flesh - willingly given - every month, spending a year in the Wyld, or having Mara batten you on souls she's stolen.
            Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 11-23-2016, 04:20 AM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Guancyto View Post
              Half-Castes work just fine when they're mechanically just god-bloods with exalt-themed spirit charms.

              Puts them well below Dragon-Bloods (none of this "non-Exalts with Solar Charms" tomfoolery), but still gives them room to shine.
              This. I've enjoyed using Half-Castes in my games since their inception. My only problem was that not all Half-Castes, and the godblooded group they belonged to, were equal in power.

              I love the idea that Autocthon and the Celestial Incarna did not want the power of the Celestial Exalted to pass through blood like the Terrestrial Exalted (not to mention that it was too powerful to do so). I also love the idea that the Celestial Exalted are so awesome, and their destinies so grand, that a small amount of that epic glory is passed along to their offspring. We've had a lot of fun with our Half-Caste games and NPCs.

              Another issue I had was just how easy it was to have Half-Caste offspring. Celestial Exalted could begin having Half-Caste children when they reached Essence 4. In previous editions, with the right circumstances, you could lower the required essence rating down to Essence 2. If I ever get around to running a 3E game, I may houserule Half-Castes can only be produced when the Celestial Exalt is a minimum of Essence 6. That way Half-Castes in the setting will actually be rare. I'm excited to see how they turn out in 3E.


              Good night sweet Green Sun Prince: And flights of demons beat thee to thy rest...with billyclubs!

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              • #8
                As I've said in other threads, the "ease" of producing magical children (clearly some people have weird ideas about raising kids!) becomes a lot less problematic when you don't assume they get a free pile of magic powers.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                  That said, I like "-Born" or "-Blessed." Sun-Blessed, Moon-Blessed, Star-Born, et cetera. Rolls off the tongue pretty nicely.
                  And we do at least have a one-line reference to Moon-blessed in EX3 core, as part of the leadership for established Lunar dominions.

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                  • #10
                    It's my understanding that even the God-Blooded with special powers who are born from spirits in this Edition are intended to have a distinct Charm set.

                    ​I feel as though a large portion of the image of those Charms would be the model the charmed and uncanny nature of somebody begat by gods, rather than just aping the same magic of their parents.

                    So a child of Ahlat would be distinctly weird, possibly with some distinct association with some of the things related to his iconography, but wouldn't get, say, Horned-God's Prowess if they should ever achieve Essence 3.

                    ​I think the same may go for the God-Blooded begat by Exalted; you don't inherit their actual prowess, but there's something a bit rarefied about you.


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                    • #11
                      In my head Canon, God Blooded children randomly get powers. A child of a God and a Sidereal may be God Blooded, star blessed, or just plain mortal. While power level of the parents does play a small part, there really is no way to predict the child's outcome. Much like real life.


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                      • #12
                        I'm for he possibility for willful creation of half-castes if I'm the ST, but tempering it with a cost.

                        The way I have been planing to handle it is that unless a Celestial Exalt spends a permanent Willpower, then that Exalt counts as mortal in regard of conception. The divine parts do not mix, so there will be no half-solar/half-lunar running around.

                        If two different celestial Exalts, or an Exalt with a god, conceive a child it is sort of a hierarchy of which divinity that is taking precedence. However, if the one becoming pregnant (as this is Exalted, it don't think it has to be someone with an uterus) is an Exalt or a god, it is possible to block the other individuals divine influence over the fetus by spend temporary willpower equal to the difference in permanent Essence (at a minimum of one).

                        The permanent Willpower will only be paid if there is a conception. However, it still has to be paid if the impregnated party spends those temporary willpower points to block it; and also if the other have "divine influence" over the conception and the other has a "higher priority". So spending that permanent Willpower can be a waste.

                        As I haven't really decided on how I want to handle two gods making an offspring, I also haven't decided if a Celestial Exalt can spend permanent willpower to assist a god with creating a "full god offspring." I'm leaning towards no at the moment.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lundgren View Post
                          The divine parts do not mix, so there will be no half-solar/half-lunar running around.
                          First off, thinking of the offspring in terms of "half-Solar," or "half-Lunar" leads to weird and unhelpful places, as I mentioned above.

                          Second, something unique coming about as a result of mixing magics, such as a Lunar fathering a child on her Solar mate, inheriting traits from both but expressing them entirely differently? Not only is that cool as shit, the devs have already given it their stamp of approval.


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                          • #14
                            As Alucard said, I think the most important thing about half-Castes is that they be called something other than half-Castes.

                            Anyhow.
                            God-bloods, demon-bloods, etc, should be pretty random in their powers. Sometimes just powerful humans, sometimes regular humans with some spirit-esque powers, sometimes regular humans with some spirit-esque powers that are really just descriptive (like, say, a storm-demon's daughter whose eyes change with the weather; it's just cosmetic really), sometimes powerful humans with spirit-esque powers.

                            Sun-blessed? I'd just have them as heroic mortals with really big stats. If Solars are humans turned to 11, then their children should be humans turned to 8 or 9. Ie just really strong/fast/skilled/whatever humans. I don't see a particular need to represent this with magic.

                            For Moon-blessed... well, I generally just go for were-beasts (ie it's a human who can turn into an animal), or beastmen, or something like that.

                            For other exalt types I'd go with similar things (like people who drink blood and live for ages for Abyssal children).

                            I don't see a great need for them to be in any way consistent (I mean, inheritance is not consistent after all), though rules for playing them as PCs might need to be.




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                            • #15
                              Something worth noting: I believe there isn't a plan for Solar or Sidereal HCs to return, but that Lunars have a unique situation where they can create offspring called "Moon-Touched" who can have Unique abilities and peculiar bestial traits.


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