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[3e PEACH]Extended travel rules

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Hark View Post
    Ive some professional training in land navigation I'll come by later when i have more time with some points about navigation that will allow for Exalts to accomplish crazy things and still make the system reasonable for mortals to use.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

    barbecube I like your take on the system. Helps shine the spotlight on those characters that can wade through snowstorms with ease and find water and food for their friends in a desert.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Kerredai View Post

      Again, the airship is gone -- the test case that led to this thread was a set of Survival rolls representing an overland journey by foot.

      I think we may be approaching this from opposite angles -- you're looking at Difficulty 5 and saying "Exalts are *supposed* to hit that with the Excellency pretty easily, that's how this works". Which is quite correct! I understand that "just the Excellency" represents a low level of investment compared to a specialist Solar but is still, you know, demi-god levels of awesome.

      What I'm saying is not "I'm salty that a Solar with an Excellency can hit Diff 5 rolls", because of course they can, it's "I wanted this system to be able to scale up to the point where the guy crushing it with ease is the Sail/Survival/Ride guy, not the one who just bought the Excellency. However, a full Excellency on every roll completely borks that, exactly because a Solar with the Excellency is gonna whomp difficulties that would terrify a mortal. So I'm trying to reconcile some way of limiting full Excellency and a will on every single roll with the notion that this represents an extended journey, and they get back motes per hour and WP every night, or to recalibrate the system to handle it."

      (That latter 'recalibration' thing is likely to be a problem, since -- as you point out! -- the only way to really make flat dice rolls challenging for Solars in full dicewhomp mode is to entirely throw out the engine's assumptions on how difficulty works, which would be cop-out STing and mess with the [pretentious face]ludonarrative consonance of the ruleset[/pretentious face].)

      This is where I think I start running into problems with the 1e Labyrinth rules I cribbed from: it was a pain in the butt to get back Essence in the Underworld in previous editions, so I don't think the system was originally calibrated to handle Exalts with full mote pools on every roll.
      Thank you for the clarification.

      So far, the only way to meaningfully tax an Exalt's mote pool to prevent full Excellency usage (and thus reward deeper investment) is to make those rolls within the same scene. This goes back to the nature of the opposition.

      In 2E, Infinite Ability Mastery allowed Solars to curbstomp almost any number of lesser opponents because their dice pools were arbitrarily high without Essence expenditure. In Ex3, I(A)M was taken away, so now Solars have to expend energy each time they push the Awesome Button. The net result is Wyld Hunts are dangerous to Solars because they can mote-tap the Solar.

      However, dealing with environmental challenges was not perceived to be a particular issue, so that wasn't really tweaked. To use your Survival example, a Zenith Survival expert is not going to be appreciably challenged with the default rules. Only extraordinary, ST-contrived circumstances can cause that (which I understand is what you are trying to avoid; you want less work for yourself).

      It's possible the rules for Shadowlands/Underworld/Malfeas may limit mote expenditure, and make that style of challenge more viable. So far, though, my experience is the system engine is tweaked so that these "skill challenges" are more opportunities for PCs to be cool. I could see using a few of these challenges in a row to slightly tax motes before a big encounter, too.

      If you have a situation where one player is intruding on another's area of specialty, you can always limit which Abilities can make the roll, but I know that's not necessarily satisfying, either.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Volivat View Post
        Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.
        Sorry it took me so long to get back on this.

        Land Navigation can be quite difficult. Anymore, we take for granted all of the technology that goes into making it easy for us. GPS, Precise Maps, even the compass are all big deals in making navigation easier and for most even possible. Before them people used the stars, but on a cloudy night no so much. There are tricks to find north during the day, but those rely on the sun and become greatly limited by cloud cover giving at best East-ish and West-ish.

