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What if, instead of playing the Exalted, you played the Exaltation?

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  • #31
    [WHY ARE THEY STARING AT US WHY ARE THEY ASKING ABOUT ANATHEMA this is because you kept shouting WHAT SHOULD I SAY]

    "My glow? What glow? I don't see any glow."

    [GOOD, THEY'RE DISTRACTED. NOW TELL THEM ABOUT THE BACKFLIPS no one cares about the backflips BACKFLIPS!]

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    • #32
      Originally posted by BjornTheFellhanded View Post

      I agree.
      ​


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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      • #33
        Originally posted by BjornTheFellhanded View Post

        I agree. Paranoia isn't defined by the cloning. The cloning is just part of the grotesque distortion of our contemporary value system (life isn't precious in Alpha Complex) that plays into the uber-dystopian nightmare world played for laughs.

        The base setting of Exalted doesn't have that, is in fact very far from it. Lives matter, everyone has motives, everything happens for a reason.

        You could try to run Paranioa: Exalted, but it'd have to be a sidereal game where Kejak turned into a deranged control freak who sees anathema in every shadow...but played for laughs.
        Last time I touched Paranoia it was in a game of Fiasco and we ended up with a lighting enhanced amalgam of two clones battling a giant red robo-scorpion in a volcano to determine the fate of capitalism.

        *eyes dart*


        My Homebrew: Architect of the Regal Puppet Style (WIP) || Monkey Style || Radiant Halo of Incandescent Might || Pale Driver, Ruination of the Edifice of Tyranny || Sublime Percussion, Just a Whole lot of Fun || Idris, The Graceful Heart of Purpose

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        • #34
          Take inspiration from the Socialize Persona Charms. You have a bunch of characters who may or may not have similar goals and Intimacies, and when one dies the next picks up. So you'd see tremendous shifts - the happy-go-lucky socialite with a vast financial web at her fingertips dies, and a grim assassin picks up his blade and a list of targets; when one proves too much for him, a lieutenant gathers her troops and urges them to join her in rebellion against a wicked warlord.

          The Exaltation serves as the glue that binds the stories together. It has its own quasi-intelligent wants and hates - perhaps it recognizes demons as its old enemies, and guides the socialite to uncover and publicize a Yozi cult, the assassin to track down and kill the surviving cultists, the lieutenant to rally an army against the empire that grants them safe harbor. Then you also have each individual soul leaving an imprint on the Exaltation - the assassin finds the socialite's infant son, and is compelled beyond reason to love this boy, take him in, and raise him as his own; the lieutenant discovers an unexpected knack for dealing with the cutthroats, pirates, and other ne'er-do-wells who rally to her flag in the hopes of pillage.

          Then at the end you have a story - how Ai Li the Beautiful uncovered the Cult of Sondok in Palanquin, how Iron Blade avenged their victims with slaughter in the streets until they fled to Ysyr, how the Princess of Thunder sailed after them and buried them in the rubble of their bloodsoaked altars. And thus was the city - and Creation - made safe from its infernal enemy once more. For a time.


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          • #35
            Ever play a game called Eclipse Phase? Never mind the premise of the game lets just talk about the concepts and mechanics that are relevant to this discussion (books can be found here at no cost, yes this is as intended it's an open game). In this game the consciousness of the character, called the Ego, is uploaded into the brain of a new body, called a morph, upon their death, called resleeving. There is inherent difficulty as a part of the process, sometimes it's difficult to adapt to a new body, sometimes the trauma of remembering your death hangs on your mind, and sometimes the amount of time between mental upload and death, called lack, is greater than anyone would like all of which is represented by mental stress. This concept can be borrowed though the actual lore and mechanics of it would be significantly different. I can see this working however, lets explore.

            Conceptually there is room in the existing lore to slip this idea in. In Ex2 there is a bit of lore about the Primordial War where Lytek performed battlefield exaltation modification procedures. Post-war this is performed in his offices in Yu-Shan (I'll assume we all know about the cabinet and the tools). We already have the idea that the exaltation is a sort of construct, with underlying and essence of it's own and a solar coding, right (lore speaks about it in the hand of the great maker artifact)? Now this process was to help ease the new morph/host adapt to the exaltation and visa versa. The exaltation gets an imprint of powerful memories (read intimacies) of the previous host. By pruning these memories Lytek prevents confusion and possible insanity of the mortal mind that is now merged/fused with the exalted essence.

            In Eclipse Phase things like memories of your death, witnessing or committing atrocities, experiencing 6 months of lack, and being in a body you're not comfortable with caused mental stress. This could all be true for the Exaltation/Host. Bringing in the need for the above exaltation pruning. What do we use in Ex to represent stress, limit. So we could turn limit into the stress mechanic. Sure its a little different and requires a stretch of your imagination to process the idea but it's possible, right, we are gamers after all and stretching our imaginations is what we do.

