Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Edition for absurdly high-powered play

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

  • Edition for absurdly high-powered play

    The title of the topic might be somewhat misleading. My question actually goes as follows: suppose that I want to keep some elements of absurdly high-powered mechanics from the second edition of Exalted. Specifically, I want to keep:

    - maxima of attributes and abilities for Solars capped by (Essence or 5) rather than 5;
    - Charms for Essence greater than 5;
    - difficulty for tests possibly higher than 5.

    I understand the reasons behind removing those elements from the mechanics and I kindly disagree with these reasons. I understand the math behind embracing these kind of solutions.

    That said, common opinion seems to be that third edition is significantly better than second in almost every respect. Additionally, the listed elements from the second edition that I definitely want to keep seems easy to carry over to the third edition. However, this impression might be false. So would you rather recommend:

    - to move to the third edition and keep some mechanics from the second edition here and there;
    - or to stick to the second edition?

  • #2
    I think that they'd all work (in fact, it seems silly for skill tests to never be higher than 5... is that seriously a rule for 3rd ed? I thought it was just rare. I mean, some people have Defences higher than 6, so that's a higher difficulty on an attribute+ability test right there) if you wanted to have that kind of play.

    The main issue would be that there just aren't any charms like that written.

    I guess there's an argument that 3rd ed charms are generally weaker, so you might want to consider that.

    Of course, this rather depends what you think of 2nd ed high-power play. I don't think it works very well (ugh, the perfect spam) so wouldn't want to use it, but if you like it, why change it?
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 05-11-2017, 12:56 PM.


    "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      I think that they'd all work (in fact, it seems silly for skill tests to never be higher than 5... is that seriously a rule for 3rd ed? I thought it was just rare.
      You're correct, there are difficulties higher than 5 listed in quite a few locations, they're just uncommon.

      I mean, the FoS table goes up to difficulty 20....

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, thank you for such a quick answer.

        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        Of course, this rather depends what you think of 2nd ed high-power play. I don't think it works very well (ugh, the perfect spam) so wouldn't want to use it, but if you like it, why change it?
        The point is: even if something was not painful to me, then still, reportedly many things in 3 ed simply works better when it comes to the regular-powered play. And while I do want to incorporate high-end stuff and I am positive I want to represent it mechanically rather than hand-wave, it probably won't be the focus of my games. I am not sure whether some fundamental changes in 3 ed doesn't make the fusion of editions problematic.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would recommend switching to third edition and keeping the rules you want, but... that would mean a lot of work.

          Difficulties above 5 are in the system by default, as mentioned above, and it would be easy to rule that Attributes and Abilities can be raised above 5 at elder Essence levels (that would mess with intended balance, but it would still be less messy than second edition's balance, I think). But third edition has very few Charms and effects above Essence 5, and judging from developer comments on the subject, I expect it to stay that way. If you want second edition style elder Charm lists in the game, you would have to make them yourself, either from scratch or by adapting second edition Charms. The core system is different enough that it would be a bad idea to use them as-is even when you could, I think.

          But if you're willing to put in the effort, I think third edition would be a better choice. And while do prefer third edition's approach overall, I like the idea of high-powered Dreams of the First Age style games too, so I'd be interested in seeing anything you come up with.

          Comment


          • #6
            If I had to choose between traditional Ex2 and your modified Ex3, I would cautiously go with Ex3, simply because it's not objectively borked in implementation (and I'm unwilling to compile all the 2.5 errata into the existing charm set in a playable way).

            That said, I think you should be prepared for the math to crack wide open. The ST system gets statistically swingy and unwieldy at those levels, not to mention the annoyance of rolling that many dice and counting them for every little thing.

            The other consequence is you will re-introduce the Elder Problem with a vengeance. If Anys Syn gets to be Essence 8 or 9 again, killing her will be frikking hard. One of the design goals in Ex3 was to make everyone killable, and the setting is much healthier for it.