        Let's start with a worst case nightmare navigation situation to see how bad the difficulty can get. You are dropped naked at an unknown point is a dense uninhabited rainforest and you know you need to find a sacred cave hidden somewhere in this rainforest. For the most part one can consider themselves to be hopelessly lost in this kind of situation. Tools for navigation are extremely limited, precise North-South is always going to be difficult to determine due to extremely limited visibility at all times, even walking in a straight line is very difficult due to trees and other terrain factors getting in your, you have no points of reference beyond what you can see and where you have been, and you don't even know which direction to travel to get to your destination. Most realistic case for a person under theses conditions would be for them to follow a stream or river downstream until hitting a town, lake, or sea effectively allowing them to escape this jungle. For an Exalt though this might be a possible task, actually finding that sacred cave probably falls into our Difficulty 5+ range.

        Now that worst case scenario is out of the way, tools for navigation, and why they are a big deal is worth discussion.

        Maps are a good place to start. What maps do for you is provide a frame of reference for you when going into an unknown area so you're not going in totally blind. From a rough sketch of a few landmarks in the sand to a detail topographic map accurate to the meter, maps come in all varieties. Even some guy telling you that what you're looking for is North of here and East of the mountains is a map in it's own way. It serves to narrow the area that you are searching to find your destination by providing landmarks to use as points of reference while traveling. Better maps obviously do a much better job.

        Compasses are the next tool. I'm including reading the stars and sun among other things in this category because they serve the same purpose, telling you what direction you are traveling, with different tools providing different degrees of precision. Modern compasses can give you direction accurate to fractions of a degree. That said the precision of a compass is generally only as useful as the precision of your map. When navigating your compass can help keep you going in a straight line, give you a reference to general directions, and if you have a known location and a good map a compass can point you in the right direction to you next landmark or even destination. The precision of your compass can matter quite a bit as even a single degree of error can add up to quite a large distance even over a few hundred meters. At tens or hundreds of kilometers a few degrees of error can leave you quite lost.

        The final major tool in navigation is landmarks and points of reference. Mountains, hills, rivers, valleys, towns, roads, forests, you name it, if you can put it on a map or easily identify it by sight you're golden. A topographic map can even let you use a change in the grad of a slope as a landmark if you know what your doing. Landmarks simplify everything in land navigation. Rather than travelling directly to ones destination in a straight line, a trip can be broken up into many smaller easier trips by going from one landmark to another. Roads, rivers, ridgelines, any long continuous landmarks is an incredibly useful tool for navigation, if two of these intersect you can clearly identify the location with a high degree of precision. Roads are big deal because they help provide an easy route to navigate by. These long landmarks area also useful for limiting your search area in navigation.

        Now a few navigation techniques.

        I prefer to use a technique known as terrain association. It makes heavy use landmarks. On your map you identify where you are currently located and your destination. Examine the area around your destination on the map for landmarks that are easier to find than your final destination. If you need to travel a long distance identify a series of easy landmarks along to way. You then can use your map and compass identify the direction to your nearest landmark and start traveling. You can also identify several landmarks along the way to tell you if you're still traveling in the right direction or have gone to far. Keep the mountains to your right, if your reach the river you've gone to far, pull out your map and figure out where you are. This technique can be quite easy given a good map and easy to identify landmarks as the trip can be broken up into easily managed chunks that don't require a high degree of precision. However, sometimes it doesn't work.

        The next technique, Dead Reckoning, is much more difficult and I would recommend for situations when your don't have clear landmarks. Flat desert is a good example of a time to use this. To put it simply, you identify your current location and your target destination. You precisely measure the direction and distance from your location to your destination and find it precisely on your compass.You then do your best to walk in a straight line, using your compass to keep you in the right direction and some form of pace count to keep track of how far you've traveled. This technique can be combined with terrain association if it is a long distance to your next landmark.

        The general concept of navigation is pretty easy and under anything resembling normal conditions is not a challenge worth noting in Exalted. However, the difficulty quickly rises the less information and navigation tools a character has access to. Exalted level navigation challenges should fall under the category of journey into the unknown.

        TLDR; Navigation can be extremely difficult without information and tools.

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