            Using these mechanics we could play out a game where it's more about the Exaltation than the uplifted mortal hero. It also become a roleplaying exercise (it doesn't have to be one but it could) where when the exaltation is purged from the body via violent death and jumps to a new host you as the play have some leftover detritus from the previous host in the form of intimacies, say defining intimacies come over as major intimacies, which can be conflicting with the new hosts. If the exaltation immediately decides to uplift/exalt another mortal on the spot it's hedging it's bets that it will find someone compatible with minimal stress/limit gain. Otherwise it returns to Lytek for cleansing specifically of death and traumatic memories. This could create interesting role playing opportunities.


            Craft rewrite.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Maudova View Post
              Ever play a game called Eclipse Phase?
              I did, in fact, and I want to point out something about Egos that makes them distinct from Exaltations - Egos are complete consciousnesses unto themselves. Even Forks that have been "pruned" to not be entirely sentient are capable of independent thought and judgement.

              What you have described is basically playing normal Exalted, but with things like Past Lives more strongly emphasized. You're not really playing the Exaltation, you're just using the Exaltation's passage as a framing device for exploring how a series of characters deal with suddenly having memories, feelings, or experiences that are not native to them. It's a neat idea, but unless the Exaltation itself has consciousness and the player controls how it behaves, it's a bit off-target from the original topic.


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              • #37
                Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                It's a neat idea, but unless the Exaltation itself has consciousness and the player controls how it behaves, it's a bit off-target from the original topic.
                Well the OP asked what it would look like. So I gave the OP my opinion of what it would look like if I ran it. Now playing an exaltation as something with stats, I don't think is really a good idea, as a narrative character, sure I'd do that. Exaltations haven't been depicted as anything close to a human like consciousness in any of the lore.

                Departing from that, I think it would be more like a permenantly dematerialized spirit, that moves at elemental dragon speeds at the very least. Or possibly as a spirit with hurry home but it hones in on mortals with potential to exalt. Playing a game where you permenantly posses a mortal and perform a part of mental struggle with an NPC mortal you choose as your host seems like a very challenging RP experience. It might work for a one-on-one session but as a game line I think it would be unmanageable and possibly unentertaining as it would be a lot of the ST telling you what the mortal does while you try to perform mental influence on it. Very non-interactive as there would be litte the player could do and would have less agency in the ongoing narrative than a normal PC. If that's the sort of experience you are looking for then sure.


                Craft rewrite.

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                • #38
                  The problem basically is that the exaltations themselves have limited agency once they select a mortal, any agency you give them beyond that generally eats into the agency of the exalted themselves, which while certainly doable is not a concept I like.

                  Alternatively You could split the agency between players, have one player play the mortal side of the equation while another player played the exaltation. It might be workable, but it would be complex, and possibly lead to excessive IRL conflict.

                  Basically an exaltation/mortal combo of the standard types functioning as advertised doesn't have enough agency to go around for this sort of thing to be interesting.

                  So my suggestion would be to use a non-standard exaltation/mortal combo. Maybe your exaltation is damaged or altered in some fashion? Perhaps the mortal it tried to merge with has been the subject of modification/experimentation/mutation that alters how it interacts with the exaltation? Maybe it wasn't a proper mortal at all but something made to look like it to divine senses? Perhaps it's a form of exigent or otherwise non-standard form of exaltation that archives and merges past exalts into a guiding spirit mentor for the newbie?

                  Basically it would give you room to create more agency by introducing powers and features for the exaltation and the exalted to use semi-independently from one another. That way you can have the exalt and the exaltation be full characters with most of their agency intact.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by A Not Quite Simple Soul View Post
                    The problem basically is that the exaltations themselves have limited agency once they select a mortal, any agency you give them beyond that generally eats into the agency of the exalted themselves, which while certainly doable is not a concept I like.

                    Alternatively You could split the agency between players, have one player play the mortal side of the equation while another player played the exaltation. It might be workable, but it would be complex, and possibly lead to excessive IRL conflict.

                    Basically an exaltation/mortal combo of the standard types functioning as advertised doesn't have enough agency to go around for this sort of thing to be interesting.

                    So my suggestion would be to use a non-standard exaltation/mortal combo. Maybe your exaltation is damaged or altered in some fashion? Perhaps the mortal it tried to merge with has been the subject of modification/experimentation/mutation that alters how it interacts with the exaltation? Maybe it wasn't a proper mortal at all but something made to look like it to divine senses? Perhaps it's a form of exigent or otherwise non-standard form of exaltation that archives and merges past exalts into a guiding spirit mentor for the newbie?

                    Basically it would give you room to create more agency by introducing powers and features for the exaltation and the exalted to use semi-independently from one another. That way you can have the exalt and the exaltation be full characters with most of their agency intact.
                    It could be an interesting element to add to an abyssal or infernals game. Like wraith, another player plays the dark nature of your altered exaltation.


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