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Why Linguistics should be the "Art" skill

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  • Why Linguistics should be the "Art" skill

    Because of the way Ex3 is set up, Linguistics really needs to explicitly take all the "art for art's sake" crafts. Probably it should be renamed to Art or something in the process, but we'll ignore that for the moment.

    Generally speaking, if someone is trying to make a painting (or similar piece of art) in the game, that's probably a social action of some kind, most likely Inspire. Craft is not really set up to make social attacks. It has no charms which give it any bonuses or trigger on a successful social attack. All it has is every dice trick in the game so you can hit the required number of successes to make an artifact. Being able to get double 7s, reroll half your dice, buy extra successes, and get non charm bonus dice so you can create a painting that has a 30 success Instill action on it is really not what was intended by Solar Craft.

    Now, obviously, said Solar can still do that and, via the basic objectives, there's a strong implication that people should be impressed by the Solar's skill and everything, but the ST doesn't have to deal with the mechanical obligations of a 30 success social influence action.

    On the other hand, Linguistics is a social influence ability already. Giving it greater ability to create Inspire actions doesn't seem likely to break anything and it will open it up a bit more for play. Being a writer can be a bit tricky to work with, but a painter or sculptor has more common utility.

    Mechanically speaking, what this would mean is that, if you want to create a "useful object," you roll Craft. If you want to create something which serves as the vehicle for Social Influence, you roll Linguistics. If you want to create a useful object that also serves as the vehicle for Social Influence, you make a Craft roll AND a Linguistics roll.

    I think most of the existing Linguistics charms make sense under this paradigm, but adding a few custom charms specifically for Influence actions might be warranted.

    So, any thoughts? Have I missed something?



  • #2
    I'd be okay with it, and honestly I'd probably include Expression made art pieces in the craft XP rules or any replacements -for the "profit, gain an intimacy, or accomplish a goal = add craft XP" part, both to expand the value of linguistics a little in that regard and to ensure that the use of small artistic trinkets in a crafter's storyline isn't lost.

    Yes this means a prolific sculptor or Artist who's never made a "functional" object could one day (after craft investment) sculpt a living woman from marble, from craft XP gains made through art. And I'm okay with that
    Last edited by Meianno Yuurei; 03-08-2017, 07:00 AM.

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    • #3
      I like this!

      I hadn't really thought about the problem of what ability to use in order to represent art, before.
      But this inspires me to do something with it.

      It sounds really good to me, and I'd also be interested in hearing about possible complications with taking this path, that people can come up with ^^

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      • #4
        I always feel that any approach to writing Craft Charms in a way that can affect any given Craft are lacking, mainly because expressions of artistic craft are usually distinct from practical craft (at least as distinct as Brawl and Melee).

        I have seen some other games make a divide between Craft and Artisan skills and I think this would be an interesting alternative to the current setup. One can make a Performance social influence without words, why not a not an Artisan social influence through a beautiful tapestry or sculpture? I think this approach also opens up some interesting Charm possibilities that Linguistics alone lacks.


        A Clutch of Dragons: Hub Thread, Performance, Presence, Resistance, Ride, Sail, Socialize Stealth, Survival, Thrown, War<NEW

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post

          Generally speaking, if someone is trying to make a painting (or similar piece of art) in the game, that's probably a social action of some kind, most likely Inspire.
          ​That's quite the generalisation there.

          Originally posted by BrilliantRain
          Craft is not really set up to make social attacks.
          What about how you earn Craft XP for making things that resonate with pre-existing Intimacies, or help build new ones?

          ​If the Storyteller doesn't arbitrate that characters have such responses from seeing such things in the first place, can you not use them as the basis for actual social actions? The "evidence" that you need before you can even make things like Instil or Persuade attempts?

          Originally posted by BrilliantRain
          So, any thoughts?
          ​I feel as though the dynamic implied by this approach to how one makes something like a sculpture is a bit too, well, "gamey". I also quite dislike the proposition of detaching the Craft system from objectives based on making things for the sake of getting an emotional reaction.

          I like Linguistics more as something focused more on communication than getting people to do things for you.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

            ​That's quite the generalisation there.



