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how was the usurpation successful?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    ​That seems like it would make it a lot harder to coordinate with the Dragon Blooded.

    Under this theory, Arcane Fate was the fallout from the effect afterwards, not the effect itself. The effect was specifically obscuring the conspiracy from the Solars.


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    • #17
      The Sids are schemers, chess-players, and they have the ability to stack the odds in their favor.

      For example:

      * Fuel the behavior of the Solars, to make them appear mad and out of control.

      * Increase the paranoia and mistrust between the Solars.

      * Manipulate events to create mistrust and resentment among the Dragonbloods against the Solars.

      * Manipulate events to make the Solars go after each other after the Calibration Massacre.

      * Get the right individual in position to manage security for the Calibration Banquet.

      * Make sure the key guards have an upbringing so they won't hesitate to slaughter Solars at the Banquet.

      * Make sure the Solars will ingest something, making them dizzy and unfocused, giving the Dragonbloods the upper hand when they strike at the Banquet.

      When it was just a decade remaining, it might be unavoidable; where failure would just mean a long and bloody war instead of a swift strike. A Solar detecting something would most likely assume it is a plot from another Solar; which is something the Sids can spin even more on.

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      • #18
        I get why some people go for the thing of Solars assuming they're in control of the Usurpation or fighting each other after it begins, but I think it sets the wrong tone.

        ​It's one thing for Solars to have underestimated a conspiracy against them, but making them active participants in their own downfall is something that I think kind of diminishes the accomplishment of the usurpers. Or rather, to enter with an attitude of "it needed the Solars to help in order to work" does not imply an attitude towards Terrestrial and Sidereal Exalted that will translate well for their use in play.

        ​The idea of them being manipulated into fighting each other is an improvement, but only slight.


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          Or rather, to enter with an attitude of "it needed the Solars to help in order to work" does not imply an attitude towards Terrestrial and Sidereal Exalted that will translate well for their use in play.
          To me, it is how the Sids roll, like Uriel in the TV-show Lucifer. I'm also not a fan of "the Solars will go mad, it is just a matter of time" meme. So in my mind, it isn't "it needed the Solars to help in order to work" as much as "after an initial devastating strike, make the Solars take out each other; it will save lives of those whom will take over."

          But YMMV, of course

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          • #20
            Yeah, I agree with Isator. On the small scale there's nothing wrong with individual Solar Exalted having been manipulated or tricked by the Sidereal Exalted into taking part in their own downfall (the Sidereal have long been held up as unparalleled manipulators and puppet masters). But as a whole, I don't think it's good if all (or even a large majority) of the Solars were responsible for their own downfall. I don't think that sets a good stage for the Solars, Dragon Blooded or even the Sidereal Exalted.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
              Yeah, I agree with Isator. On the small scale there's nothing wrong with individual Solar Exalted having been manipulated or tricked by the Sidereal Exalted into taking part in their own downfall (the Sidereal have long been held up as unparalleled manipulators and puppet masters). But as a whole, I don't think it's good if all (or even a large majority) of the Solars were responsible for their own downfall. I don't think that sets a good stage for the Solars, Dragon Blooded or even the Sidereal Exalted.
              Is there anyone claiming that?

              I can't really find one post claiming anything else. The closest post I can find is the one by Eldagusto, and as I understand it, it is saying a handful Solars (a very small minority) could have been tricked into being a part of the buildup.

              My impression is that most members posting in this forum seems to assume something like this:
              * A large portion, probably more than half, of the Solars were quickly dispatched at the Calibration celebration, by Dragonbloods attacking them.
              * Some of the remaining Solars assumed it was a coup by some other Solar, going to war against each other.
              * Some of the remaining Solars assumed it was a Dragonblood uprising, and went after them instead.
              * Some Dragonbloods believing their Solar lord are about to turn on them, just as other Solars have gone after theirs, and decides to strike first.
              * Most of the Solars able to initially stay outside of the conflict are soon pulled into it by others.

              So the majority of the manipulation of the Solars probably was to make them discard any hint they might find about the preparations, and to make them lash out in the wrong direction if they survive the initial strike.

              Or, has I completely misunderstood the entire discussion?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Lundgren View Post
                Is there anyone claiming that?

                I can't really find one post claiming anything else. The closest post I can find is the one by Eldagusto, and as I understand it, it is saying a handful Solars (a very small minority) could have been tricked into being a part of the buildup.

                My impression is that most members posting in this forum seems to assume something like this:
                * A large portion, probably more than half, of the Solars were quickly dispatched at the Calibration celebration, by Dragonbloods attacking them.
                * Some of the remaining Solars assumed it was a coup by some other Solar, going to war against each other.
                * Some of the remaining Solars assumed it was a Dragonblood uprising, and went after them instead.
                * Some Dragonbloods believing their Solar lord are about to turn on them, just as other Solars have gone after theirs, and decides to strike first.
                * Most of the Solars able to initially stay outside of the conflict are soon pulled into it by others.

