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  • #91
    Originally posted by Hark View Post
    A lot is the short answer.

    Off the top of my head that I know for certain.

    Social Combat
    Abyssal Charms
    Parts of Wonders of the Lost Age
    Ebon Dragon Stats
    Created Ink Monkeys
    Broken Winged Crane
    1000 Correct Actions
    Under the Rose
    Infernals
    Alchemicals
    Dragon Blooded Charms in Dreams of the First Age
    Creation-Ruling Mandate
    Stats for the Incarnae
    Bunch of Errata
    Originally posted by Morangias View Post
    This is off the top of my head, so I might get something wrong, but I remember the following: 2e core system, artifacts in Wonders of the Lost Age, Abyssal Charmset, Infernal Charmset, Incarnae statblocks in Glories... I think he also co-wrote Alchemical Charms with Holden.
    Thank you kindly. I can see why his writing was so polarizing.
    Like, 2e social combat is hated now, but at the time it came out it was a huge improvement over what came before (which was nothing. At best a contested roll-off if your ST felt like it). I remember being pretty psyched to play Eclipse after having read the SC system.

    (Holy crap that feels like a lifetime ago.)
    Last edited by Fata-Ku; 04-06-2017, 11:22 AM.


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    • #92
      Originally posted by Fata-Ku View Post
      Thank you kindly. I can see why his writing was so polarizing.
      Like, 2e social combat is hated now, but at the time it came out it was a huge improvement over what came before (which was nothing. At best a contested roll-off if your ST felt like it). I remember being pretty psyched to play Eclipse after having read the SC system.

      (Holy crap that feels like a lifetime ago.)
      All of the 2e innovations in social combat were incorporated into 3e. It also suffered from existing in the greater context of 2e rules he did not write. There were some issues with conflict between his definitions for social stats in social combat and the definitions for those stats elsewhere in the book. There were also huge issues with popular interpretations of unnatural mental influence and the actual intended definition.

      Neph was aware of social combat issues, they were simply beyond his control.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Hark View Post
        Neph was aware of social combat issues, they were simply beyond his control.
        Also, keep in mind that Neph was basically given one week to write the rules for Social Combat and (I believe Mass Combat as well). Someone else was supposed to write those sections and they bailed. So Chambers gave him a phone call and basically said, "We need you to create these systems from the ground up and we need them by Friday."

        While in retrospect, there absolutely were issues with Social Combat and Mass Combat, they were actually pretty decent for something that someone literally pulled out of their ass over the course of a few days and that had absolutely zero playtesting or review from anyone.

        So yeah, Neph always admitted that there were issues with Social Combat and Mass Combat, but at the same time that was pretty much the absolute best that he could do when writing them, given the abruptness with which it was sprung on him and the time constraints he was given to write them in.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Hark View Post
          A lot is the short answer.

          Off the top of my head that I know for certain.

          Social Combat
          Abyssal Charms
          Parts of Wonders of the Lost Age
          Ebon Dragon Stats
          Created Ink Monkeys
          Broken Winged Crane
          1000 Correct Actions
          Under the Rose
          Infernals
          Alchemicals
          Dragon Blooded Charms in Dreams of the First Age
          Creation-Ruling Mandate
          Stats for the Incarnae
          Bunch of Errata
          IIRC he also had some other work in the core, at least around crafting. I remember getting into a discussion once with one of the writers about an alchemical charm. It was *intended* to be a craft booster, but it worked specifically on an Extended Dramatic Action which made it completely useless for crafting, and Neph's name was brought up... I think

          For the curious, an extended dramatic action was a sub-type of a dramatic action, which was hard-defined to be ONE roll of the dice (in this case, one that took a long time), rather than a type of extended action (which was multiple roll and needed for crafting).


          Odd_Canuck is not a topical medication or food product and is not to be taken internally or seriously.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Odd_Canuck View Post
            IIRC he also had some other work in the core, at least around crafting. I remember getting into a discussion once with one of the writers about an alchemical charm. It was *intended* to be a craft booster, but it worked specifically on an Extended Dramatic Action which made it completely useless for crafting, and Neph's name was brought up... I think
            Holden wrote the Alchemical Charms. Neph helped him with input and a bit of editing, but those Charms were pretty much all Holden's.

            *EDIT* As an aside, on Abyssal Charms, it's worth remembering that while Neph wrote the Abyssal Charms, Dean Shomshack (the project editor) then took a hatchet to the chapter, rewrote a lot of Charms, removed others and wrote his own Charms (like everyone's favorite, Void Avatar Prana) and ham-fisted them into the book.

