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  • Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    Perhaps we should just ask the devs how reincarnation works in 3rd ed?
    We haven't come to any firm conclusions yet; there hasn't been time for us to properly dig into the subject.


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    • Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      I agree with Elfive and Isator.

      I mean, I get what you're saying Shinjo. It's in the book. It just contradicts everything else.

      Perhaps we should just ask the devs how reincarnation works in 3rd ed? Would that be easier? It's a bit difficult, as I've found before, to talk about the setting if people don't agree what is and isn't canon.
      I'm unaware of any book material in contradiction. I'll say again, if anyone could give quotes or book references to any of it I would appreciate it. I have a Chosen of Endings character concept built around this entire segment of Creation's metaphysics that I'm really fond of, for instance, and some of my Sidereal homebrew extrapolates off of the interplay between reincarnation, Immaculate doctrine and Sidereal hubris (the short take is that Sidereal Exaltation always attaches to the same soul in each incarnation, which figures heavily into why they wrote Immaculate scripture the way they did).

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      • Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
        We haven't come to any firm conclusions yet; there hasn't been time for us to properly dig into the subject.
        Fair enough.
        I'm not saying there definitely shouldn't be some kind of actual system to reincarnation (whether that system actually works or not). Or that there should. Just as long as the books are consistent.


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

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        • The Immaculate Faith has a ton of well intentioned demigods who have been trying to help people evolve spiritually for centuries. Even if it is founded on dubious pretenses, it's likely these guys have made some pretty great observations and are genuinely talented at what they do. I personally think many aspects of Christianity as portrayed in the Bible are probably fictional, but I absolutely cannot dispute the effect I have seen Christianity have on many lives near me.

          Getting into deeper metaphysics, it's pretty clear the setting was built from the ground up to include quasi-eastern perspectives on reincarnation. This has been pretty consistent through many editions. The only reason the fan base expects a random lottery type arrangement is IMO secular western cultural baggage, because I can't recall any point in the entire line where that's been even implied.

          The only real point of contention therefore is 'How are they judged?' - and here we get into the weird meat of the dispute, whether we think it's appropriate for people to meddle with the afterlife AT ALL within the game. To me, this is an uncomfortable area of transhumanism that it seems like we've tried to get away from, this edition. I can see many solid reasons why it would be not productive to get into whether that did or did not happen at all in 3e, and I prefer a murkier first age in general which leaves room for a wide range of interpretations.


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          • While acknowledging the significance of death of the author, I would point out ideas such as "the Philosophy is a bunch of well-intentioned people doing their best" and "reincarnation is something based on rewarding good behaviour" are a good deal more aspirational than I think was likely intended by the original writers, who at best generally intended the former as an examination of religious and philosophical systems being used to perpetuate and normalize systematic oppression, or at least not upset the status quo.

            ​I don't think any book ever laid all of its cards on the table, not least because I've heard it reported from a writer who worked with Grabowski that he wouldn't actually let them so that those kinds of things could be subtextual. The tone, though, is generally so unsentimental, that the idea of a metaphysically caring and fair universe seems quite out of place, even apart from how the setting's biggest expression of it comes in the words of a system baked right in to how the world-crushing empire conditions people to accept their rule without dissent.

            ​It has enough nuance to not be some ham-handed religion of evil, because the writers were too sophisticated than that, but it's against the grain to just accept its justifications at face value.


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            • You're reading way more into my statements than you should. Why would you assume a consistent karmic system is in any way inherently fair or balanced?

              I mean, you could propose a 'Scale of Ma'at' type deal that infallibly judges the goodness and badness of any given person, but that's not how most ancient world systems of reincarnation worked and I'm not aware of Exalted proposing that anywhere. Many historical beliefs about reincarnation are fairly punitive codes that prohibited wide ranges of behavior and didn't allow for interpretations of circumstance or context.

              THAT SAID, you've got an entire nation of people trying to figure out a way to turn this whole thing into an effective social management / self help program. I imagine it's pretty sophisticated after a few centuries. Given some of these guys know magic, talk to spirits and even know-a-guy who knows-a-guy who works in Yu-Shan (though they may not know it), it's very possible they aren't entirely stabbing in the dark with some of the metaphysical conclusions they draw.

              These guys aren't loopy Branch Davidians. To the extent that they can, they've made a science of this and they're very, very talented. They may genuinely have some insight into how to lead a better life by the standards of these weird objective karmic laws than say Jim Jones did.

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              • Originally posted by Piff View Post
                You're reading way more into my statements than you should. Why would you assume a consistent karmic system is in any way inherently fair or balanced?

                I mean, you could propose a 'Scale of Ma'at' type deal that infallibly judges the goodness and badness of any given person, but that's not how most ancient world systems of reincarnation worked and I'm not aware of Exalted proposing that anywhere. Many historical beliefs about reincarnation are fairly punitive codes that prohibited wide ranges of behavior and didn't allow for interpretations of circumstance or context.

                THAT SAID, you've got an entire nation of people trying to figure out a way to turn this whole thing into an effective social management / self help program. I imagine it's pretty sophisticated after a few centuries. Given some of these guys know magic, talk to spirits and even know-a-guy who knows-a-guy who works in Yu-Shan (though they may not know it), it's very possible they aren't entirely stabbing in the dark with some of the metaphysical conclusions they draw.

