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When you're not afraid that someone might have fun with moonsilver

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  • When you're not afraid that someone might have fun with moonsilver

    117 words from the Core

    Moonsilver’s Essence is protean and wild. Its Evocations often unite wielder and weapon in a bridge of primal instinct or mystical insight. Its attacks are often either flamboyant and barely-restrained, or else subtle and insidious, laced with poisons, slivers of heart-seeking metal, or ever-bleeding wounds. Some moonsilver Evocations produce physical manifestations in the weapon—while it’s unusual for a moonsilver artifact to flow and reshape itself like water or clay, a longfang might flex to strike around interposing blades, a daiklave might stretch to drive its point deeper into vital organs, and a grimcleaver might release its mighty ax-head to fly into the Lunar’s foes like a moth, only to draw it back in the next moment.


    96 words I threw together in less than half an hour, leaving 21 words to spare

    Moonsilver’s Essence can heighten senses and sharpen reflexes, enable new instincts or mystical insights, serve as a medium for influencing hearts and minds, or function as a catalyst for physical transformation. The most flamboyant moonsilver Evocations produce physical manifestations in the weapon—a longfang might flex to strike around interposing blades, a daiklave might stretch to drive its point deeper into vital organs, and a grimcleaver might release its mighty ax-head to fly into the Lunar’s foes like a moth, only to draw it back in the next moment. Subtler possibilities include inflicting poisons, slivers of heart-seeking metal, or ever-bleeding wounds.


    At first, I said the same thing with less. Then I said more with less. Then I kept adding as many appropriate ideas as I could think of and I still didn't need to use as many words to clearly communicate more than twice as many ideas.

    Let's compare with just saying the same thing with less.


    Moonsilver’s Essence is protean and wild, capable of providing primal instincts or mystical insights. The most flamboyant moonsilver Evocations produce physical manifestations in the weapon—a longfang might flex to strike around interposing blades, a daiklave might stretch to drive its point deeper into vital organs, and a grimcleaver might release its mighty ax-head to fly into the Lunar’s foes like a moth, only to draw it back in the next moment. Subtler possibilities include inflicting poisons, slivers of heart-seeking metal, or ever-bleeding wounds.

    That's 84 words, even leaving in vague statements like the first clause. That leaves 33 additional words to play around with.


    I don't need to spend any more words suggesting that moonsilver doesn't normally allow you to semi-permanently transform your weapon into any kind of weapon, because I already made it clear that temporary and comparatively minor physical transformations were "the most flamboyant". As in, the transformations don't normally get more dramatic than that.

    As a bonus, I dropped vague phrases like "protean and wild" and used the words to show in concrete word-images HOW moonsilver would attack in "flamboyant, barely-restrained" ways.

    All of that achieved with purely positive, proscriptive language, without exclusionary clauses.


    And rather than fret and worry that someone might have fun with moonsilver's shapeshifting possibilities, I spend less word count than the official print on those capabilities and instead suggest that there are many other cool uses for moonsilver that have nothing to do with reforming its shape.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-05-2017, 09:33 PM.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

  • #2
    I don't see any language in the core that says something doesn't happen, only that something is more rare.


    I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
      I don't see any language in the core that says something doesn't happen, only that something is more rare.
      Which is something none of the other materials bother to mention at all. They all talk about possibilities, not explicit limitations.


      Also, how do you respond to my claim that I was able to say much more with much less?


      Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

      My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        Which is something none of the other materials bother to mention at all. They all talk about possibilities, not explicit limitations.

        Originally posted by Core Rule Book
        Black jade resonates with the element of water. Its
        Evocations grant control over water, flexibility, the ability
        to communicate with or beckon spirits, the power to flood
        things or draw the moisture from them, andoccasionally
        the manifestation of destructive liquids such as acid or
        boiling water.


        Starmetal Evocations are adept at binding spirits and
        exuding god-miracles, at revealing hidden truths or
        unraveling intricate tactics, at striking at or harnessing
        ephemeral concepts, at translating one kind of power into
        another, and at deferring unacceptable fates by substituting
        some lesser loss—starmetal armor might protect its wearer
        from a certain killing blow by instead diverting the attack
        to slay a cherished memory or bond of love, for example.
        Certain starmetal artifacts also harbor Evocations that
        duplicate spirit Charms.


