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  • Exalted Chemistry

    In a game of Exalted, what Ability should be used for chemistry? For example, I would think that making an explosive substance would probably be an Intelligence + Lore roll to determine a recipe, and then some kind of Crafts roll to actually make the thing. Or should it simply be a second Lore roll? Opinions?


    Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
    In a game of Exalted, what Ability should be used for chemistry? For example, I would think that making an explosive substance would probably be an Intelligence + Lore roll to determine a recipe, and then some kind of Crafts roll to actually make the thing. Or should it simply be a second Lore roll? Opinions?
    Making anything is Craft. Identifying a substance is Lore.


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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice. Sorry if it was a bit of a stupid question. I'm up to my ears in my first time STing Exalted and my players are far more clever than I remember being when I played it.


      Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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      • #4
        Before they get too clever, remember that high explosives as we know them may or may not be manufacturable, as you choose. It's not an accident that Creations guns shoot naturally-occuring magic fire sand that is collected rather than made.

        And yeah, Craft is the "making" Ability but at a minimum for something like this I would throw in a Lore roll to know or figure out the recipe first.
        Last edited by Blackwell; 01-18-2017, 09:24 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
          Before they get too clever, remember that high explosives as we know them may or may not be manufacturable, as you choose. It's not an accident that Creations guns shoot naturally-occuring magic fire sand that is collected rather than made.

          And yeah, Craft is the "making" Ability but at a minimum for something like this I would throw in a Lore roll to know or figure out the recipe first.

          According to the core, there is a way to make synthetic firedust with alchemical ingredients.

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          • #6
            Hmm. I'm not asking because one of the players has or is trying to make gunpowder, but rather because one of the characters is a 'man of science', in the words of his Concept, and I'm preparing for shenanigans that may arise.


            Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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            • #7
              Remember that science, in an Exalted world, is a different from what science in our world is. Exalted literally has an infinite plane made of stories that borders its lands, things work in symbolic and emotional ways, and wishing something hard enough can make it a reality. Science, as we as players may understand it, may exist in the sense of hypothesis testing, but the turn-of-the-century scientist / adventurer concept would need some reworking to make it fit in Exalted.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PraxisCat View Post
                Remember that science, in an Exalted world, is a different from what science in our world is. Exalted literally has an infinite plane made of stories that borders its lands, things work in symbolic and emotional ways, and wishing something hard enough can make it a reality. Science, as we as players may understand it, may exist in the sense of hypothesis testing, but the turn-of-the-century scientist / adventurer concept would need some reworking to make it fit in Exalted.
                From what I understand of the character, his 'science' is more along the lines of the Haslanti airboats and ancient Chinese machines. Not so much bubbling-test-tubes-and-clipboards-of-results as it is make-cool-inventions.


                Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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                • #9
                  Maybe offer them the fun suggestion of using a title like philosopher or natural philosopher.

                  Anyway, that's perfectly feasible. To play an archetype of intelligent character who makes stuff doesn't require much of an adjustment for Exalted.

                  I'd recommend that if someone is going to make something which is explosive, that thy would have to Introduce the Fact that it exists. I would veto or tweak to ensure that whatever it is ultimately isn't gunpowder. Maybe it's a mixture of elemental reagents in such a fashion that it's extremely rare, or impractical to do beneath a certain scale.

                  Then just use Craft to make it.


                  Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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                  • #10
                    You want Craft (Alchemy) for this sort of stuff. Possibly also Craft (Mechanisms) or (Engineering) or (Clockwork), if they want to build Firewands, crossbows, and airboats. Lore and Occult will also be useful.

                    Exalted is a setting that is supposed to stay mired in this sort of "ancient world of Classical Greece, Ancient Rome, Wu Xia China, and Hyboria" stuff, so the designers have taken steps to prevent people from just introducing gunpowder and steam engines and kick starting the industrial revolution.