            That's the big reason why Neph never touched Abyssals again later on down the line. He just couldn't really stand thinking about what had happened to Abyssal Charms, and didn't want to deal with the hackjob that had replaced what he had written, so he just avoided them entirely.
            Last edited by AnubisXy; 04-06-2017, 01:36 PM.

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            • #96
              Neph wrote to my memory for 2e:
              - The Systems chapter of the corebook, although as noted already he I think was tasked with writing actual words-for-book of the engine someone else made at parts.
              - The Introduction and vehicles chapters of Wonders of the Lost Age.
              - Abyssal Charms and Traits.
              - Infernal Charms.
              - Most of the Charms in Broken-Winged Crane.
              - Coral in Compass: West.
              - The West chapters of Scroll of Kings and Lands of Creation.
              - Artifacts and DB Charms and NPCs in Lords of Creation.
              - Charms and DB errata in Thousand Correct Actions.
              - The stats for the Incarna in Glories of the Most High. I believe he also wrote the Greater Astrology Charms.
              - The Blessed Isle and Realm Civil War parts of Return of the Scarlet Empress. He also wrote the stats for the Ebon Dragon and the Sidereal Charms there too (again, might be wrong). I think he also migh ahve written-up the Empress, but not sure there.
              - Various articles for Ink Monkeys.
              - Parts of Alchemicals and Autochthonia, but for the life of me can't tell you what parts.

              I'm sure I might be forgetting something else here, but these are a lot of the things that come to my mind at least. And while I think what he wrote in context of 2e were often very great, I do wonder if he, like how i feel with Jenna Moran with Sidereals in 1e, setup a lot of things which ahve proven to be problematic for the game as a whole. This plus subtle actual author wars in the text didn't help in showing problems I think 2e had in management in palces.

              And stuff.


              And stuff.
              Made signature by moderator request. Any actual typing of "And stuff." is out of habitual reflex.

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              • #97
                I find some amusement is many of the vocal Neph fans to also be the ones complaining about the former devs of EX3 changing Exalted; because Neph essentially did the same thing, just in a direction they like and in a previous edition. Ok not just some amusement.


                Incentive is not permission or justification.

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                • #98
                  Neph was also responsible for the 'Underdark' of creation, with the Darkbrood and the Mountain Folk. Not sure if he did the Clay Man or not.

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                  • #99
                    Neph did not do Coral in Compass: West. That was Genevieve Cogman.

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                    • Originally posted by Blaque View Post
                      I'm sure I might be forgetting something else here, but these are a lot of the things that come to my mind at least. And while I think what he wrote in context of 2e were often very great, I do wonder if he, like how i feel with Jenna Moran with Sidereals in 1e, setup a lot of things which ahve proven to be problematic for the game as a whole.
                      I think it's actually pretty much coming from the same place where 1e mid-late was pretty free wheeling and creative writers like Neph and Jenna in 1e wrote some really innovative stuff. 2e was the point where ideally they'd have left it a little longer before the edition coming out (some balance between the schedule they did which was too fast and 3e's which is slow), then and kind of want to look at whether everything they had was supporting their core genres and premise, and trim. That's healthy and necessary in anything where people are encouraged to take creative risk - the things that are "bad" in retrospect are a healthy part of a growing process. But obviously they unfortunately didn't really do that and kind of did the reverse, and the cracks started showing (along with losing many of the more skilled writers and developer).

                      Neph was/is a fairly skilled rpg writer. This said, I do *think* I can recall him saying he was more of a sci-fi, superheroes, horror guy than necessarily what was in the main inspirations for Exalted. So perhaps why Infernals ends up more kind of horror superheroes tinged with sci-fi / transhumanism, and in some ways a questionable fit with what else is written. If they did want to draw on him for 3e, I'm sure he could write to brief, but I actually don't know if he'd be interested (even putting personal history aside)!

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                      • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                        Neph did not do Coral in Compass: West. That was Genevieve Cogman.
                        Ah, my bad. I knew that he did a lot of Western stuff after that book, then (Scroll of Kings, Lands of Creation.)

                        And stuff.


                        And stuff.
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                        • Originally posted by Piff View Post
                          Neph was also responsible for the 'Underdark' of creation, with the Darkbrood and the Mountain Folk. Not sure if he did the Clay Man or not.
                          I only noted what he wrote from 2e. 1e he did:
                          - Abyssal Charms
                          - Alchemical Character Creation, Traits and Charms and Engines of Extinction scenario in Exalted: the Autochtonians
                          - God-Blooded in the Exalted Player's Guide
                          -
                          Mnemon's parts of Aspect Book: Earth, as well as the mechanics chapter.
                          - Mountain Folk in Exalted: the Fair Folk.


                          I'm not too sure he did anything else in 1e, as I try to think of it. But he got a lot of love for his Alchemical and Abyssal mechanics. Folks were pretty divided then as now on the Jadeborn actually.