        Orichalcum’s properties lead to diverse and powerful
        Evocations. The substance is a natural amplifier for power,
        and was frequently used for this purpose in mixed-material
        artifacts. It is the best magical material for empowering
        sorcery. Orichalcum has great potential for harnessing the
        power of light while taming shadows, channeling divine
        judgment to burn away that which is tainted or unclean,
        and channeling elemental power into stored energy, then
        unleashing it as omni-elemental or non-elemental force.
        Powerful orichalcum artifacts can harness celestial and
        terrestrial phenomena, provoking earthquakes, calling down
        shooting stars, or raising a tempest
        .
        Bold mine. I'd say these are roughly the same level of exceptionalism.

        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        Also, how do you respond to my claim that I was able to say much more with much less?
        I chose not to address it because I was confused at the point. Moonsilver uses about as many words as Starmetal and Soulsteel. My only critique is that I think is that it skips to what are supposed to be exceptionally powerful effects, without the earlier, smaller abilities specified. Generally speaking, however, I avoid commenting on the new text because my opinion on Moonsilver and other lunar accompinments in the Core book diverges greatly from yours.


        I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
          Bold mine. I'd say these are roughly the same level of exceptionalism.
          But they're all ADDITIVE. Those are all things that the previous words didn't even suggest (or at least make clear) that the materials could accomplish, in addition to all the other stuff.

          Meanwhile, the paragraph on moonsilver had already told us that moonsilver should shapeshift -- and then it tells us "but it can't shapeshift TOO MUCH".

          My version of the paragraph is much more in line with the others; the same sentence that describes the height of moonsilver shapeshifting is also the first sentence to mention the very idea that moonsilver could shapeshift.


          I chose not to address it because I was confused at the point. Moonsilver uses about as many words as Starmetal and Soulsteel.
          Where do you see me talk about the wordcount devoted to other materials?

          In terms of word-count, the only comparison I'm making is between my words and the official print.


          My only critique is that I think is that it skips to what are supposed to be exceptionally powerful effects, without the earlier, smaller abilities specified.
          And what are those?

          What do you think I left out?


          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
            But they're all ADDITIVE. Those are all things that the previous words didn't even suggest (or at least make clear) that the materials could accomplish, in addition to all the other stuff.

            Meanwhile, the paragraph on moonsilver had already told us that moonsilver should shapeshift -- and then it tells us "but it can't shapeshift TOO MUCH".

            My version of the paragraph is much more in line with the others; the same sentence that describes the height of moonsilver shapeshifting is also the first sentence to mention the very idea that moonsilver could shapeshift.
            I don't find the word "usually" to be limiting. I read it more as "completely transforming into weapon types are rare, but here are examples of shapeshifting that are used more creatively then sword becomes an axe". Because "turns into another weapon on the fly" was the first thing I assumed, so having a "usually more like this" is helpful. Notably, it does not say Moonsilver can't shapeshift like water. It say it's rare. Maybe the structure could have made that clear, but that's beside the point.


            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
            Where do you see me talk about the wordcount devoted to other materials?

            In terms of word-count, the only comparison I'm making is between my words and the official print.
            I don't understand the point of critiquing word count with out comparing to other materials. I misread your complaint as Moonsilver being mistreated/getting a shorter end of the stick with word count (which is the first claim more over). Mea culpa.

            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
            And what are those?

            What do you think I left out?
            My reading had the subtler possibilities as smaller in scale. Your paragraph makes the two seem equally likely/powerful. Further, I suspect some "flamboyant" evocations will be different from shapeshifting as extreme as an axe head becoming a moth.


            I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
              I don't find the word "usually" to be limiting.
              Except the word used is "unusual".

              It also comes after the word "while", which makes the statement a contradiction.

              "while it is unusual".

              "While it is unusual for moonsilver to change shape to a certain degree, even though changing shape is practically the only thing this paragraph has made clear that moonsilver can actually do at all"


              I read it more as "completely transforming into weapon types are rare
              But why would you even need to say that at all, if you say it like I do?


              Because "turns into another weapon on the fly" was the first thing I assumed
              Which is a problem completely avoided if the paragraph is written my way.


              Maybe the structure could have made that clear, but that's beside the point.
              Unclear and overly-verbose language is what infuriates me about that paragraph.

              For example, the second sentence. "It Evocations often unite wielder and weapon in a bridge of primal instinct or mystical insight."

              That doesn't mean anything. It doesn't say that the Evocations grant instincts or insights, it says that the Evocations form a bridge between the artifact and the wielder. The insights and insights are merely the means by which the union is formed.

              But there's no explanation about what the union accomplishes. How is this bond any different from the bond that Exalted can form with other materials, and what does this bond allow them to do? There's no hint.