            Rather than fixating on the objective numbers, I would look at the play experience. An E5 Solar with 1000 XP is terrifying. He can smash armies, literally rewrite reality, and seduce nations. It's a pretty high-powered experience. Before taking on the problems associated with breaking the caps, I would ask what you aren't getting out of the "normal" high-end play of Ex3.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thing is, there will be Charms for Essence 6+ (and there's already a re-buy for one of the Archery Charms for Essence 6), but from what I understand they will all be unique to that individual and from what I understand will be less overwhelming power and more either breaking existing possibilities (one example given was throwing someone into Hell rather then killing them) or stuff like activating several Simple Charms as a single action type stuff.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                Before taking on the problems associated with breaking the caps, I would ask what you aren't getting out of the "normal" high-end play of Ex3.
                I knew people will inevitably ask

                I think the basic reason is: I want the characters in the world to be organised in mutually "unkillable" tiers. I do not think the Elder problem is really a problem for me, since I do want the math to precisely work so that very powerful characters are virtually impossible to defeat for medium-power characters which in turn are virtually impossible to defeat for regular folks. Moreover, I do not simply want to make the high-tier guys a purely narrative device, since I want the rules to go continuously from low through medium to insanely high tiers, so that they are a horizon which potentially could be reached. Additionally, I want to have the in-game possibility that players occasionally play those high-tier characters, so I specifically do not want to make them purely narrative natural phenomena. In particular, I want high-tiers mechanics to be reasonably crunchy.

                I think this long-stretching continuous hierarchy within the game mechanics is a very fun part of ultra-high fantasy play and I think Exalted supports this kind of experience best from the systems I know (Earthdawn somewhat comes to my mind, especially for spellcasters which can get pretty world-changing). If you know some systems that could do it better I would be genuinly happy to learn them. For me, the most attractive feature of Exalted is precisely that it seems to support this kind of game. There are tons of other kinds of fun I can have from RPG's, most of which are served very well by other systems.

                EDIT: That there will be Charms for Essence 6+ and that they will be unique to individuals sounds very good. Thank you!
                Last edited by Lanic; 05-11-2017, 04:00 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  E6+ Charms being unique to individuals (from what I read, that might not still be the case it was how they answered before Charms as they were in the Beta were even done) is something I really like the idea of. Given that Essence 6+ is no longer a thing with regards to age or experience also means that there are likely some ancient Exalts that 'only' have Essence 5. It's also mentioned that the PC's advance their Essence far faster then most NPC's do/have.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You might also try adapting the rules from Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, plugged into Exalted's setting. It's not a perfect fit, but it's still better than using 2e.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lanic View Post

                      I knew people will inevitably ask

                      I think the basic reason is: I want the characters in the world to be organised in mutually "unkillable" tiers. I do not think the Elder problem is really a problem for me, since I do want the math to precisely work so that very powerful characters are virtually impossible to defeat for medium-power characters which in turn are virtually impossible to defeat for regular folks. Moreover, I do not simply want to make the high-tier guys a purely narrative device, since I want the rules to go continuously from low through medium to insanely high tiers, so that they are a horizon which potentially could be reached. Additionally, I want to have the in-game possibility that players occasionally play those high-tier characters, so I specifically do not want to make them purely narrative natural phenomena. In particular, I want high-tiers mechanics to be reasonably crunchy.

                      I think this long-stretching continuous hierarchy within the game mechanics is a very fun part of ultra-high fantasy play and I think Exalted supports this kind of experience best from the systems I know (Earthdawn somewhat comes to my mind, especially for spellcasters which can get pretty world-changing). If you know some systems that could do it better I would be genuinly happy to learn them. For me, the most attractive feature of Exalted is precisely that it seems to support this kind of game. There are tons of other kinds of fun I can have from RPG's, most of which are served very well by other systems.

                      EDIT: That there will be Charms for Essence 6+ and that they will be unique to individuals sounds very good. Thank you!
                      Well, if you want people to be mechanically unkillable, then Ex2 is probably more desirable.

                      I understand your feelings in this regard, and I actually agree with them. I've just accepted that the ST system is not a firm foundation to build that on. And "so old they can't be defeated" is the antithesis of the Ex3 design goals.