                    Which isn't to say you can't do that at your table or that a person of science can't be a fun character, just that the setting tends to lend itself better to mimicking classical one off inventions, you'll need to account for variables in what we would call "mystic stuff" when inventing things, and you, as the ST, should feel free to forbid certain inventions outright.
                    Last edited by BrilliantRain; 01-18-2017, 02:07 PM.


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                    • #11
                      I use Alchemy for anything involving Chemistry. You may use Lore for theoretical study of it, but Alchemy is for actually applying the knowledge to make Cocaine or glue.


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                      • #12
                        Craft is going to be your one-stop shop for anything that involves creating an (al)chemical concoction. I wouldn't require any additional rolls to see if the player knows the formula, no more than I'd require a blacksmith to roll Lore to see if she knows the design of a sword.

                        Lore, with a background or specialty in chemistry, is going to be used to introduce facts, which sounds like something that a "Man of Science" character concept is going to be making lots of use of. "The alchemical run-off from the sorcerer's manse, into this river? It turns out it's incredibly flammable." That kind of stuff.


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                        • #13
                          Hey, any kind of character who uses Craft (Alchemy) to make Greek Fire is a Fun Character in my books.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
                            Before they get too clever, remember that high explosives as we know them may or may not be manufacturable, as you choose. It's not an accident that Creations guns shoot naturally-occuring magic fire sand that is collected rather than made.

                            And yeah, Craft is the "making" Ability but at a minimum for something like this I would throw in a Lore roll to know or figure out the recipe first.

                            I mean ..... if said magical fire sand ignites violently enough to be able to propel nothing more than fire (which is nothing more than heat and burning particulates, not meaningful concussive force) out to a distance and "hit" a target with enough "force" to kill a human in one shot ...... it almost certainly has enough oomph to propel a projectile fast enough to kill.

                            Of course, with that in mind, firedust might actually be "more powerful" than even smokeless powder, meaning jamming a projectile down on top of it would effectively turn your flamepiece into an expensive pipe-bomb. It is debatable, though. If it burns like blackpowder and not smokeless powder, even a tight-fitting projectile should be fine. (For those not in the know, blackpowder burns, meaning the pressure builds relatively gradually. Smokeless powder explodes, meaning the pressure builds relatively all at once. If you listen to a blackpowder firearm vs a smokeless, the blackpowder makes more of a "fwoop"? noise, while smokeless is more of a "bang".)

                            As someone that plays around with blackpowder muzzleloading, the RAW (Have the "Slow" rule for reloading) for flamepieces really sound like they are loading a relatively-tight fitting projectile. Just dumping some powder down the barrel and priming the pan takes, roughly, 0.5 seconds, even if you are ripping open a paper cartridge.

                            Next, firedust is actually synthesized in Creation, not just found. The blurb for firewands talk about firedust either being found, or synthesized from exotic reagents.

                            Finally, black-powder isn't really that hard to make. Potassium Nitrate (saltpetre) from animal or even human urine (I've made saltpeter from my own piss, just to see if it actually worked. It did.), Sulfur, from mining, and charcoal from burning. And, if you are skilled enough, you can skip the sulfur.

                            I personally have made blackpowder (or, in this case, "redpowder") by mixing saltpetre (the aforementioned piss project) with a quantity of powdered rust. It had enough oomph to propel a roundball through a cinderblock at 50 paces, more than enough to kill a person.
                            Last edited by Boston123; 01-18-2017, 05:54 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Also, if you do make gunpowder, or something further down on the progression of explosives in the real world, there's a far from insignifcant chance that you might end up blowing yourself up in the process. Better make sure that you have Resistance Charms if your ST gives you the go-ahead, because nitroglycerine does not forgive, and even early gunpowder could cook off rather spectacularly if you have an oops while mixing it.

                              And keep in mind that the ingredients take a long while to settle in a salt peter pit. Now, who wants to be the first to set up a communal urinal for all the cats and dogs in a village? Perhaps even a city? Human wastes and remains don't quite have enough of the right ingredients, so you're going to have to deal with even fouler scents and work.

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