              Compare this to my much more concise phrase "enables new instincts and insights". THAT tells you clearly that an Exalt can use moonsilver to gain instincts or insights into just about anything and for any purpose, rather than into bonding with their weapon for reasons unknown.


              I don't understand the point of critiquing word count with out comparing to other materials. I misread your complaint as Moonsilver being mistreated/getting a shorter end of the stick with word count (which is the first claim more over). Mea culpa.
              My complaint isn't that moonsilver gets any less wordcount than other materials. Just that its word count was spent POORLY, and communicates far fewer ideas.


              My reading had the subtler possibilities as smaller in scale. Your paragraph makes the two seem equally likely/powerful.
              "Insidious and subtle" is presented in parallel with "flamboyant and barely-restrained", so I didn't change anything as regards that.


              Further, I suspect some "flamboyant" evocations will be different from shapeshifting as extreme as an axe head becoming a moth.
              And wouldn't you know, I have 21 spare words I could use to mention those possibilities if it turns out that moonsilver is supposed to be capable of such things.

              But if moonsilver doesn't express itself flamboyantly through wild shapeshifting, then how does it? We don't know, because the official paragraph dicks around too much and focuses mostly on shapeshifting.

              Besides, with the ability to express itself flamboyantly through wild shapeshifting, does it need any other form of flamboyant attack? If I didn't have ANY more spare words to spend, then I think I made the better decision by mentioning all of the NON-ATTACK, non-shapeshifting related abilities that moonsilver can provide. Heightened senses and reflexes, transforming other objects or creatures... those sorts of things.
              Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-05-2017, 11:46 PM.


              Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

              My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                Except the word used is "unusual".

                It also comes after the word "while", which makes the statement a contradiction.

                "while it is unusual".

                "While it is unusual for moonsilver to change shape to a certain degree, even though changing shape is practically the only thing this paragraph has made clear that moonsilver can actually do at all"
                While it's unusual for it to change like water or clay. I think that's more extreme than your giving credit to. I also still don't see saying "this type of shapeshifting that is most likely your thinking of is not the most common, here are alternatives" is restrictive. It's also not a contradiction: While the extreme version of this is rare, these less extreme versions are still probable.
                However, I mis-quoted. Mea culpa.

                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post

                "Insidious and subtle" is presented in parallel with "flamboyant and barely-restrained", so I didn't change anything as regards that.
                I didn't mean to say less powerful than "flamboyant and barely restrained". I meant less common or powerful than the examples at the end of the paragraph. I'd expect there to be flamboyant attacks that are barely restrained that don't involve shapeshifting (I'd expect "Throw an axe head in the opponents mouth" to be an upper end effect).

                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                But if moonsilver doesn't express itself flamboyantly through wild shapeshifting, then how does it? We don't know, because the paragraph dicks around too much.
                Through the sublte use of poisons, through moving around weapons, through slight alterations. Unleashing a beserker rage. Growing serations along it's edges.

                It is a shame that non-weapons are not mentioned, that I'll admit. What primal or mystic insight conveys is vauge.


                I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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                • #9
                  Your version comes across as more dry and utilitarian, though, almost as an infodump on Moonsilver - it's the equivalent of preferring a MoEP consisting of an 8-point unformatted wall of text composed almost entirely of charms with minimal flavor. (In this case, yes, the block is sort-of flavor, but your version strippings it down as hard as possible towards what's mechanically relevant when designing custom evocations and the like, stripping out prose in the process.)

                  The book needs to sell Exalted as a setting,

                  It is a shame that non-weapons are not mentioned, that I'll admit. What primal or mystic insight conveys is vauge.
                  The devs (both the old and new ones, I think) have generally been a bit reluctant to give evocations to non-weapons. I remember arguing with them and pointing to eg. the One Ring or the Crown of Thunders as something that might have evocations - and obviously we do have references to things like the Exalted version of the Eye of Agamotto.

                  But a good reference point is probably... is someone likely to give it a name? Or does it feel like it deserves a name? Or, alternatively, does it get personified when people are writing books about it? If not, it doesn't get Evocations. That limits things a bit towards weapons. An evocation-bearing artifact should feel a bit like a character in its own right, and things like that are usually weapons, at least in the genre Exalted covers.

                  ("Lots of people name their sword!" "Lots of cunts.")

                  Also, I suspect that there's at least some balance / design reason for this - non-combat Evocations are harder to write without stepping on the toes of Sorcery and Charms, since there's just less mechanical widgets to work with outside of combat. Even with their expanded 3e number of charms, it wouldn't take many Evocations to poach the heart of some ability trees. (eg. your evocation-bearing chalice of healing is going to have trouble going very far without becoming a replacement for Solar Medicine.)

