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why were the terms of surrender so harsh for the primordials?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Remedy View Post
    I don't understand why the first few chapters of Infernals piss people off this much (aside from the weird implicit assumption that the Infernal Exalted themselves could never ever be good people, that was indeed a big problem). I never read it as a genuine attempt to drum up sympathy for the Yozis, anymore than I saw the Abyssals book drumming up sympathy for the Neverborn. They were just doing what they do every book - portraying a side from its own perspective.
    Personally always figured the hate came more from things like Lillun, you know the various references to sexual acts with her (page 39 lists having sex with Lillun as one of the challenges Infernals will use to solve arguments for example), then there's a bit that one of my player's interprited as all Infernals go through a period of being a sex toy for the Yozi and it's 3rd circle (The line says the Infernal's body is shared among the other 3rd circle souls and the jouton, so might not have been intended to read that way. Still had to handle the damage control for it in my game.) With other bits being things like not liking how Ebby was described as the opposite of good in a literal sense, the very heavy handed way the whole Ebon Dragon to wed Scarlett Empress was handled, and stuff like the Yozi being fully capable of instructing their cults in summoning specific demons to handle specific jobs.

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    • #62
      Ah. Hm. Okay, I wasn't considering the element of what amounts to torture and horror porn and how a lot of those elements would make players uncomfortable, I guess I got a bit "darkness induced audience apathy" about it and didn't pay what I saw as wasted word space much mind. That makes sense.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
        By the by, I also see Manual: Abyssals devoting an entire chapter to descriptions of the Deathlords to be even more of a bad use of word count.
        Wait... what?

        The Abyssal Exalted 2e were chosen by, and nominally worked for, the Deathlords. Who were active parts of the setting, vigorously engaged with the Underworld and to a lesser extent Creation.

        Now, you might not like any of those creative choices, but in the context of a book where those creative choices were made, not having a bunch of wordcount devoted to the Deathlords would be idiotic. It would be like not devoting word count to the Houses in a Dragon-Blooded book while retaining the conceit that most people who play a Dragon-Blooded will have their House be kind of a really big deal.


        "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
          The Abyssal Exalted 2e were chosen by, and nominally worked for, the Deathlords. Who were active parts of the setting, vigorously engaged with the Underworld and to a lesser extent Creation.
          Do you remember the Kickstarter preview of the Abyssals? And how it had a concise write-up of the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible?

          That is slightly less than the amount of time that is needed to describe the Deathlords.

          ​The Deathlords don't warrant write-ups that are three to five pages long and fine down to details such as what Sidereal Martial Arts they use. There are places that struggle to require such lengthy descriptions.

          ​Everything about being major actors and people you might work for also applies to the Great Houses, yet they get by with far more concise write-ups that don't eat up entire chapters to themselves.

          ​Really, I find that it being a book that is supposed to be about playing the Abyssals to be a stronger argument for not having so elaborate a write-up, to more effectively capture the Deathlords from the perspective of their... well, at the time, slaves.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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          • #65
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            Everything about being major actors and people you might work for also applies to the Great Houses, yet they get by with far more concise write-ups that don't eat up entire chapters to themselves.
            This is a bad comparison. As a Dragonblood, you interact with your house, but in a somewhat faceless capacity.

            Deathlords, in 1e/2e Abyssals, are essentially your evil dad. They are a main, essential character in your narrative. They make you. They train you.

            You're comparing dark Obi-Wan to a ninja academy.

            When dark Obi-Wan is a main character that you are intended to speak with on a first name basis and report to constantly, with a distinct implication for the end game that you may actually KILL this person, obviously more personality details and stats become relevant. It's not the same with generic V'Neef #5,

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            • #66
              I have less issues withw ordcount on the Deathlors per se more than a few other issues:

              1) They generally arew ritten as kind of hard to use even for the mentor role. The First and Forsaken Lion, Eye and Seven Despairs, the Black Heron, and the Dowager are all pretty much pointless for most groups since they either have very singular Exalts already described, or barely want anything to do with them. When you have nine characters and nearly half of them really aren't useful for your mentor role, this is kind of an issue.