                So the majority of the manipulation of the Solars probably was to make them discard any hint they might find about the preparations, and to make them lash out in the wrong direction if they survive the initial strike.

                Or, has I completely misunderstood the entire discussion?

                calibration is the big issue here. the normal rules for orchestrating a revolution do not apply .after all it's a single place. or let me put it that way how many dragon blooded would be needed to attack the massed solars during calibration and have a realistic chance of winning? after all you can't really bring a dragon blooded army from all around creation to one very specific place housing a few hundred individuals and expect that the soldiers will follow you just because you say so. after all a dragon blooded is not just a conscripted peasant who listens to the guy with the shiniest armour.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  I get why some people go for the thing of Solars assuming they're in control of the Usurpation or fighting each other after it begins, but I think it sets the wrong tone.

                  ​It's one thing for Solars to have underestimated a conspiracy against them, but making them active participants in their own downfall is something that I think kind of diminishes the accomplishment of the usurpers. Or rather, to enter with an attitude of "it needed the Solars to help in order to work" does not imply an attitude towards Terrestrial and Sidereal Exalted that will translate well for their use in play.

                  ​The idea of them being manipulated into fighting each other is an improvement, but only slight.
                  I don't think any of that is important because it confuses the myth with the reality.

                  The reality of the Usurpation is intentionally lost. They don't describe it in the game and they probably won't ever detail the hour-by-hour-, day by day breakdown. So we're left with the myth, which is all we really need to play anyway.

                  That myth is going to come far, far short of explaining the nuanced reality that happened. I assure you that 'looking at it a certain way' the Solar Exalted were COMPLETELY responsible for the Usurpation, where as 'looking at it another way' the Dragonblooded were TOTALLY the driving force, and yet another perspective might suggest that the Sidereal Exalted were the prime motivators.

                  To get just a taste of how immensely complicated this situation and the motivations behind it must have been, examine a current political crisis as an analogy - the Russia affair engaging the White House, for example. Without getting into any partisan political commentary that would derail the thread, anybody can see that this sort of thing is an immensely complicated web of interests and counter-interests acting at the highest levels of government. Describing 'what happened' in simple terms just isn't possible.

                  If you tried to write an accurate description of how that went down... or how Vietnam went down... or how Monica Lewinski went down... or any number of high level government shenanigans, you'd need a novel the size of War and Peace.

                  But accuracy is over rated, especially in history. So we get the myth.

                  And it's probably good enough.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by mark View Post
                    or let me put it that way how many dragon blooded would be needed to attack the massed solars during calibration and have a realistic chance of winning?
                    How many Solars, unarmed and at ease, go down almost instantaneously when their feast halls turns into an elemental conflagration?

                    Originally posted by mark
                    after all you can't really bring a dragon blooded army from all around creation to one very specific place housing a few hundred individuals and expect that the soldiers will follow you just because you say so.
                    Well for one thing, it's likely that thousands of Dragon Blooded lived and worked in Meru already.

                    ​It can be enough that the ones in charge carefully assigned ones who were known to be loyal or had pre-existing grievances with the Solars and either inform them of the plan very shortly before it is to take place or even just calling for an attack at the key moment and letting reflexes and momentum carry things forward.

                    ​I should say that my image of the Calibration Feast is one in which having an honour guard of several hundred or thousand Dragon Blooded was the norm.

                    Originally posted by mark
                    after all a dragon blooded is not just a conscripted peasant who listens to the guy with the shiniest armour.
                    ​I begin to fear that this is one of those "Dragon Blooded are all individuals" arguments.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Piff View Post

                      I don't think any of that is important because it confuses the myth with the reality.
                      ​The myth of "most of the success for the Usurpation can be attributed to the Solars" still sends the wrong message.

                      I am all over the idea that the simplified narrative of the Usurpation is all that is really necessary for the backstory and most people who adamantly refuse to buy into it need to get over it.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by mark View Post
                        calibration is the big issue here. the normal rules for orchestrating a revolution do not apply .after all it's a single place. or let me put it that way how many dragon blooded would be needed to attack the massed solars during calibration and have a realistic chance of winning? after all you can't really bring a dragon blooded army from all around creation to one very specific place housing a few hundred individuals and expect that the soldiers will follow you just because you say so. after all a dragon blooded is not just a conscripted peasant who listens to the guy with the shiniest armour.
                        All of my players that have had a Solar character (that makes it five different people, and six different characters) have started with a vision or dream of their character's death during the Usurpation. Most where from the banquet, so it was the same event from different perspectives. Roughly, I did them like this.

