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What can the dragonblooded host do when united?

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  • What can the dragonblooded host do when united?

    So! The realm.

    Let's say that the scarlet empress, for some reason, decides to change her tactics. She removes some officials, and removes others. She institutes a culture of cooperation and collaboration, backed by propaganda and dynasty charms. And her first order is: take over Creation.

    So... how much improved is this Realm? Can they do it?

  • #2
    Sounds like a great way to overextend the Realm in a way that implodes it and lets the Lunars waltz right in.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 10-18-2017, 08:55 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
      Sounds like a great way to overextend the Realm in a way that implodes it and lets the Lunars waltz right in.
      Maybe.

      Perhaps the op needed more thought...

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      • #4
        A truly coordinated, harmonious Realm would be a nightmare for everyone facing it. Younger Sidereals, who had only seen the vague shadows of what the Anathema are capable of in the Wyld Hunt would now perceive echoes of the terrible force brought to bear for the Usurpation.

        Alucard is absolutely right that the ambition of taking over Creation is one that could weaken the Realm and expose weaknesses. But a considerable amount of House resources are expended on the cloak-and-dagger games they play amongst themselves and the bribes and counter-bribes that are a part of life from their birth. Likewise, the Thousand Mazy Paths are deliberately byzantine and inefficient; some sort of bureaucratic reckoning would probably result in a stronger infrastructure that would, in the long run, make for a stronger Realm.

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        • #5
          World conquest is an achievable goal, but it would probably take centuries and during that time a supermajority of the Dragonblooded population would need to be committed to the plan. That's a tall order by itself, but the inevitable intervention of other supernatural beings makes everything much more complicated. The Lunars are only the start - you can expect resistance from all manner of gods and their cults, from empowered rulers like the Perfect of Paragon, and from the Exalted champions of other nations.

          That's not to say it couldn't be done, but I very much doubt it would be as simple as "Step 1. The DBs get their shit together. Step 2. ROTFLSTOMP everything."


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
            So! The realm.

            Let's say that the scarlet empress, for some reason, decides to change her tactics. She removes some officials, and removes others. She institutes a culture of cooperation and collaboration, backed by propaganda and dynasty charms. And her first order is: take over Creation.

            So... how much improved is this Realm? Can they do it?
            Honestly, I'm not sure you could do that. The Realm is set up as it is largely because the Scarlet Empress cannot control it if it were more efficient, so she makes sure that the various power blocs waste their energy on each other rather than building up power so one can take over.

            That said, if she could unite everyone under the banner of taking over the world, make everything more efficient, and so on, I could imagine that they could significantly increase their current borders temporarily, but holding on to all that territory is a completely different story. The amount of pushback and guerrilla warfair they'd have to deal with would increase substantially because everyone else would get serious too.

            I mean, technically, the Realm has won every war they've ever had in the Scavenger Lands, but, because they've never been able to invade Lookshy city and both Nexus and Great Forks have powerful spirit protectors who refuse to bend to the Empress, they haven't been able to hold the territory. I feel like there would be a lot of that going on in your hypothetical case.


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            • #7
              This video might be worth watching, if you want a better idea as to why the Realm is set up like it is.

              https://youtu.be/rStL7niR7gs


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              • #8
                The Realm more or less is what the Dragon-Blooded host can do when united. (They'd be better off if they didn't have to constantly fight the Lunars, of course.)

                And, as the video BrilliantRain linked implies, the things you're suggesting the Empress do away with are the mechanisms she uses to keep them unified - do away with them and you have the Realm falling into petty squabbling or even civil war. Cooperation and collaboration in the way you're thinking of means giving more Dragon-Blooded more power. These Dragon-Blooded will eventually have their own ideas and want to go in their own directions, which will make it harder for the Empress to retain centralized control and make the entire thing less unified.

                Basically your stated goal and the things you're suggesting are at odds. Complete unity and freedom are at odds with each other; by definition, a unified DB host is one where most DBs have little individual power or say in the direction of the state as as a whole. If that seems awful, keep in mind that your first suggestion for what they'd do with that unity is stomp everyone else into submission with a giant elemental-flavored boot.

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                • #9
                  ... a conga line that was MILES long, I bet!

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                  • #10
                    Ah Dynasty charms.
                    With the level of brainwashing the Empress was capable of in RotSE she could easily get tweak the Immaculate texts to give Solars and Lunars a place in the Scarlet Empire similar to what Exigents now benefit from.

                    Without that almost hive mind level of unity the bigger question is what circumstances united them in the first place.

                    *Disclaimer: I don't like Dynasty charms or RotSE's portrayal of them in her hands, I feel they turned one of the greatest political minds in the setting into an ant queen who rules through her vagina (seriously she's been noted as being able to use them to convince Dynasts to undergo the investiture of Infernal Glory!). They also take an unfortunate trend with gender in the 2e Realm's leadership and make it even worse, where the female Great House leaders - Mnemon, V'neef and the Cynis sisters are ruling over their direct decedents while the male Great House leaders (Cathak Cainan and Ragara Banoba) achieved their positions of power through personal merit.