            What about how you earn Craft XP for making things that resonate with pre-existing Intimacies, or help build new ones?

            ​If the Storyteller doesn't arbitrate that characters have such responses from seeing such things in the first place, can you not use them as the basis for actual social actions? The &quot;evidence&quot; that you need before you can even make things like Instil or Persuade attempts?



            ​I feel as though the dynamic implied by this approach to how one makes something like a sculpture is a bit too, well, &quot;gamey&quot;. I also quite dislike the proposition of detaching the Craft system from objectives based on making things for the sake of getting an emotional reaction.

            I like Linguistics more as something focused more on communication than getting people to do things for you.
            The way the current rules are set up, pretty much all the emotional reaction to a Craft project are in the ST's hands. Which bypasses the entire social influence system instead of interacting with it. This was an attempt to, if not fix it, at least provide a method where an artist could use the system if they wanted to.


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            • #7
              I was thinking this too while looking at the Linguistics Ability a couple of days back. I'd apply some soft limits on the way the social influence can spread; paintings have a harder time going viral and influencing entire populations than poems do, and you don't get hit by the social influence of a painting by walking past it on the street any more (or less) than you get hit by the social influence of a poem by glancing at the page it's written on. But otherwise yes, if you want to create "fire-and-forget" social influence via artistic endeavor, I would put that in Linguistics, not Craft. If you want to create a beautiful, illuminated copy of someone else's manuscript (for example) to sell or give as a gift or whatever, you would use Craft, not Linguistics. If you want to author a book of poetry and then bind it yoursel into a beautiful manuscript, I'd suggest you have both to really do it right on both fronts, but there's some wiggle-room there depending on the nature of the task.

              The important thing to remember is that which rule you invoke is determined as much by the role of your project in the narrative as anything else. In that way it's not really all that different from choosing between withering and decisive when you attack
              Last edited by Blackwell; 03-08-2017, 02:48 PM.

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              • #8
                This sounds reasonable, and my group used something similar back in prior editions.

                We always allowed people to use paintings or pictographs or carvings or sculptures as stand-ins for the written words necessary for Linguistics Charms. So we would allow someone to, for example, draw a mural with Letter-Within-a-Letter Technique so that to most people, it's just a big picture, whereas to other people they can see the hidden message inside.

                That said, not every person who makes "art" necessarily wants to use Linguistic Charms in conjunction with their creation. As such I would probably allow the player to decide whether the thing they are making will use Craft or Linguistics at their discretion.

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                • #9
                  OP suggestion with effectively "Craft(useful)" / "Craft(social)" abilities is not bad. But I don't know if you *really* need to replace Linguistics as an Ability though. Could you not just bash out an "Art" (visual arts) system using Craft and Performance rolls, for which the normal Craft Charms are inapplicable? Performance is your "feel", passion, inspiration, ability to read an audience behind your art and Craft is the execution. Specialized sets of Charms that can contribute branch off each Ability (and to some degree have redundancy with each other). You already have different subsystems off the same Ability in the game. Anyone have any thoughts about why this would be a horrible option?

                  (Though I think Exalted's setting may lend itself more to it being the case that remote interaction via *any* art products, especially those not targeted with a specific person in mind, as not having anything near the strength and directedness of social influence that personal performance and presence by the Chosen does.)

                  Side question: Generally interested, has anyone ever had a PC in a game, or a big deal NPC, who was an Exalted artist? How did it work out?

                  Thinking a bit of Mirror Flag, as an artistic revolutionary, though even then she's more a performer than an artist who is a bit more detached from performing her art. Also those Tim Powers novels where the protagonists were English Romantic writers, even those schlocky mystery movies (which I may be making up) where Shakespeare solves a crime/is a secret agent of her Majesty, etc.

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                  • #10
                    I had the same thought when I read over the charms. It often comes up that a player wants to make art for art's sake or to provoke an emotional reaction. While the Craft system encourages you to synch up with an emotional need of another character, the Craft charms don't aid in this at all. There's something to the idea of "I want a painting that makes you weep whenever you look at it" and I'm not talking about a magic painting. I'm talking about someone who's so masterful that almost no one can look at it without being moved to tears.

                    tl;dr I also like using Linguistics for socially relevant art.