                      I too have searched for a system that does what you mention well, and I've largely failed. Aberrant promises that sort of play, but it's even more absurdly broken than Ex2. M&M somewhat gets there (it's not great for Exalted), but I find the crunch in it somewhat dissatisfying.

                      Godbound has PCs with world-shaking might, but it's OSR and thus built with the "four on one" premise in mind.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                        I've just accepted that the ST system is not a firm foundation to build that on. And "so old they can't be defeated" is the antithesis of the Ex3 design goals.
                        Thank you for a very informative (even if dissatisfying) answer.

                        I am curious about your opinion on the ST system. Generally, it seems to me that other than systems based on addition of results from multiple dice (like in Earthdawn or Star Wars d6) the systems that counts successes on multiple dice are much better scalable then systems based on linear tests (like in the large family of systems based on d100 or d20), since by throwing a large number of dice you get something that roughly resembles normal distribution so:
                        - arbitrarily small outcomes are possible (but with decreasing probability as the stats grow)
                        - arbitrarily large outcomes are possible (assuming we have some form of rerolls, like in Exalted)
                        - the more dice, the more stable the results.

                        So it seems that at its core the ST system should allow for a decent "scalability." Even more so in classic WoD where you could also manipulate the target number for a dice to count as a success, which gave you two parametres to control the probability distribution, so you could decide:
                        - how difficult a given task should be,
                        - how quickly should the outcomes stabilise as the stats grow.

                        Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                        Well, if you want people to be mechanically unkillable, then Ex2 is probably more desirable.
                        The reason why I ask is that reportedly Ex 3 is better than Ex 2 in almost every respect. I knew that one of the design goals was to address Elder issue. I was curious whether it affects the whole system so heavily that reintroducing Essence 6+ phenomena is impossible or can it simply modified without breaking totally everything.
                        Last edited by Lanic; 05-11-2017, 05:16 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It would be very hard to do. Static increases that just stay are super rare and the one perfect defense (exclusive to Dodge) we've seen is once a scene and then has a reset condition, though both Resistance and Melee have close to perfect defenses that don't have that reset condition, instead they allow for either Soak to affect Decisive (for Resistance) or for you to spend Initiative countering damage successes of a Decisive (for Melee). So being unkillable is actively next to impossible, but being hard to kill is quite possible. For one, there are at least two charms that allow you to say 'no' to being killed. One is Craft the other is Socialize. The Craft one is basically a Doombot was killed and you're actually elsewhere and the Socialize one is basically the Dr. Who Regeneration.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A major design goal of third edition was to narrow power gaps and prevent anyone from being unkillable, as others mentioned. Infinite Ability Mastery is gone, perfect defenses aren't quite perfect anymore, and passive and permanent abilities are rarer and generally more restrained. I'm not very experienced with it, but the end result seems to be that while Exalted are still extremely powerful, they will usually have to expend a little effort and resources to show it. An elite mortal hero might be able to influence a fight between two Solars, but still won't have a chance if one notices and decides they need to be dealt with.

                            There are few rules or examples for high-Essence spirits and even fewer for elder Exalted, though, so you would be free to come up with your own rules for how they work - increasing Attribute and Ability caps, for example. I'm sure there are plenty of ways you could widen the power gap. You might be disappointed with the system if it's important that powerful beings be literally unkillable to anyone too far beneath them, but I would still encourage you to give it a look and try, and see what you think.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There are ways of having a higher power sort of game using 3e than using another system or going back to 2e. I did these possible houserules in my GM guide for people who wanted something higher powered.

                              ANIMA FIELD
                              Inspirations: RWBY, Halo shields, my own Sci-fi idea I had literal years ago

                              Strong characters don’t need to bother dodging attacks as bullets and blades seem to rebound off of the character’s skin entirely. Each and every Exalt’s own anima field, even when muted, is capable of having attacks reflect off of the anima field to boil away most if not all harm an opponent seeks to do on the Exalted. Stronger supernatural creatures usually have a similar field constantly on around them, but weaker ones (Essence 4 or lower) and/or mortals are generally left to the full effects. Armour is still used to absorb some of the impact from the blow so that not all of it is channeled into the anima field. The field is not invincible nor all encompassing, so caution is advised! In fact if the field breaks than characters are wide open to the attacks of their enemies!

