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I'm an Exalted now, grandma can go burn her own incenses

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  • I'm an Exalted now, grandma can go burn her own incenses

    If the Sifu touches any parts of this statue, I will Shun you ! SHUN !!!
    But this is the new way to show the Sun that we love him :'( Do you want me to kill everyone in this temple and rip out their hearts ~ <3


    Sooo I'm reading the Caste (plus Aspect) books, and there's this very strange thing where there are only a few characters who are religious, or more specially, doing religious activities, which is kinda strange in a Bronze Age world. Like, I'm not seeing anyone attending their deceased relative's "death anniversary", or preparing banquet table before new year, or burning incenses everyday for the altar of the housegod, the earth god, the kitchen god, Guanyin, one's grand parent,....etc

    The only thing that resembles devotion in the Caste book is various Solar talking about spreading the Sun's glory and freaking Lyta trying to nuke people with giant mirrors, which is just a little too boring for someone like me who is crazy about culture-related things. Does people generally play their character like this, since all of my characters would be crazy cultists if this is the average level of religious among the people of Creation ?


    The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

  • #2
    I would personally be all for various kinds of rituals and devotional activities.

    ​With the Caste books, I can at least advance the idea that many Exalted are not necessarily devotional personally, if part of the situation is that they are themselves elevated to the stature of divinities.

    ​When it comes to religions, I would go with an idea that many of the Solars are coming back into the world with a greater interest on practice and narratives, rather than dedication to spirits.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jen View Post
      Sooo I'm reading the Caste (plus Aspect) books, and there's this very strange thing where there are only a few characters who are religious, or more specially, doing religious activities, which is kinda strange in a Bronze Age world. Like, I'm not seeing anyone attending their deceased relative's "death anniversary", or preparing banquet table before new year, or burning incenses everyday for the altar of the housegod, the earth god, the kitchen god, Guanyin, one's grand parent,....etc

      The only thing that resembles devotion in the Caste book is various Solar talking about spreading the Sun's glory and freaking Lyta trying to nuke people with giant mirrors, which is just a little too boring for someone like me who is crazy about culture-related things. Does people generally play their character like this, since all of my characters would be crazy cultists if this is the average level of religious among the people of Creation ?
      While any comparison of Exalted to the historical bronze age makes me cringe, I completely agrees with you that it should be a lot more rituals in the setting; both small everyday personal ones and larger organized ones.

      Culture gaming is unfortunately a small niche, and from my experience most players of any RPG isn't interested in having any focus on such details. Most is however still far from all, so you are far from alone.

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      • #4
        My Twilight was a "cafeteria Immaculate". Follow the virtuous examples of the Immaculate Dragons. Ignore all the pesky scripture about her being a demon.


        I write things.

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        • #5
          This is why I'm sad that 3e ditched 2e's version of Thaumaturgy completely. Thaumaturgy had a ton of potential to have "everyday rituals" that players would remember and actively reference regularly because they gave little bonuses to stuff if done properly.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Roadie View Post
            This is why I'm sad that 3e ditched 2e's version of Thaumaturgy completely. Thaumaturgy had a ton of potential to have "everyday rituals" that players would remember and actively reference regularly because they gave little bonuses to stuff if done properly.
            The problem is that every time an "everyday ritual" gets added it changes everyday life.
            The most glaring example of this in 2nd edition was the Scarlet Passage Idol which makes a mockery of western traditions, Coral's sexism, gender roles in Wavecrest, women becoming Tya, the Silver Prince sending his Deathknights to subdue Storm Mothers ...nah apparently you can just make an idol to protect your ship, it's not even that hard.


            Onyx Path Forum Moderator
            Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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            • #7
              Oh fuck Glories Maidens again and I'm on a roll.

              First Greeting is probably the goofiest thing I've ever seen in Exalted.
              I think most people understandably assume that if there's a great warrior called Screaming Phoenix Killer there's no way his mom called him that, even if they're unfamiliar with Wuxia art names they can probably guess it's a pseudonym. First Greeting really missed that fucking memo and creates a situation in which newborn infants are named by destiny with the thaumaturge experiencing a flash of inspiration while examining the baby.

              As hilarious as the idea of baby Screaming Phoenix Killer is it feels like a betrayal of the source material and leans towards that dumb "Too Perfect" sidebar in MoEP: Sidereals where Yurgen Kaneko is the Bull of the North because... destiny! Not because whoever gave him that title was aware of Ahlat's existence as the southern god of war and cattle, no it's actually a freaky coincidence... because faaaate.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator
              Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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              • #8
                I didn't even figure Ahlat into it; Kaneko's anima is a bull, and he lives in the North.

