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  • #16
    It's very well made! The one issue I kind of foresee is that the 25 pages taken up to explain the game's rules might be off-putting to a few folks.


    "Won't you believe in him? Even if there is no God, or Buddha...there is still Kamen Rider." —Taki Kazuya, Kamen Rider SPIRITS

    Now...count up all your sins.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by CycloneJoker View Post
      It's very well made! The one issue I kind of foresee is that the 25 pages taken up to explain the game's rules might be off-putting to a few folks.
      You're not wrong. That said, Tomb of Dreams serves a dual purpose. For new players intimidated by the Exalted 3rd Edition core rulebook, Part 1 of ToD is meant to serve as an alternative—a new player can read that and be ready to play, even with a group playing the full game and not the ToD scenario. It's also, if I did my job, true enough to the full published rules that a group can use it as a reference if they'd rather flip through it than something with as many pages as the core.

      (Part of this is ego on my part. Two years from now I want people asking "How do I get into Exalted?" to get the answer "Tomb of Dreams!" That was always the promise in Return to the Tomb of 5 Corners, but for a variety of reasons RttTo5C didn't successfully achieve it.)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
        It's also, if I did my job, true enough to the full published rules that a group can use it as a reference if they'd rather flip through it than something with as many pages as the core.
        You did. I checked!


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        • #19
          Still don't have my link, so sad! (Trumpian voice lol)

          Actually, just found it! It`s great again!
          Last edited by TGUEIROS; 04-06-2017, 08:21 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
            Oh shit! Mirror Flag is one of the 5 characters. You managed to pick my favorite character in the entire setting. Thanks Stephen! My love for you is like that of a girl loudly squealing for Justin Bieber. I might even go to sleep tonight clutching a picture of you to my chest, but don't count on it.

            Now let me get back to reading.

            *EDIT*

            Okay, just finished. So, the rules are the rules. Not much to say about that section. 26 pages, so almost half the book. Exalted is definitely not a Rules-lite system.

            So the setting and use of emanations really reminds me of Swar. Swar was a powerful Shapeless Raksha that was trapped in Creation. It took the form of a city and had its emanations protecting it. The dreamlike quality of the story and travel between locations made me come away wondering if the Demon was actually a Fair Folk of some sort. Neat, regardless.

            The inclusion of so many artifacts is pretty cool. It lets you gear up the characters and gives everyone something memorable.

            I like how you can bypass a fair number of challenges without resorting to combat and also appreciated a few notes on how the adventure might work with a bigger or smaller group (or even as a solo adventure).

            Teo and Suma both felt very different from one another and it felt like they had fairly strong personalities. The serpent emanation seemed interesting and I wish there had been a bit more detail in describing it.

            Ultimately it's fairly short. The characters meet one another, they fight a wolf, they meet a spirit, they do a couple of things and bam, it's over. Which is great for a short, introductory adventure.

            The write up for the sample NPCs are nice. You did a good job of getting the character's backstory and personality across in just a few paragraphs. Their choice of Charms seems to give each character a fairly diverse toolset.

            The quality of the writing was nice and straight forward. There really wasn't any point at which I was scratching my head (except where the anger emanation was described as a cephalopod and it took me a second to remember if that would make it look like a whale or an octopus, but that's because I'm an idiot).

            I'm pretty pleased all around with this. Thank you Stephen and everyone else for your work. I look forward to seeing material of similar quality in the future.
            Honestly, I'd call the adventure "compact" instead of short. I mean, sure, ok, you can run it as pretty short, but you can also end up spinning things out further. Talking with any of the spirits doesn't have to be short and the combats are in locations that could be pretty darn epic too and those could end up being long without necessarily getting annoying. And then there's the possible results of the various interactions between everyone in the adventure, which could create all sorts of additional scenes.


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            • #21
              A nice book. The art is pretty good. So... was there also an art director change, or is this just some guest appearance?

              Anyway, I just skimmed through the book and gotta say that I hope Mel Uran does all the character/caste profiles for Ex3. Not only for consistency, but also because her art has gotten a lot better and I really like what she did with Mirror Flag.

              Also, in my humble opinion, this book has the best best illustration in the entire edition so far.


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              • #22
                Lea, did you have any thoughts on the general themes of the weapons? Alternately, Vance are you planing on putting them into Arms?


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                • #23
                  Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                  Honestly, I'd call the adventure "compact" instead of short. I mean, sure, ok, you can run it as pretty short, but you can also end up spinning things out further. Talking with any of the spirits doesn't have to be short and the combats are in locations that could be pretty darn epic too and those could end up being long without necessarily getting annoying. And then there's the possible results of the various interactions between everyone in the adventure, which could create all sorts of additional scenes.
                  "Short" was not intended to be an insulting word. In fact, sometimes having something short and fairly straightforward is good. In this case, you go to a half-dozen locations and talk to 3 people (well two spirits and a giant snake) and get in 2 or 3 fights. It's the sort of thing you can start and have wrapped up in 3 or 4 hours, or even sooner depending. It's an excellent aperitif to Exalted, a nice way to introduce people using a brief adventure to get them to understand the setting and rules. It includes a lot of the Exalted mythos (returning Solars, demons, spirits, etc). And it manages to crams all of that into a fairly short adventure that only takes up 17 pages, including artwork.