              2) Deathlords themselves were written as so singularly powerful as to make the entire thing wtih deathknights only needed if they weren't idiots. Which i fyou notice the write-ups on most of them, save the Lover and Mask, most are either crippling specialized, uselessly crazy, or outright incompetent (Walker's issue there). This again results in a lot ofw hat feels like spinning of wheels since the Deathlords get a lot to talka bout, but a few of them are either hostile you, actively interfere with characters I don't understand why (Walker and his pushing of Caste roles and generally being a dupe), and so on. So combined with 1) you get basically a cast of not-useful-for-PCs due to either hostility to PC use or idiocy for PC mentors.

              3) One thing I think worth noting is that whiel there's a lot of how powerful a Deathlord is or their history or their lairs, there's not a whole lot on how an Abyssal adds to this. There's sections on Abysals in games, but It hink to some extent that something of how it was written-up should have been more ofe ach Deathlord's write-up. I don't htinkw e need hwole sections of combat tactics against something so insanely powerful it's suicide to fight it. And what plot hooks they do have are again, sometimes outright undermined by incompetence (Walker, Eye), hostility to PC use (Lion, Eye again), or super difficulty int heir writing to use for actual PCs (Lion, Eye again, Princess, Dowager).

              4) There's a bit the other way too. The Silver Prince's stuff is neat, but tied with a whole existential plot thing that either makes your going piratinga bout in his name pointless or just prelude with the murderfleet. Mask is this super-competent dicator monster dude who apparently has like half the NPC Abyssals ever named under him too, so there's nto a lot of room for him in the fluff. And the Lover is neat, but due to the writers apparently forgetting other Deathlords exist, probably is operating way out of a reasonable sphere of influence for her geographically and in a few ways such that PCs really don't need to do anything to help. These three have an issue where to some extent, they do so mucho their own that it's hard to find where PCs go.

              I think it's notable that folks talk about their favorite House and what that means for charactes they build for it. By contrast, when folks talk about Deathlords, I notice a distinct lack fo talk about their Chosen save in cases where it's a big part of their theme, like in the Dowager and Shoat or the idiocy of Eye's stuff. Deathlords should to some extent serve to help motivate characters in a way House does, yes. But right now they seem to be more often talked about as themselves, so to speak, than as vehicles for PCs.

              To a large extent, this is a huge problemw ith the Yozis in the Infernals book as well. You don't really get a good idea of how to actually use Infernals or what htey do in most of the book. Lots of wordcount on why the Yozis need to fuck everything up and less about how Inferanls goa bout doing that or what their motivations/goals/stories are like, basically. That the last major print supplement for 2e, Return of the Scarlet Empress more or less answered this with "Double down on being Yozi patsies" didn't help in that IMHO.


              And stuff.
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              • #67
                Originally posted by Piff View Post
                They make you. They train you.
                ​Do they do that by making you read their official biographies?

                ​The second chapter of that book would have been far better spent with concise descriptions of the Deathlords, largely from the perspective of the Abyssal Exalted, and then elaborating on what it's like to actually have that kind of association with them.

                ​Just like how other Manuals made their second chapters about the surrounding culture of the Exalted, whether it be the Silver Pact (with their Thousand Streams River), the Bureau of Destiny, or the Scarlet Dynasty.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Piff View Post

                  This is a bad comparison. As a Dragonblood, you interact with your house, but in a somewhat faceless capacity.

                  Deathlords, in 1e/2e Abyssals, are essentially your evil dad. They are a main, essential character in your narrative. They make you. They train you.

                  You're comparing dark Obi-Wan to a ninja academy.

                  When dark Obi-Wan is a main character that you are intended to speak with on a first name basis and report to constantly, with a distinct implication for the end game that you may actually KILL this person, obviously more personality details and stats become relevant. It's not the same with generic V'Neef #5,
                  Honestly this strikes me as a failing on the part of the Dragon-Blooded writing, when your House is just a faceless, bureaucratic machine that expects you to be a good little cog and not, you know, your family.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Thesaurasaurus View Post

                    Honestly this strikes me as a failing on the part of the Dragon-Blooded writing, when your House is just a faceless, bureaucratic machine that expects you to be a good little cog and not, you know, your family.
                    ​Well, there are families and there are families, with varying levels of intimacy.

