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  • Originally posted by Murcushio View Post

    Well I just don't agree with this at all. This is how the OWoD splats were written back in the day and it was distinctly sub-optimal trying to reconcile the various conflicting viewpoints.

    Like... to put that in the context of Exalted, resolving the contradictions between what the Immaculate Order teaches about the Solars, their nature, and their history, and what the Solars know about themselves, their nature, and their history should be a big deal and a big problem within the setting. It should not be a problem for a GM, who can and should know which of the mutually contradictory stories there is the factually true one.
    While I see your point, and I did find the exact workings of Alchemical reincarnation confusing because of the mix of facts and beliefs presented, I have to say that I found 2nd ed quite lacking in presenting what characters believed. I knew what was the actual truth, but not what characters were supposed to believe. And this generally led to a lot of over-informed (and therefore quite cynical) characters.
    As an ST, I found players unsure about what their characters were supposed to know much more of a common issue than players not knowing how the setting objectively worked.

    Ideally, I guess, you'd have a long section explaining beliefs, with a sidebar or bit at the end explaining which bits are actually wrong. The 1st ed core was quite good at that, as it presented the history of the world as taught by the Immaculate Order, as well as what actually happened.

    I hope to see the new Realm and Dragonblood books talk a lot more about what, precisely, your average DB thinks about the metaphysics of the setting, than they did in 2nd ed. And what I've heard so far makes me hopeful.



    I think maybe this is just an issue of making it pretty clear when things aren't true. Gigaton mentioned 40K: it's pretty obvious that each codex is bigging up their own side, but also a lot of propaganda is very obvious, so you know you're not supposed to take it seriously.
    Like so:
    https://regimental-standard.com/2017...ft-great-news/

    https://regimental-standard.com/2017...erial-victory/

    But that tone isn't really appropriate for Exalted. So I think it's more a matter of putting things in boxes, or under headings like "The teachings of..." so it's clear what's actually true.
    That said, it's probably still fine to have the DB splatbook be full of DBs winning difficult victories, the Lunar splatbook be full of Lunars winning difficult victories, etc. (Easy victories are boring.)

    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-06-2017, 05:21 PM.


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

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    • I think propaganda is the wrong term, to the extent that it implies a deliberately cultivated narrative.

      ​I still think significant amounts of information should be more about what characters would perceive, and lacking any of those obnoxious sidebars that used to explain what the "actual reality" was.

      ​Damn, I had this whole thing about the fallacy of describing the Immaculate Philosophy as "false", as though the things that people would have known or believed prior to that were axiomatically true... maybe another time. The short version is that the majority of what anybody ever knows is either a simplification or a specified narrative, because the world is too big to comprehend and being able to navigate it is more useful than actually knowing about it.


      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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      • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
        ​I still think significant amounts of information should be more about what characters would perceive, and lacking any of those obnoxious sidebars that used to explain what the "actual reality" was.
        There should be a fair amount of "what characters would perceive," yes. I was recently paging through the Aspect Books again (still some of the finest supplements they ever put out, might I add) due to that Cathak Cainan discussions earlier in this thread, and the "voices not our own" sections were always good.

        For that matter, you know what I've always found super-valuable? The Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier. That was a great look at what being in the legions is like from the perspective of the people actually, you know, in said legions. I consistently wish it had gotten a companion volume, The Immaculate Texts.

        ​Damn, I had this whole thing about the fallacy of describing the Immaculate Philosophy as "false", as though the things that people would have known or believed prior to that were axiomatically true...
        I'm not sure what people believed prior to the Immaculate Philosophy being promulgated has to do with the falsehood of the giant back of literal, objective lies at the heart of said philosophy.


        "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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        • Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
          I'm not sure what people believed prior to the Immaculate Philosophy being promulgated has to do with the falsehood of the giant back of literal, objective lies at the heart of said philosophy.
          ​Which lies are those?


          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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          • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            Which lies are those?
            I actually started to type out an answer to this before pausing.

