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How much should Castes actually matter to the Lunar Exalted?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    I'd think it'd depend on the kind of stealth. Hiding by blending into a crowd sounds a lot more appropriate for a Social Attribute than it does for Dexterity, for instance, and active camouflage doesn't really sound like either.
    True (and blending into a crowd was indeed an Appearance charm in 2nd ed). I was just responding to Sunder's specific question. But you're right, there's no reason that Lunars, whose powers don't come from abilities, should have all stealth-effects in the same tree.

    (Actually, one thing about Lunars I really enjoy when playing one is that they generally have the ability to deal with a wide variety of situations, sometimes in unusual ways, whereas Solars are often more specialised. And this feeds into their attribute trees. Each attribute tree is more flexible than an ability tree. Also, Solar charms are kind of... direct? I don't mean they don't do things sneakily, I mean Solar charms directly interface with a particular situation, because that's kind of how they're supposed to work, and Lunar charms don't necessarily have to work that way.)

    I'd argue that 1e and 2e's approach to "Lunar sneakiness" shouldn't be given too much weight when considering their paradigm in Ex3.
    Sure, although I wasn't really thinking about 2nd ed (and I don't remember what 1st ed's Lunar stealth charms were like, if there were any. There aren't many specifically in 2nd ed, tbh. Which is fine). Hmmm... what I mean is, I don't think it's necessary for Lunars to have as many charms that are specifically about sneaking as Solars do, because they can deal with it in different ways, like turning into a spider. Or a different person.
    That's what I enjoyed doing as a Lunar, anyway. I didn't really feel the need to have a bunch of "stealth charms" like the Night Caste did, because I dealt with sneaking into places completely differently.
    Which is good, because you don't want to be playing a Silver Solar.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-07-2017, 11:26 AM.


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

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    • #47
      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      Sure, although I was thinking less about their charms and more what a Lunar is.
      And I don't think the first two editions gave us a very useful answer to that question.

      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      Hmmm... what I mean is, I don't think it's necessary for Lunars to have as many charms that are specifically about sneaking as Solars do, because they can deal with it in different ways, like turning into a spider. Or a different person.
      Still, they should have at least as many stealth-type Charms as Solars had Stealth Charms in 2e; relying on shapeshifting is going to bite them in the ass the first time they have to sneak past a magical automaton.

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      • #48
        Well, Solars had what, 5 stealth charms in 2e? So yeah, sure. I guess. But they don't need tons.

        Though honestly you can still sneak past a magical automaton with a dex excellency and being a fly. I think I might have done it in a game once.
        I definitely snuck past a trained bear that way. And teams of bears+men. But I kept getting stuck at doors guarded by bears+men. I managed to get through in the end by distracting them to go somewhere else, turning human, opening the door, and turning into a fly again.
        If only the doors had had big keyholes I could have snuck through!
        Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-07-2017, 12:10 PM.


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

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        • #49
          Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
          I'd think it'd depend on the kind of stealth. Hiding by blending into a crowd sounds a lot more appropriate for a Social Attribute than it does for Dexterity, for instance, and active camouflage doesn't really sound like either.
          Yeah. Blending into crowds and hiding in plain sight are Social Charms.

          Dexterity Charms would be for moving silently, leaving no tracks, walking over fragile surfaces without breaking through them, quickly ducking behind any available cover to break line of sight, and avoiding line of sight as you move around to attack or escape. (Given how much mice and bug forms can be used for this, the Dexterity Charms for this are likely few, with a handful of humble bonuses bound together in a package Charm like Master Horseman's Techniques.)

          Another Dexterity Charm could be a way to squeeze through holes so small they might not actually exist, similar to Solar Door-Evading Technique.

          (Lock-Opening Touch would be a Mental Charm belonging to a tree of "solving puzzles". Charms to merely break barriers apart would allow Lunars to carve tunnels through mountains.)


          Lunars are face-stealing, skin-walking were-creatures. Their Totem, spirit shape, Heart's Blood theft and shapeshifting, and Tell all logically flow from that. So does having Attribute-based Charms and dice-adding limits.

          The Tattoos follow from the "pulp barbarian" role that Lunar Exalted are supposed to fulfill in aesthetics and political niche.

          The rough three Castes likewise fit. The idea that the Lunar Exalted are the only Exalted to repeatedly change anything fundamental to their very nature in order to better fit each successive Age fits.

          If the Lunar Exalted could derive Evocations from their Tattoos, relating to the Castes those Tattoos lock them into, that would fit.