                    ​It reminds me of the time that somebody expressed incredulity over the idea of the Dynast model of child-rearing resembling that of real life middle- and upper-class Victorians.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Thesaurasaurus View Post

                      Honestly this strikes me as a failing on the part of the Dragon-Blooded writing, when your House is just a faceless, bureaucratic machine that expects you to be a good little cog and not, you know, your family.
                      I don't think "faceless, bureaucratic machine" actually is how they were portrayed. I don't really agree with Piff's reading. Maybe some people read it like that, but it wasn't the impression I got, and generally in dynastic games I've seen, character's families are reasonably important. Not always very important, but generally more important than they are in Celestial games.

                      Saying that, I would have liked a few more key NPCs for each house. Generally they did have 1 or 2 (for example, most of the house leaders had some description), but I would have liked more.

                      Certainly less was said about key NPCs in each house whom you'd likely interact with as Dynastic PC, than was about each Deathlord. Saying that though, Piff is right about how key the Deathlords are for Abyssals, compared to how key Mnemon is for a House Mnemon member (yes, she is your grandmother, and likely knows your name, but you won't be interacting with her every story).

                      But Blaque I think also raises reasonable points about how the large section on each Deathlord wasn't really written in a helpful way for Deathknights. Both in terms of what kind of things was included, and the actual details (for example, 1st ed Eye and Seven Despairs I thought worked reasonably well as a mentor for an Abyssal group, as one of the weakest deathlords, but also one with cunning plans that need Abyssals to do them, and probably he's tinkering on some mad devices and artefacts he can give your Abyssals to operate. 2nd ed Eye and Despairs is either actively screwing over your Deathknights, or ignoring them. Or, to take a less obvious example, stuff like how the Lover gets her Deathknights to inform on each other's failures after each mission, which I don't think is good for group dynamics in an Abyssal game).

                      So, I'm not bothered by an Abyssal book including a fair bit on each Deathlord, if it was written to be more of a mentor figure, and more was said about what it's like to work for them. Rather than it seeming to be a description of a final boss for the game, with mentions of what kind of minions they have.

                      I also remember Isator saying in a thread a while ago that more should be said of the Deathknights as institutions and rules of countries. I think that would be key for an Abyssal book, because it gives you ideas for what your character does within the organisation, and what kind of home base play environment the game is in. For example, the First and Forsaken Lion has a massive ghost army. What's the army like? What do they do normally, since he's not invading the living world? Could Abyssal PCs be doing stuff with that? Leading ghostly units, putting down rebellions, dealing with vassal states, etc? I think the only one who really has a decent amount of detail for that is the Silver Prince, but the details are mostly in a different book.


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                      • #71
                        It varies a lot from house to house. Nellens is the more "human" house, in terms of being something us 21st century mostly-first-world middle-class people will recognize as being a family.

                        Whereas I would assume that people in house Mnemon are largely raised by nursemaids and the sort (similar to many real-world noble houses - again, the shock and horror some people are greeting this with, as if it's dehumanizing DBs or making them unrealistic, is missing the fact that historically this is how many noble houses worked. Your parents have more important things to do than to raise kids, especially when they don't even know if you'll survive or Exalt. It's canon that Mnemon herself barely knew her mother, and while that's an extreme case I would assume that it's carried down through many of the Empress' descendants.)

                        The nuclear family with a small number of kids who get lots of doting individual attention from their parents and are very close to them and assumed to be best friends with them and so on is a modern invention. For much of history, wealthy family would have lots of kids and mostly have them raised by nursemaids. Less wealthy families would have lots of kids and would have the younger ones raised by the older kids.