            Isator, with respect, I have trouble believing this question is being asked in good faith, given that you have demonstrated immensely deep and immensely broad familiarity with nearly every single aspect of the setting and the lore involved in it over a period of many, many years. I find the idea that you aren't actually familiar with the lies promulgated as parts of the Immaculate Philosophy by the Dragon-Blooded and the Sidereals in the wake of the Usurpation to justify their new world order, and that you genuinely wish for me to enumerate them to you to correct this unfamiliarity, to be dubious at best.

            I would therefore request, without snark, to ask me what you actually want to ask me, rather than playing some sort of game with me.


            "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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            • Originally posted by Murcushio View Post

              I actually started to type out an answer to this before pausing.

              Isator, with respect, I have trouble believing this question is being asked in good faith, given that you have demonstrated immensely deep and immensely broad familiarity with nearly every single aspect of the setting and the lore involved in it over a period of many, many years. I find the idea that you aren't actually familiar with the lies promulgated as parts of the Immaculate Philosophy by the Dragon-Blooded and the Sidereals in the wake of the Usurpation to justify their new world order, and that you genuinely wish for me to enumerate them to you to correct this unfamiliarity, to be dubious at best.

              I would therefore request, without snark, to ask me what you actually want to ask me, rather than playing some sort of game with me.
              It ain't that deep. He's asking you to clarify what you're referring to, to understand the point that you are trying to make, not trying to quiz you on the Immaculate Philosophy.

              Oftentimes the point of contention in this kind of conversation is not what something is, but what someone thinks something is.
              Last edited by Leetsepeak; 10-07-2017, 12:54 AM.


              Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.

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              • "Dragon Blooded are inherently spiritually advanced beings who deserve to be in charge."
                "Obeying your proper lot in life will advance you spiritually until the day when you reincarnate as one of the Chosen of the Dragons."

                Both of those are pure 100% BS and they are used to keep the DBs in power.

                There are other aspects of the Immaculate Order that are true and the order is useful and helpful in many places, but it was created as a tool for social control and the murder of Solars and Lunars. Many other religions in Creation are undoubtedly full of false information for purposes of social control as much as anything else, so I don't necessarily see anything special going on with the Immaculate Order, but it is full of lies in the core tenants.


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                • Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post

                  It ain't that deep. He's asking you to clarify what you're referring to, to understand the point that you are trying to make, not trying to quiz you on the Immaculate Philosophy.
                  Well, the point I was trying to make is that pointing out that the Immaculate Philosophy has a whole lot of lies in it does not in any way imply that the things people knew or believed in before the Immaculate Philosophy were axiomatically true. And I, you know, said that already.


                  "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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                  • Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
                    I have trouble believing this question is being asked in good faith
                    ​I'm employing the Socratic method.

                    Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                    pure 100% BS
                    They're technically incorrect, and certainly the basis of institutions that are harmful, but not exactly grasping at straws with regards to questions of the nature of the Exalted, reincarnation, and compelling narratives for purposes of structuring society.

                    ​Something can only be 100% false when it refers to unambiguous quantities; stating that a crowd attending an event was the largest ever when there is recorded evidence of its size that can be compared to other such records through the application of basic mathematics, that's absolutely a lie.

                    ​A religious system based on ambiguous and abstract spiritual and social subjects for the purposes of an agenda, that's more uncertain.

                    ​Really, that point about the problems inherent to the systems that the narratives justify is something I think should be harped on a bit, because I find a significant part of excessively emphasizing the accuracy of the Philosophy to be a dog and pony show when compared to the question of the morality of it.

                    ​The matter of whether or not the Dragon Blooded truly are spiritually superior is something that exists in an ambiguous enough realm that one person could effectively convince another of it, without there being some objective evidence or frame of reference with which to refute it. That's largely irrelevant, because even if it was true, it would not be sufficient as a justification for their domination.
                    Last edited by Isator Levi; 10-07-2017, 08:30 AM.


                    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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                    • Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                      "Dragon Blooded are inherently spiritually advanced beings who deserve to be in charge."
                      "Obeying your proper lot in life will advance you spiritually until the day when you reincarnate as one of the Chosen of the Dragons."