          But attributing their Caste-based Charms to their Tattoos is not strongly supported by anything Robert Vance has yet said. His words strongly imply that these particular Charms are still based on the Attributes, and definitely that they arise from "normal" Lunar Attribute Charms.

          Of course, given the unique nature of the Tattoo artifacts, it's entirely possible that the Tattoos are so integrated into the Lunar Exalted that their Evocations end up integrated into Lunar Charmsets.

          Tattoo magic is cool.

          But if this is something brand new, then the Lunar Exalted Host could be objectively stronger than it was in the past. Unless the Host lost something in exchange for this new potential.
          Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-07-2017, 12:13 PM.


          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
            But attributing their Caste-based Charms to their Tattoos is not strongly supported by anything Robert Vance has yet said. His words strongly imply that these particular Charms are still based on the Attributes, and definitely that they arise from "normal" Lunar Attribute Charms.

            Of course, given the unique nature of the Tattoo artifacts, it's entirely possible that the Tattoos are so integrated into the Lunar Exalted that their Evocations end up integrated into Lunar Charmsets.

            Tattoo magic is cool.

            But if this is something brand new, then the Lunar Exalted Host could be objectively stronger than it was in the past. Unless the Host lost something in exchange for this new potential.
            I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying you want their charms to be from the tattoos? Or that you don't want their charms to be from the tattoos? Or something else?

            One thing Vance did say, is that not having tattoos isn't going to stop your Lunar using charms. So clearly they're not that closely related to charms.


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            • #51
              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
              I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying you want their charms to be from the tattoos? Or that you don't want their charms to be from the tattoos? Or something else?
              I'm saying that I don't know if the Caste-based Charms would come from the Tattoos, but it might be cool if they did. It would seem to make more sense than coming strictly from emulating Luna (who is likely the source of "predation and symbiosis") or from purely "super-Attribute" effects.


              One thing Vance did say, is that not having tattoos isn't going to stop your Lunar using charms. So clearly they're not that closely related to charms.
              I'm not talking about all Lunar Charms. I'm talking about these "Caste-based" Charms that grow out of the normal Attribute Charms.

              The warrior, trickster, and shaman Charms might derive from the magic of the Tattoos, rather than directly from Lunar Essence alone. THESE Charms could be unavailable to Casteless Lunars, while the normal Attribute Charms would be accessible.

              I'd say that the Charms relating to Predation and Symbiosis would also be accessible to Casteless Lunars, except that Vance keeps placing them third in the line of progression. So, can a Lunar learn predator or symbiote magic without first learning to be a warrior or whatnot? Don't know.


              It's possible that Warrior Charms can be found in any Attribute, but only Full Moons can learn them. Something similar to Dragon-Blooded Signature Charms, but with far less freedom of choice involved. Since this arrangement would make Caste matter far more to the Lunar Exalted than arguably to anyone else, who don't find their Charm choices limited by Aspect or Caste.

              That's not necessarily bad. Especially not if predation and symbiosis Charms don't actually grow out of Caste-based Charms. Caste-based Charms might be few in number, and highly specialized.

              What worries me about that possibility is that (for example) only No Moons could learn these Shaman Charms for healing and crafting. Other Exalted can pick Medicine or Craft as out of Caste/Aspect favored Abilities, and achieve the same heights in those fields as the Castes/Aspects who favor them automatically.


              Though if any Exalted COULD switch to a different Caste within their careers, it would be the Lunars.
              Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-07-2017, 12:57 PM.


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              • #52
                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                I'm saying that I don't know if the Caste-based Charms would come from the Tattoos, but it might be cool if they did. It would seem to make more sense than coming strictly from emulating Luna (who is likely the source of "predation and symbiosis") or from purely "super-Attribute" effects.
                How do you envisage charms coming from tattoos as working?

                I agree that tattoo magic is cool, but these don't really seem like tattoo magic. And I think it'd be awkward to do Lunar charms this way.



                I'm not talking about all Lunar Charms. I'm talking about these "Caste-based" Charms that grow out of the normal Attribute Charms.

                The warrior, trickster, and shaman Charms might derive from the magic of the Tattoos, rather than directly from Lunar Essence alone. THESE Charms could be unavailable to Casteless Lunars, while the normal Attribute Charms would be accessible.

                I'd say that the Charms relating to Predation and Symbiosis would also be accessible to Casteless Lunars, except that Vance keeps placing them third in the line of progression. So, can a Lunar learn predator or symbiote magic without first learning to be a warrior or whatnot? Don't know.


