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What if Autochthon is Asleep because of the Alchemicals?

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  • #16
    I think it’s easily tweaked a little to make the situation less hopeless.

    Alchemical Exalted represent a solution to the Law of Diminishment their eventual evolution into cities is a loophole which helps Autochthon recover and the blame instead rests with the politics of the Octet both increasing the rate of attrition and slowing the rate at which they become cities.

    This means that his immune system is going to make things worse before they get better as the nations dig in and create more Alchemicals to fight against this growing threat.


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    • #17
      Originally posted by HighPriest View Post

      So, it would be like the World of Darkness line?
      Are you saying all WoD lines are this? If not, which one/s is/are?

      I've played all WoD (except Wraith), for 20 years, have dozens of books, and nothing really read like that...

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      • #18
        People can do whatever they want for their campaigns, of course, but I really hope this idea doesn't become fanon.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by HighPriest View Post

          So, it would be like the World of Darkness line?
          That's pretty much Vampire, yes, but that's also part of the inherent buy-in to Vampire.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

            That's pretty much Vampire, yes, but that's also part of the inherent buy-in to Vampire.
            It's also a part of Promethean, but to a lesser degree because there's a well defined light at the end of the tunnel. Undermined of course, by having to make another Promethean as part of reaching said light, but still - some hope.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
              This is a bad idea because the message is "Hey, you, player! Your cool character's very existence is the reason everything sucks! You ought to not be playing!"
              While I agree that presented in the manner you suggest it would certainly be less than positive for the play experience, I view this less of "you're bad and you should feel bad" and more "You have discovered that the status quo is unsustainable. You cannot stop exalting alchemicals due to the void and the human population of Autochthonia, nor can you continue as you have without regard. An alternative must be found. Enter the PCs"

              Presented properly it doesn't differ that much from many of exalted's "the center cannot hold, what do your characters do" type of scenarios. It need not be terribly negative at all.

              I'm not sure why this would immediately be toxic to become official or even be hinted at officially when the main splat, the solars, are apparently doomed to become decadent god-kings that will murder everyone for sport. IE, fixing the great curse is another of those scenarios where leaving the status quo alone kinda buggers up everyone's day.

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              • #22
                I can really think of only one way that this could be run in a way that doesn't loop around into "We've got to kill all the Alchemicals to fix the Great Maker" territory.
                ​First, Autochthon willingly created the Alchemicals, either knowing he'd probably be rendered comatose in the process or else made a miscalculation in the matter.
                Second, there is no going back. Killing the Alchemicals won't do anything to help Autochthon.
                Third, the power source for Alchemical Exaltation is like the flame of Exigence, a thing which Autochthon created but which is separate from himself. Each new Alchemical is not a new drain on Autochthon and so making more won't hurt Autochthon.

                Given those framing elements, the creation of the first Alchemicals would be viewed in a sort of messianic way by the Octet, with Autochthon sacrificing himself in order to protect his people. The Alchemicals would be seen as extensions of Autochthon's divine grace, his eyes and hands in the world, but I'm not sure if all the religious overtones this creates serves the Alchemical narrative very well.



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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                  I can really think of only one way that this could be run in a way that doesn't loop around into "We've got to kill all the Alchemicals to fix the Great Maker" territory.
                  I'm pretty sure AnubisXY is the only one who said anything remotely like this and I think the rest of us agree that anything that results in this sentiment is probably bad for the game as a whole.
                  Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                  ​First, Autochthon willingly created the Alchemicals, either knowing he'd probably be rendered comatose in the process or else made a miscalculation in the matter.
                  Second, there is no going back. Killing the Alchemicals won't do anything to help Autochthon.
                  I don't think there's ever been anything to suggest that Autochthon wasn't a willing participant in the creation of the alchemicals. Anything else would be way outside of canon. As of 2E he also willingly put himself into a state of slumber. I assume this will continue to be the case in 3E as an active Autochthon would be a much different setting for the alchemicals. As for no going back, once again the alternative would be extremely bad for the setting as it suggests the best thing that alchemicals can contribute is suicide.
                  Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                  Third, the power source for Alchemical Exaltation is like the flame of Exigence, a thing which Autochthon created but which is separate from himself. Each new Alchemical is not a new drain on Autochthon and so making more won't hurt Autochthon.
                  Exigence doesn't work that way. Exigence doesn't cost The Unconquered Sun anything (as far as we know) but it most certainly always costs the god doing the exalting. Anything else would mean that Autochthon has somehow bypassed the law of diminishment which would be a big deal in 3E. Also possibly fairly bad for the setting. Though this raises the question: Who's footing the bill for the Dragonblooded?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                    I'm pretty sure AnubisXY is the only one who said anything remotely like this and I think the rest of us agree that anything that results in this sentiment is probably bad for the game as a whole.