                      Both of those are pure 100% BS and they are used to keep the DBs in power.

                      There are other aspects of the Immaculate Order that are true and the order is useful and helpful in many places, but it was created as a tool for social control and the murder of Solars and Lunars. Many other religions in Creation are undoubtedly full of false information for purposes of social control as much as anything else, so I don't necessarily see anything special going on with the Immaculate Order, but it is full of lies in the core tenants.
                      How do you know?

                      First, the secular assumptions we make in our world... that karma doesn't really exist, the afterlife is probably not real and most religious is a matter of opinion and personal identity... do not hold water in Creation. In fact, in 1e and 2e, the world VERY MUCH WAS completely defined by karmic afterlife laws that were set into place by the Deliberative in the High First Age (and may not have even reflected accurately the moral and ethical composition of post-first age individuals).

                      So, frankly, the Immaculate version is pretty solid. They've obviously thought a lot about this and done a bunch of research. If they make educated guesses about what 'Good Karma' is and what it means, honestly these opinions should be given a bit more weight than they would in our world.

                      Karma in Exalted IS real (or at least it was) and the idea of being reincarnated as a Dragonblood isn't as fanciful as you put forth.

                      It's damn near science, and it might not be as 'ambiguous' as modern people on earth believe. I'm not saying the Immaculates have it right, but they're not stabbing in the dark for unknowable quantities purely for political gain.

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                      • Originally posted by Piff View Post

                        In fact, in 1e and 2e, the world VERY MUCH WAS completely defined by karmic afterlife laws that were set into place by the Deliberative in the High First Age
                        I'm pretty damn sure that's not true.

                        Which isn't to say that the DB line is 100% BS. I'd go with more like 70-80%. The dragon blooded are spiritually advanced beings, what with the whole demigod thing, and they are above mortals in the grand hierarchy that put solars at the top. It's more a question of pushing down the celestials rather than elevating themselves where the falsehoods trickle in.

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                        • Originally posted by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu View Post
                          Honestly? I always feel that narrowing the gap sacrifices setting logic in the name of avoiding a bigger problem. I am going to try to articulate what I mean by this so bear with me. I think it is more an issue of presentation and human tribalism.

                          Having a foe be far stronger is not an innate issue. No one complains that the ringwraiths, Balrugs, Others and so on are infinitely more powerful. It proves the awesomeness of the heroes that they can kill them despite being weaker not that Frodo can fight the Witch-King on equal footing (although I confess that this is an amusing notion). By that same token, Arada is awesome because he defeated a being that should be mightier than him, I think that 3rd does this very well but I might be senile and have misunderstood the objective of the story.

                          PCs are remarkable and should never be representative of the standards of their people. DB as a group rely on their numbers, their lineage and their bonds. Making them near-equals to the others does not strengthen their themes so much as it breaks down the logic behind the other exalts (since if you give it thought, it really makes no sense to create the other exalts if the DBs are equal in power in addition to having the advantages of numbers, weaker curse and an easier time functioning in said numbers).
                          I think the thing is that I would actually argue that "narrowing the gap" can be about increasing the effectiveness of the setting logic.

                          I mean, usually the setting logic argument for the power gap is "This gap in effectiveness needs to be high, or else this small in numbers group (Solars typically) would not be as important as it needs to be". Which is fine, as far as it goes.

                          But the upper limit isn't unconstrained - Solars and Dragonblooded for example both do need to perform within an overlapping realm of being pulp and myth heroes with glowing essence fueled magic with shared inspiration. There's a limit to the scope of differentiation - if they are "too strong" or "too weak" in their powers then they'll fall out of being the right sort of heroes we need to be able to recognize them as being.

                          While the problems of putting a gap too low could have a problem for the wider consideration of the setting, the other problem, setting power gaps which might push each splat out of the shared genre they are living in, and which make them too effective / not effective enough against other opponents (e.g. too strong / weak against demons, mortals, etc.) such that they lack challenges or have too strong challenges, could be a bigger problem for the immediate issue of having individual games and stories work out as they should.

