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Constructing the West in 3e

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  • #16
    Funny idea that came to mind now for the West is that of a group of wandering sellers of iron objects, chaos-repelling charms and "faexorcist" mercenary-warriors in the vein of Sijan's wandering funerist exorcists. If they would come of an isle known for its smiths and foundries or be some sort of society without borders/nation like the Tya or some semi-nomadic group, that's up for grabs i guess.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
      Funny idea that came to mind now for the West is that of a group of wandering sellers of iron objects, chaos-repelling charms and "faexorcist" mercenary-warriors in the vein of Sijan's wandering funerist exorcists. If they would come of an isle known for its smiths and foundries or be some sort of society without borders/nation like the Tya or some semi-nomadic group, that's up for grabs i guess.
      That's a cool thought. I think that I'd probably base them in a specific place and have them wander from that base rather than being transnational like the Tya, but it's great thinking.

      One of those little things I found while looking through the Castebooks was this idea of people called shore wardens in Coral or Wavecrest (I can't recall), who sounded like they lived apart from the community and were shunned. Is this in reference to a real world practice anywhere? The idea sounded to me like they warned of the fair folk or pirates coming.

      Other cool bits for prospective Western storytellers, apparently "sweetwater" has been a term used to refer to freshwater in the past, and could be a bit of lingo to spice up the talk of Westerns who are in need of water on their islands.

      Does anyone know if Randan got written up by the developers anywhere?


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

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post

        That's a cool thought. I think that I'd probably base them in a specific place and have them wander from that base rather than being transnational like the Tya, but it's great thinking.
        Thanks for the appreciation.

        As an aside, it has also crossed my mind that someone who found some (relatively) inexpensive way to make iron that does not rust could become a very rich and influential indeed, well, pretty much anywhere in Creation to be honest, but specially in the West where fae and corrosion can be even greater issues. At least they got lots of salt to deal with ghosts if need be...

        Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
        One of those little things I found while looking through the Castebooks was this idea of people called shore wardens in Coral or Wavecrest (I can't recall), who sounded like they lived apart from the community and were shunned. Is this in reference to a real world practice anywhere? The idea sounded to me like they warned of the fair folk or pirates coming.
        Kind of makes me think of ancient "untouchable" traditions in southeast asia, where a class of people associated with a necessary but unpleasant job is segregated by the majority of society out of fear that their contact with unclean thigs might taint others through association.

        Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
        Other cool bits for prospective Western storytellers, apparently "sweetwater" has been a term used to refer to freshwater in the past, and could be a bit of lingo to spice up the talk of Westerns who are in need of water on their islands.
        Rivers and springs might be words to look out for too in that context/line of thinking.

        Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
        Does anyone know if Randan got written up by the developers anywhere?
        I have heard the playtest version of the corebook had some stuff about a city with walls of mother-of-pearl, artisan lodges that can make fabrics as strong as steel and national treasures that relate to the defeat/exile of the three demon-queens by the artisans whose sacrifice and legacy would lead to the founding of the thaumaturgist-artisan lodges. Or something like that, no idea how precise or incomplete my 3rd party recollection might be

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        • #19
          My players nailed down their characters recently. A Dawn Caste from a tribe that lives in the interior jungles of Abalone, (I recalled this was a thing from reading about Wavecrest in 1e and 2e), a Twilight Caste who is an old, accomplished hero given a new lease on life by his Second Breath, and a thief who grew up in the hard streets of Wu-Jian. They have some really great ideas for their relationships, and I've been trying to figure out any other details to put together to help round out the picture.

          Also of interesting with regards to Randan and Azure, I was looking at cut writeups for Antagonists that Minton shared on his blog some time ago and came across these cool ones relevant to the West:

          Originally posted by Eric Minton
          Lintha Reaver / Brigand Leader / Grizzled Mercenary
          When he killed a high-ranking citizen who’d refused to repay a gambling debt, the Azurite sailor Xu Han fled his homeland to escape execution in the Kraken’s Pool. After a few years of odd jobs and petty crime in the Auspice Isles, he obtained membership in the Lintha Family through an initiation marked by the swearing of dread oaths and a gruesome castration. Now he sails aboard the Coral Jaw out of a Lintha sea-fort, raiding merchant ships among the Near Western archipelagoes.

          Xu Han is a brutal, ruthless fighter. In boarding actions he rushes forward in concert with his shipmates, uttering bloodcurdling cries to alarm and demoralize foes. Under other circumstances he attempts to gain surprise. He has a keen eye for markers of status, knowing who to kill and who to take hostage for ransom. His salt-corroded panoply includes javelins, axe, dagger and a reinforced buff jacket—he does not eschew armor because, like many sailors, he cannot swim.
          Xu Han is a cool name, and there are some fun ideas here, like Lintha sea-forts getting a mention, the Lintha Family's initiation, and flavor like Azurites executing people by throwing them into the "Kraken's Pool" and the like!

