Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Storytelling Sidereals: what to do and what not to do?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Storytelling Sidereals: what to do and what not to do?

    Lurking around the forum in the last few weeks I read several posts about Sidereals that reminded me why they are probably my favorite splat and actually made me want to run Exalted and giving a shot at a small Sidereal game. A brief campaign, nothing too big, just to have some fun. I'm speaking about 2nd Edition Sidereals, since those are the books I currently have.

    Since my experience at running Exalted games is admittedly very limited, I'm writing this post looking for any suggestion whatsoever I could use to prepare and make this sort of chronicle work. Either from a mechanical or narrative perspective, anything you think that could help is welcome.

    I've years of experience as a Storyteller but I'm a newbie when it comes to Exalted and I this is truly a new territory to me, also considering that I've always heard 2nd Edition Sidereals have some issues to work around.

    Thanks in advance!


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

    Waiting feverishly as instructed

  • #2
    My suggested Sidereal House Rules:

    1. Don't make your PCs buy colleges separately. Make Astrology Colleges equal to the applicable Ability. If Suzu Serenity has a five in performance, then she gets five dice in the Musician College.

    2. Give your PCs one non rolled Resplendent Destiny at Character Creation. Ideally this would be the Destiny, the PC uses to conduct business in Yu-Shan, but that may be useless depending on the game. Still haven't figured out how many points this free Destiny should have.

    3. Suggest your players favor either Martial Arts, Occult, or both.

    4. Add the Elsewhere Weapon Stashing Charms to the Sidereal Charm Set.

    Some other tips:

    1. Be sure you and your players are on the same page when it comes to "How much do people in Creation/Yu-Shan know about Sidereals?" Do all Lunars know that Sidereals are Chosen of the Maidens and responsible for the Usurpation? Do they just know Sidereals are forgettable and hunt them down? What does your average Dragonblooded Elder know?

    2. Ignore Solars. Set the game before the Jade Prison opening. Or open the Jade Prison during the game. I highly suggest considering a Realm Based Bronze Faction Game. Sidereals and Dragonblooded go together like Peanut Butter and Chocolate. You can ignore the whole "Sidereals hunt down innocent Lunars" aspect if your players are uncomfortable with playing a non-heroic character. Instead you can go out and defend the civilization world from Yozi Cults, Fair Folk, and other monsters.

    3. Remind your players they can't brute force their way though obstacles. They have to think out of the box. Give your players situations that require out of the box thinking. Keep your player's charms in mind.

    4. Sidereals are weirdos who know things. Feed your players information in strange ways. I like to deliver missions via Predestined Delivery Shaping. "Are you Mistress Suzu? I have a letter addressed to you."

    5. Strange Coincidences are Sidereal's bread and butter. Sidereals are the masters of Right place at the right time. ST: "You feel the need to take a walk tonight." PC: "I'm going to take a walk." ST: "You see a man leaving a five story window." PC: "Of course I do. Well, I better chase him."


    Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

    The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      3. Suggest your players favor either Martial Arts, Occult, or both.
      Alternatively, just give all Sidereals MA and Occult for free. Give Secrets and Endings an extra pick to compensate.

      3. Remind your players they can't brute force their way though obstacles. They have to think out of the box. Give your players situations that require out of the box thinking. Keep your player's charms in mind.
      Sidereals are very good for the type of gameplay where you present the players with a problem without having a particular solution in mind. That can require a willingness to improve on both their and your part, but it can be great when they come up with a solution that you never anticipated.

      Having a good idea of what your players' Charms do is particularly improtant in a Sidereal game. Be willing to give edge cases to your players...Sidereals are essentially cosmic rules lawyers and operate by cheating outrageously at everything, so being able to argue that yes, the Charm does actually apply in this situation makes things much more interesting for both you and them.

      And be aware that several Sidereal Charms...really don't do anything. This is particularly true as you head down into the Secrets and Endings portions of the Charm list. Be prepared to discuss possible benefits of them with your players when they legitimately ask why they should spend a Charm pick/XP on them.

      Find an alternative to the book's Paradox system. Just about anything would be better, up to and including just stripping the damn thing out and replacing it with nothing.

      If any of your players are interested in astrology at all, highly encourage them to pick up a Performance (Astrology) specialty and the Second Performance Excellency. These are low-investment measures that will make them much more effective at actually using astrology. Note that you can also precalculate most values for astrology, reducing a very complex system down to essentially a single roll of a three sided die. I can post the logic, if you're interested.

      Decide if you want your game to focus on Creation or Yu-Shan, or a mix of both, and make sure your players are on board with that. Sidereals are very flexible in that you can very easily have a solely Creation-based game with Yu-Shan as a backdrop, or vice versa, or a mix of them without having to change too much.

      Strip out Paradox and replace it with literally anything else. Yes, I said this already. Yes, it's worth the repetition. Paradox is that bad.


      Have you ever read a Coik post before, man? lol
      -Holden

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah dump the paradox system.

        I think there should be some sort of weird effect if a PC fucks around with Fate too much. I'd just take a page out of the Scroll of Errata and translate over something similar to new Abyssal Resonance. Have strange stuff happen around the Sidereal when their paradox gets too high. Or have the Pattern Spiders give them bad dreams until they do the Spiders a favor.


        Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

        The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
          2. Give your PCs one non rolled Resplendent Destiny at Character Creation. Ideally this would be the Destiny, the PC uses to conduct business in Yu-Shan, but that may be useless depending on the game. Still haven't figured out how many points this free Destiny should have.
          Giving a Sidereal a free Resplendent Destiny sounds good to me on a lot of levels, including "it encourages them to build one pre-game and get familiar with the rules surrounding them"... but why would most Sidereals use a Resplendent Destiny to conduct business in Yu-Shan as a matter of course? In prior editions, damn near everyone in Yu-Shan has been explicitly immune to Arcane Fate. You don't NEED a Resplendent Destiny in Yu-Shan to exist as a normal person the way you do in Creation.


          "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Murcushio View Post

            Giving a Sidereal a free Resplendent Destiny sounds good to me on a lot of levels, including "it encourages them to build one pre-game and get familiar with the rules surrounding them"... but why would most Sidereals use a Resplendent Destiny to conduct business in Yu-Shan as a matter of course? In prior editions, damn near everyone in Yu-Shan has been explicitly immune to Arcane Fate. You don't NEED a Resplendent Destiny in Yu-Shan to exist as a normal person the way you do in Creation.
            I'm pretty sure that only spirits in the Bureau of Fate are immune to the Arcane Fate. Everyone else will have trouble remembering you.


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post

              I'm pretty sure that only spirits in the Bureau of Fate are immune to the Arcane Fate. Everyone else will have trouble remembering you.
              Nope. MOEP: Sidereals, Page 119:

              "Finally, Creation readily forgets Sidereals- their personas or their actual selves. Arcane Fate makes it almost a certainty that people and objects governed by the Loom will let the Sidereals slip from their minds. This aspect of Arcane Fate is a Shaping effect that affects mortals, Exalted, and most gods equally. A character's Familiars and Acquaintances are immune, as are all Sidereals, all officials and functionaries of the Bureau of Destiny, all Celestial gods and any creatures outside of fate."

              Emphasis mine. Since almost everyone in Yu-Shan is a Celestial god, most of them just aren't going to give a fuck about Arcane Fate.

              Now, this is 2e, of course, so things might change going forward. But historically Arcane Fate hasn't been super relevant to Yu-Shan. And I would also point out that under 2e mechanics, a LOT of NPCs are going to be able to assemble the seven dice on the Wits + Integrity roll to claim the autosuccess and give the finger to Arcane Fate that way. (I think. I'm fuzzy on those rules. You can convert seven dice to a single success on any non-combat roll in 2e, right?)

              Like I said, there are other very, very good reasons to give a PC a free Resplendent Destiny. But needing one to operate in Yu-Shan isn't one of them, I don't think.


              "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

              Comment


              • #8
                Shit. I've been operating on the idea that only Bureau of Destiny gods were immune. I think it says somewhere in the description of the Sorcerer that Sidereals use that RD to conduct business in Yu-Shan.


                Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

                The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                  Shit. I've been operating on the idea that only Bureau of Destiny gods were immune. I think it says somewhere in the description of the Sorcerer that Sidereals use that RD to conduct business in Yu-Shan.
                  Huh! It absolutely does. I either didn't know that or had forgotten. I learned something today.

                  I'm sure we're all shocked that there are glaring inconsistencies in 2e books, especially in MOEP: Sidereals. Shocked and appalled. This is unheard of!


                  "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ooh, nice. I have been thinking about running a Sidereal game for a long time, but never quite work up the courage.Here are a few ideas I would consider:

                    - have an idea what your game would feature more. Is it going to be all about the extended missions in Creation with the occasional report or drinking night in Yu-Shan, are you going to be getting a full frontal view of Yu-Shan politics, or something else?

                    - Have an idea (as a ST) how the whole celestial bureaucracy works at any rate.

                    - Give some extra XP for learning at least a bit of martial arts, sidereal colleges, backgrounds related to Yu-Shan, Resplendent destinies or the like, or just give some freebies.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Go watch a bunch of James Bond movies. Season to taste with other spy flicks.

                      Then go watch a bunch of kung fu movies. Throw in Wild Wild West and Men in Black while you're at it.

                      Then (particularly if you have any Joybringers in your party) go watch the Bollywood musical Kal Ho Naa Ho. As a servant of the Cerulean Lute myself, I assure you that this is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP.

                      You are now prepared to run a game for Sidereals. Enjoy.


                      So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                      The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                      -Roger Zelazny

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ah, yes, especially MiB, Men in Black is probably the biggest influence to how I imagine Sidereals - secret agents who part of a hidden conspiracy, wield absurdly high-tech gadgets, assume different identities, and negotiate with and fight extraterrestrial (extraCreational?) entities to keep the peace in the world.
                        Last edited by 4uk4ata; 04-30-2017, 12:34 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My inspiration for Sidereals is working in Government for ten years. Doing you best to help people then having the powerful jump though all the hoops and forcing you to sign off on horrible but legal acts. And the people you try to help turn on you because you are the face of the powerful who allow the miners to pollute thier rivers.

                          Being a real life Bureaucrat is a thankless job that would go so much better with super Kung Fu powers.


                          Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

                          The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm here in the shadows taking notes, everyone.

                            Thanks for all your contributions; they are actually helping a lot, giving me more motivations to start and helping shape the game already
                            Last edited by Cinder; 04-30-2017, 04:05 PM.


                            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                            Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

                            Waiting feverishly as instructed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                              I'm here in the shadows taking notes, everyone.
                              So, you already understood Sidereals

                              :P

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X