                It's possible that Warrior Charms can be found in any Attribute, but only Full Moons can learn them. Something similar to Dragon-Blooded Signature Charms, but with far less freedom of choice involved. Since this arrangement would make Caste matter far more to the Lunar Exalted than arguably to anyone else, who don't find their Charm choices limited by Aspect or Caste.

                That's not necessarily bad. Especially not if predation and symbiosis Charms don't actually grow out of Caste-based Charms. Caste-based Charms might be few in number, and highly specialized.

                What worries me about that possibility is that (for example) only No Moons could learn these Shaman Charms for healing and crafting. Other Exalted can pick Medicine or Craft as out of Caste/Aspect favored Abilities, and achieve the same heights in those fields as the Castes/Aspects who favor them automatically.


                Though if any Exalted COULD switch to a different Caste within their careers, it would be the Lunars.
                I'd have thought it'd be the other way round, that warrior-themed Charms are only found in Physical attributes, and any caste can learn them (but obviously, Full Moons favour them, so are going to learn them for less XP).
                That seems fair easier, since otherwise, as you say, you'd get the odd thing where only No Moons can get shamanic charms, and so your Full Moon is in serious trouble if he runs into some angry ghosts since he doesn't have any way to deal with spirits, or whatever.

                BTW, which of Vance's statements about charms are you getting these ideas from? Because your reading of warrior, trickster and shamanic charms is much more radical than mine. It seemed to me just an inspiration for charms of each attribute set, whereas you seem to be seeing it as something much more radical, and exclusionary. So I wonder if I've missed something that Vance said?
                Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-07-2017, 02:46 PM.


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

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                • #53
                  I wouldn't necessarily read warrior/trickster/shaman as inspiration for Charms of each attribute set, more that each attribute set will generally focus on a given archetype's Charms, but may well also feature Charms for a different archetype as well. (I mean, I could easily see both warrior and trickster Charms popping up in Mental Attribute Charms.)


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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    How do you envisage charms coming from tattoos as working?
                    Picturing anything but the moonsilver Tattoos shapeshifting is hard. Armor-Forming Technique, Limb-Shielding Growth, Omni-Tool Implant, the tattoos around the eyes curling in like the hilt of Lion-O's Sword of Omens to give him Sight Beyond Sight?

                    Something that lets Lunars (or at least No Moons) heal and craft better than Dragon-Blooded despite Attribute-restricted effects obviously having difficulty with such Ability-reliant tasks. Ability Charms can demand you know enough about healing people to even make the attempt.


                    I agree that tattoo magic is cool, but these don't really seem like tattoo magic. And I think it'd be awkward to do Lunar charms this way.
                    A Warrior Charm has to be something weird, because otherwise it's just a Physical Attribute Charm. Would you call any of the Strength Charms of past Editions "warrior" Charms? Being a warrior had nothing to do with them; they were just about being really strong.

                    Robert himself talks about Warrior Charms as if they were something different than "Attribute Harder".


                    I'd have thought it'd be the other way round, that Warrior Charms are only found in Physical attributes
                    Join Battle is Wits-based. Spotting hidden enemies is Perception. Inspiring your warriors is Charisma. Intimidating the enemy is Charisma or Manipulation. Planning your army's strategy is Intelligence.


                    and any caste can learn them (but obviously, Full Moons favour them, so are going to learn them for less XP).
                    How would that make a warrior Charm any different than a Strength Charm?


                    Also, if "seeing spirits" is a Shaman Charm, then how did Lunars see spirits before they invented Shaman Charms?
                    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-07-2017, 03:31 PM.


                    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                      Picturing anything but the moonsilver Tattoos shapeshifting is hard. Armor-Forming Technique, Limb-Shielding Growth, Omni-Tool Implant, the tattoos around the eyes curling in like the hilt of Lion-O's Sword of Omens to give him Sight Beyond Sight?
                      This sounds pretty cool, but also radically different from how Lunar magic has ever been presented.
                      It seems more like evocations from your tattoos than the Lunar charms.
                      (Hmmm... in previous editions moonsiler tattoos could also be artefacts if you paid for it. I wonder if that might still be an option?


                      A Warrior Charm has to be something weird, because otherwise it's just a Physical Attribute Charm.
                      Well, my point is, I kind of think they probably are. That's what I was saying earlier.

                      I think that Warrior Charms are actually not that significant. Shaman and Trickster charms are the important thing.