          Another one...

          Originally posted by Eric Minton
          Elite Troops / Champion / Elite Bodyguard
          Shigira Mizue was raised in the Weaver’s Lodge of Randan. Although she was a prodigy with the sword, her impatience with hours at the loom and her lack of talent for thaumaturgy closed off access to the highest ranks of the lodge. Instead of struggling to overcome her weaknesses, she focused on her strengths, training relentlessly to become a master duelist. Now she serves as her aunt Okita’s bodyguard and champion.

          Mizue’s brocade armor—enchanted to the strength and weight of steel—is so brilliantly dyed that it seems to glow from within, while her scabbard blazes with gems. She requires this rich panoply to be seen in the company of the great artisan-nobles of Randan, where she advises her aunt in matters of violence and danger. If called upon to defend her mistress or to stand in for her in a duel, she will fulfill her obligations unto death.
          I love Shigira's description. An interesting element, I asked Minton about Randan by way of this post, and if they're still lead by thaumaturges, and he had this to say:

          Originally posted by Eric Minton
          That's still the plan, although thaumaturges are less numerous; the specifics of the 3e core book material on thaumaturgy hadn't been fully worked out at the time I wrote up Randan.
          So that's interesting!

          I'm considering doing a Creatures of the West writeup of QCs like I did for the North. If people are interested, are there any creatures you guys would really want to see?


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

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          • #20
            Speaking of cut writeups for Antagonists, weren't there a strategos from Brightwork (Auspice Isles) called Whelk the Younger and a doppelganger, of an auspicene executed in the Kraken's Pool to boot, called Blue Shadow somewhere?

            Another interesting bit with Whelk that i remember is his having bodyguard relatives, making for a potentially mirror/riff/variant of sorts of the dynamic of Shigira Mizue with her aunt Okita. I think one or two (possibly more) such QC partnership/synergies were inserted in the fluff cut writeups, in fact.

            And beings like Sard the War Ghost or Blue Shadow the Doppelganger (maybe even, oh boy, the Prince of the Red Chamber Nephwrack) could certainly play more peculiar - and not so honored - variants to Zoria the Honored Ancestor.

            Ah, if i'm mixing up book stuff with the homebrew NPCs from someone's blog, feel free to correct me people, i've been far from up to date, or precise, with my sources in 3e stuff.
            Last edited by Baaldam; 11-13-2017, 10:27 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
              Speaking of cut writeups for Antagonists, weren't there a strategos from Brightwork (Auspice Isles) called Whelk the Younger and a doppelganger, of an auspicene executed in the Kraken's Pool to boot, called Blue Shadow somewhere?

              Another interesting bit with Whelk that i remember is his having bodyguard relatives, making for a potentially mirror/riff/variant of sorts of the dynamic of Shigira Mizue with her aunt Okita. I think one or two (possibly more) such QC partnership/synergies were inserted in the fluff cut writeups, in fact.

              And beings like Sard the War Ghost or Blue Shadow the Doppelganger (maybe even, oh boy, the Prince of the Red Chamber Nephwrack) could certainly play more peculiar - and not so honored - variants to Zoria the Honored Ancestor.

              Ah, if i'm mixing up book stuff with the homebrew NPCs from someone's blog, feel free to correct me people, i've been far from up to date, or precise, with my sources in 3e stuff.
              Whelk the Younger and Shigira Mizue were both in the original draft for the Antagonists chapter, but were cut for space. The Blue Shadow appears in Hundred Devils Night Parade. The other NPCs named above appear in the 3e core book. (Well, except for Okita.)


              Developer for Exalted.

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              • #22
                Yeah, I really enjoyed the Blue Shadow's writeup in Hundred Devils Night Parade, its a great example of an interesting socially oriented antagonist. It's also cool to me because the doppelganger being a ghost that seems to go around doing things outside a shadowland is one of those little gems we get out of how 3e restructured things like mote respiration from previous editions.


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

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                  SpoonR: Um, if you sailed straight from the Blessed Isle to the Neck, and didn't encounter any fresh water between the two points, you'd very possibly die of dehydration, considering that scuttlebutt water goes bad pretty rapidly at sea.
                  It does, but you wouldn't be drinking water aboard ship for precisely that reason. You'd be drinking some form of alcoholic beverage, because the water would kill you but alcohol will kill the shit IN the water that will kill you but only make you a bit tipsy.

                  It's only about 4000 miles from the Blessed Isle to the Neck by sea, give or take. That's about as far as it was from Spain to its Caribbean colonies, and ships routinely made that crossing as early as the 1400s without being unduly worried about re-watering along the way, and in ships whose seaworthiness would almost certainly be equivalent to or lesser than what the Realm is fielding. (I'm figuring they have junk rigs with decent blue-water hulls, the sort of thing China could put together here in the real world in the 14th and 15th century; this seems reasonable for the Realm.)

