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What are Sidereal Charms? [Sidereal agency, and the Maidens]

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  • What are Sidereal Charms? [Sidereal agency, and the Maidens]

    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    And Sidereal Charms? Are those special permissions built into reality by the Maidens that only the Sidereal Exalted can see and understand enough to exploit?
    Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
    I wouldn't describe them that way. While I think the Sidereals are the one Exalt type whose Charms definitely have to be known entities within the setting, on account of how the closed Charm set works, describing them as backdoors seems to downplay the agency of the Sidereals too much. A Sidereal using Charms is using her mastery of Abilities to warp or weave fate.
    To avoid derailing the Ask The Devs thread, this sounds like splitting hairs.

    Sidereals literally do not have Charms that the Maidens do not give them. Without the Maidens' permission, the Sidereals would have no Charms. The Maidens put those those Charms into Fate, and leave the Sidereals to figure out how to use them.

    Getimians are the Matrix-esque hackers who infiltrate, warp, and break the system (Fate), while the Sidereals are the ones who get to use special administrator privileges, permissions, macros, and backdoors built into the system for their personal use. That's the conflict.


    Clearly, these privileges require a degree of mastery to use, or else Sidereals wouldn't need to meet Essence and Ability minimums. But I don't see how calling their Charms "backdoors" causes any more harm to Sidereal "agency" than they already suffer from their dependence on the Maidens' provision.

    Because no matter how much a Sidereal might come to understand the inner workings of Fate, he has no actual ability to directly "warp or weave" it. He has no control over it. He only has access to pre-made backdoor protocols and administrator tools.


    formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

  • #2
    I dunno, man.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
      Sidereals literally do not have Charms that the Maidens do not give them. Without the Maidens' permission, the Sidereals would have no Charms. The Maidens put those those Charms into Fate, and leave the Sidereals to figure out how to use them.
      Where are you pulling this from in this edition?


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      I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        Sidereals literally do not have Charms that the Maidens do not give them. Without the Maidens' permission, the Sidereals would have no Charms. The Maidens put those those Charms into Fate, and leave the Sidereals to figure out how to use them.
        That's how previous editions presented them. It's not the only possible explanation for why Sidereal magic would be restricted to a set of very potent but particular types of effects.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
          Sidereals literally do not have Charms that the Maidens do not give them. Without the Maidens' permission, the Sidereals would have no Charms. The Maidens put those those Charms into Fate, and leave the Sidereals to figure out how to use them.
          I'm not sure this was true even in prior editions, Sunder, because most Sidereal Charms work even in places where Fate does not. Avoidance Kata doesn't go "Error - File Not Found" if you pop it in Malfeas or the Underworld.

          That said, I'm pretty sure you're right about your main point in a general sense, and I don't really understand Robert's position here, which I wish he'd clarify.

          Ultimately, all Exalts are dependent upon the source of their Exaltations for their various "this derives specifically from my Exaltation" sources of power. They require other things as well, of course, but the Exaltation is an essential part of their being that allows them to be, well, Exalted. The Solar Exalteds special trick is being "just that good," as you say, but that power comes from the Exaltation, which comes from the Unconquered Sun. Without the Unconquered Sun's permission, the Solars would have no Charms either. But that doesn't remove their agency.

          The Maidens can't do backsies, or at least they haven't been able to before. The Charms of the Sidereal Exalted are theirs in the same way their Exaltations are theirs. Sure, they derive with the "permission" of the Maidens, but that's not especially relevant I don't think.



          "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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          • #6
            Perhaps the Sidereals are entirely free to weave fate but the Maidens are preventing them from exerting their full ability? This was the case in second edition where Greater Astrology had previously been allowable but had been blocked off by the Maidens.
            So when a Sidereal uses a charm they are not running a back door created for them, but using something they created themselves. The closed charmset is not a statement on the Sids being unable to make new charms, but represent the "agreed" zone of freedom within the current parameters of Fate and the Loom. Greater Astrology was partially sealed because it was very disruptive and deemed unnecessary.

            Getemians might break out of the agreed limits.


            This does have the implication that the Maidens are actively restricting the Sidereals abilities, but that was already the case. Of all splats, Sidereals seem the least likely to stage some sort of rebellion over this and the most likely to accept the wisdom of the Maiden's judgement and the greater harmony these limitations allow.