                          With all of the way, I also wanted to say that the fiction actually set out pretty much exactly what I wanted it to do - our sympathy and our interest is with the teller, Arada, and not the demon prince he is vanquishing (who is a colorful antagonist, with a real nasty power), and it roots us our interest directly into the problems of the House Tepet. That's actually more important in my mind than getting right that the characters are as strong and weak in the example as they need to be, but that does matter and the fiction gets that right as well.

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                          • Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the immaculate faith characterized in previous editions as something that Chejop and his friends fabricated whole cloth? Also even now many of the high ranking positions in the order are filled by Sidereal personas, and the mouth of peace has basically lost her mind due to the constant manipulation by Sidereal essence?

                            Which of course doesn't mean that every monk is a liar for repeating what she was always brought up to believe as true, but they are repeating a deliberate falsehood. Which is the end goal of propaganda anyway I think, to have even honest people believe the words.

                            Of course is this the best thing to carry over to the next edition? Not sure.

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                            • It's something they made by taking a bunch of pre-Usurpation philosophical ideas, and DB religious ideas vis-a-vis the Dragons, synthesising them, sticking in their own stuff, and then guiding over hundreds of years. And occasionally they'd write or modify ancient texts for DBs to "find".

                              So that's not quite fabricated whole cloth, but there are certainly elements. The idea of the Solars stealing power from the Sun is just a lie - you can, however, see that as being based on the truth of the Solars having power from the Sun. It's not like they claim there's no connection.

                              Also, a lot of the philosophical and moral concepts are probably based on things the Sidereals actually thought; obviously "obey the Dragonblood" is to keep the mortals under control, but that's because the Sidereals thought the world would be better off if mortals did obey the Dragonblood, not because DBs are morally superior per-se, but because they hope it will create a more peaceful, organised world. And then you've got more straightforward Immaculate teachings like "don't abuse your slaves" because the Sidereals actually think that's morally wrong. (It might also lead to a more secure DB ascendency, but ultimately, the Sidereals would prefer the DBs to be fairly moral. It's just that it sometimes takes second place to stability and killing Solars.)

                              I also got the impression that the Immaculate Philosophy is kind of self-replicating, in the sense that there's probably large sections of the Immaculate Texts written by DBs rather than Sidereals, as long as it fits with the Sidereal agenda.

                              Obviously at the end of the day there are parts of the philosophy of course that the Sidereals told DBs despite knowing that they are not, in fact, true. But there's plenty that's a matter of opinion (moral teaching) or the product of DBs who believed in the philosophy.

                              Nevertheless, it's probably important to note that the Sidereals created a religion not, actually, primarily to benefit themselves (it's not the religion of "do whatever Sidereals want" or "there's nothing greater than to be a Sidereal's slave), but to benefit Creation. The point of the Immaculate Philosophy is to save the world. Arguably it's not a good way to do that, but the Bronze Faction is trying to keep Creation safe and, well, as happy as they can reasonably do.


                              Or at least, that's how it all worked in 1st-2nd ed. Might be different now. But while details may have changed, I don't see a great reason to change the basis of it.


                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                              and the mouth of peace has basically lost her mind due to the constant manipulation by Sidereal essence?
                              It wasn't the Mouth of Peace who's lost her mind due to Sidereal intereference, that was Shen Aru, the leader of the Cult of the Illuminated, who's had so much drugs, visions of the Gods, and mind-control by Gold Faction Sidereals that he's cracked.



                              Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-07-2017, 11:06 AM.


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

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                              • Momentarily taking the indulgence of selectively reading some things from prior Editions, I would question whether something being made up for the sake of promoting a desired social narrative necessarily constitutes a lie.

                                ​I'm thinking of something like the various unifying national mythologies developed by nationalist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries; not necessarily historically accurate (which is probably often known to their composers, when many nationalist leaders tend to be academics), but could be regarded as containing a more essential truth.

                                ​Among other examples; yes, Virginia, there is an Immaculate Dragon.


                                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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