                  It's a journey of note, but it's about equivalent to crossing the Atlantic, and people did that without re-watering all the time once they knew there was a reason to do so.

                  That said, you always re-watered when you had the chance, for obvious reasons, and Wu-Jian is right on your way unless you want to do something like go straight to Abalone. (I'm assuming that big'ol island at the southern part of the Wavecrest Archipelago is Abalone.) So you'd stop there if convenient. But there absolutely doesn't need to be a bunch of places to water between the West and the Blessed Isle; they could get by without them.


                  "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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                  • #24
                    Why do people keep assuming 1400s-1500s sailing tech for people in Creation when nearly every* source material covers a time period hundreds, if not thousands of years earlier?

                    The Book of Judges didn't take place in the 1400s; neither did the Iliad or the Odyssey or Journey to the West or any of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories.





                    ____________________
                    *Yeah, yeah, Clive Barker's Imajica (by Clive Barker) is modern, but I'm pretty sure it was more included for the sorcerous workings, the shapeshifter whose gender identity changes to match the preferences of others, the quest to change the nature of all reality, and the majestic god whose very body is a world unto itself.
                    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 11-14-2017, 02:35 AM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      Why do people keep assuming 1400s-1500s sailing tech for people in Creation when nearly every source material covers a time period hundreds, if not thousands of years earlier?
                      If you say “sailing,” people think tall ships and the Age of Sail. If you say pirates, they think Golden Age of Piracy. There’s no helping it.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                        If you say “sailing,” people think tall ships and the Age of Sail. If you say pirates, they think Golden Age of Piracy. There’s no helping it.
                        It's still sigh-worthy, dammit.

                        Hey, remember that thread where someone argued that Nexus' and Lookshy's locations should logically be swapped because of Nexus' reputation as a pirate port, despite both river pirates being a thing and the rivers in question being wide enough to sail in the middle without being able to see either bank?

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                        • #27
                          May I present, for inspiration, an image?

                          A Realm Treasure Ship sails, heavily laden with loot from the Caul or some other great Western Satrapy. Alongside it runs a merchant's caravel.



                          Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

                          If you say “sailing,” people think tall ships and the Age of Sail. If you say pirates, they think Golden Age of Piracy. There’s no helping it.
                          I think One Piece, and the huge variety of ship designs and aesthetics its Pirate Age encompasses. If that's badwrongfun then I don't want to be goodcorrectfun.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by KymmetheSeventh View Post
                            I think One Piece, and the huge variety of ship designs and aesthetics its Pirate Age encompasses. If that's badwrongfun then I don't want to be goodcorrectfun.
                            I don't think it's about aesthetics per se, it's really just about technological assumptions derived from the Golden Age of Piracy will not really jive with the way the West is described, and if you are unsatisfied with the presentation of the West on the basis of those assumptions, that's more a problem with what you're imputing upon the West than it is a problem with the West.

                            Ex. "The West is stupid and unrealistic because people could do this in the Golden Age of Piracy" is not a fruitful avenue of discussion, because the framework for Exalted's naval technology and seamanship is one that predates the Golden Age of Piracy significantly.


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

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
                              I don't think it's about aesthetics per se, it's really just about technological assumptions derived from the Golden Age of Piracy will not really jive with the way the West is described, and if you are unsatisfied with the presentation of the West on the basis of those assumptions, that's more a problem with what you're imputing upon the West than it is a problem with the West.

                              Ex. "The West is stupid and unrealistic because people could do this in the Golden Age of Piracy" is not a fruitful avenue of discussion, because the framework for Exalted's naval technology and seamanship is one that predates the Golden Age of Piracy significantly.
                              It isn't my intention to criticize the game's portrayal of the West at all. I wanted to explain my bias before jumping into this thread with all of my opinions about stuff. I'm running a Lunar game set in the West and I'd like to be able to talk about it, if at all possible.

                              The West, as presented in Savage Seas and going forward into 3e's descriptions, runs on Triremes and Crab-claw canoes, but I think the oceans are wide enough for little caravels like the Going Merry, giant warships like the Moby Dick, the abject nonsense of the Gran Tesoro and Thriller Bark (get it? it's a BARQUE), not to mention the junks used by the Happo Navy and even the Ark Maxim, a golden flying ship powered by the lightning magic of a man sporting a hell of a god-complex. Some of these are pretty textbook Artifacts or the product of sorcerous workings, but not all of them.

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                              • #30
                                Savage Seas has big junks and merchant ships and stuff on top of the crazy first age ships, so that's something.

                                Feel free to talk about your game. I'm interested in reading all sorts of thoughts on the West in Third Edition, and what ideas people bring to it.


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

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