                          And stuff.


                          And stuff.
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                          • Originally posted by ParanoiaCombo View Post
                            I find some amusement is many of the vocal Neph fans to also be the ones complaining about the former devs of EX3 changing Exalted; because Neph essentially did the same thing, just in a direction they like and in a previous edition. Ok not just some amusement.
                            There's some truth in that, though it's equally true that some of the most vocal defenders of 3e have derided Neph's work as - well, to quote from upthread, "toxic" changes to the line. I think some of the objection in both cases is less "Nothing can ever change" than "I think these particular changes are bad"; almost every Exalted fan thinks something about it needs to change, regardless of edition. (There's some CHANGE IS ALWAYS BAD mixed in there too, depending on the person, sure.)

                            Honestly, I think my positive memories of Neph tie mostly to about two things:

                            1) He wrote really evocative, mechanically clever stuff, and

                            2) He was polite in public, even to people being jerks.

                            (He also got some long, slow revenges, such as writing Abyssals to be anti-fae as payback against a single raksha fanboy. But he talked to you like you were a valuable human being, and that... that actually turns out to go a long way. For all that this forum hated on Dean Shomshak for a long time, when he showed up and turned out to be a pretty good guy to chat with, that changed a lot of people's minds.)

                            ... Man, now I miss the Ink Monkeys era again. Good times.


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                            • Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                              I think it's actually pretty much coming from the same place where 1e mid-late was pretty free wheeling and creative writers like Neph and Jenna in 1e wrote some really innovative stuff. 2e was the point where ideally they'd have left it a little longer before the edition coming out (some balance between the schedule they did which was too fast and 3e's which is slow), then and kind of want to look at whether everything they had was supporting their core genres and premise, and trim. That's healthy and necessary in anything where people are encouraged to take creative risk - the things that are "bad" in retrospect are a healthy part of a growing process. But obviously they unfortunately didn't really do that and kind of did the reverse, and the cracks started showing (along with losing many of the more skilled writers and developer).
                              I think there are actually a couple of mechanical concepts they introduced that ultimately led to issues.

                              The first is that Jenna more or less rode the hints in the Castebooks and ran with this idea with Sidereal Martial Arts that Essence 6+ was a continuously escalating scale of things like independent actions, mega counterattacks and kill effects. Sidereal Martial Arts more or less set the tone for what we should expect high Essence to evolve, which is more capabilities and effects with "Need to be this high to play". This is the tone of high Essence that more or less stuck all thorugh the rest of 1e and into all of 2e. It was to me one of the most long term damaging things to Exalted's mechanics.

                              Neph was a bit on the other end in the view that things should just be challenging and optimized in context I think a bit of crunch = physics. This is in't explilcit but you see it in parts like the structure of Jadeborn Charms, the sheer punishment Resonance does and the nature of Charms as they evolved. These, plus his admited preferences to genres out of what Exalted originally played on kind of did warp things.

                              Both authors I will note are great at what they wrote and were at least able to introduce new into the setting, even in times in 2e, that other authors didn't. But someitmes that new was actually counteractive, such as Martyr Charms for instance and their implications of Terrestrial disposability. And even with that further in mind, it doesn't help that the line to me was sort of ran by the authros imposing vision rather than a strong coherent one like GCG had for much of 1e or that H&H were pushing for in their take of Exalted.

                              And in the current style of Exalted 3e, as much as I like Neph, I don't htink he does fit the setting's current goals for tone and style. Which is fine. He has other shit he's great at he has done great with. (His stuff to me was the best parts of Mummy). And there are other authors I kind of hope don't show up since well....we don't need another Nameless Lair, dictator-apoligia Perfect or House of Succulent Tears again. THankfully I think the current devs are of that opinion too, so we'll be fine there.

                              And stuff.


                              And stuff.
                              Made signature by moderator request. Any actual typing of "And stuff." is out of habitual reflex.

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                              • I liked their work, but not enough to put up with the schedule slippage that left me with pretty much none of their work to read. I was willing to get over it with the corebook because 'oh, well, a strong foundation is super important', but now its been over a year since that finally came out and we haven't seen so much as the release of a (relatively) short 64 page supplement like Arms of the Chosen. The fact that they apparently pumped out plenty of work to not get paid for because they didn't release it for whatever reasons is, in my book, even worse then if they had just been sitting around doing nothing. If my interest in the line wasn't pretty much dead (getting my physical 3rd edition corebook slightly rekindled it and lead to me coming to the forums today) I'd probably be downright pissed.

                                Seriously, couldn't even release a 64 page supplement with more then a years worth of time.
                                Last edited by Mizu; 04-06-2017, 06:02 PM.




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