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  • #16
    Originally posted by Cheshire Cat View Post
    While you can do whatever you want at your table and I understand your reasons even while not sharing them, the easier hack would probably just be to move Rathess into the territory of Ixcoatli and suddenly the similarities are no longer annoying, but complimentary.

    That would work nicely. Though I'm also falling in love with the idea of social castes around different types of serpent men.... hmmmm....


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    • #17
      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
      "Rathess by contrast had this more Mayan or even Olmec thing going, with the city being ruins, the civilization long gone and the descendents of its builders still there but in a diminished state as the jungle creeps into things."

      As I said before, the fact that Rathess is fallen is not enough of a difference to hold my interest. It just means Ixcoatli being at it's height devalues the loss of Rathess.

      I do agree more Mayan and other Mesoamerican tropes would be appreciated in drawing a greater distinction! But "well, they're in ruins now" is not such a distinction.
      WHich is why I suggest focusing on what makes the Maya and the Aztec different. Since it turns out, they were to one-another like say, Korea and Japan were early on. We tend to lump them together now, but they were pretty distinct civilizations with distinct cultural moars and aesthetics. What to me makes the Aztec interestin aren't what made he Maya interesting, and I think this focus on "They're so much the same" is something solved by finding how their inspirational culture swere actually quite different, and the two as a result themselves are too.

      That Rathess are ruins now just kind of fits into that narrative more I guess. Since a big factor of Mayan culture post their classical period is what they were as a culture afterwards. WHich is notably not ever conquered, and something on the periphery of the Mexica's empire in an entirely different reigon of the continent.

      And the idea that cultures have to distinguish themselves or they have no purpose if one's just fallen is odd to me. A lot of Creation is this with the Old Realm already, as a note. And the Romans really liked obsessing over Troy and various successor states over trying to replicate say, Persia or the Khanates, afterall.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
        That would work nicely. Though I'm also falling in love with the idea of social castes around different types of serpent men.... hmmmm....
        Given that half of Ixcoatli's ruling class are serpent-men, it wouldn't be hard to maintain that as lineages of the snakefolk, with various levels of prestige attached.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

          "Ixcoatli.. like exactly... I mean they were a separate species rather than Raitonfolk humans, but other than that, pretty much the same"
          ​I'm not sure I'm reading correctly; are you saying that Dragon Kings are only distinguished from humans cosmetically?

          Originally posted by glamourweaver
          It just means Ixcoatli being at it's height devalues the loss of Rathess.
          ​Does Ixacoatli have an orrery able to read the stars with such precision that it's able to generate incredibly detailed models of the future?

          ​Or any Dragon King magic?


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          • #20
            I think that there might be a temptation to imagine Ixcoatli as being mesoamerican because of the names, but I dunno if that's a good idea, especially since it seems to lend itself to that problem. The best stuff in Exalted tends to have a few ingredients.

            I think also flattening the Dragon Kings at Rathess then comparing them on the basis of a loose aesthetic association is not gonna lend itself to exploring the full potential for either of these things.

            Try to get down on paper what you know about the Dragon Kings actually being like and compare it to what we know of Ixcoatli, nevermind the fact that these things aren't concurrent with one another. I don't think they're actually that similar at all, even the basic "feathered serpent" thing doesn't actually seem to be an element shared between both of them.

            Ixcoatli is the Empire of the Winged Serpent, with raitonfolk priests and serpentfolk of manifold shapes and sizes, who have a "Theomilitary" and beliefs about the souls of great heroes being removed from reincarnation.

            Rathess was the capital of an empire of prehuman dinosaur creatures with incredible wonders and a unique form of reincarnation and life cycle, who once served the old order, but have been driven all but to extinction and reduced to a nearly feral state.

            The former and the latter both have a kind of mesoamerican thing going on. Ixcoatli seems to sorta kinda have mesoamerican names? Sort of. Dragon Kings made mesoamerican looking temples and buildings and there's that element of blood sacrifice, but that seems about it.

            Top that off with the mention that Ixcoatli is actually inspired by Babylonian civilization, and the dynamic relationship between the serpentfolk, the raitonfolk and others that dwell in their territory, I have to admit its hard to understand the complaint. It feels like saying Gem isn't allowed to have any kind of African inspiration in it, because Harborhead exists, except imagine Harborhead didn't actually exist anymore.


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            • #21
              I just wish they had gone with a more Babylonian name than one remeniscent of Central America. Just like if we get a hypothetical kingdom inspired by India I would prefer for it to have a name that evokes India than say, one that sounds Slavic.

              This is simply because when you have a city or kingdom with a name that evokes a certain area of our world, I suspect a lot of people will look at it through the lens of that real world empire, even if many of the other aspects of that kingdom are based on completely different real world empires. That can lead to misunderstandings.

              I'll admit it, if it wasn't for this thread where people pointed out that the developers intended for this to be a Babylonian inspired kingdom, I would have simply looked at the name, seen that it was Meso-Americanish and simply assumed it was supposed to be another Aztec-like kingdom. And then when I read through the kingdom I would have done it with that image in mind, which probably would have left me picturing Ixcoatli as a very different place from what Vance and Minton had in mind.

              I mean, I get that they wanted the Central American name because winged serpent people and Quetzalcoatl and all that, but I think it might have been a good idea to have a different name. Oh well, it's a small complaint all told I suppose.
              Last edited by AnubisXy; 09-11-2017, 09:14 PM.

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              • #22
                Especially since it's a letter off from a fairly significant Aztec name (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itzcoatl). The social order doesn't sound that babylonian either...though Theomillitary sounds like the Hosts of Asshur of Assyria.


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                • #23
                  I think Exalted has gotten a lot of mileage out of mixing things up in the past, myself. I mentioned "inspired by babylonian civilization" but that's binding in the same sense that A Song of Ice and Fire is bound to the War of the Roses.

                  Ixcoatli is likely a civilization structured after Babylonian Civilization with additional elements from elsewhere and the mesoamerican names, sure. If a book came out tomorrow detailing that civilization, you might never actually know it was based on babylonian society and simply assume that it's sort of a novel take on the mesoamerican society or something like that.

                  I suspect that's the work thats been done, the only problem being we don't have a book about Ixcoatli yet.

                  But this is sort of the problem with talking about how the sausage is made. If you made a place with a Shogun but he acts like the Emperor of China and his court of Daimyos is set up like the peerage of Imperial China, as long as you don't mention Imperial China, people might never put two and two together, and they might just think "wow, I really like the way this shogunate was set up!"


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Leetsepeak
                    reduced to a nearly feral state
                    ​Well, strictly speaking, that state is the natural form of their childhood, and it's just that they've got none of the necessary adults around to manage them and raise them out of it.

                    ​Not that such a thing had any significance to distinguishing their culture from a bunch of human beings with toothy beaks, of course.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                      ​Well, strictly speaking, that state is the natural form of their childhood, and it's just that they've got none of the necessary adults around to manage them and raise them out of it.

                      ​Not that such a thing had any significance to distinguishing their culture from a bunch of human beings with toothy beaks, of course.
                      The anatomy of Dragon Kings feels appropriate to bring up too, since without being sapient, I kind of always assumed stalkers look more or less like brighty colored but surprisingly dexterous theropods than they loo like humans. Art is a bit inconsistent but I think that much of the time it's pretty hard to mistake a Dragon King for a beastfolk.


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                      • #26
                        Just wanted to pop in to say that if I were building a Sneeple Empire, I would be doing it in An Teng. The Serpents Who Walk Like Men, and all.


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