                    I don't think there's ever been anything to suggest that Autochthon wasn't a willing participant in the creation of the alchemicals. Anything else would be way outside of canon. As of 2E he also willingly put himself into a state of slumber. I assume this will continue to be the case in 3E as an active Autochthon would be a much different setting for the alchemicals. As for no going back, once again the alternative would be extremely bad for the setting as it suggests the best thing that alchemicals can contribute is suicide.

                    Exigence doesn't work that way. Exigence doesn't cost The Unconquered Sun anything (as far as we know) but it most certainly always costs the god doing the exalting. Anything else would mean that Autochthon has somehow bypassed the law of diminishment which would be a big deal in 3E. Also possibly fairly bad for the setting. Though this raises the question: Who's footing the bill for the Dragonblooded?
                    Their parents?

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                    • #25
                      My thinking is the Elemental Dragons were subject to diminishment for the creation of the Dragon-Blooded bloodlines, but the DB ability to pass on Exaltation and increase in number is specifically balanced against them being the least powerful of the Exalted, so their specific numbers growing don't further drain the Five Elemental Dragons.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                        While I agree that presented in the manner you suggest it would certainly be less than positive for the play experience, I view this less of "you're bad and you should feel bad" and more "You have discovered that the status quo is unsustainable. You cannot stop exalting alchemicals due to the void and the human population of Autochthonia, nor can you continue as you have without regard. An alternative must be found. Enter the PCs"

                        Presented properly it doesn't differ that much from many of exalted's "the center cannot hold, what do your characters do" type of scenarios. It need not be terribly negative at all.

                        I'm not sure why this would immediately be toxic to become official or even be hinted at officially when the main splat, the solars, are apparently doomed to become decadent god-kings that will murder everyone for sport. IE, fixing the great curse is another of those scenarios where leaving the status quo alone kinda buggers up everyone's day.

                        While I don't have any kind of detailed analysis of the why of the response, let me just provide the anecdotal data point that my initial reading of the proposal was very Spec Ops The Line - that it was an explicitly loaded statement that not only was everything about PCs presence making things worse in setting, but that we would be bad people for playing them. Processing it as anything else requires a specific and conscious effort of will.

                        I... can't come up with any way of phrasing my emotional response to the idea of 'Creating Alchemicals is why Autocthon is fucked' that doesn't run into the boards' terms of service like a Veyron with the gas pedal locked all the way down.


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
                          I don't like this idea for the truth of the world, for several reasons given above.

                          I do like this idea for the beliefs of a dangerous underground cult, though.
                          Oh yeah, I've got a 2nd Circle Subroutine of Runel associated with sterilization who believes organic life is a contaminant of the Maker's systems. It works great for individual character motivation, but shouldn't be a setting truth.

                          I really like the idea advanced in CoCD: Autochthonia that municiple Alchemicals are themselves life support apparatae aiding the functioning of the Maker.


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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                            I don't think there's ever been anything to suggest that Autochthon wasn't a willing participant in the creation of the alchemicals. Anything else would be way outside of canon. As of 2E he also willingly put himself into a state of slumber. I assume this will continue to be the case in 3E as an active Autochthon would be a much different setting for the alchemicals. As for no going back, once again the alternative would be extremely bad for the setting as it suggests the best thing that alchemicals can contribute is suicide.
                            We're talking about a modification of canon, so I'm just stating which tent poles I don't think you could remove without having a disaster.