                      What I mean is, there was plenty of scope in previous editions for Strength charms, Stamina charms, etc. Not every charm was simply "attribute harder", you had things like producing poison or growing silver claws. But anyhow, writers didn't seem to find it difficult to think of ideas.
                      But when they got to Mental Charms, there wasn't much thematic weight behind them, so writers struggled (also for Social charms, especially in Appearance).
                      So, what I mean is, I think the point of Warrior/Trickster/Shaman is to enlarge the themes of the charmsets. For Full Moons it doesn't really matter, because super-strength and super-stamina charms pretty much cover "Warrior" already, so the writers don't need to come up with a bunch of warrior-themed charms that are somehow not about being super-strong or whatever (I mean, they can if they want, if they have cool ideas, but it's not necessary). If you have charms for things like dodging/parrying, being really tough, running fast, hitting really hard, etc, that pretty much covers "Warrior." Whereas one issue with 2nd ed No Moons is that if you took literally all the Int charms in the book, your character would seem like someone with a bunch of random grab-bag effects (whereas a guy with 17 Dex charms could definitely be seen as a warrior). Now, if you have 17 Intelligence charms, it should be fairly clear that you're a mystic shaman.

                      I know this, because I've seen Full Moons whose theme was "awesome warrior who turns into a shark/lion/octopus" and their super-attribute charms fit them fine. Whereas my No Moon shaman did not, actually, have many charms that made him good at being a shaman (because there weren't that many. And they were nearly all in Perception. I don't think I had a single Wits charm).

                      Join Battle is Wits-based. Spotting hidden enemies is Perception. Inspiring your warriors is Charisma. Intimidating the enemy is Charisma or Manipulation. Planning your army's strategy is Intelligence.
                      Well, those are all pretty straightforward extensions of attributes anyway. If Lunars buy a Join-Battle enhancer from Wits, I think thematically that's fine as "the Lunar's reactions are incredibly quick, as represented by his high Wits score and this charm." It doesn't need to be justified as "Full Moons are warriors so get to be really good at Join Battle."
                      Whereas, say, eating a spirit's essence in order to gain such-and-such a power or whatever isn't something you can justify as "it's super-Intelligence!" Geniuses don't get magical powers over spirits. You have to say "Lunar magic includes shamanic powers like this."
                      And saying "No Moons are shamans" gives the writers a lot of very-much-needed scope to write interesting Perception, Intelligence and Wits charms.


                      How would that make a warrior Charm any different than a Strength Charm?
                      I don't think it inherently needs to be. I mean, it could be, but it's not essential.


                      Also, if "seeing spirits" is a Shaman Charm, then how did Lunars see spirits before they invented Shaman Charms?
                      I'm not sure they did invent shaman charms (at least, not post-usurpation, presumably they invented them during the fight against the Primordials). I don't think the Lunar charmset was completely different before they changed their castes. Maybe a few differences (they may well be better at dealing with spirits than before perhaps), but not so radically different they couldn't do a basic shamanic effect like see spirits.
                      I think Vance said that if Lunars hypothetically changed their castes again, you wouldn't need to rewrite their charms.

                      But, as I've said before, I don't think the charmset should be written in order to explain why Lunars changed their castes. It should be written so I can play an awesome shamanic shapeshifter, or bestial warrior werebear, or cunning face-stealing trickster. And then, sure, in the 1st Age they had different castes, possibly lame ones like the Waxing Moons, who knows, it's not that important because the game isn't set in the 1st Age. I don't want to see modern Lunars twisted into some awkward shape so as to justify a minor piece of fluff that has little interaction with the game because it's in the game's ancient past.
                      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-07-2017, 04:46 PM.


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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        What I mean is, there was plenty of scope in previous editions for Strength charms, Stamina charms, etc. Not every charm was simply "attribute harder", you had things like producing poison or growing silver claws. But anyhow, writers didn't seem to find it difficult to think of ideas.

                        Whereas, say, eating a spirit's essence in order to gain such-and-such a power or whatever isn't something you can justify as "it's super-Intelligence!" Geniuses don't get magical powers over spirits. You have to say "Lunar magic includes shamanic powers like this."
                        Are your points contradicting, here? Do Lunar Attribute Charms need extra justification for "produce poison" and "digest spirit", or don't they?


                        But when they got to Mental Charms, there wasn't much thematic weight behind them
                        The Solar Exalted in this Edition have an abundant wealth of mental Charms. Awareness, Investigation, Occult, Medicine, Craft, the strategy Charms of War, the perception and understanding Charms of Socialize... Even Integrity is now mental, since Wits forms the base of your Resolve.

                        All of which stem from "be awesome", which is exactly what the Lunar Charms are doing. "Be awesome".