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                    • #11
                      Yeah, I'm not sure if the Realm could really do that. The Empress spent 7 centuries creating this system. Every Dragon Blooded, even (or perhaps especially) her own children have internalized the understanding that their success comes as someone else's loss,and that someone else's loss can become their own success. Many of the powerful Dragon Blooded have gotten to where they are through some level of success in the Realm's inner-conflict. I think if the Empress waved her hands and said, "No more fighting," it wouldn't amount to much. It would take decades or centuries to change the philosophies and ideas that so many Dragon Blooded have.

                      While there is a lot of talk about the ideals of the "Upright Soldier" in reality few Realm Dragon Blooded really follow those rules. If the Empress began changing the culture to where those ideals (service, loyalty, brotherhood, etc) were the attributes that led to better positions and praise, you might see the Realm become more militaristic and powerful. A truly united, focused and directed Realm would be able to extend its power, perhaps even finally conquer the Scavenger Lands. Fortunately for the rest of Creation, that just isn't terribly plausible.

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                      • #12
                        What can they do? The chief result of Dragonblooded unification will always be Dragonblooded cold civil war, and plotting to take over the unified host (and it's all very interesting)!

                        (Perhaps less jokingly, this reminds me of an old debate here (or on the old WW forum), which I should perhaps not mention, about what it was even possible that the Dragonblooded could achieve, if unified, working together, fully embracing their potential in the right way:

                        In the Red Corner: "The Dragonblooded should not be able to achieve a much more sophisticated, better off, well developed society than the Realm, roughly, is, or The Shogunate roughly was (and the Shogunate was on a clear trajectory to become something not much more than the Realm).

                        The core idea of Exalted is that only the return of the glorious Solar Kings can bring a meaningful Golden Age back to humanity. That sets limits on what the Dragonblooded should be allowed to achieve.

                        (What's the point of being a glorious Solar god-king returned to the world to bring a Golden Age if your lesser usurper totally have the potential to build a lesser Golden Age without you?)".

                        In the Blue Corner: "If we extrapolate from the potential of Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, Terrestrial Circle Artificing, Dragonblooded social genius, and look at the myriad sources of wild magic and sheer possibility in the world of Exalted, we can imagine that a Dragonblooded society for which everything goes right, culturally, can achieve human welfare and sophistication well beyond the Age of Sorrows, and perhaps even beyond the present day Real World.

                        Thematic unity be damned, conservation of internal consistency to the established badassdom of the Dragonblooded, and openness to a world full of potential, clearly allows for the possibility.".

                        This was never really resolved (though, truthfully as a person who preferred the Blue option, I have to say that Red tended to get many more forum likes). This was back in the days of Second, mind, so this thinking may simply be completely out of date today.)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                          (Perhaps less jokingly, this reminds me of an old debate here (or on the old WW forum), which I should perhaps not mention, about what it was even possible that the Dragonblooded could achieve, if unified, working together, fully embracing their potential in the right way:
                          Much like the Vision of Gold, it could have played out like that (especially with the Blue Corner), but then it wouldn't be this game anymore, so it didn't.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                            What can they do? The chief result of Dragonblooded unification will always be Dragonblooded cold civil war, and plotting to take over the unified host (and it's all very interesting)!

                            (Perhaps less jokingly, this reminds me of an old debate here (or on the old WW forum), which I should perhaps not mention, about what it was even possible that the Dragonblooded could achieve, if unified, working together, fully embracing their potential in the right way:

                            In the Red Corner: "The Dragonblooded should not be able to achieve a much more sophisticated, better off, well developed society than the Realm, roughly, is, or The Shogunate roughly was (and the Shogunate was on a clear trajectory to become something not much more than the Realm).

                            The core idea of Exalted is that only the return of the glorious Solar Kings can bring a meaningful Golden Age back to humanity. That sets limits on what the Dragonblooded should be allowed to achieve.

                            (What's the point of being a glorious Solar god-king returned to the world to bring a Golden Age if your lesser usurper totally have the potential to build a lesser Golden Age without you?)".

                            In the Blue Corner: "If we extrapolate from the potential of Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, Terrestrial Circle Artificing, Dragonblooded social genius, and look at the myriad sources of wild magic and sheer possibility in the world of Exalted, we can imagine that a Dragonblooded society for which everything goes right, culturally, can achieve human welfare and sophistication well beyond the Age of Sorrows, and perhaps even beyond the present day Real World.

                            Thematic unity be damned, conservation of internal consistency to the established badassdom of the Dragonblooded, and openness to a world full of potential, clearly allows for the possibility.".

                            This was never really resolved (though, truthfully as a person who preferred the Blue option, I have to say that Red tended to get many more forum likes). This was back in the days of Second, mind, so this thinking may simply be completely out of date today.)
                            Why could it infact not be both? Based upon what kind of story the players and ST wish to shape? I could see for instance the red corner making for an epic chronicle of a circle of solar exalted bringing a new golden age just as easily as I could see the blue corner being an amazing chronicle for a circle of Dragonblooded who wanted to carve a new path for humanity away from the past. Both can concepts can exist in the world, as Exalted is not a simulation but a narrative tale between the ST and players. *shrug*. I guess I prefer a scenario where both are possible based upon what the ST and players want, since it’s nkt like it intrudes on another saga.
                            Last edited by Saipjas; 10-18-2017, 08:34 PM.

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                            • #15
                              So the realm is the best the dragonblooded can make?

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