                        * I described the large table, how the people there are dressed in extremely elegant and expensive clothing, etc.
                        * One of the participants holds a short speech, and declare a toast.
                        * As they drink, they feel dizzy and before they get a chance to react they are attacked by the guards. A couple of them got a quick battle description, and how more guards are flowing into the room and they are overwhelmed. One less combat experienced just got a description of how a spear is thrusts through them, seeing the blade sticking out their chest as the scene fades away.

                        The guards already in the room + the soldiers pouring into the room, perhaps six hundred Dragonbloods in total.

                        So it is handled by a "weak" poison, made up of two components digested separatedly, to make detection harder. It just make it harder for the Solars to counter what will happen. The Solars are unarmed and without armor, so only what can be summoned or created through Charms could be used to fight back against heavily armed and armored Dragonbloods; the rest fights unarmed or with improvised weapons. The Dragonbloods have the element of surprise, and there is quite a bit of Sidereal workings affecting the event. The Dragonbloods are also trained specifically for this event, while in my mind, a lot of First Age Solars did not have personal combat as a focus.

                        Still, in my version of the events, a few Solars survive the Massacre and dies later. Without stacking the cards in the DBs favor, a lot more Solars would have escaped.

                        One of the death memories wasn't from the Calibration Massacre, but from an attempt of revenge. The Night Caste having a vision of leading a group of Dragonblooded assassins into a castle, but they walked into a trap; the Dawn living there and his guards engage them. The Night Caste manage to slay the Dawn, but is himself cut down by the guards.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Lundgren View Post
                          * As they drink, they feel dizzy and before they get a chance to react they are attacked by the guards. A couple of them got a quick battle description, and how more guards are flowing into the room and they are overwhelmed. One less combat experienced just got a description of how a spear is thrusts through them, seeing the blade sticking out their chest as the scene fades away.
                          These kind of explainations are bollocks. Any mature solar would with reflexive charms be more or less immune to short time harm and able to move to safety with a simple or two actions. Without overwhelming arcane abilities being involved the calibration feast massacre doesn't happen, only the weak ones die. This seems true for most any edition even if I'm less familiar with 3rd it seems to hold in some ways it seems even more true.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by chance View Post
                            Without overwhelming arcane abilities
                            Yeah, you could almost think there would be people involved almost as competent as those setting up the Jade Prison.

                            The poison is a crucial part in making the event plausible in my mind, and something engineered to target Solars specifically. Still, it would be something the Sids would have a contingency plan for the contingency plan, in case that part failed. There probably wasn't a need to take out more than a handful, and anything beyond that was just a "bonus".

                            Those most likely to be able to detect or resist it might have decided to do other things, and declined the invitations. That is also part of stacking the deck.

                            If you find it to be bollocks, we are not in the same gaming group, so there is no need for us to agree. That is just how I have it, to make it plausible enough for me.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by chance View Post

                              These kind of explainations are bollocks. Any mature solar would with reflexive charms be more or less immune to short time harm and able to move to safety with a simple or two actions. Without overwhelming arcane abilities being involved the calibration feast massacre doesn't happen, only the weak ones die. This seems true for most any edition even if I'm less familiar with 3rd it seems to hold in some ways it seems even more true.
                              Ah, yes. But remember. These aren't quantum solars. These are npcs. Which means they aren't optimized. Sure, some have defenses.... but some don't.

                              My view of the usurpation is like this:

                              1. Everyone is singing and dancing and getting drunk/ high.
                              2. Sidereal comes up to make a speech and a toast.
                              3. All take the toast.
                              4. Some fall dead from the poison as the don't have the right resistance charms.
                              5. Avoidance kata occurs.
                              6. Soulbreaker orb detonates. Anyone with no surprise negator or perfect dies.
                              7. Survivors find themselves struck by several instances of essence disruption attacks and equivalents.
                              8. Escape the burning building, only to find an entire first age army of fully kitted out dragonblooded army, with air and warstrider support, along with elder sidereal martial artist.
                              9. All through this, the sidereals are granting curses and blessings, stacking the deck
                              Last edited by Accelerator; 09-05-2017, 12:26 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Analysing the backstory of a game's setting exceedingly through game mechanics is something that I find leads to unsatisfactory results, whether in terms of "this thing said to have happened some time couldn't have if you look at this particular rule", or of crafting stories that exclude everything that could contradict a rule.

                                ​Surprise Anticipation Method does not bely the potential for a character to be so at ease that a thoroughly unexpected attack under circumstances in which they would otherwise feel safe catches them off guard.

                                {checks Charm write-up}

                                ​Also the fact that the Charm is no longer written to be an instant and flawless alert to danger.


                                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                                Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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