                            Exigence doesn't work that way. Exigence doesn't cost The Unconquered Sun anything (as far as we know) but it most certainly always costs the god doing the exalting. Anything else would mean that Autochthon has somehow bypassed the law of diminishment which would be a big deal in 3E. Also possibly fairly bad for the setting. Though this raises the question: Who's footing the bill for the Dragonblooded?
                            And whose to say that there isn't something being diminished? An Alchemical takes six demiurges to bring to life and then an Alchemical's power is, in a way, the very least amount of Exalted power you can have. They can't develop their own techniques for harnessing their Essence and instead have to rely on magimechanical devices implanted in their animated artifact flesh. Without those devices, an Alchemical is like Tony Stark without his suit - a sentient battery without anything to power. There are God-Blooded out there with more going for them. What if the demiurges involved in the process are sacrificing a portion of their soul's heroic potential as part of catalyzing the Alchemical to life? Certainly the amount of magical materials that go into creating an Alchemical become unrecoverable as well.

                            If making more Alchemicals keeps making Autochthon's condition worse, then no more Alchemicals should be made if you want to save Autochthon. Therefore, if you want to maintain most of the status quo while having the creation of the Alchemicals be the reason for Autochthon's endless slumber, then you need the creation of Alchemicals not to be a progressive degenerative disease.



                            Masters of the Industrial Elements
                            Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
                            Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
                            The Underworld (3rd Edition)

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                              I'm thinking here along the lines of the law of diminishment that the yozi are apparently fearful of.

                              Autochthon exalts Alchemicals fairly frequently. Exactly what 'frequently' means is fairly variable, but we clearly have dozens or even hundreds in a century but prob no more than that. Regardless, what if that's what's causing him to sleep? What if he did actually set up an alarm but he can't wake up anymore because he's being drained faster than he can recuperate from the cost of powering the Alchemical Exaltation process? I'm assuming he set up the whole system to run on automatic assuming that there'd be like maybe one or two alchemicals a decade. Or he simply did not understand how much power he'd be using on each exaltation. As I recall wound down into sleep shortly after setting up the first set of alchemicals and starting this whole process.

                              This would clear up several things in the Autochthonia setting that I've never been a fan of. For instance this would put a different spin on the Divine Ministers as they would no longer necessarily be bickering idiots who can't decide to wake him up. Now they may have tried to wake him up and found that they can't and they have no idea why. They may have been contributing to this by commissioning adamant castes but been completely unaware of the drain on Autochthon's resources.

                              This would also be a big contributor to why the blight is gaining such a hold on Autobot. Maybe each time the eight nations exalts a new champion or circle of them the blight grows slightly larger because Autobot has no more to give. It's like suppressing an immune system gives opportunistic infections a chance to spread. Or cancer.

                              Perhaps the alchemicals (players anyway) are not only the solution to the problems that plague Autochthon but also the the root cause of them?
                              PURGE THE HERETIC

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by The Hug Ninja View Post
                                I think it’s easily tweaked a little to make the situation less hopeless.

                                Alchemical Exalted represent a solution to the Law of Diminishment their eventual evolution into cities is a loophole which helps Autochthon recover and the blame instead rests with the politics of the Octet both increasing the rate of attrition and slowing the rate at which they become cities.

                                This means that his immune system is going to make things worse before they get better as the nations dig in and create more Alchemicals to fight against this growing threat.

                                Something like this then?

                                Autochthon has an affliction that is slowly killing him, bit by bit, over the ages. He created the Alchemicals as an answer to this affliction. Even Autochthon couldn't do so without greatly diminishing himself. His sacrifice in this creation has rendered him comatose. This creation is a singular event, without a continuing cost. Due to his diminishment, his affliction spreads more quickly This diminishment cannot heal; he will not wake up.

                                Except the Alchemicals were designed as an answer to their own cost. Not only can they combat his affliction, but they can augment Autochthon. Elder Alchemicals can be transformed into cities, taking root in him and adding their strength to his. Alchemical cities, in the right locations, with the right charms/structures can give Autochthon the energy to awaken.

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