                  Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                  Which is something none of the other materials bother to mention at all. They all talk about possibilities, not explicit limitations.
                  Yeah, but "flowing and reshaping itself like clay" is something that people might credibly assume is a core Moonsilver theme on account of Moonsilver's unique physical properties - people might even think it's something nearly every Moonsilver artifact must do if the book didn't explicitly say otherwise. The other magic materials don't have such dramatically unusual properties, so it's not necessary to play them down.
                  Last edited by Aquillion; 10-06-2017, 07:03 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aquillion View Post

                    The devs (both the old and new ones, I think) have generally been a bit reluctant to give evocations to non-weapons. I remember arguing with them and point to eg. the One Ring or the Crown of Thunders as something that might have evocations - and obviously we do have references to things like the Exalted version of the Eye of Agamotto.
                    I meant specifically armor, to be clear.


                    I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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                    • #11
                      deleted; trying again
                      Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 10-06-2017, 04:32 PM.


                      Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                      My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                      • #12
                        Apologies for the cranky post.

                        Yes, my under-the-word-limit paragraph is dry.


                        Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                        My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                        • #13
                          Okay, I'm safe at home, my phone is finally allowed to properly charge, and I can sit down in front of a proper screen and keyboard.


                          Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
                          Your version comes across as more dry and utilitarian, though, almost as an infodump on Moonsilver - it's the equivalent of preferring a MoEP consisting of an 8-point unformatted wall of text composed almost entirely of charms with minimal flavor. (In this case, yes, the block is sort-of flavor, but your version strippings it down as hard as possible towards what's mechanically relevant when designing custom evocations and the like, stripping out prose in the process.)
                          Perhaps that was a bit of an overreaction to a paragraph that was too "wet" and without enough meat. A melon, compared to the apples and oranges of the other materials.

                          Yes, my paragraph is too dry compared to the others. But it's also under-limit. I still have 21 spare words I could use to fluff it up.


                          The devs (both the old and new ones, I think) have generally been a bit reluctant to give evocations to non-weapons.
                          Even if non-weapons don't technically get Evocations, the paragraphs in the Evocations section also serve to tell us what non-artifacts made from the materials can do. You don't generally use moonsilver for the same purposes you use white jade, even when there's no possibility of Evocations.


                          Yeah, but "flowing and reshaping itself like clay" is something that people might credibly assume is a core Moonsilver theme on account of Moonsilver's unique physical properties - people might even think it's something nearly every Moonsilver artifact must do if the book didn't explicitly say otherwise. The other magic materials don't have such dramatically unusual properties, so it's not necessary to play them down.
                          Fire Jade is basically the only material that conjures flame. Maybe you could include orichalcum in that. But in neither case does the book need to specific that allowing you to incinerate an entire fortress with a basic attack might be "too much."

                          Do you think I failed to convey the same restrained idea with this line? "The most flamboyant moonsilver Evocations produce physical manifestations in the weapon—a longfang might flex to strike around interposing blades, a daiklave might stretch to drive its point deeper into vital organs, and a grimcleaver might release its mighty ax-head to fly into the Lunar’s foes like a moth, only to draw it back in the next moment."

                          I'm pretty sure that this line clearly communicates that while moonsilver might sometimes be as potentially fluid as newcomers imagine it to be, the applications of that mutability don't get much crazier than temporary alterations which enable rather than change the weapon's function.

                          Certainly, I don't get the sense that you want me to put the words "flowing and reshaping itself like clay" back into the paragraph, because you seem to want people to not have that idea in mind for what moonsilver should normally do.


                          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                            Certainly, I don't get the sense that you want me to put the words "flowing and reshaping itself like clay" back into the paragraph, because you seem to want people to not have that idea in mind for what moonsilver should normally do.
                            Sort of. Remember, the text implies that "unusual" ones do - it does introduce the idea, and doesn't forbid it. It just makes it clear that that's not the usual way Moonsilver is used.

                            Whereas, say, producing large amounts of fire is pretty normal for red jade. Even incinerating an entire fortress is a matter of power level, not flavor. By my reading, evocation effects that treat the artifact as a completely protean mass are discouraged here for flavor reasons and not because they'd be too powerful or "too much."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
                              The devs (both the old and new ones, I think) have generally been a bit reluctant to give evocations to non-weapons. I remember arguing with them and pointing to eg. the One Ring or the Crown of Thunders as something that might have evocations - and obviously we do have references to things like the Exalted version of the Eye of Agamotto.
                              We do have a few of them in Arms of the Chosen.


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