                        Going back and looking at another of Robert's posts, he sees "see spirits" as a basic, "Attribute Harder" Charm rather than a Shaman Charm. If a Lunar can achieve that power without any Occult dots, but simply through sheer power of Perception, why does he need anything but "Super Perception" magic to justify having any of a Solar's perception effects? Barring capstones like Eye of the Unconquered Sun.


                        one issue with 2nd ed No Moons is that if you took literally all the Int charms in the book, your character would seem like someone with a bunch of random grab-bag effects
                        Wits wasn't a part of your social resistance value, then. There are more Join Battle and Initiative tricks to have in this Edition.

                        Perception was strong, and would be stronger in this edition.

                        That leaves Intelligence, and Second Edition Lunar Intelligence sucked for a number of reasons.


                        And saying "No Moons are shamans" gives the writers a lot of very-much-needed scope to write interesting Perception, Intelligence and Wits charms.
                        Wrong. Lacking a "shaman" theme wasn't one of the reasons that Lunar Intelligence sucked in Second Edition.

                        Form-Fixing Method, Harmony with Reality Technique, Ritual of Lunar Stability, Still-Pond Infliction, Withdrawal of Assumptions... all of these Charms were "shamanic".

                        The problem was a crippling fixation on dealing with the Wyld in some way, coupled with the fact that the Lunar Exalted could not be allowed to deal with the Wyld competently, otherwise it wouldn't make sense that the Wyld was able to mutate them so badly.


                        Also, I could have easily spun Burgeoning Wyld Infliction as a valid medical Charm; surely, the ability to give people Exalted Healing, better resistance to diseases and poisons, and adaptations to survive their current environment could have grown into a way to heal wounds and treat ailments more directly. A Charm like Flesh-Sculpting Art could have replaced the prerequisite of Still Pond Infliction.

                        Of course, surely the ability to inflict mutations could also be used to remove them, but again, the Lunar Exalted had to be designed to fail against the Wyld in past Editions.


                        But the focus on shaman themes is actually HARMFUL. In Third Edition's underlying system, we could have Intelligence-based Trickster Charms, too.

                        "Get more crafting points for basic projects involving tricks and traps", "make better, more hazardous traps", "hide things (such as traps and tricks) better", "make basic or major crafting projects retroactively through fore-planning, a la Solar Ever-Ready Innovation Discipline".

                        Lunars could follow these "planning ahead Charms" into "planning heist Charms" like Solar Master Plan Meditation and Sun-Stealing Shadow Spirit. Also, planning war strategy Charms.

                        Lunars could also use those Charms for building cheap, fast, disposable tools as the basis for learning how to build expensive, long-term, invaluable tools like Artifacts.


                        Lunar Intelligence is an untapped goldmine of "trickster" Charms for representing the Lunar as someone who is always thinking ahead and plotting how to use his resources to stack the deck to his best possible advantage.
                        Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-08-2017, 10:34 AM.


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                        • #57
                          Going to amend my assertion that "focus on shaman themes is harmful to Lunar mental Charm potential".

                          Robert Vance could mean something different with the word "trickster" than what the word makes me think.

                          All of those "planning" Intelligence Charms I mentioned MIGHT still be proper Lunar Intelligence Charms, along the "Super-Intelligence" line of logic. Just because I consider them Trickster Charms doesn't mean that Robert Vance is thinking of such things when he says Trickster Charms.


                          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                            All of those "planning" Intelligence Charms I mentioned MIGHT still be proper Lunar Intelligence Charms, along the "Super-Intelligence" line of logic. Just because I consider them Trickster Charms doesn't mean that Robert Vance is thinking of such things when he says Trickster Charms.
                            I honestly think you're digging a Scrooge McDuck-style rut in the ground about Lunars in general given the flooding of the forum with threads, StG, but look at it this way - Intelligence Charms might be predominantly shamanistic, but that doesn't mean that they can't have applications or thematic resonance with Tricksters or Warriors.

                            Lunars are gonna be Lunars. I read 1e Lunars when it came out, same as 2e Lunars, and the design team is keenly aware of the pitfalls of the approaches and execution of the material.



                            Neall Raemonn Price
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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Neall View Post
                              [...]a Scrooge McDuck-style rut in the ground[...]
                              Here is a man with his reference game on point.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by The MG View Post
                                Here is a man with his reference game on point.
                                Man, is the new DuckTales not amazing? It's got every aspect I liked from the original, yet still has room for the stuff I love to see in contemporary cartoons.

                                I might just have to make myself a Changing Moon based off of Scrooge. That bit with the head, man… >.>

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