                  That's honestly pretty impressive.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                    Lea, did you have any thoughts on the general themes of the weapons? Alternately, Vance are you planing on putting them into Arms?
                    I didn't even give the weapons names! I think Holden added them later. The general vibe of the island and its contents is supposed to be "This is not for you" so the weapons are deliberately cryptic and undefined—maybe someone, somewhere, knows what these are, what they've done and what they do, but that person ain't here and that person ain't you. Or maybe nobody knows; maybe that history has been lost.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
                      Anyway, I just skimmed through the book and gotta say that I hope Mel Uran does all the character/caste profiles for Ex3. Not only for consistency, but also because her art has gotten a lot better and I really like what she did with Mirror Flag.
                      I've always loved Mel's character illustrations, going all the way back to her work in Kindred of the East in the old World of Darkness, so I'd absolutely be behind this.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

                        "Short" was not intended to be an insulting word. In fact, sometimes having something short and fairly straightforward is good. In this case, you go to a half-dozen locations and talk to 3 people (well two spirits and a giant snake) and get in 2 or 3 fights. It's the sort of thing you can start and have wrapped up in 3 or 4 hours, or even sooner depending. It's an excellent aperitif to Exalted, a nice way to introduce people using a brief adventure to get them to understand the setting and rules. It includes a lot of the Exalted mythos (returning Solars, demons, spirits, etc). And it manages to crams all of that into a fairly short adventure that only takes up 17 pages, including artwork.

                        That's honestly pretty impressive.

                        Thanks!

                        I spent a lot of time considering how I'd do Return to the Tomb of 5 Corners better. What I ended up shooting for was, in essence, Return to the Tomb of 5 Corners plus Dark Souls' Painted World of Aramais plus "About one Mass Effect planet's worth of story content." (That's ME1, Noveria specifically).

                        To that end I produced an outline in which a whole ad-hoc court of spirit exiles was trapped inside a demon's dream-space. The dream-space was originally going to be a variety of landscapes and environments connected by portals all based on the demon's memories, with the spirit court sort of primarily focused in an area based on a memory of a Malfean bazaar. The more I developed it, the more the island as a coherent space appealed to me, so the bazaar got moved to the clouds above the island. The demon was going to be imprisoned in the interior of an iceberg, and I moved that to the ocean north of the island, and the PCs would have had to go there after collecting the anchors.

                        There was going to be this whole conflict where the spirit court actually hadn't been trapped-as-such until recently because one of the gods in it had been a storm-god capable of controlling the storms in the dream that kept the portal to Creation shut, only he'd recently died, and it was a murder mystery and the demon would have been the one to have killed him, and the head of the spirit court wanted to reestablish the entrance but would have tried to kill the PCs before letting them escape with the loot because that would collapse the dream and rob him of his secret headquarters. There were going to be about a dozen spirits, and then I cut it down to six, and then I played with and rejected adding an enslaved population of mortals.

                        And then as I brainstormed and wrote the thing, I just started cutting all the elements that might have worked but wouldn't have been necessary, until I was left with the realization that I could just have two trapped spirits, one who wants to free the demon and one who wants to keep it, and that they could live on the island instead of in a city in the clouds above, and then I cut the iceberg because the caldera made for a good showdown spot. The end result was significantly less than an ME1 planet's worth of plot, but, as you say, it works for a 1-shot, which is a strength in a demo.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                          Thanks!
                          For sure. Your original idea sounds really interesting as well. Had this been more of an adventure module (in the vein of Disease of an Evil Conscience or Daughter of Nexus) that all of the extra stuff would have been great. But I think you paired everything down nicely. It condensed all of the important elements.

                          Honestly while I have never been one for premade adventures, I think I'll be using this one. My groups current 5th edition D&D game coming to a closer later this month, so I might try to push them to give Exalted 3rd edition another shot, and Tomb of Dreams seems like it would be a good way to do it.

                          So thanks for writing it!

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                          • #28
                            Also the entire undersea trench sequence is just the climax of Pacific Rim.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

                              I didn't even give the weapons names! I think Holden added them later. The general vibe of the island and its contents is supposed to be "This is not for you" so the weapons are deliberately cryptic and undefined—maybe someone, somewhere, knows what these are, what they've done and what they do, but that person ain't here and that person ain't you. Or maybe nobody knows; maybe that history has been lost.
                              Oh. Hmmm... now I'm torn between thinking these should never be detailed officially, because that fits the theme well, and asking if you guys could swap the names and descriptions out for artifacts that are going to be in Arms, because I'd imagine that lots of new STs and groups are going to use this adventure and being able to pop open another book and get the evocations for these artifacts would be pretty useful if they decide to keep playing.


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                              • #30
                                I wasn't sure on whether to get this, but this thread has convinced me to get it.

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