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Do Exaltations change caste between incarnations

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  • #31
    To address the Number Of Castes thing... Honestly? The number of Exaltations and the number of available Castes struck me as being "As many as needed for the story". I mean, Vance's thing about "I dislike the idea of there not being enough of a certain caste" is, with all due respect to the man because I have nothing but the highest respect for him, is like worrying about getting struck by lightning on the day you win the lottery.


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    • #32
      Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
      Was that something that came up regularly enough for it to be addressed?
      ​Is it enough to just say 'yes'? Just to add the perspective that it didn't come out of nowhere and leave it at that?

      ​I just... it's a subject that's tangential enough to this thread as it is, and would be extremely draining to discuss in general, but just to respond to it being brought up.


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      • #33
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

        ​Is it enough to just say 'yes'? Just to add the perspective that it didn't come out of nowhere and leave it at that?

        ​I just... it's a subject that's tangential enough to this thread as it is, and would be extremely draining to discuss in general, but just to respond to it being brought up.
        I went back and edited that yes, I've heard enough anecdotal evidence from others that it is in fact something that's come up and I've been lucky to avoid.


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        • #34
          The whole thing of people missing out on Exaltation doesn't strike as much to me, because it's like, "Oh, there's 300 finite opportunities with very high requirements divided among all the teeming millions of humanity. Well, I'm now SO much more comforted than if there were 5 sets of 60 each with their own particular high requirements!".

          I do prefer fixed Castes because of the whole aspect of being one of a finite number of, say, Dawns, and that meaning something, and the connection and shared nature between all Exalted of that spiritual lineage.

          Unfixed Castes has some fun too - an Age of War can have plentiful Dawns and an Age of High Sorcery can have plentiful Twilights and the like. Conversely, it's also fun to imagine that the Castes are fixed and have to find their way in each age of the world they're in, even one not that conducive to who they are.

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          • #35
            Personally I'm of the "5 sets of 60" persuasion, but I don't see this as a thing that really needs to be covered in the lore. Giving STs the freedom to decide for themselves is better than the opportunity cost of setting it in stone one way or another, imo.


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            • #36
              Well one thing that might also bare consideration is, let's say we go with unfixed castes, what is the system by which an exaltation changes caste? Because there's a difference between the exaltation matching itself to the host, the exaltations shifting through cycles (it changes just because it's a new host.), or Sol just defining the caste attached to the exaltation when he selects it's bearer.

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              • #37
                I'd also say, I think there's a cool story if you go with fixed Castes, and discretion from the Unconquered Sun to *choose*.

                "The Sun saw that this warrior could not be denied, and though there was none left of the light of the Dawn, he could reward her with the power of Night...".

                Maybe a hero can't get a Caste that exactly fits her, but the Sun decides she is still clearly worth Exalting, and there's a role she can grow and change into.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                  Well one thing that might also bare consideration is, let's say we go with unfixed castes, what is the system by which an exaltation changes caste? Because there's a difference between the exaltation matching itself to the host, the exaltations shifting through cycles (it changes just because it's a new host.), or Sol just defining the caste attached to the exaltation when he selects it's bearer.
                  imho He'd create 5 perfect sets of castes right off the bat, each Exaltation unique in its own right.

                  Although I admit that them having cycles is interesting; like, every Zenith was a à priori a Dawn, every Dawn was a Night and so on, mimicking the cycles of the Sun itself (though it also comes off as symbolism for symbolism's sake unless it's more deeply tied to the mechanics of Exaltation. i.e. why do Exaltations cycle? to they need to? do they want to? what happens if they don't? etc.)

                  I feel like the "change to fit the host" wouldn't be Sol's M.O. It's very Lunar. In part because the narrative is (or was, I suppose it can still change) that the Exaltations are separate enough from Him that He can't (or won't, because his original creation was perfect) change them anymore.
                  Last edited by Fata-Ku; 01-08-2017, 07:37 PM.


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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                    "The Sun saw that this warrior could not be denied, and though there was none left of the light of the Dawn, he could reward her with the power of Night...".

                    Maybe a hero can't get a Caste that exactly fits her, but the Sun decides she is still clearly worth Exalting, and there's a role she can grow and change into.
                    ​Alternatively, if you're somebody who could be worthwhile to be Exalted, you go on the waiting list.

                    ​"The Sun saw that this warrior could not be denied, but there was none left of the Dawn. But those people are always getting into fights, odds are that a position is going to be available within the next twenty odd years, so this warrior is on the short list."


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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                      Was that something that came up regularly enough for it to be addressed?
                      Yes. To both scenarios.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ParanoiaCombo View Post
                        How can you ever be certain if you have no codified way of knowing? It removes the problem by making it unknowable. It's very simple. This is why in the realm of the imagination, quantification can be poison- because it tends to make us think of the worst case scenarios from basic extrapolation, even if those ideas aren't interesting or helpful to the game, or actually coherent. But they are *simple*.