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                    • #11
                      Clearly, we need even more Craft charms.

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                      • #12
                        As a note, you could take a sort of halfway approach with this mod. Let Craft keep all it's current rules and everything, so you can do some social stuff with it, but just also allow Linguistics to make non-written, artistic social influence actions as well.


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                        • #13
                          This idea is fantastic. There are so many interesting ideas you can do with this. I'm just imagining an Exalted painter making a portrait with Soul-Drawing Pattern to attract the subject of the portrait, or using Discerning Savant's Eye to picture what a destroyed statue must have looked like or figure out the heraldry of a tattered ancient flag.

                          This is definitely an addition that I'm going to use in my games.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                            OP suggestion with effectively &quot;Craft(useful)&quot; / &quot;Craft(social)&quot; abilities is not bad. But I don't know if you *really* need to replace Linguistics as an Ability though. Could you not just bash out an &quot;Art&quot; (visual arts) system using Craft and Performance rolls, for which the normal Craft Charms are inapplicable? Performance is your &quot;feel&quot;, passion, inspiration, ability to read an audience behind your art and Craft is the execution. Specialized sets of Charms that can contribute branch off each Ability (and to some degree have redundancy with each other). You already have different subsystems off the same Ability in the game. Anyone have any thoughts about why this would be a horrible option?

                            (Though I think Exalted's setting may lend itself more to it being the case that remote interaction via *any* art products, especially those not targeted with a specific person in mind, as not having anything near the strength and directedness of social influence that personal performance and presence by the Chosen does.)

                            Side question: Generally interested, has anyone ever had a PC in a game, or a big deal NPC, who was an Exalted artist? How did it work out?

                            Thinking a bit of Mirror Flag, as an artistic revolutionary, though even then she's more a performer than an artist who is a bit more detached from performing her art. Also those Tim Powers novels where the protagonists were English Romantic writers, even those schlocky mystery movies (which I may be making up) where Shakespeare solves a crime/is a secret agent of her Majesty, etc.
                            The main reason I wanted to split off Social Influence rolls from Craft was because Craft would have too many success boosters and not enough other charms. I picked Linguistics to be the associated Social Influence ability because it's already about making something concrete and, essentially, lets you "hang" Social Influence effects on a place, so it felt like it belonged there.

                            That said, I tend to think that most art is going to be Inspire type actions which is where Performance often sits too, so I can understand doing things the way you suggest.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                              Because of the way Ex3 is set up, Linguistics really needs to explicitly take all the "art for art's sake" crafts. Probably it should be renamed to Art or something in the process, but we'll ignore that for the moment.

                              Generally speaking, if someone is trying to make a painting (or similar piece of art) in the game, that's probably a social action of some kind, most likely Inspire. Craft is not really set up to make social attacks. It has no charms which give it any bonuses or trigger on a successful social attack. All it has is every dice trick in the game so you can hit the required number of successes to make an artifact. Being able to get double 7s, reroll half your dice, buy extra successes, and get non charm bonus dice so you can create a painting that has a 30 success Instill action on it is really not what was intended by Solar Craft.

                              Now, obviously, said Solar can still do that and, via the basic objectives, there's a strong implication that people should be impressed by the Solar's skill and everything, but the ST doesn't have to deal with the mechanical obligations of a 30 success social influence action.

                              On the other hand, Linguistics is a social influence ability already. Giving it greater ability to create Inspire actions doesn't seem likely to break anything and it will open it up a bit more for play. Being a writer can be a bit tricky to work with, but a painter or sculptor has more common utility.

                              Mechanically speaking, what this would mean is that, if you want to create a "useful object," you roll Craft. If you want to create something which serves as the vehicle for Social Influence, you roll Linguistics. If you want to create a useful object that also serves as the vehicle for Social Influence, you make a Craft roll AND a Linguistics roll.

                              I think most of the existing Linguistics charms make sense under this paradigm, but adding a few custom charms specifically for Influence actions might be warranted.

                              So, any thoughts? Have I missed something?
                              See Sanctaphrax's craft rewrite http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...how-i-fixed-it

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