                It's like the Oz books, y'know? The number of witches was low enough that you could identify them just by cardinal direction and moral alignment.
                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 11-24-2016, 10:43 PM.

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                • #9
                  My first and second characters were not religious, but that was mainly because I didn't know any Exalted fluff and played with a group that didn't care about it.

                  My third character was religious, but he practiced an animistic religion that rarely became relevant during gameplay. Mostly, it served as a filter for him to misunderstand the belief systems of others.

                  My fourth character is spiritual, but not religious. She believes in carrying out the Immaculate way through actions, not prayers, and does not have the patience for ritual.

                  A fifth character I am thinking about is part of a family cult. Together, they have formed a belief system based around guarding a set of artifacts left behind by a long-dead Exalt.


                  On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

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                  • #10
                    Jen, if you don't pay homage with burnt offerings to your grandmother's spirit, she'll probably get…

                    incensed.

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                    • #11
                      I admit to a bit of lingering fondness for First Greeting, but readily take the point about it being a case of overthinking several things.

                      ​Also something that seems to struggle to make its little idea have actual meaning in the mechanics. What did it do again; protect the baby from the first botch it ever experienced?

                      ​It's not as if literal magic is necessary for one to have the meat of a weighty naming scene.

                      ​I'm finding that my considerations for religion in Exalted, particularly when placed in the hands of the players in this strange impending age, is influenced a lot by the way that Dark Souls alludes to its fantasy religions; where the actual gods are notably absent and almost incidental, and although there's the whole "religion as a form of magic" thing coming from it, the premise of how this works ties into the central concept of the thing; that the main purpose is to create a mythic narrative and theology that functions to give guidance to people in service of social and political ends. I find this to be especially fascinating in the case of the Cathedral of the Deep, the third game's resident evil religion (besides the Sable Church of Londor, which has its own interesting details); that idea that they were built around a group of guardians of strange things in the ocean, and so to give people the fortitude to adhere to this duty they were given a narrative of finding a reserve of hidden inner strength within the furthest depths of themselves (which then ultimately turns out badly, because the furthest depths of humans in the Dark Souls cosmology consists of Darkness).

                      ​I've also been reading a lot about fascism lately (in terms of actual academic discourse to define and elaborate it), which is another instance of the cultivation of a social and historical narrative towards specific social ends, conveyed through compelling symbolism, stirring rhetoric, and elaborate ritual (as well as ostracism, at best, for those who do not conform or are inherently labelled as Other for the sake of constructing this narrative in the first place).

                      ​I'll be the first to say that not all Solars are leaders, but I would still say that their intersection with religion will often include elements of building them, and so I'm interested in seeing this in terms more elaborate than demanding personal worship.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                      • #12
                        Hmmm, does Exalted make a distinction between folk belief and organized religion ? Since I'm thinking more about the former than the latter when I created the thread, less god-fearing worship and more traditional customs.

                        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                        Jen, if you don't pay homage with burnt offerings to your grandmother's spirit, she'll probably get…

                        incensed.

                        No worry, I'll make up for her with a grand banquet when Tết comes (though I'm not sure how much power does ancestor spirits has since they are residing in a place called Earth Prison! )
                        Last edited by Jen; 11-25-2016, 03:59 AM.


                        The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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                        • #13
                          To be fair, there's a number of crime lords who got sent to prison, only to keep running their criminal empire from prison. And sometimes that can be what an ancestor cult ends up looking like.

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                          • #14
                            Diyu is run by ten big burly angry kings, I probably bet my money on them instead of ghosts (who need the good karma regenerated by the burn incenses so they can Womb-Entering i.e reincarnate much sooner, that doesn't really suggest a position of power).

                            Buuuut it's true that Creation doesn't has any Yanwang-like figures, which is a shame since I need my big burly angry men :'(



                            The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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                            • #15
                              I think the border between "folk religion" and "organised religion" is a bit more fluid in Creation, because if for nothing else, a local deity has probably made its preferences known at some time.

                              However, I also see most places of creation having a lot of small ritualistic behaviors they don't even consider to be a religious practice, but just a sign of respect. Making a quick bow toward a small shrine when entering or leaving the room it happens to be in might be considered religious by an outsider, but the local only consider actually praying at the shrine to be religious.

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