                              Reason: One reason is narrative dissonance, some people generally don’t like how initiative is far more narrative/handwavy so they want something more solid. Other is wanting to feel the solid impact of attacks, or letting even the most fragile of characters feel as if they’re capable of taking blows that kill lesser men trivially.

                              Effects: Most of the details about the field are in the fluff itself. Those without active anima fields (or equivalent) treat withering damage as actual health level damage, while withering damage between opponents can be seen as innate magical attacks of some sort that steal power from one opponent’s field or just general toughness. The same anima field can be used as an offensive tactic, where one can focus all of their field into a special shot or attack that tears through the anima field and nearly all known armours to inflict actual damage at the cost of draining most of your field’s power, known as a decisive attack. An initiative break is seen as an opponent’s anima field or entering low power mode, where normal attacks become much more lethal (hence battle group attacks doing actual damage). During this time inside of initiative break one on the ropes can only use the polarity from their anima field to repel attacks from other anima field users, but they’d have no protection from a full power decisive attack.

                              The field isn’t at full strength all the time, that would be far too tiring even for the mightiest of Exalts. Rather the Wits + Awareness roll to join battle not only represents attempting to go faster than your opponent, but also unconsciously focusing your field to repel attacks.

                              Rules wise this literally does nothing, just a different explanation of how protection for exalts works. If you wish you could make it also apply to physical impacts like falling damage (making it FAR less lethal). I’d highly suggest against making it also work against things like environmental hazards, as you’d be stepping on the territory of other charms.


                              HARDY SUPERNATURALS

                              When one learns to take their second breath, you are not merely considered mighty for being able to use charms, but you’re frightening when compared to any average joe! Supernatural creatures gain the following benefits:
                              • Feats of Strength are lowered by one category and Feats of Strength that need Strength 3 may now be done effortlessly. Any supernatural being does not need to roll in order to do something like break a sword across their knee, and throwing a boulder only requires three successes on a feat of Strength roll while only requiring 3 Strength.
                              • The harshest conditions only have little chance of laying the mighty low. Any supernatural automatically gains an additional (3 or Essence, whichever is higher) automatic successes to resist any mundane environmental hazard. However if a hazard is caused by a supernatural or altered by a supernatural, than this bonus is restricted
                              • Example: Walking across a desert means an exalt has little chance of heat stroke, but if an angry sky god decided to spite the Exalt and intensify the sun’s rays, than the Exalt would need to resist as normal). Likewise a Fire Aspects anima catching fire to a building and making it an inferno would mean any supernatural inside would need lose the bonus afforded by this supernatural fire.
                              • Mundane poisons and illnesses cannot affect the Supernatural. Only supernatural poisons and illnesses have any chance of affecting him. This means that alcohol meant for supernaturals would knock a mortal almost flat out, making moonshine seem weak in comparison!
                              • For clarification, ‘mundane’ poison coming from evocations such as Spring Razor count as supernatural, as does any poison coming from a supernatural opponent.
                              • The Exalt still has needs... just that he can delay them for much longer. The Exalt can now go (Stamina) hours without air, die of dehydration after (Stamina) weeks without water, and perish from starvation after (Stamina) months without food. However in less than ideal conditions, the same penalties from hardships apply otherwise (including staying underwater for Stamina x2 turns!)
                              Reason: Maybe you don’t want PC’s to die anticlimactically but still want to remain by the book on nearly everything else. Or maybe you think casually hurling boulders is cool.
                              Effects: Most environmental treks or concerns are going to be an absolute joke, making so that only extreme environments such as the Wyld, Malfeas, or an Elemental Court are likely to force an Exalt to roll. Environmental resistance charms such as Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit may be reduced in value, but are still welcome for what they bring against the worst mundane environments. A lot of spirits usually have charms to alter or amplify environmental problems, bypassing the protection this houserule can normally bring as well. Poison/Illness-Resisting Meditation are more situational, but will be *damn* useful when they can work as supernatural poisons and illnesses are bound to be nasty. Feats of Strength means even the weakest Exalt is stronger than the average mortal, and ‘above average’ exalts can perform feats that amaze mortals almost casually.