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            • #7
              I would say... that the important difference is not about where the Charm comes from, but what it does.

              ‚ÄčA Sidereal Charm might be something that they're capable of developing in their own right when given permission or guidance by the Maidens, or it might still be something that has to be bestowed upon them by the Maidens, but once they have it, it's their own power that works because it's an effect that they create.

              ‚ÄčThe wording of the universe being designed with a number of back doors and exploits, and the Sidereals are just taught how to trigger them, makes things too external to the Sidereal, and to applications of their own skills.


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

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              • #8
                The Sidereal Exalted are already external. Their other major power is Astrology, which likewise depends on their unique access to the Loom of Fate, and their other other major power is Martial Arts, which is about emulating things different from yourself without becoming those things like a shapeshifter.


                formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                • #9
                  my 0.02$:

                  Mainly, I think calling their Charms "backdoors" strongly evokes the God Machine and Demon: The Descent, and that's not what Exalted is about (an opressive, uncaring machine managing the world, treating humans as disposable worker drones). Exalted is about individualistic heroes developing and wielding personal powers; so while the Sidereals might have elements that call to mind the Matrix, the perspective/lens/color palette through which they are presented is a lot less bleak (read: washed-out green).

                  Like, I could call all Permanent-type Charms "Feats". This would be bad for the game. Not because of some in-world metaphysical reason, but because Exalted's original goal was to distance itself from D&D.

                  Likewise, Sidereal Charms aren't back-doors or hacks, because Exalted isn't cyberpunk, nor is it cyber-fantasy. The loom isn't a computer, reality isn't a simulation, there is no code, there are no ports, no compilers, no reality-pointer-exceptions.Old Realm isn't matrix-code.

                  Pattern Spiders keep things going, but not in a "buxfix: NXS-2443, patched out the ability to care about beings that have ceased to exist" way.
                  They unfurl literal snags in a literal loom. Sidereals manipulate a literal weave of events. They manipulate strands, create actual knots and snags.

                  They don't input shell commands into reality.exe
                  Last edited by Fata-Ku; 09-27-2017, 10:01 AM.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                    The Sidereal Exalted are already external. Their other major power is Astrology, which likewise depends on their unique access to the Loom of Fate, and their other other major power is Martial Arts, which is about emulating things different from yourself without becoming those things like a shapeshifter.
                    I don't think Martial Arts is at all about emulating things different from yourself so much as it is expressing a philosophy. Not all marital arts styles are "fight like a snake" (e.g. Ebon Shadow, Single Point Shining into the Void) and even the animal styles aren't merely about emulation so much as what the animal signifies mystically. What does it tell of oneself when one is praticing.

                    I also do not think that conceptualizing Sidereal charms and Getimian charms this edition as computer code and modern computation is very helpful. 3rd Edition is trying to veer away from sci-tech as we seen it in 2nd Edition and faintly in 1st Edition. The Sidereals contain in them the abilities, or at least the echoes of the abilities, of the Moirai, the Norns, the prototypical faerie (see etymology of the word).

                    Edit: Essentially ninja'd by Fata-ku

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                    • #11
                      Maybe siderial charms could work like alchemical ones, in that they can design new ones, (perhaps with astrology or something) but once they do it's "on the system" for any other sidereal to learn.

                      I still think a truly closed charmset will drive them to the "how can I solve this problem by punching it" mindset that plagued the previous editions.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                        The Sidereal Exalted are already external. Their other major power is Astrology, which likewise depends on their unique access to the Loom of Fate, and their other other major power is Martial Arts, which is about emulating things different from yourself without becoming those things like a shapeshifter.
                        I don't think those matter very much in assessing their own Charms.


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

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                        • #13
                          I suspect that it's more helpful to think of Sidereal charms as being like Martial Arts moves. The Maidens might have created the "style" and philosophy that interacts with the Loom, but you still have to actually learn it and then pull off the move properly. And it's still you doing that, not you calling AvoidanceKata.exe and the Spiders handling things.
                          Last edited by BrilliantRain; 09-27-2017, 01:01 PM.


                          ....

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                          • #14
                            Oh. Fate Benders.

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                            • #15
                              I'm now picturing the entire charmset being formatted like martial arts. Transcendent Bureaucracy Form, anyone?

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