                These guys aren't loopy Branch Davidians. To the extent that they can, they've made a science of this and they're very, very talented. They may genuinely have some insight into how to lead a better life by the standards of these weird objective karmic laws than say Jim Jones did.
                The chapter-opening fiction on page 323 of EX1 suggests otherwise. It flat out states that Chejop Kejak and his fellows helped to fabricate the Immaculate texts, and that Kejak doesn't even want to seem like he's supporting them for any reason other than social order. A sidebar on page 20 of E:tDB also states that miracles claimed by the Immaculates were engineered by the Bronze Faction. Another sidebar on page 70 describes those behind the construction of the Immaculate faith as "pragmatic at best, cynical and power-hungry at worst", and also describe said faith as having been created whole-cloth.

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                • Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
                  Tepet Niruz is a nonbinary person who has no gender. That's their identity, independent of any code of honor - they didn't sacrifice anything. They specifically chose to swear a code of warrior honor that emphasizes truth to one's self as a way to legitimize this identity beyond question in the eyes of House Tepet and navigate the Realm's society (which very much subscribes to notions of binary gender).
                  As one of those non-binary forum users I'm just very grateful for how you've stuck to your wording. God i'm so hype for these upcoming books. (Sorry to resurrect this from a few days back, I only just caught it.)
                  Edit: whoops wrong thread to attach the question to
                  Last edited by shiftingpath; 10-10-2017, 04:07 AM.

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                  • Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                    The chapter-opening fiction on page 323 of EX1 suggests otherwise. It flat out states that Chejop Kejak and his fellows helped to fabricate the Immaculate texts, and that Kejak doesn't even want to seem like he's supporting them for any reason other than social order. A sidebar on page 20 of E:tDB also states that miracles claimed by the Immaculates were engineered by the Bronze Faction. Another sidebar on page 70 describes those behind the construction of the Immaculate faith as "pragmatic at best, cynical and power-hungry at worst", and also describe said faith as having been created whole-cloth.
                    We're a tad less cynical about religion these days.


                    Neall Raemonn Price
                    Beleaguered Scion Developer

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                    • How i’ve presented it at my own table, the “Immaculate Dragons” were originally the Shogunate Era term for the Uprising veterans and any DB who died fighting Anthema since. It was promulgated that such a death cleansed one’s soul of all karmic weight (hence “immaculate”), and allowed the dead DB to achieve a divine unity with their respective element & Dragon.

                      Since the dead were thus conflated with their respective Elemental Dragons, rhetorical citation began of the “deeds of Mela”, the “deeds of Hesiesh” etc.

                      Over the centuries this increasingly led to the development of parable examples of single figures who were amalgamations of deeds of Uprising heroes and martyrs. These were still nominally understood to be philosophical abstractions though.

                      In the wake of the Great Contagion and Balorian Crusade, the Bronze Faction appropriated said tradition together with out-of-context Shogunate philosophical pamphlets to present the five Immaculate Dragons as literal messianic figures to lend legitimizing authority to the centralized Immaculate Order.

                      The Immaculate Faith’s doctrine on the ID differs in that they believe the ID were normal Dragon-Blooded who through their exceptional deeds and sacrifice achieved unity with the dragons, showing the way to others, as opposed to the born incarnations of the Five Elemental Dragons the Immaculate Order preached they were.


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                      • glamourweaver - Yoink!


                        A tinkering effort at bringing fate ninjas into Ex3: Sidereals: Where Fate Has Led

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                        • That does sync quite well with my "some first age dragon blooded were actually named after the Elemental Dragons" idea.

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                          • Originally posted by Neall View Post
                            We're a tad less cynical about religion these days.
                            And yet even in that edition you get this:

                            To dismiss the faith of the Immaculate Order as something created from whole cloth for political ends is to, ultimately, miss much of the point of Exalted. Yes, the Immaculate faith was created - and done so as a tool to support the fledgling Dragon-Blooded Shogunate. The motives of those who created it can be described as pragmatic at best, cynical and power-hungry at worst. But to concentrate on those things is to ignore the single most important aspect of the Order.

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                            • Originally posted by Nicias View Post

                              And yet even in that edition you get this:
                              Man, we got a snippet of that before, it's crazy how some cutting can drastically change the meaning of a quote! Good to see that complicated thinking was going on about the Immaculate Philosophy.


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

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                              • Man, this thread is an excellent thread.

                                For my vote in the Deliberative, I prefer heaven to have discretionary power over the reincarnation of souls in the context of 'The Well of Souls, River of Lethe, and Wheel of Reincarnation is Autochthon-level automatic, gods just fix problems and sometimes pull chocolates off the assembly line' because the whole 'upkeeping Creation' purpose of gods, as they were made by the Primordials once they'd finished their great works. Similar to how the Loom of Fate just works, but a legion of destiny gods and patternspiders plan for fewer tangles and untagle the tangles that do arise, respectively.

                                To give one brief example, Lytek is a factory line operator who sees Celestial souls enter his office where he performs an optimization that comprises a non-necessary/non-sufficient amount of work on them, before setting them back down on that assembly line to their destination over which he has no authority. This is super powerful, in that he shapes the type of Exalt that new a Celestial grows to be through the vector of past-life memories. It is completely powerless when the assembly line delivering souls to him is broken, such as when no Solar souls show up for maintenance.


                                Exalted Fanfiction on AO3 that I have authored. A Lunar oral history, a Solar buddy-fiction, and other story hooks.

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