                              MIGHTY SUPERNATURALS

                              Inspirations: Exalted 2e, Godbound, epic tales involving gods rather than mortals

                              Supernatural beings don’t just show power, they literally are power when infused with Essence. Mortal beings can simply never hope to compare. Using this modification does the following:
                              The dramas of the gods and supernaturals are so far above the concerns of mere mortals that such people only end up as playthings to such creatures. Whenever a supernatural creature makes *any roll* against a mundane mortal then they automatically receive (3 or Essence, whichever is greater) bonus automatic successes to the roll that do not count towards dice cap. However, the supernatural being must at least have some degree of skill in a roll. An Exalt who cannot count (Let’s say bureaucracy 0) is still going to lose to a mortal who can count every time (Bureaucracy 3). These bonuses also apply against battlegroups composed of mortals that have Might 0 unless they are being led or aided by a supernatural themselves (see below).

                              In battle, mortals are almost always treated as trivial opponents. In the case of elite fighters or bodyguards then they’re still a joke. Mortal opponents, even mighty ones, always have their health track damaged by withering attacks, gaining an initiative break bonus one one is felled (Plus whatever initiative they somehow stole from you back). Against mortal attacks, supernatural characters gain an additional (Essence or 3, whichever is higher) soak against withering and decisive attacks, while insignificant characters cannot hurt the Exalt at all! That is right, soak against decisive attacks.

                              To use a fast and loose rule of insignificant opponents under this houserule, anyone who is average in attribute or skill (EX: 2 dots) are treated as insignificant, while anyone who is actually higher than that would be enough that the supernatural being needs to actually *try* against the Exalt.

                              The words of a supernatural can worm their way into the strongest of mortal minds. Any social influence action the Exalt makes forces the mortal to spend an additional point of willpower in order to resist it. Likewise social attacks by mortals mean that the Supernatural being gains +3 to both Resolve and Guile... unless they’re using a defining intimacy or are a defining intimacy. History is rife with mere mortals tricking gods!

                              The above however does not apply when a mortal is directly under a supernatural blessing of some sort. For example a Sorcerer who is under the Skin of Bronze spell takes damage as a supernatural would, and a battle group under the blessing of Ahlat himself would apply their full traits against the exalt and give the exalt no automatic bonuses against them. This also applies to the Exalt’s own soldiers and familiars, in where if they are under the effect of *any* survival or war charm, supernatural bonuses against such groups are automatically negated. In addition, Tiger Warrior Training gains the following enhancement to give to Elite troops in addition to the ones already there:
                              • The Slayers of Gods - “And if you look over here, this is where they teach young children to someday become godkillers.” Against a supernatural opponents a battle group does not suffer, they thrive! Against a single supernatural opponent, a battlegroup gains +1 might and negates any bonuses a supernatural would normally gain against them.
                              Mortals cannot make artifacts under any circumstance. Such a thing is too complex for them.

                              Reason: Perhaps you want to tell an epic tale in where the Exalts themselves are far better than any mortal can ever hope to achieve. Perhaps you want a massive power trip. Either way, this houserule has you covered.

                              Effects: This quite literally puts mortals in the backdrops, casting the exalts even more like demigods than what they already are, but while seemingly powerful they can be undone very quickly. Effects are put into place so that if someone wants to make a mortal army or a wolf familiar, than such a system shouldn’t screw over such concepts. Even without Tiger Warrior Training Technique, even something as basic as League of Iron Preparation will make them fight at full power against supernaturals. Likewise a Sorcerer with Wood Dragon’s Claw and Skin of Bronze can fight against Exalts without the penalties (Assuming they’re up). Automatic successes are used, as god knows you’ll want to avoid rolling more dice.

                              Alternatively if you're using my monster guide homebrew, is the Weak/Strong/Special split I did in there, but more detailed than what I laid out quickly up above.



                              Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                              Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X