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  • Eldagusto
    started a topic Are Holden and Hatewheel still involved?

    Are Holden and Hatewheel still involved?

    Congratulations Eric and Bob! I hope I am not making a faux pas but am I allowed to ask on the status of Holden and John? They've stepped down but please tell me they are still writing for Exalted?! I am such GD big fans of there's and all the Inkmonkeys.

    If I am forbidden from asking these questions I also understand. Just thought I would ask now since I just stumbled upon the changes.

  • Lioness
    replied
    We've got a thread for John and Holden's positive contributions and a thread for Neph's contributions would be equally welcome.

    I don't see anything good coming from this thread remaining open.

    Leave a comment:


  • Totentanz
    replied
    Originally posted by Wandering View Post

    Yeah, it's not that his writing skills weren't top-notch, or that he didn't come up with exciting, clever mechanics. But most of his work frames things in binaries and extreme absolutes in a way that really doesn't mesh with what 3E is going for. Some examples include his push for mortals to be Heroic or extras, with no in between; Abyssals had to either inevitably kill the world or else redeem into Solars; the Unconquered Sun was either impossible to defeat, or if he suppressed his virtues, a complete chump.

    The meme that "this is Exalted, mortals don't matter" while taken out of context and reduced to a soundbite, was originally taken from a Neph quote. The inevitability of Oblivion is what initially kicked off the trend of the "thousand dooms". Holden and John errattaing in a battle form for the Unconquered Sun to make him less of a chump even without his Aegis severely pissed Neph off and was one of the major blows that caused him to leave the line. Neph contributed a lot tonally to 2E, and a lot of what 3E is trying to be is starkly different from what he produced.
    Mechanically, Neph was working within the paradigm given. He didn't decide on the cheap perfects : overwhelming attacks dichotomy. He did have to work within it.

    As for 'mortals don't matter', the meaning of that statement was warped far out of context by the fans, and John and Holden were happy to use it as a weapon to push for their vision of Exalted. I actually quite like the direction Ex3 is headed, but that doesn't make 2E all bad, nor does it make Neph's contributions objectively bad.

    I will also agree with Irked that by far Neph's greatest quality was his willingness to educate and converse fearlessly. I learned a ton about game design by asking him pointed questions and getting immensely clear and verbose answers.

    I can also still see his thinking in Ex3, even though he didn't have a single hand in writing it.

    Leave a comment:


  • WhirlwindMonk
    replied
    Originally posted by Irked View Post
    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.
    I mean, ParanoiaCombo's post pretty much boils down to "People like writers who write things they like, and don't like as much writers who write things they don't like as much. News at 11." But yes, Neph's politeness was great, especially in comparison to....others who were involved in the line. One of the big reasons I completely stopped even lurking on these forums was the extremely toxic atmosphere that had been cultivated. Minton and Vance's courtesy, transparency, and helpfulness have been a wonderful breath of fresh air. Between the Ask the Devs thread, the Arms preview, and all the other discussion those things have generated, this place is starting to feel a lot more like the forum I enjoyed reading at the height of 2nd Ed. I really hope that, regardless if Neph comes back or not, they can find more writers with his attitude.

    All that said, it is a real shame if Holden and Hatewheel never return to Exalted. They wrote some great stuff both in 2e and 3e. ...they just need to stick to writing, because project management and PR is not their strong suit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wandering
    replied
    Originally posted by Blaque View Post
    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.
    Yeah, it's not that his writing skills weren't top-notch, or that he didn't come up with exciting, clever mechanics. But most of his work frames things in binaries and extreme absolutes in a way that really doesn't mesh with what 3E is going for. Some examples include his push for mortals to be Heroic or extras, with no in between; Abyssals had to either inevitably kill the world or else redeem into Solars; the Unconquered Sun was either impossible to defeat, or if he suppressed his virtues, a complete chump.

    The meme that "this is Exalted, mortals don't matter" while taken out of context and reduced to a soundbite, was originally taken from a Neph quote. The inevitability of Oblivion is what initially kicked off the trend of the "thousand dooms". Holden and John errattaing in a battle form for the Unconquered Sun to make him less of a chump even without his Aegis severely pissed Neph off and was one of the major blows that caused him to leave the line. Neph contributed a lot tonally to 2E, and a lot of what 3E is trying to be is starkly different from what he produced.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    C'mon, the mechanics weren't that crappy, right?

    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    …they were actually pretty decent for something that someone literally pulled out of their ass over the course of a few days…
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 04-06-2017, 10:56 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pram
    replied
    Originally posted by Mizu View Post
    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.

    I understand your frustration, but I refuse to deposit the blame on their doorstep. I'm glad I have the game, and I'm playing (and my group) the living hell out of it (and enjoying it). I think the game's survival is the word and mouth and the general goodwill of the 'fans'.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mizu
    replied
    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, 07:02 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blaque
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Irked
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blaque
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blaque
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ghosthead
    replied
    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)!

    Leave a comment:


  • Stephen Lea Sheppard
    replied
    Neph did not do Coral in Compass: West. That was Genevieve Cogman.

    Leave a comment:


  • Piff
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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