                        It doesn't mean you have no connection to your parents at all, of course. But for many DB families, a young DB is going to be much more distant from their parents, emotionally and physically, than we'd assume today. That's not a Dragon-Blooded thing, that's a dynastic thing and an "our view of a family is not as universal as we think" thing. There's enough room for you to decide where you fall on a scale, of course - perhaps you were particularly close to your parents and they took special interest in you; perhaps they were particularly distant and you were disfavored for some reason and only saw them a few times on special occasions. Most DBs probably fall somewhere in the middle on that scale.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
                          again, the shock and horror some people are greeting this with, as if it's dehumanizing DBs or making them unrealistic, is missing the fact that historically this is how many noble houses worked.
                          ​Another thing that came up in that prior discussion about the way the Houses are portrayed as raising children; an assertion that historically, people can typically be relied upon to form strong attachments to newborn children.

                          ​Somehow, the statement saw no contradiction between that and its own citation of how high infant mortality has historically been. Infant mortality, i.e., the thing that makes the likelihood that your child will die before they're even old enough to move under their own power, let along talk, making it a bit of a dicey proposition to form a very strong attachment to them. There's a reason that numerous cultures have held off on even naming people until they're a few years old.

                          ​Heh, don't even get me started on the historical prevalence of people leaving newborns that are unwanted for whatever reason out in the woods, or tossing them into shark-infested waters. Puts a whole new perspective on Raksi, I'll tell you that.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            Puts a whole new perspective on Raksi, I'll tell you that.
                            I'm reminded of that book that retells The Three Little Pigs from the wolf's point of view…

                            "That's just the way we are. If cheeseburgers were cute, folks would probably think you were Big and Bad too."

                            "So I ate it up. Think of it as a cheeseburger just lying there."

                            "Now you know food will spoil if you just leave it out in the open. So I did the only thing there was to do. I had dinner again. Think of it as a second helping."

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                            • #74
                              Not quite even that. More about the idea that Raksi's relationship with her neighbours is assumed to be antagonistic if she would need to steal them, whereas going by historical trends, she would not want for people who would see her presence as a convenient alternative to leaving them in the woods, and a ready means of ingratiating themselves to her.


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by nalak42 View Post

                                Personally always figured the hate came more from things like Lillun, you know the various references to sexual acts with her (page 39 lists having sex with Lillun as one of the challenges Infernals will use to solve arguments for example), then there's a bit that one of my player's interprited as all Infernals go through a period of being a sex toy for the Yozi and it's 3rd circle (The line says the Infernal's body is shared among the other 3rd circle souls and the jouton, so might not have been intended to read that way. Still had to handle the damage control for it in my game.) With other bits being things like not liking how Ebby was described as the opposite of good in a literal sense, the very heavy handed way the whole Ebon Dragon to wed Scarlett Empress was handled, and stuff like the Yozi being fully capable of instructing their cults in summoning specific demons to handle specific jobs.

                                i don't see what's so wrong with sympathy for the yozis. before their imprisonment they represented beautiful transcendent principles(all except the ebon dragon who was always kind of a dick)
                                it's not even the only book. for instance fallen races says that the jadeborn would at the very least seriously consider allying with the yozis if there was some way they might be restored to their non debased forms. return of the scarlet empress says "Once upon a time, there was chaos, and the light
                                in that chaos was the King of the Primordials. His
                                power and majesty shone over the early Creation as
                                a bright green sun, beautiful and not yet mad"
                                gunstar autochthonia also describes the empyreal chaos.. and he seems awesome TBH.
                                i've also checked other books that mention the mutilation of the yozis.it seems to me that in some cases the exalted deliberately made them insane(for instance SWLIHN) to lessen them or thought it a tolerable trade of(like cecelyne or oramus)
                                people will mention that the gods were their slaves..one has to consider though ,given how much the gods suck for the rest of creation without supervision..might it not be better if they have it given that the unconquered BUM and the rest of his club of losers won't do it? also,apparently there was a great amount of gods who remained loyal to the primordials. presumably they did not see themselves as slaves. it seems to me that the biggest oppressors of humanity back then were the dragon kings AKA the "kill people and sacrifice their hearth for any crime assholes) this seems less of a good vs evil to me and more of a "us vs them" thing. "Us" being the rise of humanity and the possibillity of exaltation.


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