                        Edit: Clarification
                        Or you can just say that the real limitation on the number of Solars is the number of people capable of bearing them. Establish that you never (or almost never) have ever single Solar Exaltation in circulation.

                        Although even thinking about it feels like it's getting a bit too... technical? Too fiddly? In general I would present it as a transcendent miracle rather than as autonomous powerup drones, and even discussing it like this at all risks going towards "autonomous powerup drone" territory. But if you say that there are vast numbers of Solar Exaltations and that each awaits a perfect incarnation, I feel that that works.

                        Regarding caste, though... I would tend to have them stay the same to reinforce the idea that you're a reincarnation of a previous hero.

                        (Also it's worth pointing out that Sidereals work differently. They definitely have exactly 100 Exaltations, with 20 fixed to each caste - Sidereals are fated from the moment they're born, so there's no particular reason to do it any other way.)

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Gallus View Post

                          That does not redress the notional issue of "running out" of a particular caste. It's still a thing that could happen. Of course this is not a thing that would likely ever come up in actual play, but that's why it was a notional concern.
                          Yeah. It's a complete non-issue in actual play, and so doesn't ever need to be redressed in the text. But deep down, in the part of my brain that's just constantly thinking Exalted, it haunts, like a nightmare.
                          Last edited by Robert Vance; 01-08-2017, 08:25 PM.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
                            ...deep down, in the part of my brain that's just constantly thinking Exalted...
                            Glad I'm not the only person with this problem (blessing?).


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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                              ​Alternatively, if you're somebody who could be worthwhile to be Exalted, you go on the waiting list.

                              ​"The Sun saw that this warrior could not be denied, but there was none left of the Dawn. But those people are always getting into fights, odds are that a position is going to be available within the next twenty odd years, so this warrior is on the short list."
                              Depends on your taste for the god to watching you and moving with you and having you in his mind, versus that it all happens in the one truly appropriate moment of glory or awakening because that the only time when it can happen. Fortunately (in canon) The Sun works in mysterious ways.

                              (Though this did get me thinking yesterday more widely around whether Solar Exaltation should always be an enlightenment that makes you more of yourself, or whether it can be an enlightenment which you need on a different path than you have always been.

                              Can a turbulent warrior who has never known spiritual peace or control or inspiring leadership, face a moment of spiritual need for which his heroism is rewarded by enlightenment as a Zenith, in a Road to Damascus Exaltation, and be spiritually reborn as a teacher with a calm stern spirit? Can a calm scholar with no skill in battle face terrible odds that can only be countered with skill at arms and be rewarded with perfection in every weapon? Can god be offering you an enlightenment which you need, rather than one you are the most receptive to and most deeply seated within you? As applied to he Solar Exalted.)

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post

                                Depends on your taste for the god to watching you and moving with you and having you in his mind, versus that it all happens in the one truly appropriate moment of glory or awakening because that the only time when it can happen. Fortunately (in canon) The Sun works in mysterious ways.
                                ​I imagine it as being either. Indeed, I think the role of marking people down on a list of candidates for Exaltation is largely a role of Lytek anyway, and even he's not sure how much consideration the Sun gives to it.

                                ​I also imagine that the number of people on such lists is... small compared to the total number of people in Creation, but large enough that he's unlikely to remember many of them, and tends to find the idea of checking through the lists to find whether any given newly Exalted person was among his recommendations to be quite tedious.

                                ​In essence, sometimes a person does something indicating capability or character that would make one an ideal candidate for Exaltation were it available, and leaves one to rest either on a formal waiting list or in the mind of the Unconquered Sun, and that person could still get passed over for somebody who was noticed in the heat of the moment.

                                ​Because Exaltation is not fair.

                                Originally posted by Ghosthead
                                Can a turbulent warrior who has never known spiritual peace or control or inspiring leadership, face a moment of spiritual need for which his heroism is rewarded by enlightenment as a Zenith, in a Road to Damascus Exaltation, and be spiritually reborn as a teacher with a calm stern spirit?
                                That reminds me a bit of Panther.

                                Including how people used to argue that he should be a Dawn.

                                ​I'd need to check the Caste Book again to see how it depicted his attitude afterwards.

                                Originally posted by Ghosthead
                                Can a calm scholar with no skill in battle face terrible odds that can only be countered with skill at arms and be rewarded with perfection in every weapon?
                                Well... I suppose it depends on how one sees becoming Exalted as affecting one's Abilities.

                                ​Unless it's being approached from a certain... Buddhist, I think, perspective of "you already have perfected capabilities, you just need to remember the fact", which I would find to be a perfectly cromulent way for a Solar Exalt to develop one's powers.

                                ​In any case, I'm generally for a diversity in origins and capabilities for the Exalted, especially Solars, so I think these are good places to start.


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